Opening a bottle of pure coffee essential oil is like taking a short trip into a sci-fi movie. The smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen- condensed into one drop. If that isn’t enough to get you excited about the benefits of coffee essential oil, here’s a short history of the bean, and some more of the many uses that are guaranteed to wake you up!
The Discovery of Coffee
The legend of the discovery of coffee is quite a story. A goat herder from Ethiopia noticed one very happy goat nibbling on the red berries of a certain bush. The goat was so excited, the herder decided to try the berries himself. When a feeling of euphoria came over him, he said to the goat “These berries are a gift from heaven”; to which the goat responded “Baaaah”.
When he took a handful of the berries to the local monastery, he was condemned for touching such a devilish plant, and a monk threw the berries into the fire. As the berries roasted in the fire, the scent brought all the monks out of the woodworks, who raked out the roasted berries and added them to water. And so, coffee was born. Since this legendary beginning over a thousand years ago, coffee has since spread around the world, and is the go-to wake up formula for millions of people every day.
Health Benefits of Coffee
The most notable use of the fragrant brown drink called coffee is its power as a pick me up. This is, of course, due to the relatively high amounts of caffeine in a brewed cup of coffee. In addition to the jolt of energy in a cup of coffee, some studies are showing there may be more health benefits associated with moderate coffee drinking. A recent Harvard study suggests that long term coffee drinking lowers diabetes 2 risk. Another Norwegian study associated coffee drinking with a reduction in pain. Researchers noted that workers who drank coffee before doing computer work showed less signs of chronic pain than those who did not.
Coffee Essential Oil Constituents
The most notable benefits of roasted coffee beans can be found by extracting pure coffee essential oil from them through cold pressing. Depending on the extraction method and where the coffee was grown, coffee essential oil can have as many as 800 different compounds in it. As well as terpenes and alcohols, coffee actually contains a large number of oils. When the roasted beans are cold pressed instead of CO2 extracted, many of these oils stay present in the resulting essential oil. More common constituents of coffee essential oil include:
Stearic acid. A common oil found in many vegetable and animal fats which is used by many skincare companies. This makes coffee essential oil a great surfactant.
Oleic acid. Better known as Omega-9, this is a fatty acid that is famously present in olive oil and fish oil supplements. Your body makes it when needed, but adding it to your skin is of great benefit.
Linoleic acid. A fatty acid better known as Omega-6, linoleic acid helps to seal the skin and make it impermeable to water. This sealing effect can help protect the skin from airborne toxins as well keep moisture in the skin during dry weather.
Palmitic acid. A very common saturated fatty acid. While saturated fatty acids are considered unhealthy in the diet, on the skin they are great! Palmitic acid acts as an antioxidant as well.
Dihydrobenzofuran. This tongue twisting compound actually acts on serotonin receptors in the brain, and is being studied as an antipsychotic.
2,3 dimethyl benzofuran. This compound is responsible for the familiar smoky, sweet, woody scent of coffee beans and coffee essential oil.
Benefits of Coffee Essential Oil In The Body
Through inhalation of the diffused oil, the compounds in coffee essential oil can enter the bloodstream, where they positively affect your body.
Ever wonder why the refreshing scent of coffee is so…well, refreshing? There is actually a science behind it. Acompound in the oil called Dihydrobenzofuran can actually boost your mood. Research on the compound found that it acts on the serotonin receptors in the body, increasing the amount of mood-boosting serotonin in the bloodstream!
Diffusing coffee essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser can be a great way to boost your mood. If you are starting to step back from drinking coffee, but still like the morning routine, the scent of coffee essential oil in your diffuser can actually mimic the smell of a fresh pot of coffee in the mornings, and give you a boost of serotonin to start your day off right.
The strong earthy scent has an immediate grounding effect in the body. If you are experiencing nausea, inhaling the strong scent of coffee essential oil just may bring you back to center. Wafting the bottle under your nose may be enough to do so. If that is not enough, sitting in a chair near your aromatherapy diffuser for a half hour should do it.
The same compounds in coffee essential oil which help reduce the feelings of nausea can also reduce gas and bloating. There are two ways to get it into your body in this instance. By adding a few drops of coffee essential oil to a personal inhaler and inhaling for 5 to 10 minutes when you experience gas, you can find relief. Alternatively, adding a few drops of coffee essential oil to carrier oil and rubbing it on your abdomen can help relax the abdominal muscles and eliminate gas as well.
Benefits of Coffee Oil On the Skin
Because of the presence of the fatty acids in coffee essential oil, it actually lends itself well to the fragrance industry. Candles, soaps, shampoos, and various skin care products are made using coffee essential oil. These fatty acids make coffee essential oil thick; and make it great for general skin care.
Adding coffee essential oil to your body care products is a practice you may just want to adopt. Because of the high levels of stearic acid, coffee essential oil makes a great surfactant. Surfactants act to reduce the surface tension of water, which allows it to better mix with things like oil and dirt. Using coffee essential oil in your facial cleanser can help to gently remove oil and dirt without the use of chemical cleansers.
Stearic acid also lends itself to skin care well as an emulsifier; meaning it helps bind things like oil and water together-allowing them to be easily removed from the body.
The fatty acids within coffee essential oil act as antioxidants. In this recent study, components common to many plants, specifically palmitic and linoleic acid, were shown to have antioxidative effects. While coffee essential oil may not be the strongest antioxidant, it can be a gentle way to add antioxidants to your skin. Adding a drop of coffee essential oil to your natural cleanser every day can keep your skin looking supple and feeling vibrant.
Thanks to the presence of oleic acid in coffee essential oil, the essential oil can be added to your skin treatment blends. When combined with other essential oils for acne, the effects of coffee essential oil can be multiplied even further! The antioxidants in coffee essential oils are a great way to reduce signs of cellulite on the skin. The emulsifying effects of coffee essential oil also help to ensure your face stays clean and free from dirt and oil.
As always, it is important to understand that pure essential oils are very powerful, and should always be used with care. The pure oils should always be diluted before applying to the skin, as allergic reactions can occur. You always want to pay attention to any reactions your body may have to oils when applied on the skin, and should start by applying them to a small area before moving onto a large area of the body. Children and pregnant women should use any essential oil under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.
The most important thing to consider when purchasing your essential oil is the quality of the product. Always look for pure essential oils. Pure oils are not only the most beneficial – they are the safest.
Do you have a recipe for coffee essential oil you’d like to share? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!