When most people think of essential oils, they often think of using them in perfumes and in diffusers for the pleasant fragrances they offer. But essential oils impress in ways that go well beyond the olfactory senses . These oils pack the healing energy of plants and can be powerful allies for those interested in preserving or restoring their health. Unlike many commonly used drugs and medications, these oils bring no unwelcome side effects and won’t add to your body’s toxic load or put additional stress on your liver. Here are five oils that belong in every first aid kit:
Tea Tree: Distilled from Melaleuca alternifolia, an Australian plant with renowned healing properties. When tea tree oil is applied directly to the skin, it can clear acne blemishes and heal fungal issues such as jock itch and athlete’s foot.
Lavender: Known for its versatility, lavender has been hailed as one of the most relaxing oils, used to foster a sense of calmness and serenity. Its scent is said to lower stress hormones, and a few drops rubbed on the soles of your feet at night can help promote more restful sleep. Lavender may also be applied directly to the skin to sooth bruises, cuts, and irritation.
Frankincense: One of the oils frequently mentioned in the Bible, frankincense has a history that dates back thousands of years. It’s been used to enhance meditation and promote spiritual growth, and is said to alleviate depression. Frankincense may also be used to soothe skin inflammation, bug bites, cancer and to help restore the body’s immune system.
Peppermint: Peppermint oil is a must for students, since it fosters mental sharpness and clarity that facilitate studying and learning. One study found that inhaling this oil boosted mental accuracy by as much as 28 percent. Peppermint oil may also be taken internally, and a few drops added to water can help relieve indigestion.
Oregano: If you feel the onset of flu symptoms, reach for a bottle of oregano oil. This oil has potent antibacterial qualities and many swear by its ability to stave off colds and other illnesses. It’s best taken internally, with a few drops placed on the tongue.
As these five picks illustrate, essential oils can soothe a wide range of ailments and conditions. Whether you’re suffering from chronic acne or a common cold, there is a oil that can help improve your health and well-being. They’re worth incorporating into your healthcare arsenal.