Essential oils: the raw power of Mother Nature condensed into a highly potent form and ready to work all kinds of wonders. Far from being a modern phenomenon, essential oils have been used for over 6000 years for their healing therapeutic properties.
Did you know that smells can influence both our health and mood?i That’s because our sense of smell is directly connected to parts of the brain that deal with emotions, hormones, and the immune system. That’s why it’s a great idea to add essential oils to your life!
Each oil offers a unique blend of therapeutic properties. These are our top six:
The Mind Sharpener - Peppermint
Everyone can recognize this oil’s refreshing and uplifting scent. Peppermint is used as a mental stimulant because it increases alertness and improves memory. For this reason, it is sometimes used to treat stress and mental fatigue. Add a few drops to your diffuser to sharpen your mind. Peppermint oil also has many other uses, from soothing insect bites to treating dental problems.
The Household Shaman - Sage
If you’ve never used this healing herb, then you’re missing out! Sage has been used in cookery and cosmetics for centuries, but it is so much more than just a flavor and beauty enhancer. Its aroma brings clarity and focus, dispelling negative energies. This is the perfect oil to use if you’re feeling low. You can also turn to Sage as a treatment for asthma, depression, fatigue, skin conditions and even pre-menstrual tension.
The Studious One - Rosemary
Rosemary smells and tastes amazing with roast potatoes, but did you know that this humble potato-partner is also a therapeutic powerhouse? The wonderfully herby, spicy and slightly sweet essential oil boosts concentration, so this is the one you want to use for your meditation or study sessions. Rosemary can also be used to treat fatigue, liver problems, rheumatism and acne. What’s more, its antiseptic properties make it a useful ingredient to use in scalp and hair care.
The Winter Soother - Pine
This one is for lovers of the great outdoors. Pine trees are very widespread, found all over Europe, North America and Russia. Pine essential oil is a sure way to mentally teleport yourself into the crisp fresh air and calming environment of a deep forest. It can be used to treat pulmonary problems and as a sudorific (to induce sweating), so this oil is also perfect for dealing with cold and flu symptoms, chest infections, and bronchitis.
The Smiley - Orange
Orange essential oil so closely resembles its big juicy parent that in a smell test, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Providing a joyful dose of sunshine and happiness when used in aromatherapy, it is certain to lift your mood after a hard day at work. Beyond putting a smile on your face, orange oil can relieve digestive problems and constipation, nourish and rejuvenate dry skin, and has even shown promise in cancer prevention.ii
The All-Rounder - Tea Tree
Tea tree oil is a great all-rounder. Its powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties mean it’s perfect for zapping that pimple or for cleansing the air around your home. The fresh, woody and herbaceous aroma is medicinal in itself, and should be part of an essential blend for those winter months—especially with circulation stimulating oils such as rosemary or ginger. Tea tree can also be used topically to treat acne, athletes foot, corns and warts.
ZenSense Bud in Light Wood diffusing some oils.
Essential oils are an easy way to bring the healing, mindful power of Nature into your home. Which one will you try first?
[i] Buchbauer G, Jirovetz L, Jäger W, et al.: Fragrance compounds and essential oils with sedative effects upon inhalation. J Pharm Sci 82 (6): 660-4, 1993.
[ii] Chidambara Murthy KN1, Jayaprakasha GK, Patil BS D-limonene rich volatile oil from blood oranges inhibits angiogenesis, metastasis and cell death in human colon cancer cells Life Sci. 2012 Oct 5;91(11-12):429-39. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2012.08.016. Epub 2012 Aug 20.