Although the term “aromatherapy” is a relatively new one (it was coined this in the 20th century), this practice has been around since ancient times. Essential oils, also referred to as volatile oils, are distilled from various parts of a plant and represent the “heart” of the plant. The oils themselves are highly concentrated, and each one has many healing benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Featured in this article are 10 essential oils that have many therapeutic qualities.
Bergamot oil comes from the rind of a particular type of orange. It is a wonderful oil to use for stress relief and depression, including getting rid of the “baby blues” in postnatal women. It is known for its ability to lower blood pressure, improve blood circulation, and it maintains good health in the kidneys and urinary tract. Bergamot can also be used to soothe aches and pains and relieve tension caused by PMS.
Clove oil is very powerful, and it is has both antiseptic and antiviral properties. It is commonly used to treat toothaches, headaches, and ear infections. It also works wonders on the digestive system by relieving nausea, gas, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. Clove oil can even be used to treat nasty frostbite.
Eucalyptus is widely known for its use in treating symptoms of the common cold and flu including cough, runny nose, sore throat, and body aches. Because it’s a natural antiseptic, it has been successfully used to cure many different infections of the skin. Eucalyptus is also a great oil to use for those suffering from rheumatism.
If you need a “pick-me-up,” grapefruit oil is the one for you! It helps ease the sadness associated with depression, and its crisp citrus fragrance is energizing and motivating. Grapefruit oil is a diuretic, and it helps the body rid itself of fat, toxins, and excess water- making it a good choice for individuals who would like to shed some extra pounds. It promotes healthy and frequent urination which helps prevent infections in the urinary tract. Grapefruit oil also lowers blood pressure, lessens symptoms of PMS, and calms even the worst of headaches.
Jasmine is the go-to oil when you need relief from stress, depression, and severe anxiety. It can calm an over-active mind, assisting one in getting some much-needed sleep. Jasmine oil is antispasmodic, easing cramps caused by both indigestion and PMS. It is also a great oil to use on the skin to lessen the visibility of scars.
The uses of lavender oil are endless, as it is one of the most popular and widely used essential oils. Its calming scent eases anxiety, excessive worry, and it puts insomnia to rest–pardon the pun! It is excellent for the skin and can be used to heal burns, bites, boils, cuts, sores, and wounds of nearly any kind. It can be used for common problems, such as headaches and nausea, and it can soothe all sorts of aches and pains including those associated with arthritis. Lavender is very beneficial for children, and can be used to calm kids of any age–even a teething baby.
The sweet fragrance of neroli comes from orange tree blossoms. It strengthens the heart, maintains liver health, and relieves symptoms associated with menopause. Neroli is wonderful for the skin–it tightens, tones, and promotes a clear complexion. It also is very therapeutic for those suffering from anxiety and depression.
Besides being an excellent breath freshener, peppermint oil is often used to provide relief from gas, heartburn, nausea, and indigestion. It eases headache pain and can also prove beneficial for other body aches including those caused by injury or arthritis. In addition to being an anti-inflammatory, peppermint is a good oil to use if you need to focus. Its aroma is very energizing and will help overcome feelings of fatigue.
If you suffer from migraine headaches, this is a good oil to use for quick relief. Roman chamomile is anti-inflammatory, and can be used to treat a variety of aches and pains. It also can provide relief to those suffering from insomnia, PMS, nervous tension, and even constipation. Roman chamomile is extremely beneficial when used to treat problems with the skin including acne, scarring, eczema, and dermatitis.
Tea tree is naturally anti-fungal and can be used to cure issues such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. It is also antibacterial and antiviral and is often times beneficial in fighting the common cold, flu, and even pneumonia. Tea tree oil can soothe a painful earache, or be used to treat problems with the skin like acne and dandruff. It has successfully been utilized to kill head lice, and can provide relief from a nasty insect bite.
How to Use Essential Oils
Because essential oils are very concentrated, you don’t need to use much to experience their healing benefits. If you want to use them directly on the skin, you should dilute them in a “carrier” oil. There are many different types of carrier oils, but some of the more commonly known ones are grapeseed, jojoba, sesame, and sweet almond. You can add one or more drops of essential oil to your chosen carrier oil and gently massage it onto the part of the body you want to treat. Essential oils can also be added to bath salts, lotions, shower gels, and other types of skin-care products in order to apply them to the body for healing. You can also take in the therapeutic goodness of essential oils simply by inhaling their fragrances. It is strongly advised that you never take oils internally without consulting with a certified aromatherapy practitioner.
Essential oils are magnificent healers that come directly from Mother Earth herself. The oils are easy to use and incorporate into your everyday life, and they provide a safe and natural means of healing the body as a whole.