The Modern Benefits and Uses of an Ancient Wellness Practice
Written by Camille Lucy
Aromatherapy can be traced back more than 3,500 years, though the term was not coined until the 20th century. Essential oils were used in Ancient Egypt, Greece, India, Rome and China and references were made in the Bible (both the Old and New Testament have dozens of references to aromatic plants, naming at least 12 essential oils including cedarwood, frankincense, fir, cinnamon, myrrh, myrtle and spikenard).
So, what are essential oils?
Essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree. They are highly concentrated and potent and contain powerful health benefits, even in just one drop (by concentrating the oils of these plants and trees, you are separating the most powerful healing compounds into a single oil).
There’s a reason that essential oils have not only survived evolution but have thrived, continuing to be popular today, finding their way into more and more households and businesses…and even hospitals. Their benefits are undeniable…and let’s not forget, they work wonders for animals, too!
Some of the most common uses and benefits of popular essential oils:
- Boost Immunity
- Relax the Body and Mind
- Improve Clarity and Focus
- Soothe Sore Muscles
- Alleviate Pain and Headaches
- Balance Hormones
- Improve Digestion
- Improve Skin
- Boost Mood
- Clean your Home
Here are 4 of the most common Essential Oils along with their Uses and Benefits:
This powerful essential oil comes from the Boswellia tree and is harvested as much today as it was 3,000 years ago. Frankincense has been valued as high as gold, and there’s no surprise why.
- Supports Healthy Cellular Function
- May Fight Cancer*
- Increases Blood Flow and Circulation
- Reduces Inflammation
- Improves Skin
- Promotes Relaxation
- Supports Oral Health
- Balances Hormones
- Improves Memory
*Some studies have shown that Frankincense may suppress proliferation of cancer cells.
Here are some ideas on how to use Frankincense essential oil in your home:
- Apply Frankincense to scars to reduce their appearance.
- Massage a few drops onto the ball of everyone’s foot each night before bed for an immune booster or diffuse it during the night. This is especially great for use during cold and flu season or when a child is starting school.
- Place a few drops on the back of the neck, where the spine and head meet, to boost mood and improve mental outlook.
- Try diffusing Frankincense in your bedroom to help get a good night’s sleep.
- Use a few drops in coconut oil and baking soda to clean teeth and prevent bad breath, canker sores, toothaches and cavities.
- Rub on your temples to reduce stress!
- Add to a massage oil to unwind, relax and soothe the body and mind.
- Add a few drops into the palm of your hands and cup your hands around your face. Breathe in! Frankincense is also a great essential oil for meditation and yoga.
Lavender has a scent that’s a delicious blend of freshness, flowers and relaxation! It’s this dynamic aroma that has made Lavender a timeless classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners and beauty products. Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils out there because it is a great beginner oil and is highly versatile!
- Reduce Anxiety and Stress
- Improve Brain Function
- Heal Burns and Wounds
- Improves Sleep
- Restores Skin Complexion
- Reduces Acne
- Relieves Pain
- Protects Against Diabetes Symptoms
- Repels Insects and Soothes Insect Bites
Here are some ideas on how to use Lavender essential oil in your home:
- Ahhh, your own spa! Add 1 cup Epsom Salt and 4 drops of Lavender to your hot bath.
- Nighttime baths for the little ones: add two drops of Lavender to your child’s evening bath to wind them down and soothe any irritated skin.
- Rejuvenate with a massage! Add Lavender to your massage oil to soothe muscles and relax the body and mind.
- For a good night’s sleep, rub lavender on the bottom of everyone’s feet or diffuse it in the room. You can also crate a spray (distilled water and Lavender) and spritz pillows and linens before bed. Better yet, call it the “Good Dreams” Spray for kids and let them spray away any nightmares or restlessness!
- Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop any itching and reduce swelling.
Lemons (and lemon essential oil) have been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat numerous health conditions for at least 1,000 years. With its bright and cheerful aroma, Lemon essential oil benefits skin and hair, enhances your environment and cleanses. This is a best-selling oil and can be used in a variety of ways!
- Relieves Nausea
- Improves Digestion
- Nourishes Skin
- Promotes Healthy Weight
- Purifies the Body
- Boosts Oral Health
- Promotes Immune Function
- Natural Disinfectant
Here are some ideas on how to use Lemon essential oil in your home:
- Lemon oil is a must if you have goo or grime or glue that you need unstuck! Simply place a few drops and watch as you can suddenly remove that sticky stuff.
- Got Pearly Whites? Mix lemon essential oil, baking soda and coconut oil together and on your teeth for a couple of minutes then rinse.
- Add 2 drops of Lemon essential oil to a glass of water each day to promote metabolism, healthy weight and immunity, purify the body and promote detoxification.
- Diffuse this oil to boost mood and fight depression.
- Lemon essential oil can also be used to calm an overstimulated child.
Peppermint essential oil invigorates the mind and senses while inspiring a deep sense of peace. The benefits of peppermint essential oil range from gut health to headache relief to skin health, making this another instant classic and must-have for the home!
- Relieve Muscle and Joint Pain
- Alleviate Headaches
- Seasonal Allergy Relief
- Improves IBS Symptoms
- Increases Energy
- Freshens Breath
- Promotes Hair Growth
- Supports Respiratory Health
- Improves Physical Performance
- Repels Bugs…and Sunburn!
Here are some ideas on how to use Peppermint essential oil in your home:
- After exercise, add a few drops of Peppermint in a massage oil and use it as a post-physical activity massage. The cooling sensation will be a refreshing bonus while soothing sore muscles.
- Create a home spa by adding Peppermint to hot bath water and enjoy a relaxing, invigorating steam bath.
- Diffuse Peppermint to get a boost of energy or positivity!
- Mix with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil and apply to skin to prevent - or relieve - sunburn.
- Rub behind the ears to reduce nausea.
- Rub on the bottom of the feet with a carrier oil to reduce fever in children.
There are so many more benefits and uses for essential oils than what is listed here; this is just the tip of the iceberg. The more you explore and have fun with essential oils, the more often you’ll hear yourself saying, “Oh, I have an oil for that!” or hear your child asking for a few drops of essential oils for relief rather than an over-the-counter medication. Play around! Find which oils you like, which you love, and which don’t tickle your fancy.
And don’t take my word for it or anyone else’s… I am continually amazed each time I use an oil (or recommend one) and it works almost magically within minutes. Let your experience be your guide. And don’t forget to (include the kids and) have some fun.
As with any remedy, you must use high quality products, such as Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, and use them safely and correctly as instructed. You can try them out with carrier oils prior to using them NEAT (without dilution) to check for allergic reaction or any other physical response. The information shared in this article is for education and informational purposes only, and is to motivate you to make your own health care decisions based upon your own research, intuition and any relevant health care providers. Products listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.