Aromatherapy is an ancient practice that has origins in Egypt. For centuries, healers and herbalists would utilize the benefits of essential oils in their tonics, lotions and other treatments. In addition, they would burn the oils and apply the oils to their skin for their healing properties. With a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, there’s no reason why we can’t take the ancient ways and bring them to the 21st century. Here’s a beginners guide to the top essential oils for your very own aromatherapy experience.
Bergamot essential oil is distilled from the peel of the fruit of Citrus bergamia, better known as the bitter orange tree. Bergamot essential oil possesses the same fresh floral, herbal and citrusy aromas similar to lemon and orange.
Best known for its mood balancing and skin healing properties, Bergamot essential oil can also be used for such things as pain relief, breaking up chest congestion, reducing fever and treating digestive problems.
Clove essential oil is extracted from the dried aromatic flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum, an evergreen tree native to the Maluku islands of Indonesia. Just like the popular cooking spice, Clove essential oil provides a powerful spicy, warm and woody aroma with just a hint of fruitiness which makes it an excellent compliment for citrusy, sweet and spicy essential oil diffuser blends.
Medicinally, clove oil is very well known for its pain relieving properties and for its use in dental applications. However it’s uses go far beyond that. Clove essential oil can also be used to reduce inflammation, treat nausea and other digestive ailments, freshen the breath and even clear up acne!
Another essential oil which gets a lot of love in our lives is that of Lavandula angustifolia, the popular garden herb English lavender. Lavender essential oil smells just like the flowers from which it is distilled – sweet, floral, green and wonderful; and its many health benefits are even better than its fragrance!
Best known for its calming and sleep inducing properties, Lavender essential oil doesn’t stop there by any means. It is also anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial meaning it can be a godsend for reducing severity of symptoms and speeding the healing of skin conditions like acne, ringworm or eczema. Lavender essential oil may be used to improve digestion and to relieve pain and swelling of sore muscles or joints.
Despite the fact that beneficial insects like bees, butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to its flowers, lavender essential oil is even an effective natural repellent for many flying six-legged pests!
We are huge fans of this next essential oil, which is widely used and recognized worldwide for its fresh aroma and bountiful beauty benefits comes from the leaves of Mentha piperita, the humble peppermint plant. This mint hybrid is a favorite among gardeners and essential oil enthusiasts alike, and for good reason! The invigorating minty essential oil of Peppermint claims the longest list of uses and benefits of any of the other oils available.
Some of the highlights include for cold and flu prevention as well as treatment of symptoms, relief of joint and muscle pain and inflammation, alleviating headaches and clearing up skin conditions. Use peppermint essential oil to improve digestion, relieve nausea and eliminate gas or bloating. Put it to work against parasites – both internal and external. You can even use it to cool off in the heat of summer without cranking up the air conditioning (and your electric bill)!
Be sure to invest in high quality essential oils and diffusers in order to get the best and healthiest results.