I decided to give essential oils a try earlier last year after hearing so many great things about them and I have not been disappointed. I am new to the world of essential oils and even though I am still trying out different kinds and learning how to use them, I have already fallen in love with lavender, peppermint, and clary sage. Here’s why:
Lavender is one of those beloved plants. I adore the soothing aroma of lavender so much that I exclusively use lavender skin care products and put a few drops of lavender oil on my pillow every night before I go to sleep. I can truly attest to the calming benefits and it helps me drift off to a very restful sleep. I also suffer with headaches and even have some pretty horrific migraines on occasion and I find lavender very healing.
In fact, lavender’s painkilling effect has been one of its most widely studied properties and the outcomes are compelling. Studies asking sufferers to inhale lavender essential oil over a 15 minute time period, at the onset of a headache, showed that lavender users had a 74% improvement in their symptoms, doing much better than the placebo group and offering the same or better relief than conventional drugs. For those of us prone to headaches looking for a natural way to alleviate our pain that is amazing news. Lavender has endless benefits including its painkilling effect, treatment of anxiety, and amazing skincare qualities which easily makes it one of my favorite essential oils.
Peppermint essential oil’s cooling effect on the skin and refreshing minty aroma are terrific at invigorating the mind and increasing mental clarity. It is said to help brain fog, ease tension, and soothe a troubled digestive system. I personally love all things mint and peppermint is no exception. I diffuse peppermint whenever I’m having issues with focusing and need a boost in alertness. It is also an excellent essential oil to use for headaches which I use either alone or in conjunction with lavender. I simply dilute a few drops of peppermint with a carrier oil then rub it on the my forehead and temples and inhale the scent. The oil also offers tremendous relief for the nausea that occasionally accompanies headaches and migraines or when suffering from motion sickness and feeling generally unwell.
Due to peppermint oil's antispasmodic action it effectively treats irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by working to relax the muscles of the GI tract. These antispasmodic properties are also helpful when dealing with indigestion, gas and bloating which we know can happen all too often when traveling to foreign countries or in places where the hygiene is questionable. Peppermint is an essential oil that I find a use for on a daily basis.
Clary Sage is a musky sweet fragrant essential oil that is a superb relaxant, antidepressant, and is especially valuable for women. It eases menstrual pain and improves hormonal imbalances through its beneficial phytoestrogens. In addition, clary sage provides a welcome relief for sufferers of PMS by alleviating cramps, bloating, food cravings, and mood swings. For menstrual discomfort, I simply add 3-5 drops of clary sage on my abdomen with a carrier oil such as jojoba, hemp seed, or coconut oil and gently massage the area.
Clary Sage is also celebrated for its ability to relieve stress and depression. I diffuse it whenever I feel like I need to uplift my mood or sometimes before bed for its sedative effect. Clary Sage is by far one of my favorite essential oils due to its exceptionally versatile properties.
Essential oils are extremely potent concentrated substances and should only be used with the utmost care. I would never recommend using essential oils internally and they should always be diluted with a carrier oil to avoid skin reactions and sensitization.