Commentary by Betsy Rabold
Essential oils do more than just smell nice. They have been used in one way or another since ancient times as medicine and for cleaning. Here are the top five choices for essential oils to have in your home.
Lemon: Lemon is part of the citrus family. Derived from the peel of the lemon, its fresh, clean scent helps to activate the body, gets rid of sluggishness and can stimulate the nervous system. Therapeutic uses include detoxification and purification, can help with brown spots, oily skin, sore throat and digestion. Drinking a concoction with hot water and lemon oil or juice can help alkalize the body and gets the liver ready to eliminate and filter toxins. Lemon oil can be used in cleaning solutions to help cut grease naturally.
Peppermint: Distilled from the leaves of one of the hardiest plants, it is used mostly in flavorings and muscle rubs. It has cooling properties and can help eliminate negative thoughts. It is a nice oil to diffuse, as well. Indiana is one of the main producers of peppermint oil.
Lavender: One of the most popular oils, there are many sources. Wild lavender is considered to be the most healing of all but is most rare. True lavender can be helpful for sleep, nervousness, digestion, pain and skin issues. Its hybrid cousin, lavandin, has a higher portion of camphor. It is less expensive and doesn’t have the same sedative type of properties as true lavender. It’s very useful as a muscle rub or for congested airways. Lavender’s benefits are so numerous that a separate article could easily be written.
Melaleuca (tea tree): A wonderful antiseptic, this oil is great for skin issues such as rashes, pimples, fungal infections, mouth and dental concerns. It also can help to boost the immune system. This oil can be applied directly (neat) and can be taken orally.
Roman chamomile: Very versatile, chamomile can be used to treat skin issues, various aches and pains, helps to calm and relax, and helps enhance proper digestion and sleep. This is a favorite oil to use with children.
Essential oils are very beneficial, versatile and easy to find. The safest way to use them is to diffuse in a diffuser. There are many good resources for essential oil and diffusers. Most health and wellness stores, some department stores, as well as independent distributers are a great place to start. Just do a little research and go with an essential oil that works for you.
Dr. Betsy E Rabold Psc.D, is a naturopathic doctor. She owns My Father’s Garden Health and Wellness in Westfield. She sees clients by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 317-399-7999.