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Therapeutic Uses for Essential Oils

 

"The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage everyday" thus spoke Hippocrates, the father of medicine, as far back as the fourth century B.C.. He reported then that the medicinal and healing qualities of essential oils protect the body from contagious disease and other spirits.

Synergy 
Today we know that essential oils consist of chemical compounds that have hydrogen, carbon and oxygen as their building blocks. these can be subdivided into two groups: the hydrocarbons, which consist almost exclusively of terpenes, (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes); and the oxygenated compounds, mainly esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols and oxides; acids, lactones, sulfur and nitrogen compounds are sometimes also present. It is worth mentioning here that whole natural essences are found to be more active than their principle constituents. Moreover, those constituents which form a smaller percentage of the whole essential oil are found to be more active than the principle constituent (an excellent example of synergy).

Natural Affinity
The blood and essential oils have a natural affinity for each other and are therefore very compatible. One could imagine that the spirit in the blood and the spirit in the plant enter into a polite and loving conversation, whereby the oil asks where it can best serve the body. The red carpet rolls out and off it goes to areas where it is most needed. There are seven areas of influence that essential oils have on the body. They are: skin, circulatory, respitory, digestive, genito-urinary, immune, nervous.

Immune System
Because essential oils are so small molecularly, they have the ability to enter the blood stream via the skin and lungs, carrying valuable nutrients to every cell in the body, increasing cellular vitality and delivering valuable support to the immune system. In essential oils we find trace elements of nutrients, hormones, enzymes, minerals, antibodies, and anti fungal, antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic and immune-stimulating properties.

Three Modes of Action
It is also important to recognize that essential oils have three distinct modes of action within the human body:
Pharmacological-  concerned with the chemical changes that take place when an essential oil enters the blood stream and reacts with the body's hormones and enzymes, etc.
Physiological- concerned with the way an essential oils effects the various systems of the body, namely the seven systems listed above, and the physical changes that are brought about.
Psychological- effect takes place on the emotional level of the body, which has to do with moods and states of mind.

Have you ever experienced an aversion to a particular essential oil but with another oil you cannot get enough of the scent? Never under estimate the power of the nose. By your sense of smell, your nerve-sense faculty lets you know which oils will be most therapeutic and beneficial to the body - physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Furthermore, a scent can transport you, by associative memory, to a past experience when the same scent was present. Whether the experience was pleasant or not will influence how you feel when you smell the scent again. To change an undesirable response you can repeatedly smell the scent under different circumstances to have your desired emotional response. It wasn't until 1989 when it was discovered that a part of the brain, the amygdala, plays a major role in storing and releasing emotional trauma and only odor stimulation has a profound effect in triggering a response with this gland.

To have an inkling of just how complex our sense of smell really is, the nose and brain have the capacity to detect a hundred thousandth of a millionth of a gram of aroma substance. In each nostril there are 400 million nerve endings concentrated in an area the size of a tiny button each side behind the bridge of the nose, under the brain. The micro-fine, vaporized oil particles are received by the olfactory hair like nerves and transported to the olfactory bulb. The impulses are then carried to the limbic system and olfactory sensory center at the base of the brain and then the amygdala, which is the memory center for fear and trauma. The impulses the travel to the gustatory center where the sensation of taste is perceived.

Indeed when you say, "This tastes good," it would be more accurate to say, "This smells good," because your taste buds can only distinguish between salty, sweet, bitter and sour, while your sense of smell is at least ten thousand times more sensitive. It's your nose which distinguishes between mango's and limes- not your good taste!

Essential oils are extracted from plant material by two main methods: expression by pressure as in citrus rind oils such as lemon and bergamot (it is advisable to choose only organically grown citrus oils to avoid pesticides in the peel). The second method is by steam distillation, which isolates by heat only the volatile and water insoluble parts of a plant. The remaining flower contains often valuable water-soluble constituents such as tannis, mucilage and bitters and is sold commercially to the food and skin care industry.


For all its ancient origins and modern research, essential oil therapy, popularly called aromatherapy, is still in its infancy. Fortunately, more and more people are taking their health into their own hands and turning to a much more holistic approach, using essential oils for healing and self health care. The many uses of essential oils include air diffusion, bath therapy, body massage, face care and in certain cases, internal use.

Ambrette Seed - Circulation, Muscles, and Joints: Cramp, fatigue, muscular aches and pains, poor circulation. Nervous System: Anxiety, depression, nervous tension and stress-related conditions.

 Essential Oils

Basil - Skin Care:Insect repellent and insect bites, scalp and hair tonic. Circulation, Muscles, and Joints: Gout, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism.  Respiratory System: Brochitis, colds, coughs, earache, sinusitis. Digestive System: Flatulence, dyspepsia, nausea. Genito-urinary System: Cramps, scanty periods. Immune System: Colds, fever, flu, infectious diseases. Nervous System: Anxiety, depression,  fatigue, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension.

Bergamot - Skin Care: Acne, boils, cold sores, eczema, insect repellent and insect bites, oily complexion, psoriasis, scabies, spots, varicose ulcers, wounds. Respiratory System: Halitosis, mouth infections, sore throat, tonsillitis. Digestive System: Flatulence, loss of appetite. Genito-urinary System: Cystitis, leucorrhea, pruritis, thrush. Immune System: Colds, fever, flu, infectious diseases. Nervous System: Anxiety, depression and stress-related conditions, having a refreshing and uplifting quality.

Birch (sweet) - Circulation, Muscles, and Joints: This oil is beneficial for bone, muscle and joint discomfort. It contains 99% methyl salicylate, which has a cortisone-like action. It has been helpful in decreasing pain from arthritis, tendonitis and rheumatism.

Carrot Seed - Skin Care: Dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, revitalizing and toning, mature complexions, wrinkles. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Accumulation of toxins, arthritis, gout, edema, rheumatism. Digestive System: Anemia, anorexia, colic, indigestion, liver congestion. Genito-urinary and Endocrine Systems: Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, glandular problems, PMT.

Chamomile - Skin Care: Acne, allergies, boils, burns, cuts, chilblains, dermatitis, earache, eczema, hair care, inflammations, insect bites, rashes, sensitive skin, teething pain, toothache, wounds. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Arthritis, inflamed joints, muscular pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, sprains. Digestive System: Dyspepsia, colic, indigestion, nausea. Genito-urinary System: Dysmenorrhea, menopausalproblems, menorrhagia. Nervous System: Headache, insomnia, nervous tension, migraine and stress related complaints.

Clary Sage - Skin Care: Acne, boils, dandruff, hair loss, inflamed conditions, oily skin and hair, ophthalmia, ulcers, wrinkles. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: High blood pressure, muscular aches and pains. Respiratory System: Asthma, throat infections, whooping cough. Digestive System: Cramp, dyspepsia, flatulence. Genitourinary System: Amenorrhea, labor pain, dysmenorrhea, leucorrhea. Nervous System: Depression, frigidity, impotence, migraine, nervous tension and stress-related disorders.

Cypress - Skin Care: Hemorrhoids, oily and over-hydrated skin, excessive perspiration, insect repellent, pyorrhea (bleeding of the gums), varicose veins, wounds. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Cellulitis, muscular cramp, edema, poor circulation, rheumatism. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, spasmodic coughing. Genito-urinary System: Dysmenorrhea, menopausal problems, menorrhagia. Nervous System: Nervous tension and stress-related conditions.

Eucalyptus - Skin Care: Burns, blisters, cuts, herpes, insect bites, insect repellent, lice, skin infections, wounds.  Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, rheumatoid arthritis, pains, etc. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, throat infections. Genito-urinary Systems: Cystitis, leucorrhea. Immune System: Chickenpox, colds, epidemics, flu, measles. Nervous System: Debility, headaches, neuralgia.

Fir - Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism. Respiratory System: Bronchitis, coughs, sinusitis, etc. Immune System: colds, fever, flu.

Grapefruit - Skin Care: Acne, congested and oily skin, promotes hair growth, tones the skin and tissues. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Cellulitis, exercise preparation, muscle fatigue, obesity, stiffness, water retention, Immune System: Chills, colds, flu. Nervous System: Depression, headaches, nervous exhaustion, performance stress.

Geranium - Skin Care: Acne, bruises, broken capillaries, burns, congested skin, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, hemorrhoids, lice, mature skin, mosquito repellent, oily complexion, ringworm, ulcers, wounds. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Cellulitis, engorgement of breasts, edema, poor circulation. Respiratory System: Sore throat, tonsillitis. Genitourinary and Endocrine Systems: Adrenocortical glands and menopausal problems, PMS. Nervous System: Nervous tension, neuralgia and stress-related conditions.

Jasmine - Skin Care: Dry, greasy, irritated, sensitive skin. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Muscular spasm, sprains. Respiratory System: Catarrh, coughs, hoarseness, laryngitis. Genito-urinary System: Dysmenorrhea, frigidity, labor pains, uterine disorders. Nervous System: Depression, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions. It. . . produces a feeling of optimism, confidence and euphoria. It is most useful in cases where there is apathy, indifference or listlessness.’

Lavender - Skin Care: Abscesses, acne, allergies, athlete's foot, boils, bruises, burns, dandruff, dermatitis, earache, eczema, inflammations, insect bites and stings, insect repellent, lice, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, sores, spots, all skin types, sunburn, wounds. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Lumbago, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, halitosis, laryngitis, throat infections, whooping cough. Digestive System: Abdominal cramps, colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea. Immune System: flu. Nervous System: Depression, headache, hypertension, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension and stress-related conditions, PMS, sciatica, shock, vertigo. Immune System: flu. Nervous System: Depression, headache, hypertension, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension and stress-related conditions, PMS, sciatica, shock, vertigo.

Lemon - Skin Care: Acne, anemia, brittle nails, greasy skin, boils, corns, cuts, herpes, insect bites, mouth ulcers, spots, throat infections, warts. Circulation, Muscles, Joints: Arthritis, cellulitis, high blood pressure, obesity, poor circulation, vericose veins. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh. Digestive System: Dyspepsia. Immune System: Colds, flu, fever, infections.

Mandarin - Skin Care: Acne, congested and oily skin, scars, spots, stretch marks, toner. Circulation, Muscles, and Joints: Fluid retention, obesity. Digestive System: Digestive problems, dyspepsia, hiccoughs, intestinal problems. Nervous System: Insomnia, nervous tension, restlessness.

Marjoram - Skin Care: Chilblains, bruises, ticks. Circulation, Muscles, and Joints: Arthritis, lumbago, muscular aches and stiffness, rheumatism, sprains, strains. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, coughs. Digestive System: Colic, constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence. Genito-urinary System: Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, leucorrhea, PMS. Immune System: Colds. Nervous System: Headache, hypertension, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension and stress-related conditions.

Melissa - Skin Care: Allergies, insect bites, insect repellent. Melissa in very low concentration is a very valuable oil indeed in treating eczema and other skin problems. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughs. Digestive System: Colic, indigestion, nausea. Genito-urinary System: Menstrual problems. Nervous System: Anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension, shock and vertigo.

Neroli - Skin Care: Scars, stretch marks, thread veins, mature and sensitive skin, tones the complexion, wrinkles. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Palpitations, poor circulation. Digestive System: Diarrhea (chronic), colic, flatulence, spasm, nervous dyspepsia. Nervous System: Anxiety, depression, nervous tension, PMT, shock, stress-related conditions.

Orange (sweet) - Skin Care: Dull and oily complexions, mouth ulcers. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Obesity, palpitations, water retention. Respiratory System: Bronchitis, chills. Digestive System: Constipation, dyspepsia, spasm. Immune System: Colds, flu. Nervous System: Nervous tension and stress-related conditions.

Oregano – Skin Care: Cellulite, scabies, head lice. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, and bacterial and viral diseases. Digestive System: Flatulence (though peppermint is safer) and amenorrhea. Immune System: (1 drop in a spoon of honey) Flu, internal infections.

Palmarosa - Skin Care: Acne, dermatitis and minor skin infections, scars, sores, wrinkles: valuable in all types of treatment for the face, hands, feet, neck and lips (moisturizes the skin, stimulates cellular regeneration, regulates sebum production). Digestive System: Anorexia, digestive atonia, intestinal infections. Nervous System: Nervous exhaustion, stress related conditions.

Peppermint - Skin Care: Acne, dermatitis, ringworm, scabies, toothache. Circulation, Joints and Muscles: Neuralgia, muscular pain, palpitations. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, spasmodic cough, sinusitis. Digestive System: Colic, cramp, dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea. Immune System: Colds, flu, fever. Nervous System: Fainting, headache, mental fatigue, migraine, nervous stress, vertigo.

Petitgraine - Skin Care: Acne, excessive perspiration, greasy skin and hair, toning. Digestive System: Dyspepsia, flatulence. Nervous System: Concalescene, insomnia, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions.

Pine - Skin Care: Cuts, lice, excessive perspiration, scabies, sores. Circulation, Joints and Muscles: Arthritis, gout, muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, rheumatism. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, sore throat. Genito-urinary System: Cystitis, urinary infection. Immune System: Colds, flu. Nervous System: Fatigue, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions, neuralgia.

Rose (Damask) - Skin Care: Broken capillaries, conjunctivitis (rose water), dry skin, eczema, herpes, mature and sensitive complexion, wrinkles. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Palpitations, poor circulation. Respiratory System: Asthma, coughs, hay fever. Digestive System: Cholecystitis, liver congestion, nausea. Genito-urinary System: Irregular menstruation, leucorrhea, menorrhagia, uterine disorders. Nervous System: Depression, impotence, insomnia, frigidity, headache, nervous tension and stress-related complaints - ‘But the rose procures us one thing above all: a feeling of well being, even of happiness.’

Rosemary - Skin Care: Acne, dandruff, dermatitis. Eczema, greasy hair, insect repellent, lice, promotes hair growth, regulates seborrhea, scabies, stimulates scalp, varicose veins. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Arteriosclerosis, fluid retention, gout, muscular pain, palpitations, poor circulation, rheumatism. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough. Digestive System: Colitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, hepatic disorders, hypercholesterolmia, jaundice. Genito-urinary System: Dysmenorrhea, leucorrhea. Immune System: Colds, flu, infections. Nervous System: Debility, headaches, hypotension, neuralgia, mental fatigue, nervous exhaustion and stress-related disorders.

Rosewood - Skin Care: Acne, dermatitis, scars and wounds, wrinkles, and good for general skin care of all skin types. Immune System: Colds, cough, fever, infections, immune system stimulant. Nervous System: Frigidity, headaches, nausea, nervous tension, stress-related conditions.

Sage - Skin Care: Acne, cuts, dandruff, dermatitis, eczema, excessive sweating, hair loss, gingivitis, gum infections, sores. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Arthritis, debility, fluid retention, muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, rheumatism. Respiratory System: Asthma, coughs, laryngitis. Digestive System: Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, sterility. Genito-urinary System: Jaundice, liver congestion. Immune System: Colds, fever, flu. Nervous System: Headaches, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions.

Sandalwood - Skin Care: Acne, dry cracked, and chapped skinafter-shave  for barber’s rash, greasy skin, moisturizer. Respiratory System: Bronchitis, catarrh, coughs (dry persistent), laryngitis,sore throat. Digestive System: Diarrhea, nausea. Genito-urinary System: Cystitis. Nervous System: Depression, insomnia, nervous tension, stress-related complaints.

Spruce - Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, rheumatism. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, coughs, respiratory weakness. Immune System: Colds, flu, infections. Nervous System: Anxiety, stress-related conditions.

Tea Tree – Skin Care: Absess, acne, athlete’s foot, blisters, burns, cold sores, dandruff, herpes, insect bites, oily skin, rashes (diaper rash), spots, veruccae, warts, wounds. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, tuberculosis, whooping cough. Genito-urinary System: Thrush, vaginitis, cystitis, pruritis. Immune System: Colds, fever, flu, infectious illnesses such as chicken pox.

Thuja - Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Beneficial in both emulsions for rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Expectorant, rubefacient, stimulant (nerves, uterus and heart muscles), tonic.

Thyme - Skin Care: Abscess, acne, bruises, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, insect bites, lice, gum infections, oily skin, scabies. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Arthritis, cellulitis, gout, ,muscular aches and pains, obesity, edema, poor circulation, rheumatism, sprains, sports injuries. Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, laryngitis, sinusitis, sore throat, tonsillitis. Digestive System: Diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence. Genito-urinary System: Cystitis, urethritis. Nervous System: Headaches, insomnia, nervous debility and stress-related complaints.

Ylang ylang - Skin Care: Acne, hair growth, hair rinse, insect bites, irritated and oily skin, general skincare. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: High blood pressure, hypernea, (abnormally fast breathing), tachycardia, palpitations. Nervous Systems: Depression, frigidity, impotence, insomnia, nervous tension and stress-related disorders.

Vetiver - Skin Care: Acne, cuts, oily skin, wounds. Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains, stiffness. Nervous System: Debility, depression, insomnia, nervous tension.