Essential oils attract devoted following, offer health benefits | SteamboatToday.com

Essential oils attract devoted following, offer health benefits

— Holly Rogers used to think that impressive benefits advertised with the use of essential oils were just hype.

But about a year ago, Rogers decided to give oils a try anyway.

"I decided to start investigating them, and the more I use them personally, the more I got really excited about it," said Rogers, who now turns to the oils to find energy, calmness and relaxation.

Her favorite is lavender — just a drop on Rogers’ pillow each night and she falls to sleep much easier.

"It really helps me sleep," Rogers said. "That's probably the thing that won me over."

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquid extracted from plants. Essential oil devotees say that just a drop is often all it takes to harness the benefits of the oils for food, beauty regimens and healthcare practices.

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"That's one of the things that makes them so attractive, a drop of something can be very potent," said Karen Gilroy, a natural health coach and essential oil educator and distributor living in Hayden.

Gilroy, who offers a weekly essential oil class in Hayden, said she's a firm believer in the benefits of using the oils.

The oils can interact with organs or systems of organs, providing digestive, respiratory and emotional benefits.

Oils can be ingested, used topically or diffused for aromatic benefits.

One of the many times Gilroy saw the benefits of using the oils firsthand was with a friend whose hands would throb and hurt and couldn't make a fist well.

Within hours of using a "soothing blend" of oils including peppermint, camphor and wintergreen, the friend had seen dramatic results, Gilroy said.

"Within hours she could make her fist close and her hand didn't hurt anymore," she said.

Gilroy's positive experience with essential oils led her to writing "Nourishing the Healer Within," in 2013, a book about using essential oils and properly balanced meals for better health. Gilroy's first book, "Discovering the Healer Within," focused on mind, body and spirit interconnectedness.

In addition to teaching her weekly essential oil class, Gilroy travels across the region to teach about and distribute oils. She’s interested in starting a class in Steamboat, also, if there’s interest.

"What I try to do is educate people as to what the oils might be able to do for them," she said.

Rogers said that while she primarily uses for personal purposes, she also diffuses some oils while operating her business, Healthy Springs Colonics in Steamboat Springs.

She uses some for the calming benefits with clients, and others, such as wild orange, peppermint and lemon for the energetic benefits.

Although plant-derived oils have been around for centuries, their popularity has increased in recent years because of the internet, Rogers thinks.

"It's the rediscovering of an ancient art," she said. "It's growing and there's lots of interest right now. A lot of these alternative medicine methods are coming to the forefront because of the internet, and because they work."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

Common essential oils and their uses

Lavender: relaxation, calmness, comfort, relieves insomnia, takes pain out of a bee sting

Lemon: food flavor enhancement, mood elevation, natural antioxidant and detoxifier, powerful aromatic, non-toxic cleanser

Peppermint: health digestion, headache relief, energy, clearing sinuses, kills aphids in garden or houseplants

Rose: Promotes well being and self-confidence, skincare

Oregano: cleansing, healthy digestion and respiratory function, flavor enhancement, antimicrobial

Wild orange: purifying agent, immune enhancing benefits, energy for mind and body

— doTerra and Young Living Essential Oils