Essential oils are crazy popular for a good reason. Aside from the fact that they smell oh-so lovely in a diffuser, they also have power medicinal properties. In fact, for thousands of years, essential oils and the plants from which they were extracted were the most common medications used by healers. Today, modern medicine has replaced many of the herbal remedies that our ancestor used, and many have forgotten about the benefits of these simple plant extracts. Consider this your reminder!
Please welcome Katie of Poshh! She’s here to talk about some of the benefits of the most popular essential oils!
The Benefits of Popular Essential Oils
Disclaimer: Affiliate links included below. This post is not medical advice and not an alternative to seeing your doctor. While some of these essential oils are okay to ingest in very small quantities, you should not drink them straight. If you are taking any other medications, are pregnant, or have a preexisting medical condition, talk to your doctor before using any alternative medicine. See how to safely use herbal and home remedies for more tips.
Essential oils all contain some wonderfully healing properties, whether for the body, mind or spirit. Some use them on a regular basis in a diffuser or dabbed onto wrists or temples, some use them in a variety of homemade recipes for skin treatments, and others pack their medicine cabinets full, knowing that each oil contains some type of medical aid.
Some of the oils below can be ingested, others are best applied to the skin or hair, and most work wonders when added to carrier oil. You can use each of these oils separately, or come up with combinations that you enjoy.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is also known as Melaleuca, and comes from the leaves of an Australian plant. This powerful smelling oil can be applied topically to skin to treat and cure a variety of ailments including acne, fungal infections (especially those associated with the nails), scabies, athlete’s foot, lice, and ringworm. It’s a great idea to have tea tree oil in your bathroom to apply to cuts and scrapes in order to facilitate fast healing. Clean the cut, put a few drops of tea tree oil onto it, and then cover with a band aid. You can also mix tea tree with lavender essential oil for a powerful combination.
Another great way to use tea tree oil is for mouthwash. It kills off bad bacteria and is a great way to soothe any inflamed skin; reducing tooth decay and bleeding gums! Combine tea tree essential oil with coconut oil and baking soda, then use as a toothpaste, or add 3 drops to a cup of water and use as a daily mouthwash.
Peppermint Essential Oil
If you have any essential oils at all, peppermint is likely one of them. This fantastic oil has the ability to aid digestion and help with an upset tummy. It can also alleviate respiratory issues, and offer pain relief especially in the case of sore muscles and joints.
The plant is native to Europe, but can be grown in a wide variety of climates. For sore muscles, rub peppermint into the affected area. Peppermint has cooling properties and will offer the same type of feeling when applied to skin that a tiger balm will. For a digestive aid, take a few drops of peppermint in a glass of water before a meal. Taken in this manner, peppermint will also help those who suffer from gas.
Orange Essential Oil
Orange essential oil is one of the lovely citrus scents that we can enjoy. The oil is derived from cold compressing orange peel, and its properties run the gamut from antidepressant to aphrodisiac to sedative and for use as an anti-inflammatory.
If you’re feeling down, the smell of oranges can lift your mood and create a happy space for pleasant thoughts and memories. Use orange essential oil in a diffuser around your home to harbour a mood lifting environment. Orange oil is also wonderful for use as an occasional tonic, so add a few drops to a glass of water to help maintain a good metabolic state and boost your immune system.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
As the name implies, lemongrass does remind one of the smell of lemons, but lemongrass essential oil is less sour than a lemon scent would be. The oil is derived from steam distillation of dried lemongrass stalks, and is an analgesic, antiseptic, astringent, fungicide and insecticidal. Use lemongrass in a diffuser or added to a candle to help ward off insects in a wide area. It can be a great addition to your camping supplies so that you have a natural defence against insects if you want to stray from any harsh chemicals.
You can also use lemongrass essential oil as an astringent; add some drops of oil to the wound to help the blood clot and stop bleeding. Keep this oil handy in your medicine cabinet for quick access!
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
This powerful oil is made from the fresh leaves of the eucalyptus tree, native to Australia but now found in India, parts of Europe, and South Africa. The benefits are wide ranging and include its use as a decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, stimulant and antispasmodic. If you’re suffering from a cold and have a runny or stuffed nose, cough and sore throat, eucalyptus oil can be your ticket back to health.
For a sore throat, treat with a gargle made with a few drops of this oil and warm water. To breathe easier, boil some water and pour into a large bowl, then add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Lean over the bowl and drape your head with a towel to trap the steam. Inhale deeply for a few minutes.
Lavender Essential Oil
This very popular oil actually has more than it’s lovely smell going for it. Lavender has been shown to reduce the severity of burns and can help insomniacs get some much needed sleep. It can also help increase blood circulation, relieve pain and disinfect skin and your scalp.
The oil is extracted by steam distillation of its small purple flowers. Rub lavender essential oil onto burns to help with healing, or submerge a fresh burn into a mixture of water and the oil. For sleeping troubles, add a few drops to a cloth or towel and place onto your pillow at night.
Remember to use common sense when using essential oils! Talk to your doctor before using them for medical conditions, and never drink them straight. Keep essential oils out of reach of your kids and pets!
What are your favorite essential oils? What benefits have you noticed from using them?