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Introduction To Essential Oils - How Essential Oils Affect The Body

Skin & Muscular System

Use of essential oils for skin conditions is one of the most well-known forms of aromatherapy, particularly using tea tree to prevent and heal acne. Many people are also familiar with muscle rubs like Rub-A535, which uses synthetics to mimic the effects of natural oils like cypress, and peppermint. These are physical effects, using tea tree as an astringent or peppermint to stimulate circulation and release muscle tension. Skin application works best.

Here are some popular oils for common skin and muscular conditions:

  • Acne - lavender, tea tree
  • Scarring - myrrh, yarrow, helichrysum, frankincense, lavender
  • Dry/sensitive skin - rose, frankincense, lavender, geranium
  • Dandruff - bergamot, geranium, rosemary, tea tree
  • Inflamed skin - lavender, German chamomile, patchouli
  • Relieve inflammation - German chamomile, lavender
  • Increase circulation - rosemary , eucalyptus, cypress, peppermint
  • Accumulation of toxins and cellulite - cypress, juniper, black pepper

Respiratory System

Another popular and well-known form of aromatherapy is using eucalyptus to relieve coughs and sinus congestion, but there are many other oils that are helpful for a wide range of respiratory problems. Many of these oils are also antibacterial and antifungal, helping to prevent as well as treat these problems. Inhalation or sonic diffusion is the best way to get the effects of these oils, although diluting them and rubbing them onto the chest also works.

  • Coughs – eucalyptus, niaouli, tea tree, pine, rosemary
  • Thinning and breaking down mucus – eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint
  • Asthma – blue and German chamomile, rosemary
  • Sinus infection and congestion – eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, cypress
  • Tea Tree - also good for anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiseptic qualities

Digestive System

Even without ingesting essential oils, they can still help with a wide range of digestive issues. Inhalation works well for these purposes, as does as diluting in carrier oil and rubbing gently onto the stomach.

  • Promotes digestive health in general – ginger, fennel, rosemary, anise
  • Eases cramping or convulsions – anise, fennel, clary sage
  • Relieves gas – peppermint, coriander
  • Constipation – fennel, black pepper
  • Loss of appetite - lime, grapefruit, fennel, patchouli, peppermint
  • Abdominal cramps - aniseed, basil, marjoram, clove bud
  • Nausea and vomiting - peppermint, fennel, ginger

Genito-urinary and Endocrine System

Some essential oils act as phyto hormones that can mimic and produce results similar to our own. Because of this, they can level out hormonal fluctuations and their related symptoms. For best results, diffuse or apply to the stomach and chest in a carrier oil.

  • Hormonal changes & fluctuations - geranium, clary sage, jasmine
  • PMS – chamomile roman, clary sage, geranium, lavender, jasmine, rose
  • Menopause – aniseed, chamomile roman, clary sage, rose, jasmine
  • Labor Pain – clary sage, fennel, lavender, jasmine
  • Lack of menstruation - clary sage, roman chamomile, rose, geranium
  • Menstrual cramps - clary sage, ginger, German chamomile, rose

Immune System

Virtually all essential oils are antibacterial and anti-viral; some are just stronger than others are. Eucalyptus, tea tree and niaouli are the most antibacterial and antiviral essential oils. Some oils, like thyme, also stimulate the immune system. For antibacterial uses, diffuse or dilute in any kind of base. To stimulate the immune system, dilute in a carrier oil and apply to the glands, or use in bath salts.

  • Most antibacterial – tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, rosemary
  • Stimulate the immune system – thyme, black pepper, juniper, tea tree

Nervous System

From stress relief to sleep disorders and everything in between, the majority of people first looking into aromatherapy is drawn to it to manage problems related to the nervous system. Diffusion and pulse-point application (using a roll-on) are most effective, but almost all methods of application work well.

  • Sedating - chamomile, marjoram, sandalwood, oakmoss
  • Stimulating – citrus oils, rosemary, eucalyptus
  • Stimulating or sedating, depending on the body’s needs - geranium, rosewood, lavender
  • Soothing & relaxing - jasmine, ylang ylang, rose, neroli. These essential oils are nerve stimulants, causing the release of a neurotransmitter called encephalon, creating a soothing and relaxing effect on the emotions. This effect also causes them to act as aphrodisiacs.
  • Depression – rose, geranium, frankincense, citrus oils
  • Nervous exhaustion – basil, clary sage, frankincense, sandalwood
  • Anxiety – all resins, clary sage, pine, rose

Spiritual System

Our minds and spirits are greatly affected by essential oils.

  • Grounding & meditation – sandalwood, vetiver, frankincense, patchouli
  • Dream enhancement – clary sage
  • Rituals/tradition – frankincense used in Catholic churches
  • Chakra/meridian work – wheels of energy, constantly revolving in the body and emanating energy into the subtle bodies. There are hundreds situated throughout the body. Most people work with the seven major chakras situated on the midline of the body.