The other choices of the Finnish Association of Health Product Traders as the best products of the year were:
Health product of the year 2019: Strong curcumin (Biomed Oy)
Superfood of the year 2019: Kombucha (Puhdistamo – Real Foods Oy)
Care product of the year 2019: Essential oils (Frantsila Organic Herb Farm)
Frantsila Organic Herb Farm is a pioneer in herbal medicine and use of herbs in general. The company has been promoting health, well-being and beauty with its high-quality products for 38 years. Frantsila’s Herb Farm is also a pioneer when it comes to essential oils: they were the first to import these oils, which are beneficial for well-being.
“We also have our own small distillery in Frantsila, which looks like a moonshine pot, where we distill our own oils, mainly for the purpose of educating students,” says Raipala-Cormier.
Frantsila procures essential oils from all over the world, directly from their manufacturers, without intermediaries. Produrers of essential oils – professionals in knowing what they want – carefully examine the quality and only accept first-class ingredients for bottling at Frantsila. For Frantsila, high quality is a matter of honor and it is important that Frantsila’s oils are also suitable for use by professional aromatherapists (who are also trained at Frantsila).
The use of essential oils in support of health has a long tradition dating back to ancient Egypt, all the way to 4500 BCE. In Europe, France has long been a leader in essential oils, with a wide range of “perfume industries” playing a significant role in general.
Frantsila currently has a selection of 34 different essential oils, each with its own effect that has been proven by research. Essential oils benefit people in a number of different ways. This is no empty claim, since plenty of scientific evidence exists to demonstrate their effectiveness.
“One study looked at the combination of essential orange and lavender oils in people with Alzheimer’s disease. It was found that the combination of those oils helped the patients to become calm, sleep better and be more sociable,” Raipala-Cormier says.
“The use of peppermint oil in pain patients has also been studied. The study perfused essential peppermint oil in patients taking strong painkillers. Gradually, the dosage of painkillers was reduced and perfuming was continued. It was found that the scent of peppermint left an engram on pain patients, allowing a smaller amount of painkillers to work as well as previous, significantly higher doses of the drug.”
“Essential oils affect our well-being through odor receptors – their effects are felt in our “lizard brain,” Raipala-Cormier adds.
Use of essential oils in massage oils, foot baths and laundry vinegar
The benefits of essential oils can also be grasped through the skin – for example, when mixed with massage oils, they are absorbed into the bloodstream. When using essential oils on the skin, it is important to remember that they should not be applied undiluted to the skin. The essential oils are always mixed with a base oil, and the resulting mixture is applied to the skin for pleasure and benefit.
A good dosage instruction is one to two drops of essential oil mixed with 5 ml of cold pressed vegetable oil (e.g. almond or jojoba oil).
The essential oils are also very suitable for the treatment and nourishment of the facial skin. For example, geranium, frankincense, lavender or rose can be added to the jojoba oil to be used as a facial treatment.
Stronger choices are also suitable for body massage: pine and rosemary, for example, affect the production of noradrenaline, refreshing and invigorating both the body and the mind.
Essential oils are also ideal for enhancing the pampering effect and treatment effect of foot baths. Even when used in foot baths, essential oils should be emulsified with, for example, honey or shampoo – when dropped directly into foot bath water, water-insoluble oils can irritate the skin.
“A suitable dosage is 3–5 drops of essential oil per foot bath, mixed with shampoo or honey,” Raipala-Cormier recommends.
Essential oils also bring joy to those conquering a mountain of laundry. Five drops of essential oil mixed with one 100 ml of laundry vinegar causes the fresh scent of the essential oil to remain when the laundry is dry (and the scent of the laundry vinegar is dispelled). Lavender-ripened sheets lull you to sleep lands while orange-oiled clothes bring good mood throughout the day.
Use of essential oils in fragrance lamps and diffusers
Essential oils can boost wellbeing in a number of ways. The most common use of essential oils is probably in fragrance lamps or diffusers, which enable their easy evaporation into indoor air.
When using essential oils, it is important to exercise moderation: the fragrance lamp or diffuser should not be used all day long.
“Essential oils are the spirit of plants. It is precisely because of the effects of essential oils that the plant either attracts or repels insects. Essential oils are quite strong substances that should be used sparingly and wisely,” Raipala-Cormier explains.
Although the scents of essential oils are delightful and alluring, they are best used in moderation – overuse of essential oils should be avoided. Less is more here, too.
Because of their strength, essential oils are not recommended for babies, pregnant women, nursing mothers or the seriously ill – that is, people who for one reason or another are in a very sensitive condition.
Although Raipala-Cormier emphasizes that the internal use of essential oils is not part of the idea of aromatherapy, she says that small amounts of selected oils can be used to flavor self-made chocolate, for instance. In such a case, the amount used should be very moderate: 1 drop of peppermint oil per hundred grams.
Health effects of essential oils
“Essential oils affect human wellbeing on three levels: physical, mental and spiritual,” Frantsila Organic Herb Farm’s Virpi Raipala-Cormier advises.
The effects of essential oils are subtle and individual. Raipala-Cormier recommends that everyone spend a fair time trying out essential oil testers – and to choose what they like according to their intuition. Of course, it is sometimes appropriate to use essential oils on the basis of their known effects as well.
“Many people use essential oils for pain relief, with good results. For example, juniper, black spruce and rosemary work well for this purpose,” Raipala-Cormier says.
Lavender is often called the mother of essential oils. The lavender oil that provides versatile care also promotes sleep, relieves stress and soothes the body and mind holistically.
“Lavender oil should be added into a fragrance lamp or diffuser for an hour in the evenings,” Raipala-Cormier suggests.
According to Frantsila’s aromatherapy expert, lavender is also of considerable help in the treatment of menstrual cramps, for example.
“Unlike other essential oils, antibacterial tea tree oil can also be used applied directly to the skin if the goal is to treat nail fungus,” Raipala-Cormier explains.
Frankincense oil is currently a trendy product for treating aging skin, and it is a household ingredient in many facial care products for adult skin.
Frankincense, like citrus scents in general, lifts the mood and refreshes, Raipala-Cormier says, adding that citrus scents should not be used when the summer sun is at its hottest, as they can have an adverse reaction to excessive sunshine.
Frankincense is also mentioned in Roman and Greek Catholic books because its scent is calming and elevates the mind to a spiritually higher level.
Essential grapefruit oil and patchouli oil are suitable to support weight loss, tangerine to bring joy and light even on dark days, lemon to boost energy and bring power to the workday. Essential peppermint oil acts as a fragrance for headache ailments, and rosemary oil improves memory. Pine oil has a strengthening effect, and eucalyptus oil opens the airways and cools the body, even during a fever.
Citronella oil is suitable for repelling mosquitoes and other insects, while tea tree oil gets rid of horseflies and deer flies.