My exploration of essential oils began like many others as a suggestion from a friend for some ailment or other. Did you know aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years?
Essential Oils were even found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Mentioned in the Bible and known to be used in ancient Chinese Medicine, essential oils are really a lost art. Well, for me they are just another example of the miracles found in nature. I have personally suffered many maladies such as chronic bursitis, allergies, muscle pain, asthma, menstrual torture every month and others. Ya, I felt like a hypochondriac, so, I often suffered in search of something besides (Aleve) to get me through my days and nights. Well, essential oils were really important in my journey toward wellness. Thanks to my friend Diane and Young Living Oils’, Gary Young for showing me the way! Read on to learn amazing stuff about the healing powers of essential oils.
Interesting Information & Introduction To Many Other Oils That We Are Exploring…
Essential Oils are classified as top, middle and base notes. Top notes are fast acting and evaporate quickly (3 hours to one day). The are most stimulating and uplifting. Examples of Top Note Oils include: Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Tea Tree Oils.
The Middle notes effect metabolism and body function; lasting 2 to 3 days are more volatile than top note oils. Some middle note oils are Chamomile, Cypress, Geranium, Hyssop, Juniper, Lavender, Melissa, Orange, Petigrain, Pine, Rose, Tangerine, and Thyme.
Base Oils evaporate more slowly and may last up t Base Note Oils include Cedarwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang. *2
Essential Oil Of Lavender –
No doubt our favorite essential oil. It comes up as a remedy for so many ailments that we just tell everyone to keep some on hand. It is the best thing to put on a burn. Soothes almost immediately. Lavender oil benefits the body and soul by cleansing and balancing, strengthening, stimulating, calming and refreshing. It relieves nervousness, neurasthenia, stress, insomnia, irritability, anger, mood swings, and depression, according to it’s advocates. It is an excellent treatment for the skin and hair. It creates balance, deodorizes, improves circulation, detoxifies, tones and revives. It relieves dry skin, acne, and fluid retention. It promotes healthy hair growth and eliminates dandruff. *3 So much can be said of it’s wonders you must only allow them to unfold for you.
Originally from the Mediterranean, the Romans once used Lavender oil in their bath water. Traditionally, it was inhaled to ease exhaustion, insomnia, irritability and depression. Victorians used Lavender to treat fainting spells caused by constricting corsets.
The main constituents include: Linalol. Linalyl acetate, geranyal, eucalyptol, pinene, limonene, cineole, coummarins and flavonoids. This combination gives lavender antiseptic properties, stimulates circulatory system, and relieves muscle spasms and cramping. It also seems to diminish scars and heals bruises at an accelerated rate. *1
Try Lavender on burns or rashes for dramatic results. Lavender relieves effects of stress, soothes nerves and helps quiet colic in babies. According to Valerie Ann Wormwood, author of The Complete Book Of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, "This oil is a delight to use. Every home should have a bottle of Lavender Oil."
It is appropriate for all skin and hair types. It fights infection, inflammation, insomnia, pain, depression and anxiety. It is very safe to use.
Lavender oil really works quickly to heal burns and stop pain. It is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative and de-oxidizer, which explains its healing properties and popularity. Lavender stimulates the immune system and promotes healthy cell growth on wounds. It is also a great mood tonic. *2
Physical benefits include antiseptic, pain relief, diuretic, healing, insect repellent, stimulate gastric juices, support spleen, heart strengthening and lowering blood pressure. It gives relief to the following conditions: burns, wounds, insect bites, eczema, dermatitis, boils, abscesses, rheumatism, neuritis, lumbago, ear infections, headaches, yeast infections, athlete’s foot, influenza, colds, gallbladder disorders, bronchitis, asthma, motion sickness, high blood pressure, and nervous heart. Lavender is helpful for menstruation symptoms and adds to the birth experience.
It grows best in arid climates with sandy soil. The hotter the weather the better. It has a spicy fragrance. Originally it was found in Persia, Canary Island and the South of France. Today it is cultivated in France, Yugoslavia, Italy, Spain, Morocco, England and the United States.
History and folklore surrounding the use of lavender is ancient and fascinating. Because of its’ many fine qualities lavender has been used by many civilizations through the ages. There are numerous reference in the Bible to the “high price of lavender.” It is often referenced by its ancient name Spikenard. Traditionally, a cross made of lavender was hung over the door for protection against evil and disease. During the “Great Plague” of London, in the 17th Century it was suggested that tying a bunch of lavender to each wrist would protect against infection. It is known that grave robbers who washed in “Four Thieves Vinegar” containing lavender, rarely contracted the disease. In France, around the same time, glove-makers who were licensed to perfume their wares escaped the cholera epidemic. Through the ages Lavender is associated with love and romance. Cleopatra included it in the perfumes she created to seduce both Caesar and Mark Anthony. Three thousand years ago Lavender was used by the ancient Egyptians, and later by the Greek and Romans. Lavender was diffused in the air, in candles, compresses, massage and added to the bath. Queen Elizabeth used it to treat headaches and eventually incorporated in cleaning solutions and polishes. Her love of Lavender made it “fashionable” it the countrywomen of the time. *4
Taking Lavender Orally- “Only take essential oils orally under the supervision of an experienced therapist. Improper use can lead to soft tissue irritation and adverse effects on various organs of the body. Usually, external use is sufficient.
Other Featured Oils-
Blends well with Cypress, Coriander, Geranium, Neroli, Juniper Berry, Jasmine, Basil, and Sandalwood. This is a go to oil when you are not sleeping well, tired at your desk, or just need a lift. Bergamot increases white blood cell production, and relaxes brainwaves so it is very balancing and calming. Bergamot is made from pressing the peels of a rare citrus fruit.
Clary Sage –
(Salvia scelaria) is thought of as one of the most thera
-peutic essential oils. It is a top note oils and its principle constituents include linalyl, linalool, pinene, myrcene and philandered. In Europe it is used to flavor wine and is used to flavor Camel cigarettes. Clary Sage is sometimes used to treat symptoms of PMS, fertility issues, insomnia, anxiety, stress, body odor. Its properties make it an antiseptic, anti-depress and anti- spasmodic. Some soothe muscle cramps, asthma attacks, and indigestion and treat high blood pressure with essential oils of Clary Sage. It is helpful in keeping hair healthy. It should be avoided by those under treatment for cancer, if pregnant, cysts in the breasts, or fibroids in the uterus. It is included in many natural remedies for menopause, skin creams and to treat sore throats. It can be used to help with labor and following childbirth to help with post-par tum depression. For most the oil brings euphoric an d uplifted feelings and aids in relaxation. You could try it to bring on a romantic mood. I can invigorate the spirit and awaken your creative side. It is said to bring strength and to reduce apprehension. Some suggest using this oil to get through mid-life-crisis. It has a powerful effect on the nervous system and must be avoided by epileptics.
Eucalyptus – (Eucalyptus Globulas) has a very refreshing scent. These trees originally grew in Australia and Tasmania. It is best known for its antiseptic properties. The principle constituents are Cineole, eucalyptol, pinene, lemonene. It is used therapeutically as an antibacterial, antiviral, deodorizer, expectorant for the lungs to relieve arthritis, rheumatism and other types of pain.
It can cool the body in hot weather and protects the skin from the ravages of cold weather. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antibiotic, diuretic, analgesic and deodorizer. Its use to treat colds and breathing problems is universal. It is also useful in the treatment of diabetes, cystitis, fungal infections, arthritis, rheumatism, pain and sunburn. Eucalyptus’s usefulness in treating lung ailments is attributed to its ability to increase oxygen supply to the body and activate red blood cell function. It helps regenerate lung tissue acts as an expectorant and cough suppressant. It is also helpful in treating kidney and bladder infection.
Eucalyptus can be used in an ointment, diffused in the air in a compress, while soaking in a bath, for massage oil or through the inhalation of steam. It is astringent and is useful when balancing oily skin and to relieve aches. It helps asthma patients find some relief; however, it should never be used during an attack. Used in a steamy shower Eucalyptus can help destroy viruses and bacteria in the respiratory system. Eucalyptus can also calm you down and sooth a headache3. It is also an effective bug repellent. Lavender and Eucalyptus can be used in steam to recover the voice.
Eucalyptus is a top note essential oil meaning it is fast acting and quick to evaporate. It sill clear the head and invigorate the spirit; it is the perfect room deodorizer. Eucalyptus is a key oil to fight fatigue and muscle aches, but, it may not be right for people with sensitive skin. It can be used in a soak or a compress to treat athletes foot with its anti-fungal benefits. The immune system can get a boost from the essential oils of Eucalyptus.
Grapefruit – (Citrus paradisi) from the United States
has a tangy and uplifting scent is less commonly used but, generally loved by children. The essential oil of grapefruit is warm, sweet, refreshing, and citrus with slight floral undertones. Grapefruit has cleansing and energizing properties and is also naturally antiseptic and disinfectant. This zesty scent is wonderful in a spritz spray for vitality and concentration. Grapefruit can also satiates the appetite. This oil is great for treatment of muscle fatigue, stiffness, mental fatigue, athletes foot, skin problems, cellulite, depression, infections, headaches, PMS, weight gain, withdrawals, and to disinfect and clean.
Jasmine – (jasminium officinalis) has long been thought of as an aphrodisiac, stress reliever, antiseptic, and sedative. It is great for the skin and helps with cognition. It aids in relieving menstrual problems and labor. Jasmine has a warm and floral scent and is especially fragrant in the evening hours. It’s name means heavenly felicity. Jasmine is an anti-depressant and anti spasmodic. It is often used to calm the nerves, yet, studies show it to enhance mental awareness and stimulate brain waves. It is also great for skin; it can be used as a compress to treat skin irritations. As base note oil Jasmine is long lasting and takes time to evaporate. It should only be used externally as an essential oil. Jasmine is thought to be exotic as it seeps into the soul and opens up our emotions. It is said to bring a feeling of euphoria and sensuality. It can help one to feel optimistic.
Juniper Berry – (Juniperus communis) From Italy, France and Bulgaria, this woodsy, fruity and fresh scent is used in men’s aftershave and cologne. Traditional uses for this highly therapeutic oil are, fluid retention, obesity, mental exhaustion, tension toxicity, bloating, skin problems, cystitis, expectorant, anti-parasitic, inflammation, diabetes, menstruation, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, hair loss, dandruff, poor circulation, release of toxins especially uric acid, thus, blood cleaning. Juniper Berry Oil is uplifting and refreshing good room spray for those suffering jet lag or just lethargic.
Peppermint – (MenthaPiperita) Grown primarily in the United States, peppermint is cooling and refreshing. This top note oil was recommended to me for my hot flashes following a hysterectomy. I have to say it helped! Peppermint is antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-parasitic, antiviral, analgesic, and decongestant in its properties. This camphoraceous oil is widely used for headaches, stomach issues, nausea, fatigue, coughs, digestive problems, muscle pain, shock, sinus congestion, migraines, travel sickness, poor circulation, asthma, ringworm, detoxification, cellulite, sinusitis, heart problems and depression.
Rosemary – (Rosmarius officinalis) Rosemary is grows in Spain, Moracco, Tonisia and the U.S. A complex scent, it is warming and invigorating with woody, minty and spicy aroma. Rosemary can be a confidence booster. Therapeutic uses include to relieve muscle pain, joint pain, infections, lethargy, pore circulation, overindulgence, skin and hair care, headaches, burns, and as a stimulant.
Cinnamon – The cinnamon used in culinary arts is derived from the inner bark of a large tree found in Sri Lanka. The popularity of the commodity was the main reason the country was taken over by the Dutch and later Great Britten in 1798. It is thought to be an aphrodisiac. Cinnamon simulates the appetite and stirs the senses. When people smell cinnamon they are filled with a sense of well-being.
The constituents of Cinnamon are cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, linalool, and methylamines ketone. Cinnamon is an antiseptic, it aids in digestion, is anti-viral, and relieves muscle spasms and pain. It is an aldehyde giving it healing qualities that calm and sedate, act as an antiseptic and anti inflammatory. Cinnamon reduces drowsiness, irritability and pain especially headaches. It also increases the ability to concentrate. It relaxes tight muscles, increases circulation, eases joint pain. It will perk you up with just a whiff. Bugs, however, are not drawn to it. Cinnamon helps with cramps associated with menstruation. It can be used to help warm muscles before exercise. It can help with anxiety and depression, but, just a little drop will do you. Cinnamon can irritate soft tissues of the skin and mucus membranes. Use with care and avoid use during pregnancy.
Cinnamon was one of the chief spices sought in the spice trades of the early ages. Cinnamon is said to be an ingredient in the anointing oil given to Moses by God. These oils along with Frankincense and Myrrh were more valuable than gold. **1
Cinnamon is thought to strengthen the nervous system and cardio vascular system. It can be used in mixtures to treat diarrhea, flatulence, stomach and intestinal cramps, it has a noticeable warming affect on the body and mood. **3
Oranges were brought to the Mediterranean from the Orient during the Crusades. Today Oranges are grown in Sicily, Israel, Spain, France, Brazil and the United States. Each Region brings special qualities to their oils. In 1290, Elonor of Castile brought them to England. They were very expensive and were generally given as gifts by the wealthy European Courts. Studded with cloves they were used to deodorize and uplift spirits. Over consumption of oranges can cause chest congestion.
The essential oil of oranges is pressed from the peel. It should be stored in a cool dry place. The main constituents of orange oil are (Limonene, Aldehydes, Citral, Citronellal, Genaniol, Linvalol, Methyl, Anthronilates, and Termineol) which gives oranges a perky lively scent. Used therapeutically as a sedative, to relieve muscle pain, cramps, spasms and indigestion. Oranges enhance mood and alleviate high blood pressure. We include it in blends for relaxation, insomnia, breathing problems and high blood pressure.*1&2 Our furniture polish also includes orange oil. Try it you’ll love it. Orange oil is helpful in combating oily skin, Mixing orange oil too strong can irritate skin so a few drops will due. Milder oils of Tangerine or Mandarin Oils are better choices for children and pregnant women. It is useful in treating depression, anxiety, constipation, nervous conditions, muscles spasms and as an antiseptic.*3 The orange tree provides three oils:
- from the skin of the oranges (Orange Oil)
- from the blossoms (Neroli Oil)
- from the leaves (Petigrain Oil)
Orange Oil helps dissipate cellulite, aids in smoothing and soothing aches, improves gallbladder, kidney and bladder function. It can also be used as a fever reducer, treatment of heart disease and gingivitis. *4
Tea Tree – (Melaleuca alternifolia) TeaTree Oil comes from Australia and is used in many skincare and hair care products. This top note oil is warm and stimulating. Tea Tree Oil is anti-fungal, antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral, germicide, and disinfectant and can be used to treat infections, asthma, colds, poor circulation of lymph and blood, athlete’s foot, rashes, insect bits, dermatitis, ringworm, thrush, lice, sore throats, congestion, cold sores and fatigue.
Research suggests that the medicinal properties of Ylang Ylang includes Ester which is balancing, induces relaxation and is anti spasmodic, according the authors of Practical Art of Aromatherapy. It is a base note essential oil, which means it is slower to evaporate and will last several days. It is sedating and sensual making it the perfect oil to use premenstrual.
Ylang Ylang originated in the Philippines. Its name is translated as “flower of flowers.” It is used to intensify the senses and calm feelings of anger, fear, and jealousy and can be used as an anti depressant. This oil gives relaxation, yet, stimulates the mind. When mixed with coconut oil it can heal dry hair and skin.
Its main constituents include: linalol, geraniol, eugenol, dafrol, ylangol, linalyl, benzoate, linalyl, cetate, alpha pinene, lenzoir acid, cadinene, caryophyleleme, creosol, and isoeugenol.
Sweet best describes Ylang Ylang scent with a fruity, spicy bite. Through the ages, it has been said to improve the sex-drive, lower blood pressure. Some believe it is therapeutic for stress, anxiety, shock, insomnia and irritability. It is a great oil to own without much expense. Add a little to hair conditioner or diffuse in the air, in the bath, in the washer or dryer for towels, sheets, or sleepwear. A little goes a long way. I like to use Ylang Ylang in an air spritzer.
Wild Chamomile – (Ormenis multicaulis) From Moracco is used to highlight blonde hair, and in perfume with it’s sweet, fresh, flowery and fruity scent. Chamomile has been used for ages to calm the body, mind and spirit with its soothing qualities. This very versatile oil is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, it’s anti-inflammatory properties help relieve muscle cramps, spasms and can help with shock. Sedative and anti-depressant, this calming oil is very useful in children and pregnancy.
Camphor- (Cinnamomum camphora) From China and Indonesia, Camphor is quite likely the strongest and most powerfully scented essential oil of all is clarifying and purifying. Used in many household cleaners and medicines.
Citronella – (Cymbopogan nardus) comes from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Guatemala and has a lemony, grassy aroma. It is used in insect repelling candles and creams and sprays. Citronella is used in aromatherapy to purify and vitalize. Avoid using when pregnant.
Clove – Clove Oil (Syzygium Aromaticum) was used to freshen the breath before taking audience with the Emperor in ancient China. Today it is used to numb gums, for a toothache, and following dental surgery. Clove oil is a stimulant and also thought to be sexually stimulating, as well. Some say inhaling clove fragrance can improve your eye site. It is top note oil and has a strong spice scent. Cloves have antiseptic and antibacterial properties making it useful in fighting infection and preventing disease. It helps to heat up sore muscles and arthritic joints. Research shows cloves to enhance wakefulness, reduce headache. It can be used to treat asthma, nausea, and sinusitis. It is a pretty strong oil and should be added to a carrier oil before contacting the skin,
Frankincense – (Boswellia carterii) can be found in Somalia and Ethiopia has been around for thousands of years f. Frankincense is used in incense, skincare products and perfume. It calms, restores and aides in meditation with its soft, balsamic, heady fragrance. In Biblical times Frankincense was considered as valuable as gold. Today this middle not scent is valued as a hair tonic, skincare, youthful skin especially, and can help with breathing, nightmares, anxiety, stress. Frankincense is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent, stimulates immune system, sedative, calms digestive issues, and diuretic.
Lemongrass – (Cymbopagoncitratus) Found in Guatemala, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka lemongrass oil is great for your skin and hair with it vitalizing and cleansing properties. Lemongrass very vogue in food prep these days has long been used in aromatherapy to treat ache, infections, nervous conditions, cellulite, headaches, improve muscle tone, reduce size of skin pores, pain, scabies, staph infection, muscle aches and rheumatism. It is astringent, calming, antiseptic, anti-infectious, anti-parasitic, insect repellant and anti-fungal. Lemongrass supports Thymus Gland, Spleen function, induces menstruation and increases milk production in nursing mothers.
Lemon – (Citrus Limon) Grown in the U.S., lemon is widely used; the cold-pressed oil from the skins of lemons is in many cleaners and personal care products. The scent is uplifting refreshing and cheering. Many of my academic friends like it to stimulate their mind and keep them alert. Lemon oil is a general tonic and can be used to fight infections, detoxify, alleviate fatigue, obesity, acne, warts, makes hair shiny, reduces physical exhaustion, and treats digestion issues, rheumatism, arthritis, colds, flu, respiratory problems. Lemon oil is antibiotic, sedative, astringent, stimulating to the immune system, anti-depressant, antiseptic and calming. Promotes weight loss, reduces the appearance of cellulite, helps with oily complexions, balances stomach acidity stimulates endocrine system, strengthens epidermis functions stimulation of sense organs, glands and the brain. It is used in Japan to increase worker productivity. Can make skin sensitive to the sun.
Lime – (Citrus aurantifolia) Grown in the United States and Mexico lime oil is equalizing, refreshing and cheering. This oil has an uplifting cooling effect is very popular with massage therapists and is useful in skin treatments, as an antiseptic, sedative, insomnia and anxiety. Good for colds and coughs, lime is a deodorant , astringent, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, decongestant, and anti depressant. Lime oil can uplift a mood, stimulate and perk up a person just by smelling it!
Myrrh – (Cammiphora myrrha) comes from Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. This warm, spicy, smokey, earthy scent is slightly musky. Another essential oil that is widely known and has been used for many centuries. This aromatic oil has been used in incense and perfumes perhaps as long as 3,700 years, often combined with Frankincense. Myrrh is best known for its rich scent and its ability to aid in relaxation.
Patchouli – (Pogostemon cablin) is used in perfumes adding its balmy, sweet and earthy tones. This exotic oil is known around our house and “hippie oil,” and is soothing and sensual. This rich oil actually improves with age and can be used as an aphrodisiac and an insect repellent. Patchouli Oil provides harmony to the body, mind and spirit. It is also used to treat acne, depression, athlete’s foot, parasites, eliminate toxins, rejuvenate skin, treat diarrhea, and impotence. The many properties are anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, and stimulates memory.
Rosewood Sandalwood -Sandalwood oil is distilled form the roots of trees that are 50 to 80 years of age. The scent called chandana is used to induce a deep meditative state. The oils fragrance improves with age. It was once believed that Sandalwood trees only grew in the gardens of heaven. They are often used in religious altars and statues. It has a ancient reputation as being an aphrodisiac. In fact, its properties resemble a hormone produced in the human body alph and rosterole. The constituents of Sandalwood include Santalos, Fusanol, Santene, Santelic Acid, Teresantol, Borneol, Satalone, among others.
In aromatherapy, Sandalwood is useful as an anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, astringent, insecticide, , urinary and lung antiseptic, relieving lung congestion and nausea. Sandalwood can treat infections of the reproductive organs, especially in men. It can be used on hemorrhoids, to treat persistent coughs and sore throats It settles the nerves and treats all types of skin problems. Sandalwood is relaxing, warming, confidence building and grounding. *1 & 2
Geranium Oil has only been used since the 19th century. This is a relatively short history compared to many other essential oils. Geranium oil is extracted from the stems of the plant. This essential oil is surprisingly therapeutic. Studies show Geranium to regulate blood pressure, treat depression and mental disturbances. It even repels insects. Other uses include antiseptic, anti-depressant, astringent, normalize hormone levels, and to stop bleeding. In Africa, Geranium was used as a tea to treat diarrhea and internal bleeding. It is helpful in treating inflammation, diabetes, circulatory conditioning, sore throats, nervous tension, kidney stones, eczema, acne, burns, infected wounds, fungus, lice, shingles, and herpes. It may reduce scaring and stretch marks, P.M.S., menopause, colic in babies and fluid retention. Geranium is relaxing, balancing, and harmonizing.