An essential oil* is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Various essential oils have been used medicinally for centuries but they can also be used to make cosmetics or detergents.
Catching up with a friend last week, she asked me if I had any favourite essential oil(s) and which oil(s) would I bring on holidays. If I was to pick only one it would probably be the tea tree oil but here is a list of my favourite essential oils (and some tips on how to use them).
- Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to New South Wales, Australia. Tea Tree Oil has been shown to have strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects.
People use tea tree oil for various conditions but I find it particularly effective against acne and on cuts. I apply it on spots before going to bed and it stops them from getting infected – If you do not like the smell of it, lavender oil is also great for spots.
- Rosemary oil
Rosemary essential oil has an overall stimulating and invigorating effect. It increases circulation and can help relieve excess muscle tension. Rosemary essential oil also helps alleviate cold symptoms and loosen chest congestion.
If you have a cold or if you suffer period pain, add 3/4 drops of rosemary essential oil to your bath.
- Peppermint oil
Peppermint Essential Oil is one of the oils often recommended for easing migraines and for clearing congestion in the sinuses.
Easing migraines: Put 1 drop of peppermint essential oil on your temples (as far as possible from your eyes).
Peppermint oil is also great to make cosmetics such as natural mouthwash.
Other non-essential oil, oils that I like include:
Castor oil: A fantastic product that helps eyelashes to grow thick & long; and can act as a natural substitute for mascaras.
Argan oil and Calophyllum Inophyllum oil / tamanu oil for their anti-ageing effects.
I personally mix argan oil with my day cream for day time and apply a very small amount of the pure tamanu oil to my face in the evening – gently massage it into your skin using a circular movement.
Do you have a favourite essential oil? Some tips that you could share?
*Note: Remember that essential oils are powerful compounds and that they are highly concentrated. Keep in mind that essential oils should never be taken orally, unless so advised by your licensed medical practitioner, and that some essential oils are not suitable for children or pregnant women. Read more.