What are essential oils?
Essential oils are one of the hottest things in natural health right now, with millions of people utilising them in daily life to support the wellbeing of their whole families.
Essential oils are complex aromatic compounds extracted by various methods from plants, and are in simple terms the concentrated ‘scent’ of that particular flower, leaf, gum, seed or root. For thousands of years they’ve been extracted and used in everything from food and cosmetics to medicine and, of course, as perfume.
They can be used diluted on the skin in carrier oils such as jojoba or wheatgerm, or diffused into the air in specialised aromatherapy devices such as diffusers, vapourisers or burners.
Let’s take a closer look at ten of our top picks of the hundreds of essential oils on the market today!
1. Manuka oil
Manuka is a New Zealand native oil, increasing in popularity for its potent immune support properties that are purported to surpass even the legendary Australian tea tree oil. With the most potent oils sourced around the East Cape, this oil is gentle on skin, where it is often used in products for healthy skin.
It may be used safely in household cleaners, and its rich, potent fragrance can be calming and warming.
2. Oregano oil
Oregano oil comes from the popular culinary herb of the same name. Extremely potent, it is an oil with a strong, hot, spicy fragrance, and is commonly used for its properties where it may support the body’s response to an imbalance of flora.
Oregano oil may also be used in natural cleaning products, oral hygiene and toothpastes, or diffused for its energising and enlivening effects.
3. Lavender oil
One of the world’s most popular essential oils derived from one of the most popular plants in the world, lavender is renowned for its relaxation properties in aromatherapy. Utilised in everything from perfumes to scented pillows, skincare and toiletries to drawer liners, cleaning products and room sprays to air fresheners and more, the potential uses for this soothing oil are myriad.
Lavender oil is often diffused as a calming, relaxing oil to support good sleep, and is popular in bath salts and oils for this reason, particularly in products aimed at infants. It may also be used topically, and is often used in cleaning products.
4. Rose oil
One of the most popular and legendary flowers in history, roses have long been grown for their evocative, enticing perfume. Used in everything from food and drinks to perfumes and skincare, rose oil has a long history of use in various ways.
Its essential oil is popular in aromatherapy for its calming, soothing, comforting properties, and can be used as a diffused oil, as well as in toiletries and bathroom products, and natural skincare for soothing and calming.
5. Black pepper oil
Black pepper oil is commonly used for supporting digestive and skin health, and is popular in products aimed at relieving aches and pains. Black pepper is warming and spicy, and as such may be used to support circulation and bring warmth to extremities, and may support the body’s response to cramps and muscle and joint discomfort.
Its immune supporting actions combined with its potential to support good digestion make it a popular choice for aromatherapists looking to encourage healthy gastrointestinal function, too.
6. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is an extremely popular oil in a variety of settings. Used for flavouring numerous sweets and culinary dishes, it is both sweet and hot, and found in the ingredients of a number of popular foods.
Peppermint oil has been used medicinally for supporting digestive function and digestive upsets, and may be used aromatherapeutically for its calming, settling properties also. It is popular in toothpastes and oral hygiene products and skincare.
7. Frankincense oil
Frankincense has been used for thousands of years, in ritual, skincare and perfume. Most famously presented as a gift from one of the wise men at the birth of Jesus Christ, it has long been associated with various religions and is commonly burned as incense in churches. With a rich, warm perfume, it is used in aromatherapy to support feelings of calm and relaxation, and normal hormonal health.
Frankincense may be used in skincare for various skin conditions and cellular turnover, oral healthcare products to support gum integrity, and is popular in bath oils, diffused into the air.
8. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil is extremely popular for its uses as an immune support, as well as for its effect on the respiratory system. Eucalyptus is often found in products designed to support the body’s response to ills and chills, where it is said to help support breathing, and is popular for diffusing into the air when congestion is an issue.
It is found in numerous products aimed at supporting open airways as well as healthy muscles and joints. It must be used with caution in infants under the age of one, but can be used by older children and adults. Its powerful properties make it a popular choice in cleaning products also, and it features in many DIY cleaning recipes for everything from bathrooms to tiles.
9. Tea tree oil
Tea tree is an extreme multi-tasker in the world of essential oils, and renowned for its immune support properties, which make it one of the most popular oils in the world.
Used in everything from skincare to cleaning products, tea tree has an uplifting, refreshing, clean scent and can be found in everything from anti-dandruff shampoos to skin cleansers, toothpastes to toilet cleaner, antifungal preparations to first aid supplies and many more in between.
10. Lemon oil
Lemon oil is derived from the lemon fruit, and its fruity, citrus scent makes it an extremely popular choice for many people. Its fragrance is said to be energising, reviving and uplifting, and it is often diffused into the air for these properties. Lemon oil has long been used in cleaning products for its ability to assist with the cutting of grease, and it can often be found in commercial cleaners and furniture care products as well as in recipes for home made cleaners also.
Topically, lemon oil may support healthy veins, and is popular in numerous skincare applications as well.
Essential oils are volatile, extremely potent and must always be used properly, with care taken to ensure safe and effective use.
HealthPost has a carefully selected range of essential oils, many of which are certified organic. We also have a range of other aromatherapy products available to assist with the use of essential oils, such as diffusers and vapourisers.