The benefits of natural plant oils have been recognized for more than 6,000 years not only for their appealing fragrances, but also for their healing and mood enhancing properties.
Too often today’s lifestyle is overwhelmed by stress, pollution, unhealthy diet, and inactivity. Now we can benefit from natural oils in our daily lives, to encourage well-being and restore health in mind, body and spirit.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts from plant sources such as flowers, leaves, plants, resins and trees and are frequently used as a natural therapy working in conjunction with other medicinal and therapeutic treatments.
It is because of their small molecular size, that when applied topically they rapidly enter the blood stream via the body’s circulatory system to deliver their benefits. Because of their high concentration, they should never be applied directly to the skin or ingested, instead they can be diluted in a carrier oil.
Initially the aroma enters the body in less than one second, inducing an instantaneous response through messages sent straight to the brain. These have a direct influence by affecting the limbic system that controls the major functions of the body such as emotion, behavior and long-term memory.
Each concentrated essential oil has specific properties. Certain aromas can help lift the mood and energize, others can help lower stress levels, improve mental and physical health, ease pain and curb insomnia.
Here are my top five essential oils to guide you towards an improved way of health:
LAVENDER is the must-have essential oil highly regarded for its skin healing properties and excellent for general soothing and calming. If you only have one bottle of essential oil in your home – Lavender should be it!
It is the most versatile of all oils, clinically evaluated for its relaxing effects both physically and emotionally. Inhaling Lavender immediately brings about a calming effect, perfect for stress relief. Just a few drops smoothed over your pillow can help you sleep.
As a first aid remedy in the home you can drop it directly on a cut to stop bleeding and speed healing. Putting 2-3 drops on a rash will stop itching and one drop onto a blemish will disperse sebum and zap any unwanted spot.
PEPPERMINT is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion. It will aid ailments such as slow digestion and heartburn. Put 4 drops of diluted Peppermint oil in the palm and massage over the stomach, around the naval to relieve indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea and travel sickness. Rub several drops of Peppermint oil on the bottoms of the feet to reduce fever.
Inhale Peppermint oil before and during a workout to boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue. To relieve a headache, rub a drop on the temples, forehead, over the sinuses and on the back of the neck.
ROSEMARY is known to be a good brain and nerve tonic. It improves mental activity, mental fatigue and forgetfulness. Inhaling some Rosemary oil will improve your spirits immediately. If you have been working really hard on a big presentation or staying up all night studying for exams, using the oil will help make you more alert and attentive.
Rosemary is used to relieve muscular tension and soothe pain, perfect in a massage blend or added to the bath, up to ten drops in a small glass of milk.
FRANKINCENSE was considered more valuable than gold in ancient times and used to treat every known ill to man, known for its ability to support the immune system. It aids in maintaining normal cellular regeneration, by helping oxygenate the cells. A few drops added to your daily moisture cream will help to keep skin youthful.
It has a stimulating effect on the limbic system of the brain, the hypothalamus, pineal, and pituitary glands to induce uplifting emotions and dispel depression. Frankincense promotes longevity and vitality and is a great facilitator for meditation and deep relaxation.
LEMON has antiseptic properties and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune function. It is also commonly used in weight loss and cellulite reduction, is particularly good for circulation and detoxification.
Put a drop on oily skin or acne to balance sebaceous glands. Add fresh lemon to hot water as a digestive cleanser and massage Lemon oil on a corn, callous or wart mornings and evenings until it disappears.
As a household aid 1-2 drops will remove gum, oil, grease spots or crayons. Six drops of Lemon oil and six of purification oil in a squirt bottle mixed with distilled water is a great air freshener. Soak your dishcloth overnight in a bowl of water with a drop of Lemon oil to disinfect and kill germs.
Always make sure that you buy essential oils from a reputable supplier – some oils can be impure, this changes their potency and their effect. Remember that Citrus oils shouldn’t be applied to skin exposed to direct sunlight or UV rays within 72 hours.
There is a huge amount of essential oil resources available to us all over the world for use as ingredients in cosmetics, skin care, perfume and alternative medicine and more. As a result their powerful medicinal properties are making a strong impression not only on our wellbeing but also household care!