An essential oil is a volatile, aromatic liquid compound that is usually extracted from the roots, leaves, flowers, stems, barks, roots, or other aromatic parts of a plant. It is prepared by extracting fragrances using techniques like distillation by steam or water, cold pressing and maceration.
Most of essential oils are clear but there are also tinged in yellow or amber. Essential oils are not the same as perfumes or fragrant oils since the latter do not provide therapeutic treatments like essential oils do.
The aroma and chemical constitution of essential oils offer helpful physical and psychological healing thru inhalation, application, and massage.
Essential oils are amply concentrated and hold the genuine essence of the plant it was drawn from. Just a drop of this oil goes a long way.
Below is a fairly comprehensive list of the many essential oils and their uses:
Allspice use in the treatment and relief of arthritis, rheumatism, muscle tone, indigestion, stiffness, muscular and gastric cramps, nervous tension, depression, nausea, and neuralgia
Amyris has sedative and antiseptic properties
Anise treatment of coughs, colds, bronchitis, flu, and flatulence; relief of muscle aches and rheumatism
Anise, Star treatment of bronchitis, coughing, colds, and flu; relief of colic, rheumatism, indigestion, and cramping
Balsam, Peru treatment of colds, coughing, bronchitis, flu, eczema, chapped skin; relief of rashes, sensitive skin, stress, and poor circulation
Basil treatment of Bronchitis, colds, coughs, exhaustion, flatulence, flu, gout, insect bites, muscle aches, rheumatism, sinusitis; acts as insect repellent
Bay – hair care, dandruff, oily skin, neuralgia, poor circulation; also treatment of sprains and strains
Bay Laurel – relief of amenorrhea and loss of appetite; treatment of flu, colds, and tonsillitis
Benzoin – treatment of coughs, arthritis, laryngitis, and bronchitis; relief of chapped skin and stress
Bergamot treatment of acne, boils, abscesses, cystitis, cold sores, and halitosis; relief of anxiety, depression, itching, stress, loss of appetite, oily skin, and psoriasis
Black Pepper relief of aching muscles, chilblains, arthritis, constipation, muscle cramps, sluggish digestion, and poor circulation
Blue Cypress – relief of arthritis and asthma
Bois-de-Rose treatment of acne, flu, colds, and fever; relief of headache, dry skin, dull skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, scars, stretch marks, and stress
Cajeput – treatment of bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, and coughs; relief of muscle aches, asthma, oily skin and rheumatism
Cananga use on Oily skin/hair; relief of anxiety, insect bites, high blood pressure, nervous tension, and stress
Cardamom treatment of appetite loss, colic, and halitosis; relief of fatigue and stress
Carrot Seed treatment of eczema; relief of gout, toxin build-up, mature skin, and water retention
Cassia treatment of cold and flu; relief of indigestion, colic, gas, diarrhea, and rheumatism
Cedarwood, Atlas treatment of acne, bronchitis, coughing, dandruff, cystitis, and dermatitis; relief of arthritis and stress
Cedarwood, Virginian – treatment of acne, bronchitis, cystitis, coughs, dandruff, and dermatitis; relief of arthritis and stress; acts as an insect repellant
Chamomile, German or Roman – treatment of abscesses, boils, colic, cuts, cystitis, dermatitis, earache, flatulence, hair, headache, insomnia, neuralgia, and PMS; relief of rheumatism, sores, sprains, strains, wounds, allergies, arthritis, dysmenorrheal, inflamed skin, insect bites, nausea, and stress
Cinnamon – treatment of lice, low blood pressure, and scabies; relief of constipation, exhaustion, stress, flatulence, and rheumatism
Citronella use for excessive perspiration and oily skin; to relieve fatigue and headache; as an insect repellant
Clary Sage treatment of coughs; relief of Amenorrhea, dysmenorrheal, asthma, exhaustion, labor pains, gas, sore throat, and stress
Clove Bud treatment of bronchitis; relief of asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, toothache, sprains, and strains
Coriander treatment of aches, arthritis, colic, fatigue, grout, indigestion, nausea, and rheumatism
Yarrow – fever, hair care, hypertension, indigestion, hemorrhoids, insomnia, migraines, stretch marks, varicose veins, scars, and wounds
Ylang Ylang – anxiety, depression, hypertension, palpitations, frigidity, and stress
Carrier oils are vegetable oils or base oils obtained from the fatty part of a plant, such as the seed, nuts or kernel. Since most essential oils can trigger severe irritation when applied directly to the skin, carrier oils are used to dilute them and reduce their concentration.
Carrier oils make the essential oils tolerable by the skin. They also provide the capability to create various mixtures with different healing qualities. Most carrier oils have a slightly sweet and nutty scent but some are odorless.
If it has a strong and bitter aroma, most probably it has become rancid. Unlike carrier oils, essential oils do not go rancid over time but they oxidize. When this happens, they lose their therapeutic properties.