Essential oils have been used since ancient times as an effective way to relieve aches, pains and stress. While they aren’t a miracle cure-all, many essential oils can be used to supplement or even replace some over-the-counter medications, making them an excellent, all-natural way to improve your health and mental well-being. Below are some of the most useful and popular essential oils.
The medicinal properties of cinnamon have been valued for centuries, and the oil extracted from its bark is one of the most popular essential oils in the world. Cinnamon essential oil can boost alertness and cognitive function, improve blood circulation, and relieve the respiratory symptoms of colds and flu, making it an ideal choice for aromatherapy. Since cinnamon oil is very strong and may cause discomfort if applied directly to your skin, you should always dilute cinnamon oil with carrier oils before use.
Lavender essential oil is a jack-of-all-trades, since it can be applied to the skin without dilution, and used as an aroma. Lavender essential oil can speed up the recovery of minor cuts and bruises when applied topically, thanks to its antibacterial properties. It is also a must-have essential oil in your first aid kit. However, lavender is most famous for its ability to induce relaxation–a few drops in a bath or on a pillowcase have been shown to reduce stress hormone levels and promote the brain’s alpha waves, which aid in deep sleep.
Though more commonly used in cooking for its distinctive flavor, ginger also has plenty of health benefits in the form of essential oil. Ginger essential oil is most notable for its ability to combat nausea, making it a popular choice for anyone suffering from morning sickness, motion sickness, or stomach problems. Ginger essential oil also helps to relieve indigestion and inflammation. Like cinnamon, ginger essential oil is potent, and should be diluted and applied sparingly.
Tea Tree essential oil boasts powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities, making it an ideal choice for treatment for small cuts, scrapes, insect bites, and fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. Tea Tree essential oil can also be used to improve the appearance of acne by reducing redness and swelling. The oil is often added to shampoos and conditioners due to its refreshing coolness and dandruff-fighting properties.
Because of its antibacterial properties, Eucalyptus essential oil is an excellent way to relieve coughing and congestion when faced with a cold or respiratory infection. Simply add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a boiling pot of water and inhale the steam, or use it in a vaporizer to loosen up congestion and clear your sinuses.
Like ginger, peppermint can be used to alleviate feelings of nausea or upset stomach. Besides drinking Peppermint tea to treat indigestion and constipation, studies have shown that inhaling Peppermint essential oil can increase alertness and mental accuracy, and a dab of it on your temples can reduce the intensity of a headache.
Essential oils have a long, scientifically proven history of relieving pain and many other symptoms of common illnesses. With their pleasant scent and soothing effects, the essential oils above will make a perfect addition to any well-rounded medicine cabinet.