Essential oils not only have lovely scents, but many also have health benefits. From enhancing mood and improving cognitive abilities, to helping relieve symptoms of infection and heartburn, essential oils can easily be incorporated into your daily health-and-wellness routine.
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Essential oils used to improve your health is an industry known as clinical aromatherapy. As a pharmacist and holistic pharmacologist, I combine essential oils to address specific health concerns, such as insomnia, inflammation, digestive issues and dental health, as well as create custom blends for my clients.
These are the top eight essential oils I recommend to improve your health. For all of these oils (except oregano oil), I recommend diffusing the oil into the air with an aromatic diffuser (aromatherapy). You can also place a few drops of the oil into a pot of steaming water, position your face over the pot, close your eyes, cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam.
Lemon is the first essential oil I was exposed to as a teenager. This oil is extremely high in limonene, which helps reduce symptoms of heartburn (GERD) as well as dissolve gallstones. Also, case studies have demonstrated anti-tumor effects using D-limonene in patients with advanced cancer.
Rosemary caught my interest as a child since we had a rosemary bush in our front yard. Aromatic terpene molecules found in rosemary essential oil, including 1,8-cineole, have been studied in clinical trials and show enhancement of cognitive abilities, such as memory, focus and concentration. Rosemary also works as a digestive aid, to reduce headaches, and to stimulate the healing of the lungs when you have a cold.
Peppermint is a landmark essential oil that is relatively inexpensive and has a wide range of therapeutic features. Peppermint is an uplifting essence commonly used to reduce brain fog and relieve headaches. This essential oil also helps to settle an upset stomach, reduce bloating and gas, and is great for massage if diluted in carrier oil, such as almond oil.
4. Clove Bud
Clove bud has potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Clove has been used in dental offices for decades as an anesthetic for teeth and gums. This oil can be irritating for the skin, so I recommend diluting the oil to less than 0.5 percent and patch testing (use on a small area and wait one hour for negative reactions) before considering its use topically.
Touted for its immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and pain-modulating properties, this powerful anti-oxidant is a timeless spice revered in Indian culture. I like to blend turmeric oil with body lotions to reduce joint pain. However, given its bright-orange color, you need to be careful not to stain your clothes.
6. Coffee Bean
If you love the smell of a fresh coffee in the morning, you will love this one. With this essence, you can experience that energizing sensation all day (without the afternoon coffee crash). The CO2 extract contains caffeine, stimulating the nervous system, energizing the body and lifting your mood. This also makes a great skin toner and may be dropped into a bath or added to lotion.
7. Black Cumin
Commonly known as black seed oil, black cumin is a powerful essence with more than 100 pharmacologically-active components and anti-microbial properties. Black cumin seed extract is commonly used topically to reduce symptoms of skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, especially by physicians in India. This extract can also be inhaled to reduce inflammation of the lungs for asthma.
Oil of oregano is known to fight colds and flu. Oregano oil has high concentrations of the aromatic phenol called carvacrol, which offers potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Oregano oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and provides relief from an upset stomach.
Oregano is very heating and stimulating, therefore I recommend you dilute this oil to less than 2.5 percent. If taken internally, I recommend taking a capsule to decrease irritation of the throat and stomach. If you’re using this oil topically, do a skin patch test first.
Some people advocate regular use of oregano oil, but I don't agree. Regular use of oregano ingested internally may negatively affect the gut flora over time and should only be considered after discussing with a physician or clinical aromatherapist. I recommend this oil to only be taken in acute cases and for short periods of time.
To create an oil of oregano tonic, place a couple drops of oil into a steaming 16-ounce cup of water. Wait 10 to 15 minutes to allow the oil to evaporate. Mix with almond milk, lemon, cayenne and honey to taste.
Therapeutic essential oils are great allies to have in your life and to share with friends and family. These essences offer comforting fragrance and great potential for healing while elevating the mood and disinfecting one's environment.
Check out Dr. Nick's website to learn more about his high quality essential oils and specialty therapeutic blends.