If you are interested in throwing away all your synthetic allopathic medicines and replacing them with natural homeopathic remedies, herbs, spices and essential oils, congratulations, you have made the best decision for yourself and family. If you are just beginning in your natural homeopathic journey, I suggest you start slowly with adding herbs, spices and essential oils to your medicine cabinet and food. For those interested in aromatherapy and using essential oils, you are the right place. If you are interested in herbs, check out my article “The 7 Healing Herbs” and if you are interested in spicing up your life and health, check out my article “The 7 Healing Spices”. The following is a list of essential oils everyone should have in their medicine cabinet. Most of these oils are safe to use for anyone in the family, from baby to grandparents, with the exception of pregnant women and newborn babies. These essential oils will replace over the counter medicines. So, if you are interested in ditching the OTC drugs for some real natural healing get a hold of these essential oils.
1. CHAMOMILE – has been used for centuries to calm and soothe the mind, body and soul. It has antibacterial, antiseptic, disinfectant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has analgesic, diuretic, sedative and calming properties. There are 2 different types of chamomile with unique benefits. German Chamomile (GC) is used for: allergies, anger, arthritis, asthma, diarrhea, ear ache, easing irritation, eczema, hay fever, impatience, PMS, psoriasis, rheumatism, sprains, strains, sunburn, teething/toothaches and urinary infections. Roman Chamomile (RC) is used for: treating nervous conditions and insomnia.
- For mental/emotional health, either massage RC oil on temples, place a few drop of oil in warm bath, and/or place a few drops in an oil burner
- For allergies and hay fever, place some drops of GC on a tissue or cloth and inhale and/or massage neck, chest and back with a few drops of oil
- For skin issues like sensitive skin, eczema, dry skin, use a few drops of GC directly on affected area and/or add to oils and creams and/or add a few drops to a warm bath
- For menstrual pain and menopausal problems, use a combination of GC compresses, massage and baths; add a few drops of German Chamomile to a warm bath and/or massage oil or warm compress w/drops of oil onto lower abdomen
- For sprain, strains, muscular pain, inflamed joints and arthritis, massage a few drops of GC on affected areas
- For urinary infections, add a few drops of GC to a warm bath and/or massage oil or warm compress w/drops of oil onto lower abdomen
- For teething babies and toothaches, chamomile is one of the gentlest oils, massage a few drop of GC oil directly onto gums and cheeks
- For ear ache, massage a few drops of GC around ear and apply hot compress
- Warning: A variety of Mugwort (Artemisia arborescens) is often sold under the name of Blue Chamomile, it is very strong and should not be used during pregnancy. Beware of Maroc Chamomile which has similar properties as Chamomile but is not a true chamomile.
2. EUCALYPTUS – Its sweet, menthol, woody scent coupled with its proven healing abilities makes it a favorite essential oil in aromatherapy. The Australian Aborigines applied crushed eucalyptus to wounds to promote healing, they also used it to fight infection and relieve muscular pain. In India, eucalyptus was used to cool fever and fight contagious diseases. Today eucalyptus is used in many different types of pharmaceutical products, from vapor rubs to cold remedies. Therapeutic uses include: antibacterial, asthma, arthritis, chicken pox, coughs, decongestant, fever, insect repellent, measles, migraine, muscle pain, rheumatism, shingles, sinusitis, sprains and throat infections.
- For arthritis, muscle pains and rheumatism, mix 2-3 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and massage on affected area
- For asthma, cough, sinusitis, stuffed up noses and throat infections, use 5-7 drops in a vaporizer or mix in a carrier oil and massage on chest
- To kill airborne bacteria in a sickroom, use in a spray bottle, mix 10 drops of oil in 1 quart of water and shake well and spray
- To guard against fly infestation, put droplets of oil on ribbon and hang near windows or place on windowsills and replace/refresh weekly
- For chicken pox and shingles, use 2-3 drops on a cotton swab and apply to affected areas; relieves pain associated with these ailments
- As an insect repellent, mic equal amounts with bergamot and lavender; if applying to skin, use in a carrier oil; if using in a linen closet, apply to cotton balls and place on shelves
- To freshen up garbage bins, place a few drops of oil on a paper towel, and wipe over lid or place in the bottom of the bin to both kill germs and smells
- Warning: avoid during pregnancy. Do not use if diagnosed with high blood pressure or epilepsy. Always use in dilution. Avoid if taking homeopathic remedies, as eucalyptus acts as an antidote against such therapies.
3. LAVENDER – very versatile, lightly floral and soothing scent is why it is the most useful oil in aromatherapy. The therapeutic uses include: acne, alopecia, anxiety, asthma, bee/wasp stings, bronchial problems, depression, eczema, dermatitis, flu symptoms, insect repellent, insomnia, hay fever, headache, menstruation regulation, migraine, minor cuts/burns, mood swings, nervous tension, nightmares, psoriasis, rashes, sleep aid, stress, sunburn.
- For skin problems, including acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and sunburn, place 2-3 drops on a cotton ball and dab on affected area
- As a tonic for hair growth, mix 2-3 drops in a quarter-sized application of unscented leave-on conditioner and massage into scalp
- To alleviate headaches and migraines, massage a couple of drops into temples and/or use in a hot or cold compress
- To relieve insomnia or aid sleep, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser, or place same amount on a cotton ball or handkerchief and place inside pillowcase, or use 8-10 drops in bath before bedtime
- For anxiety, depression, nervous tension, stress or to balance mood swings, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser, or use 8-10 drops in bath.
- To guard against nightmares, use 8-10 drops in a bath before bedtime
- For menstrual regulation or PMS, use 4-5 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and massage on abdomen and lower back
- For bee and wasp stings, place 2-3 drops on cotton call and dab on affected area
- To lessen flu symptoms, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser or as a steam inhalation
- To repel moths, use several drops on cotton balls and place strategically in linen closet and/or wardrobe
- For asthma, bronchial problems and hay fever , use 2-3 drops in a diffuser or steam inhalation, or use 8-10 drops in bath or use 4-5 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and rub on chest area.
- Warning: can make those with low blood pressure drowsy
4. PEPPERMINT– one the most useful and beloved essential oils. Refreshing, cooling, uplifting and restoring. It is used to alleviate many ailments like: apathy, arthritis, asthma, bad breath, back pain, bowel disorders, bronchitis, colds and flu, coughs, cramps, faintness, fatigue, flatulence, digestive problems, headaches, mental exhaustion, migraine, mouth/gum infections, muscular pain, nausea, poor circulation, sinus congestion, shock, sunburn, tired feet, travel sickness, and vertigo.
- For apathy, fatigue and mental exhaustion, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser
- For asthma, bronchitis, coughs, and sinus congestion, use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation or diffuser
- For bad breath and moth/gum infections, use as a mouthwash, apply 1 drop to 2tsp of apple cider vinegar and a cup of warm water and swish in mouth (don’t swallow), spit out and repeat 2x daily
- To ease the discomfort of colds and flu accompanied by a headache, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser
- For cramps, tired feet, back pain, bowel disorders (inflammation, constipation and flatulence), headaches, mental exhaustion, muscular pain, rheumatism and arthritis, use 3-4 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage on body and/or affected areas
- For digestive problems and flatulence, use 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and massage on back, can also be used in a compress
- For faintness, shock or vertigo, use 2-3 drops on a handkerchief and inhale periodically, can also be used in a diffuser
- To cool a fever, use 2-3 drops in a cold compress
- For headaches and migraines, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser
- To fight nausea, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser or place a couple of drops on a handkerchief and inhale periodically
- To cool sunburn, add 2-3 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil, or put 2-3 drops on a cold compress
- To alleviate travel sickness, use 2-3 drops on a handkerchief and inhale periodically
- Warning: may cause irritation to sensitive, however it is rare. Do a patch test, first, before applying in large amounts. Do not us in baths.
5. ROSEMARY – An historical herb used to bring good luck, protect from evil spirits, and heal illnesses. Today rosemary is used a culinary herb and has many therapeutic uses as an essential oil. It’s fresh, minty and woody aromas can fight fatigue, uplift spirits, renew enthusiasm, and boost self-confidence. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it a strong ally against colds, flu and respiratory infections. It’s therapeutic uses include: acne, arthritis, asthma, back pain, cellulite, colds, constipation, dandruff, depression, diarrhea, enthusiasm, fatigue, flu, fluid retention, greasy hair/skin, headaches, memory enhancement, menstrual pain, migraines, muscular pain, nervous exhaustion, respiratory infections, rheumatism, self-confidence, sinus problems, stiff neck.
- For acne and greasy skin, use 2-3 drops on a wet cotton ball and dab on affected area
- For asthma and respiratory infections, use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation or in a diffuser or 8-10 drops in bath water
- For arthritis, back pain, muscular pain, rheumatism, or a stiff neck, use 2-3 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage on area
- To alleviate cellulite and fluid retention, use 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and massage on affected area regularly and/or use 8-10 drops in bath water
- To help the body fight colds and flu, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser and/or use 8-10 drops in bath water
- For constipation or diarrhea, use 8-10 drops in bath water and/or mix 2-3 drops with 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage on lower back and abdomen area
- For dandruff and greasy hair, add 2-3 drops of oil to unscented conditioner, leave on 3-5 minutes and then rinse
- To relieve depression, fatigue and nervous exhaustion, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser
- To restore enthusiasm, self-confidence and enhance memory, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser
- For headaches and migraines, especially those related to gastric upset, use 2-3 drops in a hot or cold compress and/or use 2-3 drops in a diffuser or 8-10 drops in bath water
- To alleviate menstrual pain, use 8-10 drops in bath water and/or mix 2-3 drops in carrier oil and massage on lower back and abdomen
- For sinus problems, use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation
- Warning: Avoid if pregnant, diagnosed with epilepsy or high blood pressure. Do not rub or massage directly over or below varicose veins
6. TEA TREE – well-known for its antiseptic and germicidal properties, it has been used therapeutically by the aboriginal people of Australia for centuries. Its therapeutic uses include: acne, asthma, athlete’s foot, blemishes from chicken pox and shingles, blisters, bronchitis, burns, chilblains, cold sores, colds, coughs, cracked/rough skin, dandruff, debilitating illnesses, fever, flu, insect bites, operation recovery, repeated infections, sinusitis, sunburn, varicose veins, warts and whooping cough.
- For acne, athlete’s foot, blemishes from chicken pox and shingles, blisters, burns, chilblains, cold sores, cracked/rough skin, dandruff, insect bites, sunburn, varicose veins and warts, apply 2-3 drops to a Q-tip and apply directly on skin (do a patch test first to make sure it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction). You can also add 2-3 drops to water and then apply on skin or do a hair rinse for hair issues.
- For asthma, bronchitis, coughs, sinusitis and whooping cough, use 8-10 drops in bath water and/or use 2-3 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and massage gently on chest and back
- For colds and flu, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser and/or use 8-10 drops in bath water
- For fever, use 3-5 drops in a cold compress
- To help the body fight off repeated infections and debilitating illnesses, use 2-2 drops in a diffuser regularly and/or use 2-3 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and massage on body regularly
- To help prepare the body before an operation, mix 2-3 drops in 1oz carrier oil and massage on body; to help relieve postoperative shock, use in the same way, carefully avoiding the operation wound or scar
- Warning: Make sure to do a patch test before applying directly to skin. Limit usage to the problem area and avoid the surrounding skin. Do not massage directly on or around a varicose vein.
7. THYME – warm and spicy, thyme has been used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Middle Ages Knights. It has been used to bless temples, add flavor to food and liquor and was seen as a symbol of courage. Its therapeutic uses today, include: acne, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, bruises, burns, chills, cold, coughs, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, flu, gout, gum infections, headaches, infectious diseases, insect bites, insomnia, laryngitis, mucous congestion, muscular aches/pains, physical exhaustion, poor circulation, oily skin, rheumatism, sinusitis, sore throat, sports injuries, sprains, stress-related complaints, tonsillitis and warts.
- For acne, bruises, burns, cuts, eczema, insect bites, oily skin, and warts, place 2-3 drops on cotton ball and dab on affected area
- For arthritis, gout, muscle aches/pains, sports injuries, sprains and rheumatism, use 2-3 drops in 1oz carrier oil and massage on affected area
- For asthma, bronchitis and coughs, use 2-3 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and rub on chest and throat and/or use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation
- For chills associated with cold and flu, use 2-3 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and massage on body
- For colds, flu, mucous infections and sinusitis, use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation
- For gum infections, sore throat and tonsillitis, use diluted in a gargle or mouthwash; apply 1 drop to 2tsp of apple cider vinegar and a cup of warm water and swish in mouth (don’t swallow), spit out and repeat 2x daily
- For insomnia, physical exhaustion and stress-related complaints, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser
- For headaches, use 2-3 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and massage on temples and neck and/or use in a hot or cold compress
- To combat poor circulation, use 2-3 drops in 1oz of carrier oil and massage on body
- Warning: avoid if diagnosed with high blood pressure. Not to be used in baths. Some highly sensitive people could have a reaction, so do a patch test, first, before using directly on skin.
***If you are interested in purchasing individual essential oils or an essential oil started kit, visit my store***
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Worwood, V.A. (1991). The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library.
Worwood, V.A. (2000). Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child. Novato, CA: New World Library.