By Annika Tomlin
Essential oils have been used for centuries in medicinal remedies or to boost moods. Users can roll them on, diffuse them, drink them or even put them in their food. Here is a list of 11 essential oils and what they can do.
DISCLAIMER: Essential oils are not for everyone and should be used with caution. Certain oils can also be toxic to dogs or cats, so check which ones are safe to use and how.
A member of the grass family, Vetiver has a complex aroma commonly used in perfumes. This scent’s calming and grounding nature makes it an ideal oil to use in massage therapy. It can also be rubbed on the bottom of your feet with a carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, almond) before going to bed to help provide a restful night’s sleep. Add three to four drops to a diffuser and sit back and let the vetiver help you to relax.
When diffused, basil gives a calming effect that will also energize and uplift. It can also be used to repel insects, eliminate odor-causing bacteria, sooth headaches, and relieve respiratory and digestive discomfort. When used with a carrier oil, it is capable of ailing joint pain, muscle aches, gout, flatulence and exhaustion. Basil can also strengthen and soften hair and exfoliate and smooth skin.
# 9 OREGANO
This essential oil really packs a punch when it comes to boosting someone’s immune system. Inhaled, the scent of oregano helps to relieve a cough and nasal congestion by loosening mucus buildup. Oregano oil can also be used to help balance moods and hormonal shifts during irregular menstrual cycles. Used topically, oregano oil can improve skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections, as it eliminates yeast, bacteria and fungi.
The woodsy smell of cedarwood helps to repel insects, prevent the development of mildew, decrease hyperactivity, clear the mind and encourage the onset of quality sleep. Adding a drop or two to facial toner or moisturizer helps promote clear and healthy-looking skin.
This oil smells exactly like the delicious fruit. The oil gives off a cheerful and uplifting yet relaxing and calming effect that helps lower pulse rates and relieve stress. Add a drop to your water every day for a burst of flavor and to promote overall health. Orange essential oil can also be added to household cleaners for a sweet citrus scent.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a popular ingredient in balms, inhalers, massage blends and dental hygiene products for its soothing, stimulating and antibacterial properties. Place five to 10 drops on a damp washcloth and put it in your shower just out of direct contact with water before showering. It will create an invigorating eucalyptus-infused steam that can help relieve some congestion.
Sometimes referred to as the “king of oils,” frankincense has a broad range of uses, from enhancing spiritual and meditative practice to use in beauty routines. Topically, it can help reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones. If diffused, it can reduce the feeling of anxiety and stimulate the immune system.
#4 TEA TREE
Best known for its purifying qualities, tea tree oil is good for cleansing skin and home surfaces and purifying the air. Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic immune system stimulant that is beneficial for eliminating bacteria, viruses and fungi. When used topically, it can help reduce the appearance of blemishes; maintain healthy-looking hair, skin and nails; and work as a natural deodorant.
This fresh, clean citrus oil is great to use for an uplifting, positive aroma. Adding a few drops to a glass of water or juice in the morning can help assist with seasonal respiratory discomfort. Use a cloth soaked in lemon oil to preserve and protect your leather furniture and other leather surfaces or garments. Lemon oil is also a great remedy for the early stages of tarnish on silver and other metals.
Peppermint belongs to the sweet-smelling mint family and is multipurpose, earning the reputation of being one of the world’s most versatile oils. A few drops of peppermint oil added to a bath can help for some relaxing aromatherapy and to help cool fatigued muscles. Mix it up a little by adding a drop to your favorite smoothie recipe for a refreshing twist.
One of the most commonly used essential oils, lavender has several uses, from bathing and relaxation to cooking and as a perfume. Freshen your linen closet, mattress, car or the surrounding air by combining lavender essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Use in cooking to soften citrus flavors and add a flavorful twist to marinades, baked goods and desserts. CT