What are essential oils
Essential oils are extracts from the flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or peel of plants and trees. Each essential oil has a distinct scent and it is consisted of at least 100 chemicals that have diverse healing effects. Εssential oils can have healing effects on many levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
There is a wide number of essential oils. Each one has its own, proven healing properties, forming the alternative medicine of Aromatherapy. In Aromatherapy essential oils usually are blended together to make wonderful perfume recipes. In order to create a good essential oil blend, combination blend rules and creativity are required. Essential oils have very high concentration of active compounds, that’s why they should be used with great caution and never undiluted on the skin.
Uses of essential oils
Massage: Make a blend of essential oil and carrier oil for massage. For every 100 ml of carrier oil (e.g. almond oil, sesame oil, apricot kernel oil), add approximately 20 to 60 drops of essential oil (1-3 ml). Massage with essential oils relaxes, energizes, soothes the nervous system, improves circulation and enhances physical and mental functions.
Compress: Add 5-10 drops of essential oil in a pot with hot or cold water. Soak a cloth in the mixture and apply gently on the affected area.
Βath: Add 5-8 drops of essential oil in a tub filled with hot water but no more than 4 drops for children over 2 years old. In case of a foot soak, 3-5 drops of essential oil are sufficient.
Steam inhalation: Add 5-10 drops of essential oil into a bowl with steaming water. Lean over it, covering your head with a towel and breathe deeply through the nose for approximately 15 minutes. Steam inhalations can relief headaches common cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, respiratory problems and even reduce stress.
Essential Oil Diffusers: These special devices that are used to diffuse essential oils, use heat to release the scent and healing properties of the oils in the atmosphere.
Some of the benefits of diffusing essential oils:
- Cleanse the atmosphere of viruses and bacteria
- Improve the mood
- Improve the ability to focus and concentrate
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Boost the immune system
- Enhance the feeling of peacefulness and well-being by releasing negative ions
- Aromatize your home
A list of 30 basic essential oils and their properties
Juniper oil is tonic, diuretic, depurative, anti-rheumatic and a powerful antiseptic. It regulates fluid retention, removes extra salts and dangerous toxins from the body.
It has a warm and earthy smell, while it is known for its relaxing, aphrodisiac and anti-inflammatory properties. It also sedates nervous irritations and emotional outbursts like anger, restlessness, and nervousness.
The essential oil of Jasmine actively fights depression as it is highly mental tonic, yet also has great sedative properties, reducing signs of insomnia and enhances your libido.
Grapefruit has a sweet and sour smell and is rich in antioxidants. It has stimulating effects on both the body and the mind. It is very useful for the treatment of obesity, mood stabilisation, it can cure depression and relieve stress.
Geranium has great antibacterial and homeostatic effects. It aids in the healing of wounds and stops the flow of blood.
Clove oil has powerful stimulating but also soothing effects, especially in dental care. It is very effective for relieving dental pain and tooth ache.
Rosemary essential oil has a clean, strong and penetrating odour. It relieves headaches, mental fatigue and it is effective against cellulite, dandruff and hair loss.
Eucalyptus oil is antiseptic with a strong scent of camphor. It is very effective for treating respiratory problems such as cold, cough, runny nose, sore throat. It is recommended to patients suffering from sprained ligaments and tendons, rheumatism, lumbago and stiff muscles.
The essential oil of thyme, is antiseptic, antispasmodic and sedative. It is used to treat many kinds of infections but also kills bacteria and keeps them away from your body.
This essential oil has a strong, warm, sweet and sour scent. The powerful toning properties of cinnamon essential oil, make it very useful in stimulating the circulatory, respiratory and digestive system.
The essential oil of cedarwood, has a mild, woody scent and is one of the oldest essential oils. It can be used in curing skin and scalp infections and prevent wounds from becoming septic.
The scent of cypress essential oil evokes an overwhelming feeling of freshness like walking in a pine forest. It can make muscles, gums, hair follicles and skin contract and prevent hair loss. It strengthens your dental health and tightens up loose skin and muscles.
Lavender essential oil has a sweet and intimate scent as it is the most recognisable oil. It helps soothe the nervous system, relieves headaches and helps deal with insomnia. It is an excellent antiseptic, with healing properties that can be used on burns, wounds and insect bites.
Lemon oil with its refreshing aroma and calming properties, helps in relieving mental fatigue, exhaustion, anxiety and nervous tension. It can affect and refresh the mind by removing negative emotions.
The essential oil of neroli can effectively relieve chronic depression. Its stimulating effects fight depression and boost the mood. Furthermore, it not only increases the libido, but it also helps to cure loss of sexual desire.
It is a dry and spicy oil, with excellent warming properties that help stimulating and improving circulation. It is useful to aching muscles and stimulates the digestive and circulatory systems.
The essential oil of ginger is often used to treat stomachs problems. It is one of the best remedies for upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhoea, stomach ache, dyspepsia, colic and it is also effective against nausea, morning sickness and vomiting.
Peppermint, is known for its stimulant and rejuvenating properties. It used to treat a wide variety of digestive problems, such as nausea, bloating, indigestion, but also migraines and stress.
Its smell is very sweet and refreshing. It can be used safely by adults and children. Tangerine essential oil may help with gastric problems, inflammation, congestion, and diarrhoea.
This essential oil has a refreshing, sweet, woody scent. Its main benefits concern skin problems such as pimples, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, but is also effective with respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, colds etc.
The essential oil of bergamot has a refreshing, fruity and sweet scent. It can be used to create a pleasant feeling of freshness, joy and energy, while soothing nervous tension, anxiety, and stress.
It has a strong woody smell and it is good for boosting low libido. It is a great aphrodisiac that is effective in treating sexual problems like impotency, disinterest in sex and erectile dysfunctions.
It is an extremely sweet and refreshing essential oil that it is used to relieve from indigestion, inflammation and depression.
The mild, sweet, spicy and floral essential oil of rosewood is balancing, energizing, calming and antiseptic. It is frequently used as a serves as a mild analgesic, especially in treating PMS syndrome symptoms.
The essential oil of rose helps balance our emotions, evokes relaxation, feelings of joy and hope. It is antidepressant, antiseptic, tonic and aphrodisiac.
The essential oil of sandalwood is very good as an antiseptic agent and it is known for its effectiveness in helping scars, wounds and acne heal faster.
Citronella essential oil has a very strong lemon scent and it is mainly used as an inspect repellent. In addition to that it has excellent antiseptic properties, which fight infections in wounds.
The essential oil of tea tree is amazing because it has countless beneficial properties. It is effective against fungal infections, shields our body from diseases and generally boosts health. It promotes the absorption of nutrients from food and is an effective expectorant.
The essential oil ylang-ylang has a strong, exotic flower scent that calms the nervous system. It is antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative and relaxing. It is effective in treating sexual dysfunctions resulting from anxiety, stress and depression.
The essential oil of sage has a bitter-sweet smell and is known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It also acts against free radicals, which are the main causes of ageing.