I’m delighted that response to my Bathing blog has been so enthusiastic, so I thought it might be helpful to have some crib notes about the aromatherapeutic properties of many of the Essential Oils you’ll be exploring. But first, a word of caution: these oils are powerful…only a few drops can cause a dramatic response for both body and mind, and some cannot be used during pregnancy or if you have diabetes or are epileptic. There’s plenty of information available on the internet, of course, and Essential Oil dealers, health food stores, and of course, books, can impart a great deal of wonderful knowledge, so if you decide to embark on this Essential Oil journey, please be sure to do it safely.
An Essential Oil Shopping List
Basil: Refreshing and uplifting, invigorating, energizing and anti-depressant, this oil is powerful. Don’t use more than 3 drops of it in the bath, as it may irritate some skin types.
Bay Leaf: This aromatic oil is soothing and comforting.
Bergamot: Relaxing and sleep inducing, this aromatic, uplifting and antiseptic oil should not be used neat; but always diluted in no more than a 1% concentration in base oil.
Chamomile: Inducing sound natural sleep, this soothing, relaxing, calming and newer comforting oil is great pre-bedtime.
Cypress: Refreshes, and invigorates.
Eucalyptus: Clear a stuffy nose or relive muscular pain with this one. Its also a great banisher of negative energy.
Frankincense: Considered rejuvenating, this warming and relaxing oil can pacify and comfort body and spirit.
Geranium (all types): Very aromatic, refreshing and relaxing, this is used to encourage happiness!
Ginger: Invaluable in warding off colds and sore throats… the Chinese add Mandarin Orange to do the job properly.
Grapefruit: Immediately comforting, this citrus oil banishes the blues.
Hyssop: Can relieve stiffness from overwork or sport; but must be used only in moderation, as it can be toxic. It must not be used by epileptics.
Jasmine: This soothing and relaxing oil, has a powerful, sensual yet sedative fragrance.
Laurel: Anti-viral with beneficial effects on the lymphatic system
Lavender: This is a natural disinfectant; that’s refreshing, relaxing and soothing. Helpful for children.
Lemon: Refreshing, clarifying, uplifting
Lemongrass: Skin complaints yield to this refreshing, revitalizing, uplifting, and antiseptic oil.
Lily of the Valley: Sense of well-bing, imporves merienn energy flow
Lime Flower: Very calming, it is said to encourage bliss.
Lovage: With natural deodorant properties, this oil is relaxing and rejuvenating.
Magnolia: Cheery, sensual, very powerful and little goes a long way
Marjoram: Aromatic, warming, calming, and fortifying, this is great on a cold winter night.
Neroli: This is a heady scent; very calming, antiseptic, and good for skin, it is an exotic scent that soothes.
Orange: Refreshing, reviving and restoring, like all citrus, this is a wake-up call.
Patchouli: This antiseptic and antidepressant oil is also an exotic perfume; very relaxing and comforting. Small quantities are uplifting; large doses are soporific.
Peppermint: A comforting, satisfying and refreshing scent that’s invigorating and antiseptic, it clears the senses and improves breathing. Use a low concentration (1%) on inflamed or sensitive skin, as a large quantity can chill you like a snowbank!
Pine: Invigorating, with a clean, refreshing scent of the forest, this oil revives, stimulates and disinfects.
Rose: This is the love oil. Expensive, sensual and heart-warming. It’s also relaxing, calming, antidepressant and antiseptic. It softens the skin, as well as the heart and is one of the least toxic oils.
Rosemary: Refreshing aromatic scent; toning, stimulating and invigorating. It relieves stiff joints and muscle aches.
Sage: Soothing, refreshing, relaxing and enlivening, this is used by Native Cultures to dissipate vegetative energies. You must use it in moderation as it can be toxic, and must not use it if breastfeeding. Clary sage, also used sparingly, is comforting and reputed to be aphrodisiac. Even small percentages may induce intoxication and large percentages may induce headaches, however, sprinkled on the pillow it invokes true dreams.
Sandalwood: Calming, relaxing and uplifting; this antiseptic oil is said to be pleasing to all the gods.
Tangerine: Stimulating, invigorating; and refreshing, this improves energy levels.
Tea Tree: This powerful antiseptic and fungicidal oil, has an intense and disagreeable scent, but is disinfectant without being toxic.
Thyme: This lovely aromatic scent is a natural antiseptic and deodorant that stimulates the senses.
Vanilla: Aphrodesiac, warming, soothing, calming
Violet: Good for joints, respiratory and nervous systems
Ylang-Ylang: This aphrodisiac oil is calming, comforting, sedative, antiseptic, antidepressant and erotic. But too much can cause headaches.
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2012