“The sense of smell, like a faithful counsellor, foretells its character.”
Nobody likes visiting the hospital unless they have to. We’re all after natural remedies that can provide relief or even cure some of these conditions, and essential oils are one of these remedies.
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavour, or “essence.” Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence. Essential oils are obtained through distillation or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing.
Here are some essential oils that are good for your wellbeing.
- Eucalyptus oil
This oil has a minty or ‘chilli’ sensation. In other words, it gives off a cool sensation. Eucalyptus is used in steam baths for various reasons. For one, it helps eliminate lactic acid build-up and eases muscle tension and pain. It also aids in the decrease of asthmatic conditions, removes mucus, and toxins from the lungs.
To add on to that, it opens nasal pathways and dilates airways for deeper breathing. With its powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties, eucalyptus is another essential oil that’s great for immunity.
The Australian aborigines used eucalyptus leaves to treat wounds and prevent infection. Today the diluted oil may still be used on the skin to fight inflammation and promote healing.
Eucalyptus oil has potential as a treatment for diabetes. Because of its antibacterial properties, eucalyptus oil can be used to fight the germs that cause unfortunate mouth odor.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or a handful of leaves to hot water or a vaporizer and deeply inhale the steam vapour for five to 10 minutes. You can also use eucalyptus oil in a warm bath or shower.
- Orange oil
Many people like that citrus-like smell, and for a good reason. Aside from the aesthetic smell, this essential oil has numerous health benefits. It contains antimicrobial activity, pain relief, and anticancer properties.
It may also be useful in easing stress and anxiety. Applied in a massage, Orange Essential Oil is known to increase blood flow. It treats diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion or improper digestion, and congestion of the nose.
A study on rats in 2019 evaluated if orange essential oil could promote weight loss. They found that obese rats that were fed capsules of orange essential oil showed a reduction in weight gain as well as lowered cholesterol.
You can inhale it by sprinkling a few drops onto a cloth or tissue or using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer. If the orange essential oil is ingested or used in food, it should be added in very small amounts, which is 1-2 drops.
- Marjoram oil
Marjoram is an aromatic herb in the mint family that has been grown in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Western Asia for thousands of years. It is similar to oregano but has a milder flavour and is often used to garnish salads, soups, and meat dishes.
The essential oil is used for coughs, gall bladder complaints, stomach cramps, and digestive disorders, depression, dizziness, migraines, nervous headaches, nerve pain, paralysis, coughs, and runny nose.
Inhaling sweet marjoram essential oil may be beneficial to correct sympathetic dysfunction, which is a dysfunction of the nerves that regulate non-voluntary body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating. By doing so, this essential oil helps with lifestyle-related disorders such as hypertension and obesity.
- Roman Chamomile
If you are a fan of tea, then you know that chamomile tea is extremely refreshing. It gives a calming sensation and has a sweet enticing flavour. But other than this, the essential oil has numerous health benefits and is good for your wellbeing.
It treats digestive upset, heals wounds, and eases skin conditions. On top of this, it has anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief for conditions like back pain, neuralgia, or arthritis.
Apply Roman Chamomile essential oil to your wrists and neck. For feelings of well-being, apply the oil to your chest, over the heart.
- Rosemary oil
The rosemary plant gives off one of the best scents. It is unique, soft and, unlike other scents, it is not overpowering. Other than this, rosemary oil has many health benefits, and you might want to consider using it.
The essential oil improves brain function, relieves pain, and eases stress. On top of this, it may reduce joint inflammation and increase the effectiveness of certain antibiotics.
Rosemary oil may help by expanding your blood vessels, thereby warming your blood so that it reaches your fingers and toes more easily
To use rosemary oil, add a drop to your steamer, or do a self-massage.
- Tea tree oil
You are probably familiar with this oil when it comes to its skin-healing properties. When rubbed into the skin twice a day, tea tree oil can reduce the itching, scaling, swelling, and burning of Athlete’s foot. In one research, the essential oil was the most effective treatment tested for repelling lice.
Tea tree oil is also good for dental health. One study found that tea tree oil was more effective against plaque-causing bacteria than chlorhexidine, a common disinfectant, and oral rinse. What’s more, its taste was found to be less objectionable.
Tea tree oil can be used to reap other health benefits. Since it can kill some types of bacteria and fungus, people have used it as a home remedy for many years.
- Lemon oil
Lemon is possibly one of the most preferred scents. It smells like freshness. It is extracted from the peel of fresh lemons using a “cold-pressing” process that pricks and rotates the peel as oil is released.
The essential oil has been said to be a natural stress reliever by stimulating the production of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Aside from this, it stimulates the immune system, alleviates pain, and promotes weight loss. In addition, lemon essential oil may address conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, and warts.
This essential oil can be diluted and applied topically to your skin, as well as diffused into the air and inhaled.
Take note that lemon essential oils contain unstable elements, which means they can oxidize and eventually go bad. For your own safety, avoid ingesting lemon essential oil.
- Lavender oil
Lavender is a beautiful plant that produces purple flowers. It is aesthetically pleasing, and widely grown for the extraction of its oil. Lavender oil has unique health benefits.
It is a natural remedy for pain, reduces blood pressure, relieves asthma symptoms, and helps to combat fungus growth. It is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites.
Once blended with a carrier oil, the lavender essential oil can be massaged into your skin or added to your bath. You can also sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil onto a cloth or tissue and inhale its aroma, or add the oil to an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.
Take note that this particular oil is toxic when swallowed.
- Peppermint oil
Just like the name suggests, this essential oil is minty. This oil is used topically for headaches, muscle aches, itching, and other problems. Peppermint leaf is available in teas, capsules, and as dietary supplements.
It provides effective relief from many respiratory problems including nasal congestion, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, and the common cold and cough. Since it has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties, it can relieve pain and inflammation as well as calm the spasms that cause muscle cramps.
You can add a few drops of peppermint oil to your herbal tea to reap these effects. For easing pain, apply directly to the affected area and massage it in. Keep in mind that excessive doses of peppermint oil can be toxic. The possible side effects include allergic reactions and heartburn. You might want to do a patch test first to see how your skin reacts to it.
- Bergamot oil
Bergamot is a plant with a citrus origin. It is extracted from the rinds of citrus fruit (Citrus bergamia) that grow on bergamot orange trees. Bergamot oil is said to be antiseptic, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving). Some practitioners will add bergamot oil to the water for use as a health tonic. It fights food poisoning, lowers cholesterol, and reduces pain and inflammation.
On top of this, Bergamot oil is good for stress reduction. A small 2015 study done on women in Japan found that inhaled bergamot oil mixed with water vapour reduced feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
Edible bergamot oil is used as a food and drink flavouring. You can also dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it directly to the skin. Lastly, you can add a few drops to your shampoo or body lotion.
Here are some spices you should be taking regularly – cloves, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, pepper, cardamom and garlic. Also check out Turning to nature for relief: 8 common spices that act as medicines.