By Dana DeMercurio
Looking for ways to go holistic in the New Year? Stock your home with these essential oils to help calm nerves, treat acne breakouts, ease migraines and even stimulate memory.** Some can even be used as homemade cleaning supplies. Here’s a short list to get you started.
Rosemary Oil: Said to help long-term memory and alertness, rosemary’s therapeutic aroma is a holistic approach to boosting concentration and stimulating mental activity. In fact, a 2003 research study found participants who inhaled rosemary oil during an exam displayed significantly higher cognitive function, giving scientists a reason to explore rosemary oil as a treatment option for those with onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Tea Tree Oil: Having the reputation of a cure-all oil, tea tree oil can be used to treat and cure a variety of topical infections and irritations. Its antiviral and antimicrobial properties allow the oil to work magic on issues such as nail fungus, dandruff and even chicken pox. Suffering from a common cold? Tea tree oil provides relief from nasal congestion and coughing when rubbed on the chest and inhaled throughout the night.
Calendula Oil: Extracted from the petals of the marigold flower, Calendula uses are often associated with dermatology, as its main properties help heal scars caused by acne breakouts and can also ease the discomfort associated with psoriasis.
Frankincense Oil: Scientists at Cardiff University have recently found that the healing power associated with this age old herbal remedy may in fact be the answer to treating arthritis, along with several other ailments. Frankincense’s many benefits range from cosmetic to medicinal, including its astringent property that helps strengthen gums along with toning and lifting skin.
Peppermint Oil: This calming essential oil not only soothes upset stomachs and minor topical irritations, it also alleviates symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and can be used as an aid to relieve coughs and congestion– as menthol (found in the stem and leaves of peppermint) are known to thin mucus.
Lavender Oil: If you’re looking to add to your aromatherapy arsenal, be sure to include lavender oil. Studies have found that this essential oil can help those suffering from insomnia, dementia, acute anxiety and migraines. Lavender oil has also been proved effective as a hair care treatment for those experiencing hair loss associated with alopecia, an autoimmune disease where the body rejects its own hair follicles.
Lemon Oil: Cold-pressed from the rinds of lemons, this essential oil contains 68% d-limonene, a powerful antioxidant that is characteristic of lemon oil’s cleansing and purifying properties. When you’re not using it to boost your immunity or clearing up facial blemishes, turn it into a window cleaner by adding 10-20 drops to an even mixture of water and vinegar. Spray on windows, mirrors and stainless steel, and wipe off with paper towels for a streak-free shine.
**Disclaimer: These essential oils are used as topical remedies and should not be ingested. Women who are pregnant or nursing should consult with doctors before use. Use as directed.