It’s no mystery that essential oils have hundreds of different benefits to offer to their users. They are full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins and possess many different unique medical properties that can’t be reproduced by any other mixture out there.
Herbs, just like other spices, can be used for culinary purposes to change the taste of food. When used as an additive in food, herbs are generally used in larger quantity than spices, which are usually used in much smaller quantities because they are way more potent.
Both herbs and spices offer benefits that you can reap when consumed through culinary means, but there is also another way that many people have been using herbs for generations. Herbal oils have been a part of homeopathic remedies throughout centuries. While herbal oils can still be used during cooking, a variety of other uses have been discovered.
There are two ways to use herbal oils for improving your general health, as an essential oil or as infusion oil. Both methods offer slightly different benefits. You need a small amount of herbal oil if you are planning to use it as infusion oil.
However, if you are planning on using herbal oils as essential oils, you will need a greater quantity of the specific oil. We will focus on essential oils throughout this article because of the various ways that essential oils can be used.
Herbal oils can be derived from herbs at home or they can also be purchased at local health stores or pharmacies. If you decide to make your own essential herbal oils, make sure you focus on fresh ingredients just as you would with cooking ingredients.
The quality of the final product will depend on the quality of the ingredients used.
Think about it. What tastes better, shrimp linguini that has been made with fresh and never frozen shrimp or with shrimp that have been in the freezer for a few days? The same idea is applied to making herbal oils. The fresher the herbs, the better the quality of herbal essential oils.
While you can use nearly all herbal oils as essential oils, it is important to know that specific herbal oils can have different effects depending on how they are used. For example, using Amyris Oil for dental care might not be such a good idea, in fact we strongly advise against it.
So how do you figure out the best way to use each of these essential herbal oils? Well, luckily, you have us! We will dive deeper into the effects of some of the essential herbal oils out there and the best way to use them for your various health needs.
We will explain more in depth where each of these oils come from and some of the possible side effects that can be caused by some of these herbal oils. Read on and see which of these oils is best for your specific needs.
Aloe Vera Oil
What is Aloe Vera Oil?
Technically, Aloe Vera can’t be made into pure oil. The plant itself has to be mixed with fatty oil in order to be used as Aloe Vera oil. The final outcome of the oil varies depending on the type of carrier oil that has been used to create the Aloe Vera oil. The leaves are the primary source of the nutrition rich substance used for Aloe Vera oil.
The use of this plant dates pretty far back in time, as far back as Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used this plant in the past to treat burns, rashes, and various infections. It was often referred to as the “plant of immortality.”
Uses for Aloe Vera Oil
One of the best ways to use Aloe Vera oil is as a massage oil. Since Aloe Vera possesses the properties to fight infections and relive pain, using it during massage sessions can produce fantastic results.
Sometimes Aloe Vera is mixed with certain other essential oils when used for aromatherapy, which releases the rejuvenating and healing properties of the oil, thus improving the overall health of the user.
Because of the effect that Aloe Vera has on your skin, it can also be used as a condition for hair to reduce dandruff and dry scalp. Insect bites can also be treated with Aloe Vera oil because it’s capable of reducing swelling and fighting infections.
Lastly, while it might seem somewhat strange, Aloe Vera oil can also be used as a remedy for dental issues such as gingivitis and plaque, yet again due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Side Effects of Aloe Vera
We wish we could tell you that there are absolutely no side effects related to Aloe Vera, but unfortunately, it’s not true. Because some people develop allergies to certain specific substances, Aloe Vera is also amongst them.
It is entirely possible that you might be allergic to Aloe Vera as well. It is a really good idea to either get an allergy test done at your dermatologist. You could also use a very small amount of Aloe Vera oil on your skin to check for an allergic reaction if you aren’t able to do a proper medical test.
There is also a possibility that the Aloe Vera oil can react with certain other drugs like diabetic medications, laxatives, and diuretics. Because of these possible incompatibilities, we strongly suggest that you consult a medical professional or your doctor prior to using Aloe Vera oils at home.
Tea Tree Oil
What is Tea Tree oil?
Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, or as we know it the tea tree plant. This plant is native to Australia. Lieutenant James Cook coined the name tea tree in the 1770s when he saw native Australians brewing tea from this plant. At a later point, he started to brew his own tea with that same plant and ended up using the tea as a treatment to prevent scurvy amongst his crew members.
This plant has been used for a long amount of time by native Australians in an attempt to tap into its healing properties, even for skin conditions such as skin tags and moles. One of the most sought after effects of the tea tree plant is its antiseptic capability, which was extracted by simply crushing the leaves in a bowl and applying the paste to burns, cuts, and infections.
Today, through the modern ways of processing, the oil derived from the tea tree plant is nothing that comes close to resembling the paste like substance that the native Australians used in the past. The modern tea tree oil is a very pale golden or yellow color with a fresh scent.
Uses for Tea Tree Oil
Besides its antiseptic capabilities, tea tree oil is also highly valued for its antifungal properties. This makes it perfect to be used against mold. If you take a drop of tea tree oil and mix it with some water, then spray it onto the source of the mold, it will help you fix the problem quickly.
The natural smell of the tea tree oil also makes it a perfect weapon when used against bugs and insects.
They simply can’t stand the smell of the stuff. The same properties that can help you gain control over mold when using tea tree oil can also help you control fungal infections on your body when used daily until the infection is cured.
While you can use tea tree oil topically to help with bacterial infections and acne, we suggest using it very lightly as a topical ointment. It contains certain elements in it that might make it slightly irritating to your skin with prolonged use.
Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil
Because of the high levels of cineole, tea tree oil can be very irritable when used on your skin. Some people might develop severe allergic reactions. It is always a good idea to first get tested for allergic reactions against tea tree oil.
Otherwise, we also suggest you check how sensitive your skin is to tea tree oil even if you aren’t allergic.
Cineole can make you hypersensitive to tea tree oil, so test it first in a small quantity to determine your tolerance levels. For similar reasons, tea tree oil can also be toxic to pets.
When tested on dogs and cats, larger amounts of undiluted tea tree oil causes hypersensitivity, an allergic reaction, so you should always keep it away from all of your household pets. Tea tree oil should never be ingested.
What is Rosemary oil?
Rosemary looks very similar to lavender, with some significant difference. The leaves of the rosemary shrub are generally pine-like and thin. Rosmarinus officinalis, its scientific name, is widely used around the Mediterranean region.
Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans considered the plant to be sacred and used it during the Middle Ages as protection against plague. Rosemary oil is derived from fresh flowering tops of the plant through the process of steam distillation and yields a very small amount of oil, which makes it very precious.
The plant is widely known for its ability to help with healing sensitive organs like the liver, heart, and brain.
Uses for Rosemary Oil
While its very common to see Rosemary oil used in salads and as a culinary ingredient, there are plenty of other ways that this oil can be used. Simply using the fragrance of Rosemary oil can deliver huge benefits for your body.
Rubbing some Rosemary oil on your hands and cupping them over your mouth and nose for up to a minute can produce the effects of unmatched clarity. This same method of application can also help you get rid of headaches and migraines. You can also choose to diffuse the Rosemary oil throughout rooms in your home to improve your learning capabilities and memory.
Lastly, rubbing the Rosemary oil on your throat and chest can help you conquer your cough or any other type of throat discomfort.
Side Effects of Rosemary Oil
Like always, when dealing with any type of essential oils the number one concern is allergic reactions. It’s always suggested that you get tested for possible allergies related to whichever plant or herbal oil you are planning on using.
If you aren’t planning on getting a medical test done, then it’s always suggested to use a very small amount of Rosemary oil on your skin and check for possible redness or irritation. In its natural state, Rosemary plants can be very volatile and can cause vomiting, so do not ingest the plant.
What is Sesame Oil?
Sesamum indicum is a tall annual herb which is used for deriving Sesame oil. Most commonly, sesame oil is used as a food ingredient and a condiment, but it does also have some medicinal uses which many people sometimes overlook.
The sesame plant has been cultivated and used throughout history for a variety of different reasons. Ancient Egyptians used the plant for pain as early as 1500 B.C. In China, the plant was used for ink, medication, and food for nearly 3000 years.
Roman and Greek soldiers used sesame seeds and honey to create an energy bar whenever they marched for an extended amount of time into battle. Today, the sesame plant is grown in Asia and the oil is derived from the seeds of the sesame plant.
Usually there are two forms of sesame oil that come from sesame, light sesame oil and dark sesame oil. The first is extracted from freshly gathered sesame seeds and the second is extracted from roasted sesame seeds.
Uses for Sesame Oil
Besides its wide use in the culinary world, there are plenty other reasons to get your sesame oil on. First and foremost, sesame oil is a natural sunscreen. It offers pristine protection against UV rays, although you might need to apply it more than once since sesame oil does rub off rather easily.
One of the more complicated ways to use sesame oil is as a skin detoxifier. All you have to do is apply sesame oil to your skin, leave it there for about 15 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water. The oil has a property to it which supposedly attracts toxins, so using it on your skin and washing it off successfully removes toxins from your skin.
Because of its moisturizing properties, sesame oil is perfect when used on your skin and scalp. Those same properties can help you boost your hair health, resulting in strong and shiny hair.
Side Effects of Sesame Oil
While having an allergy to any herbal oil is a possibility, according to recent research, it’s very common for people to have an allergy to sesame oil and is a growing concern. We strongly recommend talking to your doctor before using sesame oil on your skin.
If you are highly allergic to sesame oil, it is very possible that you can go into anaphylactic shock even after using a small amount of sesame oil. Please do not use sesame oil unless you are one hundred percent certain that you are not allergic to it.
If you have allergies to walnuts and peanuts, it’s very likely that you might also have allergies to sesame oil.
What Is Pine Oil?
Generally, pine oil is colorless or has a light-yellow tint. Depending on which source was used, the pine oil can either have a fresh and lightly scented forest-like smell to it or a more aggressive clear pine-line scent.
Usually, pine oil comes from a few different trees that belong to the trees of the genus Pinus. The oil is extracted through steam distillation and is not to be confused with pine nut oil which is very different and is derived through different means.
Uses of Pine Oil
While sometimes the pine oil is used in food and culinary dishes, its more often found in baked goods, confectionery, frozen dairy desserts, gelatins, and puddings.
The fragrance of the pine oil is also used to treat nasal blockage, coughing, scratchy throat, and as a cold medicine. That same scent makes it perfect when used as an air freshener and even an insect repellent.
Lastly, you can also use pine oil to help prevent and soothe strained muscles. Just keep in mind that it should be used as an ingredient in the massage mixture and not as standalone oil.
Side-Effects of Pine Oil
While the likelihood of having an allergy to pine oil is extremely low, there is a possibility that using it in excess can cause a rash to appear on your skin as well as eye irritation and respiratory distress.
We always suggest using the right dosage of pine oil and refraining from using too much pine oil on your skin or in your home as a freshener. As always, try a small amount of pine oil on your skin prior to using it extensively to see if you are hypersensitive to the oil.
What Is Peppermint Oil?
Mentha pipertita is a hybrid of the water mint and spearmint plants, it also happens to be the plant which peppermint oil is derived from. Most of the time, peppermint oil is used as a headache medicine, to relive muscle pain, and to alleviate stomach problems. It’s often used for aromatherapy and as an essential oil.
The smell of the peppermint oil has been shown to improve memory and alertness. Some people even take supplements of peppermint oil which come in the form of a capsule.
Uses of Peppermint Oil
There are many different benefits that can be taken advantage of when using peppermint oil. This oil is known to exhibit antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, which makes it suitable for use in many different applications.
If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), then peppermint oil might be the cure you have been searching for. Research shows that peppermint oil can help reduce the effects of IBS in 50 to 75 percent of users.
Pain relief is also amongst the many benefits which are offered by peppermint oil, especially when used on sore muscles during a message or in a hot bath. It has also been proven that peppermint oil can help with hair health and dandruff by rejuvenating and helping your skin heal quickly.
If you find yourself stressed frequently, then using peppermint oil can help you relax and reduce the effects of nervous system disorders.
Lastly, it can even be used for dental care. Simply add a drop or two to your toothpaste and you will notice a significant improvement in your breath and reduction in cavity occurrences.
Side Effects of Peppermint Oil
You shouldn’t use peppermint as a daily stimulant since it can affect your sleep pattern. Refraining from overusing peppermint oil should always be in your mind. Overdoes of peppermint oil can lead to skin rashes, vomiting, nausea, convulsions, unconsciousness, and even urinary problems.
Because of the possible side-effects, we strongly suggest that you speak with your doctor if you are planning on using peppermint oil frequently.
What Is Olive Oil?
This may sound like a silly question because of how widely used olive oil is, but nonetheless there might be some knowledge you missed. Olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. Italy, Spain, and Greece are the primary producers of olive oil.
The resulting oil quality, taste, and smell will vary depending on the type of pressing that was done to derive olive oil, the climate during olive growth, and even the quality of soil that the olive trees are planted in.
Luckily, olive oil is available all year round. The climate of the area where the olive trees are grown and harvested plays a huge role on how robust the olive oil will be. Generally, the hotter the climate the more robust the resulting oil will be.
Uses of Olive Oil
Olive oil is greatly used in the culinary world. Even though many people suggest using it for cooking, we suggest to used it in salads and other cold ways that don’t require heating up the oil, which breaks it down and severely diminishes its healthy properties. Linoleic acid is the ingredient in olive oil that makes it the perfect use for moisturizing your skin and even beneficial for oil pulling.
You can rub it directly onto your skin, consume it with food, and even add it to your hot baths and take a long soak. All of these will help your skin look smooth and healthy. You can also use olive oil as a lubricant when shaving or a way to ease your chapped lips. If you have a dry or itchy scalp, olive oil can help cure this problem as well.
Side Effects of Olive Oil
It’s pretty safe to say that being allergic to olive oil is extremely rare, so we strongly doubt you will develop any type of a rash or redness because of using olive oil.
The only thing you should watch out for when using olive oil is whether it has become rancid or not. If olive oil becomes rancid it will smell like crayons. We suggest keeping smaller bottles of olive oil to ensure that the oil is used well before it ever goes bad.
What Is Lilac Oil?
Oleaceae is the family of tress responsible for producing the famous lilac smell that we are all accustomed to. As it turns out, there are about 25 different types of trees that can produce that familiar lilac scent that is often used in cosmetic products.
The most common lilac grown is, you guessed it, the common lilac, and it is grown all over the world. The plant can usually grow up to 15 feet and produces flowers that are often purple and lavender in color. When the plant blooms, you can easily identify it by its oval clusters of flowers. Lilac oil is usually pale purple and has a fresh floral scent.
Uses of Lilac Oil
Although in the past lilac oil has been used frequently to reduce fevers, its effects were very sporadic and over time doctors stopped using it for this purpose. Today, the primary purpose for using lilac oil is to treat rashes, cuts, sunburns, and other ailments that affect your skin.
It is also often used for aromatherapy in order to relax and destress. Its primary use is for the fragrance that it produces and the calming effect that it has on those who smell it. You can expect to see it used in lotions, creams, soaps, shampoos, and cleaning products. Lilac oil can also help with the condition of your skin by reducing wrinkles and age lines.
Side Effects of Lilac Oil
You can become sensitive to lilac oil, and it can even trigger skin infections. If you see hives or rashes develop on your skin or see it become red, you should seek medical attention immediately. Consult your doctor before deciding to use lilac oil frequently.
What Is Lavender Oil?
The lavender plant is where lavender oil is derived from. This plant is very easy to grow and produces easily recognizable flowers above its evergreen shrubs. The plant is native to Africa, but has spread throughout the world and can be found in United States, Europe, and Australia.
Lavender is often found in sunny habitats that contain a lot of stone and rock. Persians, Greeks, and Romans have used the plant for many centuries as an additive in their baths in order to clean their skin. Ancient Egyptians used lavender soaked bandages during the mummification process as a perfume as well as a regular perfume to show off wealth and status.
Lavender oil was also once used during the 17th century to deter Black Death. Colors of the oil usually range between light and pale green to more of a yellow-green tint and sometimes it can also be colorless.
Uses of Lavender Oil
Using lavender oil when massaging your skin can relieve pain in your muscles. If you have wounds, burns, or acne, lavender oil can also help. But it needs to be diluted with carrier oil, otherwise it might be too strong and potent.
Using the oil during your baths or showers can also help relieve muscle ache. You can also use the fragrance of lavender oil to help with respiratory problems or issues or to help with your blood circulation.
Side Effects of Lavender Oil
In most cases, lavender oil is harmless. However, there have been occasions in which people have reported headaches, vomiting, and chills after using lavender oil on their skin or inhaling the scent of the oil.
We also suggest staying away from lavender oil if you are nursing or pregnant since the effects of lavender have not been thoroughly tested on developing children or infants.
If you are using barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or chloral hydrate, then you should also refrain from using lavender oil since it can catalyze the sedative effects of these medications resulting in extreme drowsiness.
There are many herbal oils that have been used all around the world to treat different types of health issues for centuries.
Our accelerated developments in the medical fields have pulled us away from using natural ingredients to cure our issues and problems with the promise that science can cure and fix everything. We can also point you in the direction of reputable companies like DoTerra and Young Living Essential Oils as viable options on where to find quality products.
While we do agree that certain conditions have to be treated by medical professionals with medicines and drugs that have been developed specifically to treat those problems, we also think that using natural solutions whenever possible should be a priority.
Our bodies respond to medications in many different ways, often unnatural and sometimes even harmful ways.
Chance for this to occur when using natural products is often far lower than when using synthetically developed cures.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore all modern medication and only focus on using ingredients found in the wild, but it does mean you should at least try to use the ingredients found in nature to help alleviate your condition.