Essential oils are something we all hear about pretty regularly, but most of us don’t really know much about them. The foundation of aromatherapy, these oils can play a major role in health and wellness when used correctly. They can help to treat everything from headaches to acne, nausea to pain.
For centuries people have used them in the place of pharmaceutical medicines for a holistic approach to healthcare. And their properties are just as useful today as they were all those years ago. This is why more and more people are turning to aromatherapy as an alternative to conventional medicines today.
Understanding what essential oils are and what effects they have on the body is key to using them effectively. While they might seem complex and confusing for newcomers to homeopathy, this actually isn’t the case. Each oil has a number of properties which can be harnessed as an all natural home remedy.
Getting to grips with the various oils and their properties means that you too can begin creating your own essential oil blends at home for a whole host of medical conditions including headaches and skin irritations.
Top 10 Essential Oils – What They Do
Depending on the oil in question, the effects on the body can vary hugely. This is why it’s important to know which oils to use for which ailments in order to create your very own blend designed specifically for you and your needs.
Below is a brief explanation of the ten most popular essential oils and what they can be used for.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is probably the most well known of the essential oils, or at least one of them. The effects of tea tree oil are incredibly useful. This oil is an antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, insecticide which can be used for everything from killing bed bug infestations to treating acne.
Furthermore, tea tree is widely known to boost the immune system. If you can only have one essential oil in your home, none will give you as many benefits as tea tree oil will.
Lavender oil is synonymous with sleep and relaxation. Extracted from the lavender plant, it’s scent is unmistakable. The oil can be diffused electronically, or sprinkled over a pillow at night time to promote sleep.
The plants flowers can also be dried and hung in the home, and can even be eaten. It is also known to be useful for treating nausea, nosebleeds, insect bites and minor burns. This is a great oil to have at home.
This oil has been used to treat congestion for thousands of years. The sharp but gorgeously refreshing scent will fill your home and clear a congested chest at the same time. Not only can it clear up those pesky chesty coughs, this oil is a natural antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral agent which makes it great for treating sores and wounds.
Clove oil is most well known for its ability to relieve and reduce pain. It does this by promoting circulation and blow flow around the body. Used commonly for soothing aching muscles, clove oil is also believe to treat even the most persistent headaches. This is particularly useful as many pain medications can actually cause more headaches in the long run.
This oil can treat a wide variety of things. One of the most common uses for it is as a stress and anxiety reliever. It can promote relaxation and ease tense muscles. It is also thought to act as an anti-inflammatory and as a result, can reduce chronic pain.
Ylang Ylang Oil
One of the most interesting of the essential oils, ylang ylang is thought to increase sexual appetite. In fact, it has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries. It’s also thought to be great for lowering high blood pressure and reducing stress.
As an antibacterial, this is another great oil for treating the sores and wounds that we all experience from time to time. Finally, ylang ylang is one of the main ingredients in treatments for head lice.
Rosehip is extracted from the seeds of rose bushes grown in south america. This oil can be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to skin care. It brightens the skin, reduces dark spots and pigmentation and even some scars. The fatty acids that it contains help to restore moisture to dry, itching skin and combat the sign of aging.
Who doesn’t know the unmistakable scent of peppermint? You won’t be surprised to learn, then, that peppermint oil is a powerful stimulant. This explains its use in many shower gels and shampoos. However you may be surprised to learn that peppermint oil can relieve gas. It’s also used by aromatherapy enthusiasts to relieve indigestion.
Oregano oil is a very versatile oil that can be used for many things. From psoriasis to eczema, this essential oil can both cleanse and soothe irritated, aggravated skin. Its antibacterial properties make it a great home treatment for cold sores, athlete’s foot and acne. It can provide relief from insect bites, toothache and even ease sore muscles and joints.
This essential oil is heavily associated with healthy, luscious hair. It is thought that it does this by improving circulation to the hair follicles and promoting a healthier root. It is believed to delay the appearance of grey hairs while simultaneously treating dandruff and keeping the scalp in great condition.
Bonus Oil – CBD Oil
CBD oil is made from cannabidiol (CBD) an extract from the hemp and cannabis plants. Most people use this legally today as an effective essential oil for a wide range of reasons i.e. helping them relax. However some CBD oils made from the cannabis plant are illegal in some states due to the inclusion of traces of THC, which is known to get you high. However trace elements are know to have no effect in this case. It can be used for the same purpose like many of the essential oils mentioned above but the process of using it may be slightly different and limited i.e. it does not work via a diffuser. Also, most CBD oil do not come 100% pure like the others. They usually include some of the essential oils mentioned above when it is being sold.
Blending Oils at Home & CBD Oil
Once you have a good working understanding of the various essential oils explained above, it’s time to start thinking about creating your own personal blend. This involves identifying the aspects of your health that you would most like to improve.
Perhaps you’ve been dealing with persistent flaky scalp and shampoos just aren’t doing the trick. Or you might like to incorporate more relaxation into your evening routine to help you sleep more deeply at night. Whatever your aim is, it’s likely that there is at least one essential oil that can help.
Figuring out what you’d like to get out of your blend will inform your choices of what you put into it. In the above example of a blend which improves scalp health and promotes relaxation and sleep, the essential oils most likely to produce results are lavender oil and rosemary oil.
In regards to CBD oil you should first figure out what state you need the oil in to fulfill your goal as we mentioned before CBD oil cannot be used within diffusers. Most of the time it is ingested but before you consider any of this you will need to make sure you have the appropriate recipe and advice from a doctor or pharmacist before using it. Although the recipe could be good for some people it may not be good for you.
However, if you’d like to create a blend to tackle acne and produce visibly healthier skin, then tea tree oil and rosehip oil would be an excellent combination. Whether you’re combining two, three, or seven oils, the principle is the same; figure out what you want to get out of your blend in order to know what to put into it.
You should only use therapeutic grade essential oils for home remedies such as these. You can pick these up in most good drug stores, or from dedicated suppliers online. You could also use lotions with high concentrations of the oils you think will help you most if you’d like.
When applying any essential oils to the skin, it is really important to mix them in a carrier oil first. A carrier oil can be anything from coconut oil to vegetable oil to olive oil. Pure essential oils can irritate the skin if used in direct contact. However mixing them with a carrier oil will prevent this and ensure that you see only positive side effects from your home remedy.
The effects of aromatherapy are often disputed by critics. True, there is little scientific evidence to support many of the claims that they can be just as effective as pharmaceutical medicines. However, this is because the research doesn’t exist, not that it has found them to be untrue. As always though, it’s important to read everything with a pinch of salt and use your best judgement when it comes to the sources of information you use.
This is just a small selection of the most common essential oils. There are actually over 90 essential oils in total ranging from rose oil to lemon oil, each with their own unique uses. But, for the aromatherapy novice, sticking with the oils listing above will provide a great introduction to the wonders of aromatherapy.