Essential Oils

Five Essential Oils For Home Remedies

Essential oils are a growing element in natural and healthy treatment of daily conditions, as well as for the occasional illness and improved general health.  But what are they and how are they used?  The sources vary considerably, but all essential oils are the essences of various plants that have been extracted and are applied for therapeutic purposes.  Some plants offer them from their seeds, roots, leaves or stalks, while others are from the peel or meat of the fruit.  The oils are then usually applied topically to the skin, most being unsafe to consume, but some can be inhaled or even ingested in some circumstances.  There are numerous essential oils, each having different effects that can address a very wide range of ailments.  Essential oils have mostly been used and thought of as elements of superficial aroma therapy, but both anecdotal experience and a growing collection of clinical research studies.

Because of the wide range of essential oils out there, we’ll recommend a few specific oils here and suggest that if you like the results that you look further into it and use this short article as an introduction to a real resource for health and relief of discomfort.  The purity and dilution of essential oils will vary between manufacturers so always defer to any dosage instructions that they give.  Otherwise, essential oils can be used in very small amounts so start with minimal applications!  Literally a single drop will cover many common purposes, or if not then just a few drops.  Make sure to avoid contact with the eyes, nose, or other mucous membranes, and don’t ingest the oils unless on the advice of a medical professional.

Peppermint oil is definitely a favorite and should be part of anyone’s essential oil go to box.  Peppermint is an invigorator, helping awakening you and adds energy and mental vibrancy, though it has become a favorite in my household because of its ability to help relieve some of the pain caused by migraines and tension based headaches.    For these cases, simply dab some of the oil onto your fingers and apply it to your temples and forehead, and electively around the base of the head and neck.  While moving around you may find that some wafts into your eyes and can cause some light stinging but don’t worry about it, just avoid getting any of the actual oil in your eyes!  It has also been well used for relieving menstrual cramps and can even help relieve itching when applied to non-open sources of skin irritation.  Peppermint itself as an extract or dry herb has many additional uses when consumed internally, but do not consume the essential oil unless on the orders of a medical professional.

Lemon is another invigorating essential oil, well known for its ability to help relieve depression and improve mood, while offering a wide range of other health benefits and treatments.  Lemon oil is derived from the flesh of its peel, and is an antioxidant, as well as having preservative and antiseptic properties that counter both bacterial and viral infections.  It has been used to treat hypertension and has been found to increase the metabolism, decongest lymph lower excessive stomach activity and water retention, lower weight gain, and increase overall mineral absorbency and immune function.  In addition, essential oil from lemon peel improves oily complexions, as well as helps treat bruises, and impurities and infections of the skin.  We use lemon on a regular basis as a mood and energy improving agent, but never forget the therapeutic properties when the need arises!

Ginger is an herb many people are familiar with, and it’s essential oil has proved to be quite useful as well.  Ginger can help treat the common cold, as well as fevers, nausea, inflammation, and improve appetite when it has been diminished from illness.  It can also help treat genitourinary and lung infections.  It is a stimulating oil and has been used as an aphrodisiac.

Lavender oil is another common foundational essential oil.  It is a relaxant which can reduce anxiety and stress, helping achieve sleep and calm.  It also treats infections of the lung, sinus and vagina in addition to helping relieve muscle pain, headaches, as well as insect bites, cystitis, and other kinds of inflammation. Lavender also acts as a skin cell regenerator, helping to prevent scars and stretch marks, and carries a reputation for slowing down the accumulation of wrinkles.  As a skin treatment it also offers benefits for sun damage, burns, wounds and rashes, as well as skin infections.  Lavender itself, however, does contain estrogen mimicking compounds (the body uses them like estrogen), so men or those with known hormone imbalances may want to substitute this for a different oil.

Ylang-ylang is an essential oil derived from a distillation of tropical flowers and acts as a strong sedative for those times when sleep is elusive, while avoiding strong pharmaceuticals.  It also relaxes muscle spasms and lowers blood pressure, while relieving depression, fear, anger, jealousy and frustration in an overall mood improving and calming effect.  This is definitely a favorite for using at the end of an overly long and frustrating day where the relief of relaxation and sleep is badly needed.

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