Although aromatherapy has been used consistently for centuries in some parts of Asia, many of us have forgotten how powerful and healing these natural extracts can be. Not only do they enhance moods, but they can also zap viruses, cure fungal infections, and help slow down the signs of aging!
There are certain essential oils that we would all benefit from having in our homes, here are a few staples that I recommend and what you can use them for.
One of the best-known oils and easily recognized as a garden shrub, lavender is so good I always have a few bottles of it in my home, and in the office too.
The smell of lavender is an excellent antidote to worries and stress and can be used topically too. Very few people have an allergic reaction to this oil, so it can be used neat on the skin as a cleanser and healer.
It can stop the skin from turning to blisters on a burn if applied immediately after a burn has been cooled under the cold top.
Added to a pillow, handkerchief, or cuddly bed toy it is an excellent cure for insomnia and it blends so beautifully with other oils, it’s a great addition to any massage or bathing composite.
Part of the orange family, neroli blossom oil has a heady, uplifting smell and forms a constituent to most of my home-made perfumes for this reason. It acts as a relaxant and is lovely to soak in, in the bath, or added to an oil burner too.
The reason we should all have some however is due to its excellent anti-aging and reparative properties. It has long been suggested that it is used on early scarring or stretch marks to reduce skin damage and added to moisturizers it prevents the formation of wrinkles. It can also balance the secretion of the sebaceous glands helping acne and other hormonal imbalances.
It is also said that the aroma can ease PMT and labour pains.
I would urge you to be a little more careful with oregano oil, as it’s incredibly potent and so should always be diluted. It works as a very astringent anti-viral and anti-bacterial oil and so can be applied as a way to prevent infections.
It is very effective against gum inflammations and abscesses; for which it is best to gargle in saltwater or added sparingly to a coconut oil mouth swill. It’s supposed to be useful for stomach problems too, but make sure it is diluted and avoid in cases where the skin is more sensitive such as; stomach ulcers or colitis as it may serve as an irritant.
The spiritual essence, I find this oil is amazing for when life feels heavy, burdensome, or mundane. This smell can bring hope, enhanced imagination, and inspiration and so I often wear it on a scarf next to my nose in the winter.
Health-wise it’s great for the skin, particularly helping with dry skin issues, and it is an excellent cleanser for the respiratory system, helps cure and prevent infections, and also is great for the digestive system and as a mood uplift.
Add a few drops of frankincense oil to a bowl of boiling water, hover your head above, cover the back of your head with a towel, and breathe for 10 minutes. If you do this once a week this winter, you will notice the difference in your health!
All of the bitter citrus oils make great insect repellents, but grapefruit is the most versatile of them all and probably has the most pleasant smell also.
Like most of the sweet-smelling oils, it is great for the skin and acts as an invigorator when added to your favorite shower gel or moisturizer.
Burning grapefruit in an oil burner is said to aid concentration and memory capacity and increases alertness and neural processes. This is particularly helpful when you very tired, so don’t burn it in the bedroom!
Cats dislike the smell of citrus, so it’s useful to smear around the washing machine and around power cables if they are prone to chewing them.
Another of our readily available garden shrubs, Rosemary is a great oil to have around the house if you don’t have a bush!
This oil is probably the most effective against headaches, as it increases circulation and invigorates the mind. For those who suffer from dandruff or hair loss, this is one to add to your shampoos as it stimulates hair growth and helps with skin problems.
It’s also great to massage into the extremities (feet and hands) for those with circulatory disorders and can help with joint pain too, although do dilute into a carrier or cooking oil prior to use as it can be quite astringent applied directly to the skin.
Whilst this has a pungent smell, that I’m not a fan of, there is no doubt as to its efficacy for fungal and bacterial issues. This is incredibly effective for conditions such as athletes’ foot and thrush. The best way to use is to soak the affected area in warm water, and then apply tea tree mixed in coconut oil and allow to soak into the skin.
Tea tree is the active ingredient in Manuka honey, but it’s a little too strong to take internally unless purchased in leaf form to be used as a tea.
In conjunction with grapefruit and thyme, it also makes an amazing hand sanitizer.
Whilst this isn’t usually on the ‘essential’ essential oils list, in this modern climate, it’s certainly worth a mention.
Thyme has been used as a throat remedy for centuries and whilst it has similar properties as an essential oil to oregano, it is a little more palatable and easier to gargle. It is particularly powerful against ear, nose, and throat infections, and gargling this oil in warm water can provide immediate relief from a sore throat.
At the first sign of any cold/flu symptom, creating a steam bath with thyme will usually stop a virus in its tracks. Refer to my write up on Frankincense for information on how to create a steam facial.
This oil has some similar uses to tea tree, although it is a little less potent, it can be effective when used as an anti-fungal, and for this reason, it has been added to many foot lotions over the years.
It can have a cooling effect on inflammation and added in diluted form to a poultice, can help reduce inflammation and the beginnings of an infection.
It’s also very stimulating on the scalp and skin and so is present and can be added to bathroom cosmetics, as it usually is to toothpaste, as a neutralizer.
One of the best uses of peppermint oil is for irritable bowel and other digestive disorders. Taking a few drops of peppermint oil in water every morning, or in capsule form will have a calming, healing effect upon the stomach and bowel.
There are so many more essential oils to have in your home once you get a feel for them. I make perfumes and often include:
Patchouli – sweet, pungent and sexy
Sandalwood – earthy, heady and sensual
Jasmine – floral, uplifting and feminine
Rosewood – sweet, grounding and imaginative
Frangipani – evocative, euphoric and enlightening
Find your own favorite combinations, it’s a magical journey into exotic lands, all from the comfort of your own home.