Essential oils are powerful, concentrated aromatic compounds extracted from herbs, flowers and other organic plant matter. Aside from their common use as fragrance in household and beauty products, most essential oils have a wide spectrum of health and wellness benefits without negative side effects or toxins. For example, recent studies have demonstrated that thyme essential oil can kill breast, lung and ovarian cancer cells, and rosemary essential oil can kill ovarian and liver cancer cells.
Here are two essential oils you always want to have in your medicine cabinet due to their multi-purpose healing properties and a bonus list of essential oils that address common concerns:
1. Tea Tree Oil – has anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic and anti-septic properties, making this oil the top choice for practically EVERYTHING! It regenerates skin tissue, and so it is ideal for burns, lesions, insect bites, deep wounds, acne, cold sores, fungal infections, dry scalp, lice, eczema, psoriasis and athlete’s foot. For yeast/bacterial infections, you can make your own natural vaginal suppositories by mixing 3 drops tea tree oil into 1 tsp coconut oil and keep in the refrigerator to harden until ready for use. Tea tree e.o. also fights toxic mold when used as a spray or in a diffuser.
2. Lavender – is soothing, eases depression and calms the nervous system. Its relaxing and rejuvenating benefits make this a perfect addition to your bath, diffuser or massage oil. Relieves headaches, migraines and nervous tension. Lavender is anti-bacterial, and therefore, great for skin and scalp issues including open wounds, cystic acne, insect bites, burns, dandruff and skin/hair care products. This e.o. decongests the sinus and respiratory systems. Lavender is popular for its pleasant fragrance and optimal for meditation given its association with the sixth chakra/third eye/pineal gland.
The Bonus List
3. Eucalyptus – contains anti-septic, germicidal and disinfectant properties making it the go-to for respiratory, chest, cough, throat and sinus issues; it thins mucus, acts as an expectorant and relieves coughs, fevers and sinus congestion. Eucalyptus also soothes muscles, nerves and joint pain. It relieves urinary/bladder symptoms and infections. This e.o. is stimulating and energizing when inhaled.
4. Lemon – supports the sympathetic nervous system. It is naturally high in vitamin c and antioxidants. It supports the elimination of internal parasites. Externally, lemon e.o. lightens liver spots and facial pigmentation; it also works as a natural astringent. It is anti-bacterial and anti-infectious: a diffuser can kill meningococcus bacteria in 15 minutes, typhoid bacilli in 1 hour, staphylococcus aureus in 2 hours and pneumococcus bacteria in 3 hours (Valnet).
5. Rose – is calming and relieves depression; it supports the healing of shock, emotional trauma, heartbreak and grief. Rose opens up the heart chakra, promotes self-confidence and is also an aphrodisiac. It has a sweet and uplifting fragrance. Rose can regenerate cells and has healing, rejuvenating skin care qualities such as wrinkle, stretch mark and scar reduction. This e.o. aids menstrual irregularities and reproductive issues including impotence and frigidity.
6. Rosemary – is an optimal e.o. to keep in your office as it stimulates mental alertness. It’s also renowned for improving memory. Rosemary assists the adrenal system and helps with asthma, bronchitis, headache, arthritis and gout. It can increase intuition. Rosemary stimulates hair growth, promotes scalp health and reduces cellulite. Studies have shown rosemary e.o. effective in fighting ovarian and liver cancer cells among others.
7. Peppermint – boosts energy and mental alertness; it is especially helpful if you are trying to eliminate caffeine or sugar as it will give you that natural boost of energy you’re accustomed to receiving. It also relieves headaches. Peppermint is anti-bacterial and assists with food poisoning, IBS and other digestive ailments. Use this potent e.o. for tooth and gum infections as it kills bacteria.
Essential oils can be inhaled, applied topically and in some instances, taken internally as long as you are using food grade essential oils and working with your healthcare practitioner. Some oils can be used ‘neat’ (undiluted) when applied onto the skin’s surface. If you have sensitive skin, spot test first or mix with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil to avoid irritation. Most essential oils require a carrier oil or need to be diluted especially when using on babies, children and pregnant women. A valuable resource and comprehensive guide to essential oils including recipes, charts and all kinds of healing information is Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Book.
Wang W., Li N., Luo M., Zu Y., Efferth T. Antibacterial activity and anticancer activity of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oil compared to that of its main components. Molecules, 5 March 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22391603
Zu Y., Yu H., Liang L., Fu Y., Efferth T., Liu X., Wu N. Activities of ten essential oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 cancer cells. Molecules, 30 April 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20657472
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