Did you know that essential oils have been used for thousands of years to alleviate a variety of ailments, well before the advent of pharmaceutical drugs? Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have been extracted from natural sources such as flowers, seeds, bark and plants. Each one has its own set of special properties. You can combine them for a tailor-made solution to whatever health concerns you may have, without dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. Here are 10 essential oils that can boost your physical and emotional well-being.
Peppermint oil is so powerful that a mere whiff of it can help you become more energetic and mentally alert. In fact, a study at the University of Cincinnati determined that inhaling this fragrant oil can improve mental accuracy by as much as 28 percent. Inhaling the oil can also help take the edge off of nausea, making it a great remedy for morning or motion sickness.
In addition, peppermint oil is one of the few essential oils that are safe to take internally, but a little goes a very long way. Stirring a few drops into some herbal tea or water is a great way to relieve indigestion.
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils, which can be attributed to its versatility and pleasing aroma. Lavender essential oil is naturally antiseptic and antiviral, which makes it a great candidate for rubbing onto bites, cuts, stings, bruises or skin irritations. Unlike many other essential oils, it does not need to be diluted with a carrier oil before it is used.
Despite these very important healing abilities, lavender essential oil is perhaps best known for its soothing and relaxing qualities. You can put some in a diffuser in your bedroom or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow before going to sleep to create a relaxing environment. You can also add a few drops to your bath water to help melt away stress.
When it comes to essential oils for health, it’s hard to top tea tree oil. This oil, which is derived from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia plant, can heal a host of skin problems, such as athlete’s foot, fungal infections and insect bites. When mixed with a carrier such as Aloe vera gel or coconut oil, tea tree oil can be dabbed onto blemishes to help clear them up. You can also add a few drops of this distinctively clean-smelling oil to your regular shampoo to promote scalp health and keep dandruff at bay.
Chamomile essential oil is another powerful oil that can do a lot to improve your health and mood. It has the ability to fight blemishes and skin inflammation and is less irritating than tea tree oil. It can also be mixed with coconut oil to help soothe eczema or diaper rash.
In addition, chamomile can help you relax; however, it should not be taken internally. Instead, try adding a few drops to your pillowcase to promote a good night’s sleep. You can also use it in vapor therapy when you’re feeling stressed or your mood needs a lift. Who needs toxic antidepressants when you’ve got natural chamomile essential oil?
For most of us, frankincense is most strongly associated with Christmas carols. There is a reason frankincense was considered a valuable gift in ancient times. This essential oil promotes optimal health in a number of ways, including boosting immunity and fighting inflammation. It’s very handy for helping insect bites or small cuts heal more quickly as well. Furthermore, frankincense can lift your mood and promote relaxation, so add a few drops to your bath. After all, mental health and physical health go hand in hand.
Lemons, with their fresh citrus taste and bright yellow color, are often associated with cheerfulness. It turns out this isn’t some type of arbitrary symbolism; lemon essential oil is actually revered for its uplifting properties. Inhaling a small amount of the oil mixed in a 1:1 ratio with a carrier oil can boost your concentration and make you feel more alert and focused. The diluted oil can also be applied to help heal acne. You can even use lemons as a safe and natural way to keep fleas away from your pets!
Oregano essential oil is a popular alternative treatment option for colds and the flu, which is best achieved by adding a few drops of the oil to a diffuser and inhaling it. Some people add a few drops of oregano oil to water or juice to relieve a sore throat.
The oil also has antiviral and antifungal properties. Some people believe it can help digestive issues or candida infections. When diluted with sweet almond oil or another carrier oil, it’s a great way to deal with nail fungus, cold sores, or dandruff. It also contains the natural insect repellent carvacrol, so apply some to outdoor furniture; or dilute it and apply some to your skin before heading outdoors to keep insects away without using harmful artificial chemicals.
Eucalyptus oil is essential when cold and flu season sets in. To clear your nasal passages and lungs, add a few drops to steaming water or sprinkle a few drops onto your handkerchief and take a few whiffs throughout the day. This is also a great way to soothe allergies.
Although eucalyptus essential oil is a great natural way to treat and even prevent the cold, it is important to avoid ingesting it. If you plan to apply it to your skin, be sure to dilute it first to avoid irritation.
If bergamot smells familiar to you, it’s probably because the crisp, citrus scent is often used in fragrances. However, bergamot’s healing properties are what make it a truly worthy essential oil. Its fresh scent works incredibly well in a vaporizer or as incense and can help take the edge off of anxiety and stress when inhaled. In addition, you can apply it to your skin to help treat eczema, but be sure you dilute it first to avoid burning your skin.
Do you have a headache or feel stressed? The scent of rosemary essential oil can help with both of these problems. Is your memory not what it used to be? Rosemary oil can help with that, too. If you’re having scalp problems, skip the drugstore and head straight to your bottle of rosemary oil. A few drops mixed into your shampoo can boost circulation to your scalp to give your hair a healthy shine and treat dandruff.
Essential oils are a great way to improve your health naturally. Even though these oils are natural and generally safe to use, be sure to check for contraindications before using them, particularly if you are pregnant or have a medical condition. You don’t have to resort to over-the-counter medications that have dangerous and unknown side effects at the first signs of illness. Save yourself the toil with these essential oils.
Sources include: FoxNews.com, HuffingtonPost.ca, WellnessToday.com, HuffingtonPost.ca