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List of Essential Oils

Posted Nov 20 2011 4:58am

Essential oils and aromatherapy have been common healing and therapeutic methods since the first century. There is also documented evidence of essential oils being used by the ancient Egyptian Pharos, who prized the pure plant essence more than gold. Coveted by European Crusaders and primitive South American tribes alike, aromatherapy using essential oils has been one of the most enduring natural healing modalities for almost two millennia.

Over the centuries, the extraction and use of essential plant oil has become more widespread, with new, more modern extraction methods developed. Although the industrialization and regulation of the medical field in the last century had labeled homeopathic practices such as aromatherapy as arcane and unscientific, resurgence in the use of essential oils has occurred in the last fifty years as many discovered the old remedies and found relief in their application.

essential oils List of Essential Oils

Benefits of Essential Oils

The uses for essential oils are as varied as the types of oil available. These potent oils are used for relaxation, as anti-bacterial agents and to promote healing. Many essential oils are multidimensional, possessing both physical and emotional healing properties. Below are the most common essential oils, along with their uses.

It is first important to note that some essential oils should not be used by individuals with specific conditions, which are noted below. In addition, essential oils are extremely volatile and potent. They should never be applied directly to the skin without first   being diluted in a stable carrier oil, such as grape seed oil.

When used effectively, essential oils can have a very positive affect on health, mood and wellbeing. Also, oils are often mixed with each other to form what is called a synergy-meaning that the resulting oil is highly restorative and more effective than either oil on its own. Common essential oils and synergistic blends are as follows:


Angelica Root
(Angelica, Archangelica)

A member of the Ombellifere family Angelica root is thought to have spiritual properties and has been labeled the “Root of the Holy Spirit”. The name comes from an old tale of a monk who was given the plant by an angel as a cure to the Bubonic plague, which was running rampant at the time. Originating in Europe, Angelica root essential oil has a woodsy scent and many curative benefits.

Health Benefits: Angelica root essential oil is detoxifying and has been used to reduce alcoholic cravings. This oil has anti-inflammatory properties and helps relieves pain in the joints, as well as muscles.

Angelica root may aid in infertility and promotes general reproductive health. Angelica also heals and protects sensitive skin.

Emotional Benefits: Angelica root essential oil has been used to reduce stress and anxiety reliever and also as an aid in increasing energy.

Warnings: Angelica root is phototoxic, which means skin treated with the oil should not be exposed to direct sunlight for twenty four hours. Angelica root should also be avoided by diabetics and pregnant women.

 

Anise ( Pimpinella Anisum)

 Anise is native to the Mediterranean and is used extensively in the Middle East, India and Europe and is a member of the parsley family.

Health Benefits- Anise essential oil aids in healing respiratory illnesses, such as colds and bronchitis. Anise essential oil has been used to treat head lice and is also effective in reducing inflammation that contributes to muscle aches and rheumatoid arthritis.

Anise oil is also considered antiseptic and antibacterial, making it useful for cleaning small cuts and wounds. Anise essential oil also helps to reduce flatulence and other gastrointestinal ailments.

Emotional Benefits- due to its sedative properties, anise has been used a therapy to calm anxiety and ease depression.

Warnings- Anise should not be confused with Japanese star anise, as this is toxic, even in small doses. Anise consumed in extremely large doses can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as promote seizures.

 

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae) and is largely found in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Regions. There are several varieties of basil, including: Sweet Basil, Holy Basil, Thia Basil, Lemon Basil, Genovese Basil and Cinnamon Basil.

Health Benefits- Basil essential oil is effective in repelling the flu virus and soothing insect bites. Basil can also be used as an insect repellant.

Basil oil is also a remedy for gout, as it regulates the amount of uric acid in the blood. Basil essential oil relieves constipation and helps control nausea and vomiting. Basil acts as a diuretic and reduces constipation.

Basil essential oil has been said to be a treatment for cancer and possesses potent antiviral properties, as well as being a source of antioxidants. Basil oil is also used in India to treat asthma and control diabetes.

Emotional Benefits- basil essential oil is calming and helps to control nervousness and reduce the feeling of stress. Basil oil helps to eliminate brain fog and enhances memory. This oil is also effective in treating headaches and migraines.

Warnings- Overdosing on basil (extremely hard to do) can cause harm to the brain.

 

Bay (Laurus Nobilis)

Bay essential oil is native to the country of Venezuela and the West Indies. This aromatic oil possesses tremendous health and therapeutic benefits and is one of the most potent of essential oils. In ancient Rome, the bay leaf was synonymous with wisdom and protection and adorned the hair of Caesar and champion Olympians.

Health Benefits- Bay essential oil is helpful in treating chronic conditions which involve pain in the nervous, as well as musculoskeletal system.  Bay increases circulation and provides antibiotic like relief from dental and respiratory infections. Bay also helps to stimulate a sluggish menstrual period.

Bay also has antiseptic properties, which makes it beneficial for cleaning burns, cuts and scrapes.  Bay essential oil stimulates sluggish immune system and eases digestion, as well as helps to eliminate toxins.

Emotional Benefits- Bay oil is known to cause relaxation and sedation in large quantities. Bay can promote mental relaxation and reduce the feeling of stress.

Warnings- Bay essential oil should not be used near the eyes, nose or mouth as it can irritate sensitive mucus membranes.

 

Bergamot (Citrus Aurantium var. Bergamia)

Bergamot is a member of the Rutaceae family and grown in Italy and Southeast Asia, as well as Morocco and Algeria. Bergamot is harvested from citrus bearing trees and was first sold in Italy.

Health Benefits- Bergamot is excellent as a natural healer for oily skin acne, cold sores and psoriasis. This essential oil is also helpful in healing urinary tract infections, promotes a healthy spleen and stomach. Bergamot has also been used as a pain reliever. Bergamot has also been used to treat skin ailments, such as herpes1, eczema and psoriasis.

Emotional Benefits: Bergamot oil also helps reduce feelings of depression, stress and fear. Bergamot has a fresh, citrus scent and promotes relaxation and happiness.

Warnings: Bergamot oil can magnify the affect of the sun, so it is advisable to limit sun exposure when using bergamot oil in a topical cream or balm.

 

Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum)

One of the famed spices of India and the Orient, Pepper was coveted by traders around the world. Treaties were made and wars have been fought over this lucrative and beneficial spice. Once more highly prized than gold, pepper contains many health benefits.

Health Benefits: Black Pepper essential oil is excellent for detoxification, drawing out toxins from the organs. Pepper increases the body’s production of sweat and urine, which flushes toxins. It is helpful in enhancing immune system function and staving off the common cold as well as treating the flu. Other health benefits of black pepper include:

  • excellent digestive aid, as it promotes the production of saliva, gastric fluids and bile. Pepper essential oil helps to relieve constipation and improve a slow digestive system. Pepper essential oil combats gas and can be used to treat infections of the bowel and colon.
  • increases circulation and can be used to relieve pain internally. Also, its warning effect makes it beneficial for loosening tight painful muscles, when added to a massage oil or balm.
  • It is anti-rheumatic and helps to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. Pepper also helps to dissolve and expel uric acid and is useful as a treatment for gout.
  • Pepper essential oil is a free-radical scavenger and reduces the impact of aging on the skin and body. Pepper reduces memory loss, joint pain and other ailments common to aging.

Emotional Benefits: Black Pepper is more medicinal in nature than emotionally therapeutic.

Warnings: Excessive use of Pepper essential oil could be harmful to the kidneys. Pepper essential oil should not be used during pregnancy and can cause slight irritation for sensitive skin types.

 

Camphor (Cinnamomum Camphora)

A member of the Lauraceae family, camphor essential oil is native to Asia, specifically China, Japan and Taiwan. Truly an oil that gets better with age, camphor trees must reach fifty years of age before the oil can be harvested. The entire camphor tree is used to produce camphor essential oil, including the roots, stump and bark. Camphor oil is not usually used in traditional aromatherapy, however it has powerful therapeutic affect on the mind and body when administered by a professional.

Health Benefits- Camphor calms the nervous system and reduces spasms, calms neurological pain and is anti-inflammatory. Camphor oil also blocks wounds from becoming infected and can numb the body, similar to local anesthesia. Camphor is also an effective decongest, opening up blocked airways and promoting the expulsion of mucus.

Emotional Benefits- Increased pain tolerance and quality of life for those suffering from nerve damage or muscle spasms.

Warnings- camphor comes in three colors. The white variety is therapeutic, while the brown and yellow varieties are toxic and said to promote cancer development. Camphor oil should not be used by individuals who suffer from asthma or have epilepsy and can increase the symptoms of morning sickness in pregnant women.

 

Carrot Seed (Daucus Carota)

Carrot Seed oil is part of the Apiaceae family and is derived solely from the seeds of the carrot. Carrot seed oil has been a staple in maintaining digestive health and toned uterus, in addition to many other health benefits.

Health Benefits- Carrot Seed essential oil helps to clear the body from toxin overload, prevents gout and reduces water retention. Carrot oil purifies the blood and promotes the growth of new cells. Carrot oil also kills worms and helps to fight off infection. Also beneficial to the skin, carrot oil is recommended for healing eczema, is an antioxidant and reducing the signs of aging. Carrot oil promotes a healthy stomach and has been used by cancer patients to relieve the nausea associated with chemotherapy. Carrot seed oil has been studied by researchers in India for its ability to inhibit implantation of a human egg, making it a possible contraceptive alternative.

Emotional Benefits- Carrot Seed oil promotes relaxation and has been used to relieve anxiety, feeling of stress and eliminate mood swings.

Warnings- Carrot Seed oil should be avoided during pregnancy because it can potentially stimulate a miscarriage.

 

Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum)

A member of the Ginger family Zingiberacea, Cardamom is widely used in the East as a flavoring, medicinally and to improve the mental state. Green Cardamom, which is known as “true cardamom” is grown in Malaysia and India, while other versions hail mainly from Asia and Australia.

Health Benefits- Cardamom essential oil is antiseptic and antibacterial. It promotes a clean fresh mouth and can be used as a mouthwash when added to water and also acts as a natural preservative for food.

Cardamom oil is excellent for digestion and is used to flavor food in many eastern countries for this reason. It stimulates and balances the stomach’s various processes, such as bile and gastric acid production and helps regulate metabolism. Cardamom has been used to treat IBS and is effective in reducing gas and bloating. It is also antispasmodic and effective in reducing discomfort from menstrual cramps, Bowel and muscle spasms.

Cardamom essential oil eliminates calcification from the kidneys and promotes good urinary health. This oil has also been said to aid in healthy weigh loss and regulate high blood pressure. Cardamom also relieves morning sickness, as well as general nausea.

Emotional Benefits- Cardamom essential oil is a stress reliever and its strong, spicy aroma stimulates the senses.

Warnings- Cardamom oil is considered safe, non-toxic and usually does not irritate. However, all essential oils must be diluted in carrier oil before use.

 

Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Famous for its soothing properties, chamomile is a member of the Asteraceae family, and comes in two forms: Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. Roman Chamomile is milder, with a slightly fruity, sweet smell and light color. On the other hand, German Chamomile is thicker, darker and has a distinct straw-like smell.

Health Benefits: Roman Chamomile is beneficial for women’s reproductive health, soothing menstrual cramps. It also lessens the affect of PMS and menopause.

Roman Chamomile can be a pain reliever and has the ability to relax tense or seized muscle. It is also antiseptic and antibacterial and is excellent for use on cuts and burns. It has also been noted to help heal infections of the gallbladder and reduce intestinal problems, such as diarrhea and IBS.

Roman Chamomile is beneficial for the skin and helps to sooth and heal acne, chicken pocks and eczema. Roman chamomile can also be added to water and used as a mouthwash to heal dental infections.

German Chamomile contains most of the benefits mentioned above, with the additional benefit of reducing the occurrence of allergies and reducing swelling. German chamomile also is used as a treatment for kidney stones and heals dry skin.

Both forms of chamomile contain a potent anti-inflammatory agent, which can reduce the pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis and inflamed muscles.

Emotional Benefits: German Chamomile especially, has a soothing affect and is used to reduce stress, anxiety and aid sleep. Roman chamomile stimulates relaxation when added to massage oil or bath water.

Warnings: Both Roman and German Chamomile should be avoided by pregnant women.

 

Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllata)

Clove essential oil is extracted from the tiny flower buds of the clove tree. A member of the Myrtaceae family, this spicy and fragrant oil is native to Indonesia and the Malacca Islands and used extensively in the East. The buds of the clove tree are originally a light peach color, but turn brown when dried, prior to the extraction of essential oil.

Health Benefits- Clove essential oil is a germicide and can be added to water as a mouthwash to treat mouth ulcers and relieve the pain of toothache while gargling with the mixture may relieve a sore throat. Other health benefits of clove:

  • an effective antiseptic and helps to heal fungal infections, as well as a variety of skin problems such as cuts, burns, bruises and even scabies.
  • can be used to treat headaches and insomnia and reduces memory loss. Clove is also used to treat earaches, improve digestive health and reduce flatulence.
  • increases circulation and also aid in purifying the blood of toxins as well as helps to regulate blood sugar.

Emotional Benefits- Clove essential oil is uplifting and can be useful in treating depression and relieving fatigue. Clove is an aphrodisiac and promotes a distinct sense of wellbeing.

Warnings- Clove essential oil is very potent and should not be used on sensitive skin. Be careful to dilute clove properly in a stable carrier oil.

 

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)

 

Cinnamon is known the world over for its spicy sweetness, as well as the many health benefits derived from its oil. Cinnamon originated in the country of Indonesia, but has additionally been cultivated in India and Sri Lanka.

Health Benefits- Cinnamon essential oil is anti-rheumatic and reduces the discomfort associated with arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. Cinnamon oil also promotes respiratory health and calms a hyperactive nervous system. Cinnamon essential oil helps to alleviate constipation and flatulence and can be used to treat flu symptoms.

Emotional Benefits- Cinnamon oil inhibits mental fatigue and promotes calm. Cinnamon essential oil has been used to fight depression

Warnings- Cinnamon oil used for aromatherapy purposes should be harvested from the leaf only and not the bark, as the latter is toxic. Cinnamon essential contains elements that can irritate the skin, so topical use is not advised.

Avoid using Cinnamon oil in the facial area, as it irritates the mucous membranes. This oil should also be avoided if pregnant.

 

 Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus Globulous)

Eucalyptus is a member of the Myrtaceae family and is most famous for helping to control respiratory problems. Eucalyptus is native to Australia, but was brought to England in the eighteenth century and can now be found in India and South Africa. Nicknamed the “Fever Tree”, Eucalyptus essential oil is commonly used in balms to reduce fevers and is vaporized to aid in breathing.

Health Benefits- Eucalyptus essential oil acts fast to open airways and promote healing in the case of colds, bronchitis and asthma. Eucalyptus also promotes increased circulation and is a pain reliever.

Eucalyptus oil has been shown to reduce fevers and as a topical treatment increases circulation and sooths the pain associated with arthritis, muscle spasms and sprains. Ecalyptus has also been effective in fighting plaque and other dental infections.

Eucalyptus oil has proven to be effective in treating sores and wounds, including herpes, cuts, chicken pox, insect bites and scrapes. Taken internally, Eucalyptus oil may reduce herpes outbreaks. This oil also helps to kill Staphylococcus bacterial infections in the skin.

Emotional Benefits- Eucalyptus oil stimulates the brain and aids concentration. Eucalyptus oil is also uplifting and refreshing and elevates the mood.

Warnings- Using eucalyptus in large quantities or used excessively can cause headaches. Eucalyptus oil should not be used by epileptics or those with high blood pressure.

 

Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothera Biennis)

Evening primrose oil is native to the Americas and is a member of the Onagraceae family. Evening primrose is one of the more popular oils and is used in a number of health remedies as well as in countless personal care items. It  has been used for centuries by Native Americans to for healing and ritualistic purposes and is a catalyst for the bodies enzymes.

Health Benefits: Evening Primrose oil is an excellent emollient and moisturizes skin well making it beneficial to those suffering from Eczema, psoriasis and other skin ailments.

Evening Primrose oil is anti-inflammatory and helps reduce the discomfort of arthritis. It is a source of omega 6 fatty acid, which is critical to brain and muscle development, as well as skin and joint health.

This oil is also touted as beneficial for female reproductive health, with the ability to regulate menstrual cycle and ease menopause. Evening primrose oil has also been used as a therapy to treat pain associated with breast cancer. It has also been used to help repair nerve damage in diabetics.

Emotional Benefits: The high level of omega six fatty acid in this oil helps one to maintain an even mood and deal better with stress. Evening Primrose oil has also been used to combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Warnings: Evening Primrose oil can become rancid more quickly than other oils. It is recommended to mix it with an oil containing antibacterial properties to help it last longer. Evening Primrose may cause rashes and headaches. This oil should not be used by pregnant women.

 

Frankincense (Boswellia Carteri)

Frankincense originated in Ethiopia and parts of the Middle East and is a member of the Burseraceae family. One of the most distinct scents amongst essential oils, Frankincense has been renowned for centuries and used by kings and Pharos for aromatherapy and spiritual purposes.

Health Benefits- Frankincense acts as a decongestant and dilates the bronchial tubes making it effective in treating asthma bronchitis and the common cold. Frankincense is also anti-inflammatory and helps support a healthy immune system.

A potent disinfectant and antiseptic, Frankincense can be used to treat wounds and can also be added to natural cleaning solutions. Frankincense is also an astringent and can help reverse diarrhea.

Frankincense heals and rejuvenates the skin and is especially effective in healing sores and reducing the appearance of scars and wrinkles. Frankincense essential oil acts as a skin toner and is also used to prevent and treat stretch marks. This oil also promotes new cell growth for smoother younger looking skin.

Frankincense is excellent for improving female reproductive health. Taken internally it can regulate the menstrual period and help tone the uterus. Frankincense oil also helps prevent the formation of ovarian cysts and cancer cells.

Emotional Benefits- Frankincense is well known as a mood elevator and a relaxant. It also has a slightly sedative affect which reduces anxiety, brings about a sense of relaxation and aids in reducing panic attacks and feelings of stress. Using a massage oil containing Frankincense can help ease labor and delivery.

Warnings- Frankincense essential should not be used prior to the onset of labor by pregnant women.

 

Ginger (Zingiberaceae Officinale)

Ginger is a warm and spicy oil that hails from Africa, China, India and the West Indies. A member of the Zingiberaceae family, Ginger has been a part of holistic medicine in many cultures for centuries, including the Middle East, Europe and Africa and is referenced in many ancient texts, including Sanskrit.

Health Benefits: Ginger is well knows as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps to reduce muscle aches, as well as arthritis pain. Ginger also increases circulation and is beneficial for those with diabetes.

Ginger is used in many cultures to aid digestion and is known to relieve nausea and stop diarrhea. It has been found effective in treating morning sickness in pregnant women, as well as provide relief for those that suffer from motion sickness.

Ginger essential oil is a common ingredient used to combat colds, the flu and other seasonal illnesses. It also acts as an expectorant and clears mucus from the lungs. In addition, Ginger is an antiseptic and excellent for cleaning wounds and scrapes.

Emotional Benefits: Ginger essential oil relieves exhaustion and has been said to increase libido.

Warnings: Exposure to the sun should be avoided when ginger essential oil is applied to the skin. Because of its strength, Ginger oil should be avoided by those with sensitive skin.


Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi)

Originating in Asia and part of the Rutaceae family, grapefruit essential oil is known for its pleasing citrus scent and its versatility. Grapefruit essential oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit and has a shorter shelf life than other oils, typically six months.

Health Benefits: Grapefruit essential oil is a staple in many skin care products because of its ability to exfoliate and reduce the appearance of blemishes, as well as even skin tone.

Grapefruit oil is antiseptic and antibacterial and often used as a natural preservative for skin care products. It is also helpful in clearing blockages in the lymphatic system and boosting overall immune health.

Grapefruit has fat burning property and has been effective in reducing cellulite and aiding in weight loss.

Emotional Benefits: Grapefruit essential oil can be used to fight depression, as it has the ability to elevate an individual’s mood.

Warnings: Grapefruit seed oil should not be subjected to strong direct sunlight.

 

Helichrysum (Helichrysum Italicum)

Known as the “everlasting oil” because of its very long shelf life, Helichrysum is a member of the Asteraceae family and is native to Europe, specifically France and Italy. It is a more expensive essential oil although not available in large amounts. However the longevity and healing benefits of Helichrysum oil make it very sought after.

Health Benefits: Helichrysum essential oil is anti-allergenic, meaning it is able to inhibit the allergic response that manifests as symptoms of hay fever, hives, asthma, eczema and other allergy triggered conditions. Other health benefits:

  • anti-coagulant, allowing it to aid in dissolving blood clots and clear blocked arteries. This is beneficial for those at risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • inhibits spasms that may affect the stomach, colon, nerves and muscles.It is also antimicrobial and antibacterial, making it excellent for cleaning cuts, scrapes and wounds.
  • anti-inflammatory, strengthens the nervous system and helps to expel phlegm from the lungs.  It stimulates bile production in the stomach and is able to kill fungus.
  • excellent for restoring skin and can be used to heal scars, stretch marks, eczema and psoriasis. Helichrysum oil also is able to reverse some of the harmful affects of smoking, helps to detoxify the liver and inhibits the formation of varicose veins.

Emotional Benefits: Helichrysum oil has the ability to lift the mood. Alternative medicine also lists Helichrysum oil as an aid in unblocking and improving the flow along the body’s meridian pathways.

Warnings: Because of its ability to thin the blood, Helichrysum oil should be avoided if you have recently had surgery, a stroke or have a clotting disorder.

 

Jasmine (Jasminum Gradiflora)

A well known aromatic herb with an intoxicating scent, jasmine is a member of the Oleaceae family. Jasmine is native to Northern India and China, but Jasmine essential oil is now manufactured in France, Italy, Egypt, Morocco and Japan as well. Jasmine essential oil has numerous benefits, including many that aid in women’s health. Jasmine oil is very expensive, as it takes over a thousand pounds of jasmine blossoms to produce a few liters of oil.

Health Benefits: Jasmine oil is the perfect companion to pregnancy as it eases labor pains and promotes relaxation and comfort. Jasmine essential oil promotes stronger contractions, which can speed labor. It is also used pot-partum for toning the uterus and helping it to regain its former shape and size. Jasmine essential oil is also beneficial for aiding in breast milk production for new mothers. Other health benefits include:

  • helps to sooth and moisturizes dry skin. Adding a few drop of jasmine to a warm bath multiplies its moisturizing properties. Jasmine is effective in healing stretch marks and other scars.
  • anti-spasmodic and is beneficial for relieving diarrhea, cramps and muscle spasms. Jasmine oil is also used to naturally treat sexual dysfunction in males and females.
  • soothing to the throat and used to treat nagging coughs, sore throats and voice loss.

Emotional Benefits: Jasmine oil is an aphrodisiac and increases libido. Jasmine essential oil also acts as a relaxant and reduces feelings of depression and fatigue. Jasmine oil has been used specifically to fight post-partum depression

Warnings: Jasmine oil is extremely relaxing, so it should not be used when an individual must be fully alert, such as when working or driving.

 

Juniper (Juniperus Communis)

Juniper essential oil is extracted from the berries, needles and wood of the Juniper evergreen, which is native to Europe. Oil derived form the berries is clearer and of higher quality. Juniper essential oil has a fresh, woodsy scent and many health benefits.

Health Benefits: Juniper essential oil is anti-rheumatic, which helps to alleviate joint pain and tenderness. Other health benefits of Juniper include:

  • natural diuretic and increases urine output. This is beneficial for those with renal failure, water retention and high blood pressure.
  • detoxifies the blood and removes environmental pollutants, including heavy metals. Juniper essential oil also heals stomach ulcers and stimulates the production of bile and other gastric juices necessary for optimal digestion.
  • acts as a stimulant and helps to initiate and maintain many of the body’s intricate functions, such as the central nervous system, the endocrine system, which regulates immunity, the gastric system and the systems of elimination.
  • effective in treating skin disorders, such as eczema and promotes healing of scrapes, cuts and wounds.

Emotional Benefits: Juniper essential oil provides a fresh, uplifting scent when diffused into the air. Juniper sooths the nerves and diffuses anxiety.

Warnings: Juniper essential oil should not be used by pregnant women or individuals with kidney dysfunction. Juniper should be diluted in carrier oils in very low concentrations, due to it potency.

 

Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)

Lavender essential oil has a light, exotic scent and is a favorite amongst many for its ability to perfume, provide emotional relief and medicinal properties as well.

A member of the Lamiaceae family, Lavender is produced mainly in France. However, it has been a favorite throughout history and much revered used by the ancient Romans and Greeks.

Health Benefits- Lavender essential oil is known to provide a soothing feeling and is effective in treating headaches and aiding sleep. Lavender leaves one feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. They are also known for:

  • providing positive affect on the pulmonary system and helps to clear the airways benefiting those with asthma, bronchitis or the common cold. Lavender essential oil has also been used to suppress chronic coughing.
  • treating bacteria and infections in the mouth, such as laryngitis and halitosis. Lavender essential oil is a disinfectant and can be used to clean cuts, scrapes and wounds. When added to facial cleanser or toner, Lavender removes dirt and bacteria, while toning the skin. Lavender essential oil is also effective in treating head lice, as well as an insect repellent.
  • helps boost the immune system and prevent illness, as well as provides anti-inflammatory relief to skin, joints and muscles.

Emotional Benefits: Lavender oil is often used in massage oils, as it penetrates the muscles to relieve aches and pains and provides a general feeling of relaxation. Lavender oil is used to help relieve stress, reduce anxiety and lift depression.

Warnings: Lavender is one of the most well tolerated essential oils and is one of the few that can be applies directly to the skin. However, discontinue topical use if there is any sign of an allergic reaction.

 

Lemon (Citrus Limonum)

Lemon is a well known scent in every culture and the essential oil derived from this tart fruit has many benefits. Lemon essential oil is pressed from the peel of the fruit and has a shorter shelf life than many oils, with a maximum of ten months. Lemons were originally grown in India, however they were transported to Europe in the Middle Ages by the Crusaders and have since spread to many countries around the world.

Health Benefits: Lemon essential oil is known for its immune enhancing properties. It is beneficial in treating colds, the flu and other seasonal illnesses. Lemon essential oil reduces fever and sooths and heals infections in the throat. Other beneficial health uses of Lemon essential oils include:

  • antibacterial and can be used to clean cuts and wounds, as well as a household cleaning agent.
  • helps to normalize the blood and is a treatment for high blood pressure, reduces the symptoms of anemia and promotes optimal blood flow.
  • treating respiratory infections and helps to open the airways in the case of Asthma, Bronchitis and Pneumonia.
  • effective degreaser and is used to treat oily skin, scalps and also to de-grease dishes and household appliances. The antibacterial and degreasing properties make Lemon oil excellent for reducing acne and the citric acid gently exfoliates dead skin cells. Lemon essential oil has also been used to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  • beneficial in reducing the pain from, and treating skin lesions of all kinds, including cold sores, herpes, and mouth and nose ulcers.

Emotional Benefits: Lemon essential oil has a very uplifting and fresh scent. It can be diffused into the air to lift the mood and has been used in the treatment of depression. Lemon oil can also increase energy and clear the mind, increasing concentration.

Warnings: Lemon essential oil should not be applied to the skin and then exposed to direct sunlight, as it is photo-toxic.

 

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus)

A member of the Poaceae family, Lemongrass essential oil captures the scent of lemon, but is less bitter to the taste. Lemongrass is widely used in Asian and Indian cultures as a flavoring for food, as well as for its numerous medicinal benefits.

Health Benefits: Lemongrass essential oil is very beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract and is helpful when treating gastritis, colitis and indigestion. Other uses of Lemongrass include:

  • inhibits athlete’s foot and calms extreme perspiration. Lemongrass essential oil is also effective in repelling insects and treating scabies. It can also be added to bath water for pets, helping to repel fleas and other insects.
  • beneficial for those with musculoskeletal problems, as it increases the circulation and eases muscle aches and spasms. Lemongrass essential oil is also antifungal and is used to treat athlete’s foot.
  • treat skin blemishes, even skin tone and keep acne causing bacteria at bay. Lemongrass is also added to treatments meant to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Emotional Benefits: Lemongrass essential oil is excellent for lifting exhaustion and has been used to reverse fatigue, as well as lift jetlag. Diffusing lemongrass oil into the air helps to combat stress and promote an uplifting environment.

Warnings: Lemongrass essential oil should be avoided by those with sensitive skin, as it can cause irritation. This oil should also be avoided in pregnancy.


Lime (Citrus Aurantifolia)

This refreshing and healing essential oil is produced in two ways: cold pressing the un-ripe peel of the lime fruit, as well as another version that uses steam to distill the oil from the ripe peel and fruit. A member of the Rutaceae family and originally harvested in Asia, limes have spread to other regions, including Italy, North and South America and the West Indies.

Health Benefits:  Lime has a number of health benefits depending on how it is applied:

  • effective in exfoliating dry, dull skin.
  • anti-cellulite preparations.
  • used as a skin toner and removes excess oil.
  • treat skin infections and viruses, such as herpes. Lime is also antibacterial in nature and beneficial for cuts and wound care.
  • supports the immune system and is beneficial in treating respiratory illnesses, such as colds, asthma, bronchitis and sinus infections. Lime oil is a fever reducer and can also be used as a preventative measure to avoid seasonal colds, as well as flu.

Emotional Benefits: Lime essential oil is used to treat depression. It is uplifting and also has the ability to calm anxiety and reduce stress. Lime essential oil also promotes mental alertness.

Warnings: You should not expose yourself to direct sunlight after using cold pressed Lime oil, as it can cause photosensitivity. Steam distilled lime oil does not have this property.

 

Marjoram (Origanum Marjorana)

Commonly used in cooking, Marjoram is a slightly spicy herb, whose oil was used by the ancient Greeks in abundance. Marjoram oil is a member of the Labiatae family and has its origins in the Mediterranean regions. It has been used extensively for its ability to cleanse and freshen the air, as well as its many medicinal properties.

Health Benefits: Marjoram kills bacteria and is used to keep the digestive tract clean and healthy, as well as prevent infections of the colon and urinary tract. Marjoram increases blood flow and decreases swelling. It can also be used for other purposes:

  • aids in the production of gastric fluid, easing digestion. It is also effective in preventing and treating excess gas formation and flatulence. Marjoram is also effective in treating respiratory conditions, eliminating headaches and correcting insomnia.
  • proven to be anti-viral and has helped to prevent or heal viruses, such as chicken pocks, the measles and the flu.
  • anti-inflammatory and a natural pain reliever. It is especially effective for those with rheumatoid arthritis or another chronic inflammatory diseases.
  • helps to reverse sluggish or non-existent menstrual cycles and is affective in reducing cramps.

Emotional Benefits: Marjoram has been known to calm hyperactivity, increase attention span and the sense of wellbeing. Marjoram is also assisting coping with stress and reducing anxiety levels.

Warnings: Prolonged use of Marjoram can reduce libido. Marjoram should not be used by pregnant women, as it affects the reproductive cycle.

 

Melissa (Melissa Officinalis)

Melissa essential oil is a member of the Labiatae family and is also known as Lemon Balm or Bee Balm. Originating from the Mediterranean, Melissa essential oil has a light citrus scent and is used on many perfumes and scented personal care products.

Health Benefits: Melissa essential oil has the ability to cure fungal infections and has shown to be an effective treatment for cold sores and other areas:

  • anti-spasmodic, allowing it to calm the irritation that can cause diarrhea and vomiting, as well as muscle spasms. Melissa essential oil also aids digestion and limits bloating and flatulence.
  • helpful in treating heart and circulatory conditions. It slows the heartbeat and strengthens the heart, while strengthening the heart overall.
  • can be used as a fever reducer and also helps ease the stress and discomfort of PMS and menstrual cramps.
  • inhibits hair loss.

Emotional Benefits: Melissa essential oil has a sedative effect and is known for its ability to calm agitation and stress.  Melissa is an uplifting oil and has been used in the treatment of depression and counteract hysteria.

Warnings:  Melissa essential oil is generally safe, but can cause skin irritation in those with sensitive skin. Also, pregnant women should avoid Melissa essential oil until delivery.

 

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)

Myrrh is extracted from the amber colored resin that oozes from cuts purposely made in the tree’s bark. A member of the Burseraceae family, Myrrh is considered sacred in many cultures and was also used by the ancient Egyptians in spiritual rites and medicinal formulations. They also used Myrrh extensively when embalming the Pharos and other nobles.

Health Benefits: Myrrh is excellent for treating stubborn skin conditions, such as bed sores, canker sores and ringworm.Other health benefits include:

  • effectively cleanse oily skin and remove acne causing bacteria.
  • reducing the pain and discomfort of the menstrual cycle. It also helps to regulate sluggish menstrual periods and cleanses the womb and has helped to reduce the pain of childbirth.
  • treating respiratory infections, such as bronchitis, as well as aids in the elimination of mucous and sooths sore throats. Myrrh oil has proven effective in healing dental infections, such as gingivitis and other gum diseases.

Emotional Benefits: Myrrh is often used to promote relaxation and is beneficial for calming the brain and for aiding in attaining a meditative state.

Warnings: Myrrh essential oil should be used in small amounts, as it is very potent and large doses may be toxic. Because of its ability to stimulate the uterus, Myrrh should not be used during pregnancy, but is beneficial for starting labor.

 

Neroli (Citrus Aurantium var. Amara)

Neroli is a sweet smelling oil, also known as orange blossom and is extracted from the flowering blossoms on orange trees. It is one of the more expensive oils, as it takes 1,000 pounds of plant matter to make just one pound of essential oil. Neroli essential owes its name to the Italian princess who popularized its use, whose title was the Countess of Nerola.

Health Benefits- Neroli essential oil is deeply penetrating and aids in reducing the appearance of skin problems, such as wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. Neroli helps to balance the skin’s sebum and is used in creams to balance overly dry or oily skin.

Neroli oil is anti-spasmadic and can help heart palpitations and muscle spasms to subside. It is also effective in calming spasms in the intestinal tract and treating diarrhea.

The sedative properties of Neroli make it beneficial for treating insomnia and calming hyperactivity.

Emotional Benefits: Neroli Essential Oil has a sedative affect and is often used to relieve emotional anxiety, reduce stress and combat irritability and depression. It’s highly fragrant aroma is very relaxing and is often used when meditating and to calm colicky babies.

Neroli oil can help dizziness to abate and has even been used to treat vertigo.

Warnings: Neroli has a sedative affect, so it should not be used when an individual should be alert, such as when driving.

 

Niaouli (Melaleuca Viridiflora)

Niaouli is native to Australia and a member of the Myrtaceae family. Niaouli essential oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of the evergreen tree and due to its strong disinfectant properties, is a key ingredient in many soaps and personal care products.

Health Benefits: Niaouli is an effective analgesic, making it beneficial for relieving pain. Specific health benefits are:

  • anti-septic and fights against harmful infections and bacteria invading the blood stream. Niaouli also fights intestinal parasites and heals urinary tract infections.
  • Due to the anti-viral, anti-septic and ant-bacterial nature of Miaouli essential oil, it is effective against a wide range of seasonal illnesses and infections, such as the common cold, the flu, bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Niaouli treat tuberculosis, sinusitis, laryngitis and asthma.
  • treatment for rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases. Niaouli also prevents the build up of uric acid, which makes it effective in treating gout and arthritis.
  • Due to its antibacterial nature, Niaouli is effective in cleaning skin and killing harmful bacteria that may cause acne and other skin infections. Niaouli is good for reducing sebum output in oily skin and for cleansing cuts, burns and scrapes.

Emotional Benefits: Niaouli is a natural stimulant.

Warnings: Niaouli essential oil has no known side affects and is generally non-irritating.

 

Nutmeg (Myristica Fragrans)

Spicy smelling nutmeg essential oil is harvested from the seed of the peach-like fruit found on this evergreen tree. A member of the Myristicaceae family, nutmeg originates from the Far East and has been coveted by traders for hundreds of years.

Nutmeg has been used by many cultures, including the Indians, who used it as a digestive aid and the ancient Egyptians, who used it in the preparations they made to balm and mummify the dead.

Health Benefits: Nutmeg has been used as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Other health benefits of nutmeg include:

  • added benefit of promoting a healthy menstrual cycle.
  • a natural stimulant and can be used to stimulate heart activity and blood flow. Nutmeg stimulates the production of gastric juices for increased digestive efficiency and helps those suffering from loss of appetite.
  • anti-inflammatory and when added to a carrier oil, can be used to massage sore muscles. The warming and stimulating properties also make this a welcome addition in a massage.
  • anti-septic and helps fight mouth infections and promotes fresh breath. It is also used to fight bacteria growth in many personal care items.

Emotional Benefits: Nutmeg essential oil is invigorating and helps to clear brain fog. Nutmeg essential oil has been used in lieu of smelling salts to bring a person who has fainted, back to consciousness.

Warnings: Nutmeg essential oil should not be consumed in large amounts, as it can be toxic. Because of its stimulant properties, Nutmeg oil should not be used during pregnancy.

Orange (Citrus Sinensis)

Orange essential oil is one of the most recognized flavors. A member of the Rutaceae family, orange oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit by the cold pressing method.

Orange trees originate in China, but are now cultivated elsewhere, especially in the United States. With its crisp, invigorating aroma, orange essential oil is used to flavor and enhance many food products and is also a key mood enhancer in aromatherapy.

Health Benefits: Orange essential oil is anti-inflammatory and can reduce both internal and external irritation and swelling. Other health benefits of Orange oil include:

  • supports the immune system and can guard against, as well as treat colds and seasonal viruses. Orange essential oil can stimulate a sluggish or clogged lymphatic system and can assist in toxin elimination.
  • assists in the production and flow of bodily fluids, including breast milk, stomach bile, the menstrual cycle and hormone flow.
  • helps to regulate the colon and relieves constipation. It is also beneficial in eliminating gas and flatulence.

Emotional Benefits: Orange essential oil is a natural anti-depressant and has been effectively used to rebalance mood, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote a sense of joy.

Orange essential has a slight aphrodisiac affect and has the ability to treat both male and female sexual dysfunction.

Warnings: Orange essential oil can be phototoxic and should not be applied to skin that will be exposed to the sun.

 

Oregano (Oreganum Vulgare)

Widely used in cooking, Oregano is a flavorful, aromatic herb with many medicinal properties. Oregano is grown at high altitudes and was used by the ancient Greeks to treat illnesses and infections and is a common staple in Mediterranean regions.

Health Benefits: Oregano is antibacterial and has strong disinfectant properties, making it beneficial for treating cuts, scrapes and other skin wounds. Specific health benefits of oregano include:

  • It is anti-viral and enhances the immune system’s ability to fight off the flu virus, as well as chicken pocks, the measles, viral meningitis and others. Oregano essential oil has also been used to treat the e-coli virus.
  • combats internal infections, such as those of the colon, digestive tract, as well as the urinary tract. Oregano is also anti-fungal and protects against internal and external fungus growth. Its ability to kill parasites also make it effective in eradicating lice, tape worms, round worms and other parasites.
  • a free-radical scavenger and helps to reduce the physical signs of aging, as well as prevent the organs from succumbing to cancer.

Emotional Benefits: Oregano essential oil contains sedative properties and can help to relax and relieve stress.

Warnings: Do not use Oregano essential oil near the nose or mouth, as it is an irritant to the sensitive mucous membranes. In high concentrations, Oregano essential oil can cause irritation to the skin. This oil should not be used by pregnant women.

 

Palma Rosa (Cymbopogon Martini)

Palma Rosa derives its name from the fact that it smells similar to rose oil and is often used as a substitute. A member of the Gramineae family, Palma Rosa is a wild grass that is cultivated before the flower appears at its top. The grass is usually dried for a week, and then distilled to attain the most fragrant oil. There are two types of Palma Rosa grass, Motia and Sofia grass. Sofia is the sweeter smelling of the two and the one most produced.

Health Benefits: Palma Rosa essential oil is beneficial for those with excessively oily or dry skin, as it regulates sebum output. Palma Rosa promotes moist, supple skin and aids in the healing of scars. Other uses of palma rosa include:

  • digestive aid and also assists in optimal elimination. It is also helpful in treating dehydration.
  • The antifungal properties of Palma Rosa make it useful in treating athlete’s foot and other skin infections. Palma Rosa is also a fever reducer and has been used to reduce muscle pain.
  • Palma Rosa essential oil is often added to skin care products, such as lotions and soap. Because of its pleasant smell, Palma Rosa is a popular oil to use in an aerial diffuser.

Emotional Benefits: Palma Rosa’s sweet smell has a beneficial impact on the mind. It helps to calm agitation, lift depression and clear cobwebs from the brain. Palma Rosa energizes and invigorates.

Warnings: Palma Rosa oil is known to be safe, with little irritation reported.

 

Parsley (Petroselinum Sativum)

Parsley is commonly used as a food garnish and spice, but also has therapeutic and medicinal properties. Parsley essential oil is a main component in Ayurvedic Medicine and has been used as a natural breath freshener, as well as reproductive aid.

Health Benefits: Parsley essential oil is beneficial to female reproductive health, as it increases much needed blood flow to the uterine cavity. Parsley oil also reduces discomfort from sluggish and painful menstrual periods.

Parsley oil is also used to treat internal bacterial infections that result in diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections. Parsley essential oil stimulates the lymphatic system and aids in the expulsion of harmful toxins. Parsley oil also stimulates the circulatory system and cleanses the blood.

Parsley oil is anti-microbial, making it a good preservative for personal care items. Parsley essential oil also acts as a diuretic and increases urine output, cleansing the bladder and kidneys of toxins and calcium deposits.

Emotional Benefits: Parsley essential oil stimulates the nervous system and increases alertness and mental functioning.

Warnings: Parsley essential has been shown to be toxic to the liver in high doses. Also, parsley stimulates the uterus and may prompt abortion or preterm delivery in pregnant women.

 

Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin)

Patchouli is well known for its spicy/sweet smell that can be quite strong at times. A member of the Labiatae family, Patchouli originally comes from India and Malaysia and is one of the thicker oils. The signature scent of Patchouli, as well as its many medicinal benefits has made it a popular essential oil in aromatherapy.

Health Benefits: Patchouli essential oil is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, making it effective in speeding the healing of wounds and cuts, as well as eradicating fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or nail fungus.

Patchouli essential oil is often used post-surgery, as it aids in skin regeneration, reducing scar tissue. Patchouli is also an excellent skin moisturizer and is beneficial to those with chronic dry skin or eczema.

Patchouli can be used as a natural deodorant and has also been successful in repelling insects. The essential oil also reduces the discomfort associated with allergies and helps to normalize hormone production. Patchouli is also recommended for treating sexual dysfunction.

Emotional Benefits: The scent of Patchouli is invigorating and clears the mind, improving mental alertness. Patchouli is commonly used to combat depression and anxiety, as well as increase energy.

Warnings: Patchouli is a very strong, but sweet scent and may cause aversion for some people.

 

Peppermint (Mentha Piperita)

Peppermint is a well known and loved herb that is actually a grafted hybrid, combining Spearmint and Watermint. A member of the Labiatae family, Peppermint is grown in many regions across the world, but t has its origins in the Mediterranean. Peppermint has a wide array benefits and documented use from the year 1000 BC.

Health Benefits: Peppermint is often used as a digestive aid and to calm nausea and upset stomach. Peppermint is anti-spasmodic and calms the cramping that causes diarrhea, as well as painful periods.

Peppermint essential oil has natural decongestant properties and opens the airways in the nose and chest, easing breathing.

Peppermint essential oil has an anti-inflammatory and cooling affect on the skin and can help to reduce the visual signs of many skin disorders, such as sunburn, acne, dermatitis and scabies.

Emotional Benefit: Peppermint essential oil is uplifting and can treat depression, as well as anxiety. Peppermint oil has also been used to treat vertigo, tension headaches and shock.

Warnings: Those with an aversion or sensitivity to menthol should avoid Peppermint oil. Also, because of its affect on the mucous membranes, peppermint should not be applied near the nose or mouth.

Peppermint essential oil can cause irritation in a high dose and should be avoided by pregnant women and young children.

 

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Petitgrain essential oil is extracted from the leaves and stems of the orange tree, while traditional orange essential oil is cold pressed from the orange peel and Neroli oil is extracted from the orange blossoms. Petitgrain is widely used to scent perfumes and lotions and is a key ingredient in eau-de-cologne. Its name is derived from the fact that Petitgrain essential oil used to be extracted from the small oranges before they grew and ripened.

Health Benefits: Petitgrain helps to regulate sebum production and is beneficial in combating oily skin. Petitgrain is an excellent astringent and facial toner and has been shown to reduce acne outbreaks.

Petitgrain is antiseptic and helps wounds to heal. It is also anti-spasmodic and reduces excessive coughing, bowel cramps and menstrual discomfort.

Petitgrain can be used as a deodorizer, for both the body and home. Its woodsy citrus scent is refreshing and uplifting. Petitgrain essential oil also combats insomnia and increases mental clarity.

Emotional Benefits: Petitgrain can be used at the onset of a panic attack to calm the sufferer and reduce anxiety. Petitgrain has been shown to slow the heartbeat to normal levels, reduce hyperventilation and diffuse anger.

Warnings: Petitgrain is mild and generally presents no problems.

 

Rose (Rosa damascene)

Rose essential oil is one of the most expensive and coveted of all oils. A member of the Rosaceae family, Rose oil is laborious to produce and requires over sixty thousand roses to produce one liter of essential oil. The rose is steeped in lore and its healing ability is legendary. Rose essential oil is highly fragrant and very well suited for aromatherapy.

Health Benefits:  Rose essential oil is very beneficial for the skin. It helps to heal eczema and other forms of dry and damaged skin. It is also added to many anti-aging preparations, due to its ability to soften wrinkles and produce plumper skin. Rose oil is often added to bath products, or bathwater to soften and perfume the skin. Other health benefits include:

  • beneficial to those with heart and circulatory disorders and is especially helpful to those with high blood pressure. Rose oil increases circulation and funnels more oxygen to the organs.
  • excellent for female reproductive health and is used to treat uterine cysts, fibroids and helps to jumpstart a sluggish menstrual cycle.
  • can be employed to help ease the physical and emotional affects of menopause.

Emotional Benefits: Rose essential oil promotes a general feeling of wellbeing. Rose oil is a powerful mood regulator and has shown promise in treating depression, anxiety and reducing feelings of anger.

Warnings: Rose oil is generally safe and non-toxic, but is not recommended for pregnant women. The strong, heady smell of Rose essential oil may be overpowering for some people.

Because of its similar smell to Rose oil, some merchants may substitute or dilute Rose essential oil with Palma Rosa oil. This saves them money, as Rose oil is more expensive. Always ensure that you are purchasing pure, unadulterated rose oil.

 

Rose Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens)

A member of the Geraniaceae family, Rose Geranium has a rose-like smell. This fragrant oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant, after it has begun to turn yellow.

This essential oil is produced from ten of the over seven hundred types of Rose Geranium. Its scent is very easy to distinguish from its cousin, Geranium Oil.

Health Benefits: Rose Geranium is known for its affect on the central nervous system. It has been used to reduce nerve related complications in persons with fibromyalgia, as well as neuropathy. Rose Geranium can also help reduce the occurrence of unintentional nervous movement. Other health benefits include:

  • has diuretic properties and is helpful in reducing excess fluids and swelling, as well as flush calcium deposits from the liver and kidneys. It may also be helpful in draining and purging fluid from internal cysts.
  • beneficial for skin, as it acts as an astringent, removing oil and reducing pores. The oil also works to detoxify the lymphatic system and remove stored up toxins.
  • extremely beneficial to women’s reproductive health. It reduces the symptoms of PMS, regulates unnaturally heavy menstrual flow and balances hormone secretion.

Emotional Benefits: Rose Geranium positively affects the adrenal cortex and the central nervous system, encouraging feelings of wellbeing. Rose Geranium essential oil has been used to treat depression and anxiety and is also beneficial as a stress reliever.

Warnings: Due to its ability to impact hormones, Rose Geranium is not recommended for pregnant of breastfeeding women.

 

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Origionally from Asia, Rosemary is now cultivated in Tunisia, France and Yugoslavia. A member of the Labiatae family, Rosemary is renowned for its effectiveness in treating illnesses of the brain and central nervous system. It has been used extensively in many parts of the world and was held in high esteem by many ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans.

Health Benefits: Rosemary has a number of health benefits including:

  • enhance brain function, increase memory and stimulate positive thought. Rosemary also combats headaches and reduces migraine severity and nasal congestion.
  • potent pain reliever and is especially beneficial to those with musculoskeletal diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rosemary also helps in circulatory illnesses, such as varicose veins and heart problems and is also beneficial for raising low blood pressure.
  • especially beneficial for treating neurological disorders. It can calm the complications of fibromyalga and other illnesses with nervous system involvement.
  • diuretic properties and can be used to reduce bloating associated with obesity or pre menstrual syndrome. Rosemary oil is also a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, gas and colitis.
  • combat skin and scalp problems and is a common ingredient in hair care products. Rosemary is especially healing for dry skin conditions, such as eczema.

Emotional Benefits: Rosemary is beneficial in relieving stress and fatigue.

Warnings: Rosemary essential oil should not be used by those with high blood pressure, as it raises it. Also, pregnant women, as well as those with epilepsy should not use Rosemary.

 

Rosewood  (Aniba Roseaodora var. Amazonica)

Extracted from the Brazilian evergreen, Rosewood essential oil is very uplifting and has many benefits for the skin, as well as other organs and medical conditions. Rosewood is a member of the Lauraceae family and possesses a sweet, fragrant scent.

Health Benefits: Rosewood can be used for a number of health related issues:

  • increases immunity and acts as an expectorant, which is helpful in treating seasonal respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis. Rosewood is also a stimulant and increases production of digestive juices, aids the lymphatic system and promotes healthy blood flow.
  • is considered anti-septic and excellent for wound care. This oil is also an insecticide and kills small bugs, such as ants, fleas and mosquitoes.
  • has regenerative qualities and is excellent for reducing the signs of aging. You will find Rosewood essential oil as a key ingredient of many top shelf skin care lines.
  • acts as an aphrodisiac and is often used to reverse impotence and female frigidity.

Emotional Benefits: Rosewood induces feelings of calm and pleasure. It is useful for reducing feelings of overwhelm and even for treating clinical depression. Rosewood is very relaxing when added to massage oil or to bathwater.

Warnings: Rosewood is generally considered non-irritating oil, but should always be diluted in a carrier oil.

 

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

A well known member of the Labiatae family, Sage is a strong smelling herb that must be used with caution. Is oil is extremely potent, but very beneficial when used under professional supervision. Sage has been used for centuries in various cultures, from the Chinese, to the Romans.

Sage has been praised for its many medicinal benefits, as well as ascribed mental and spiritual benefits. The Native Americans, as well as other cultures have used Sage in spiritual rituals, to drive out spirits and to cleanse their homes. Sage remains a central part of many cultural and new age spiritual practices.

Health Benefits: Sage has a variety of uses for your health:

  • benefits female reproductive health and aid in reversing infertility. When diluted in bathwater or massage oil, Sage will increase uterine blood flow. Sage essential oil also prompts the production of estrogen, which helps to normalize the menstrual cycle and ease the symptoms of menopause.
  • anti-inflammatory and helps to relieve muscle and join pain. When added to a salve or oil and rubbed on the chest, Sage opens the lungs, easing breathing and also acts as an expectorant. Sage also helps to reduce the occurrence and severity of asthma attacks.
  • organ and system stimulant. Sage activates the central nervous system, the reproductive organs, the brain, as well as the gastric and circulatory systems.
  • natural cleanser and antiseptic. It is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial.
  • added to skin preparations to aid in the healing of eczema, psoriasis, as well as herpes. Sage also helps to reduce the tremors associated with cerebral palsy and other illnesses with nervous system involvement.

Emotional Benefits: When vaporized, sage can have a calming effect on the emotions. It is known to ease depression and grief, as well as sooth anxiety.

Warnings: Sage is toxic, if taken orally. Also, Sage should be heavily diluted in stable carrier oil before applying to the skin. Sage should not be used by pregnant women or individuals with epilepsy. Those with high blood pressure should avoid Sage as well.

 

Sandalwood (Santalum Album)

Sandalwood essential oil is steam distilled from the highly fragrant bark of the Sandal tree. Sandalwood oil is one that gets better with age, with the most fragrant oil extracted from trees that are 80 years old. Sandalwood is highly coveted in many cultures and is a centerpiece of Hindu religious ceremonies. Native to India, Australia and Hawaii, Sandalwood is highly valued for its scent, as well as its spiritual and medicinal properties.

Because Sandalwood trees in India are nearing extinction, the oil is very expensive. However, many vendors sell diluted Sandalwood essential oil, which is less expensive (and less effective). 

Health Benefits: Sandalwood essential oil can be used for various health benefits:

  • it is anti-inflammatory and beneficial for combating rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions. Sandalwood is also a fever reducer and its antiseptic properties make it beneficial for cleaning cuts and wounds.
  • Sandalwood essential oil is an expectorant and beneficial for treating respiratory illnesses. Sandalwood also dilates the bronchial tubes and provides relief from chronic coughing and asthma, and pneumonia. Sandalwood essential oil also stimulates the mucous membranes of the urinary tract, expelling harmful substances.
  • The essential oil is an anti-spasmodic and helps to reverse diarrhea, as well as reduce menstrual cramps and muscle spasms.
  • Sandalwood is an emollient helps to sooth ad heal skin. It is helpful in healing skin infections and inflammation. Sandalwood essential oil is also used to scent many personal care items, male colognes and is a perfect choice for aerial diffusion.

Emotional Benefits: Sandalwood has the ability to balance the hormones and restore calm. Sandalwood essential oil is often diffused in a burner, or in the form of incense, providing a grounding, relaxing scent.

Sandalwood essential oil helps to reverse depression, calm anxiety and fear and increase the body’s ability to handle stress.

Warnings: Sandalwood essential oil is non-toxic and generally well tolerated. However, with any essential oil, it should be diluted before using on the skin. Sandalwood produced in Australia is a poorer quality and less expensive, with the best variety being Indian Sandalwood.

 

Spearmint (Mentha Spicata)

Slightly milder then Peppermint oil and a bit sweeter, Spearmint oil is full of benefits to the digestive system and general health. Spearmint essential oil contains less menthol then Peppermint, which makes it ideal for children or those with menthol sensitivities. Spearmint is cultivated in the Mediterranean and is a member of the Labiatae family.

Health Benefits: Spearmint essential oil provides excellent digestive support, reducing gas and flatulence, easing elimination. Spearmint also calms nausea and halts vomiting.

The menthol component makes Spearmint beneficial for those with bronchitis, pneumonia, or a cold. Spearmint opens the airways and acts as an expectorant.

Spearmint is included in homeopathic preparations for teeth whitening, to combat gum disease and halitosis.  It is also a natural insect repellant and the antibacterial properties allow its use for cleaning cuts and wounds, as well as using Spearmint essential oil in natural cleaning solutions.

Spearmint essential oil is stimulating and encourages optimal blood flow to the female reproductive system. Spearmint also helps to normalize irregular periods and reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Also, Spearmint essential oil was used by ancient Greeks to treat sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea.

Emotional Benefits: Spearmint is uplifting and energizing. Spearmint essential oil combats headaches, reduces tension and stimulates the brain.

Warnings: Spearmint essential oil is mild and has no known toxicities or side affects. However, as with all essential oils, it should be diluted before use.

 

Tangerine (Citrus Reticulata)

Tangerines are the cousin of the Mandarin Orange and are native to China. However, Tangerines were spread to America, via Europe. The United States is now the largest producer of Tangerines and Tangerine essential oil. This sweet smelling, yet tangy oil possesses numerous benefits for the skin, as well as the digestive system and other areas.

Health Benefits: Tangerine essential oil heals the skin and has been used to minimize the appearance of stretch marks and fine lines.

Tangerine oil is antispasmodic and suppresses the tremors that cause diarrhea, vomiting and muscle convulsions. Tangerine essential oil is also anti-inflammatory and can reduce internal, as well as external swelling and irritation.

This oil also regulates the production of acid and bile in the stomach. It also heals any ulcers in the stomach and tones the entire digestive system.

Another benefit is that Tangerine oil calms an overactive nervous system and is a good therapy for those with multiple sclerosis and disorders involving the nervous system.

Emotional Benefits: Tangerine oil is calming and can be diffused to reduce stress and anxiety.

Warnings: Tangerine essential oil is generally noted to be safe and non-irritating. However, some have reported photosensitivity. To be safe, do not expose yourself to direct sunlight after applying Tangerine oil.

 

Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

A member of the Myrtaceae family, tea tree essential oil is native to Australia and has been a medicinal staple for the Australian Aborigines for centuries. The Tea tree is only found on the Australian continent, but its many benefits have prompted its wide use around the world. Tea Tree oil has a pungent smell, but that has not hindered its popularity and healing ability.

Health Benefits: Perhaps the most pronounced benefit of Tea Tree oil is its ability to heal virtually any type of infection. It has been used regularly to treat bacterial infections, as well as those of fungal and viral origin. Tea tree can also be used t fight gum disease and dental abscesses. Other health benefits of tea tree oil include:

  • regularly used as a natural relief for Herpes outbreaks. The oil helps to relieve the pain and shorten the duration of an outbreak. It can also lengthen the time between outbreaks if used regularly. The oil is able to clear up many genital infections and reduce the occurrence of yeast infections.
  • powerful immune system stimulant. It protects against and combats flu viruses as well as the common cold. Tea Tree oil is a decongestant and can be used to treat bronchitis, sinus infections, and asthma. Also, massaging the body with Tea Tree oil helps to revive a person suffering from shock.
  • beneficial for scalp and hair maintenance, as it kills lice, reduces dandruff and helps to heal a raw skin resulting from Eczema, psoriasis and bed sores. Tea Tree oil is used to treat many skin ailments, including acne. Because of the benefits to the skin and scalp, Tea Tree oil is a common ingredient in many shampoos and skin creams.

Emotional Benefits: Tea Tree oil is primarily used for its topical medicinal benefits.

Warnings: Tea Tree oil is relatively safe, but has been noted to cause irritation in a small number of people. Tea tree oil should not be consumed.

 

Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris)

Thyme is a strong smelling herb that has been used since ancient times to treat a variety of illnesses. Thyme has been used to cure sickness and increase the vitality of the ancient Greeks and Romans and has also been included in the Egyptian mummification process.

Health Benefits: The health benefits of Thyme oil are:

  • anti-inflammatory and is beneficial for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Thyme helps to break down uric acid that has calcified in the joints and organs. This oil can also help to alleviate joint and muscle pain. Thyme helps to reduce blood pressure and keeps the heart toned and operating well.
  • anti-spasmodic and helps to regulate spasms of the muscles, nerves, respiratory system and elimination system. Thyme is also a diuretic and helps to flush toxins from the body through increased urination.
  • has warming qualities that make it beneficial for massage (diluted). It has been used for treating sports injuries, sciatica sprains and general muscle pain.
  • both antibacterial and antiseptic, which allows it to cure bacterial infections, both internally and externally, as well as help to heal wounds. Thyme essential oil can also act as a natural antibiotic and is used to treat chest and nasal infections, amongst others. Thyme essential oil has also been used to treat bladder and urinary tract infections.
  • stimulates the production of estrogen and is helpful for normalizing a sluggish or nonexistent menstrual cycle. Thyme also helps to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and some of the adverse affects of menopause. Thyme has been said to aid in the speedier delivery of a baby as well as the placenta.

Emotional Benefits: Thyme oil has a reviving quality and energizes those suffering from exhaustion. Thyme combats depression and anxiety and increases memory.

Warnings: Thyme essential oil is extremely strong and should be used with caution. It has the ability to aggravate the mucous membranes, so it should not be used near the nose or mouth.

Also, Thyme can cause skin irritation, so it is not ideal for skin care preparations. When added to massage oil, a patch test for allergic sensitivity should be conducted before using. Thyme essential oil should not be used by pregnant women or anyone suffering from hypertension.

 

Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia or Vanilla Fragrans)

Perhaps the most popular scent in the world, Vanilla essential oil is harvested from dried vanilla beans found in pods of the vanilla plant. This vanilla plant is a creeping vine native to Mexico and Central America. Used mainly for perfuming and altering the taste of an array of consumer products, Vanilla also has aromatherapy benefits.

Health benefits: The main benefits of Vanilla essential oil are emotionally therapeutic.

Emotional Benefits: Vanilla is an instantly recognized scent and immediately lifts the mood. Vanilla can be relaxing and for some acts as an aphrodisiac. The scent of vanilla can also stimulate hunger in a picky eater.

Warnings: Vanilla is non-irritating and usually well tolerated thus its inclusion in numerous skin and personal care products. As with all essential oils, Vanilla oil should be diluted prior to applying to the skin.

 

Vetiver (Vetiveria Zizanoide)

Also called Khus Khus, Vetiver essential oil is extracted from fragrant grasses found in India. The scent of this thick, dark oil becomes more fragrant with age. Vetiver is used as a healing aid in the practice of Ayurveda and possesses many general health benefits as well.

Health Benefits: Vetiver essential oil is moist and cooling, thus used in Ayurveda to lower fevers, cure heatstroke and the roots of the Vetiver are used to reverse dehydration.

Vetiver is anti-inflammatory and is beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis, muscle injuries and inflammation of the circulatory system. This oil is also antiseptic and beneficial for combating bacterial growth in wounds, especially in hot or humid climates.

Vetiver essential oil is beneficial to female reproductive health. It increases estrogen and progesterone production and has shown the ability to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual cycle as well as menopause.

This oil is also beneficial for strengthening the immune response and promotes the regeneration of skin, reducing scar tissue. Vetiver oil has also been used to fade hyper-pigmentation.

Emotional Benefits: Vetiver has been used as an aphrodisiac and can relieve both male impotence and female frigidity. The cooling effect of Vetiver helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

Warnings: Vetiver is a safe non-toxic oil and rarely causes irritation.

 

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata var. Genuine)

Ylang Ylang essential oil is native to Asia and primarily produced in the Philippines, Indonsia and the Polynesian islands. Ylang Ylang oil is extracted from the fragrant flowers of the Canange tree. This highly fragrant floral scented oil has been increasingly used in aromatherapy, as well as a scenting agent for the perfume and personal care industries.

Health Benefits-  Ylang Ylang oil is hypo-tensive and helps to lower high blood pressure. Ylang Ylang can calm the heart in the case of a rapid heartbeat and helps to regulate breathing.

Ylang Ylang essential oil is often used to scent lotions and other personal care products. It also acts as a restorative tonic for the skin. The oil regulates the production of oil to combat acne and also aids in hair growth. This oil also helps to reduce inflammation and takes the sting out of bug bites.

Ylang Ylang essential oil reduces PMS symptoms and helps to promote a regular menstrual cycle.

Emotional Benefits: Ylang Ylang possesses a hypnotic scent and has been successfully used as an aphrodisiac.

Ylang Ylang is classified as an antidepressant and sedative and can also help one to cope with stress, anxiety and to recover from shock.  Ylng Ylang essential oil is also used to combat anger and erratic behavior, as it has the ability to calm the brain and nervous system.

Warnings: Used in large amounts, Ylang Ylang can cause headache and nausea. This oil is not recommended for pregnant women or individuals with epilepsy or cancer.

Toxi Essential Oils

The following essential oils are either highly toxic, adversely affect the brain and central nervous system, or have other reported adverse reactions and are not recommended for use in aromatherapy:

Bitter Almond
Baldo
Calamus
Mugwort
Mustard
Rue
Sassafras
Savin

Tansy
Tarragon
Thuja
Tuberose
Wintergreen
Wormseed
Wormwood
Yarrow

Essential Oil Carriers

Essential oils are highly concentrated and must be diluted in a stable carrier oil before using. Some common carrier oils include:

Almond oil
Aloe Vera oil
Apricot kernel oil
Avocado oil
Borage Oil
Calendula oil
Camelli oil
Carrot oil
Evening primrose oil
Grape seed oil
Hazelnut oil
Jojoba oil

Macadamia oil
Peach Kernel oil
Rosehip oil
Sesame oil
Soybean oil
Walnut oil
Wheat Germ oil
Olive oil
Pumpkin seed oil
Safflower oil
Sunflower oil

 

References

American Botanical Council: http://abc.herbalgram.org/site/PageServer
The Flower Essence Society: http://www.flowersociety.org/
National Center for Homeopathy: http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/
Healthline (extracted from the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Health). Aromatherapy:http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/aromatherapy-1
Encyclopedia.com. Essential Oils: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/essential_oils.aspx
Encyclopedia Britannica. Essential oils: http://www.britannica.com/bps/search?query=essential+oil&blacklist=193135
Esoteric Oils. Index of Essential Oils: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/

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