Aromatherapy has many benefits, some of which include easing depression, inducing sleep, and easing pain. I have had insomnia since I was a teenager and it continued into my adult life. I tried almost everything under the sun, including steeping passionflower tea, but nothing worked. A student of mine recommended aromatherapy, so I looked into some different brands of essential oil. It took a really long time for me to finish my research on essential oils, so I am going to write a few posts about all the research I have done and give it to you!
First, I must write a disclaimer that I am NOT a doctor or a specialist on aromatherapy, I’m just sharing the information I found in books and online from Dr. Axe. I also highly recommend that you talk to your healthcare practitioner if you plan on ingesting essential oils, as they need to be food grade. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also refer to your doctor.
Here’s a list of the “emergency oils” I have on hand at ALL times.
- Lavender Oil (Lavandula Officinalis). I was never big on lavender before, but after doing my research, I found that it is one that you must have on hand; here’s why: Lavender is great for relaxation, so it’s good for sleep, anxiety, and depression. Lavender oil is also antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, stimulates the immune system, and is somewhat of an analgesic (natural painkiller.
Lavender oil helps stimulate the growth of new cells and prevents scarring. It’s also good on your skin for burns, eczema/inflamed skin (acne, allergies, athlete’s foot, sunburn, wounds, bug bites, and bee stings). From what I’ve read, you can use lavender essential oil undiluted on your skin for these things. Lavender is so versatile that it’s best to always have it on hand because it can fix almost anything.
- Grapefruit Oil (Citrus Paradisi). Who doesn’t love the smell of grapefruit? I’m obsessed with grapefruit scented everything! Citrus oils are generally great for lifting depression. It helps with jet lag or travel fatigue, and fatigue in general. It can help with lactic acid from overworked muscles, ease stiffness and it has a cleansing effect on the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, and lymphatic system (helps rid the body of toxins).Citrus oils have a shelf life of about 1-2 years, so if you don’t use them often, I recommend keeping them in the fridge, which will help them last longer.
- Peppermint Oil (Mentha Piperita). I love the smell of peppermint as well! It can be used in a spray water bottle with water to help deter rodents and insects. It can help with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), bad breath, focus and energy, fatigue, breathing problems, allergies, and headaches. Whenever I have a headache, I use a few drops of peppermint oil and eucalyptus in my diffuser. A recipe for headaches: 2 drops peppermint oil and 2 drops of lavender oil, rub on your neck, shoulders, and temples. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please don’t use it or talk to your healthcare practitioner.
- Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus Globulus). This oil is amazing if you have trouble breathing for any reason. If you have a cold or stuffy nose, this oil can help clear your sinuses. This oil is also great for aches and pains from fevers/colds/ or from working out. Add 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to 1 tbs. of vegetable oil or any other carrier oil and rub on the affected joints/limbs/areas and wrap yourself warmly.
(Carrier oils are oils used to dilute essential oils that can’t be used directly on the skin. There are many to choose from such as coconut, vegetable, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil to name a few popular ones).
- Rose Absolute (Rosa Damascena). Rose absolute is stronger smelling because of the way it’s extracted. There is a huge list of benefits of rose oil! It can be used for anxiety and depression, it can help reduce inflammation, great for treating wounds as it protects from developing infections as well as shield you from viruses, can reduce spasms in muscles, cramps, and in the respiratory system. It’s an aphrodisiac if you have a low libido or disinterest in sexual activity. It’s also a great astringent to strengthen gums and hair roots. It helps tone the skin and prevent wrinkles/help with the loss of firmness of skin, contract muscles, intestines and blood vessels.
It also helps with scars that come from from acne, boils, pox, stretch marks, etc. Rose oil is also good for people that suffer from hemorrhaging as it helps speed up coagulation and clotting of blood. Helps with headaches (as long as you use mild concentrations, otherwise it could have the opposite effect as rose absolute is very strong), it can also help you feel energized and happy.