I have never been a huge fan of conventional medicine. I stay away from medications as much as possible and I place a stronger focus on homeopathic remedies. In the past years I have fallen in love with aromatherapy and its healing properties. I now use it when I’m in need of a pick me up; to soothe sunburns, achy muscles, relieve some anxiety, as an antiseptic, and plethora of other applications. Aromatherapy oils are made by extracting the natural oils from various parts of plants. Typically, steam distillation is used to produce the oils. Steam will run through the plant breaking down the cells that carry the oil. The oil and steam are then carried to a cooling chamber where they are separated resulting in the capture of the essential oil.
Below we’ll take a look at the top five oils I always have on hand at home.
1. Lavender. Lavender oil has this yummy, fresh floral scent with a dash of sweetness and herby aroma. I find it completely intoxicating. On top of it smelling amazing, it is also the most versatile of all essential oils. Therapeutically, lavender oil has a calming effect which does wonders for those suffering from anxiety. Medicinally, it can be used as an antiseptic and pain reliever to soothe minor burns, insect bites and stings, and muscle or joint pain. This is also a great scent to use for savasana during yoga practice; one breath and you’ll feel blissful.
2. Peppermint. Peppermint oil has a very stimulating yet soothing aroma and is what I like to call “mother nature’s Icy Hot” due to its main constituent, menthol. This stuff is amazing. Not only is it effective in arousing your mental sharpness but it can be used to relieve congestion, headaches, migraines, digestive problems, and soothe achy muscles. I typically use it to get rid of headaches by rubbing a tiny bit on my temples or to relieve muscle soreness by diluting it with a carrier oil, like grape seed oil, and rubbing it into whatever is sore.
3. Eucalyptus. This oil has a very fresh and clean aroma that is sure to open your airways up. Eucalyptus oil is anti-everything, and for once that’s a good thing. It is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. It is best used for respiratory problems like colds, coughs, asthma, and congestion in addition to wounds, muscle pain, mental exhaustion, dental care, and skin care. I love to drop a little of this in a hot bath when I am feeling congested; it’s a great natural way to clear my nasal passages up.
4. Lemon. With its uplifting and fresh scent, lemon oil can help get rid of bad vibes and increase concentration and mental awareness. It is also an antiseptic and antifungal making it a wonderful fix for scrapes, cuts, and other open wounds. Feeling less than inspired to get your flow on? Rub a few drops on your chest and throat while you set your intention and you’ll be flowin’ in no time!
5. Tea Tree. A widely popular form of alternative medicine, tea tree oil is awesome! Not only is tea tree oil’s astringent properties great for alleviating oily secretions of the skin – think oily face & scalp issues – but it’s terpinen content soothes minor wounds without irritation. I love to add a few drops to my shampoo prior to washing; it leaves my scalp squeaky clean.
Make sure that when you are purchasing or using essential oils that they are 100% pure, therapeutic grade. You should also dilute essential oils. You can dilute essential oils with carrier oils or water depending on what you are going to use the essential oil for. As with all things – if you have any health concerns, consult with your personal physician.