Top FIVE Oils Every Home Should Have
So many people are interested in aromatherapy, but are just unsure where to start. What oils should they get? How should they use them? Here’s a look at the five most popular oils in aromatherapy, and ways you can use them. This will help you incorporate essential oils into an overall natural healthy lifestyle for you and your family tapping into their true medicinal values.
Oil number one — and this won’t come as a shock to anyone even remotely familiar with aromatherapy — is Lavender. Lavender serves so many roles, that even if you don’t care for its aroma its still worthwhile to have it around. The aroma itself is by far the most researched aspect with several scientific reports noting its calming action being as potent as common pharmaceutical drugs. It has many skin care applications as well, from treating burns and wounds, to being an important ingredient in almost any “beauty” care formula.
Probably the single most common use of lavender is for getting a better night’s sleep. Simply sprinkle a drop or two on the face cloth and place it under the pillow (a hint of the aroma works best), or invest in a diffuser. Massage the feet with a couple drops before bed — this works great for kids. For small kitchen burns, just apply a little essential oil directly. For larger wounds, blend equally with tea tree to create a soothing, potently-antiseptic blend.Tea tree and lavender really vie for the number one spot. A little applied directly to minor cuts and scrapes will prevent infection. Blend with lavender for the young ones for a little added pain (and anxiety) relief. Tea tree’s great for nearly every infection of the skin: a 5% concentration in hazelnut oil is excellent for acne (hazelnut oil is actually mildly astringent, and will not exacerbate the problem). The same can be used for athlete’s foot and similar conditions. Inexpensive and readily available, you’ll find yourself using tea tree oil fairly frequently.
Lemon essential oil is the great cleanser — both of our bodies and around the house. It can be taken internally to promote cleansing of the liver and gall bladder — 3 to 5 drops in a small cup of water taken on an empty stomach is recommended by some natural medicine professionals. It will also have a purifying action for the water (killing certain waterborne microbes), and adds a little lemony flavor. Lemon essential oil is found in many natural home cleaning recipes. For an all-purpose cleaner, mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 4 cups of water and 4 drops of lemon oil. You can vary these ratios to suit your needs, and even add a little plain castile soap or baking soda for extra cleaning power. The aroma of lemon itself is a great pick-me-up, too.
Peppermint essential oil is the real pick-me-up in aromatherapy. For enhancing mental clarity, just inhale straight from the bottle (but don’t touch your nose to it, as it can be a little intense for the mucous membranes). You can make your plain shampoo or conditioner to be a little more invigorating by adding 4 drops for every 8 fluid ounces (adjust to your “tastes”). Peppermint is wonderful in foot creams too, for its pleasant cooling effect. The oil is first on the list for troubles with indigestion. A drop or two can be taken in warm water. A drop or two can be mixed with any vegetable oil and massaged into the abdomen — be conservative, as peppermint is potent! You’ll find peppermint oil in capsules too, to help with irritable bowel syndrome.
There are really many essential oils vying for the number 5 position. Eucalyptus is very popular, as it helps many people with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions (use in a diffuser, or sprinkle a few drops in a steaming bowl of water and inhale). It’s also found in many invigorating massage formulas for enhancing blood flow.
Rosemary is used almost interchangeably for the breathing support, and is a great addition to skin and hair care preparations. Chamomile is considered the foremost oil for calming children, and may work best in a very low concentration in a foot massage blend. And Frankincense, while a little more esoteric, has profound health-enhancing effects. Its been studied as an anti-cancer agent, is thought to support the immune system, reduces pain and inflammation in joint-care recipes, and in skin care formulas is highly regarded for its anti-aging actions.
So how to get started? Pick yourself up a few of these top essential oils and learn to use them. This will open the door to a whole world of botanical medicine. In Europe, essential oils have been used for years for their medicinal actions, far beyond that of just their aromas. While aromatherapy isn’t necessarily for everyone, you might find essential oils are just the medicine you’ve been looking for.
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