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Essential Oils 101

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We’ve all heard about them: Essential Oils. So, what are these seemingly elusive and mysterious things? Well, for one, they each have certain healing properties. Here’s some essential oils and what they can do for you and your health:

1) Lavender 

Lavender oil comes from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), an easy-to-grow, evergreen shrub that produces clumps of beautiful, scented flowers above green or silvery-gray foliage. Lavender has incredible effect of calming the body, mind and soul. Often times used as a natural sleep aid, the benefits of lavender spread far past insomnia. Lavender can also help reduce anxiety, heal burns and wounds, and even alleviate headaches! Try pouring a couple drops into a diffuser before bed for a subtle calming aroma. For ultimate relaxation, throw a couple drops in your bath.

2) Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is obtained from fresh leaves of the tall, evergreen eucalyptus tree. The tree, scientifically classified as Eucalyptus Globulus is also known as fever tree, blue gum tree or stringy bark tree, depending on where it is located in the world. The health benefits of eucalyptus oil are well-known and wide ranging, and its properties include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, and other medicinal qualities. It’s an open and shut case for Eucalyptus! If you have aching muscles, try massaging in a couple drops of Eucalyptus Oil. Eucalyptus essential oil is colorless and has a distinctive taste and odor.

3) Peppermint

Peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint and is native to Europe. Historically, the herb has been known for its medicinal uses, and its impressively long history often gives it the prestigious title as the world’s oldest medicine. The health benefits of peppermint oil include its ability to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms, as well as pain relief. If you’re congested, try putting a drop of peppermint oil under your nose to help clear your sinuses.

4) Tea Tree

Tea tree oil , also called melaleuca oil, is made from the leaves of the tea tree plant (Melaleuca alternifolia), a member of the myrtle tree family, which is native to Australia. Tea tree oil has been long valued for its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. In the 1920s, it was used in dentistry and surgery to clean wounds and prevent infections. Surgeons believed that it is more effective than carbolic acid, the commonly used antiseptic at that time. Now, Tea Tree Oil is a common remedy for acne: A comparative study published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that TTO and benzoyl peroxide both had a significant effect in ameliorating patients’ acne. Although the onset of action in tea tree oil was slower, it caused fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide. Apply diluted tea tree oil to your face (5 parts water, 1 part tea tree oil) to gently cleanse the skin and help prevent breakouts.

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