Last month, we did a feature on Aromatherapy. Due to an overwhelming amount of feedback, we have decided to extend our Aromatherapy Feature into November. Here are two more essential oils that we think every home should have.
All you need is a whiff of peppermint to put the pep back in your step. Peppermint has a cooling, refreshing effect and is widely used to enhance mental alertness. Peppermint is a perennial herb that boasts natural energy-boosting properties.
Extraction and Application: Peppermint oil is extracted before the herb flowers and is then steam-distilled. It is used in vaporizers, massage oils and lotions, baths, even mouthwash.
Aromatherapy Uses: Peppermint oil has a number of therapeutic properties. It is a cooling agent that enhances mood, sharpens focus, combats irritation and redness, alleviates symptoms of congestion, and aids in digestion. Use on the bottom of your feet for heartburn, along your temples and the base of your neck for headaches, and rub over sore muscles as needed.
Caution: Although non-toxic, the menthol component in Peppermint can bother some individuals. It is also a skin irritant and should be kept away from the eyes. Keep away from small children and do not use while pregnant.
Eucalyptus oil comes from the Eucalyptus tree, native to Australia. It has a powerful scent and is easily recognizable. As an essential oil, Eucalyptus is an effective agent against respiratory diseases. It also has the ability to enhance concentration.
Extraction and Application: Eucalyptus oil is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs of some Eucalyptus trees (there are more than 500 varieties).
Aromatherapy Uses: As mentioned above, Eucalyptus is a powerful treatment against respiratory issues. In addition it is used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, diuretic and stimulant. It also has cooling properties, which gives it deodorizing characteristics; therefore, it helps fight migraines and fevers. This cooling capability also helps with muscle aches and pains.
Caution: Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid using Eucalyptus, as should individuals who suffer from epilepsy. Ingested in large doses can be fatal.