Essential oils are the new black in the naturopathic, home remedy world. Chances are, you've heard a friend raving about her new bottle of lavender, or you have a bottle of peppermint oil on your shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond that you bought because it smelled nice. But few people know what exactly essential oils are, where to find non-synthetic brands, or just how much power is packed into those little 15ml bottles.
So what's the big deal?
Extracted from the bark, leaves, roots, stems, and fruit of a plant, essential oils are a highly concentrated substance that contain the "essence" of their plant--the smell, but also the healing and nutritional capabilities. There are hundreds of different essential oils, which can be overwhelming; so today we're going to focus on a few that everyone should have in their homes.
One of the best oils on the market, with dozens of uses and health benefits--peppermint oil is a must have. It gives a cooling sensation when applied, which is perfect for muscle pain, cramps, and joint stiffness. It can reduce muscle spasms, leading many doctors to recommend it for nausea, and digestive problems like bloating, indigestion, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Other uses? Peppermint unclogs sinuses and soothes sore throats, providing relief for colds, coughs, asthma, and bronchitis. It acts as a natural, chemical free bug repellent, treats acne, sunburn, and bug bites, freshens breath, stimulates hair growth, and relieves headaches.
Bonus: Colicky infant? Teething toddler? Peppermint has been proven to heal colic and sooth teething gums.
Yes--the wise men's gift to Jesus is also an essential oil! It is commonly used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety, counteract insomnia, and decrease painful inflammation. But it can also boost your immune system, and even help prevent and/or treat cancer.
Bonus: take advantage of its antiseptic and disinfectant powers--use it as a household cleaner.
Hands down the most used essential oil in the world, the benefits of Lavender were first discovered over 2,500 years ago. Ancient Egyptians used it in their mummification rituals.
Today, Lavender is a versatile oil. It reduces anxiety, improves brain function, and promotes deeper sleep in adults and children. It also has powerful skin benefits; it heals burns and wounds, restores skin complexion, reduces acne, and slows signs of aging.
Lavender can also be used to protect your body from symptoms of diabetes, and soothes symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. It is used to treat migraines as well.
Bonus: it smells amazing. Dab a little bit on your neck and wrists as a natural, sweet-smelling perfume.
The benefits of Eucalyptus oil were first researched by Australian physicians. Today, people all over the world are using it for cold and flu relief, sinus and allergy treatment, and respiratory issues.
It also has many around-the-house benefits: use it as an odor remover, an air cleanser, a spot remover, and a natural soap. It is great for killing mold in your home.
Bonus: it is 100% safe to use on pets!
Considered one of the top essential oils for hormones, Clary Sage is most commonly used to relieve symptoms of menopause or heavy menstrual cycles. It relieves cramps, staves off hot flashes, and corrects hormonal imbalances.
It can also be used to reduce cholesterol, increase circulation, and kill bacteria and infections. Preliminary studies have shown that it kills Leukemia cancer cells.
Bonus: need a confidence boost? Clary Sage alleviates anxiety, and leaves you feeling joyful and relaxed.
Highly concentrated and packed with antioxidants, Cinnamon is great for your heart. It stabilizes blood sugar, boosts circulation, combats cardiovascular disease, and heals damage from heart attacks or strokes.
Other uses? Cinnamon reduces ulcers and promotes digestion health, burns fat, relieves depression, and kills parasites your body gets from undercooked meat, unclean vegetables, or traveling overseas.
Bonus: it has been shown to act as a natural aphrodisiac.
The most important thing to remember when in the market for essential oils? Check their quality! There is no third-party governing body that regulates essential oils, so companies that give their oils a "grade" or have "certified" on the bottle are not referring to external standards. Many companies sell adjusted, altered, or even synthetic oils. How can you avoid this?
Buy Nature's Sunshine! They back every bottle of our oils with our SureSource Guarantee, and have spend decades building trusted partnerships with their customers and suppliers. For each essential oil, they can provide several documents--signed by botanists, third party experts, and lab technicians at each phase of the product's life cycle--that certify pure, natural authenticity.
Stock up on our essential oils, knowing they're full of pure, concentrated plants, and have fun finding your favorites!