An essential oil is got from the stems, leaves, flowers, roots and barks of different plants. The term ‘oil’ can be misleading for most of these are clear liquids with no ‘oily’ feeling. These oils are extremely concentrated and even a single drop can provide many beneficial effects. Essential oils differ from fragrance oils that contain artificial substances and do not give therapeutic benefits. The chemical composition found in essential oils and the unique aroma of the oil gives several psychological and physiological benefits to the user.
Here we will briefly look at popular aromatherapy oils and some of their benefits. They have been divided into subjective categories and choosing an essential oil depends on the personal health needs and preferences of the client. Most essential oil benefits can be enjoyed all year round.
Citrus essential oils
When you think of citrus flavors, they evoke light, summery aromas.
Sweet Orange essential oil is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils especially for its cheerful aroma. The outer peel (rind) of the fruit is used to extract the oil. Its uses include benefits for colds, dull skin, constipation, flu, flatulence, stress, gums,etc.
Lemon is cooling and refreshing oil that has a refreshing and sharp aroma. The oil is extracted from the peel of a fresh fruit. Lemon oil can be used as an astringent, laxative, insecticide, tonic, carminative, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic and antispasmodic etc.
Grapefruit is a popular citrus essential oil and got from fresh peel. It provides benefits for various health problems such as poor circulation, muscular fatigue, fluid retention, constipation, cellulite, depression, headache, acne, oily skin, coughs, colds and flu etc.
Bergamot is an extremely uplifting essential oil and is invaluable in aromatherapy treatment for stress-related conditions. It has a light, delicate aroma and the source of the oil is the peel of the fruit. It also provides therapeutic benefits for colds, anxiety, dyspepsia, indigestion, oily skin, acne, bronchitis, thrush, asthma, depression etc.
Mandarin essential oil is cold pressed from the fruit and very similar in look to tangerine. This oil is called ‘aromatherapy candy’, for its many remedies for kids. It soothes stomach upsets, stress, nervousness and anxiety in children. It is also a good tonic for indigestion, to prevent pregnancy-related stretch marks, acne and oily skin.
Tangerine essential oil is got from the tangerine fruit. It is has a very pleasing fresh, sweet citrus aroma that promotes happiness and helps alleviate feelings of tension and anxiety, digestion, cellulite etc.
Petitgrain essential oil is extracted from the leaves and branches of the orange tree. The term ‘petitgrain’ means ‘little grain’ in French since originally, the seeds of the bitter orange fruit was used to extract this oil. Petitgrain oil is used for greasy skin, acne, excessive perspiration, flatulence, dyspepsia, toning the skin, insomnia, exhaustion etc.
Neroli essential oil is got from bitter orange flowers. This subtle essential oil is a great stress reliever, acts as a sedative, reduces nervousness through it calming effect and offers several rejuvenating benefits to the skin. Those with stomach troubles resulting from stress get relief with an abdominal massage using neroli oil.
Essential oils for Spring
These are usually the floral essential oil blends and provide an energizing and uplifting feeling. Some of the popular aromatherapy oils that can be used at springtime include:
Basil essential oil is very popular, and has a sweet and herbaceous aroma. Basil oil benefits include ability to cure colds, bronchitis, coughs, gout, flu, insect bits, exhaustion, sinusitis etc. This oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
Jasmine essential oil is extracted from the flowers of this famous plant. This oil has a strong, sweet and pleasing aroma. Jasmine oil is popular as an anti-depressant, anti-septic, relieves coughs, asthma, chest congestions, and asthma, improves libido, heals scar marks of acne and boils, reduces labor pains etc.
Juniper essential oil is extracted from parts of the juniper tree – needles, wood, ripe fruits. Its many uses include anti-septic properties to heal wounds, fights ailments like gout, rheumatism, arthritis, relaxes muscle cramps, prevents hair fall, cures diarrhea, cures toothaches etc.
Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from dried lemongrass. It relieves pain resulting from headaches, toothache, joint pain, fever, cures depression, and offers ant-bacterial, anti-pyretic and astringent benefits.
Marjoram essential oil is got from the fresh or dried leaves of the plant. It offers many benefits as an aphrodisiac, analgesic, cures cramps and convulsions, prevents flatulence, relieves symptoms of fever, arthritis, helps with digestion etc.
Rosewood essential oil is extracted from the woody portion of this tree. It serves as a mild analgesic, and has anti-depressant, anti-septic, anti-bacterial properties. It is also popular as a deodorant and insecticide.
Rose essential oil is a popular aromatherapy oil. It has a mellow aroma and offers benefits to the circulatory system, digestive, respiratory, endocrine and nervous system. It is a wonderful cure for emotional trauma, grief and depression.
Palmarosa essential oil is got from dried grass, leaves of the plant. It offers excellent benefits as a skin hydrator, to ease stiff muscles and cure depression.
Tea tree essential oil extracted from twigs and leaves of the tree. It helps those with asthma, catarrh, sinusitis, oily skin, urinary infections etc.
Chamomile Roman essential oil is got from the flower heads. It has a strong, sweet aroma and helps with menstrual problems, dyspepsia, nausea, inflammatory skin conditions etc.
Peppermint essential oil is got from leaves and stems. It helps those with colic, flatulence, muscular pain, bronchitis, asthma, congested skin, depression, migraine, etc.
Eucalyptus essential oil is extremely popular and has a strong, penetrating aroma. It cures many respiratory conditions like cold, bronchitis, cough, flue, aches, headaches, depression etc.
Essential oils for the summer
These should be oils that provide a cooling effect with light and fragrant aroma.
Lavender essential oil is extracted from the fresh flowers. It is useful for various medical conditions like alopecia, insomnia, stress, anxiety, agitation, fungal infections, headaches etc.
Chamomile German essential oil has a sweet, fruity aroma and is used to treat flatulence, earache, inflamed skin, dermatitis, boils, sprains, PMS, neuralgia, nausea, insomnia etc.
Geranium essential oil is extracted from the flower and has a fruity, floral, fresh aroma. The oil is used to rid the hair of lice, dull skim, acne, oily skin, menopause etc.
Ylang ylang essential oil has a yellow tinge, fragrant aroma and it is used to treat depression, palpitations, anxiety, frigidity etc.
Rosemary essential oil has a fresh, herbaceous aroma and is used to treat aching muscles, dandruff, and exhaustion, muscle cramps etc.
Patchouli essential oil is extremely popular for meditation as it has a calming effect. It also treats chapped skin, athlete’s foot, dermatitis, hair care etc.
Melissa oil benefits include cures for indigestion, nausea, menstrual cramps, migraine, asthma, insomnia etc.
Essential oils for Autumn
These oils are used as diffusers and as massage oils they give a warm and comforting feeling in keeping with the cooler autumn weather.
Black pepper essential oil is got from dried black peppercorns. It has a strong, spicy aroma and helps those with poor circulation, anemia, constipation, flu, muscular pain etc.
Benzoin essential oil is got from the gum of the tree trunk. It has a vanilla-like aroma and helps relieve stress, nervous tension, cracked skin, sore throats, bronchitis etc.
Frankincense essential oil has a woody fragrance and got from tree resin. It has a calming effect and used for meditation, helps in skin rejuvenation, colds, menstrual problems etc.
Fennel essential oil extracted from crushed seeds has excellent digestive properties due to its detoxifying character. It also helps coughs, flu, constipation, PMS etc.
Clary sage essential oil is got from leaves and flowery tops of the herb. It helps to relax mind and body and offers therapeutic benefits for colic, high blood pressure, oily skin etc.
Sandalwood essential oil got from heartwood and roots of the tree is very popular. It is extremely effective as skin care oil, for bronchitis, cellulite, colds, diarrhea, etc.
Vetivert essential oil is got from rootlets and dried roots of a perennial grass. It eases muscular pain, nervous debility, cures irritations of the skin etc.
Essential oils for Winter
These oils are chosen for their warm, woody and spicy aroma to give comfort and lift the spirits during the colder months.
Cypress essential oil is got from the leaves of this evergreen tree. The main benefits are to regulate blood circulation and enliven the spirits. It also has anti-infectious and other benefits.
Myrrh essential oil is got from the bark and has a warm aroma. It helps to clear the lungs of colds, sore throat, catarrh, skin conditions like bedsores, chapped skin, ulcers, relives menstrual pain etc.
Pine essential oil is got from the fresh needles and twigs of the tree. It is used to treat psoriasis, eczema, and scabies, improve metabolism, arthritis, joint pain etc.
Thyme essential oil is extracted from flowering tops, fresh or partly dried leaves of this herbaceous plant. It provides relief for coughs, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, abscesses, flatulence, diarrhea etc.
Ginger essential oil is stimulating oil got from the roots. It helps with chilblains, colds, indigestion, nervous exhaustion, sore throat etc.
This is a brief look at all popular aromatherapy oils. They should be used with caution by professional aromatherapists and the public. Those with any medical condition must get clearance from their doctor to use these oils.