Essential Oils are highly concentrated distilled plant essences. They are very aromatic, and have a wide variety of applications. They are sometimes used medicinally for treating specific ailments. In addition to treating physical conditions, these oils can effect us mentally and emotionally as well. As Phyllis Balch points out in Prescription for Herbal Healing,
"The inhalation of certain essential oils has been associated with the release of brain chemicals that stimulate various emotions. For example, lavender oil has the ability to evoke and increase the release of serotonin, thus producing a calming effect on the body."
Some Common Essential Oils & Their Properties
Balancing. Used to lift depression.
Antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, sedative. Used to balance the function of sweat glands, ease bronchial problems and to control mold & mildew.
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic. Used for headaches, in warm baths, added to hair rinses, and in massage oils.
Popular antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and aphrodisiac. Used in skin and hair products and to counter insomnia. (Avoid in early months of pregnancy.)
Astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic. Used to repell fleas, reduce coughing, and for excessive perspiration.
Antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, disinfectant, expectorant. Has a balancing, normalizing effect. Used to reduce fever, ease sore muscles, repel insects, treatbites and stings.
Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, sedative, expectorant. Used for bronchitis, cleansing and purifying the environment, promotes cell regeneration.
Antiseptic, tonic. Used for cleansing and detoxifying, stimulating respiratory system, and clearing congestion from lungs. (Avoid if you have any type of seizure disorder.)
Antidepressant, antiseptic, and sedative. Used for anxiety, emotional imbalance, frigidity and impotence. Good for the skin and scalp.
Antiseptic, detoxifier, diuretic, and internal cleanser. Used to rid the system of toxins and parasites, reduce spasms, and cellulite. (Not for use during pregnancy. or if you have kidney problems.)
Antiseptic. Used to calm and normalize the body, improve immune system, fight bacteria and fungal infection, ease depression, and reduce inflammation. Also useful in treating acne, burns, eczema, sleep disorders, and stress.
Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, antifungal. A popular scent used in personal fragrances and bath & body products.
Antiseptic, antispasmodic, mental stimulant. Used to treat headaches, congestion, fatigue, fever, indigestion, sore muscles, sinus and stomach problems. Popular in bath and oral care products.
Antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant, restorative and stimulant.
Antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, mild sedative. Used for female complaints, impotence, insomnia, and nervous tension. Popular in skin care products.
Analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent. Used for cellulite, enhancing circulation, dandruff, hair loss, memory problems, headache, and muscle soreness.
Antiseptic, regenerative. Used for anxiety, cellular regeneration, depression, headaches, nausea, PMS, and tension.
Antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac. Used for bronchitis, nervousness, dry skin, and for soothing the mind.
Antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant. Added to bath for a calming effect, and to ease congestion.
Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic. Used to lower blood pressure and improve digestion. Has similar functions as chamomile.
Antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, sedative. Used to lift mood, ease anxiety, normalize heartbeat, and lower blood pressure.
Buying Essential Oils
When purchasing essential oils, make certain they are 100% pure botanical extracts, not chemical reproductions. Pure essential oils are extracted directly from various parts of certain plants. Oils are obtained in a variety of ways, including distillation, solvent extraction, expressing,carbon dioxide extraction, and enfleurage, where an odorless oil is used to extract essential oilsfrom flower petals.
What makes an essential oil therapeutic grade?
Buy in Small Quantities
Oils will deteriorate in partially filled bottles.
Make sure the label says "pure essential oil". I get my essential oils at
Suggested Dillution Ratios
Add 8 - 10 drops to a warm bath.
Add 25 drops to 8 oz. of unscented lotion.
Add 25 drops of essential oil to 16 oz. water.
Add 25 drops of essential oil to 2 gallons of water.
Add 10 drops essential oil to 1 oz. of jojoba oil.
Add 10-12 drops to 16 oz of unscented shampoo.
Add several drops to a 6 oz bottle of conditioner.
Add 10 drops to 2 cups of water.
Add 10-12 drops to 1/2 oz of jojoba oil.
Add 25 drops to 2 oz of your favorite massage oil - almond, apricot, grape seed, jojoba or olive oil.