Essential Oils Starter Kit
Lavender (Lavandula vera, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia (most commonly available)
Lavender essential oil is an uplifting and relaxing oil and good for boosting the immune system. It has the ability to restore mind or body to a state of balance in which healing can take place. It is excellent for treating scars, wounds and burns. Helps relieve aches and pains - especially muscular pain. Lavender is soothing on insect bites. It is valuable in the treatment of colds and coughs. Good for reducing anxiety and stress and helps promote sleep. As for skin treatment, Lavender suitable for all skin types. Lavender oil promotes growth of new cells and is very helpful in treating acne. Can also help relieve eczema and psoriasis.
- Lavender is an emmenogogue so must not be used in early pregnancy.
- Be careful to select the correct oil as there are many different oils sold under the name 'Lavender Essential Oil'.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
Tea tree essential oil is particularly good at stimulating the immune system - invaluable if you feel you may be developing a cold or flu. Excellent for helping fungal conditions such as thrush or athletes foot. Neat tea-tree is effective on cold sores. Use a single drop of neat oil to verrucas every day and then covering with a plaster, it can take a while, but is worth it! Effective on insect bites and stings - again used neat. As for skin treatment, Tea Tree oil has very cleansing - good for helping to clear up spots and blemishes. Great oil for treating acne.
Although tea-tree can be used undiluted on the skin, there are a few people who may become sensitive to it. So if you have sensitive skin, then use it cautiously at first.
Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon essential oil is an uplifting and relaxing oil and good for boosting the immune system (very much like Lavender). Has the ability to stimulate the body's own defence, so is useful for infections such as throat, colds, bronchitis and flu. It is a powerful bactericide - helpful for treating cuts and wounds. It is also haemostatic - helps stop bleeding. Lemon can help bring down temperature - lemon juice squeezed into water sweetened with honey is a good remedy. It is a good tonic for the digestive and circulatory systems. A mouthwash of lemon juice and water is good for the gums, gingivitis and mouth ulcers. Lemon essential oil can be used to help get rid of warts and verrucas. Either use neat or a couple of drops in a little cider vinegar - apply daily making sure that you avoid the healthy surrounding skin. Cover with a plaster by day but leave open at night. You may want to alternate with tea tree oil. Useful for easing anxiety and helping headaches and migraine due to nervous tension. Excellent for focussing and improving mental clarity - a good oil for meditation. Some believe that this oil has anti-ageing properties - wouldn't that be wonderful ! However the benefits from its qualities such as helping with cellulite and wrinkles, the fact that it is a tonic mentally and physically and an anti-acid could all contribute towards feeling rejuvenated. As for skin treatment, Lemon oil is an astringent oil so is great for greasy skin. Its antiseptic properties make it useful for treating acne, spots and boils. Lemon is a mild bleach so can be used on discoloured skin, for example on your neck.
- Be warned - use in low dilutions as it can cause skin irritation.
- Do not use in pregnancy.
- Phototoxic - avoid sunlight and sunbeds for at least 12 hours.
- Use in low dosages as can cause skin irritation no more than 2 to 3 drops in a bath.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Peppermint essential oil is traditionally used for stomach upsets. It has an anti-spasmodic action which makes it helpful with colic, indigestion, diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain. Dilute well and use as an aromatherapy massage over the stomach and abdomen in a clockwise direction. Drinking peppermint tea also helps. Helps relieve nausea so can be used for sea and travel sickness. Good for getting rid of bad breath. It is warming and stimulating and valuable for helping colds, flu and fevers. Up to 3 drops in a bath can help if you feel like you are coming down with something. It also works well when blended with Lavender oil or Marjoram oil. Cold compresses of peppermint (or once again peppermint blended with Lavender) on the temples and forehead can help relieve headaches. Can sometimes help with migraine and clearing your nose and sinuses. Peppermint essential oil will clear the head making you feel fresh and bright. Very soothing and cooling for tired feet. It also makes a refreshing bath oil for cooling down your body in the summer. Rats, mice and insects do not like the strong smell of peppermint. Sprinkle some drops along their runs and hopefully they will disappear. Also good as a mosquito deterrent. As for skin treatment, Peppermint oil is a very refreshing skin tonic - but use in moderation. It can help relieve skin irritations but at the same time can irritate sensitive skin. Can be used to clean and decongest the skin if you suffer from acne. Its mild antiseptic action helps control the bacteria on the surface of the skin.
- Avoid during pregnancy and breast feeding.
- Avoid using with children under the age of five.
- Do not use on people with heart disease or epilepsy.
- Do not use alongside homeopathic remedies.
- It is unwise to use this oil on your face - it can really make your eyes sting.
- Be aware that it can irritate sensitive skin.