While essential oils are only used by two percent of the U.S. population, the fragrant plant oils have long been utilized worldwide for their healing properties available in various forms. The plant products can be used topically, internally, or aromatically (such as in a diffuser or spray).
Have you ever taken a whiff of lovely lavender (photo by Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock)? The purple plant is known for relaxation and sending one into a soft slumber. Simply place a few drops of essential oil on the skin! The scent also aids depression, anxiety, headaches, and sprains. To relieve blood pressure, use some lavender essential oil in a diffuser, or apply it to the feet. Lavender also helps with sunburn, insect bites, and rashes.
Another essential oil to write home about is peppermint. You may associate it with toothpaste, but it offers much more than breath freshener. Peppermint soothes headaches, nausea, stress, nasal congestion, bronchitis, hot flashes … and the list goes on.
It seems essential oils offer viable alternatives to the more traditional medicines we take liberally for pain, illnesses, and emotional difficulties. Chemical-free, essential oils can also be used for cleaning the home. They can be ordered online, via distributors, or found in natural food stores; note that quality varies. For general information, see the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.