Top 5 Essential Oils. A “starter kit” for those who are new to essential oils
- Essential oils have numerous health benefits and they are increasingly being explored in the treatment of various diseases. I like to call them “Essential Little Helpers”.
- There are more than 150 essential oils, and each has its own medicinal benefits.
- I enclose below the list of 5 essential oils that I use frequently and suggest as a “starter kit” for those who are new to the subject.
- You need to carefully examine and watch for high quality, unadulterated, organic, pure essential oil. Pay attention to the Latin name as there are sometimes many varieties, all of them having different properties. I use mostly Essenciagua and Pranarom, Ladrome & NHR oils. Eden Botanicals, Floracopeia and Aromatics International are well regarded on the US market.
- Most of the essential oils mentioned below you can find here: UK Link or US Link. Quality does matter; the links point to the high quality, organic essential oils.
- Caution: Most of oils are quite potent and can cause some side effects, irritation or allergies, so use them with caution and seek advice if you use them for the first time. You also need to verify if the oil can be ingested, or it is only intended for topical use. A good practice is to always dilute them and do a skin test (mix it with a carrier oil and apply it topically). If there is no reaction after few hours you should be able to use it.
My Top 5 Essential Little Helpers
1. Lavander (Lavandula angustifolia), Lavandin
Lavender has a long list of health benefits. It is well known for its ability to fight fungi, bacteria and viruses. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it reduces the pain, helps healing and reduces the scars. My five-year old asks for “magical oil” (Lavander) whenever he hurts himself.
Lavender can also reduce nervous tension, anxiety, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance circulation, treat respiratory problems, acne and hair loss.
Thanks to its fragrance and relaxing property, Lavender essential oil induces sleep and can help with insomnia. Lavander also helps restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the bladder.
A variation Lavandin (angustifolia and latifolia hybrid) is similarly effective.
Caution: Lavender oil should never be ingested, only applied topically or inhaled.
2. Tea tree (Malaleuca alternifolia)
Tea tree essential oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment.
Put a drop in your facial cream if your skin is prone to acne and use it in your toothpaste as antibacterial.
I apply it directly on acne or cold sore that is about to pop up. I use it undiluted, but be cautious and start with mixing it with some carrier oil (coconut oil for example) as Tea tree oil can eventually cause allergic reactions.
A variation (not so easy to find) – Manuka tea tree (from New Zeeland) is known as “antibiotic” for acne.
3. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint essential oil is cooling and energizing and it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Peppermint oil is used in many ways: inhale or massage in few drops to your wrists for increasing alertness and instant stress relief or use it as a chest rub or for inhalation to clear nasal congestion and relieve cold.
Peppermint is safe alternative to alternative to drugs like Buscopan, and effective for all kind of gastrointestinal disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, colonic spasm and gas and others).
For headache relief, simply massage a drop or two onto your temples.
4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata; Eucalyptus globulus)
Eucalyptus essential oil has a number of important qualities, including anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, and stimulating.
It is very useful in the treatment of respiratory problems, wounds, in dental care, skin care etc.
It is best known to relieve the symptoms of influenza and colds. Use it as decongestant and for quick relief for bronchitis by rubbing couple of drops of oil on the chest or inhaling eucalyptus oil vapor.
There are two main varieties similar in properties: radiata and globulus; most therapists find Eucalyptus radiata essential oil more effective in treatments than Eucalyptus globulus.
5. Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon essential oil is antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial. It has a number of important qualities and well known for stimulating and calming, sleep inducing, and antifungal properties.
The benefits of Lemon essential oil include its ability to help with stress, fever, infections, obesity, insomnia. It is also used to help with skin disorders, hair conditions, stomach problems and tiredness.
Lemon essential oil is used for beauty products because of its ability to lift and firm the skin.
I use it in DIY facial creams, toothpaste, laundry washing, dishwasher and in aromatherapy oil diffuser.
Caution: Citrus (all sorts including Lemon) oils are photosensitive, meaning they react to sunlight and can cause dark pigmentation or rash. After application, you should wait 8-24 hours before exposing yourself to direct sunlight.