Essential oils provide a fantastic natural alternative to common ailments we see at home. The actions of essential oils are broad, ranging from topical antiseptics and anti-inflammatories to analgesics, digestive system tonics, and anti-depressants. While essential oils should not be a substitute for professional medical care, they can be successfully employed for many minor complaints, and as adjuncts to other therapies.
Here we will have a brief look at ten essential oils which may comprise the ‘basic home care kit’. While by no means exhaustive, this list will go a long way to providing effective (and often pleasant!) treatments for you and your family for things like cuts and scrapes, sunburn, digestive troubles, stress related conditions and more.
Oil #1: Tea Tree Essential Oil
When first examined for it’s antiseptic properties, Tea Tree essential oil was found to be 100 times more powerful than carbolic acid – the medical standard at the time. Tea tree has an extremely broad range of antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties that have been confirmed by modern scientific research. Often used topically on small wounds, Tea Tree is also commonly found in oral hygiene preparations, and can also be effectively employed for Candida, athlete’s foot and acne, among other things.
Oil #2: Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender has often been called the ‘medicine chest in a bottle’ for its broad range of applications. Every home should keep Lavender on hand, even if no other oil is used, as it is so very effective on burns. It’s anti-inflammatory action is responsible for the beginnings of modern aromatherapy, as Dr. Jean Valnet discovered Lavender’s healing properties after being burned in a laboratory accident. Lavender is considered to speed wound healing and reduce scarring. The oil is also pleasantly calming, and can be used to reduce stress in a variety of situations – a commonly used technique is to apply Lavender oil ‘neat’ (undiluted) to the soles of the feet of patients recovering from almost any ailment.
Oil #3: Chamomile Essential Oil
Ah, the great tension reliever, Chamomile oil. This extremely gentle essential oil is useful for a wide variety of nervous conditions, and is often indicated for cases of stress in children (including teething and general ‘crankiness’). Rubbing into the solar plexus is a commonly used application if that is where one tends to ‘hold tension’. Chamomile essential oil is available in to varieties, German or Blue Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. The Roman variety is most often used for stress relief, whereas the German variety has the added bonus of being an extremely effective anti-inflammatory.