Like many other wholistic remedies, essential oils are a great way to improve overall health, treat cold and flu symptoms, calm nerves, elevate your mood and generally create a world that just all around smells better.
You could spend a fortune purchasing specialized essential oil blends that have been developed to treat specific ailments. These can be excellent, but the truth is, you don’t need to fork over a ton of cash to help yourself.
Essential oils are basically concentrated liquids containing key compounds from plants. They have been used for hundreds of years as a safe and effective medicine. There are a number of ways to make essential oils, but the most common forms involve distillation, cold-pressure and through the use of a solvent.
When it comes to aromatherapy, food-grade essential oils are not absolutely necessary. However, if you plan to consume an essential oil or apply it directly to your body through a lotion or oil blend, it wouldn’t hurt to go for the more costly food-grade oils sold in specialty stores like Lorann Oils rather than the basic essential oils sold in healthfood stores or online.
And be sure to read up on any essential oil you want to try. Many oils are fine to consume, but certain oils, such as camphor and pennyroyal, are toxic and should be applied only in tiny quantities, if at all.
Essential oils should never be taken internally without first diluting them. There are certain kinds of essential oils that can damage teeth or even make you very ill if taken in their concentrated forms.
There are many different kinds of essential oils that can be used to alleviate all kinds of ailments, but the following 10 essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to promote good health.
One of the great all-around essential oils, peppermint oil has a variety of uses that include easing digestion, calming nerves, relieving an upset stomach, reducing inflammation and repelling bugs.
Tea Tree Oil
Extracted from the Australian tea tree—really, more like a shrub—tea tree oil is one of the best antimicrobials out there. It is even said to be effective against so-called superbugs like MRSA. It is toxic, so extra care should be taken when applying to teeth or gums.
Lavender essential oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It is great for calming nerves and reducing fevers. It is even said to help lower blood pressure when used in aromatherapy. Applied topically, it is great to reduce inflammation and soothe bug bites and poison ivy.
With that distinct smell, eucalyptus oil make a great all-around anti-inflammatory, decongestant, deodorant and antiseptic and antibacterial rub and spray.
Concentrated lemon essential oil can used for all kinds of applications, including as an antibacterial and antiviral cleaner. It is also great in cosmetic applications such as for helping to soothe and heal acne and scrapes and cuts.
Most people know about using citronella oil to keep those pesky bugs away, but it also makes a great deodorant and can even help combat fatigue.
Orange essential oil not only makes an excellent antibacterial spray, but is also good when used in aromatherapy to elevate a person’s mood and fight the effects of stress.
Kind of like those scented candles, but only much better, vanilla essential oils can be used after a hard day to calm nerves and help you relax.
This essential oil is commonly used as a bug repellant but is also known for relieving dandruff and other painful itches and stings. It is even said to help stimulate hair growth. It also has a long history of increasing memory, concentration, and even creativity.
Clove oil’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great go-to for topical applications. It’s great for on the spot treatment for toothaches and may help tide you over until you see your dentist. It is also great in aromatherapy for opening bronchial passages and relieving a stuffed-up nose.
Not so well-known, lemongrass essential oil is highly effective as an antibacterial. Used in topical applications like aftershaves, lemongrass oil will not only help fight skin disorders, but the smell will boost your mood and provide a great pick-me-up in the morning.
Chris DePaulo is a staff writer for Rabble Magazine, focusing on health, nutrition, lifestyles and the environment. To download the free special report “Survive in the Age of Superbugs,” sign up for RABBLE’s free e-newsletter on the website, RabbleMagazine.com.