Essential oils are used extensively in aromatherapy and various traditional medicinal systems and have been used for thousands of years. Due to the numerous health benefits of essential oils, they are increasingly being explored by the scientific community for the treatment of a variety of diseases including cancer, HIV, asthma, bronchitis, heart strokes, and many more. There are more than 90 essential oils, and each has its own health benefits, and below is a list of 10 basic essential oils that you should have on hand.
1.Tea Tree Oil
Distilled from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifloria, tea tree is one of the oils that can be used topically — good news, because it’s great for treating skin problems like fungus and blemishes. You can dab it on acne blemishes with a cotton swab to help clear your skin, or apply it to skin fungal infections like athlete’s foot. It’s also found in many skin care products.
2. Lavender Oil
Lavender is one of the most versatile oils. It is most commonly known for its relaxing effects but works on bruises, cuts, and skin irritation too. Dr. Oz says that the scent of lavender can reduce the levels of stress hormones in your blood. That’s a good reason to put a few drops in your bath in order to help you relax at night. It is also recommended that you put a couple of drops of the oil on your hands, rub them together and inhale, then sprinkle a few more on your pillow before you hop in bed.
Bright-orange calendula flowers are also known as marigold. Calendula can be used in a variety of forms, include as an essential oil. It’s particularly good for sensitive skin and can be used to reduce the appearance of acne scars. You can also put a drop in your bath water to soothe psoriasis.
You’re probably familiar with chamomile used as a tea, but the essential oil has similar properties. It’s particularly well known for its relaxing effects, which is why the tea is popular to drink before bed. Add to the effect with a few drops of the oil on your pillowcase.
Peppermint purifies and stimulates the mind. It also can increase mental alertness. Dr. William N. Denver of the University of Cincinnati found that inhaling peppermint oil increased mental accuracy by 28 percent. Peppermint oil is also one of just a handful of oils that can be taken internally, which is fortunate because it’s a great recipe to help indigestion — just mix a few drops in water and drink.
Frankincense is used both for relaxation, such as in baths, and to help minor cuts and bug bites heal more quickly. Frankincense has been used for thousands of years and can help with depression, inflammation, immunity, and to increase spiritual awareness.
You may have heard of oil of oregano as a flu fighter. This strong-tasting oil has naturally antibacterial qualities, which is why many think it can help to fight colds and other sicknesses. It is taken topically, often by putting a few drops on the tongue — the taste isn’t pleasant but many people swear by it during flu season.
Lemon oil can be used not only to detox the body but it can also help with acne. If you want a healthy boost in alertness, a bit of lemon oil mixed 50:50 with a carrier is a great way to give your head a lift. Because of its uplifting properties, lemon essential oil is also good for increasing focus and concentration. As a bonus, it can help keep fleas away when used on your pets.
Another citrus oil, grapefruit essential oil has properties similar to lemon oil. It’s a great choice for people experiencing fatigue and it can help you deal with the effects of jet lag. It’s also a natural antiseptic so you can add it to your homemade household cleansers to keep your home safe and clean.
This is a great oil to have on hand if you get frequent colds or suffer from allergies that affect your breathing and make you congested. Eucalyptus can be used to relieve sore muscles and help clear sinuses, and it also has many antibacterial properties and has been known to stimulate the immune system. Use it in a vaporizer to loosen up a congested chest or apply it diluted to the inside of your nose to relieve nasal congestion. But never ingest it or use it on your skin undiluted, as it can be irritating.
You may also want to browse our extensive line of diffusers and essential oil carriers and accessories.