Conventional Western medicine isn’t always the first answer for many people around the world. For decades, aromatherapy has been used as a more natural and much cheaper alternative. Many plants, fruits, and herbs have healing properties that can aid a number of health issues ranging from nausea and headaches to anxiety and the common cold. So before you head to the pharmacy to purchase costly tablets, why not considering using a gentler remedy instead?
Aromatherapy oil can be used in a number of ways, including rubbing the oil directly onto your skin, inhaling it, or spraying it as a mist. You may have already inhaled menthol crystals growing up to relieve sinus pain or clear a head cold. Perhaps you have sprayed lavender on your pillow at night to help you sleep. Aromatherapy oils have so many healing properties and we have listed some of the most common natural remedies right here – we are sure you will feel the benefits of these powerful and rather impressive oils right away.
The Purple Plant With the Power to Heal
The lavender plant has a beautiful smell that is instantly soothing. It’s no surprise that lavender has been used for hundreds of years to help people relax and aid sleep. But there is so much more to this plant than meets the eye.
Spraying some lavender mist on your pillow at night has been shown to improve sleep for many patients, and it’s known to help reduce a person’s heart rate too. The pure oil obtained from crushing the plant is a powerful antiseptic and can also be used as an anti-inflammatory agent. Many people drink the plant as a soothing tea as it helps relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and restlessness. Lavender oil is commonly used as an ingredient in massage oils to help a person decompress and stop tensing their muscles after a long and tiring day. If you are out in the countryside and receive a bug bite, grab one of these amazing purple plants and rub it on the bite for a soothing remedy.
The Citrus Fruit That Reduces Stress
Bergamot is roughly the size of an orange and has a bobbled green rind. It’s regularly mistaken for lime, but research shows that it’s probably a mix of a lemon and a bitter orange. Bergamot oil can help reduce the amount of cortisol in one’s system. Cortisol is more commonly known as the stress hormone. This oil also reduces anxiety and is a mood enhancer.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed after a long and stressful day, burning some bergamot oil in a diffuser at home can help you unwind. It’s also very good for relieving symptoms of nausea and vomiting. That’s one very useful citrus fruit. But don’t attempt to eat it, as it is incredibly bitter. The rind is the only thing that matters on bergamot.
Nothing Plain About This Oil
If you head to an ice-cream parlor, you will always see vanilla as an option, and it’s one of the most popular flavor choices. Adding vanilla essence to a cake or muffins is a winner with adults and children. It’s a popular dessert choice for many other calorific delights, such as cheesecake and cookies, but the oil that’s extracted from a vanilla pod can be used to reduce restlessness and help you relax.
Vanilla has a comforting smell, and many people like to burn vanilla-scented candles in their homes. The oil can also be applied directly onto the skin to reduce the effects of aging and increase skin vibrancy. Sitting back and inhaling the calming smell of vanilla is known to reduce stress, so it’s as good to smell as it is to eat. An all-around winner!
The Zesty Citrus Fruit You Can Definitely Eat
Children and adults have enjoyed oranges for hundreds of years. Most children try orange juice before any other fruit, and sportsmen and women have relied on oranges as a source of vitamin C to boost energy levels during and after exercise. Orange oil has many wonderful health benefits that you may not know about.
The strong citrus fragrance has been shown to lift a person’s mood and alleviate stress. Inhaling and applying orange oil can aid pain relief and increase attention spans, too. This impressive fruit can also help with PTSD for some people. So it can be eaten, drunk, inhaled, and applied to make you feel better in so many ways.
The Third of Our Citric Wonders
When life gives you lemons, definitely make lemonade, but also use it for many health benefits. The refreshing, zesty lemon smell is known to have an uplifting effect on a person’s mood. It’s also used to fight exhaustion, reduce inflammation, and clear oily skin. But that’s not all.
Lemon oil can kill bacteria, ease anxiety, and help with depression. It’s been used to help fight symptoms of cold too. You probably didn’t know that it’s great for your hair, treating both an oily scalp and helping with dandruff. You can mix lemon oil with lavender in a diffuser to create a fragrance that helps lift your mood and calm you at the same time. What a wonderful all-rounder.
This Staple Asian Ingredient Is a Wonderful Aromatherapy Treatment, Too
If you’ve ever eaten Thai, Vietnamese, or Cambodian food, you surely have sampled the delicious taste of lemongrass. This fragrant grass only grows in tropical climates, and besides being used in cooking, it has numerous healing properties. Lemongrass essence is another one that’s typically used in spas, both in diffusers and in the massage oil itself.
It’s been proven to help with stress and tension, as it’s shown to increase positivity and create a sense of mental well-being. The zesty lemon fragrance is known to increase alertness. Those who know its other name, citronella, will be familiar with its use as an insect repellent. Some studies show that it can ease nausea too. That’s one incredibly useful blade of grass.
Chamomile is an herb that comes from a flower that looks like a small daisy. Its health benefits have been known for centuries and most people will be familiar with it being used as a popular tea. The flowers are dried and then infused into hot water, and usually consumed at the end of the day to calm the body and mind.
It’s also used as an anti-inflammatory and is proven to ease anxiety. Add its medicinal uses against insomnia, ulcers, hay fever, and muscle spasms and you have one very impressive daisy.
It’s Not Just for Koala Bears
While koalas are known to eat up to 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves a day, the leaves have many healing properties that make eucalyptus a very popular aromatherapy oil. One of its most common uses is for helping anyone suffering from cold or severe allergies. Inhaling eucalyptus oil can help you stop sneezing and alleviate the awful pain from congested or inflamed sinuses.
It’s also very good for easing a cough or sore throat too. Rubbing the oil directly onto the skin can help with arthritic pain as well.
The Dainty Purple Flower That Packs a Punch
The word ‘clary’ comes from Latin and means “clear” - that’s a big hint about what this clever flower can do when used as an aromatherapy oil. The clary sage is known to help clear negative emotions and soothe the mind. It’s not just the mind that can be calmed by this oil. It’s great on skin too, as it helps reducing irritation, rashes, and acne.
More importantly, it’s used to reduce high blood pressure. While many people with this problem wouldn’t rely entirely on clary sage oil, it is commonly used by those familiar with its health benefits. Some women have been known to use it to induce labor, too.
The Wonder Oil From the Gigantic Asian Tree
Camphor oil is extracted from the camphor tree and used for a host of medicinal reasons. The compound is made into small opaque cubes and used as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, appetite suppressant, and digestive aid. But that’s not all.
It can soothe and calm both the mind and skin and can help with muscle aches and pains. Inhaling it can help clear congested lungs and assist with both bronchitis and pneumonia. It’s even been used in the treatment of epilepsy. It’s taken seriously by health professionals, having been approved by the FDA as a pain reliever.
Get Well Soon, and You Will If You Try This
One of the most popular aromatherapy practices is inhaling the vapor from menthol crystals to ease a cold. You may have already tried breathing in the strong fumes while covering your head with a towel. The instant hit of the powerful essence eases sinus congestion and the pain of a head cold. But these impressive crystals have many other uses.
It’s been proven that menthol can help treat migraines, as well as the vomiting and nausea that are associated with this debilitating condition. It’s also great for the skin and hair and can be found in many lip balms, shampoos, and soaps. Adding a few drops of menthol oil to your shower gel will invigorate and improve alertness; and many people use it in the morning to start their day with a pleasant refreshing wake-up jolt in the shower before heading off to work.
The Cooking Ingredient That’s Great for Your Health
Rosemary has been used for centuries to flavor meat dishes. Its fragrance is also used in potpourri to freshen the home. But you probably didn’t know that it is fantastic as aromatherapy oil, too. Applying it directly to the skin helps with circulation issues and serves to reduce joint inflammation.
Many people inhale it as a vapor to relieve headaches. Using it on the skin is a wonderful tonic, as it is a natural antiseptic and helps to unclog pores. The smell of rosemary is known to help with stress, so putting a few drops into the palm of your hand and taking a few deep breaths is proven to have a calming effect. But there’s more – it is also great for helping with digestion after a big meal.
Same Same, But Different
Much like menthol, peppermint oil is inhaled to alleviate headaches and symptoms of the common cold, but there are many more uses that you may not know about. Many people have peppermint after a meal as it is known to aid digestion, but people also take a few drops of peppermint oil to ease the awful pain of irritable bowel syndrome.
Recently, pregnant women have started to use it to help with morning sickness, but studies have shown that this may not work for most women, although it has been effective in decreasing nausea.
Don’t Use This Gingerly
Ginger is a fantastic all-rounder when it comes to aromatherapy benefits. Its warm, spicy fragrance gives a calming, soothing effect to those inhaling the oil. It can be applied directly to the skin to ease arthritic pain and reduce inflammation. Many people enjoy ginger tea to help with digestion too, as it is a powerful cleansing agent.
Ginger has been used for centuries as both an antiseptic and a way to stop vomiting. It’s been shown to alleviate tiredness. It’s also a wonderful addition to baking, making cookies and cakes taste a little bit better - not strictly an aromatherapy use, but food with ginger in it is good for the stomach, so it's worth a mention.
The Recent Addition to the Aromatherapy List of Essential Oils
While oranges, lemons, and bergamot remain firmly at the top of citric oil favorites, there seems to be a new kid on the block that’s becoming increasingly popular. Mandarin oil is a powerful, uplifting fragrance that is known to stimulate the mind. It’s also been shown to improve many skin conditions, including scarring and sagging.
Applying a small amount of mandarin oil directly onto your face can help with acne, and when used on your scalp, it’s shown to reduce dandruff. It’s great for the stomach too, which is surprising for something citric. But it helps with both upset stomachs and nausea. Mixing it with lemon or orange oil and adding it to a diffuser will freshen up any home, too.