The healing properties of essential oils (EO’s) has long been known and appreciated by traditional cultures all over the world.

Some sources say the EO’s were mankind’s first medicine. For thousands of years these oils have been used for everything from treating anxiety and depression to aches, pains, and other physic-cal and emotional ailments. While essential oils are mentioned 188 times in the Bible, there are also ties with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts. Because essential oils are antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antitumor, antiparasitic, antiviral, and antiseptic, it’s no wonder these powerful oils are making a strong comeback on the natural healing front. Essential oils are said to be considered useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease because of their unique ability to penetrate past the blood brain barrier,. In fact, the American Medical Association (AMA) determined that if they could find an agent that would pass the blood brain barrier, they would be able to cure those diseases. Only time will tell if the AMA will pursue the benefits of essential oils in healing these and other debilitating ailments. When buying and using EO’s, quality is paramount to the effectiveness and aroma; As you work more with these oils, your nose will become accustomed to the nuances of each and will serve as the best indicator for the quality of an oil. It is important to note that there are monumental differences between oils and their quality. Most oils on the market have been adulterated during processing or sourcing, thus losing many of the healing properties of the oil. Look for EO’s that are organic and of a therapeutic grade, as well as sustainably sourced. Essential oils can be applied topically, internally or diffused for aromatherapy. Some EO’s will need to be diluted with a carrier oil such as almond, apricot kernel, avocado, coconut, etc. Diffusing oils will clean the air, destroy odors, increase atmospheric oxygen and inhibit bacterial growth, along with filling the space with a restorative aroma.

Here are a few of the most effective and useful oils to have on hand

Lavender

Known for its calming and anti-inflammatory qualities, lavender is extremely beneficial when it comes to healing anything from burns and bug bites to blisters, infections and other injuries, as well as to help reduce conditions related to dry skin. It is also commonly used to treat anxiety, restlessness, or difficulty sleeping. Rub undiluted into temples, palms or soles of the feet, or directly onto affected areas.

Peppermint

This invigorating oil can be used to ease headaches and improve digestion, heartburn and nausea, and is also cooling and may reduce fevers. It can be applied undiluted or 4:1 (1 part peppermint to 4 parts
carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, avocado, etc.) for children or those sensitive to topical applications. Use with caution if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure.

Wild Orange

Known as the “happy” oil, wild orange is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and is often used to treat
depression. Diffuse into the air or massage a few drops into the soles of the feet, palms, or on the temples
to lift the spirits and ward off the cold and flu. This uplifting oil has been used in French medicine for a
variety of ailments including anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, and menopause. Its aromatic influence is calming and elevating. Layer with peppermint for an extra special treat for the senses.

Whether it’s for the simple pleasure of enjoying a pure aroma, or treating a physical or emotional ailment, essential oils abound with healing and therapeutic benefits. Explore different oils to find out which one’s your senses respond to best. Oftentimes the one’s you are drawn to are the ones your body needs the most.