Essential oils have been used for centuries for their healing and relaxation properties. In my search for healthier living, natural remedies, and frugal/natural household recipes I have found the benefits of essential oils. I can't remember if if was my grandmother or great-grandmother who told me "God created everything we need."
Many essential oils need to be diluted using a carrier oil. I prefer "pure oils" like almond, extra virgin olive, grapeseed, coconut oil as carrier oils. Pure oil is a term I use to describe oils that are made from pure natural ingredients. Vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil are not, in my opinion, pure oils because they contain corn, soybean, cottonseed or other plant based materials that are KNOWN to be genetically modified. Enough long term research has not been done to determine if GM/GMO foods are dangerous to health. It's best to avoid things man created to "improve" God's creation without knowing any negative effects on the body.
Always keep essential oils out of reach of children. Whenever choosing an essential oil for a treatment have on hand a guide to essential oils (available at any health food store or major bookstore). You can also use the internet for a guide.
*Scientific Name Matters
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia*):
Strong antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, fungicidal, parasiticide, and expectorant properties. Some resources say that tea tree oil is an immono-stimulant.
The benefits of Tea Tree Oil are so numerous that I can't list them all. This oil is the FIRST that, in my opinion, every mother needs in her medicine cabinet BEFORE commercial first aid products. Only in recent years has the properties been proven scientifically. Tea Tree Oil has been used in Australia for centuries by the Bundjalung people. (1)
The American Cancer Society reports: "Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. It has been reported to cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, blood cell abnormalities, and severe rashes. It should be kept away from pets and children." (1) However, many other countries and literature available list Tea Tree Oil as being non-toxic, but can be an skin irritant to some. My best advice is to avoid ingestion and to use as directed for the use you are needing. I have seen Tea Tree Oil as an ingredient in toothpaste and it has been used in treating periodontal diseases.
The following list is from a new age website. I DO NOT agree or support this website or it's beliefs in ANY way. I believe in Jesus Christ as the ONE and ONLY true God, who created the plants the oils are derived from. I only reference this site because it has the largest list of conditions the oils will treat.
Quoted From Earth Child: "Dandruff, mouthwash, cuts, insect bites, pimples, abscess, acne, athlete's foot, blisters, burns, cold sores, herpes, oily skin, rashes, spots, veruccae, warts, wounds, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, tuberculosis, whooping cough, vaginitis, cystitis, colds, fever, flu, infectious illnesses such as chicken pox. "
The known properties of lavender oil are antiseptic, analgesic, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, bactericide, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, hypotensive, nervine, rubefacient, sedative, sudorific and vulnerary. (2)
Many consider Lavender to be the first essential oil to purchase. I rank it in TIE FOR FIRST. I think Tea Tree Oil and Lavender should be purchased at the same time. I use both of these in making my baby wipes.
Lavender is consider to be one of the safest essential oils. But if you have a reaction to it, discontinue use. Caution should be exercised when purchasing lavender so that you are getting lavender NOT LAVANDIN. Lavandin is a weaker oil and should be avoided for home medicinal uses.
Lavender is a calming herb and oil. It has been used to help with fussy babies, ADHD, tension, and relaxation. It is one of the few essential oils that can be used "neat". Neat meaning this one doesn't NEED to be diluted with an carrier oil.
Quoted from Earth Child: An excellent first aid oil. It soothes cuts, bruises and insect bites. One of the most versatile therapeutic essence. It is used for nervous system disorders such as depression, headache, hypertension, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension, stress related conditions, PMT, sciatica, shock and vertigo. Lavender is useful in treating skin conditions such as abscesses, acne, allergies, athlete's foot, boils, bruises, burns, dandruff, dermatitis, earache, eczema, inflammations, insect bites and stings, insect repellant, lice, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, sores, spots, all skin types, sunburn and wounds. Other applications of lavender is for the treatment of disorders such as lumbago, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains, asthma, bronchitis, halitosis, laryngitis, throat infections, whooping cough, abdominal cramps, colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea, cystitis, dysmenorrhoea, leucorrhoea and for flu.
Only recently did I had Clove Oil to my medicine cabinet and I wish I would have added it years ago. Recently my oldest son had a toothache. It was a Friday and I couldn't find a dentist who was good with children. It was also late in the afternoon and most businesses were closing. I bought clove oil to get him through the weekend because I read that it was good for toothaches and pain. IT WORKS. It's not a cure all so it didn't end the pain, but it stopped it for a period of time.
Clove oil is known as a "analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-neuralgic, carminative, anti-infectious, disinfectant, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic, uterine and tonic."(3)
Precautions: Avoid in pregnancy. Possible irritant to sensitive skin. Do not use on children under age 5.(4)
According to www.aromatherapies.net:
- You can add clove oil to your diet as a wonderful health nutrient by mixing ten drops of clove oil in half a glass of warm water. It also refreshes the mind, removes mental fatigue and stress, and results in good sleep; hence it is used to treat insomnia as well.
- Ingesting it also helps in curing bronchitis, asthma and any other respiratory disorder. It also helps in purifying the blood.
- Due to its anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties, clove oil is widely used in the treatment of toothaches. Diluted clove oil is applied on the affected areas of the teeth and gums. It gives you immediate relief from the nasty pain that is characteristic of tooth aches and gum sores. It is therefore used to make gum paints and medicated toothpastes as an active ingredient.
- Clove oil can be used for improving blood circulation. Mix a few drops of oil with sesame oil. Massage gently all over your body till the oil vanishes.
- It is an excellent pain reliever as well. If you happen to suffer from joint pains, mix a few drops of clove oil with some other essential oils like sesame oil, rosemary oil or lavender essential oil, and massage it on the affected area. It will prove to be highly effective in relieving the pain.
- Gargling with a few drops of clove oil added to some lukewarm water can also help soothe and heal a sore throat. It also helps in getting rid of bad breath. Due to this property of clove oil, it is used in the making of mouthwash products.
- Due to its antifungal, antibacterial and stress relieving properties with its specific pleasant aroma, clove oil is added to some bathing soaps.
- Clove oil is also used in making perfumes and cosmetic products like body lotions and antiseptic beauty creams.
- These are some of the many uses of clove oil. You should be careful when using this oil as it is very strong; it should be diluted before use. Do consult your health care provider before using it as a treatment for any medical condition.
The properties of patchouli oil are antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic. It is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing, but the smell of patchouli oil may be a little persistent for some people and large doses may cause loss of appetite in some individuals. (5)
According to AromaWeb "Unlike most essential oils that oxidize and diminish in therapeutic and aromatic quality over time, Patchouli Essential Oil improves with age like a fine wine."
The known uses for Patchouli Oil:
Anxiety, allergies, cellulite, dandruff, hypertension, skin conditions (acne, eczema, dermatitis, scaring, wrinkles, soothes inflamed skin, tightens sagging skin, tissue regeneration or fades scars), digestive problems (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting), hemorrhoids, vein tonic, water and fluid retention, weight reduction and wounds.This oil also assimilates toxic material in the body! (6)
I have used Patchouli and Lavender Oil in my homemade laundry detergent.
The EPA has approved thymol, which is a chemical component in thyme, as a disinfectant. I've use a product for years which is thymol based for disinfecting instead of using bleach or "lysol". I will be searching the internet for thyme oil which has not had any chemical components removed. However, this oil can be toxic if not used properly. See this TLC link about Aromatherapy for more information about Thyme Oil.
Other oils I'm considering to add to my medicine cabinet, along with links to show their properties:
Sandalwood: Experience Essential Oils
Ylang Ylang: Experience Essential Oils