The essential essential oils
The number of essential oils available—there are over a hundred of them—can be overwhelming. Each one has its own special properties, and each is potentially useful.
For beginners, here are the must-have essential oils for your aromatherapy kit. Take note that you shouldn’t apply essential oils directly to your skin, nor should you ingest them. Pregnant and lactating women also are advised to avoid certain oils. In general, essential oils should not be used on babies and children, with very few exceptions.
- Lavender. The ultimate in stress relief. It’s soothing and calming scent can also aid in sleep problems and muscle pains. Known to be antiseptic and antifungal as well, making it good for treatment of skin issues like acne, inflammation and wrinkles. Also aids in healing wounds and burns.
- Tea tree. An all-around healing oil, tea tree is antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal. Great for treating acne and other inflammations and infections. Its strong lemony-woody scent may take getting used to, and it may cause skin irritations in some.
- Rosemary. Not just for your pasta and lamb, rosemary is popular for boosting memory, relaxing and soothing tired, sore muscles, stimulating hair growth and relieving headaches, rheumatic and arthritic pain. You can also use it to freshen your breath—and freshen the room. It can also be used for respiratory problems: infections, coughs, colds, even asthma.
- Chamomile. One of the most mild essential oils, chamomile can be used on children. It is soothing and calming, good for treating inflammations. It helps reduce pain in the muscles and joints, toothaches, headaches, sinusitis, and a whole lot more. There are two varieties: the Roman Chamomile and the German Chamomile; the former is more common.
- Peppermint. Cool and refreshing come to mind when you think about peppermint. Aside from freshening your breath, it can also help soothe skin inflammations and itchiness and skin ailments like scabies, ringworm and acne. It helps relieve nasal congestions, headaches and muscle pains, and it also helps increase mental alertness.
- Lemon. Lemon gives off a fresh, clean scent which can uplift your spirits. It’s useful for acne treatment, dealing with oily skin and hair and removing dead skin cells. It can even be used for cellulite. Since it has antiseptic properties, lemon can also be used to deal with minor cuts, wounds and burns.
- Eucalyptus. This oil is mostly known for its power to ease respiratory ailments. But it’s also great for headaches and muscle pains. It also aids speed up healing of skin wounds and insect bites, soothe skin eruptions and clear congested skin.
- Patchouli. One the lesser known essential oils patchouli is superb for skin. It stimulates the growth of new skin cells, thus speeding up healing and preventing scars. It also helps improve dry, cracked skin and also works to heal acne, sores, fungal infections and scalp problems. It’s said to be an aphrodisiac to boot.
- Rose geranium. Known as the balancing oil, rose geranium helps balance the emotions and skin condition. It keeps skin supple and prevents it from becoming too dry or oily; helps in healing of wounds and sores; and can be used for edema, eczema, cellulite and bruises. It is also effective in repelling head lice.
- Cedarwood. Almost masculine and woody in aroma, cedarwood can calm and soothe nerves. As a beauty component, it’s great for acne and oily skin, as well as treating dandruff. It can also work to ease respiratory problems, urinary tract infections, rheumatism and arthritis.