In addition to rejuvenating fragrances, essential oils have healing properties that have been sought after and highly valued for thousands of years. While these distilled oils are a lot easier to obtain these days than they were earlier, neither their demand nor their efficacy has suffered in any way due to that. In fact, the newly found scientific information regarding their incredible benefits has actually made these ancient, natural oils more popular than ever before. Now the only question is, which one should you order? It depends on what you want really, as the effects of each essential oil differs from another, although most of them will share certain common benefits and characteristics. To help shed some light onto the confusion, here are the top five essential oils from all manner of bark, leaves and fruits, along with some information on what to use them for.
There are actually three different types of essential oil that comes from the clove plant, depending on whether the oil was collected from the bud of the flower, the leaf or the stem. However, it’s the clove bud oil that we generally use because the oil collected from the leaves and especially the stem is too chemically strong to be used directly on the human body. The eugenol, eugenyl acetate and caryophyllene content makes it an effective antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-fungal and even an antiviral in some cases. Clove bud oil can be used for the following and it has proven to be quite effective:
- Soothes gastrointestinal upsets and nausea when taken orally
- Can soothe toothaches
- The antimicrobial properties of the oil make it effective against acne, warts and even general cuts
- Prolonged use can relieve some signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging skin, fine lines, etc.
- It might help patients suffering from respiratory infections such asthma, common colds and even tuberculosis breathe better
- On combining clove oil with citrus oil, the concoction instantly turns into a powerful insect repellent
- An age-old herbal medication for athlete’s foot and other fungal infections
- Massaging with clove oil may bring relief from both psychological and physical stress
Similar to clove, eucalyptus also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, but it is even more powerful and efficient in killing microbes than clove oil. Consider the fact that Staphylococcus aureus is the most threatening bacterial strain among all staph strains, but it dies out within minutes of coming into contact with eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil also acts as a strong antispasmodic, which means that it can be used to counteract muscle cramps such as those experienced during menstruation or IBS attacks. This popular essential oil is also effective against respiratory diseases (asthma, sore throat, sinusitis, etc.) and joint pain.
Frankincense essential oil is obtained from the aromatic gum resin of the Boswellia tree, found originally in the African continent only. Known as the king of essential oils, frankincense has more uses and benefits than its incense-like aroma and name suggest. Even those that do not know about the more serious benefits of frankincense know it to be a potent energizer for both the body and the mind, but there is just so much more that the oil has to offer.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties that strengthen the human body’s natural counter-reaction to inflammations
- It helps in preventing and relieving symptoms of indigestion, ulcers and smooth muscle spams
- Frankincense essential oil is a very effective stress buster in aromatherapy
- Common colds and coughs are alleviated by the use of frankincense oil
- The oil is capable of killing cancer cells and that’s a clinical fact
Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils of all time and we primarily know it as a natural ingredient that’s extremely efficient in relaxing the body and the mind. While that is very true, relaxation isn’t the only benefit to be had here, as you will see next.
- It soothes insect bites/stings, burns, sunburns, cuts, painfully dry skin and lips
- Lavender oil fights against skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and dandruff
- The scent of lavender helps us sleep faster and better
- Kinetosis, vertigo, sea-sickness and nausea in general can be relieved by placing a drop of the oil on the tip of the tongue
- Lavender is a proven natural medication for allergies
Finally, we have rosemary oil, which is derived from the popular herb and is known worldwide as a solution for hair care; a claim that isn’t without sufficient merit. Rosemary oil is found in a whole range of hair care products and medications because it is just so effective against hair loss, dandruff, dry scalp, greying of hair and may even bring about hair regeneration through follicle stimulation. As you can imagine, using the oil directly will yield better results than using a chemical product that only has trace amounts of the natural oil. The good news is that hair care isn’t the only use for rosemary oil, as stated by the following points.
- Rosemary oil, just like most other essential oils, is an effective oral and skin cleanser for its antimicrobial properties
- In addition to significantly improving cognitive functions, rosemary oil may even slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s
- The oil is also an immune-booster that stimulates antioxidant activity within the body
- It can bring about relief from severe depressive episodes and crippling stress
By this time, you have probably already realized which oils you need, but do feel free to try out some of the others too, because the thing about essential oils is that none of them hardly ever goes to waste. Having said that, if you had to choose just two, let them be rosemary and frankincense because of the extra benefits they bring with them, in comparison to the rest. All the essential oils on this list have antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties but only rosemary boosts intelligence and memory, while frankincense can actually lessen your chances of ever developing cancer.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema
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