A lot of people think that essential oils are only used to make perfumes and soaps and that their usefulness in aromatherapy and its other medicinal benefits are little more than a myth. The truth is, though, that essential oils have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and more recent research has proven, beyond all doubt, the essential oils can have an important part to play in therapeutic medicine. There are many different types of essential oils available now and they all contain concentrated ingredients that can have a very positive effect on health. Here are ten of those healing essential oils that everyone needs to know about.
1. Peppermint essential oil
You may have known that peppermint tea can help settle an upset stomach, but did you know that if you massage peppermint essential oil, along with a carrier oil, into your tummy, it will have the same effect? Like most essential oils, peppermint oil has many different healing properties and that includes calming coughs, relieving nasal congestion, and a few drops in a bowl of hot water makes a great foot soak too.
2. Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil is one of the oils that are well known for its ability to calm nerves, lower stress, and sharpen the mind. It’s also very good for treating insect bites, acne, and minor burns. Lavender oil is also a very good deodoriser. Add a drop or two of lavender oil to some baking soda paste and you will have a very effective underarm deodorant.
3. Eucalyptus essential oil
The amazing health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil have been known to the aborigines in Australia for thousands of years and they have been making use of the oil’s antiviral and antibacterial properties to treat a whole range of illnesses. Modern research has now proven the benefits of eucalyptus essential oil. A recent study that was conducted in India found that eucalyptus oil could kill the bacteria that are responsible for staph infections in just 15 minutes.
4. Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree oil has so many medicinal uses that it has been called the “medicine cabinet in a bottle”. This is one of the essential oils that you never use internally, but applied topically along with a carrier oil, it will treat athletes foot, acne, cold sores and warts, to name but a few.
5. Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile oil is another one of the essential oils that is best known for its ability to improve the mood and relax the mind. You can use it in a diffuser to improve your mental well-being or, if you have trouble sleeping, a few drops of chamomile essential oil on your pillow it will help you get a good night’s sleep. Chamomile oil is also gentler on the skin than some other oils, so it can be used to treat blemishes and acne if you have sensitive skin.
6. Lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil has a wonderful, citrus aroma that will calm the nerves and relax you. It can also be used as a dandruff treatment, it can be mixed with water and gargled to alleviate bad breath and, if you mix it with aloe vera gel, it makes a great home-made hand sanitiser. The only drawback to lemon essential oil is that it can make the skin photosensitive, so don’t use too much on your skin and then go out in the sun.
7. Clove essential oil
You probably know that clove oil is good for relieving the pain of a toothache, but it has many other uses too. Like most essential oils, it’s too strong to use undiluted, but if you use it mixed with a carrier oil, it will treat fungal infections of the skin, like athlete’s foot, and it will also help minor wounds heal faster. It’s also an effective anti-inflammatory, so it will quickly reduce the swelling caused by insect bites and it will help stop the itching.
8. Frankincense essential oil
Most people know frankincense from the Christmas story, but there were some very good reasons why it was so highly valued in biblical times. Frankincense essential oil can lift the mood, so a few drops on your bathwater will perk you up after a long day. It’s also very good for fighting inflammation and for giving the immune system a boost.
9. Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot essential oil is often used in fragranced products, so you might recognise the scent. The vapours of bergamot oil are said to be extremely good at combating anxiety and stress. The oil can also be used to treat skin conditions, like eczema, but be sure you dilute it before you try it because bergamot essential oil is very strong.
10. Oregano essential oil
Oregano oil has very strong antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties and it can be used to treat conditions such as shingles, wars and cysts. It’s also a very good anti-inflammatory, so it can be helpful for people suffering with arthritis or muscle pain.