The following five oils can work wonders, but caution should be taken. Essential oils are like magic in a bottle. Many are far more powerful than we realize, and get way less credit than they deserve. They can be utilized in a wide variety of situations. Some, but not all, essential oils are toxic if taken internally. Eucalyptus, for example, rarely need more than a few drops. Be careful to avoid any oils contacting your eyes.
Eucalyptus essential oil. During the colds/flu season, it can be a life-saver. It’s one of the most effective oils for treating a runny nose and helps discharge mucus from the respiratory tract. It is also mentally invigorating and increases alertness, giving you a greater ability to concentrate.
As an anti-inflammatory, it is helpful in treating arthritis and lower back pain, as well as muscle cramps, spasms, and sprains. Eucalyptus can boost your respiratory and immune system and helps with a whole host of other problems: poor circulation, diarrhea, bursitis, tendinitis, bladder infections, and fungal infections.
It is also good for a number of skin problems; oily skin, infected pores, and boils to name a few. Its antiseptic properties help to relieve pain, itchiness, and swelling from bug bites and stings, as well as serving as an effective insect repellent. Once you have smelled eucalyptus, you can not forget that powerful scent. It is a fabulous odor remover.
Lavender essential oil is excellent for PMS cramps and discomfort. Massage a few drops into the abdominal area for some soothing relief. It is one of the most versatile oils in nature. The fragrance is very relaxing and calming to the body and mind.
As a tension reliever, lavender oil can be massaged directly into the neck and shoulder muscles. Its calming properties relieve headaches, hypertension, stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It improves memory, circulation, digestion, skin problems, earaches, hair loss, respiratory problems, and a number of women’s health issues.
As an antiseptic and anti-bacterial, lavender can be applied directly to burns and stings, where it will cool the pain. It will also stimulate blood flow to the affected area, which will aid in the healing process.
Here are 21 valuable uses for this therapeutic plant.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Peppermint oil capsules have been described as “the drug of first choice” in IBS patients, as it safely helps alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Research has shown that it is effective in children and adults alike, with one study showing a 50 percent reduction in “total irritable bowel syndrome score” among 75 percent of patients who tried it.
Colonic Spasm and Gas: Peppermint oil is an effective alternative to drugs like Buscopan for reducing colonic spasms. It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain. Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief.
Gastric Emptying Disorders: In people with functional gastrointestinal disorders, peppermint may be useful to enhance gastric emptying.
Functional Dyspepsia (Upset Stomach and Indigestion): Supplementing with 90 milligrams (mg) of peppermint oil, along with caraway oil, “much or very much improved” symptoms of functional dyspepsia in 67 percent of patients. If you have an upset stomach, try drinking a small glass of water with a few drops of peppermint essential oil added.
Infantile Colic: Peppermint is at least as effective as simethicone in the treatment of colic in infants.
Breastfeeding-Associated Nipple Pain and Damage: Peppermint water helped to prevent nipple cracks and pain in breastfeeding mothers.
Tuberculosis: Inhaled essential oil of peppermint helped to rapidly regress tuberculosis inflammation, with researchers suggesting it may help prevent recurrences and exacerbation of the disease.
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever): Extracts from peppermint leaves may inhibit histamine release, which suggests it may help alleviate hay fever symptoms.
Shingles-Associated Pain: A topical treatment of peppermint oil resulted in near-immediate improvement in shingles-associated pain, with the results lasting for two months of follow-up treatment.
Memory Problems: The aroma of peppermint has been shown to enhance memory and increase alertness.
Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea: Peppermint oil effectively reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea, and at a reduced cost compared to standard drug-based treatments.
Prostate Cancer: Peppermint contains menthol, which may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
Radiation Damage: Peppermint may protect against DNA damage and cell death caused by radiation exposure.
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1: Peppermint has been shown to help inhibit drug-resistant herpes simplex virus type 1.
Dental Cavities and Bad Breath: Peppermint oil extract has been shown to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities. Powdered peppermint leaves have also been used historically to freshen breath and whiten teeth; you can even add a drop or two directly to your toothpaste.
Respiratory Benefits: Peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract. Use peppermint essential oil as a cold rub on your chest or inhale it through a vaporizer to help clear nasal congestion and relieve cough and cold symptoms.
Headaches: Peppermint oil may help relieve tension headache pain. For headache pain, try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead.
Stress: Peppermint oil is cooling and energizing. Add a few drops to your bath, or dab a few drops directly on your body then get into the tub, for near-instant stress relief. You can also put the oil into a burner for a stress-relieving aroma.
Hair and Skin: Try blending peppermint oil into your massage oil, shampoo, body wash or body lotion. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help cool your skin and remove dandruff (and lice) from your scalp.
Asthma: Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary), which may help to reduce inflammation-causing chemicals in people with asthma.
Muscle Pain: Peppermint may help to relieve muscle spasms and pain. Try massaging its essential oil onto sore muscles or adding it to your bath water for muscle pain relief.
Peppermint comes from the mint plant (there are about 25 different species of mint), and is actually a natural hybrid cross between water mint and spearmint. In addition to its medicinal properties, mint leaves were rubbed on tables to welcome guests in Greece, and mint tea is still customarily offered to arriving guests in the Middle East.
When selecting peppermint for your own use, the fresh leaves will impart a superior flavor to dried leaves (such as for use in tea). Look for fresh leaves that are green in color without any dark spots or yellowing. In addition to using fresh mint leaves in tea, you can add them to soups, fruit salad or gazpacho. Peppermint essential oil is also widely available, as is peppermint extract in supplement form.
The essential oil is ideal for muscle and chest rubs, headache pain, dental care and aromatherapy. You can even add it to your homemade cleaning supplies for extra antimicrobial power and natural fragrance.
If you want to give the therapeutic properties of peppermint a try, simply add a drop or two of natural peppermint extract or a few crushed mint leaves into a glass of pure water (either iced or hot). For even more therapeutic punch, and with flu season upon us, try a tea made from a combination of elder flower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system.
Peppermint’s powerful scent can act as an effective air deodorizer. It also has an amazing ability to increase alertness to aid with concentration. In small doses, Peppermint has a cooling, soothing effect, and when combined with lavender it can be useful in treating sunburns.
Peppermint is beneficial in treating osteoarthritis, cramps, muscular relaxation and sprains, and lower back pain, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. It aids with digestion, especially helpful in treating irritable bowel syndrome. It is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and an expectorant that is helpful during coughing attacks.
It can also relieve itching from allergies and is frequently used as an insect repellent. As an astringent, peppermint is good for bacterial or viral infections of the mouth, as well as a variety of digestion issues, nausea and diarrhea. Make sure you look up how exactly to use it in this context, though, as some essential oils are toxic if taken internally.
For a sports-related knee injury peppermint oil can be rubbed on the inflamed area. The scent of the oil brought can bring some relief to any discomfort.
Lemon essential oil.. Lemon works wonders on sore throats, as well as bacterial and viral infections of the mouth and is a great antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes; including insect bites and stings. It can also be used as a hand wash by putting a few drops of lemon essential oil in the palms. It is a fabulous antibacterial.
It also helps with circulation, respiratory and digestion issues, and is great for relieving headaches. As an antidepressant, it refreshes and stimulates personal well-being, improves mood and emotions, while also improving your memory.
It’s also great for improving nails & cuticles, is an effective hair rinse, and can even help with hair loss and skin problems. Plus, it smells delightfully fresh and clean!
Tea Tree essential oil is another family favorite. Tea Tree oil has anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is well-known for curing bacterial and viral infections of the face and mouth, including sore throats, earaches, and acne & blemishes, and works exceptionally well treating oily skin.
It can be used as another insect repellent. Its healing, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a good choice for preventing infection, as well as aiding in decreasing inflammation and killing bacteria.
A powerful antiseptic, tea tree oil is useful in the first-aid treatment of minor cuts and wounds. As a pulmonary antiseptic, Tea Tree is an anti-inflammatory and an expectorant that’s good for the sinuses. It is especially helpful in relieving coughs, colds and sinus problems.