Essential oils are natural, affordable, and smell great. And on top of all that, they boast a range of health benefits. Extracted in large quantities from plants, essential oils concentrate the plant’s health benefits into small amounts of liquid.
Here are the six best essential oils and the health benefits they offer:
1. Frankincense Oil
Known as the ‘king of oils’ and often identified as a religious oil, Frankincense offers multiple health benefits, from improved oral health to relieving arthritis pains.
This oil is derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree that grows in certain mountainous regions of Africa, India, and the Middle East, and has a spicy, woody smell.
Frankincense oil can be inhaled, applied to the skin, or ingested for the following health benefits:
- Prevention of the spread of cancer cells
- Reduction of arthritis by reducing joint inflammation
- Amelioration of asthma by decreasing the production of leukotrienes, which cause constriction of airways and make it difficult to breathe
- Improvement in gut function, including a decrease in abdominal pain, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms
- Improvement in oral hygiene thanks to its antibacterial properties
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2. Lavender Essential Oil
Hailing from the Mediterranean region, lavender is a herb that is as useful as it is beautiful. Thanks to its lovely smell and soothing benefits for the skin, lavender makes its way into many creams and lotions.
In addition to its popularity in the beauty industry, lavender is frequently used in aromatherapy for its health benefits.
According to some research studies, lavender oil may:
- Ease symptoms of anxiety and improve mood
- Help you sleep and fight insomnia
- Prevent and heal acne by unclogging your pores and reducing inflammation
- Soothe dry skin and eczema thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties
- Even skin tone and reduce discolouration and dark spots by reducing inflammation
- Slow down your skin’s ageing thanks to the antioxidants it contains. Antioxidants fight harmful free radicals, which are responsible for inflammation and damage to many areas in the body
- Speed up the healing of wounds
3. Tea Tree Oil
Historically used as traditional medicine by the Aboriginal people of Australia, tea tree oil is now used all over the world for its potent germ-fighting properties.
In contrast to the many toxic ingredients commonly used in the beauty industry, tea tree oil is a safe and effective ingredient sold as an oil by many cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies. It’s also included in many product formulations by beauty brands.
Hailed for its beneficial effects on the skin, tea tree oil is generally applied topically to:
- Clear acne by reducing bacterial activity
- Encourage wound healing by reducing inflammation and prompting white blood cell activity
- Treat nail fungus and athlete’s foot
- Ease symptoms of psoriasis with its anti-inflammatory compounds
- Calm skin inflammation and redness
- Reduce dandruff due to its anti-fungal properties
4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Just like the Boswellia tree that produces Frankincense, the eucalyptus tree is also native to Australia but is now grown all over the world. Eucalyptus oil is derived from the oval leaves of the tree and is then diluted before use.
This powerful oil can help:
- Relieve cold and flu symptoms thanks to its antimicrobial properties as well as its ability to calm a cough, dissolve mucus, and clear blocked sinuses
- Disinfect wounds and prevent infection because of its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving qualities
- Ease joint pain caused by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Control diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels
- Soothe cold sores caused by the herpes virus through its anti-inflammatory properties
- Ward off bugs and insects such as mosquitos
5. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil, which has a cool, refreshing scent, is extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant and is used for:
- Relieving symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain through its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and relaxing effects
- Decreasing pain caused by migraine and tension headaches
- Reducing the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting
- Calming itches
- Promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp when applied to the skin.
6. Bergamot Essential Oil
With a citrusy, spicy taste, bergamot oil is extracted from the rinds of Bergamot oranges. In addition to being used in perfumes, toiletries, and cosmetics for its aroma and as a flavouring in food and drink, bergamot oil also has important health benefits. These include:
- Reducing stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue by signalling the brain to release dopamine and serotonin
- Clearing acne — including cystic acne — due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
- Fighting food poisoning by targeting the bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses
- Lowering cholesterol through the flavonoids it contains
- Reducing pain and inflammation
Not all essential oils are safe to ingest or use on the body. We recommend seeking professional advice (such as that of a naturopath) for the application of essential oils that is right for you. The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.