essential oils ~ common essential oils & their uses

Bergamot 

Bergamot Essential Oil is distilled from the peel of the fruit of Citrus bergamia, better known as the bitter orange tree. Bergamot (the extract, not the Essential Oil) is best known for its use as a flavoring in Earl Grey tea as well as in Turkish delight; and Bergamot Essential Oil possesses the same fresh floral, herbal and citrusy aromas – easily recognizable to anyone familiar with either the tea or the confectionery.

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

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 powerfully spicy, warm and woody aroma with just a hint of fruitiness which makes it an excellent complement for citrusy, sweet and spicy Essential Oil diffuser blends.

Medicinally, clove oil is very well known for its pain-relieving properties and its use in dental applications. However, its 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.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Essential Oil may refer to the Essential Oils extracted from any number of different trees in the genus Eucalyptus. Dependent upon which species it is derived from, each variety of eucalyptus oil carries its unique fragrance and health benefits. However, the most popular of these oils and the one to which we are referring in this instance is distilled from the leaves and young stems of Eucalyptus globulus.

Easily recognizable by its bold, fresh minty aroma, Eucalyptus globulus Essential Oil is well known for its use in decongestant chest rubs as well as in many topical pain relievers. However, its uses don’t stop there. Eucalyptus Essential Oil is also a potent antimicrobial and immunostimulant, making it ideal for staying healthy during cold & flu season. It can also be used in aromatherapy to provide mental clarity and a boost of energy, or even as a natural insect repellent.

Frankincense

Frankincense is one of the oldest and most useful Essential Oils is the world, Frankincense Essential Oil is extracted from the resin of one of four species of the genus Boswellia – the most popular of which is Boswellia carterii (also known as Boswellia sacra), a hardy tree which grows wild in the arid woodlands of the Arabian Peninsula and northeastern Africa. Frankincense resin is well-known as a traditional incense (thus the name Frank-incense) and has been used throughout history in many spiritual and religious ceremonies.

Frankincense is unique in that its soft aroma is a perfect combination of wood, earth, balsam, and citrus – making it an excellent (if not perfect) compliment to just about every other Essential Oil in existence. Furthermore, because it is a base note Frankincense Essential Oil would be a ‘must have’ in every collection even if it didn’t come with an impressive list of health benefits.

Some of the many uses and benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil include as a mood enhancer and stress reducer, an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, as well as a digestive aid. Frankincense oil can help to fade scars and heal wounds faster. It can also be used to ease itching and reduce swelling of insect bites and other skin ailments.

Lavender

Lavender is another Essential Oil which gets a lot of love in our lives is that of Lavandula angustifolia, the favorite 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, antifungal and anti-bacterial meaning it can be a godsend for reducing the 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.

Lemon

Lemon Essential Oil hardly requires a lengthy introduction. Most of us have been exposed to it for our entire lives in one form or another (e.g., air fresheners, soaps, furniture polishes, and other household cleaning products). In fact, the oil distilled from the rind of Citrus limon is probably the most widely used Essential Oil in the world today.

This powerful citrusy Essential Oil is well known for its anti-microbial properties, and it is widely used as a stimulating indoor air freshener and household cleanser – that you probably already know.

Some of its other uses include as a natural pain reliever, a topic anti-fungal remedy, as a weight loss aid or even to alleviate severe nausea like that associated with morning sickness. Lemon Essential Oil can also be diffused for aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety while simultaneously enhancing mood and concentration. You can even use it to cleanse and naturally highlight your hair.

Oregano

Oregano Essential Oil comes from the leaves of the popular kitchen spice Origanum vulgare. While not as popular as many of the others on our list, this is one incredible Essential Oil with some pretty amazing abilities. Oil of oregano is a perfect combination of warmth, earth, and spice. From the moment, you open the bottle, and its harmonious aroma permeates your senses, you’ll want to use it for everything.

Fortunately, Oregano Essential Oil has enough great applications in day-to-day life that you can do just that. Use it to treat and reduce symptoms of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Apply Oregano Essential Oil to alleviate painful menstrual cramps or other menstrual problems. Use it to ease an upset stomach or to help fight off cold and flu infections. Oregano oil can even be used to eliminate parasites for both people and pets.

Peppermint

Peppermint Oil is another distillate which is widely used and recognized worldwide for its copious applications in natural health and beauty comes from the leaves of Mentha piperita, the little peppermint plant. This mint hybrid is a favorite among gardeners and Essential Oil enthusiasts alike, and for a good reason. The invigorating minty Essential Oil of Peppermint claims the longest list of uses and benefits of any of the other oils in our top 10 by far.

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).

Rosemary

Rosemary Essential Oil comes from the needles of the evergreen shrub Rosmarinus officianalis – another favorite albeit common kitchen herb with extraordinary healing potential hidden inside its natural oils. Just like fresh rosemary, the Essential Oil of this popular cooking herb has a fresh woody, herbal and slightly balsamic aroma with just a hint of camphor.

With its clean and refreshing fragrance, it should come as little surprise that Rosemary Essential Oil is great for cleansing the body both inside and out. Use it to detoxify your skin and sub-dermal tissues, improve scalp health and get rid of dandruff, eliminate germs that cause bad breath, boost your immune system and ward off cold and flu infections. Topically, apply Rosemary Essential Oil to alleviate pain and swelling in muscles and joints, soothe tension headaches and treat digestive issues. Diffuse rosemary oil into the air to promote mental clarity, improve mood and enhance memory.

Rosemary Essential Oil is also one of the best natural insecticides and bug repellents.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree Essential Oil is distilled from the leaves and young stems of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Not to be confused with the tea shrub Camellia sinensis, the oil of the tea tree is quite toxic if ingested. However, this favorite among Essential Oils has earned the moniker “medicine cabinet in a bottle” for its extensive list of extraordinarily beneficial external uses.

With its fresh, herbal and slightly camphoraceous aroma, Melaleuca’s claim to fame comes from its immensely powerful anti-microbial capabilities. While many of its benefits do indeed center around such things as cleaning wounds and treating fungal infections; tea tree oil has quite a few other less obvious uses, too.

Use tea tree oil in your shampoo to clear up dandruff or other scalp conditions. You can also use it to deep-clean your pores and keep blackheads and pimples at bay. Apply tea tree oil to insect bites to reduce inflammation and reduce itching.

Much of this information is from AromaWeb.  Please visit their website for additional information. 

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