The definition of an essential oil is “a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile (defined as “the tendency of a substance to vaporize”) aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which it is derived.”

The therapeutic value of essential oils varies greatly depending on an equally varying number of factors.  The quality of the method of extraction (which is usually done by a steam extraction method), the timing during which the plant being utilized was grown and harvested, and naturally, the medicinal power that is inherent to the plant itself will determine the oils’ healing ability.

Lavender
We each have the innate ability to heal ourselves. To empower ourselves with natural solutions, instead of succumbing to life-altering chemicals. There’s a time and place for pharmaceuticals, but it shouldn’t be the first answer, nor the only form treatment.
Dana Arcuri

Typically, 100% pure essential oils are the ones that hold therapeutic value for a variety of health benefits.

There are a number of methods by which essential oils can be used in a health benefiting regimen.  The following are 5 of the most “user friendly” ways to use essential oils every day.

Direct Inhalation

This method can be achieved through a variety of ways, the most obvious being to simply inhale the vapors directly from the bottle.

You can also soak a cotton ball with the oil and leave it in a container in your purse to inhale all day. This can be particularly helpful to pregnant women or any other person experiencing nausea when they inhale a cotton ball soaked with peppermint oil or other anti-emetic essential oil.

Another method is steam inhalation, which involves placing a few drops of oil in a bowl of steaming water, placing a towel over your head and breathing in the vapors.

Direct Skin Contact

Diluting any chosen essential oil with a carrier oil, such as Coconut, Jojoba, Olive or Almond oil allows you to apply it directly to the skin. This method is ideal for massage, or dabbing the blend onto your wrist, neck or other parts of the body.

Diluting with a carrier oil is important as some oils, such as peppermint, wintergreen, and others can cause burns if applied directly to the skin.

Essential Oil application

Indirect or Diluted Skin Contact

This method is a great option if there are oils that would do best by direct contact but are too powerful when they are not diluted. Placing several drops of any oil in a hot (preferably salted with Epsom salts) bath or into your shower basin provides for an aromatic and healing experience.

Diluting an oil in distilled water in a spray bottle and then spraying on linens, clothes, etc. are both fantastic ways to “gently” receive the beneficial properties of the more potent oils.

Diffusion – Electronic Devices

We live in a modern world, and there are a number of commercially made devices that deliver oil through electric diffusers that work in your home, office or car.  There are even diffusers that work via USB ports – that are reported to be quite user friendly and effective.

There are many ways that you can choose to apply your essential oils. As we’ve shown, this choice depends on the type of essential oil you’re using and the benefit you’re hoping to receive from it.

Now that we know how we can use essential oils, let’s look at a few of the more popular oils that you may want to try.

10 Most Popular Essential Oils

There are a wide variety of essential oils that offer several healing benefits as well. Each essential oil is different, however, and has unique properties; many have specific ways they need to be applied or used as well as certain limitations.

Essential oils can offer many healing benefits that can improve the health and appearance of your skin and hair, your digestion, treat your pain, help with inflammation, and even reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches.  For instance, lavender oil can help to relax you, peppermint oil can help you focus, and rosemary oil can help to minimize hair loss.

The following is a list of the ten most used essential oils and their healing properties.

Bear in mind, however, that this list is a compilation of merely a few of the essential oils that are available, and that there are many, many more plants whose oils are beneficial to your health and wellness.

1.  LAVENDER

The scientific name for this pretty purple plant is Lavandula, and it grows easily in most parts of the world.

It is used generously in the perfume industry because of its pleasant fragrance, but its therapeutic properties are that of calming, de-stressing, relieving anxiety, and helping to combat insomnia.

Lavender is also antiseptic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, making it a powerful healer of burns, scrapes and cuts.

 

Lavender oil
2. CLARY SAGE

Also known as Salvia Sclarea, the oil from this flower is reputed to have analgesic properties, specifically in terms of menstrual cramps or labor pains.

Clary Sage essential oil also alleviates depression and anxiety, promotes restful sleep and decreases stress by reducing cortisol.

peppermint oil
3. PEPPERMINT

Although the oil from the plant Mentha Piperita can be somewhat caustic in its super concentrated form, this oil will work wonders as an anti-emetic when saturated into a cotton ball and then inhaled.

A few drops of this oil in a hot bath will also soothe sore muscles.

Peppermint is also a powerful insect repellant, and when lined around kitchen surfaces will create a boundary over which no ant dares to cross.

4. TEA TREE

The oil from the plant Melaleuca Alternifolia is renowned for its antiseptic properties as it has been found to be effective as an antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial agent. It can also be added to any shampoo to relieve dry scalp and dandruff.

5. ROSEMARY

Not only is the plant Rosmarinus Officinalis wonderfully versatile in culinary applications, it also yields an essential oil that is fantastic for dry, itchy scalp and dandruff. 

This aromatic herb has also been used effectively as a bronchodilator and an expectorant for congested lungs.

6. LEMONGRASS

Like Rosemary, the plant Cymbopogon Citratus also has many uses in the culinary arts; however, its essential oil is highly effective as a sanitary agent and can be used as an antiseptic. It also is a powerful insect repellant.

7. LEMON

The oil from the fruit Citrus Limon is generally considered to be “uplifting” in that it has rejuvenating, energy inducing, and immune supporting properties. It is also highly effective as a non-toxic alternative in household cleansers.

8. ROSE

While obviously famed for its aesthetic beauty, the plant Rosa Damascena is considered by many to be the “Queen of Essential Oils”.  It is widely used for its anxiolytic, rejuvenating, stress relieving and even pain relief properties.

The essential oil derived from roses also has been proven as an effective anti-inflammatory agent and can be helpful for joint pain and other arthritic conditions.

rose essential oil
9. YLANG YLANG

The plant Cananga Odorata primarily grows in Asian countries and is popular as an aphrodisiac and for its uplifting and anti-depressant properties.  Ylang Ylang also promotes peace and aids in sleep, and promotes a healthy immune function.

10. ROMAN CHAMOMILE

We’ve all heard that drinking chamomile tea in the evening can help alleviate insomnia and restlessness, and the oil from the plant Chamamelum Nobile can be utilized for its sedative properties.

It has also been found to be enormously effective in alleviating PMS symptoms and other discomforts associated with menstruation. Chamomile, in any of its forms is incredibly soothing and calming.

essential oils

Essential oils have a vast array of therapeutic uses that are non-toxic and can be easily added to your health and wellness routine.  

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