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Essential Oils and their Properties


A landmark study on the broad antiviral effects of essential oils and their components was presented at the 1st Wholistic and Scientific Conference on the Therapeutic Uses of Essentials Oils, 1995. In this study, the broad spectrum of activity of essential oils for conditions of the upper respiratory tract, skin, gastrointestinal tract, urogenital tract, nervousness, and arterial conditions were demonstrated. An overview of the antibacterial and antifungal effectiveness of essential oils was given also.

It is known that a body can not become "habituated" to essential oils. The results remain the same; they do not lessen over any length of time. On the other hand, the organism does become habituated to chemically synthesised narcotics, and the result is known as tolerance. One may start out by taking a single sleeping pill , before long one may well have reached the stage of taking anything from four to ten pills and still be unable to get to sleep.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace any medical treatment. It is offered here as a service. Use this information at your own risk. No guarantee is made towards validity. If self-treating, consult a comprehensive book of essential oils and aromatherapy.

Allspice (Pimento) - Scent: Clove. Traditional uses: Warming to the body, reduces stress, calming, relaxes tight muscles, lessens pain, mood uplifting, vapors help breathing, improves digestion, disinfectant.

Anise - Scent: Licorice. Traditional uses: Calming, lessens pain, aphrodisiac, promotes restful sleep, vapors help breathing, improves digestion, increases appetite, stimulates lactation in nursing mothers.

Basil (Sweet) - Scent: slightly licorice. Traditional uses: to brighten mood, strengthen nervous system, improve mental clarity and memory, for relieving headache and sinusitis. Avoid during pregnancy.

Bay Laurel - Scent: strong, sweet-spicy. Traditional uses: as an immune system stimulant, to regulate the lymphatic system, for relieving melancholy, anxiety, to stimulate the mind, for healing bronchitis, sinus infection. Avoid during pregnancy. Do not over-use.

Benzoin, tincture: - Reduces stress, calming, breaks up congestion, healing to skin, preservative in cosmetics, fixative in perfumes and fragrances.

Bergamot - Scent: sweet & fruity. Documented in old herbal texts. Traditional uses: balancing nervous system, relieving anxiety and stress, lifting melancholy, for restful sleep, antiviral, cold sores, psoriasis, eczema and insect repellent. Bergamot may cause skin sensitivity to bright sunlight.

Birch - Scent: sweet-woody, wintergreen-like. Used as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent.

Cajeput - Scent: camphor. Traditional uses: Slightly warming to the body, calming, relaxes tight muscles, relieves muscle aches and pains, promotes restful sleep, breaks up congestion, vapors help breathing, disinfectant, repels insects.

Calendula: - Also called Marigold but should not be confused with Tagetes. Scent: sharp, herbaceous. Calendula has been used for many years for its effective skin healing properties. Traditional uses: all skin complaints, varicose veins; for treating enlarged lymph nodes, cysts, and skin lesions. May be helpful to mature skin.

Camphor - Scent: sharp, pungent. Traditional uses: skin care, relieves pain, coughs, colds, fever, flu, infectious diseases.

Carrot Seed - Scent: warm, woody-earthy. Used extensively in skin and facial care for mature skin, circulation problems and PMS symptoms.

Cedarwood - Scent: woody. Cedarwood was believed to have been used extensively by the Egyptians in cosmetics, perfume and medicine. Traditional uses: to relax tense muscles, calm emotions, help breathing, for enhancing meditation, easing pain, repelling insects, for hair loss. Avoid during pregnancy.

(German) Chamomile - Scent: strong, sweet, warm-herbaceous. Blue in color. German Chamomile has many of the same properties as Roman Chamomile. But, with a much higher azulene content its anti-inflammatory actions are greater. Traditional uses: to relieve muscular pain, to heal skin inflammations, acne and wounds, as a sedative, to ease anxiety and nervous tension, to help with sleeplessness. May cause skin reactions in some people.

(Roman) Chamomile - Scent: sweet and fruity. Traditional uses: to relieve muscular pain, as a sedative, ease anxiety and nervous tension, to help with sleeplessness.

Cinnamon - Scent: cinnamon. Traditional uses: warming to body, relaxes tight muscles, lessens pain, mood uplifting, aphrodisiac, helps relieve fatigue, improves digestion, increases appetite, helps reduce cellulite deposits, disinfectant, repels insects.

Citronella - Scent: fresh grassy-woody. Traditional Chinese medicine currently uses this herb for rheumatic pain. Traditional uses: as a mosquito repellent, for colds, flu and neuralgia, to relieve pain of rheumatism and arthritis, melancholy. Avoid using on sensitive or damaged skin.

Clary Sage - Scent: spicy, hay-like. It has been called "clear eye" and was used for healing eye problems in times past. Traditional uses: relieving stress and tension, lifting melancholy, easing pain, restful sleep, as an aphrodisiac; contains estrogen-like hormone, for menopause and PMS, relieving nervous exhaustion. Avoid during pregnancy, or if you have endometriosis, breast, ovarian and uterine cysts and other estrogen dependant conditions (cancer).

Clove Bud - Scent: spicy, fruity, warm and sweet. Traditional uses: for toothache, colds, flu and fungal infections, as a mosquito repellent, to relieve fatigue and melancholy, as an aphrodisiac. Not used on damaged or sensitive skin. Use in moderation.

Coriander - Scent: spicy, sweet and fragrant. Coriander seeds were found in the Egyptian tomb of Ramses II. Traditional uses: relieving muscular aches and pains, increasing circulation, for colds, flu and rheumatism, for help with sleep and nervous exhaustion. Use in moderation and avoid if you have fibrosis or breast cancer.

Cypress - Scent: spicy, refreshing pine-needle. Cypress incense is used today by Tibetans for purification. Traditional uses: to increase circulation, relieve muscular cramps, bronchitis, whooping cough and painful periods; reduce nervous tension and other stress related problems, as an immune stimulant. Avoid during pregnancy, have high blood pressure, cancer or uterine and breast fibrosis.

Eucalyptus - Scent: strong camphorous. odor. Aborigines have used eucalyptus leaves to remedy many ills. Traditional uses: for colds, as a decongestant, to relieve asthma and fevers, for its bactericidal and anti-viral actions, to ease aching joints.

Sweet Fennel - Scent: earthy-peppery. Traditional uses: for neuro-muscular spasms, rheumatism and arthritis; bronchitis, whooping cough, as a nerve tonic in relieving stress and nervous tension. Use in moderation. Avoid if you are pregnant or have epilepsy.

Balsam Fir - Scent: fresh balsamic. Traditional uses: to relieve muscle aches and pains, for relieving anxiety and stress related conditions, to fight colds, flu and infections, for relieving bronchitis and coughs. Said to ground one mentally.

Frankincense - Scent: spicy, balsamic. Frankincense was known as one of the most precious substances to ancient man and is associated with religious practice. Traditional uses: to calm, enhance meditation, elevate mind and spirit, help breathing, for care of mature skin and scars.

Galbanum: - Used in incense. In Egypt used in cosmetic & embalming. Traditional uses: treating wounds, infections and skin disorders, expectorant in chronic bronchitis, insect repellent.

Geranium - Scent: leafy rose. Geranium has been long revered for its fragrance. Traditional uses: reducing stress and tension, easing pain, balancing emotions and hormones, PMS, relieve fatigue and nervous exhaustion, to lift melancholy, lessen fluid retention, repel insects.

Ginger - Scent: warm, spicy-woodsy. Ginger has been used as a healing remedy for thousands of years. Traditional uses: reducing muscular aches and pains, increasing circulation, relieving bronchitis and whooping cough, nervous exhaustion, in healing colds flu and fever and to stimulate appetite.

Grapefruit - Scent: fresh, sweet, citrus. Some traditional uses: to lift melancholy, relieve muscle fatigue, as an astringent for oily skin, to refresh and energize the body, stimulate detoxification, as an airborne disinfectant.

Helichrysum - Scent: intense, honey, tea-like. Some traditional uses: to heal bruises (internal and external), wounds and scars, to detoxify the body, cleanse the blood and increase lymphatic drainage, for healing colds, flu, sinusitis and bronchitis, to relieve melancholy, migraines, stress and tension.

Juniper Berry - Scent: pine-needle. Some traditional uses: to energize and relieve exhaustion, ease inflammation and spasms, for improving mental clarity and memory, purifying the body, to lessen fluid retention, for disinfecting. Avoid during pregnancy or if you have kidney disease.

Lavender - Scent: sweet, fresh. Lavender has been used for centuries as a fragrance and a medicine. Some traditional uses: balancing emotions, relieving stress, tension and headache, to promote restful sleep, heal the skin, to lower high blood pressure, help breathing, for disinfecting.

Lemon - Scent: fresh lemon. Lemon was used to prevent scurvy by our ancestors who traveled the seas. Some traditional uses: to balance the nervous system, as a disinfectant, to refresh and uplift, for purifying the body. May cause skin sensitivity to the sun or irritate sensitive skin.

Lemongrass - Scent: powerful, lemon. There has been recent research in India which shows that lemongrass acts as sedative on the central nervous system. Some traditional uses: as an insect repellent and deodorizer, for athlete's foot, as a tissue toner, to relieve muscular pain (sports-muscle pain), increase circulation, for headaches, for nervous exhaustion and other stress related problems. Use with care and avoid in pregnancy.

Lime: - Cold pressed from the peel. Scent: fruity-lime. Some traditional uses: to purify the air, for alertness, to relieve coughs or congestion, for uplifting and cheering the spirit, to heal colds, flu or inflammations. Lime may cause skin sensitivity to bright sunlight.

Mandarin - Scent: intensely sweet, floral citrus scent. Traditional uses: restlessness, insomnia, nervous tension, for children and pregnant women.

Sweet Marjoram: - Distilled from the leaves and flowering tops. Scent: warm & spicy. Sweet marjoram was used medicinally by Romans and ancient Greek physicians. Some traditional uses: to relax tense muscles and relieve spasms, calm and promote restful sleep, ease migraine headache, for comforting the heart, lowering high blood pressure, to help breathing, disinfecting. Avoid during pregnancy.

Myrrh - Scent: sharp, warm balsamic. Some traditional uses: to heal wounds and nurture mature skin, for bronchitis and colds, to relieve apathy and calm. Avoid use on damaged or sensitive skin.

Niaouli - Scent: fresh, camphoraceous. Traditional uses: skin care, muscle aches and pains, asthma and bronchitis, sore throat, colds, fever, flu.

Nutmeg - Scent: spicy, nutmeg. Some traditional uses: for warming muscles, easing muscle aches and pains, to invigorate or stimulate the mind, an aphrodisiac, to stimulate heart and circulation, for relieving nervous fatigue. Avoid during pregnancy and use with care (can be moderately toxic if over-used.

Sweet Orange - Scent: fruity, sweet. Orange trees were once rare and native only to China and India. Some traditional uses: to brighten mood, calm and reduce stress, as an environmental disinfectant.

Oregano - Scent: spicy, warm herb. Some traditional uses: as a muscle relaxant and to ease muscle aches and pains, to heal colds, flu and bronchitis, as a stimulant, to energize the mind and body, and for relieving headaches. Avoid during pregnancy and with babies and children.
Palmarosa - Scent: flora-rose. Palmarosa is used today in Ayurvedic medicine. Some traditional uses: stimulate cellular regeneration, moisturize skin, for nervous exhaustion and stress conditions, to calm and uplift.

Patchouli - Scent: musky, woody. Some traditional uses: for athlete's foot, as an aphrodisiac, to relieve stress and nervous exhaustion.

Peppermint - Scent: strong mint. Herbalists in ancient Greece and Rome used peppermint for nearly every ailment. Some traditional uses: for energy, and brighter mood, reducing pain, to help breathing, improve mental clarity and memory. May irritate sensitive skin. Avoid during pregnancy.

Petitgrain - Scent: sweet, woody-orange floral. Petitgrain was one of the ingredients of the original "eau-de-cologne". Some traditional uses: for relieving respiratory infections, to ease nervous tension muscle spasms, for relieving joint inflammation, to balance the central nervous system, for stress relief

Pine - Scent: strong, coniferous, woody. Native Americans placed dried pine needles in their mattresses to ward of lice and fleas. Some traditional uses: to ease breathing, as an immune system stimulant, to increase energy, for relieving muscle and joint aches, to repel lice and fleas. Avoid use if you have prostate cancer.

Rosemary - Scent: camphor like. Some traditional uses: to energize, for muscle pains, cramps or sprains, brighten mood, for improving mental clarity and memory, easing pain, to relieve headaches, disinfecting. Avoid during pregnancy, if you have epilepsy or high blood pressure.

Rosewood - Scent: slightly rosy. Some traditional uses: to relieve stress and balance the central nervous system, for easing jet lag, to create a calm for meditation, for easing colds and coughs, to stimulate the immune system, as an aphrodisiac and in skin care.

Sage -- Scent: camphoraceous, pine-like. Skin care, circulation, muscles and joints, asthma, coughs, colds, fever, flu.

Sandalwood - Scent: woody, balsamic. Sandalwood is believed to bring about calmness and serenity and is linked with incense and meditation. Some traditional uses: to lift melancholy, enhance meditation, heal the skin, help breathing, for calming and reducing stress, restful sleep, disinfecting, as

Spearmint - Scent: minty. Some traditional uses: for relieving bronchitis and sinusitis, to ease nausea and headaches, for relieving colds or flu, to stimulate, energize and relieve fatigue.

Spruce -- Scent: sweet-fruity. Used for: muscular aches and pains, asthma, colds flu, infections, anxiety and stress-related conditions.

Tangerine - Scent: sweet, citrus. Some traditional uses: for relieving muscle spasms, to soothe and calm nerves, for stress relief and relaxation, to stimulate the liver and increase lymphatic drainage. May cause skin sensitivity to bright sunlight.

Tea-Tree - Scent: spicy, medicinal. Tea-tree is one of the most scientifically researched oils. Traditional uses: an immuno-stimulant particularly against bacteria, viruses and fungi, for relieving inflammation, as a disinfectant.

Thyme - Scent: hot and spicy. Thyme was used by ancient Greeks to disinfect air and inhibit infectious diseases. Some traditional uses: To heal colds, bronchitis, for relieving muscle aches and pains, to aid concentration and memory, for relieving fatigue and said to heal anthrax. Avoid use if pregnant or with high blood pressure.

Vetiver - Scent: heavy, woodsy, earthy. Some traditional uses: for muscular aches, to increase circulation, to relieve melancholy and nervous tension, for restful sleep.

Yarrow -- Scent: slightly camphoraceous. Uses: acne, burns cuts, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure.

Ylang Ylang - Scent: exotic sweet floral. Some traditional uses: brightening mood, relieving anger and anxiety, relaxing tense muscles, to calm and promote restful sleep, lower high blood pressure, an aphrodisiac.

Michelle Hudson-Owner
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Muscle-Spasm Headache Relief This formula is great for easing muscle-spasm headaches. What you need: 2 drops peppermint 1 drop rosemary 1 oz. carrier oil such as sweet almond oil How to: Add the peppermint and rosemary to the carrier oil. Rub on pulse points or on back of neck.

Michelle Hudson
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