20 Essential Oils for Health, Beauty, Healing and Wellbeing

Essential oils are among the most complex substances synthesized by aromatic plants at the peak of their development. They contain a large number of medicinal substances. For this same reason, the spectrum of their therapeutic application is so broad. Essential oil extracts have been used since ages for health, healing, beauty and physical wellbeing. Certain essential oils can also be used in the kitchen most especially for baking purposes. However, you need to be very careful and keep in mind that they are very concentrated ingredients. They can be diluted in strong alcohol, oils and fats; possibly in yogurt, cream, honey and egg yolk.

essential oils for health and wellness

The difference between aromatic plants and non-aromatic plants is not so rigid. Aromatic plants produce essential oils and the non-aromatic class does not. There is a category of fragrant plants which contain only tiny amounts of essential oils, but are still of interest because of their use as medicinal plants.

Distilling plants that yield essential oils is very low and poses the problem of obtaining a good essence quality with a price that is still affordable. The cheapest, most common and efficient methods make use of solvents. However, toxic residues always remain in the oil, rendering it unsuitable for aromatherapy. Another rarely used technique is high-pressure distillation, which employs a liquid gas instead of steam. Although, this delivers a somewhat better quality this type is still very expensive.

A third method is in use which is called ‘synergetic co-distillation.’ This is double synergy, in both technical and therapeutic sense. For a plant with a low yield in essential oil, it is necessary to find one or two other plants which do the following:

  • Boost the former’s yield in essential oil when distilled together
  • Whose combination will create a therapeutic synergy founded on common properties
  • Their properties must either strengthen the virtues of the original plant or add complementary qualities to it.

To skip all the technicalities, let us have a detailed look at some of the most important essential oils for health and wellbeing along with their indications and properties.

1. Angelica

Parts Used: Root – Angelica archangelica

Properties: Stimulates appetite and digestion, carminative, general strengthening and drainage; anti-spasmodic, febrifuge, beneficial for respiratory disorders.

Indications: Flatulence, nausea, palpitations, nervousness, anxiety, exhaustion, insomnia, kidney inflammation, uremia, malaria, for children with nervous digestion problems.

Side Effects: Photosensitization when used externally.

2. Basil

Parts Used: Whole plant – Ocimum basilicum

Properties: Soothes cramps, sedative for the nervous system, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, lowers blood congestion in the veins, protects against infections, bacterial and viral diseases.

Indications: Asthenia, depression, anxiety, nervous disorders, weakness of the suprarenal cortex, stomach cramps, viral hepatitis, and rheumatic poly-arthritis.

Side Effects: None if taken in normal doses.

3. Bay

Parts Used: Leaves and flowers – Myrcia acris, Pimenta racemosa miller

Properties: Circulatory stimulant, sedative to autonomic nervous system, antiseptic, anti-infection, bactericide, heals wounds.

Indications: Bladder inflammation, urethra inflammation, leucorrhea, viral hepatitis, colitis, low blood pressure, asthenia, toothache neuralgia, rheumatic poly-arthritis.

Side Effects: None for the normal doses.

4. Benzoin

Parts Used: Root or resin – Styrax benzoe Dryander

Properties: Against bronchial disorders, disinfectant, expectorant, supports scar formation, for skin ailments and facial care.

Indications: Breathing difficulty, wounds, growths, frostbite, burns, skin ailments, psoriasis, acne.

Side Effects: None if taken in normal doses.

5. Birch, Black

Parts Used: Bark and Wood – Betula lenta L

Properties: Diuretic, supports passage of uric acid, blood purifier, against rheumatism, heals wounds and growths.

Indications: Gout, uremia, inadequate urine output, kidney inflammation, edema, rheumatism, arthritis, skin rashes, abscesses, psoriasis.

Side Effects: None for the normal doses.

6. Birch, Yellow

Parts Used: Bark – Betula alleghaniensis S

Properties: Diuretic, supports passage of uric acid, blood purifier, against rheumatism, heals wounds and growths.

Indications: Gout, uremia, inadequate urine output, kidney inflammation, edema, rheumatism, arthritis, skin rashes, abscesses, psoriasis.

Side Effects: None if taken in normal doses.

7. Cade

Parts Used: Wood – Juniperus Oxycedrus L

Properties: For ailments of skin and scalp; against parasites.

Indications: Skin ailments, skin parasites, pediculosis.

Side Effects: Used only externally, none known for normal dosages.

8. Camphor

Parts Used: Wood – Cinnamomum Camphora

Properties: Generally strengthening, stimulates heart and breathing, antiseptic, anti-infective, febrifuge, analgesic.

Indications: Use only externally for asthenia, dizziness, abscess, bronchitis, pain, rheumatism, sprains.

Side Effects: Has a neurotoxic, abortive effect when used internally.

9. Cardamom

Parts Used: Leaves and Seeds – Elettaria Cardamomum

Properties: Diuretic, supports passage of uric acid, blood purifier, against rheumatism, heals wounds and growths.

Indications: Gout, uremia, inadequate urine output, kidney inflammation, edema, rheumatism, arthritis, skin rashes, abscesses, psoriasis.

Side Effects: None for the normal doses.

10. Carrot

Parts Used: Seeds – Daucus Carota

Properties: Regenerative for liver and gallbladder; regulates intestines, against diarrhea and putrescence; stimulant, tonic for nerves, anemia; blood purifier, promotes breast-milk production; against ulcers, rejuvenating effect on the skin against wrinkles.

Indications: Liver and gallbladder complaints, high cholesterol, constipation, diarrhea; breathing complaints; asthenia; uremia; kidney inflammation; skin diseases, little broken veins, eczema, pus-infected fingers.

Side Effects: None if taken in normal doses.

11. Cat Mint with Lemon Aroma

Parts Used: Whole plant and flowers – Nepeta Cataria L

Properties: Anti infective, against microbes, bacteria, viruses, and fungi; sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and dissolves gallstones.

Indications: Infection of respiratory and digestive track, inflammatory and viral diseases, herpes, spasmophilia, anxiety, nervous depression, gallstones.

Side Effects: None for the normal doses.

12. Celery

Parts Used: Seeds – Apium graveolens

Properties: stimulates and strengthens; carminative; strong diuretic; blood purifying, against rheumatism, counter irritant for ailments of the respiratory tract and liver; stimulant for gallbladder; supplies minerals; aid in weight loss; aphrodisiac.

Indications: Asthenia, anxiety; flatulence, kidney insufficiency; against rheumatism, consecutive symptoms of bronchitis and liver disorders, sexual asthenia.

Side Effects: None if taken in normal doses.

13. Clove

Parts Used: Seeds – Eugenia caryophyllus

Properties: An anodyne to initiate a pain killing effect especially to dental related problems; a carminative to stimulate acid productive in the stomach to induce smooth muscle contractions of the intestines; its oil can be used for aromatherapy to provide warmth and help relieve digestive problems; it is a known antihelmintic that rids the body of certain unwanted parasitic worm infestations; alleviate febrile (feverish) episodes and can be utilized as an effective blood sugar reducer; it helps address premature ejaculation to some extend and is known to repel mosquitoes as well (repellent).

Indications: vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea or morning sickness, skin problems like acne vulgaris; burns, irritation of the integumentary system, and even serves to decrease too much sensitivity of the skin; given for hypotonic muscles, which includes diseases such as multiple sclerosis, metabolism disorders like Diabetes, for de-worming processes of the gastrointestinal tract.

Side Effects: Although rarely, it can be irritating to the skin if used topically. If taken within its prescribed dosage amounts, there have been no reported significant side effects.

14. Coriander

Parts Used: Seeds – Coriander sativum

Properties: Stimulating, strengthening, stimulates appetite, carminative, promotes intestinal function; anti bacterial and parasites, disinfects, analgesic.

Indications: Asthenia, exhaustion, digestive complaints, aerophagy, fermentation in intestines, constipation, bladder information, influenza, arthrosis.

Side Effects: None if taken in normal doses.

15. Garlic

Parts Used: Clove – Allium sativum

Properties: Antiseptic, bactericide, especially on ailments of the respiratory tract, circulatory disorders, diseases of urinary tract, overweight, increases muscle tone, lowers blood pressure, vermifuge.

Indications: Infectious diseases, influenza, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma, whooping cough, runny nose, high blood pressure, vascular cramps, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, formation of urinary stones, gout, insufficient urinary excretion, edema, intestinal parasites.

Side Effects: Skin irritant when applied externally; comply with exact dose for internal use.

16. Ginger

Parts Used: Root – Zingiber officinalis Roscoe

Properties: Stimulates digestion and respiratory organs; blood purifier; febrifuge; analgesic; against rheumatism, aphrodisiac; against scurvy; antiseptic; good for eyes, aromatic hydrolate as ginger water.

Indications: Digestive complaints, constipation, chronic bronchitis, impotence, tooth neuralgia, rheumatism.

Side Effects: None for the normal doses.

17. Grapefruit

Parts Used: Bark – Peel – Citrus paradisli Macf. C

Properties: Strengthening, promotes appetite and digestion; blood purifier, derivate of liver and kidneys, haemostatic, refreshing, weight loss together with basil and sage.

Indications: Atony of the digestive organs, liver and kidneys; plethora, corpulence, cellulitis, germicide.

Side Effects: Photosensitizing when externally applied.

18. Iris

Parts Used: Root or resin – Iris florentina L, Iris pallida Lamk

Properties: Against colds, expectorant, promotes cough relief, diuretic, purifies the blood, against rheumatism, vermifuge.

Indications: Chronic and asthmatic bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, whooping cough, rheumatism, skin diseases.

Side Effects: None if taken in normal doses.

19. Lavender, True or Lavender Fine

Parts Used: Flowers – Lavandula angustifolia Miller, L

Properties: A potent antibacterial agent, helps decrease inflammation, heals common insect bites and also an effective insect repellent, a pain killer that can be applied on the head area to help relieve certain tension headaches including migraine, sleep inducer and relaxant, decrease pimples and heal burns on the skin.

Indications: mild to moderate wounds, anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations secondary to nervousness, headaches, parasitic infestations in the body against roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and hookworms among others, acne vulagris.

Side Effects: No reported side effects for oils taken in normal doses; in rare occasions it can induce an increased sensitivity to visible light and can be cytotoxic (dangerous to body cells especially to pregnant women).

20. Lemon

Parts Used: Peel – Citrus limonum

Properties: Stimulating, strengthens heart and sympathetic nervous system, strengthens stomach, carminative, promotes urination, antiseptic and anti bacterial, thins blood, alkalizing, against rheumatism, against sclerosis, vascular tonic, lowers blood pressure, promotes liver activity; against poisoning.

Indications: Infectious diseases, asthenia, digestive complaints, hyperacidity, aerophagy, liver insufficiency, kidney inflammation, inflammation of the testicles, rheumatism, gout; vascular weakness, phlebitis, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure; calcium deficiency, brittle nails, skin parasites, intestinal worms, malaria.

Side Effects: Skin irritation and photosensitizing when used externally.

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