Although the use of essential oils for healing seems relatively new, this plant-based therapy has actually been used for thousands of years. Back in 3,500 BC, those living in ancient Cyprus, Egypt and Italy were among the first users of distilled herbs before they spread to China and India.
Today, this is what we know as modern aromatherapy, something used as an alternative medicine throughout the world.
Although the list of essential oils is long, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10.
It was actually the Aborigines who began to use Eucalyptus oil for illnesses in their villages because it is an antibacterial, antispasmodic and antiviral agent. It can ease chest congestion or problems such as asthma and can even help to alleviate the pain caused by fibromyalgia when rubbed into the affected area a few times a day.
For centuries, clove oil has been used for dental issues. It has been proven to be one of the best treatments for toothaches, cold sores, canker sores and even gum disease. When using clove oil, you should always make sure it is diluted first and it should be avoided by those who have sensitive skin. The diluted oil can be used for health problems such as athlete's foot, fungal infections, bruises, insect bites and prickly heat rash.
You’ve probably used lavender oil as a pleasant smelling addition to your bubble bath but did you know it contains properties that make it an effective disinfectant for cuts and scrapes? You can also use it to alleviate skin rashes, acne, insect bites and minor burns.
The health benefits of coconut oil are huge. It can be used for skin, hair, to increase your immune system and even to aid weight loss. It is an effective moisturizer for dry skin and helps to treat various skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. It’s an excellent hair conditioner and helps with the process of re-growing damaged hair. Plus, it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acids and capric acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The list is endless when it comes to coconut oil so it’s definitely one you should always have in stock.
Native to the tropical areas of Africa and India, castor oil is another essential oil that has been used for centuries to treat ailments. For your skin, it heals inflammation, reduces acne, fights the signs of aging and reduces pigmentation. For your hair, it will promote hair growth and treat scalp infections, and for your overall health, it has been used to disinfect wounds, reduce joint pain and can even act as a laxative.
Tea tree is widely used as a local antiseptic for burns and cuts and can help with the treatment of fungal and bacterial infections. Its menthol scent also makes it a great oil for relieving the congestion caused by common colds.
When you think of chamomile, you’ll probably be thinking of something that is calm and soothing. If so, you won’t be wrong. It has been used as a calming herb since the Roman era, which is why a cup of chamomile tea can help to settle your nerves. Not only that, but the oil can treat boils, dry skin, acne, cuts and insect stings. It doesn’t only help with physical ailments, as diffusing the oil around your house will also help to alleviate any issues with insomnia, stress and anxiety.
You’ll find lemon oil in most of the products you can buy on the market today, which is why it is associated worldwide with freshness and cleanliness. Diluted lemon oil can work wonders on your skin because of its high concentration of D-limonene that diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and promotes circulation. Plus, research has shown that the scent of lemon oil can impact your mood, having powerful antidepressant qualities.
The scent and taste of peppermint are everywhere – in your toothpaste, your gum and maybe even in your shampoo. Why? Simple: the benefits of this oil are never-ending. It is a stimulant that is an effective treatment for headaches, helps to soothe nausea and improves concentration, and it is an analgesic, which means that it numbs pain on the skin.
This gentle bactericide is often used to heal sore throats, but research has shown that it has a much more amazing ability. It inhibits both tyrosinase and cholinesterase, which are known to affect physiological processes such as melanin production and the functioning of your nervous system. Some have even suggested that sandalwood essential oil can be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Remember that before you use any of these essential oils, you should always research the best way to use them so that you can get the most out of their amazing properties. If you’re using essential oils for first aid and healthcare, it’s probably a good idea to splurge on high-quality and organic products that you know will be the real deal.