Essential Oils :The Healing Power of Plant Essences


Essential oils were humankind’s first medicines.  Ancient Egyptian and Chinese priests and physicians used the oils derived from native aromatic plants to heal, embalm and soothe for thousands of years.  Essential oils contain the regenerating and immune strengthening properties of the plants they are derived from.  The molecules are so small in size that they easily penetrate the skin and enter the body. It takes these oils less than  twenty minutes to be absorbed by every cell in the body where they can be metabolized as nutrients.

Essential oils can be antibacterial,anticancer, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial,anti parasitic,antiviral and antiseptic, as well as soothing, cooling, calming, invigorating, and pain relieving. They can promote emotional, physical, and spiritual healing.

Extracted through steam distillation and cold and mechanical expression.

Today many individuals are concerned with managing their own personal well-being and are beginning again to rediscover the amazing benefits that these pure oils have to offer.

How to Use Essential Oils:

Topical application:  The process of using an E/O on the skin, hair, mouth, teeth or nails. Most essential oils are NOT used neat and are to be diluted in a carrier oils as not to irritate.** Note when using E/O on children , dilute with fractionated Coconut Oil 1-3 drops per Tbsp. of oil. *** Pregnant and nursing women should be wary of  E/O usage as the oils cross the placental barrier. Consult a physician or trained herbalist before using.

Several methods of topical application can be employed.  Direct application involves applying the oil directly to the body part in question.  The best places to apply the oils are the feet ,behind the ears, and the wrists. These areas absorb the quickest.

Massage:  This stimulates  the muscles and skin and connective tissues. It can be relaxing, invigorating or soothing. To create a simple massage oil combine 3-10 drops pf E/O with 1 Tbsp of Carrier Oil. ( coconut oil,almond oil,jojoba oil, olive oil, grape seed oil)

Reflex Therapy: This is a method of applying oils to contact points  in the feet and hands that have nerve endings running to the areas of the body that are in need of balance. Rotational hand movement when applying pressure help to create vibrational healing energy.  Find helpful interactive charts here:

Compresses: Fill a basin with 2 quarts hot or cold water and add the essential oils. Stir water up and lay a towel on the top of the water. the oils will rise to the top and adhere and soak into the fabric. Wring excess water out of towel. For hot, lay a dry towel on top of heated oil saturated towel and then a hot water bottle on top of that. For cold compress, cover with plastic wrap and top with dry towel. Leave on for an hour ( 2 max).

Bath:  Add  3-6 drops of E/O to bath water while filling.  The oils will float to top when water calms and the body will soak them up.  

Bath and Shower Gel:  Adding oils to bath and shower gels let the user control the body distribution of the diluted oils. 3-6 drops per 1/2 ounce of gel base.

Bath Salts: 1/4- 1/2 cup of Bath or Epsom Salts combined with   3-10 drops of E/O dissolved in bath water.

Body Sprays:  Small bottle filled with distilled water, add 1-15 drops of E/O,  Shake well and spray body after bathing or showering. ( avoid eyes)


The easiest way to diffuse an E/O into a fine mist for inhalation is to use a nebulizing diffuser. Cool misted air breaks up the oils into fine microscopic particles that can cover  hundreds of square feet in seconds. When used in this fashion E/Os can remain suspended in the air for several hours thus increasing their antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

Direct Inhalation:  Simply hold an opened E/O vial close to your face and inhale. you may also use a tissue of cotton ball with a drop or two of E/O in the same manner.  you may also choose to add a few drops of E/O to a hot water basin and inhale, though some E/O’s do not retain their strength in heat evaporation.

Perfume, Cologne, Lotions , Creams and Serums:   Using E/O’s in this manner can provide wonderful emotional and physical support as well as a beautiful fragrance.

rosemary sprig_full.gif                                    Essential Oils for the Beginner

          There are hundreds of E/Os available for use by the general public. Some are very expensive due to the amount of raw plant material needed to extract the therapeutic oils and some are less expensive, but equally as useful. I highly recommend to purchase your E/Os from a reputable company. I will list some useful resources at the end of the post. Please remember that E/Os are powerful healing agents , please read the safety data about an oil before you use it.   **I do not recommend the internal ingestion of these or any E/Os.

         With the many E/O that there are to choose from, and the expense of a high grade oil, which ones should you choose to start with?  While you will probably choose oils on the basis of need, there are some basic workhorses that you can rely on time after time and are helpful to keep in an Emergency Kit.  These are only my suggestions as an herbalist and another source may recommend different.

Peppermint :  (Mentha Piperita) ~ scent minty, sharp, intense

  • steam distilled from the peppermint leaf
  • analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and invigorating
  • Use for Alertness,Antioxidant, Bacterial infections, Cooling, Cold Sores, Congestion,Cramps, Fainting, Fever,Halitosis,Headaches,Hot Flashes, Itching, Jet Lag, Migraines, Nausea, muscle Aches,Sinusitis, Wounds
  • This oil may help anger, arthritis, colic, depression
  • It us a purifying scent and a stimulator of the concious mind and may aid with mental clarity and performance.
  • Can be applied neat without dilution on reflex points or areas of concern.

*** Safety ***  This  E/O should be used sparingly by those individuals who have elevated blood pressure or whom are Pregnant or Lactating.

Lavender: ( Lavandula  Augustifilia )~ scent floral, sweet, herbaceous,balsamic,woody

  • steam distilled from flowering top
  • analgesic, anticoagulant,antidepressant,antimicrobial, antiseptic,sedative
  • Has been traditionally known to balance the body and to work wherever there is a need. If in doubt…Lavender!
  • Promotes consciousness,health, love,peace and general feeling of well being and creativity.
  • Can be applied neat without dilution on reflex points or areas of concern.

No safety concerns

Eucalyptus : ( Eucalyptus Radiata )~ scent slightly camphorous, sweet, fruity

  •  steam distilled from leaves
  • analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory,insecticidal,expectorant
  • This oil when combined with Bergamot works well on Herpes Simplex. Use for acne,nasal congestion, vaginitis
  • Can be applied neat without dilution on reflex points or areas of concern. Dilute for children and those with sensitive skin.

No safety concerns

Lemongrass : (Cymbopogon Flexuosus)~ scent grassy, lemony, pungent,earthy,bitter

  • steam distilled from leaves
  • analgesic,antibacterial,anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, insect repellant,sedative, tonic, vasodilator
  • This oil may help with circulation,improving eyesight,fevers,headaches,clearing infections,sore throats and water retention
  • Can be applied neat without dilution on reflex points or areas of concern. Dilute for children and those with sensitive skin.

*** Safety***Can be very irritating to some skin .

Melaleuca ( Tea Tree ) ( Melaleuca Alternifolia)~ scent medicinal, fresh, woody,earthy , herbaceous

  • steam distilled from leaves
  • analgesic, antibacterial,anti-inflammatory,anti-viral,antiseptic ,immune stimulant, insecticidal, skin restorative
  • This oil may help burns,hysteria, infections, mites and ticks
  • Can be applied neat without dilution on reflex points or areas of concern. Dilute for children and those with sensitive skin.

No safety concerns

Sweet Orange : ( Citrus Sinensis )~ scent fresh, citrusy ,fruity, sweet

  • cold pressed from rind
  • anticancer ,antidepressant,antiseptic,tonic
  • This may help with dull complexion, colic in infants, dermatitis, fever, influenza,mouth ulcers, sedation, and wrinkles
  • Can be applied neat without dilution on reflex points or areas of concern. Dilute for children and those with sensitive skin.

***Safety***Phototoxic~ Avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after application.

Essential Oil Blends

Here are a few for you to try:

Basic Headache Blend:

In an amber droppered bottle combine: ( amber or cobalt is preferred so that sunlight does not alter the strength of the oils, but not necessary ) May also use a roller ball applicator.

carrier oil ( jojoba, Grape seed, apricot,or fractionated ( fats removed) Coconut oil )

5 drops Peppermint E/O

3 drops  Lavender E/O

Swirl to combine.  Cap and store cold if desires.

To use: Three drops rubbed into temples and/or back of neck at first sign of headache.

Peppermint Lime Foot Soak:

In a bowl combine :

I cup Epsom Salts

1/4 cup baking Soda

Zest and juice of one lime

10 drops Peppermint E/O

Mix well and store in jar. Add 1/2 cup to warm foot bath to soothe tired irritated feet.

Greasy Hair Wash:

Combine 2 drops of Lemongrass E/O to a dollop of mild unscented shampoo. Rub between palms and wash as normal.

Anxiety Bath Soak

Start to fill bath with warm water. as it fills add 3 drops Lavender and 2 drops Orange E/O to water.  Soak for 20 minutes for maximum relaxation.

        Need Oils:    There are many local and online sources for Essential Oils, and even some Supermarkets are including them in their Organic and Heath Food aisles.

Try local Health conscious stores, and even a natural pharmacy.  But if unable to find the oils  and carriers you need try these online sources.

The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Our posts are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or health care provider. The information provided by this website is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a health care provider, and should not be construed as individual medical advice.





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