A versatile all-purpose remedy for treating burns, bites, stings and other minor skin injuries, lavender oil is a useful ingredient in home-made lotions, toners and massage blends.
Lavender promotes healing and minimises scarring. Its natural antibacterial, antiseptic and oil-regulating effects make it useful for treating acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, while its decongestant and antimicrobial properties make it effective in inhalations and chest rubs for treating colds and coughs. It is also an effective insect repellent.
A natural sedative, using lavender essential oil in inhalations or oil burners, or just sprinkling a few drops on your pillow, will improve the length and depth of sleep. Massaging a little of the oil neat into the temples may help to relieve a headache. Above all, its scent is balancing, calming and soothing.
Well known as a trusty natural remedy for respiratory ailments, this also has many household uses, thanks to its potent infection-fighting and insect-repelling abilities. As well as being an effective decongestant, it has powerful medicinal and fever-reducing effects, specifically against cold and flu viruses and common disease-causing bacteria, such as staphylococcus.
Use it as a fumigant in sick-rooms, in topical remedies for skin disorders, including minor burns and cuts; viral infections such as cold sores; bacterial infections, including boils, abscesses, and ingrown hairs; stings and insect bites; and in massage blends and compresses for muscular and circulatory conditions, such as bruises or sprains, and nervous system disorders, including neuralgia and headache. Eucalyptus' cooling effect makes it a helpful addition to a tepid bath or compress for a patient with a fever.
This essential oil was created by the famed 10th-century Persian doctor and alchemist, Avicenna, and it has enjoyed great health, household and cosmetic significance ever since. Rose oil’s overall effect is warming, uplifting, sensual and nurturing; it is reputed to be an aphrodisiac. It has antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and sedative properties, and is thought to act as a tonic for the heart, stomach and uterus.
Much loved for its feminine fragrance, rose essential oil may be included in facial, body and bath treatments; it is particularly recommended for mature, sensitive or fragile skin in need of rejuvenation. Its hormone-balancing qualities make it effective in treating female reproductive system disorders. It also supports the spirit. Burn it in an oil burner to ease stress, or use it in a massage blend to counter feelings of shyness or poor self-image.
Avoid using essential oils during pregnancy or while breastfeeding unless on professional advice from a qualified aromatherapist. Some essential oils may affect hormones and stimulate the uterus. Keep essential oils out of reach of children.
Never ingest essential oils as they are toxic. Do not let essential oils get into your eyes or your mouth. Only use them in low dilutions, for example, five to 10 drops in three or four tablespoons of an unscented "carrier" oil, such as sweet almond oil. Always patch - test any home-made skin treatments before use to ensure the oils do not cause irritation. Do not store essential oils or oil blends in plastic containers, only in glass.