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Essential Oils - Oils We Need

Oil makes it’s way into our lives in ‘oil sorts’ of ways (sorry couldn’t help myself) and as we explore the slippery realms of oil we discover the what, the where, the why, the how and do’s and don’ts surrounding Essential Oils.

In a quest to discover the reasons these oils are so important to us, we had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha Wykes our holistic therapist & oil maker here at Zen. Sam’s been with Zen for 15 years and apart from blending and creating all of our essential oils Sam also practices Aromatherapy, Reiki, Reflexology & Indian Head Massage. She is truly gifted and exceptionally modest. We are most proud to have Sam as part of our family.

Speaking of family Sam, mother of three beautiful daughters and granddaughter says “I love oils and they are part of everyday life for my family and I.”

 Hi Sam! Here’s our first question..

What are essential oils? 

“Well, essential oils are the moisture/oil extracted from plants. This is quite literally the ‘life force’ of the plant and each oil contains all the goodness and healing properties of the plant from which it is extracted. Imagine wringing out a damp cloth, this is a good example of what is extracted from the plants. Imagine wringing out a sandalwood tree (lol or not) or a lavender plant for instance.”

Where do they come from?

“So lavender oil comes from the leaves and twigs from the lavender plant, sandalwood comes from the sandalwood tree, lemon from the peel/rind of the fruit, petitgrain oil from the fresh leaves and green twigs of the bitter orange tree. Each essential oil comes from nature, from a plant, tree or fruit etc.”

Ok awesome, so we know what and where but what makes them so essential?

“My first response to this is because they are sooooo sooooo good for our health and well-being but, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannia it’s because the oil extracted from each individual plant is thought to represent the very essence of odour and flavour.”

You say they’re good for us. How is that?

“This is a BIG questions and one that deserves a BIG answer. Firstly, essential oils are 'plant based medicines' and common sense alongside of scientific research concurs that natural medicine works in harmony with the human body. We are from the Earth as are essential oils, it just feels right.. and you know what, it is!”

“The only thing that may cause some people hesitation in using them is the lack of knowledge and awareness about them. Plant lore and the use of natural remedies from the earth used to be passed on from generation to generation but nowadays we tend to rely solely on 'modern medicine' and the natural effective home-made remedies have been pushed to one side and are now even considered alternative and wacky. Which is ironic since the original remedies make up most of the modern medicines today.”

“Aspirin for instance, comes originally from the Willow Tree.”

“When mixed with a carrier oil (such as almond, coconut, grapeseed, olive etc) essential oils can pass through our skin into our body having a therapeutic affect on our physical body. Essential oils are also absorbed into the body through the nose (olfactory system). They can pass through cell walls and literally destroy bacteria and viruses and are one of the only substances that can cross the blood brain barrier.”

“Essential oils are said to affect our Limbic system, our limbic system is our emotional centre in the brain and so this assists the healing process from emotional trauma. They are also said to increase our ‘vibration' and Dr Royal Raymond Rife discovered that all microorganisms have a frequency at which they vibrate, an energy! That includes all living things such as you me, food, bacteria and viruses, plants and essential oils.  According to Dr Rife a person vibrates at between 62 - 72 Megahertz and essential oils have one of the highest vibrational energies with Rose oil measuring at 320 MHz.  Dr Rife's research led him to believe that a high vibrational frequency improves the immune system, mood, and all round health.”

“Fresh foods have a high vibration in comparison to dead/canned and processed foods which have a frequency of zero!”

“There are other people to check out when it comes to frequency and vibration and health, Bruce Tainio has compiled a comprehensive list too and Penny Pierce has written books on the subject.”

“So using essential oils can quite literally 'lift us up' in more ways than one.”

Wow, nice one Sam! This is all so good to know.

How do you even make it?

“There are different methods of extracting the essential oil, the most common is distillation but cold pressing and solvent extraction can be used for certain oils. Each technique aims to preserve the oil.”



A selection of creams and oils made by Sam


Ok Sam, thank you so much for your time, you’ve really given us the low down. But we’d like to ask you one more thing.

What are your Do’s and Dont’s when it comes to using  Essential Oils?

DO… Seek Professional Advice. If you are unsure about an oil i.e if pregnant etc, ask a professional, do some research on it, information is plentiful on the web and the staff in the Zen shops or myself will be happy to help you too.”

DO DO DO… Appreciate that you are an individual and what suits others may not suit you. Find your way with the oils. Lavender may be fine for your friend to apply neat to help skin irritation but you may need to dilute it in a carrier before you apply it.”  

“Generally DO NOT …. Use essential oils neat or undiluted (except lavender and t-tree in small amounts).  Some oils such as Cinnamon, Peppermint can irritate the skin unless diluted in a carrier oil.”

“DO… Take care with the oils as they are a 'plant based medicine' but most of all DO use and enjoy these amazing oils, improve the health and well being of you, your family and friends.“

Thanks Sam!

So there you have! I think we’ve ‘covered oil bases’ (sorry) ! We now have the what, the where, the why, the how, the Do’s and even the Don’ts of Essential Oils… Time to get oil happy!


Zen currently stock almost every oil you can think of and this month (April 16’) when you buy 3 oils you get the 4th free! Oh and not to mention 10% off oil of our Oil Burners!

How sweet is that?!

If you’d like any more information about our oils then please feel free to contact us at either of our magical shops in Digbeth or Moseley and just ask to speak with either Sam or one of our most knowledgable members of staff!

Peace, Love & Light,

Zen x