Aromatherapy is a modern name for the ancient knowledge of healing and improving health using fragrant, natural ingredients. These ingredients, called essential oils, are found in herbs, plants, flowers, fruits and the bark, roots or resins of some trees.
Essential oils give the aroma to the plant, but they alsocontain dozens of complex chemicals that seem to do everything from beautifying skin to numbing a headache or speeding healing.
Essential oils are so complex and and yet simple in terms of availability that a full appreciation of how or why they work eludes most. We list an A – Z of some in this post and possible uses/application.
Ambrette Seed: (Abelmoscyhus moschatus)
Some uses: Muscle aches and pains related to stress or poor circulation, antidepressant.
This oil also mixes well with other oils.
Allspice Berry: (Pimenta officinalis)
Some uses: Often used in potpourris or to flavor beverages. Allspice Berry has a spicey scent that is warming, cheering and sense enhancing.
Amyris: (Amyris balsamifera)
Some uses: Stress relief and meditation. This oil is known to be a calming oil
Angelica Root: (Angelica archangelica, A. officinalis)
Some uses: Coughs, colds, fevers, flatulence, indigestion. A earthy aroma that is warm and musky. Angelica Root also stimulates the nervous system and has been used to help premenstral tension and menopause.
Aniseed: (Pimpinella anisum)
Some uses: Through external use it can be used for cramping, indigestion or digestive problems and coughing.
Arjowan: (Trachyspermum ammi, T. copticum)
Good for circulation and muscular problems
Basil: (Ocimum basilicum)
Some uses: Bronchitis, fatigue, colds, Migraine, gaut, aches and pains. Excellent nerve tonic, clears mind aids concentration. Has a sweet liquorice frangrance that can be invigorating to the body and spirit. Blends well with Lavender, Bergamont, Clary Sage and Geranium.
Bay: (Pinenta Racemasa)
Some uses: Scalp and hair tonic, respiratory disorders, depression, stimulating memory, sprains, colds, flu, insomnia, rheumatism. The oil is amber brown and has a strong smell similiar to cloves.
Benzoin: (Styax benzoin)
Some uses: Good for cuts, chapped skin, inflammation, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, respitory infections, Is physically and spiritually warming. It can be used for nervous tension and stress. Is great for chapped skin, just add a good carrier oil to it and apply to hands or other dry skin areas.
Bergamot: (Citrus bergamia) .
Some uses: Good for depression nervous tension, useful in skin care. This oil is very uplifting and refreshing.
Birch White (Betula alba)
Some uses: gout, rheumatism, eczema, ulcers. Helps clear skin problems and has been known to help psoriasis and ezcema. It is also good for removing toxins and to boost circulation.
Black Pepper: (Piper nigrum)
Some uses: colds, aches and pains, influenza, flatulence, & rheumatism
Black Pepper has a pungent aroma that stimulates and tones. It is one of the earliest used spices. It blends well with rose, rosemary, marjoram and lavender.Works well in massage to maintain muscle suppleness before &, after exercise.
Bois de Rose (Aniba rosaedora)
Some uses: Tonic, coughs, headaches or as a antidepressant. This oil has strong antiseptic properties and can help dry skin.
Cade: (Juniperus oxycedrus)
Some uses: treatment of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, scalp infections with hair loss, herpes, blemishes, and chronic rhinitis. Cade oil has a darkish brown color and has a strange waxy smell that can be tarlike..
Warning: Cade can often be adulterated with pine, birch, petrol, and tar. This obviously will make it hazardous to use. You can test it by holding it up to the light however. If it is blackish brown instead of reddish dark, chances are it has been adultered.
Camphor: (Cinnamomum Camphor)
Some uses: Colds, coughs, fevers, rheumatism, arthritis
Principle Constituets: Azulene, borneal, cadinene, camplene, carvacrol, cineal, citronellol, cumic alcohol, dipentene, eugenol, phellandrene, pinene, safrol and teripineal.
This essential oil can be toxic and is hard to find.
Cardomom: (Elettaria cardamomum)
Some uses: Nausea, coughs, headaches, aches. Is also good as a digestive tonic
Principle Constituets: Cineal, teripineal, limonene and traces of eucalyptal and zingiberene.
Oil has a sweet, spicey, warming fragrance. Is a great aid to digestion and makes an excellent bath tonic. This oil has many uses including cooking and perfumes. It is almost colorless except for a slight yellowish green tint.
Carrot Seed: (Daucus carota)
Some uses: Gout, ulcers, flatulence, eczema, psoriasis or as a diuretic
Principle Constituets: Acetic acids, alephatic aldehyde, carotal, beta carotene, cineal, formic acid, limonene, pinene and terpineal.
This oil has a sweet earthy fragrance and is yellowish orange in color. Is good for restoring elacticity to the skin to help reduce wrinkles.
Cedarwood: (Juniperus virginiana)
Some uses: Bronchitis, Cattarrh, acne, arthritis, or as a diuretic. Good for oily skin itchy scalp. Can be used as Moth & insect repellant.
Chamomile German: (Matricaria chamomila)
Some uses: Nerves, migraine, acne, inflammation, isomnia, menstrual problems, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, infammatory diseases and burns.
Chamomile Roman: (Athemis nobilis)
Some uses: Nerves, migraine, acne, inflammation, insomnia, menstrual problems, dermatitis. Gentle relaxing oil.
Cinnamon: (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Some uses: Flu, rheumatism, warts, coughs, colds, viral infections
This oils is used in pharmaceutics, dentistry, food industry and perfumery industries often. Strong antiseptic, blends well with orange. (Skin irritant.)
Citronella: (Cymbopogon nardus)
Some uses: Insecticide, deodorant, tonic, stimulant.
Clary Sage: (Salvia sclarea)
Some uses: Depression, PMT, Nerves, Sore throat, aches and pains, debility or as a sedative.Useful for muscle & nervous tension. ‘Euphoric’ oil
Clove: (Eugenia caryophyllata)
Some uses: Nausea, flatulence, bronchitus, arthritis, rheumatism, toothache, diarrhea, infections, as an Analgesic and antiseptic.
Coriander: (Coriandrum sativum)
Some uses: Indigestion, influenza, fatique, rheumatism, flatulence, nervousness, as an analgesic
Cumin: (Cuminum cyminum)
Some uses: Indigestion, Influenza, fatigue, rheumatism, toothache, diarrhea, infections. This oil is a great antiseptic
Cypress: (Cupressus sempervirens)
Some uses: Menopausal problems, circulatory conditions, rheumatism, colds, coughs, nervous tension, hemorrhiods, wounds.
This oil works well as a astringent. Also works well as a natural deodorant, good for foot baths. Useful for cellulite.
Dill: (Anethum graveolens)
Some uses: Flatulence, indigestion, constipation, nervousness, gastric upsets, headaches.
Eucalyptus: (Eucalyptus globulus)
Applications: Steam inhalation can help ease colds, fevers, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, flu and infections illnesses.
Bath and massage: Relieves arthritis, rheumatism, muscular aches and fibrositis. Also good during cold season due to powerful antiseptic properties
Dab: cold sores and sores.
A vaporisor can also be used to keep air germ free in a sick room.
Some uses: Sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis, skin infections, ulcers, sores, rheumatism, aches and pains; as an antiseptic and antiinflammatory.
Eucalyptus oil has a strong camphorous odor and blends well with lavender and pine.
Fennel: (Foeniculum vulgare)
Some uses: Digestive problems, menopausal problems, obesity, constipation, kidney stones, nausea; as a diuretic. Ideal oil for cellulite.
Fennel Sweet: (Foeniculum vulgare)
Maintains body fluid balance. Aniseed.
Frankincense: (Boswellia thurifera)
Some uses: Wounds, sores, fevers, coughs, colds, stress, bronchitis, laryngitis, nervous conditions. Good for mature skin. Deeply relaxing, used for meditation.
Galbanum: (Ferula galbaniflua)
Some uses: Nervous conditions, bronchitis, respiratory problems, swelling, inflammations, tension, nervous conditions
Geranium: (Pelargonium graveolens)
Some uses: Depression, menstrual problems, diarrhea, diabetes, sores, neuralgia, bleeding, circulatory conditions, eczema, sore throats, nervous tension, kidney stones. Regulating harmonising, good for PMT and used in skin care.
Ginger: (Zingiber officinalis)
Some uses: Flatulence, indigestion, constipation, nervousness, gastric upsets, headaches. Useful muscle tonic. Aids digestion. Good for aches pains.
Grapefruit: (Citrus paradisi)
Some uses: Good for stress. Refreshing in the bath. A good pick-me-up.
Hops: ( Humulus lupulus)
Some uses: Neuralgia, bruising, Menstraul and menopausal problems, rheumatism: as a nerve tonic, diuretic, sedative, and analgesic.
Hyssop: (Hyssopus officinalis)
Some uses: Bruises, rheumatism, arthritis,coughs, colds, sore throat, viral infections, blood pressure, circulatory problems, nervous tension, asthma; as a tonic
Immortelle (Italian Everlasting): (Helichrysum angustifolium)
Some uses: Bacterial infections, rheumatism, muscular aches and pains, weakness, lethargy, depression, respiratory problems, colds, flu, fever, as a fungicide
Jasmine: (Jasminum officinale)
Some uses: Nervous tension, depression, menstraul problems, laryngitis, anxiety, lethargy; as a relaxant. Calming, anti-depressant. Most sensual of oils. Aid to labour.
Juniperberry: (Juniperus communis)
Some uses: Liver problems, obesity, rheumatism, acne, coughs, ulcers, urinary infections; as a diuretic. Cleansing detoxifying, use for cellulite. Good for oily skin.
Lavender: (Lavendula officinale)
Some uses: Burns, Inflammation, cuts, wounds, eczema, dermatitis, fainting, headaches, influenza, insomnia, infections, bacterial conditions, sores, ulcers, acne, boils, asthma, rheumatism, arthritis. Excellent for headaches, stress, burns, insect bites, insomnia, tension. Anti-inflammatory.
Lemon: (Citrus limonum)
Some uses: Sore throat, nervous conditions, blood pressure, digestive problems, gallstones, debility, fever, anxiety; as a tonic, astringent, and antiseptic. Refreshing stimulating. Used on bites & warts. This is good as a rinse for fair haired people.
Lemongrass: (Cymbopogon citratus)
Some uses: Infections, headaches, sore throats, respiratory problems, fevers; as a tonic, antiseptic, and insect repellent. Neutralises odours. Good for sweaty feet.
Lime: (Citrus aurantifolia)
Some uses: Fevers, rheumatism, sore throats, headaches, anorexia, alcoholism, depression, anxiety; as an astringent and tonic. Good for apathy. Uplifts tired minds.
Mandarin: (Citrus recticulata)
Safe for children during pregnancy. Good for stretch marks.
Marjoram: (Thymus masticina)
Good for migraines & insomnia & useful after exercise.
Melissa: Nice to burn in the home – a pleasant light citrus aroma.
Myrrh: (Commiphora myrrha)
Useful for many skin unditions. Famous for its biblical references. Antiseptic.
Neroli: (Citrus Aurantium)
Ideal for skin care, especially mature/dry. Helps restore sleep
Orange: (Citrus aurantium)
Warm jolly – ‘full of sunshine’. Add to a winter bath.
Palmarosa: (Cymbopogon martini)
Calming, refreshing clarifying. Helpful for stress & tension.
Patchouli: (Pogostemon cablin)
Exotic & musky. Excellent for healing all skin types.
Peppermint: (Mentha piperita)
Aids digestion travel sickness. Effective for tired feet.
Petitgrain: (Citrus aurantium)
Light refreshing when used in the bath for stress. Relaxing
Pine: (Abies siberica)
Deodorant stimulating. Useful disinfectant for in the home.
Rose Absolute: (Rosa centifolia)
`Queen of Oils’- Used for anger, grief, bereavement & skin care. Also very healing.
Rosemary: (Rosmarlnus officinalis)
Relieves muscular fatigue, clears the mind. Good for dark hair.
Rosewood: (Ocotea caudata)
Subtle & balancing. Can calm exam nerves. Lovely to burn.
Sandalwood: (Santalum album)
Comforting exotic, useful for meditation. Useful in skin care.
Tangerine: (Citrus reticulata)
Good for the digestive & nervous system. Safe in pregnancy.
Tea-Tree: (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Antiseptic. Cleansing very medicinal. ‘A must for every first aid kit.’
Vetivert: (Vetivera zizanioides)
Sedative & soothing. Good for stress & tension & joint mobility.
Ylang Ylang: (Cananga odorata)
Sweet & exotic & popular with men. A reputed aphrodisiac. Also used as a softening skincare oil, suitable for all skin types.