Essential oils don’t just smell nice, they’re helpful to aid in a whole host of ailments.
From beauty to wellness and even household cleaning, essential oils have been used because of their fragrance and healing properties.
Since essential oils are a natural option, they’re great for a more holistic, low-toxic approach to supporting the body’s immune system and ability to heal overall, says Magdalena Roze, cookbook author, journalist, meteorologist and ambassador for Oil Garden.
“While it’s virtually impossible to do everything naturally in our modern world, I try and minimise our exposure to harmful chemicals on our bodies and in our home,” she explains. “Essential oils are viewed as a very safe and effective way to heal and protect the body (for adults as well as children).”
Magdalena shares some specific essential oils to remedy common complaints.
Reduce hay fever symptoms
To ease hay fever and seasonal allergies, lemon, peppermint, grapefruit and lavender essential oils are particularly soothing.
“Lavender is a natural antihistamine and relaxes and soothes muscle tension,” Magdalena says. “Peppermint is also known to reduce inflammation and clear sinuses to help you breathe easier, while lemon is an anti-inflammatory and helps improve your overall health and immunity.”
Magdalena suggests combining a couple of drops of each essential oil with water to a diffuser morning and night to help relieve hay fever symptoms.
Assist with sleep
To aid a good night’s sleep, Magdalena says that it’s important to choose oils that promote relaxation, calm the mind and help get your body into a restful state.
“Essential oils such as lavender, marjoram, sweet orange and chamomile have been traditionally used in aromatherapy to assist with sleep,” she tells. “Chamomile has been known as one of the best natural sedatives, making it ideal for a good night’s rest and lavender is well known for its medicinal properties and therapeutic uses ranging from being a mood stabiliser, pain reliever and to relieve sleeplessness.”
What’s more is that these scents can be used to help with mild insomnia, restlessness, nervous tension and mild anxiety.
For de-stressing and getting you into a state of relaxation, sweet orange, mandarin, lavender, bergamot and cedarwood essential oils are top options.
“These essential oils help reduce stress and provides a sense of calm and comfort,” Magdalena reveals. “Lavender is one of the best and commonly known adaptogens, meaning it can adapt and have differing affects to individual moods.”
Cedarwood promotes the release of serotonin, a chemical in the body directly affecting feelings of well-being and happiness. “This essential oil is also a great natural sedative, as it promotes the conversion of serotonin into melatonin (which helps control and regulate sleep to bring feelings of calmness),” Magdalena says.
When it comes to supporting immunity, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon and tea tree are the go-to essential oils.
“With natural antibacterial properties, these oils have been used throughout the ages to boost immunity, as well as to treat cold sores, mild acne and warts,” Magdalena reveals. “I love using and diffusing lemon around the house due to its strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, making my family less prone to illnesses. I also diffuse clove to help cleanse the air.”
At the first signs of a common cold, Magdalena suggests diffusing eucalyptus or tea tree oil to try and combat symptoms.
“Peppermint, rosemary and lavender are great to help relieve headaches, nervous tension, sinusitis and nausea,” Magdalena says. “Lavender assists to relax the mind and body, while rosemary holds powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to provide pain relief and improve body circulation.”
Peppermint oil is a common choice for aiding headaches and migraines due to its menthol properties, which relaxes muscles and relieves pain.
“I love applying diluted peppermint oil directly to my temples or breathing in lavender oil to relieve pain during headaches,” she says.
To give you an energy boost, try an essential oil with orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, lemongrass and ginger.
“These oils have an energising and revitalising aroma to boost the mind and body when suffering from mental and physical fatigue,” Magdalena advises. “They also stimulate mental alertness to help to refocus.”
In particular, grapefruit essential oil is made from the fruit rind, giving it cleansing and energising properties.
For a clear mind, Magdalena suggests using lemon, orange, basil, cedarwood, rosemary and cinnamon essential oils.
“Similar to boosting energy, citrus oils such as lemon and orange are very uplifting and promote concentration and focus,” she explains. “Basil and cinnamon also assist with brain stimulation.”
Magdalena says that she likes to use basil with a mix of other oils (such as citrus, cedarwood, rosemary and cinnamon) for a little lift either in the office or at home.