From Ancient India, Egypt, Persia to European countries, essential or aromatic oils have been used for thousands of years for their physical, mental and emotionally- elevating properties.
Extracted through cold pressing or a careful steam distillation process, essential oils are powerful healers. Each fragrance works uniquely on different parts of the physical and emotional body.
Since direct application may cause irritation, a few drops of any essential oil must be diluted with a carrier oil for application. Carrier oils are organic vegetable oils derived from the fatty parts of particular plants, seeds and nuts whereas essential oils are distilled from bark, root, leaves of a botanical.
You can use them in your bath, as incense, for massages or for direct application on cuts and bruises. Here is a list of the top 8 most healing essential oils:
Lavender has been used for centuries in healing and love potions. The spiritual nature of lavender essential oil
is all about restoration, purification, happiness and peace.
It helps alleviate depression, feelings of isolation and loneliness and brings balance to the emotional body. It has an uplifting quality reminding us that we are never really alone. Research shows that lavender increases brain alpha waves associated with relaxation and deep sleep.
How to use – It works well as a moisturizer for lips and skin; you can add a few drops to a cotton ball and apply on dry areas. To help with insomnia put 3-4 drops on your pillow before sleeping, it’s scent acts as a natural sleep facilitator.
For clogged sinuses, add 2 drops of lavender & thyme oil to an almost steaming water bowl and inhale deeply with a towel over your head and for menstrual cramp relief, rub a few drops onto the lower abdomen or in a hot compress. As an anxiety, anger and stress buster apply a drop and rub into your temples to cool down.
For sunburns, add 8 drops of lavender, 4 drops of peppermint oil to a teaspoon of jojoba oil and let it soak in a warm bath for about 10-15 minutes.
In cases of Eczema or Dermatitis mix a few drops with coconut or sesame or avocado oil onto the affected area. It also helps with motion sickness and nausea when sniffed or put on the tip of the tongue. For fever in babies, sponge them down very gently with lukewarm water sprinkled with a few drops of lavender oil.
2) Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is an effective natural painkiller and muscle relaxant. It is especially helpful in soothing an aching back, sore muscles, and transforming any lethargy into an energized, high vibrational calmness.
Use this oil to reconnect to your inner self on quiet, meditative days. It’s great for sleep, allowing access to hidden realms of understanding through connecting with our higher selves in deep dream states. It increases awareness and perceptive abilities, relating to the Third Eye & Crown Chakras.
How to use – Use 8-10 drops in bath water for relaxation. Applying 1-2 drops on clothing near the face or on the tip of the tongue improves concentration and is helpful for people with A.D.D. and hyper-activity. It can treat rashes when mixed with lavender oil and topically applied. It’s excellent for reducing fever in children especially when mixed with coconut oil and rubbed on the neck and soles of the feet.
As a popular remedy, it is used to de-clog sinuses when diffused in water and as an expectorant. You can use 2-3 drops mixed with your regular shampoo or conditioner to stimulate the scalp and alleviate dandruff or lice. As it is a natural hair growth stimulator it will also nourish damaged hair.
Peppermint works great for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating and indigestion as it reduces spasms by relaxing intestinal muscles. A drop of it in water before meals does the trick. It is popularly used for dental care, you can pour a drop of it under the tongue when gargling and is a popular gum flavor for this reason as well.
For nausea caused by everything from motion sickness to chemotherapy, you can dab 1-2 drops behind the ears.
3) Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea Tree essential oil is a strengthening and medicinal one relating to the root and sacral chakra. It has been used for thousands of years by the Australian Aborigines; they inhaled it from crushed leaves to cure coughs and colds and applied it to fungal and bacterial infections, cuts and burns. Spiritually it is used to bring courage and faith in hard times.
How to use – Tea tree oil is antiviral and antibacterial, making it great to treat chest, head and nasal congestion (flu symptoms) and asthma. Add a few drops to boiling water, put a towel over your head and breathe in for 10-15 minutes. You can also massage it into the bronchia area after mixing with an ounce of a carrier oil twice a day.
It can treat an array of skin conditions such as acne, warts, corns and athlete’s foot. For cuts and abrasions apply 2-3 drops directly to the area or on a cotton ball. For acne you can add 20-40 drops to a reasonably large sized bottle of your regular face-wash and mix it well.
As a natural cleanser and antiseptic, you can add 1-2 tsp of tea tree oil in a spray bottle and use it around your home. In the case of bone-related issues apply 20 drops to 2 ounces of Grapeseed carrier oil and massage it into the area 2-3 times a day. It should never be ingested, as it is known to be poisonous if swallowed, and isn’t safe for babies younger than 6 months.
Apart from just smelling so tantalizingly good, essential oils cleanse us on a far deeper level, working on our chakras and creating relief at the source. Perhaps why the ancients used them with such frequency and dedication. Mixing the right essential oils together and/or with carrier oils and applying them to unhealed areas can do wonders for the body, mind and soul.
4) Sandalwood Essential Oil
Associated with the Crown and Root Chakras, it is recommended during watchfulness and grounding meditations. It’s the perfect oil to use when you’re feeling a little out of whack, as Sandalwood helps with restlessness, insomnia, panic & anxiety.
Sandalwood essential oil is known to cultivate a strong sense of self and independence. It is also an anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory & antispasmodic, antiseptic and an expectorant with memory-boosting capabilities and also reduces blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.
How to use – Use just 1 or 2 drops of sandalwood oil per application along with a carrier oil. It works well as a moisturizer when added to Vitamin E (carrier) Oil as a face pack.
5) Rose Essential Oil
Known to open the heart chakra, the Rose essential oil promotes love, compassion, and an ability to experience deeper and meaningful relationships. It cultivates nurturing and self love.
It’s often seen as the fragrance of romance, functioning as an aphrodisiac and works well on occasions spent with a special lover. It can be intense for a lot of people as opening up the heart chakra can be very energetically overwhelming and so it’s recommended not to be used daily.
When mixed with almond oil, it is good for women suffering from menstrual cramps, and when mixed with lavender or jasmine for massages, it’s great for treating menopausal symptoms.
How to use – You can add about 5-6 drops in your bathwater diluted with Sunflower or Almond Oils for stress relief and muscle relaxation. It helps calm the spirit and inculcate the virtues of grace, forgiveness, love and compassion.
6) Pine Essential Oil
The therapeutic use of pine essential oil dates back to the ancient Greek civilization including Hippocrates, who noted its strong healing effect on the respiratory system. It is known to relieve respiratory and bronchial ailments such as coughs, colds, bronchitis and even sore throat.
In aromatherapy, pine oil is used to stimulate the body and mind, and has an energizing effect on the person. It works particularly well in epsom salt baths.
Pine is also a great antioxidant and improves eye sight and protects it from age-related ailments. Since it eliminates toxins at a fast rate, it’s used for food poisoning and issues of the intestine & bladder.
It’s also a natural pain reliever, working well with joint pain more specifically. It’s often used as an air freshener for its soothing fragrance that makes you feel as though you are instantly transported to cool woodlands.
It can be used as an insect repellent by pouring about 10 drops to small pieces of raw wood and placing it around drawers and closets. It stimulates our metabolism and is a good work-out oil.
How to use – To relieve muscle tension you can create your own massage oil by adding three drops of pine oil and mixing it with rosemary oil and/or juniper-berry oil in two ounces of jojoba oil and massaging into the muscles before and after exercise.
7) Frankincense Essential Oil
This oil helps in re-aligning all the chakras.Frankincense essential oil can be used to induce feelings of inspiration, introspection, and emotional stability. It cleanses the auric field and opens the channel for divine insight and wisdom and also opens up the chest, eases the diaphragm and helps in stimulating blood flow.
Frankincense oil is useful in alleviating chronic stress and fighting anxiety – add a few drops of oil to a hot bath or an oil diffuser or vaporizer. It also eases pain, inflammation, boosts immunity and frankincense may be a safe and effective remedy for treating different types of cancer.
Similar to Sandalwood, it is an antiseptic and helps keeping ‘indoor pollution’ at a minimum. Apart from these, it can fight tooth decay and other dental problems.
As a natural skin tightener it reduces acne when topically applied due to its cell-revitalizing properties. However, it’s advised not to be used during pregnancy or for small children.
How to use – It can be blended with Jojoba, sweet almond or avocado carrier oils when applied to the skin. You can also ingest it by adding just a drop to any edible carrier oil (eg. coconut oil) with a tablespoon of honey or a glass of water as a body cleanser.
8) Geranium Essential Oil
Known for its emotionally uplifting qualities, Geranium essential oil is used to lessen fatigue and as an antidepressant. It has a feminine, goddess energy to it, helping with self-forgiveness and opening our heart to nurturing our inner child.
In aromatherapy, geranium oil is used to treat acne, sore throat, anxiety, and insomnia. Its antiseptic properties can help speed up the healing of wounds. It works particularly well as a massage oil as it tones and relaxes the muscles.
How to use – Inhaling the oil twice a day and/or rubbing it on the throat and under the nose, will help to clear infection and inflammation. It has been known to prevent neuro-degenerative diseases by clearing neuro-pathways of inflammation, hence very helpful to the brain and also promotes mental agility.
It can be used with sesame seed oil for massages to stimulate the mind and neural function. For foot spas 3-4 drops can be added to warm water with sea salt. It’s not advisable for small children due to the sensitivity of their skin. Blend 10 drops with a good massage essential oil (coconut, olive oils) and use it for body massage for health and fertility.
Caution: Essential oils can produce very strong and significant changes in tiny amounts. They must be used with caution, especially during pregnancy. It is important to consult someone knowledgeable in aromatherapy before experimenting with these oils. This information should not be used to replace medical advice from a doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about health or fitness matters, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
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