The Amazing Healing Powers of Essential Oils
Essential Oils are concentrated plant essences. There are a few different ways of extraction from the plants. They are very aromatic, and there are a wide variety of applications. They are used medicinally for treating specific ailments. In addition to treating physical conditions, these oils can effect us mentally and emotionally as well.
Phyllis Balch points out in her Prescription for Herbal Healing,
“The inhalation of certain essential oils has been associated with the release of brain chemicals that stimulate various emotions. For example, lavender oil has the ability to evoke and increase the release of serotonin, thus producing a calming effect on the body.”
In the olden days they would submerge flowers in vegetable oils and use them for soaps and skin care and they always had beautiful skin. During the french plague the doctors back then would wear masks shaped like beaks and have essential oils in the mask to inhale to protect them from getting the plague.
The Romans used essential oils by diffusing them in their temples and political buildings. They were fond of soaking in oil-scented baths, then receiving a fragrant oil massage.
The ancient Arabian people began to study the chemical properties of essential oils. They developed and refined the distillation process.
Some Common Essential Oils & Their Properties
BERGAMOT Balancing. Used to lift depression.
CEDARWOOD Antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, sedative. Used to balance the function of sweat glands, ease bronchial problems and to control mold & mildew.
CHAMOMILE Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic. Used for headaches, in warm baths, added to hair rinses, and in massage oils.
CLARY SAGE Popular antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and aphrodisiac. Used in skin and hair products and to counter insomnia. (Avoid in early months of pregnancy.)
CYPRESS Astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic. Used to repell fleas, reduce coughing, and for excessive perspiration.
EUCALYPTUS Antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, disinfectant, expectorant. Has a balancing, normalizing effect. Used to reduce fever, ease sore muscles, repel insects, treatbites and stings.
GERANIUM Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, sedative, expectorant. Used for bronchitis, cleansing and purifying the environment, promotes cell regeneration.
HYSSOP Antiseptic, tonic. Used for cleansing and detoxifying, stimulating respiratory system, and clearing congestion from lungs. (Avoid if you have any type of seizure disorder.)
JASMINE Antidepressant, antiseptic, and sedative. Used for anxiety, emotional imbalance, frigidity and impotence. Good for the skin and scalp.
JUNIPER Antiseptic, detoxifier, diuretic, and internal cleanser. Used to rid the system of toxins and parasites, reduce spasms, and cellulite. (Not for use during pregnancy. or if you have kidney problems.)
LAVENDER Antiseptic. Used to calm and normalize the body, improve immune system, fight bacteria and fungal infection, ease depression, and reduce inflammation. Also useful in treating acne, burns, eczema, sleep disorders, and stress.
PATCHOULI Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, antifungal. A popular scent used in personal fragrances and bath & body products.
PEPPERMINT Antiseptic, antispasmodic, mental stimulant. Used to treat headaches, congestion, fatigue, fever, indigestion, sore muscles, sinus and stomach problems. Popular in bath and oral care products.
PINE Antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant, restorative and stimulant.
ROSE Antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, mild sedative. Used for female complaints, impotence, insomnia, and nervous tension. Popular in skin care products.
ROSEMARY Analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent. Used for cellulite, enhancing circulation, dandruff, hair loss, memory problems, headache, and muscle soreness.
ROSEWOOD Antiseptic, regenerative. Used for anxiety, cellular regeneration, depression, headaches, nausea, PMS, and tension.
SANDALWOOD Antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac. Used for bronchitis, nervousness, dry skin, and for soothing the mind.
THYME Antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant. Added to bath for a calming effect, and to ease congestion.
YARROW Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic. Used to lower blood pressure and improve digestion. Has similar functions as chamomile.
YLANG YLANG Antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, sedative. Used to lift mood, ease anxiety, normalize heartbeat, and lower blood pressure.
SWEET ALMOND OIL is an excellent emollient and is known for its ability to soften and re-condition the skin. It is rich in proteins and vitamin D, and is considered extremely nourishing.
GRAPESEED OIL is used as a base oil for many creams and lotions. It is the preferred carrier oil for many massage therapists because of its light, satin like finish. It also has some astringent qualities and is good for oily, acne prone skin.
COCONUT OIL is solid at room temperature. It is used to create a barrier on the skin. It is also the preferred oil for high quality cold process soapers. Fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temperature.
JOJOBA OIL is a liquid wax that closely resembles the sebum of the skin. It is extremely rich in vitamin E which promotes a glowing complexion.
AVOCADO OIL is loaded with skin and hair nourishing vitamins A, B1 & B2, D, E and Beta Carotene. It is best suited for dry skin conditions in topical application.
APRICOT KERNEL OIL is good for all skin types. It is very rich and nourishing, particularly in vitamin A. It is suitable for manufacturers, aromatherapists and massage therapists.
HEMP OIL is rich in Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids. It has a full amino acid spectrum, meaning that is provides complete protein and it has a high mineral content.
Buying Essential Oils
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Pure essential oils are extracted directly from various parts of certain plants. Oils are obtained in a variety of ways, including distillation, solvent extraction, expressing, carbon dioxide extraction, and enfleurage, where an odorless oil is used to extract essential oils from flower petals.
Dilution Ratios For most Uses
BATHS Add 8 – 10 drops to a warm bath.
BODY LOTION Add 25 drops to 8 oz. of unscented lotion.
CARPET FRESHENER Add 25 drops of essential oil to 16 oz. water or a cup of Baking Soda. Use Baking soda without Aluminum
HOUSEHOLD CLEANING Add 25 drops of essential oil to 2 gallons of water.
FACIAL OIL Add 10 drops essential oil to 1 oz. of jojoba oil.
SHAMPOO Add 10-12 drops to 16 oz of unscented shampoo.
HAIR CONDITIONER Add 15 drops to a 6 oz bottle of conditioner.
HAIR RINSE Add 10 drops to 2 cups of water.
MASSAGE OIL Add 25 drops to 2 oz of your favorite massage oil – almond, apricot, grape seed, jojoba or olive oil.