The Top Five Essential Oils for Your Health

Previous Article Next Article
March 13, 2004 | 231,833 views

By Dr. Joseph Mercola
     with Rachael Droege

Essential oils carry the physical properties of flowers and plantsin a highly concentrated form. They are, in short, the essence ofthe plant and can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts.The particles in essential oils, which come from various parts ofthe plant such as the flowers, twigs, leaves or bark, can be inhaledand absorbed through the skin and their use can be traced back forthousands of years. Essential oils were even used in ancient Egyptiantimes, and were made by soaking plants in oil and then filteringthe oil through a linen bag.

Most essential oils have antibacterial qualities and have varyingphysical and emotional effects depending on the oil, such as stimulation,relaxation, pain relief and healing. The most common ways to useessential oils include:

In The Maker's Diet, Dr. Jordan Rubin recommends 14 essentialoils that have unique healing properties. He suggests putting fiveto 10 drops (total) of these "top healing oils" into awarm bath for a real "healing treat." Below you will findfive beneficial essential oils along with their uses. I encourageyou to check out The Maker'sDiet to learn more about some of the more exotic, but highlyeffective, essential oils available.

I'd also like to point out that essential oils are not the samething as fragrance oils. Essential oils come from plants while fragranceoils are artificially created and often contain synthetic chemicals.While they may smell good and are typically less expensive, theywill not give you the therapeutic benefits of organic essentialoils--and you don't want to be inhaling any synthetic chemicals!So, please be sure that the essential oil you use is of the highestquality and 100 percent pure.

Sandalwood*
This scent is woody and floral, rich and sweet, and is used for:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Insecurity
  • Stress
  • Enhanced sleep
  • Female reproductive and endocrine health
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Stretch marks
  • Depression
  • Laryngitis
  • Sensitive skin

Cedarwood
Has a slightly sharp, woody and sweet aroma that is useful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Skin problems like acne, psoriasis, dandruff and dermatitis
  • Arthritis
  • Bronchitis
  • Coughing
  • Cystitis
  • Stress
  • Insect repellant
  • Hair loss
  • Tuberculosis
  • Gonorrhea

Peppermint
This well-known minty fragrance is used for:

  • Mental fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Vertigo
  • Asthma
  • Flatulence
  • Sinusitis

Lavender
The scent is fresh, sweet, and floral and is used for:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mental fatigue
  • Panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Oily skin
  • Bruises
  • Stretch marks
  • Earache
  • Chickenpox
  • Hypertension
  • Vertigo
  • Whooping cough
  • Flatulence

Frankincense
This has a woody, spicy and slightly fruity smell and is used for:

  • Insecurity
  • Grief
  • Immune system stimulation
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Allergies
  • Headache
  • Herpes
  • Brain damage from head injuries
  • Panic Attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Coughing
  • Bronchitis
  • Scars
  • Stress
  • Stretch marks, stress

 

Caution: Essential oils can produce verystrong and significant changes in tiny amounts. They must be usedwith caution, especially during pregnancy. It is important to consultsomeone knowledgeable in aromatherapy before experimenting withthese oils.

* Although sandalwood is a beneficial oil, the treesmust be felled to collect the product and there has been much over-harvesting.Indian sandalwood is controlled by the Indian government, whichallows a limited amount of the essential oil to be traded on theworld market. However, due to its high value sandalwood may be producedillegally without replanting programs in place. There is concernthat this oil should be on the endangered list and many essentialoil producers are contemplating not selling it, so you may wantto seek an alternative oil, such as Western Australian sandalwood.