Aromatherapy basics: 9 Popular essential oils to use for better health
(Natural News) Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, which is a form of holistic healing. The benefits that aromatherapy offers range from physical to emotional to psychological. Here are nine popular essential oils to use for better health:
- Lavender essential oil — Derived from the plant Lavandula angustifolia, lavender essential oil is one of the most commonly used and versatile essential oils used in aromatherapy. It has a relaxing effect and is used to treat allergies, anxiety, depression, eczema, fungal infections, menstrual cramps, and nausea. The oil is also believed to have antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties, as well as analgesic, detoxifying, and sedative effects.
- Peppermint essential oil — Peppermint essential oil is derived from peppermint (Mentha piperita), an aromatic herb that is a cross between watermint and spearmint. Peppermint essential oil can be used to treat various ailments like diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, travel sickness, hiccups, inflammation, bruising, fever, itching, headache, and congestion. (Related: Aromatherapy in action – Peppermint aroma improves memory and concentration.)
- Tea tree essential oil — Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat skin problems, such as acne and psoriasis. Derived from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), the oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
- Lemon essential oil — Lemon essential oil is often used to improve mood and boost energy. In addition, it may also be beneficial to people who have anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease, and those who want to lose some weight. It may also be used to ease stress, stimulate the immune system, relieve pain, and address conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, depression, warts, and varicose veins.
- Rose essential oil — Roses are more than just pretty flowers. The essential oil distilled from Rosa damascena petals has many healing effects, which are attributed to its various compounds. Some benefits of rose essential oil include for depression, relaxation, and libido. It also has powerful antimicrobial effects that may treat skin problems such as acne.
- Ylang-ylang essential oil — This essential oil is obtained from the flowers of the Ylang tree (Cananga odorata). It offers amazing health benefits, such as preventing infections, relieving stress and depression, boosting mood and energy, and promoting proper digestion.
- Cinnamon essential oil — Cinnamon essential oil, which is extracted from the bark of the cinnamon tree, has a warm, sweet scent. This essential oil offers various health benefits, which are mostly attributed to its compounds, including cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde can reduce inflammation and act as an antimicrobial. It is also used as a natural remedy for health problems ranging from cough and colds to digestive problems like constipation.
- Eucalyptus essential oil — This essential oil is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. In addition, it has a fresh and clean aroma, making it a great natural remedy for respiratory problems like asthma, coughs, colds, and congestion. Eucalyptus essential oil may also be used for wounds, muscle pain, oral care, and skin care.
- Black pepper essential oil — Black pepper essential oil may not be as common as the others mentioned above, but it is as beneficial. This essential oil has a full-bodied and fiery aroma that makes it a great energizing stimulator. It may also be used to reduce the level of nicotine craving.
Ways to use essential oils for aromatherapy
Essential oils are often used topically or through inhalation. For topical use, it is important to always dilute the oil and avoid using too much as this can result in an overdose. For inhalation, essential oils can be used with a diffuser, steam inhalation, spray, or simply inhaling a drop or two on a cotton ball. Before using essential oils, be sure to do a patch test first.