Top 15 essential oils that you should keep in your medicine cabinet

Herbal remedies and essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their healing and medicinal properties. Essential oils are substances in high concentration driven from the resin, bark, leaves, fruit, or root of a plant or an herb. Essential oils carry the essence of herbs in high concentrated form.

Essential oils contain the aroma of herbs and have powerful therapeutic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Essential oils have many medicinal benefits such as boosting the immune system and preventing diseases.

Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, and massages for relaxation and can reduce depression, stress, and anxiety. Essential oils are used in thousands of personal care products such as perfumes, boy wash, shampoos, or soaps for their aroma. Keep in mind that sometimes manufactures use chemical solvent in extracting essential oils, so make sure the essential oil that you are using is high quality and solvent free.

Here are the top 15 essential oils and their health benefits:

1. Peppermint

Peppermint is known for its powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. According to researchers, combination of essential oils and antibiotics can reduce antibiotic resistance in plasmid-conferred multidrug resistant bacteria. Peppermint oil can boost your immune system and help to prevent motion sickness, cold and flu, digestive issues, respiratory problems, and muscle pain.

2. Lavender

According to researchers, lavender can be beneficial for diabetes by significantly protecting the body against increase of blood glucose as well as decrease of antioxidant enzyme. ‘Lavandula stoechas essential oils protected against diabetes and oxidative stress induced by alloxan treatment. These effects are in partly due to its potent antioxidant properties’ researchers say. Lavender is also great for treatment of skin issues, cuts and bruises, burns, depression, stress, anxiety, fatigue, hypertension, and panic attacks.

3. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is known for its powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. According to a study from VIT University in India, eucalyptus oil killed deadly bacteria in just 15 min. Researchers suggest that the use of eucalyptus is superior to pharmaceutical drugs such as antibiotics. Eucalyptus oil is also beneficial for treatment of cold and flu, chest congestion, sore throat, muscle pain, and asthma.

4. Rosemary

According to researchers, rosemary could increase blood pressure in hypertensive patients and improve quality of life and overall health and wellbeing of patients. Rosemary could also improve hair growth, and common aches such as muscle or joint pains.

5. Oregano

According to researchers, oregano oil can help to reduce infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics. Oregano oil is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. The high level of antioxidant and vitamin C in oregano can help to fight fungal infections, and treat arthritis, Candida, cysts, herpes, and bruises. According to researchers, ‘using oregano essential oil obtained from Origanum heracleoticum L. as alternative antibacterial remedy can enhance healing process in bacterial infections and prevent antibiotic-resistant strain development’.

6. Sandalwood

According to researchers, sandalwood can help to improve nervous system function and prevent Alzheimer's disease. ‘The major constituent of the sandalwood oil is a strong inhibitor of both tyrosinase and cholinesterase. These in vitro results indicate that there is a great potential of this essential oil for use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, as well as in skin-care’ researchers say. Sandalwood can also be beneficial for treatment of stress, depression, bronchitis, insomnia, and urinary tract infections.

7. Frankincense

According to a study published in the Journal Oncology Letters, frankincense can help to prevent the growth of cancer cells, including breast tumors. Frankincense can help to boost the immune system, and improve digestion, respiratory problem, and oral health. Frankincense can also be used in treatment of depression, stress, anxiety, brain damage (from injuries), allergies, coughing and bronchitis.

8. Ginger

Ginger oil is great for treatment of nausea, arthritis, and indigestion. According to researchers, ginger extract is more powerful than painkiller drugs such as Advil or Tylenol. 

9. Cinnamon

Cinnamon oil is a powerful antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial and can help to improve poor circulation, muscle pain, infections, and common pains and aches. According to researchers, cinnamon can regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics and help to prevent cancer.

10. Cedarwood

Cedarwood is known for treatment of stress, anxiety, cold, flu, bronchitis, coughing, hair loss, and skin issues. According to researchers, cedarwood can help to fight human fungal pathogens and improve symptoms of food poisoning.

11. Thyme

Thyme oil is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic and can help to fight sinus infection, and treat cold and flu. ‘It is concluded that essential oils such as thyme oil, which inhibited the growth of L. monocytogenes at low concentrations, could be considered as preservative materials for some kinds of foods; they could find an application as additives to foodstuffs in storage to protect them from listerial contamination’ researchers say.

12. Tea tree

Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic and can help to treat cold sores, skin disorders such as acne, warts, insect bites, and Athlete’s foot.

13. Lemon

Lemon oil is a powerful antiviral, antiseptic and antibacterial and can help to boost the immune system and improve anxiety and skin health.

14. Chamomile

Chamomile oil is known for its soothing and therapeutic properties. Chamomile can help to improve insomnia, stress and anxiety, menopause symptoms, skin health, dermatitis, cuts and bruises, and bee stings.

15. Clove

Researchers suggest that clove is a powerful antibacterial and can help to fight against E. coli bacteria, pneumonia and skin infections. Clove could also help to treat infections, cuts and wounds, bruises, and earache.

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