Centuries after the ancient Egyptians used aromatherapy, the practice is still being used. Whether you burn a candle, warm a few drops of oil, or massage the oils onto your skin, aromatherapy promotes physical and mental well-being. With so many essential oils out there to choose from, finding the perfect aroma may be daunting; but don’t worry, we’ve found the top eight essential oils to keep around for everyday uses.
Lavender is by far the most commonly used essential oil. The fragrant flowery scent is used to promote relaxation and lift depression. Sprinkle a few drops of lavender on your pillow at night to help you get to dreamland. Mix lavender with a base oil to rub on your temples (for headaches), sore muscles, or abdominal cramps. Lavender is also useful for relieving the pain from arthritis.
Tea tree oil is right up there with lavender oil. It is known as the most powerful natural antiseptic around. Tests have shown that you can safely apply tea tree oil to your skin without diluting it (it’s one of the few essential oils that you are able to do this with). It can be applied to treat bacteria, fungi, viruses, cuts, and burns. Tea tree oil is also known for its ability to dissolve oil on the skin. Though its primary use is for physical healing, tea tree oil is also known to lift depression and exhaustion. If a revitalizing, nutmeg scent appeals to you then you will enjoy tea tree oil.
Chamomile eases tension, anger, anxiety, stress and insomnia. Chamomile is used in aromatherapy because of its abilities to soothe and relax you. It’s also known to relieve nausea, heartburn, and menstrual cramps. Chamomile’s scent could be described as similar to that of an apple.
Lemon essential oil is stimulating to the mind. It is used for improving concentration and memory. Some people use lemon in aromatherapy because of the respiratory benefits; it helps asthma, bronchitis and sinus infections. Using lemon in your aromatherapy treatment will also help in regulating your body’s immune system. Lemon essential oil is phototoxic so unlike some of the other oils, it should not be used on the skin just before going out in the sun. Lemon’s scent is well, lemony.
Eucalyptus is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. It’s mainly used in aromatherapy to relieve congestion, colds, coughs, sore throats, and a stuffy nose. If you have sore muscles eucalyptus can help to relieve them as well. With eucalyptus you’ll get a strong, refreshing, medicinal aroma; if you like a sweeter smell you can mix it with some lemon essential oil.
Geranium has a sweet, floral scent. It’s antifungal, antiseptic, and it reduces inflammation. If applied to a burn, geranium will help it to heal. Geranium is also a mild sedative as well as a muscle relaxant. If you are trying to clear up acne, brighten your skin, get rid of oily skin, or kill lice, geranium can be used to do all of this. Because of its antispasmodic properties pregnant women should not use geranium.
Peppermint eases anxiety, mental fatigue, tension, headaches and depression. With peppermint essential oil your alertness will increase and concentration will improve. It is also helpful with asthma, colic, nausea, vertigo, scabies, and diarrhea. If you’ve eaten too much at dinner or have menstrual cramps you, or your loved one, can rub some peppermint essential oil onto your abdomen to experience the relief it brings. Peppermint can be described as having an energizing, menthol aroma.
Rosemary’s scent is slightly medicinal and sweet. Rosemary gives you relief from arthritis, dandruff, muscle cramping, muscle aches, nausea, and oily skin. It is known to be an antiseptic, antidepressant, and an analgesic. You can also use rosemary as a stimulant and a decongestant. In cases of hypertension, rosemary should not be used.
With essential oils be careful not to use too much. They are highly concentrated and can be too strong smelling or be a skin irritant if too much is used. A rule of thumb is to use the least amount of essential oil possible. A few drops is usually enough to get your desired results.