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Essential uses & Uses

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Quick Jump - Benzoin, Bergamot, Camomile, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Geranium, Hyssop, Juniper, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh, Niaouli, Orange Blossom, Petigrain, Peppermint, Rosemary, Rose, Sandalwood, Sage, Tea Tree, Thyme, Vetivert, Verbena, Ylang-ylang

Essential Oil

Description

Benefits

How to use?

Benzoin

This is actually a tree resin which is processed to turn it into a liquid. You may already be familiar with benzoin in the form of friar's balsam, but it is also used to make incense.

Coughs, colds and flu

Try steam inhalation.

Stiff or aching joints. Mix into a carrier oil and massage into the problem area, or use on a compress.

Nervous exhaustion, tension. Mix into a carrier oil and use for massage particularly around the neck and shoulder area.

Sore, dry skin

Mix into a carrier oil (wheatgerm oil is good) and apply to the affected area at regular intervals. You can also add it to your bath.

Itchy skin, dermatitis

Mix into a carrier oil or a perfume-free cream and apply to the affected area.

Bergamot

This is a member of the citrus family and the oil is extracted by pressing the peel of the fruit. Bergamot essence is used to make Earl Grey tea and gives it its characteristic perfume. Bergamot is a powerful antiseptic and an appetite stimulant. It must not be used neat on the skin because it can cause pigmentation marks.

Cold sores Blend into a carrier oil and apply to the cold sore with a cotton bud every few hours.

Oily, spotty skin Blend into a carrier oil (wheatgerm oil is good) and massage into the affected area. You can also steam your face with bergamot mixed with boiling water.

Psoriasis Blend into a carrier oil (evening primrose oil is helpful for psoriasis) and massage into the affected area, or add to the bathwater.

Cystitis Add to the bathwater and soak in it for 15 minutes.

Camomile

The camomile family is large and there are several different camomile essential oils. German camomile is the most expensive, but all camomile oils are helpful for sensitive conditions and can be- used safely for children. Camomile tea is widely available, and the plant feverfew - belonging to the camomile family - is now being used to help migraine sufferers.

Conjunctivitis, sore eyes Add two drops to 2 tsp (10 ml) of cooled, boiled water. Soak cotton pads in the solution and place on the eyes, or use in an eyebath to wash the eyes.

Aches and pains. Blend with a carrier oil and massage into the affected area or add to the bathwater.

Hyperactivity particularly in children. Add a few drops to the bathwater, or use in a vaporizer, Boils. Apply a small cotton compress which has been soaked in hot water and camomile and leave on until it cools

Dermatitis, eczema. Blend with a carrier oil and massage into the affected area or blend with a perfume-free cream and apply regularly.

lnsomnia Try a camomile aromatherapy bath before bedtime. Drink camomile tea before going to bed. Use the oil in a vaporizer or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow.

Minor skin infections. Apply on a cotton compress.

Clary sage

The oil is produced from the flowers and leaves of the plant. It is mainly grown in Russia, and the oil varies greatly according to the conditions in which it is grown. Clary sage is used to make eau-de-Cologne and is very soothing used as an aftershave. Irregular, painful periods

Mix into a carrier oil and massage into the lower back and lower abdomen for several days prior to, and during, your period.

Depression.

Add to your bath, or use in a burner or vaporizer.

Inflamed skin.

Particularly good for shaving rashes and inflamed skin.

Sore throat

Mix into a carrier oil and rub into the chest and throat three or four times a day, or inhale.

Eucalyptus

The oil is extracted from the leaves by steam distillation. It has a smell you will recognize as it is often used in commercial rubs and inhalants for chest complaints and colds.

Colds, sinus problems, sore throat .

Steam inhalation or use in an oil burner or vaporizer. Helps keep viruses at bay from other people in the home.

Muscular aches and pains.

Very helpful after sport or any strenuous exercise, either in the bath or in a carrier oil to massage affected areas.

Flu

Mix into a carrier oil and massage well into the chest, shoulders and rib-cage.

Fennel

There are two types of fennel, sweet and bitter. Essential oil is extracted from the seeds, roots and leaves by steam distillation. Florence fennel is a popular vegetable often eaten with fish. It has a slightly aniseed flavor and looks rather like a very thick celery. Fennel essential oil has the same aniseed scent as the root. Flatulence, It is used to make gripe water. Fluid retention Add to the bathwater.

Nausea and vomiting

Add to a carrier oil and massage into the stomach.

Hiccups.

Inhale neat from the bottle, or in steam.

Geranium

There are many varieties of geranium. Essential oil is usually extracted from the Pelargonium family, but wild geranium - known as Herb Robert- is also used. The oil is distilled from all parts of the plant. Geranium oil is a good balancer. It can uplift or have a relaxing effect and is particularly good for menopausal problems.

Sore throat.

Add two drops to a glass of warm water and use as a gargle.

Dry eczema and dermatitis.

Mix into a carrier oil. If the problem is severe on the hands, try massaging with the blend, put on cotton gloves and wear overnight.

Menopausal bleeding

Mix, into a carrier oil and massage into the lower abdomen and back. Or use a compress soaked in warm water with the geranium oil added.

Sluggish skin

Mix three or four drops into a carrier oil and use to massage the face and neck

Nervous tension and anxiety

Use in an aromatherapy bath, or mix into a carrier oil and massage into neck and shoulders.

Hyssop

Hyssop is an ancient herb which was cultivated for its medicinal as well as romantic properties. The oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers by distillation. It is beneficial for 'all respiratory problems and can help relieve hayfever.

Hayfever.

Use on a handkerchief or in a vaporizer, or blend and use for facial massage.

Rheumatism

Use in the bath or as a massage for the affected area.

Bruises

Use as a compress or gently rub over the bruised area.

Eczema

Use in a carrier oil at regular intervals.

Juniper

The juniper bush is found in Canada and Europe. The berries are well known as the flavoring for gin, but to make essential oil they are first dried, then distilled. Juniper oil has been used for hundred of years as a household disinfectant.

Cystitis

Blend into a carrier oil and rub the lower abdomen at regular intervals. Also add five or six drops to your bathwiner and soak for at least fifteen minutes.

Period pain

Use as above.

Muscular/ rheumatic pain Use for massage or in the bath.

Stress and anxiety

Use for massage, in the bath or in a vaporizer.

Acne

Mix four drops with 2 tsp (10 ml) of carrier oil and gently massage the face and neck (and shoulders if acne is present there).

Poor circulation

Juniper is a stimulating oil. Use in the bath, or in a carrier oil, daily to improve circulation.

Jasmine

The essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the jasmine bush. This oil has a beautiful, exotic aroma and is really helpful in cases of extreme nervous anxietY and stress. It is one of the most expensive oils and is often used in the manufacture of perfumes.

Nervous exhaustion

Use in a carrier oil for massage or inhale.

Period pain

Use in a carrier oil and massage the lower abdomen and back at regular intervals.

Dry, sensitive, mature skin

Use in a carrier oil for massage or add a couple of drops to rosewater and use as a freshener.

Lavender This is the great aromatherapy all-rounder. The essential oil is obtained by distillation. Lavender oils blend wen with other essential oils and can boost their properties. It is the most versatile oil for aromatherapy, so if in doubt, choose lavender.

Acne and spotty skin

Blend in a carrier oil for massage, or add a few drops to distilled water to make a freshener.

Insect bites, stings

Dab on a few drops of neat oil. Boils Use neat on a sman compress.

Burns

Use neat, being careful not to break the skin.

Sunburn

Mix a few drops into your aftersun lotion or a carrier oil.

Headache! migraine

Inhale, or blend into a carrier oil and massage the face and scalp. Pay particular attention to the temples and forehead.

Sore throat

Use in a carrier oil to massage the chest and throat and/or inhale neat.

Muscular aches and pains

Use to massage the affected area in a carrier oil, or add to the bath.

Irritability, tension and depression

Use for massage, especially the shoulders and neck, add to the bath water or inhale.

Colds and flu

Inhale, add to the bath, use in a vaporizer or use in a carrier. oil to massage the head, neck and shoulders.

Indigestion, nausea

Blend in a carrier oil and gently massage the stomach, or inhale.

Period pain

Blend in a carrier oil and massage the lower abdomen and back. Also use in the bath.

Insect repellant

Mix in a carrier oil and use on exposed areas as necessary. Use in a burner to keep insects at bay at night.

Lemon

It takes 3,000 lemons to produce 2 pound (1 kilo) of essential oil. It is extracted by pressing the rind of the fruit. Hand-pressed oil is of a better quality than mechanically pressed oil. Hand pressing is a family affair. The women and children cut the lemons and scrape out the flesh, the men do the pressing.

Chilblains

Mix into a carrier oil and gently rub the affected area, three to four times a day. Or use in a footbath, soaking the feet for fifteen minutes.

Cold sores

Dab with a cotton bud which has been soaked in 2 tsp (10 ml) of boiled water to which 5 drops of oil have been added.

Bites and stings

Dab neat oil on to the bite or sting.

Mouth ulcers

Dab on the neat oil, or make a gargle adding five drops to a medium-size glass of water.

Verrucae/ warts

Dab with a cotton bud soaked in neat essential oil several times a day.

Catarrh/ colds

Mix in a carrier oil and massage the face and head, or inhale.

Marjoram

You may have come across this herb already - it is a popular aromatic flavouring. The oil is extracted from the plant by distillation. It has a powerful head-clearing aroma, and an uplifting effect on the spirit. Marjoram blends very well with lemon essential oil.

Anxiety and depression

Inhale, use in the bath or in a vaporizer.

Insomnia

Use in the bath or inhale.

Constipation

Blend into a carrier oil and massage into the abdomen to relieve spasm in the intestines.

Muscular aches and pains

Use in a carrier oil to massage the affected parts, or add to the bath.

Heat cold

Inhale, or use to massage face and neck.

Myrrh

Myrrh essential oil is produced from the resin of the myrrh tree. It has been used since ancient Egyptian times for its rejuvenating qualities and is one of the oils used for embalming.

Mouth ulcers, inflamed and sore gums

Add five drops to a medium-size glass of warm water and use as a gargle several times a day.

Cuts and grazes

Bathe the area in a solution of five drops to 2 tsp (10 mt) of cooled, boiled water.

Coughs

Blend into a carrier oil and massage the chest and throat, or inhale.

Niaouli

This oil is produced by steam distillation from the leaves of the niaouli tree, which is native to New Caledonia. It is an excellent antiseptic.

Acne and problem skin

Blend in a carrier oil for massage, or add six drops to 1/2 pt (300 mt) of boiled water and use as a skin tonic.

Grazes

Dilute six drops in 1/2 pt (300 ml) of boiled water - very good for removing dirt from wounds.

Bronchitis, chesty cough

Inhale, or mix with a carrier oil and massage the chest.

Catarrh

Inhale.

Orange blossom

This essential oil is often called neroli. It is obtained from fresh orange flowers by steam distillation. If you have ever been lucky enough to see an orange blossom tree in bloom you will already know what delightful a scent it has. The tree originated in China, but is now also found around I the world. This oil is one of the most expensive, along with rose and jasmine.

Sensitive skin, high colour

Blend in a carrier oil and use to massage the affected area. Or, add a few drops to a bottle of orange flower water and use as a skin tonic.

Diarrhoea

Blend in a carrier oil and massage gently into the abdomen to relieve spasms.

Shock, fear

Inhale neat oil.

Depression

Neroli is a cheering oil. Try inhaling, or add a few drops to your bathwater.

Petigrain

Made from the leaves of the orange blossom tree, this oil has similar properties to neroli and a pleasant, light scent. It is cheaper to produce than neroli, and often used in its place for economic reasons.

Memory

Inhale neat oil.

Stress

Use in a carrier oil for massage, or in the bath.

Spotty or irritated skin

Mix with a carrier oil and use on the affected areas.

Fluid retention

Add to the bath, or mix with a carrier oil for massage.

Peppermint

The oil is obtained from the leaves and flowers by steam distillation and varies in quality depending on climatic and soil conditions. It is a very therapeutic oil which has a cooling effect on the skin and lessens pain. You'll notice most commerical indigestion cures are mint­flavoured. Peppermint is excellent for digestive problems. It also makes a great foot bath for hot, aching feet. Note: It is not advisable to use this oil during pregnancy.

Migraine

Use it neat on the temples.

Heartburn and indigestion

Mix into a carrier oil and massage the stomach and rib-cage.

Hot, aching feet

Add ten drops to a large bowl of lukewarm water. Soak feet for at least fifteen minutes.

Travel sickness

Inhale, or blend in a carrier oil and massage the stomach and temples.

Sinus, catarrh<

Inhale, or use to massage the face.

Bad breath

Add five drops to 1/2 pt (300 ml) of watel and use as a mouthwash.

Rosemary

A well known herb, rosemary is cultivated in France, Spain, etc. The essential oils are distilled from the flowers and leaves. It is known as the herb for remembrance and clears the mind and stimulates the memory. It is an excellent hair tonic, improving circulation to the scalp, and is helpful for dandruff.

Fainting

Inhale neat, like smelling salts.

Mental fatigue, poor memory

Inhale neat.

Dandruff, hair in poor condition

Use in a carrier oil for scalp massage. Leave for thirty minutes before shampooing.

Circulation

Use in the bath, or in a carrier oil Rosemary has a warming, comforting effect.

Stomach pain, wind

Mix in a carrier oil and gently massage the affected area.

Rose

As I have already mentioned, this is one of the most expensive essential oils and is most used for its beautiful fragrance. It is an excellent anti-depressant, and very calming on the nervous system. I've yet to come across anyone who dislikes the aroma and effect of rose oil. Because of its cost, I wouldn't recommend the use of this oil in the bath. There are other oils you can substitute for it.

Depression

Inhale, or use in a carrier oil to massage the chest, neck and face.

Irregular periods

Mix in a carrier oil and massage the abdomen and lower back daily.

Very dehydrated, mature skin

Blend with sweet almond oil and massage the face and neck, or add a few drops to your night cream. Use rosewater as a skin freshener.

Insomnia

Put a few drops on your pillow, or dab a little under your nose before retiring. Note: This oil can safely be used on children.

Sandalwood

This oil is distilled from the sandalwood tree, and the best comes from India. The wood is carved nd used as a decoration in temples because of its lovely fragrance. It takes years for the trees to mature, and they are not felled until they show signs of dying.

Sandalwood is a parasitic tree: it buries its roots in the roots of other trees. Sandalwood is often an ingredient of incense.

Nausea, vomiting

Mix in a carrier oil and gently massage the stomach, or inhale.

Stress, tension

Inhale, use in the bath or in a burner. Can aid sleep.

Dry cough

Inhale, mix in a carrier oil and massage into the chest and throat.

Itchy, dry skin

Add to your bath, or use mixed in a carrier oil. (Avocado or wheatgerm oils are very nourishing.)

Sage

I'm sure you've already come across this herb as it is often used in stuffings and savoury dishes. The oil is made from the sun-dried leaves by distillation. Sage is to be found in the North Mediterranean, where it grows wild, but it is also grown as a garden herb all over the world. The essential oil is toxic in high doses, so use with care.

Aching joints, rheumatism

Add to your bath, or use in a carrier oil to massage the affected areas.

Nervous exhaustion

A good tonic. Add to your bath, and soak for at least fifteen minutes.

Fluid retention

Add to your bath, or use in a carrier oil.

Excess perspiration

Dilute five drops in a glass of water. Soak cotton wool in the solution and use it under the arms and on the feet several times daily.

Sore, bleeding gums

Dilute five drops in a glass of water and use as a mouthwash.

Tea tree

The tea tree is native to Australia and the oil is distilled from the leaves. This oil is an excellent antiseptic, 12 to 15 times more potent than carbolic. When applied neat to a cut, its antiseptic potency doubles! Keep this one in your first aid box.

Athlete's foot

Add six drops to a large bowl of warm water and soak feet for fifteen minutes. Repeat daily.

Boils, spots

Apply neat to the boil or spot using a cotton bud.

Thrush

Add six drops to your bath. Also, blend in a carrier oil and massage the abdomen regularly.

Cuts

Bathe with neat oil.

Sore throat

Dilute five drops in a glass of water and gargle three times a day.

Thyme

This plant has been grown for its therapeutic qualities for centuries. The essential oil is obtained from the flowering tops by steam distillation. Thyme oil stimulates white blood cell production, having an almost antibiotic effect on infections.

Colds and flu

Inhale or blend with a carrier oil and use to massage the chest, neck and head. This oil can help protect others in the family from the virus. Use in a vaporizer or burner.

Sore throat, tonsillitis

Use in a gargle, two drops in a glass of water, or mix in a carrier oil and apply to the chest and throat.

Muscle fatigue

Add six drops to your bath.

Arthritis

Add to your bath, or use in a carrier oil to rub the affected area, or make up a hot compress.

Whooping cough

Inhale, or mix into a carrier oil and rub the chest regularly.

Vetivert

Vetivert is a grass which grows in Indonesia and the Philippines. The oil is obtained from the root by distillation. It is popular in the perfume industry and has a long-lasting woody fragrance, often popular with men. In the East it is known as the oil of tranquility and is often used for meditation.

Stress

Use in a burner or in the bath.

Tired, aching legs

Use in a carrier oil for massage.

Hysteria

Blend in a carrier oil and massage the solar plexus (see massage chapter) or inhale

Stiff neck

Use in a carrier oil and massage the shoulders and neck.

Verbena

This oil is probably better known as lemon grass. It is a fragrant grass which grows in India, and the oil is obtained by distillation. Lemon grass is used. extensively in Indian and Asian cookery and has a light, lemony scent.

Acne, spotty skin

Use in a carrier oil (wheatgerm is good for its healing properties) to massage, or dilute five drops in water and use to wipe the skin after cleansing.

Poor muscle tone

Improves elasticity. Use in a carrier oil for massage, or in the bath.

Shock

Inhale.

Irritability, tension

Add to your bath, inhale or use in a carrier oil on the shoulders and neck.

Digestive problems e.g. colitis

Use in a carrier oil to massage the abdomen at regular intervals.

Ylang-ylang

This tree is native to the Philippines and other parts of the Far East. The essential oil is obtained from the flowers by steam distillation. This is another oil used by the perfume industry as it has a lovely, exotic floral fragrance. It has a relaxing, sedative effect and is a pleasant oil to use in a burner to scent your home. Ylang­ ylang is said to have aphrodisiac powers!

Depression and nervous tension

Use in a burner, the bath or for massage.

Insomnia

Put a few drops on your pillow, use in the bath or a burner.

Panic, fear

Inhale neat oil.

High blood pressure

The oil is calming and can help to relieve high blood pressure. Use regularly in a carrier oil for massage or in the bath.

Spotty skin

Use in a carrier oil, or dilute in water and use as a skin tonic.

Aromatherapy carrier oils

Pure essential oils are hardly ever used neat but instead are blended into a carrier oil. This does just what the name suggests: it acts as a base for the seential oil and is a lubricant, so making massage easier and more effective.

Carrier oils are always vegetable in origin. They should be natural, unprocessed oils which have not been treated with chemicals. Any vegetable oil can be used as a carrier but some are more suitable than others. For instance, virgin olive oil could be used but its smell would overpower your chosen essential oil and also it is quite expensive.

I suggest you try raiding your food cupboards! Look for an oil which is fine-textured with little or no colour or smell. I find the following are ideal as general carrier oils and are all easily available in most supermarkets and health food shops.

* Soy bean oil * Grapeseed oil * Safflower oil * Sunflower oil*

If your skin is very dry, richer vegetable oils can be mixed with any of the above oils. Avocado oil is very lubricating, or you could try sweet almond oil. Wheatgerm oil is excellent for helping to heal scar tissue or for very dehvdrated skin. However, it tends to have a rather breadv smell so be careful to mix it with one of the plainer carrier oils. Wheatgerm oil acts as a preservative, too, so add a few drops of it when mixing a blend of essential oils into a carrier oil to prolong the shelf life.

 

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