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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

How Essential are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils have been around for many centuries. For ages, many cultures around the world rely on the reliable uses of essential oils for many of man's ailments and conditions. From Africa to Asia to Oceania to Antarctica, essential oils have been permanent fixtures in many home medicine cabinets. It really isn't a medicine, but wise 'medicine folks' in the rural areas around the world have been known to use it as an age-old alternative medicine and therapy.

In the Philippines, a growing herd of believers and users have been observed over the years. But since time immemorial, essential oils have been known to be used by "Mangagamots" or "Manghihilots" (medicine men and women), whether for massaging or traditionally called 'Hilot' or touch therapy. I think this also how the word "oilbularyo" was coined. 

With essential oils, a wide range of uses would come to mind. Such as remedy from snake bites, relief from bee stings, high fever, sprained ankle or wrist, assistance in childbirth, and even to such extremes as curing a said person suffering from the possession of an evil spirit. 

In the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, another age-old Philippine traditional medical practice has been resurrected, and that is the 'Tu-ob' or steam inhalation. Nowadays, people mix a few drops of essential oils in a bowl of freshly boiled water and immediately inhale the steam while the head is entirely covered with a towel. The vapors give instant relief from colds, sore throat, and cough. 

But what are essential oils? It is the purest form of a substance derived mostly from flowers, plants, trees, and seeds. Essential oils are the concentrated compound that imparts the scent and herbal essences from which it was sourced from. 

Today, essential oils come in many different variants. Here in the Philippines, the most common essential oils are Lemongrass and Citronella since they’re the easiest to grow and require the least maintenance, and very abundant. However, Casa de Lorenzo under its flagship brand CDL Naturals has pioneered the introduction of other essential oils from native plants and trees of the Philippines and is working to create and discover more essential oils from the country. 

  • CALAMANSI ESSENTIAL OIL – From the peels of the beloved Calamansi we use as refreshments or as part of cooking, CDL extracts Calamansi Essential Oil by distillation. The aroma of the essential oil is distinctively Calamansi. The scent of Calamansi has been suggested to help alleviate depression and anxiety. It is also among the few aromatics that not just mask the bad smell but completely neutralizes them, making the essential oil a great additive to cleaning products. It is also an excellent additive to skin toners or blended with other essential oils in a massage blend.
  • DALANDAN ESSENTIAL OIL – Just like Calamansi, the sweet citrus of the Philippines’ oil is extracted from its peels via distillation. Unmistakably citrusy and sweet, Dalandan Essential Oil is among the all-time favorites. Aside from feeling really good after smelling Dalandan Essential Oil, this can also be used as the oil from Calamansi.
  • ELEMI ESSENTIAL OIL – A world-renowned oil because of its benefits, Elemi Essential Oil has been popular to the rest of the globe but to us Filipinos, it seems we are just slowly being familiar in spite of the world’s supply coming from our country. There are 2 types of Elemi Essential Oil, the first one and the most popular, comes from the resin of the Canarium luzonicum tree or the Manila Elemi. The 2nd one comes from the resin of the Canarium ovatum tree or the Pili tree, which have yet to gain popularity as an alternative. Dubbed as “poor man’s frankincense,” Elemi Essential Oil is basically the more abundant and readily available substitute for Frankincense. Well known for its skin rejuvenation benefits, Elemi Essential Oil is also an amazing anti-inflammatory, a great additive for massaging strained or tired muscles provides relief to respiratory troubles, and a great stress reliever.
  • ALMACIGA ESSENTIAL OIL – Known to the world as Manila Copal, it's globally traded as an ingredient in making varnishes. Traditionally, Almaciga is used as a fire starter, caulking for boats, smudge for mosquitoes, and incense for religious ceremonies. There are documented evidence that the resin is burned and smoke is inhaled for asthma and other minor respiratory troubles. The Almaciga Essential Oil is extracted by distilling the resin from Agathis philippinesis trees, which are native to the Philippines. Not much is known for the use of its essential oil because of its extreme uniqueness and it is virtually unknown up until its creation by CDL. The Almaciga Essential Oil’s aroma falls in-between Elemi and Frankincense making it another potential alternative to Frankincense.
Essential Oils can also be used as aromatic oils in the form of candles and used in Aromatherapy. Essential Oils can also found in water bath essentials such as Castile soaps and their purest form placed in diffusers to perfume the entire room with a relaxing scent and calming effect. Thus, essential oils have been used as a topical agent and aromatic ingredient as it acts as neurotransmitters via breathing and suggests an instant gratification to the brain.

Essential Oils are helpful physically, physiologically, psychologically, and mentally. This almost spiritual experience is not yet liberally focused and touched by science but it is something that touches man's very core and encompasses the bliss this world has known. After all, essential oils are the closest to what Mother Nature can offer.

Now, here's the best part? Since we have established that essential oils are indeed essential, We would love one of our readers to win this set of Castile soap and essential oils for CDL Naturals. 

To join, check out our Facebook page for mechanics. 


  1. Thanks for the info! Essential Oils are not something I have ever gotten into but really fascinating.

  2. We use tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils a lot at home. I'd love to try the Dalandan Essential Oil.

  3. We use oils so some things! I think they can be a great pair with Western medicine if Western medicine can’t be avoided.

  4. I think essential oils can pair well with western medicine when using medication can’t be avoided.

  5. We are using Eucalyptus and Peppermint at home to manage early symptoms of Migraine, allergic rhinitis and asthma. Citronella oil as homemade insect repellant and Lavender oil for calming. I'd love to try Calamansi

  6. Wow....a local brand in the market !..Great new finds. I've been using Essential Oils for quite sometime helps lessen my asthma attack. Diffusing EO daily at night 😊. Our fave peppermints, lavender, eucalyptus, and other citrus oils.

  7. I love essential oils! I use them everyday from the time I wake up tile i go to bed. They have made a huge difference in my life. I would love to try elemi oil in the near future. Good to know I can buy it from CDL!