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Here are my top 10 essential oils for the home and at work:
Lavender is capable of many important jobs and is a delight to use. It is so very effective in the treatment of burns and scalds, is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, and detoxifier which promotes healing and prevents scarring, and also stimulates the immune system and contributes to the healing process by stimulating the cells of a wound to regenerate more quickly. Although not known specifically s a circulatory stimulant, lavender oil certainly seems to allay the effects of clinical shock and as a mood tonic and antidepressant it helps to deal with the psychological shock of injury. A truly indispensable oil.
The antiseptic action of tea tree is thought to be one hundred times more powerful than carbolic acid – and it is non poisonous to humans! The Aborigines have been using this indigenous Australian tree in their medications for centuries and today tea tree is a the subject of a great deal of international research. Its impressive antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties make it useful in the treatment of candida and all sorts of infections, for ringworm, sunburn, acne, athlete’s foot, toothache, and pyorrhoea, among other things.
Peppermint has been used by many ancient cultures, including the Egyptians, Chinese and American Indians, no doubt because of its extremely useful health-promoting properties. It is an excellent digestive, it helps the respiratory system and circulation, it is an anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. These qualities make it a good oil in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, bad breath, flu, catarrh, varicose veins, headaches and migraines, skin irritations, rheumatism, toothache and fatigue. It even keeps mice, fleas and ants away!
There are several types of chamomile essential oil. Chamomile German is an excellent variety and its beautiful deep dark blue colour, due to its high azulene content, comes as a bonus. Another excellent variety, chamomile Romans, is particularly good for the treatment of nervous conditions and insomnia. Although chamomile is antibacterial, antiseptic and disinfectant, it is most valued for its anti-inflammatory properties. These apply to internal conditions like rheumatism, as well as to external inflammations. Chamomile is indispensable if you have children, because it can be used for teething troubles and in the bath to ease nerves and tetchiness. Chamomile is used in the treatment of burns, including sunburn, psoriasis, eczema, asthma, hay fever, diarrhoea, sprains and strains, nausea, fever, and all nervous and depressive states. Its analgesic, diuretic, sedative, and calming properties make chamomile an extremely desirable oil. For kicking the tranquiliser habit it is invaluable, and in anorexia nervosa it is extremely helpful. As if this weren’t enough, chamomile is used in rejuvenation treatments.
Eucalyptus has been distilled from at least 1788 when two doctors, John White and Dennis Cossiden, distilled Eucalyptus piperata for its use in treating chest problems and colic. This was in Australia where the Blue Mountains of New South Wales are so called because of the extraordinary blue haze that exudes from the resin of the eucalyptus gum and envelops the entire landscape. In such a powerfully aromatic environment, the medicinal qualities of this ancient tree would be hard to miss. The wide range of eucalyptus varieties make a marvellously versatile and useful oil. Eucalyptus cools the body during summer and protects it in winter. It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, diuretic, analgesic, and deodorising. Research has proved its antiviral properties as well. It is best known for its effectiveness against coughs and colds but is equally effective in the treatment of cystitis, candida, diabetes, and sunburn, while also being useful in veterinary care and as an insect repellent.
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