There are volumes of books and guides on essential oils and how we can benefit from their use and we'll provide a link to a few a little later. From cleaning to health and relaxation, the uses are continually evolving. Some people just find an essential oil with a fragrance they are drawn to for relaxation. Others may have a favorite for spiritual uplifting. Many of us swear by the healing properties of essential oils and wouldn't give up our oils for gold.
I have oils for relaxing, for cleaning, for health reasons and just to make a room seem lighter and calming. There is really no end to the uses for essential oils. We may have some surprises for you in the list we have prepared for you.
Safety First – Essential Oils are Powerful!
- Therapeutic-grade essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts and should be used carefully. Essential oils are more than 50 times more powerful than herbs. One drop can have a huge impact.
- Be sure to only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. This assures no harmful additives or fillers are in the oil. Know where your oil is sourced from and how it was made.
- Do not use water if you have a reaction. If redness or irritation occurs when you apply the oil topically to your skin, apply a vegetable oil like olive oil to the area. Water and oil do not mix and water will drive the essential oils further in causing more irritation.
- Keep out of eyes, ears and open sores/wounds. If oils get in your eyes, dilute with vegetable oil NOT water.
- Essential oils are only safe to consume if they are marked/labeled as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA. The bottle will have a Supplement Facts box with specific dietary supplement use instructions and warnings.
- If you are unsure of the strength of the oil, dilute with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil or olive oil when applying topically to sensitive skin or young children. Diluting will also make your oils go further/last longer. Diluting the oils will not reduce the effectiveness. Fractionated coconut oil goes on evenly, dries fast and leaves no greasy feeling. Discontinue use of any oil that causes severe skin, stomach or respiratory irritation or discomfort.
- When using oils on children or people with sensitive skin, apply only a small amount of the oil and dilute as mentioned above. Applying essential oils on the bottoms of the feet is great for kids and people with sensitive skin. The soles have thick skin and less risk of irritation while still achieving the desired benefits.
- Check with your physician before using essential oils if you are pregnant or under ongoing doctor's care.
Which Oils Should I Start With – What Do They Do?
Essential Oils are extracts from the bark, flower fruit, leaves, nut, resin or root of a plant or tree. Just one drop can provide amazing health benefits. The need for these essential oils is their ability to support your natural healing systems.
We have narrowed down the list of all the available essential oils to come up with the top 10 essential oils that we feel are the most commonly helpful:
- Clove – commonly used as an antiseptic for oral infections and to kill a wide spectrum of microbes to avoid disease. Studies show that clove has the greatest anti-microbial ability over E. coli and also has considerable control over Staph aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (often lead to pneumonia and skin infections).
- Eucalyptus – potent antibacterial, antispasmodic (mostly treating spasms of the stomach, intestine or urinary bladder), and antiviral agent. Eucalyptus essential oil has a profound effect on Staph infections.
- Frankincense – one of the most valuable healing agents on the planet. Frankincense essential oil has been used to treat issues related to digestion, the immune system, oral health, respiratory concerns, and stress/anxiety. Articles have recently come out highlighting the ability of the frankincense tree to kill cancer cells that cause breast and other tumors. Frankincense benefits most certainly center around disease prevention, anti-inflammatory properties, and to modify the immune system.
- Lavender – soothing, calming properties. Wonderful for speeding up healing time for burns, cuts, stings and other wounds. It's filled with antioxidant power and is being evaluated for its ability to treat diabetes. Scientists have found that lavender essential oil helps induce a decrease in oxidative stress which is known to cause heart disease as well as other health problems.
- Lemon – there is a multitude of citrus essential oils that are widely used for lymph drainage, to rejuvenate sluggish, and dull skin. It is also used as a natural bug repellent. It has also been discovered that it has useful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also desirable for its ability to fight food-borne pathogens.
- Oregano – studies show Oregano affects changes in blood count. It is also used as an antibacterial, antifungal agent. WebMD states,
“Oregano is used for respiratory tract disorders such as coughs, asthma, croup, and bronchitis. It is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as heartburn and bloating. Other uses include treating menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract disorders including urinary tract infections (UTIs), headaches, and heart conditions. The oil of oregano is taken by mouth for intestinal parasites, allergies, sinus pain, arthritis, cold and flu, swine flu, earaches, and fatigue. It is applied to the skin for skin conditions including acne, athlete's foot, oily skin, dandruff, canker sores, warts, ringworm, rosacea, and psoriasis; as well as for insect and spider bites, gum disease, toothaches, muscle pain, and varicose veins. Oregano oil is also used topically as an insect repellent.”
- Peppermint – used for a vast number of oral and topical issues. One of the most versatile essential oils in the world. Studies show that wide-range use of antibiotics has created antibiotic resistance and the powerful effects of peppermint oil could help decrease the adverse effects and even possibly reverse it. Throughout the world, peppermint has been used for upset stomach, headaches, and indigestion. Its uses go far beyond what we have always thought of it.
- Rosemary – you may not be aware, but Rosemary has the ability to normalize blood pressure. It also helps improve memory and brain function, relieves aches and pains and has a history of stimulating hair growth. Tests have shown that hypotensive patients with dangerously low blood pressure have improved to blood pressure raised to normal limits after 18 months of rosemary essential oil treatments.
- Sandalwood – used to soothe sore throats. Sandalwood is a bactericide. Aids in melanin production to adjust nervous system function. Believed to have potential in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
- Tea Tree – one of the most used healing essential oils. Used as a local antiseptic for burns and cuts and to treat bacterial and fungal infections (i.e., athletes foot and jock itch).
Best Applications – How to Use These Powerful Healing Agents
Per our safety discussion earlier it's best to dilute the essential oils. Some common ways to use them are:
- Inhalation: 2 to 5 drops in a diffuser or in hot water for sinus or headache relief as discussed in our previous blog post.
- Baths: Mixed with Epson salts as discussed in our previous blog or add 10 drops mixed with 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 cup of salt. Fantastic aromatherapy for circulatory, muscular, respiratory, skin and sleep problems. Also great for just taking a relaxing bath after a long day. Best to use soothing essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, or sandalwood.
- Salves/Topical Solutions: Add 12 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil for relieving joint and muscle soreness or simply to relax.
- Compresses: 10 drops to 4 oz. of water. Soak a cloth and apply to bruises, infections, aches, and pains.
Please feel free to leave questions and/or comments below. We hope the information is of benefit to you. Check back often for new posts and updates. Next up is cleaning uses for essential oils.
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