Top 6 Essential Oils No Home Should Be Without
Plants have been used throughout history for their healing, balancing and cleansing properties. Although our modern world is inundated with pharmaceutical medicines and chemical based cleaners, the use of natural, therapeutic essential oils has never been more popular. Aromatherapy is Mother Nature’s medicine chest, cleaning cupboard and luxury spa all rolled into one. Essential oils work with your body, mind and spirit to support, balance and promote healing.
Although the initial cost of the oils may seem pricey, they really are more cost effective in the long run. You only need to use a few drops at a time so a 10 ml bottle of essential oil can last years if stored properly. Creating your own home Aromatherapy kit couldn’t be easier. The following 6 oils will ensure you have everything covered from stubborn stains to upset tummies.
Lavender: This is one of the most well known of all the essential oils and is an absolute must for your home Aromatherapy kit. Actually it’s such a versatile oil that I carry a spare bottle in my handbag for use when I’m out and about! It’s anti-viral, anti-bacterial and fungicidal properties make it useful in the battle against germs and bugs. Use a few drops in an Aromatherapy burner or add a few drops to a tissue and wipe communal surfaces such as doorknobs and handrails to prevent the spread of colds and flu. Lavender is a great pain reliever and can be dabbed neat onto the temples for tension headaches or used in the bath or a massage blend for muscle aches and tension. Add a drop or 2 of neat lavender to burns, bug bites or scrapes to take the sting away and promote healing. Insects such as moths can be deterred from eating your clothes by placing lavender infused cotton balls in your drawers and wardrobe. Spots and pimples can be cleared in no time by dabbing a drop of neat lavender onto them. Emotionally lavender is balancing and calming, and is the ideal oil to use for any sleep related problems.
Tea Tree: Another popular oil, tea tree is powerfully anti-septic and anti-fungal. It gives the immune system a real boost and can help the body fight infection, even if illness has already taken hold. Use in the bath or a massage blend to stimulate the body’s healing abilities or use in a fragrancer to prevent the spread of germs. In a steam inhalation it can help soothe a sore throat and prevent it from worsening. It can be used neat on warts, ringworm, verrucae and athletes foot as well as on cuts, scrapes, spots and insect bites to promote healing and prevent infection.
Orange: Citrus oils are great mood-boosters. Orange in particular has a ‘sunny’ disposition and is gentle enough to use with children. Temper tantrums and stubborn behavior can be soothed by using orange, usually in combination with lavender, in an aromatherapy burner or warm bath (try 1-drop lavender and 1-drop orange on a tissue and place in the car for long car journeys!). Although uplifting, orange can also help with insomnia and is a good choice if your child suffers from nightmares. This oil also has an affinity with the digestive system so if tummy upsets are common try rubbing a few drops blended in carrier oil gently over the abdomen.
Chamomile: There are two different types of chamomile, German and roman. Personally I would always opt for roman chamomile, as it’s more suitable for use with children. This profoundly relaxing oil also has analgesic properties and blends well with lavender. Used in a massage blend or compress it can help with the pain and discomfort of indigestion, earache, menstrual cramps and headache. It is also very healing for the skin and can help calm conditions such as eczema, cold sores, nappy rash, psoriasis and dry, broken skin. It also encourages wounds to heal so is good for cuts and scrapes. Chamomile is relaxing and can be used effectively during times of stress to help calm nerves and reduce worry.
Lemon: The refreshing scent of lemon is synonymous with a clean home and it’s strong anti-bacterial properties make it ideal for use on kitchen counter tops, the bathroom as well as cleaning windows. The uplifting aroma will also leave you feeling energized and positive. Combine 20-drops lemon essential oil in 60 ml of distilled water and add to a spray bottle for a natural, chemical-free cleaner and insect repellent! As a natural bleaching agent, lemon can also get rid of stubborn stains. Just dab a drop or two on the stain and wash the item as normal. However, lemon is also a great remedy for coughs and colds assisting in ridding the body of mucous. Use 1-2 drops in a steam inhalation, or combine with lavender as a massage blend for the chest. A lemon rinse can also help with parasitic infestations such as lice and scabies and can also help rid the body of warts and verrucae when applied neat to the area. As a digestive tonic, lemon can help with sluggish digestion as well as loss of appetite.
Rosemary: This beautiful warming oil is stimulating for the body and mind. Used in the bath or a massage blend it helps encourage healthy circulation, making it a useful convalescent oil. Rosemary also has pain relieving properties and combined with lavender makes a wonderful bath or massage blend for tired, stiff and aching muscles as well as for chronic conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. Used as a compress it is also effective in the relief of sprains, strains, headaches and migraines. The anti-spasmodic properties make it a good choice for menstrual cramps, diarrhoea and flatulence. Use 2-3 drops in the bath or blend with lavender for a powerful massage oil. Rosemary can help clear dandruff as well as combat lice and scabies. Add 2-3 drops to water for a hair rinse or add a few drops to fragrance-free shampoo and massage into the scalp. The invigorating aroma is said to improve brain function and memory. Add 3-4 drops to an aroma burner when your kids are revising for their exams or when you need to stay alert and focused.