Everyone’s toting a bottle or two of essential oil lately.
The trend is gaining momentum as more of us discover the powerful effects of a drop of this or a dab of that.
And it’s not all hocus pocus; studies have shown that fragrance has a very real effect of brain activity, mood and emotions.
Perhaps the best thing about essential oils is that the effect is instant. If you feel anxiety beginning to build, for instance, just wash your hands, pop a few drops of lavender on your palms, rub together and inhale deeply.
As the oil warms, it releases a burst of soothing scent.
Here are ten of the most functional essential oils to add to your collection:
Lemon is a cleanser, making it the ideal oil to use when you want to clear your mind and concentrate. In fact, one study showed that people who worked in an office scented with lemon made 54 percent fewer typing errors.
This fresh-smelling oil is ideal for when you need a burst of energy and focus. Pop a few drops in your water during that late-afternoon meeting or keep a bottle in the care and dab a few drops on your wrists, rubs together and inhale to keep you alert while driving.
Use peppermint in a diffuser in the room where the kids do their homework and keep some around for when you get a sugar craving – it can even help you lose a few pounds.
Need a little extra zip in the bedroom? Vetiver is a trusted libido booster. The fact is that everyday stress can result in a depleted sex drive.
Soothing and calming your mind and body throughout the day can rebalance your body and hormones
This is one to use when you’re burning the candle at both ends. Geranium oil helps to lessen fatigue and balance hormones. It’s also the oil to reach for if you have dental issues or a toothache. Because geranium is antibacterial, it makes a decent natural deodorant – mix five drops per five tablespoons of water in a spray bottle, shake well and spritz under your arms.
We love Sanatio Naturals 100 percent pure therapeutic-quality aromatherapy geranium oil from Egypt.
Not only does it smell sensational, rose oil also has a wealth of cool super powers. It’s a powerful mood booster; whip it out whenever you’re feeling down in the dumps; and it can be added to your usual moisturiser to help ease an acne breakout.
It’s also another trusted libido booster – rub a few drops on your neck when you’re planning a romantic evening.
Facing your fear of public speaking/flying/surgery? A little bottle of frankincense could help you deal with feelings of fear and negative emotions.
Mix a few drops with your hand cream and spend a few minutes massaging it into your hands before a big event.
Stuck in a procrastination trap? Bust out some rosemary essential oil to stimulate your brain and help you get on with the task at hand. Studies show that students who inhale the scent of rosemary while studying performed up to seven percent better on memory tests.
Rosemary is also an effective pre-workout muscle rub – spend five minutes massaging it into troublesome muscles before you hit the gym and you’ll feel less tension afterwards.
8. Ylang Ylang
This essential oil is the base of the famous perfume Chanel No. 5, but it’s health benefits stretch much further than the cosmetic. Ylang ylang is said to ‘expand the heart’, leaving little room for negative emotions such as anger, regret and jealousy. Mix it with a few drops of bergamot and apply throughout the day for a week if you need a confidence boost.
Revive Evening Bath & Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates is a romantic blend of geranium, ylang ylang, patchouli and sandalwood designed to enhance your self-esteem during your pre-bedtime shower or bath.
The most versatile of all the essential oils, lavender is famously good for promoting deep sleep and relaxation, but it has plenty of other super powers too. Lavender can be used to soothe a burn in a pinch and many people find a drop or two helps coldsores to clear up faster.
Rub a drop or two on your temples to help you through periods of anxiety or worry or dab a little lavender oil around your belly button and behind your ears to help combat travel sickness.
This scent may be familiar if you like Turkish delight or Earl Grey, but bergamot oil is not just a tasty tea ingredient. Experts recommend this oil to people experiencing emotional and physical pain and a few drops dabbed on the forehead can help relieve a tension headache.
It improves circulation and speeds up digestion and you can even use a few drops in a cup of warm water to freshen your breath.