Essential oils are produced by distillation of plant leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, and other parts known for their therapeutic properties. They are very potent extracts and caution should be exercised in their use. Essential oils are sometimes confused with perfume or fragrance oils.
These oils will not contain the same naturally occurring components and will not reap the same benefits as pure essential oils. This article outlines my top 3 picks of essential oils based upon 17 years experience with their use. Although there are many beneficial oils, these are the 3 that are never allowed to run out in my cabinet.
- Lavender Oil
My top pick for the most essential of essential oils is Lavender oil. If you are able to have only one oil in your cabinet, this is the one to have. This oil is unsurpassed for its anti-inflammatory properties and versatility. Lavender EO can be used neat (applied directly to the skin), unlike many oils that need to be diluted with a carrier oil. My family has successfully used Lavender oil for minor burns, allergic skin irritations, and joint pain.
It is the only thing that brings relief to my 10 year old son from a painful, itchy allergic reaction on his palms and soles of his feet. All that is required is a couple of drops of Lavender oil rubbed into the affected area and he is as good as new. He takes it with him whenever he spends the night with anyone or goes swimming. We have used it countless times for burns, it instantly soothes the burn and prevents further damage to the skin. Massage a few drops into sore, aching joints or muscles or into the temples for a headache.
Lavender is also known for its soothing effect on the nervous system. It is indicated in cases of stress, insomnia, and nervousness. For this reason it is frequently seen in soothing bath preparations, incense, and sachets. However, care should be taken not to mistake fragrance oils and synthetic fragrances for pure essential oil of Lavender.
- Tea Tree Oil
Second to Lavender oil is Tea Tree oil. This oil is in such high demand today that it can be found on the store shelves of Wal-Mart along with the vitamins and supplements. Most people are able to use Tea Tree oil neat, however this oil is strong and some may find it irritating to the skin. In this case it can be diluted in a carrier oil or in pure Aloe gel. Tea Tree oil is antiseptic and anti-fungal, making it useful in the treatment of athletes foot, ring worm, and fungal infections of the nails.
Tea tree oil is also indicated for head lice prevention or cure. Mixing tea tree oil with shampoo during outbreaks at school will keep the family free of infestation. An added benefit is that this oil reduces dandruff and scalp itch which can sometimes be a problem in the winter when head lice outbreaks are common. I have also used tea tree oil to clean and disinfect surfaces in the bathroom and avoid mildew.
- Lemon Oil
Lemon oil boosts the immune system and can be used as a vapor or in a burner to help prevent colds and other infections. It improves circulation when used in a bath but must be diluted with a carrier oil. It is antibacterial and antiseptic and can be used to clean household surfaces. It cuts grease and can be used for oily skin and hair conditions when properly diluted.
I have successfully used lemon oil to remove a wart on my son’s finger. I applied the oil with a Q-tip several times/ day and it took less than a week to remove the wart. I also frequently use lemon oil for cleaning in the kitchen. It cuts through grease, is antiseptic, and has a fresh, clean smell. In addition to adding it to cleaning water; cleaning cloths can be made by mixing lemon oil with water and then adding it to heavy-duty paper towels (made for the shop and sold in the automotive department) which are stored in a handy baby wipe container.
There you have it; my top 3 picks of essential essential oils. I hope that you have found this article useful.