Essential oils have been used medicinally for centuries.  They are extracted from flowers, grasses, shrubs, herbs, and trees.  If you are skeptical about the efficacy of essential oils, you’ll at least find it reassuring to know that the oils enter and exit the human body without leaving any toxins behind.  The best ways to use essential oils are externally, absorbed through the skin, or through steam inhalation.  However, oral applications are indicated for some remedies.

 There are hundreds of essential oils used by herbalists, but for general therapeutic use in the home, these are my recommendations you need to have at the ready,

 Lavender Oil

If I could only have one essential oil, I would choose lavender because it is so versatile.  It is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, sedative, antidepressant, topical treatment for scalds and burns, and a good detoxifier; it prevents scarring and promotes healing, and its lovely scent has a calming effect and is widely used in aromatherapy.

 Tea Tree Oil

Used by aborigines in Australia for centuries, tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic.  It has a fresh camphor smell and is used to treat athlete’s foot, sunburn, candida, and other infections.

 Peppermint Oil

A wonderful therapeutic for digestive, respiratory, and circulatory complaints, peppermint oil is used to treat indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, halitosis, catarrh, varicose veins, headaches, skin irritations, and rheumatism.  It also works as a deterrent for infestations of mice, fleas, and ants.  It is not surprising that peppermint oil is regarded as the world’s oldest medicine.

 Eucalyptus Oil

In eucalyptus oil, we have an all-purpose antiviral, antibiotic, diuretic analgesic, and antiseptic.  It can be therapeutic for coughs, colds, respiratory stimulation, and insect bites.  If you start to feel cold symptoms, use 5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a hot bath or in a bowl prepared with boiling water for a head steam.

 Thyme Oil

Thyme is an “old-time” antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic, and diuretic curative; it was highly valued and widely used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for fatigue, coughs, warts, rheumatism, neuralgia, and acne.  Thyme oil works very well mixed with base oil for massage.

 Rosemary Oil

Sweet-smelling rosemary oil is a great antiseptic to use for flu, coughs, headaches, depression, muscular stress, arthritis, rheumatism, fatigue, and forgetfulness.  Rosemary oil is stimulating and will perk you up if you do a head steam with it or put a couple of drops in the bath.