How Essential Oils Can Help You

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Essential (or aromatherapy) oils offer fast and easy solutions for day-to-day ailments. Aromatherapy serves double duty by calming you with an assortment of mostly pleasant scents. Used for millennia by numerous cultures, aromatherapeutic plant oils foster health and balance. In the last half century, research has begun to validate some of these oils’ healing properties.

Aromatherapy enters the body in several ways. When inhaled, essential oils pass directly from the lungs into the bloodstream. When absorbed through the skin in dilutions or natural beauty products, aromatherapy oils enter the circulatory system. If you carefully follow the guidelines for diluting and suggested uses, you’ll be amazed at what these plant-based remedies can do for you.

Top 10 Oils for First Aid

Essential Oil Cheat Sheet
Essential Oil Scientific Name Usage
Cypress Cupressus sempervirens varicose veins, sore throat, excessive menstruation
German chamomile Matricaria chamomilla bruises, inflammation, pain, sprains, tension
Eucalyptus E. globulus congestion, inflammation, colds, flu, chickenpox, shingles, herpes
Lavender L. angustifolia acne, bee stings, bruises, headaches, insect bites, rash, sprains, sunburn
Lemon Citrus limonum digestive tonic, sore throat, detoxification, lymphatic congestion
Marjoram Oreganum majorana insomnia, menstrual cramps, sore muscles
Rose Rosa damascena liver and digestive tonic, vascular tonic, menstrual aid, grief
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis headaches, fatigue, hangover, constipation, muscle aches, circulation
Spearmint Mentha spicata indigestion, nausea, headaches, fatigue, fever, sinusitis, poison ivy
Tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia athlete’s foot, burns, warts, acne, cold sores, flu, insect bites

Formulating with Essential Oils

Many of the following massage formulas combine 20 drops total essential oils with 2 ounces of carrier oil (such as vegetable or olive oil). All these combinations are given in drops, and these formulas are suggested for external application only.

Massage Oil Formulas
Condition Formula
Anxiety 7 geranium, 5 lavender, 4 lemon, 1 rose
Constipation 7 marjoram, 13 rosemary (massage abdomen)
Fatigue 15 rosemary, 5 lemon
Hangover 5 carrot seed, 5 rosemary, 3 peppermint, 2 rose, 5 helichrysum (massage over liver)
Insomnia 15 lavender, 5 lemon, 5 marjoram (add 8 drops of the blend to a full bath or use as massage oil along spine)
Menstrual Cramps 5 clary sage, 5 marjoram, 5 geranium, 2 rose, 5 lavender (massage abdomen, hips and lower back)
Stress 5 chamomile, 10 lavender, 5 marjoram
Muscle Strain 5 rosemary, 3 eucalyptus, 5 marjoram, 7 lavender

Further Reading

To learn more visit naha.org and holisticmed.com.

Contributor: 

Mindy Green

Mindy is a founding and professional member of the American Herbalists Guild and an advisory board member to the non-profit American Botanical Council, and served on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies. She is a nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist and has served on the education committees of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and the Aromatherapy Registration Council.

A prolific writer and lecturer, Ms. Green has authored over 65 published articles on herbs, aromatherapy, skin care, holistic health and integrative care. She is co-author of Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide to the Healing Art; author of Calendula and Natural Perfumes, and has contributed to numerous books on herbs and healing, including academic texts. As a botanical-therapies expert, she has been interviewed more than 400 times by leading magazines and newspapers.