This essential oils guide will help you understand how to use the essential oils, how to combine them and how to use their properties for improving the quality of life. The aromatic plants extracts have been used for thousands of years as a source of healing agents, and it is now gaining more popularity. However, in order to properly use the plants, the essential oils or any other form of extract from plants we need to know their properties and contraindications.
Why Do We Need essential oils?
Essential oils are an effective way to benefit the healing properties of aromatic plants. Aromatherapy is the practice of using in a controlled way of aromatic oils, (including essential oils), for healing.
Our society tries to make everything very simple and cost effective. This helps us feed more, help the ones in need and ensure a higher life quality standard. But sometimes this battle to lower the life cost has the exact opposite effect. For instance many aromatic plants, being considered non essential for life, have been slowly disappeared from our nutrition habits. Aromatic plants, such as spices and herbal teas, are a great way to keep in balance our health. All of our health aspects physical, emotional, mental, hormonal benefit from aromatic plants. Lowering the cost of food allow us to feed more, but it also lowers the quality of it by limiting the ingredients to the ones that are the cheapest to produce and store. Aromatic plants contain necessary essences for improving our health. Our ancestors knew this and they were using them on a regular basis as part of their daily nutrition.
What are the essential oils, and why are they important?
Essential oils can greatly enhance the quality of our life. They are extracts from the flowers, roots, leafs, or seeds of aromatic plants. The extracts contain the active component of the plant, a substance with therapeutic properties. Aromatic plants and oils can be used with great success in many areas such as body detoxification, immunity, as a muscle relaxant, very successful against stress, great digestion stimulant, and a great instrument for balancing emotions and hormones. Essential oils work best when used for prevention. The aromatic plants are very different, they have different aromas and taste, they have different properties and they can be used in different proportions. The aromatic oils extracted from plants inherit the plants properties most of the times. Improperly use of essential oils can harm. The handling of essential oils is also important as some are highly volatile and they would evaporate very fast in open air. Some essential oils are toxic in higher quantities and breathing them directly from the bottle would cause poisoning.
Basil essential oil has a fresh, spicy scent. It is a tonic for the nerves and helps with mental fatigue, and depression. Increases energy levels, aids in concentration, relieves headaches, head congestion, and muscular pains. It can help fighting bronchitis, colds, constipation, rheumatism and sinus congestion. Basil essential oil helps regulate the menstrual cycle and reduces menstrual cramps. Basil is analgesic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic.
May cause irritation to sensitive skin. Use well diluted. Not to be used during pregnancy.
Black Pepper has a stimulating effect and a warm, peppery scent. It is diuretic, expectorant and tonic. Can be successfully used in fighting: chilblains, colds, constipation, digestive problems, flatulence, heartburn, indigestion, loss of appetite, muscle aches and pains, sinus congestion, rheumatic pain, sprains, stiffness, toothache, diarrhea, neuralgia and cellulite. It has analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, tonic and aphrodisiac properties.
Black Pepper may irritate sensitive skin. Use well diluted. Avoid use during pregnancy.
Citronella is a refreshing essential oil with a fresh, lemony, woody-sweet fragrance. It has antiseptic, analgesic antispasmodic, bactericidal and stimulant properties, being a good remedy against colds, excessive perspiration, fatigue, flu and head aches. As a massage oil has a great scent and provides a pleasant subtle warming sensation.
May cause irritation to sensitive skin. Use well diluted. Not to be used during pregnancy.
Cinnamon Leaf Oil
Cinnamon carries a spicy, warm aroma that pleases the senses – and the body! Cinnamon is used relieve nausea, reduce high blood pressure and boost the immune system. Cinnamon Essential Oil also cleanses and purifies the air as it is released in steam, killing germs and bacteria.
May irritate skin and eye.
Clove Leaf Oil
We all know what cloves smell like and love their sweet, spicy scent. Clove Essential Oil has many healing properties from which we should mention bronchitis, colds, indigestion, infected wounds, muscle and nerve tension, room disinfectant, toothache. The powerful scent of Cloves also acts as an aphrodisiac and enhances concentration. As a massage oil is great in small concentrations and it provides a nice warming sensation.
Clove is highly irritating to the skin and must be diluted to concentrations less than 1% prior to use.
Lavender Essential Oil is a little miracle in a bottle. It is incredibly soothing and calming – a wonderful stress reliever! It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, insecticide, sedative properties. Lavandula Officinalis LavanderThat makes it an excellent weapon against headaches, acne, anxiety, bronchitis, colds, skin problems, flu, insomnia, PMS symptoms, rheumatism, sinusitis, sunburn, infection, wounds and sores. Lavender helps prevent the spread of germs and helps us defend against colds and flu. It can speed up healing burns and wounds, and reduce high blood pressure. Its wonderful distinctive floral, woody scent and its powerful therapeutic properties makes it a good choice for a massage oil blend. Lavender is known for its power of creating connections between people of opposite sex.
Lavender should not be used during the early stages of pregnancy. Use Lavender with caution if you have low blood pressure.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is made of lemon peels and is very used in industry as well as inLemon the Massage Therapy and Aromatherapy. Its fresh, citrus, sugary scent create refreshing and stimulating effects making it on of the favorites. It is known as one of the seven polyvalents, which are applicable to many ailments. It has antiseptic, astringent, antiviral, antidepressant and stimulant properties and can be used to fight cellulite, circulatory problems, cold sores, constipation, gingivitis, headaches, insect bites, migraine, rheumatism, sinusitis, varicose veins mouth ulcers, obesity, oily skin.
Lemon is a photosensitizer (increases the skins reaction to sunlight making it more likely to burn) so it should not be used when exposed to sunlight or tanning beds. Lemon essential oil should not be directly inhaled. The use during pregnancy in not recommended.
Lemongrass has a citrus, sweet scent. The stimulating, refreshing scent of Lemongrass Essential Oil is a wonderful addition to a massage oil blend. Lemongrass is known to increase alertness and restore energy, and is commonly used to help digestion. Lemongrass is also great for oily, acne-prone skin and is an good adjuvant for fighting or preventing fatigue, indigestion, muscle aches and pains, low appetite, stress.
Orange Essential Oil is refreshing and uplifting, with a fresh citrus orange scent and is known to soothe the mind and the body, reducing stress and anxiety. The sweet, citrus smell is known to relieve headaches and treat fevers, as well as colic in babies. It is also used against anxiety, cellulite, constipation, depression, diarrhea, digestive problems, dry, sensitive, or aging skin, flatulence, indigestion, insomnia, muscle aches and pains, nervous tension, stress. It is a good antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, detoxifying, sedative and tonic.
Orange should not be used during pregnancy. Orange may irritate sensitive skin (use well diluted). Orange is also a photosensitizer so it should not be used when exposed to sunlight or tanning beds.
Refreshing, invigorating, and soothing with a strong, fresh, menthol scent Peppermint is a popular essential oil. Its analgesic, antiseptic, decongestant and expectorant properties make it a great aid for fighting the common cold or flu. Peppermint Essential Oil helps relieve congestion and sinus blockages, while cooling and soothing the respiratory system. Peppermint also relieves indigestion, headaches, and mental fatigue. Other uses include asthma, bronchitis, colic, headaches, migraine, muscle and joint pain, nausea, tired feet, toothaches.
Peppermint oil usage during pregnancy is not advised.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose oil is one of the most prized essential oils and most expensive. It takes about 10,000 pounds of flowers to make 1 pound of rose oil. It has a relaxing effect and a warm, deep sweet floral, slightly spicy scent. It is a good antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic and sedative. Among its uses we should mention: aging skin, broken veins, depression, dry skin, headache, insomnia, PMS symptoms, sensitive skin, sore throat, stress. Perhaps the most notorious results are the ones for treating sexual dysfunctions as Rose oil is an excellent treatment for frigidity, impotence, infertility, menorrhagia, etc.
Non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. However, Rose has antispasmodic properties and should not be used during pregnancy.
Rosemary is a stimulating and refreshing essential oil which increases blood circulation. It is also great for both oily and dry skin, balancing the sebum production, and is used with success to encourage hair growth and control dandruff. It has a refreshing, woody, herbal smell that is a favorite in many cuisines. Rosemary essential oil is analgesic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, antiseptic, decongestant, and diuretic. It is successful in treating colds, flu, digestive problems, fatigue, gout, liver and gall bladder problems, water retention, cellulite, oily skin, wounds, poor circulation, rheumatism. Contra-indications:
Rosemary has antispasmodic properties and should not be used during pregnancy, or by people with high blood pressure or epilepsy.
Spearmint is known for its sweet, refreshing scent and makes a wonderful addition to any bath. Spearmint helps increase circulation and opens up your respiratory system while relaxing and soothing you from the inside out! Spearmint is known as a treatment for stomachaches, nausea, and fever.
Incidents of stronger reactions to it when used externally have been reported so use caution.
Frankincense is an African tree that produces a solid resin called Frankincense tears. These tears are burned in religious ceremonies. The essential oil is steam distilled from these resin tears obtaining a wonderful, spiritual essential oil with a sweet, warm scent. Frankincense oil has uplifting and relaxing effect being recommended as a great analgesic antidepressant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory. It has been used for aiding against asthma, bronchitis, colds, healing wounds, nervous tension, respiratory conditions, skin care uterine tonic. It is a great “spiritual” essential oil.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree essential oil has a fresh, antiseptic and medicinal scent with characteristic mint and spice back-notes. It is best known as a powerful immunity booster. Helps to fight all three categories of infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses). A massage with Tea Tree Oil before surgery may help to fortify the body and reduce post-operative shock.Inhaled, Tea Tree oil can help with colds, measles, sinusitis and viral infections. It is a great oil for fighting many skin conditions and problems. This oil should never miss from any household and should be taken in any vacation.
Tea tree oil should not be ingested, there is no information about interaction with pregnancy and nursing so avoid it.
There are reports of skin irritation from tea tree oil use and tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. For some, smelling the oil straight from the bottle causes strong reactions. Never use undiluted on the skin.