You’ve heard a lot about aromatherapy over the past decade, as it has gained in popularity. It is the use of oils of herbs and plants to alter mood and promote healing. Most of the oils are made from herbs and flowers, common ones like Lavender and Basil. Huge amounts of these herbs and flowers are used in the making of the oil (1,000 lbs of jasmine, for instance, makes only one lb of oil), which guarantees intense potency in every blend. You can always make your own oils if you wish, but many of these are already available commercially at reasonable prices.
Most commonly, the oils are used in the bath (The water should be no more than l00°F and the oils should be put in at the end) or in a diffuser or placed on a handkerchief and inhaled when you need a lift. Although the descriptions give general uses for healing, aromatherapy is limited to the external use of the oil. Usually just the inhalation of the oil, massage with or bathing in the oil. And since essential oils are very potent, they should always be diluted with a base oil such as sweet almond or grapeseed before being put on your skin. And don’t ingest any or get any in your eyes. So do not use the oils as listed internally; only fresh herbs or tonics are to be ingested this way, not the oils.
If you are pregnant or have a chronic illness of any kind, consult your physician before using any.
Here are some of the most common oils and their qualities:
Angelica: Calms coughing, reduces fever and helps a cold clear faster. Also used for flatulence and indigestion.
Apricot: Oil made from the kernel. Helps slow down premature skin aging and dryness. Is also used to treat inflammation. Always use the oil with 100% minerals and vitamins.
Avocado Pear Oil: Taken from the fruit. This oil works really well on eczema. Add 10% oil to a base oil preparation made of vitamins, protein, lecithin and fatty acids.
Basil: Uplifting, clarifies thought processes. Eases mental fatigue, stimulates poor memory and enhances alertness. Basil is beneficial as a digestive aid and relieves headache pain.
Bay: Oil made from the leaves of a Bay tree. This calms coughs and helps stop itching. Works on arthritis and is often used as a sedative.
Bergamot: Made from the peel of the fruit. Uplifting, yet calming. Reduces fever and coughs. Works good on tension or stress and acts as an anti depressant. Use externally on wounds.
Black Pepper: Made from berries taken from vines. This is known to help ease colds and aches from flu. Can reduce flatulence and is used externally to treat rheumatism and arthritis.
Borage: Oil made from seeds. This is a great health aide for women. It works on premenstrual tension and PMS and eases some symptoms of menopause. It has a reputation for easing the symptoms of heart disease and slows premature aging. Regenerates the skin. Also used for psoriasis and eczema.
Cedarwood: Made from the wood of the tree. Relaxing, stress reducing. Clears catarrh, coughing, bronchitis and diuretic lung conditions. On the skin, it helps clear eczema and acne. This oil eases symptoms of arthritis. An aphrodisiac of sorts; known to encourage sexual response.
Chamomile: The most popular herb for nervous conditions. Soothing and calming, excellent to use after an argument! Also treats varied conditions such as insomnia, asthma, hay fever, diarrhea, nausea, fevers and depression. Rub it on a sunburn or use as an anti inflammatory when the child is teething. Has antibacterial and disinfectant properties.
Cinnamon: This is a great antiviral and antiseptic. It helps balance blood sugar when taken with a sweet snack. Treats the circulatory system, soothes the heart muscle and stimulates respiration. It is anti-spasmodic as well. Used often as an aphrodisiac and as a sexual stimulant.
Clary Sage: Oil taken from the flowering tops. Treats depression and nervous conditions. Can help with a sore throat, aches and pains and physical debilities. Acts as a sedative but can be uplifting.
Clove: Everybody knows you can use oil of clove to ease pain, especially on the teeth and gums. But this oil is a miracle oil that cures a whole host of conditions. It is antibacterial and antiseptic. Where it relieves a toothache, it is also a general analgesic. This oil treats digestive problems, muscular disorders, asthma, nervous tension and general weakness. Aromatically it can relieve sinusitis and reduce nausea. In general, an antispasmodic.
Cypress: Oil made from leaves and twigs of the Cypress tree. Works on circulatory conditions and soothes nervous tension. Externally, treat hemorrhoids and wounds. Aroma reduces PMS and whooping cough. Over time, can treat rheumatism and arthritis.
Cypress: Oil made from the leaves and shoots. This is an antiviral oil with astringent properties. Use externally on wounds and varicose veins. Also helps relieve muscle tension.
Dill: Oil made from seeds or fruit. This oil works wonders on flatulence and indigestion. It also helps with constipation and other gastric upsets. Reduces nervousness and headaches.
Eucalyptus: Oil made from leaves and twigs from the tree. Gargle for sore throats and coughs; breathe it in for sinusitis and bronchitis. Externally, treats skin infections, sores, aches and pains; this is an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory oil.
Evening Primrose Oil: Used to treat pre menstrual tension, PMS and all menstrual problems. This is a great menopausal treatment, too. A woman’s companion. It has good effects on heart disease and premature aging. Externally, treat psoriasis and eczema. Contains 100% gamma lineolenic acid, vitamins and minerals.
Fennel: Oil made with the seeds. Relaxing, warming, calming. Treat digestive problems, menopausal symptoms, obesity, constipation and kidney stones. Acts as a diuretic.
Frankincense: Made from the bark of the tree. Externally, treats sores and wounds. Also very calming, helps release fear. A common treatment for nervous conditions. Also used for coughs, fevers, colds, bronchitis and laryngitis. A great tool for reducing stress.
Geranium: This oil works on the adrenal glands and can balance hormones. Great for balancing mood swings, harmonizing. Also helps with menopause, endometriosis, uterine and breast cancer. Also boosts fertility. Cosmetically, it is astringent and works as a skin toner. Overall, this is an excellent nerve tonic and sedative.
Ginger: Made from the root. This is a stimulating oil, working internally on colds, nausea, diarrhea, alcohol addiction and digestive disorders. Externally, treats muscular aches and pains, sprains, broken bones. Stimulating and refreshing. Works exceptionally well on dizziness and nausea.
Hyssop: Made from the leaves and the flowering tops. Externally used to treat bruises, rheumatism, arthritis, circulation. Internally treats coughs, colds, sore throats, viruses and asthma. Can be used to lower blood pressure and to relieve asthma.
Jasmine: Oil made from the flowers of the Jasmine bush. Relieves nervous tension, depression, anxiety, lethargy and panic. Use as a gargle for laryngitis.
Juniper: Made from the berries of the tree or bush. This oil is purifying and stimulating. Use as an overall tonic for the nervous system. Stimulates digestion and acts as a diuretic; it can cure urinary tract infections. Will also relieve fatigue. Externally, use for acne and skin sores.
Lavender: Calming, soothing, relaxing. Externally used on burns, wounds, eczema, bacterial conditions and dermatitis. Prevents scarring. It is an antibiotic and immunoactive. Works as a sedative and relieves tension, insomnia and headaches. Prevents fainting and lifts depression.
Lemon: Oil made of the rind of the fruit. This is a water purifier, antiseptic and antibacterial oil. It can be uplifting, refreshing, increasing mental alertness. Externally it treats insect bites and when rubbed on, can disperse cellulite. Cures tension headaches, stimulates digestion and lowers anxiety. Has properties that reduce skin wrinkles when applied to the face. Contains Vitamin C, Carotene and Bioflavonoids.
Lemongrass: Oil made from the whole plant. This is antiseptic, stimulating, cleansing and toning. Relieves headaches, sore throats and fevers. Overall tonic. Works as an insect repellent.
Lime: Oil made from the rind of the fruit. Invigorating, refreshing. Reduces fever, soothes sore throats and relieves headaches. Also used for anorexia, alcoholism, depression and anxiety. Astringent and cleansing. An overall tonic.
Mandarin orange: Oil made from the rind of the fruit. This is used to treat insomnia, nervousness, anxiety and nervous conditions. Overall, a tranquilizer. Can be uplifting, refreshing. Is an overall tonic for digestion and can help with liver problems
Myrrh: Oil made from the resin of the tree bark. This is another antiseptic, astringent oil that works as a tonic. Strengthening, inspiring. Healing agent. Works well on dermatitis, mouth and skin ulcers and bacterial and fungal infections.
Neroli: Made from the blossoms of the bitter Orange tree. This is an anti depressant that doubles as an aphrodisiac. Successfully works as a digestive aid, a sedative and cures diarrhea. Also a fungicide and moisturizer.
Nutmeg: Oil from the seeds of the tree. Cures nausea, vomiting, nervousness and insomnia. Is a great cardio stimulant. Also helps with arthritis and muscle aches.
Orange: Made from the rind of the fruit. Uplifting, refreshing. Cures depression, anxiety, muscular spasm and nervous conditions. An overall antiseptic tonic that can work as a sedative.
Parsley: Oil made from the herb and seeds. Cures nervous conditions and menopausal symptoms, working like a sedative. Is also an effective diuretic and can help with kidney problems.
Patchouli: Oil made from the leaves of the plant. Externally, this oil cures skin inflammations, fungal infections, acne, eczema and dandruff. Overall antiseptic. Can be inspiring and sensuous; sedative. Externally, use as an insecticide and generally as a diuretic. Use with peanut oil for a 100% base oil protein with vitamins and minerals.
Peppermint: Made from the herb, the whole plant. Reduces inflammation, fevers, headaches and arthritis. Calms nausea and indigestion. This is why antacids are all made with Peppermint. Overall, anti inflammatory, stimulating, cleansing, refreshing and invigorating. Increases respiration and stimulates sweating. Relieves flatulence and sometimes helps with migraines, as well.
Pine: Oil made from needles, bark and berries. It is an antseptic stimulant that excites the adrenal glands and gets circulation going. Refreshing, cleansing, stimulating. Relieves chest congestion and infections. Lifts fatigue. Reduces muscle pain, rheumatism and gout.
Rose: Oil made from the flower. This oil is emotionally soothing. It lifts depression, sedates the body, relaxes the heart. Enriches the skin and tones the muscles. Used as an aphrodisiac. Regulates the female organs and tones the uterus.
Rosemary: Oil made from the herb. This is stimulating, cleansing, good for studying, invigorating. Known to be a stimulant for both body and mind. Treats sprains, arthritis, rheumatism, migraines. Also helps with diabetes and memory loss.
Sage: Made from the entire plant. This oil is an overall tonic, antiseptic, diuretic, cleansing, purifying. Lowers blood pressure and lifts fatigue. Also calms nervousness. Often used for fibrosis.
Sandalwood: Oil made from the tree. This is an antiseptic tonic that relieves fatigue. Stress reducing, sensuous, soothing, helps release fear. Used as an aphrodisiac and for male impotence. Treats skin infections, fungal and bacterial infections and cystitis.
Spearmint: Made from the herb, leaves and flowering tops. This oil is refreshing, stimulating. Used to treat flatulence and indigestion (often found in medicines for intestinal gas). Relieves intestinal cramps, colic, hemorrhoids and nausea.
Tea Tree Oil: Oil from the leaves and twigs of the tree. This is a famous, well known antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial herb. It aids with cold sores, warts, genital warts, acne, burns and candida. Used in treating hysteria and shock.
Thyme: Made from red thyme (vulgaris). Use the leaves and flowering tops. This oil will treat and cure bacterial infections, urinary infections, sores and wounds. It will raise your immunity. Also works on rheumatism. In general a stimulant tonic.
Valerian: Oil made from the roots. Works as a sedative. Very calming for nervous conditions. Reduces trembling, insomnia, fear and palpitations. An effective tranquilizer.
Violet: Made from the leaves of the plant. Reduces inflammations. Treats kidney problems, skin infections, fibrosis and obesity. Great with liver problems; clears system congestion.
Yarrow: Oil from leaves and flowering tops. Reduces inflammations and pain from arthritis. Helps with menstrual problems. Overall, an astringent. Helpful with cramps, constipation and with stimulating circulation.
Ylang-ylang: Made from the flowers of the tree. This is a well known sedative that also works as an aphrodisiac. It is uplifting, sensuous. Also reduces high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Can cure intestinal infections and fix impotence. An overall tonic.
Remember to only use these oils externally for the various purposes as listed. Internal conditions are listed purely as a measure of what the herb is known to cure. Internally, the herb should be ingested fresh or as a tonic or tisane. NEVER ingest herbal oils made for aromatherapy.