There are many essential oils with medicinal uses which can be quite effective for a variety of ailments. Essential oils are made from extracting aromatic essences from trees, fruits, flowers, herbs, and spices. They can be used medicinally in a variety of ways. Often, essential oils with medicinal uses are massaged into skin, placed in a bath, used in hot or cold compresses, used as a mouthwash, or inhaled with steam. Used in these ways, essential oils can be very beneficial for any number of physical or mental complaints.
Cedar oil is one of the first essential oils with medicinal uses to be employed for common problems. It has a rich, woody scent that can be emotionally grounding and can help relieve nervous tension. Cedar oil also has antiseptic, anti-seborrheic and astringent properties, which make it a great oil to use if you have acne, oily skin, or dandruff. To combat dandruff, 6 drops of cedar oil, rosemary oil, and cyprus oil can mixed into 1.5 ounces of carrier oil and scrubbed onto the scalp. The only cautionary note about cedar oil is that you want to make sure you are using cedrus atlantica or atlas cedar oil.
You probably know frankincense as one of the gifts of the three wise men, but frankincense actually has a history of medicinal use and could be quite helpful in your medicine cabinet. Frankincense calms the digestive and nervous systems, and it relieves anxiety and emotional upsets. However, one of the best reasons to keep frankincense in your medicine cabinet is its ability to heal wounds. Frankincense is a great essential oil to use for burns, scrapes, cuts, and oozing sores. You just add a few drops to a base such as coconut oil and rub into the broken skin.
Orange oil has a bright citrus scent which gives it a cheering quality that is good for depression. Emotionally, orange oil can also benefit nervous tension and insomnia that accompanies it, when it is blended with lavender. Orange oil does not just help emotional problems; it also helps with certain physical complaints. It is great for relieving intestinal spasms, constipation, and diarrhea. It can also stimulate the lymphatic system, which relieves water retention. If you are new to using orange oil you may want to be careful when applying it to skin. Like all essential oils, it should be added to a carrier oil; however, even when this is done some individuals may experience skin sensitivity.
Have you ever had Earl Grey tea? That distinctive flavor comes from bergamot oil. Like orange oil, bergamot oil has joyous and uplifting qualities making it a great oil for depression. Actually, it is one of the essential oils that is considered a powerful antidepressant for its strong, cheering properties. In addition to lifting spirits, bergamot oil inhibits viral activity, making it a great oil for cold sores, chicken pox, and shingles when diluted in alcohol and dabbed onto these outbreaks.
Lemon grass is often used in Thai cuisine and is quite delicious in broths and curries. However, its use extends far beyond tasty dishes. Lemon grass oil has been used in traditional Indian medicine for many years. As its name suggests, it has a strong citrus scent, and it is very helpful for headaches, muscle pain, and stress. Lemongrass oil can also be applied to sweaty feet to help with excessive perspiration, and it can be used as a skin toner to close open pores. The variety of problems this oil helps makes it a great all-purpose oil to keep in your medicine cabinet.
Fennel oil is another great all-purpose essential oil because it can help so many different complaints. Of its many uses, balancing hormones during menopause is one of fennel oil’s more unique benefits. Fennel oil has estrogen-like compounds, which can have a balancing effect on women with low estrogen levels. Aside from balancing hormones, fennel oil can also decrease digestive spasms, relieve nausea and indigestion, and calm stomach cramps. If you like, you can think of fennel oil as the Pepto Bismol of essential oils. You can also think of it as the Listerine of essential oils since it is great for gum disease and freshening breath. Just be sure to only use Roman or French fennel oil, which is also known as sweet fennel oil.
When I think of basil, I think of pesto. Yet, basil is not just for pesto; basil oil has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for many ailments. Basil oil has antiviral properties and is a great expectorant, which makes it a very good oil for treating congested sinuses. Just add a couple of drops to a bowl of steaming water and breath in the vapor. Basil oil is also great at relieving pain. It is an antispasmodic and is one of the best nerve tonics. When purchasing basil oil, be sure not to buy exotic basil oil as it is toxic.
Hopefully, some of these essential oils will find their way into your medicine cabinet. Personally, I have found essential oils to be of great use in my own medicine cabinet. They are so helpful for a variety of common complaints. What essential oils do you use?
Shealy, C. Norman. Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies. London: HarperCollins, 2002. Print
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