Essential oils are concentrated volatile aromatic compounds produced by plants - the essences that give plants their wonderful scents.
Steam distillation is the most common type of extraction, and as a result of only requiring heating to just above the boiling point of water, is considered gentle enough for most essential oils.
The most effective way to use most of them is by external application or inhalation. The methods used include body oils, compresses, cosmetic lotions, baths, hair rinses, inhalation (in a diffuser or oil lamp, by steam, directly from the bottle or from a tissue), perfumes and room sprays.
These oils are extremely potent - some will cause skin irritation or have other harmful effects if not used properly. Unless specifically noted, it is best to dilute all essential oils in a carrier oil like Almond, Apricot Kernel or Jojoba before applying to the skin - appropriate dilution is usually 1 - 10% essential oil in carrier.
Medicinal Properties of Essential Oils
ANALGESIC - A substance which relieves pain.
Birch, Black Pepper, Roman Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Ginger Root, Lavender, Lemongrass, Sweet Marjoram, Peppermint, Wild Rosemary
ANTI-BACTERIAL - An agent which prevents the growth of or destroys bacteria.
Basil, Clove, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Orange, Oregano, Rosewood
ANTI-CATARRHAL - An agent which helps remove excess mucus (catarrh) from the respiratory or lymph systems and the body itself.
Eucalyptus, Ginger, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lemongrass, Ravensara, Rosemary, Sandalwood
ANTI-DEPRESSANT - An agent which helps alleviate depression.
Basil, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood
ANTI-FUNGAL - An agent which prevents and combats fungal infection.
Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Oregano, Rosewood, Sage, Thyme
ANTI-INFECTIOUS - An agent which prevents and combats the spread of germs.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY - An agent which alleviates inflammation.
Basil, Bergamot, Birch, Roman Chamomile, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemongrass, Myrrh, Peppermint, Thyme
ANTI-MICROBIAL - An agent which resists or destroys pathogenic micro-organisms.
Cinnamon Bark, Helichrysum, Lemon, Myrrh, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
ANTI-PARASITIC - An agent which prevents and destroys parasites.
ANTI-RHEUMATIC - Helps prevent and relieve rheumatism.
Birch, Eucalyptus, Helichrysum, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme
ANTI-SEPTIC - Destroys and prevents the development of microbes.
Cinnamon Bark, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Marjoram, Ravensara, Sandalwood, Tangerine
ANTI-SPASMODIC - Prevents and eases spasms or convulsions.
Birch, Roman Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Helichrysum, Lavender, Marjoram
ANTI-VIRAL - Substance which inhibits the growth of a virus.
Clove, Eucalyptus, Myrrh, Oregano, Ravensara, Rosewood, Sage
IMMUNE-STIMULANT - An agent which stimulates the natural defense mechanism of the body.
Frankincense, Lemon, Oregano, Thyme
Some oils can cause sensitization or allergic reactions in some individuals. When using a new oil for the first time, do a skin patch test on a small area of skin.
Place a small amount of the diluted essential oil (never use essential oils undiluted on the skin) on the inside of your elbow and apply a bandage. Wait 24 hours to see if there is any type of reaction. Even if a particular essential oil is not known to cause irritation, this step should not be ignored.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These suggestions are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.