Top 10 Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
Breathe in some natural healing powers with aromatherapy. Using naturally extracted aromatic essences from the roots, leaves, seeds or blossoms of plants, you can promote the innate healing and wellbeing of the body, mind and spirit. Used for almost 6,000 years, this balancing practice is now found everywhere, from health spas to hotels. Try sniffing or massaging into the skin (do NOT ingest orally) these 10 essential oils for their therapeutic and medical benefits.
Anti-viral and anti-bacterial, this floral-smelling oil is one of the mainstays of aromatherapy. The calming oil is great for wound healing. Apply it to the skin to substantially cut down on the time it takes for burns, cuts and bites to heal, or try a few drops on the pillow for relaxation and better sleep.
With its warm, fruity aroma, chamomile is a sedative that can relieve anxiety, insomnia and stress. Valued for its anti-inflammatory properties, the oil can treat acne or red and inflamed skin. Perfect for soothing children.
Due to its energizing, mind-clearing, memory-improving nature, rosemary is a fabulous treatment when crunching for exams or weathering a hangover. As an expectorant good with respiratory and/or sinus congestion, you will find it well-suited for cold and flu care. This stimulating oil also helps relieves aches and pains.
The uplifting, cheerful lemon oil can clean wounds and infections – and your entire home, especially if you have pets! Try it as a room spray to clean and deodorize your environment. The citrus-smelling oil is also great for body detoxing.
Known to be warming both emotionally and physically, ginger oil is a potent digestive aid, helping with gas, constipation and nausea. It is especially effective with pregnant women’s morning sickness. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a pain reliever perfect for arthritis sufferers.
Used by the Aborigines for a wide range of ailments, the antiviral, antibacterial eucalyptus oil can prevent a full cold from developing if caught early. Primarily useful for coughs, colds and flu, it can boost the immune system and relieve muscle aches. Try a few drops in a basin of steaming water and then inhale the steam to disinfect your nasal passages and lungs.
Sniffing Ylang Ylang helps eliminate feelings of anger. A great aphrodisiac, this oil gets you in the mood by relaxing the body and melting away the nerves. It is used in skincare to balance the oily and dry areas of combination skin.
With its fresh, menthol smell, peppermint oil can cool you down when hot or relieve even extreme cases of nausea. Mix it with lavender and apply it to the temple for headaches and migraines. Used for thousands of years, this energizing oil can also treat indigestion and bad breath, or rid your home of a mosquito or ant attack.
Known as the queen of essential oils, rose oil can nourish the emotions and reduce stress. This feminine oil helps women with troubled emotions from depression or general sadness. The sweet, floral-smelling oil is also good for counteracting PMS.
The uplifting floral scent of geranium can work as a sedative. Frequently found in skincare, it can function as an anti-depressant or an aid for hormonal imbalance. Try it to balance the mind and spirit.
For more information on aromatherapy or how to use essential oils, please visit the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy at www.naha.org.