Essential oils are an excellent natural alternative to many of the common ailments we encounter at home. Essential oils have a wide variety of therapeutic properties, ranging from topical antiseptics and anti-inflammatories to analgesics, digestive system tonics, and antidepressants. While essential oils should not be used in place of professional medical care, they can be used effectively to treat a variety of minor ailments and as adjuncts to other therapies.
We’ll take a quick look at ten essential oils that could be included in a ‘basic home care kit’. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it will aid in the diagnosis find effective (and often pleasant!) treatments for things like cuts and scrapes, sunburn, digestive problems, and stress-related conditions.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is the first oil.
When Tea Tree essential oil was first tested for its antiseptic properties, it was discovered to be 100 times more powerful than carbolic acid, the medical standard at the time. Tea tree possesses a wide variety of antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal properties that have been validated by modern scientific research. Tea Tree is frequently used topically on small wounds and is also found in oral hygiene preparations. It is also effective against Candida, athlete’s foot, and acne, among other things.
Lavender Essential Oil is the second oil.
Lavender is frequently referred to as the’medicine chest in a bottle’ due to its wide variety of uses. Every home should have lavender on hand, even if no other oil is used, due to its efficacy on burns. Its anti-inflammatory properties were instrumental in the development of modern aromatherapy, as Dr. Jean Valnet discovered Lavender’s therapeutic properties following a laboratory accident. Lavender is believed to aid in wound healing and scar reduction. Additionally, the oil is pleasantly calming and can be used to alleviate stress in a variety of situations – one frequently used technique is to apply lavender oil ‘neat’ (undiluted) to the soles of the feet of patients recovering from virtually any ailment.
Chamomile Essential Oil is the third oil.
Chamomile oil, the great tension reliever. This extremely gentle essential oil is beneficial for a variety of nervous conditions and is frequently recommended for children experiencing stress (including teething and general ‘craziness’). Rub into the solar plexus if that is where one tends to ‘hold tension.’ There are two types of chamomile essential oil: German or Blue Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. While the Roman variety is frequently used to alleviate stress, the German variety has the added benefit of being an extremely effective anti-inflammatory.
Peppermint Essential Oil is the fourth oil.
Peppermint essential oil is an excellent digestive tonic and can be used to treat a variety of stomach ailments. Its effectiveness at calming motion sickness can be extremely beneficial for travelers. Additionally, at least eight controlled studies have demonstrated that peppermint oil is effective at alleviating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a painful intestinal condition. Apart from its digestive benefits, Peppermint is a delightfully stimulating herb that brightens and sharpens mental focus. Finally, some believe that peppermint is a more effective insect repellent than citronella when applied to the skin (rather than in the surrounding air).
Eucalyptus Essential Oil is the fifth oil.
Eucalyptus, another essential oil with a broad range of properties, is most frequently used to treat respiratory conditions, particularly congestion associated with coughs and colds. However, its effects are not limited to the airways; in fact, it has been dubbed the aromatherapist’s ‘designer oil’ due to the breadth of its effects. Eucalyptus oil can be used to cool the body in the summer (or to treat a fever – compress it) and to support the immune system in the winter. Diffusing Eucalyptus oil kills the majority of staphylococcus bacteria, making it another beneficial oil for bronchial infections. It is considered equally effective as an insect repellent and in cases of cystitis, candida, and sunburn, to name a few.
Geranium Essential Oil is the sixth oil.
Geranium (occasionally referred to as ‘Geranium Rose’) is extremely beneficial on both physiological and psychological levels. Its floral aroma is energizing and uplifting, as well as sedative. Malte Hozzel has stated the following about this oil: “Geranium’s vital, sensual presence is not subtle, but immediate and unavoidable, making it a popular oil for its aphrodisiac properties. (Geranium Essential Oil) inspires natural beauty and enjoyment, instantly uplifts, and “tonifies” the mind and intellect in a strong, almost demanding attitude. Mobilizing buried creative and emotional reserves, assisting us in reclaiming our earthly and spiritual identities. A fiery beauty fit for all worlds’ spells.” Geranium oil is particularly well-known for its effect on female physiologic conditions and can be beneficial for menopausal issues, uterine and breast complaints.
Rosemary Essential Oil is the seventh oil.
Rosemary essential oil is an effective stimulant of both the physical and mental systems, whether diffused or added to a morning bath. Its slightly spicy, rather than floral, aroma provides a warming effect that is especially beneficial for arthritic joints and other muscular aches and pains. Rosemary also has a long history of being used to treat colds and flu – it was a component of ‘Four Thieves Vinegar,’ which robbers rubbed on their bodies to avoid infection during the middle ages plague years. Additionally, Rosemary is the essential oil most frequently associated with promoting hair growth in patients suffering from alopecia.
Thyme Essential Oil is the eight oil.
Thyme oil is an effective antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic, and diuretic, but it should be used cautiously. There are numerous varieties of Thyme oil available, but only the chemotype ‘linalol’ is suitable for use on children; all other varieties should be diluted prior to topical application. With precautions, thyme can be used as a first line of defense against the flu when diffused in a room. Additionally, it aids in the elimination of toxic wastes from the body (particularly excessive uric acid), and its warming properties aid in the elimination of mucous and phlegm. It acts as a strong anti-parasitic in the digestive system, and it may be beneficial for rheumatic aches and pains in the muscular system. Additionally, thyme oil may be beneficial in cases of hair loss.
Lemon Essential Oil is the ninth oil.
A recent study on college students who were taking tests discovered that diffusing Lemon oil into a room significantly improved test scores more than any other oil. Apart from its brain-brightening properties, it can also be used to disinfect the air and act as a natural deodorant. Lemon has been shown to be beneficial for liver function and is frequently used to aid in weight loss and cellulite reduction. Lemon adds a pleasant top note to blends and can work synergistically with other oils. Finally, lemon oil is frequently used in fragrance and flavoring applications.
Clove Essential Oil is the tenth oil.
Clove essential oil’s strength is immediately apparent upon first whiff – it is quite potent, sharp, and earthy. Clove oil is the most powerful antioxidant of any essential oil and is used in ‘longevity’ formulas. Clove oil is also an extremely effective antibacterial, killing a wider variety of microbes than any other oil except Oregano – clove oil has even been used to sterilize surgical instruments. Clove also has analgesic properties and can be used to relieve toothache pain temporarily. Clove oil (or ground cloves) is also a component of Dr. Huda Clark’s anti-parasite protocol, assisting the body in eliminating parasites. This is a very strong oil that should be diluted to 1% or less before applying topically.
Thus, we have a possible ‘top ten’ essential oil selection for the home medicine chest, a collection with an extremely broad range of applications for common ailments encountered in a family setting. It is critical to remember that all essential oils are extremely potent and should be used with caution and respect. Always consult a reputable source before applying any oil, as many can be irritating or even toxic if used incorrectly.