Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Essential Oils

You may or may not know that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE essential oils (EO). This natural hair bit has triggered research for me on essential oils and other natural products. In addition to the natural oils, I like to use natural shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. One day I may try my hand at making my own soaps using some of the essential oils listed below.

Because I have received so many questions concerning essential oils and which ones to use, I thought I would give the run down on a few that I like the most. When using these oils, be sure to dilute or mix with a carrier oil such jojoba oil, almond oil, or shea butter because essential oils can be too strong to use on the skin and scalp alone.

My favorite EO is peppermint oil. The picture above is of the brand I use...Love it! I buy it from a local health food store. I make a spritz which includes water in a spray bottle (about 8 - 10 oz), 5 drops of peppermint oil, about 1/2 oz of almond oil, and about 1/2 oz of infusium leave in treatment for moisture (some of you may be saying "infusim isn't a natural product." Well gosh darn it... you are correct, but it seems to help my hair to retain the moisture throughout the day so I add just a bit in). I shake this up and spray my hair in the mornings, in the evenings when I come home from work, or whenever my hair and scalp just need a pick-me-up. The peppermint oil gives a tingle and an airy feeling that just makes me smile and appreciate being able to wet my hair everyday. Try it! I hope you enjoy the refreshing feeling it gives as much as I do. (see the bottom of the post for reference for more info or to purchase on line)

Peppermint Essential Oils
- Peppermint is an energizing oil with a penetrating, minty aroma
- Helps to relieve fatigue and muscle pain. Use it in the daytime, as its energizing effects may keep you awake at night.
- Add to a massage blend for the digestive system. Excellent for refreshing tired head and feet. Sniff from bottle or one drop on handkerchief to revive during travel. Blended with Rosemary and Juniper it makes an excellent morning bath.
- Warning: Some Aromatherapists say do not use Peppermint when pregnant
- Aromatherapy class: energizing, stimulating / Aroma type: minty
- Traditional use: insect repellent, emollient, antiseptic, muscle relaxant
- Blend well with: bergamot, geranium, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sandalwood
- Safety information: can cause skin irritation

Lavender Essential Oil
- Lavender is the most versatile of essential oils
- It is relaxing and refreshing, uplifts the spirits, and helps to relieve the distress of muscle pain.
- Balances your body and mind. Calms or stimulates according to your bodies needs. Excellent for refreshing tired muscles, feet and head. Add a drop to the pillow/sheet before peaceful sleep.
- Treats burns and reduces scaring. Can be used neat in small amounts on burns but care still needs to be taken
-Blends with many other oils
-Aromatherapy class: calming, balancing, soothing / Aroma type: herbaceous
- Traditional use: muscle relaxant, soothing agent, skin conditioner, astringent
- Blends well with: bergamot, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, patchouli, clary sage, rose, jasmine

Lemon Essential Oil
- Fresh, citrus scent that is revitalizing and uplifting. It has antibacterial and tonic properties, making it useful for relief of cold symptoms
- Widely used in beauty care. It cleanses, refreshes, cool and stimulates
- Astringent antiseptic oil. Useful for oily skin. Can be used to lighten dull, stained hands or to tone and condition nails and cuticles.
- Warning:Do not use Lemon on the skin or in a bath for 12 hours prior to sun or sunlamp exposure.
- Aromatherapy class: energizing, uplifting / Aroma type: citrus
- Traditional use: antiseptic, soothing agent
- Blends well with: neroli, clary sage, bergamot, citronella, orange flower, violet left, galbanum

Lime Essential Oil
- Acts like lemon and the other citrus oils, Nice aroma
- Warning: Do not use lime on the skin in direct sunlight, however if the essential oil of lime is distilled rather than expressed, then it does not have a photo-toxic effect.
- Dilute to 1% and use only 3 drops in a bath as it may cause irritation of the skin
- Aromatherapy class: energizing, uplifting / Aroma type: citrus
- Traditional use: soothing agent, astringent, skin conditioner
- Blends well with: clary sage, citronella, lavender, lavandin, neroli, rosemary

Rosemary Essential Oil
- Rosemary is an energizing oil with a string herbaceous aroma. It helps to relieve muscle muscle aches and combats mental fatigue
- Use it in the daytime as it energizing effect may keep you awake at night.
- Perfect in Pre and Post sports rubs to maintain suppleness
- Helps combat water retention and cellulite
- Good hair tonic
- An 'ideal pick me up'
- Combats fatigue and clears stuffy atmosphere
-Warning: Do not use Rosemary when pregnant, having high blood pressure, or suffering from epilepsy. It may cause irritation of the skin.
- Aromatherapy class: energizing, stimulating / Aroma type: camphoraceous
- Traditional use: antiseptic, muscle relaxant, soothing agent, skin conditioner
- Blends well with: olibanum, lavender, lavandin, citronella, thyme, basil, peppermint, labdanum, elemi, cedarwood, petitgrain, cinnamon
- Safety Information: use 1/2 recommended dilution or less

Chamomile, Roman Essential Oil
- Roman Chamomile has a warm, sweet, herbaceous scent that is relaxing and calming.. It is soothing to all types of skin and is a wonderful addition to a massage oil for sore muscles.
- Known for the strong soothing effect on the mind and body
- The Roman and German Chamomile are excellent for protecting dry skin
- Many uses: Used to treat nerve, headache, insomnia, menstrual disorders, and comforting oil during high pollen count (unless you have an allergy to ragweeds).
- A gentle oil, suitable for the young and fragile
- One of the few essential oils that can be used on inflamed skin conditions
- Blends well with: eucalyptus, lavender, bergamot, galbanum, jasmine, neroli, rosemary, and clary sage
- Aromatherapy class: calming / Aroma type: fruity
- Traditional use: muscle relaxant, skin conditioner

Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Powerful antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-viral
- Good for acne, cold sores, warts, and burns
- Use for vaporizing to kill germs
- Useful cleansing agent for skin
- Helps combat foot odor and athletes foot
- Also known as Ti Tree
- Has a wide range of uses including AIDS related illnesses (further reading recommended)
- Warning: may cause irritation to sensitive skin
- Aromatherapy class: energizing, stimulating, toning / Aroma type: camphoraceous
- Traditional use: insect repellent, antiseptic
- Blends well with: lavandin, lavender, clary sage, rosemary, cananga, geranium, marjoram, clove, nutmeg

Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus oil is a fresh and stimulating oil with a penetrating scent and antiseptic properties
- Widely used as a component of preparations for relieving congestion and muscle aches
- Powerful antiseptic, used in baths and massage during the cold season. Blend oil in chest rubs and use in a vaporizer to keep air germ free in sick room
- Aroma class: toning, stimulating / Aroma type: camphoraceous
- Traditional use: deodorant, antiseptic, soothing agent, skin conditioner, insect repellent
- Blends well with: coriander, juniper berry, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, pine, tyme

And remember to make and try some spritzes with these essential oils!

Until next time,
Lock on wit you bad self!

Dreaming Earth Botanicles Somatherapy. (2010). Reference guide for essential oils. Retrieved from,