Essential oils for Health & Wellness
Essential oils have been clinically proven to be beneficial to a myriad of health concerns. Aside from treating chronic health issues, they are excellent as preventative treatments. Being proactive with essential oils by using them daily can help your overall immunity, decreasing your need to use them for any of the following purposes.
In the case that you do find yourself with a cough or cold, skin irritation, anxiety, or whatever other ailment, rest assured that there is an essential oil for you.
Best essential oil for sinus congestion and pressure
If you’re looking for sinus relief with essential oils, look for herbal oils with cooling qualities. Eucalyptus oil is an excellent airway opener for both the sinuses and lungs. For use on sinuses, you can inhale it straight from the bottle. If using for lung health, you can massage it under your shoulder blades with a carrier oil. Peppermint oil is also effective for clearing nasal passages. Try inhaling a few drops you’ve placed on a cotton ball.
Inhaling steam with essential oils added can also help to clear your sinuses. Try adding a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to steaming hot water, and soak in the vapor. You can also drape a towel over the back of your head and shoulders while you inhale so you catch all of the steam.
Many times, sinus congestion and pressure are caused by the common cold, allergies, and/or the flu. In the cold and flu season, eucalyptus and peppermint oils are very effective. They will help to fight off the bacteria which started the congestion in the first place. As anti-inflammatories, they will also relieve the pain and pressure caused by inflamed sinuses. Tea tree oil is also refreshing to the sinuses, working as an antibacterial, and antifungal.
For allergy season, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil are still helpful. But, try using lavender first. It has been shown to prevent inflammation caused by allergies.
You can also try taking a full steam bath with essential oils. The steam from the bath along with the essential oils will act as a sinus soother and muscle relaxant. This is particularly helpful because of the headache which often accompanies sinus congestion.
Best essential oil for poison ivy
Poison ivy rashes are itchy, painful, and a hinderance to your summer fun. Topical application of a few essential oils can help you to find fast relief. Make sure you dilute them enough so that you don’t exacerbate the rash.
Anti-inflammatories are your best friend in this situation. Calendula oil, commonly known as marigold, has been a long-time stand by for skin rashes. It helps to treat contact dermatitis, which is significant because poison ivy rash is a type of dermatitis. It helps to soothe the itching, painful inflammation, and cool down redness.
Chamomile is relaxing to the mind and body, alike. As a strong anti-inflammatory, it will calm down the redness and reduce swelling and itchiness. One study proved that applying a chamomile compress twice per day was more healing than 1% hydrocortisone cream applied once daily.
Eucalyptus oil is very cooling, and will help to rehydrate the affected area. It may be especially useful in latter phases of the rash, as it will reduce itch.
Juniper is another folk-remedy for poison ivy. It is rich in an antimicrobial called thujone. Thujone is soothing to itchy skin, and promotes faster healing.
Best essential oil for dark spots
Skin pigmentation comes as a result of the aging process. This is usually caused by sun exposure over time. Dark spots are most common on the face, forearms, shoulders, and upper chest area. Sun exposure makes dark spots worse, too. the best oils for combating pigmentation are ylang ylang, pomegranate, and tangerine oil. Other oils high in antioxidants will also help to prevent dark spots from forming, and existing ones from worsening.
The antioxidants will help to nourish and replenish sun-damaged skin. Lemon, lavender, geranium, and frankincense are also effective in helping to even out your complexion.
For dark spots, apply the essential oil of your choice topically. Use almond oil as a carrier oil for this, because of its high antioxidant and vitamin E levels.
You could also look for essential oils with similarly high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. These will help dark spots and nourish aging skin.
Best essential oil for nerve pain
Nerve pain can come about through injury and various illness. Inflammation can also lead to nerve pain. Neuropathic pain is common in people who have diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This is typically found in patients’ hands and feet. The result is tingling, pain, and numbness.
There are essential oils which can help all of these types of nerve pain.
Ginger has been shown to help reduce pain and disabling effects of nerve pain. This may be due to a compound it contains called zingibain. Zingibain has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to lessen nerve pain. More scientific study is needed, but many report its benefits.
Chamomile is a muscle relaxant and can help to reduce pain as shown in lab studies. It is widely available and a more affordable herb, making it a popular choice for pain relief.
St. John’s wort is commonly used as a mood lifter. However, it is also effective as a remedy for nerve pain. Again, further research is needed, but its reputation for soothing nerve pain is growing.
Best essential oils for menstrual cramps
Period cramps are caused by the tensing of the uterus just before and during menstruation. The stabbing sensation of period cramps is often an expected part of menstruation. But it doesn’t have to be so severe.
To use essential oils for period cramps, focus on oils that act as muscle relaxants. Chamomile is a known uterine relaxant. You can apply it topically with coconut or jojoba oil, massaging it into your lower abdomen for pain relief.
Peppermint oil and lavender are excellent additions to chamomile, and you may choose to blend them for a massage or bath.
Taking a warm bath with these oils will help to soothe uterine and lower back cramps, as your whole body is immersed.
Essential oils will help with period cramps as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the month. Cut back on sugary foods and beverages, and caffeine. Caffeine is known to increase uterine contractions, which means more cramps for you. Get plenty of rest, and stay active.
Some women experience ovulation pain. Essential oils for this time of the month are vitex berry, clary sage, and geranium. Try them in a topical massage to ease up the mid-month pain.
Best essential oil for hangover
A cold shower and black coffee. What about essential oils for hangover? A hangover usually comes down to dehydration. You may be drinking plenty of water, but that headache and malaise just aren’t going away. Alcohol not only depletes your body of water; it is a depressant. That is why you might feel so low the next morning. It also alters your hormone called vasopressin, which regulates the urge you have to go to the bathroom.
Treating the hydration is number one. Use essential oils to help with the headache, depression, and malaise. Grapefruit oil is a good start. It is energizing, mood-boosting, and refreshing. It will also help you to feel more alert. Try using it in a warm compress on your face soon after waking up.
Peppermint oil will help to reduce nausea. This is great because nausea usually stops people from wanting to hydrate. Try applying it in a massage onto your stomach, or on the back of your neck.
Other helpful oils for hangovers are lavender oil, spruce, tea tree, lemon, and frankincense. Their scents create a relaxing, clarifying ambiance which will have you feeling uplifted in no time. Try diffusing them or sniffing them straight from the bottle throughout the day.
What is the best essential oil for sleep?
There are many essential oils to choose from as sleep aids. Valerian, chamomile, and lavender are good sedative oils.
Valerian is a powerful herb for calmness and relaxation. If you choose to use valerian, you must be certain that you will not need to drive or do much else for the rest of the evening. Taking valerian in a capsule with a carrier oil, such as olive oil. This way, it will act fast. You can also use it in a relaxing foot soak before bed, or massage it onto your neck and shoulders.
Chamomile and lavender can be combined in a bath. It will help induce sleepiness, calm the nerves, and treat your skin all at once! Try adding a few drops of chamomile and lavender into a spray bottle and misting your pillow and bedsheets for a restful night of sleep.
If you like musky relaxants, try patchouli and frankincense. They are very pleasing to smell, and will promote a sense of wellbeing as you drift off to sleep.
What essential oil is good for hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are really swollen veins. There are internal and external hemorrhoids. They are very common, with almost three out of four adults reporting their occurrence. They are more likely to occur if you are pregnant or overweight. Because hemorrhoids are caused by swollen blood vessels, you should use essential oils with anti-inflammatory qualities.
You have to dilute essential oils thoroughly before using them topically for hemorrhoids. Frankincense and myrtle are both very effective options. Frankincense reduces inflammation, kills bacteria, and reduces tension. It also prevents infection by fighting bacteria.
Myrtle oil is soothing as it calms the pain of a hemorrhoid, and helps to control bleeding. This has been proven in limited scientific study. It was reported to help hemorrhoids in people who didn’t have success using anti-hemorrhoid prescription creams. Make sure you dilute myrtle oil very well, because it can often lead to allergic reactions and further irritation.
A lesser known oil for hemorrhoids is horse chestnut oil. It is often used to treat varicose veins, too. Horse chestnut oil helps to reduce the pain and swelling associated with hemorrhoids.
Be careful when using essential oils on sensitive areas. Consult your doctor before applying them to hemorrhoids.
What essential oils are good for focus?
Essential oils are effective for improving concentration. This may be in part because of their relaxing effect. Sometimes, the inability to focus really comes down to nerves. Whatever the cause, there are many oils which can help you keep your nose to the grindstone.
Rosemary, peppermint, sweet orange, spearmint, and lemon are among the best.
Rosemary helps to boost mood, memorization skills, and promote focus. It is a stimulatory herb, and seems to influence brain wave activities.
One 2013 study showed that peppermint oil helps to fight fatigue. This is interesting, given that it is a muscle relaxant. It will help to relax your mind, calm your nerves, and keep you focused.
Sweet orange is a mood lifter which will increase your concentration via inhalation.
Spearmint can be mixed with rosemary for an effective memory enhancer. It also helps to protect against oxidation.
Lemon essential oil is associated with brightness and lifting one’s mood. As a citrus oil, it is energizing, promoting creativity and concentration.
Best essential oil for stress and anxiety
Many essential oils cross over in terms of their use. When treating stress and anxiety with essential oils, you’ll see that the same oils are used to induce sleep and fight depression.
So many oils have stress-reducing qualities. To narrow it down to a top few, the following essential oils are most effective: valerian, lavender, holy basil, chamomile, and jasmine.
Valerian, lavender, and chamomile will act as sedatives—particularly valerian. Holy basil is an adaptogen, which means that it helps your body adjust to its environment and circumstances. It will calm you without making you sleepy. Jasmine is floral and intoxicating. It promotes relaxation without the sedative effect of valerian, lavender, and chamomile.
If you are experiencing a stressful day at work, try putting a few drops of lavender on a cotton ball and keep it on your desk. You will catch whiffs of it throughout the day, and it will help you to work with calm and focus.
What essential oils are good for asthma?
Peppermint seems to be on every essential oil list because of its incredible healing properties. It can help to calm symptoms of an asthma attack when it is applied to the skin through a carried oil. Research is needed on this, but it may be due to peppermint’s ability to help bronchial smooth muscle in asthmatics.
Lavender helps to soothe inflammation associated with asthma. You can diffuse it at home to inhale it throughout the day for a lasting effect.
Clove is a spice which is potent and earthy. Using it for asthma can help with coughing, chest pain, and breathing difficulty. Of course, if you have any of these symptoms, and are not an asthmatic, seek medical help immediately. If you have been diagnosed with asthma and believe you are having an asthma attack, be sure to use your prescribed treatments first.
Essential oils are excellent as supplementary treatments for your prescribed asthma medications. Always consult a doctor or go to the emergency room if you have difficulty breathing and/or have chest pain—especially if you do not have asthma.
If your doctor says that essential oils are alright to use for your asthma, you can enjoy them in an Epsom salt bath. Add a few drops of the essential oil to the bath with Epsom salts, and soak it in. You will be detoxified from the inside out, and your airways will be freer.
What essential oils are good for depression?
The best essential oils for depression are those with anti-stress, energizing, and calming properties. These might seem counterintuitive, but depression often comes with insomnia. The inability to sleep results in red-eyed days, making depression a cycle of exhaustion.
Essential oils can help a person with depression to induce sleep, have better quality sleep, and recharge throughout the day.
The top three essential oils for depression are lavender, wild ginger, and bergamot.
Lavender is extremely relaxing, which will help to fight off stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Try it in a steam bath to have the maximum anti-stress benefit.
Wild ginger was shown in a scientific study to have possible antidepressant effects. This was found through inhalation. It may be invigorating to the body’s production of serotonin.
Bergamot is a bright oil with citrus notes. It calms and lifts your mood at the same time. Many people have also reported relief from migraine headaches with bergamot. Many people with depression experience migraines with aura. It is not entirely clear why this is, but researchers suggest a connection. You can apply bergamot with plenty carrier oil onto your temples and massage it in for a calming, comforting experience.