Essential oils: prized possessions since antiquity and back into the limelight now, they’re not just part of aromatherapy sessions, but also have a never-ending list of benefits, some of which have just been discovered. These small bottles of wonder are increasingly being used, either as perfumes or in line with their medicinal benefits.
In technical terms, any essential oil is a hydrophobic liquid extracted from plants. Highly concentrated, it is extracted in a lengthy process, with different techniques. Extracting an essential oil from a plant gives it the distinguishing aroma and is hence recognized by its origin, i.e. the plant.
Essential oils, while extracted from the plant, do not necessarily come from the leaf of the plant. There are section of the plant from where the oil can be extracted. Here are some examples:
Here’s a list of 10 essential oils that’ll add some aroma to your life!
- Sandalwood Oil: Also known as santalum album, it has a woody, earthy and aromatic influence. In therapy, it used for its healing properties. While being soft on skin, it also helps soothe the muscle and bones. Sandalwood essential oil has sedative and muscle relaxant properties, which makes it useful for treating sore muscles, or spasms.
Its primary benefits are –
- Helps reduce blemishes and scars
- Helps repair skin and make it smooth
- Used in aromatherapy to enhance emotional wellbeing
- Prevents skin ageing
- Prevents spasms
Sandalwood essential oil blends well with lemon, myrrh and cypress essential oil!
Additionally, in place of sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, or Frankincense essential oil can be used.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is also known as melaleuca, and is derived from the plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It is well known for its powerful anti-bacterial properties. It is now becoming a popular ingredient in home products, shampoos, skin products and cosmetics! The oil has been used for the past 100 years widely, especially in Australia, and has been documented in studies to kill many types of bacteria.
Some of its many benefits are –
- Helps in reducing acne
- Helps remove and/or reduce bacterial infections
- Helps relieve congestion
- Reduces fungal infections
- Treats Psoriasis
- Helps treats Eczema
Household uses of Tea Tree Oil are –
- Insect /pest repellant
- Face Wash
- Household cleaning products
- Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil, extracted from the leaves of Eucalyptus radiata has powerful medicinal properties. It not only provides nutrition for wildlife, but also has a variety of medicinal uses! Eucalyptus oil can be used in cleaning products, special cosmetics and hair products.
Some of its multitudinal benefits are –
- Helps heal with skin irritation
- Helps relax sore muscles
- Helps with treating respiratory problems
- Aids with treating wounds, cuts and abrasions
The household uses of Eucalyptus Oil –
- Used in cleaning products
- Used in odour removing products
- An active ingredient in hand and skin products
- Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is not only known for its fragrance, but also its various medicinal properties. It is extracted from Lavendula Augustifolia. If there is only one essential oil to be used, this is it! From its use in cooking to its soothing properties, it is must-have for every household!
Lavender oil has many uses, some of them which are –
- Helps with soothing skin irritations
- Useful massage oil
- Helps treat skin blemishes
- Helps provide relief for insect bites
- Helps treat dermatitis
- Provides sunburns relief
- Helps relieve heart palpitations
Although it is a long list of uses, it does not cover the exhaustive list of uses the oil has! If you had to choose one oil you could use, it should be Lavender oil!
- Argan Oil
Argan oil is mostly known for its hair benefits, but the oil has more to it than that. Cosmetic argan oil, and cooking argan oil are different are the former shouldn’t be consumed.
Some of the uses of Argan oil are –
- Helps heal damaged tissues
- Helps reduce skin inflammations
- Increases moisture retention
- Helps heal sunburn
- Helps reduce stretch marks
- Helps reduce wrinkles
- Helps reduce acne
Argan oil is packed with vitamins A and E, antioxidants, and fatty acids! The major benefit with Argan oil is, it doesn’t have to be mixed with a carrier oil to be used. It can be applied directly itself!
- Rosewood Oil
Rosewood Oil is extracted from the tree Aniba rosaeodora, native to the forests of Peru and Brazil. Rosewood is used largely in aromatherapy, due to its warm earthy fragrance.
Rosewood oil is used medicinally in many ways –
- Helps heals abrasions and minor cuts
- Helps relieve headaches
- Helps control acne and blemishes
- Helps eliminate body toxins
- Helps relieve cold, cough and congestion if used along with a vaporizer
Rosewood oil has also been used since the 1900s in the cosmetics industry, for its fragrance and also its medicinal properties. Only recently it is being used in its oil form.
- Chamomile Oil
Chamomile has been used since centuries for its medicinal properties. Besides being used in tea to help calm the nerves, it is also used in the liquid form. The oil is extracted from the plant Marticaria chamomilia and is distilled from the flowers.
It can be used for the following purposes –
- Helps relieve muscle pain
- Help soothe and moisturize dry skin
- Soothes swollen joints
- Helps reduce acne and eczema
- Helps reduce skin scars
- Reduces bloating
- Helps maintain blood pressure levels
Chamomile oil has two variants – Roman and German. Any variant is beneficial! If not preferable in tea, chamomile oil is the best to get the benefits of the plant!
- Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil is derived from the sap of Boswellia frereana. Mostly found in the Middle East and Somalia, it is known for its uniquely rich and intense aroma. Besides being used in incense sticks and aromatherapy products, it also has many medicinal benefits –
- Relieves symptoms of gout
- Helps reduce scars
- Help build a strong immune system
- Helps with wrinkles and works as an anti-ageing
- Helps relieve itching
- Helps clear acne
- Helps with insomnia
- Enhances the benefits of other essential oils when used as a carrier oil
Frankincense has been used since antiquity for its aroma and therapeutic properties. In other words, it’s time tested.
- Clove Oil
Clove oil is extracted from the bud, and is known from its use in oral and skincare products. Clove oil is used in Ayurveda and is known for its cooling and anti-bacterial properties! Besides these, clove oil has many other uses –
- Helps treat fungal infections
- Helps relieve insect bites
- Helps ease throat pain
- Helps relieve dental pain
- Helps soothe mouth ulcers and sore gums
- Helps clear cystic acne
- Relieves headache
Clove oil may be one of the most effective essential oil, but can also cause burns if used excessively! Hence it is advised to use it in minimal quantities or as per instructions.
- Myrrh Oil
Myrrh is extracted from the plant Commiphora myrrha, a plant native to Africa and the Middle East. It is a known to be an effective anti-oxidant.
Several of its uses are –
- Helps prevent wound infections
- Helps soothe minor skin irritation
- Helps moisturize cracked skin
- Helps relieve sore muscles
- Helps sooth boils, acne and ringworm
Myrrh oil has compounds like terpenoids which makes it a highly effective anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Myrrh has been a popular essential oil since antiquity, and has been an important medicine in many ancient cultures, and is still valued for its medicinal properties.
Now you know about the most useful essential oils! While cosmetics may help out, you also know there’s a natural remedy for most of your needs, and what’s more, you’ll smell amazing as well! So go to the nearest store and buy some amazing oils while you can! It’s a combination made by the Gods!