Therapeutic essential oils from allspice to ylang ylang have been providing benefits to the body, mind, and soul for centuries. You’ve probably seen the dark, compact bottles with their unusual scents in your local alternative healing store, but maybe you’ve been hesitant to try them.
You may have found yourself wondering, what exactly is an essential oil? It is oil that is removed from the leaves, stems, and flowers of a plant. It is highly concentrated and evaporates easily. For that reason high quality essential oils are always kept in sealed containers. Any good aromatherapy or health food store will carry a range of essential oils for a variety of mental and physical ailments.
Some of the most popular therapeutic essential oils are eucalyptus, lavender, and sandalwood. You’ve probably used eucalyptus in the form of potent smelling vapor rub under you nose and on your chest when you have a cold. That’s because eucalyptus helps to clear your sinus cavities, which leads to better breathing. It also soothes sores and insect bites, acts as a disinfectant, and lifts the mood.
Lavender is always a favorite of the therapeutic essential oils due to its ability to relax the body, calm the mind, fight infection, and soothe inflammation. Unlike the majority of essential oils, it does not have to be diluted and can be applied directly to trouble areas. Or, you can use a few drops in your bath to help you relax or to extinguish a tension headache.
Looking for something more exotic? Try the woody and rich smelling sandalwood oil. For millennia lovers of the deeply aromatic sandalwood oil have used it as an aid for deeper meditation and spiritual development, in religious ceremonies, and as a treatment for skin conditions and other infections of the body. High quality essential oils like pure sandalwood oil can be pricy, but you’re guaranteed to enjoy the experience.
One of the less expensive therapeutic essential oils is tea tree oil, which usually comes from Australia. The scent reminds you a bit of a strong disinfectant, and that’s exactly what it does best – kills germs and bacteria. Always dilute tea tree oil before using it on your skin.
Therapeutic essential oils don’t always come in the mysterious little bottles you see in stores or at your massage therapist’s office. High quality essential oils also come in salves or creams that you can apply to your skin. You not only get the benefit of the essential oil, but you receive the moisturizing properties of the cream. You can also try pure essential oils in a tincture. In a tincture the oil is mixed with alcohol and applied to the skin. In addition, you can purchase a room or car diffuser which turns essential oil into a vapor and distributes the oil throughout a room for everyone to enjoy.