Home 9 Essential Oils Aromatherapy

Essential Oils Aromatherapy

 

Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

There is a huge range of essential oils available that may be used in aromatherapy although most practitioners will tend to work from a limited range that they find best for them of say 12 or 15 different oils. Not all essential oils are suitable for use in this way and there are some that are positively dangerous. See warnings page for more information. 

Also it is important to look at the latin names for the oils to be sure of which plant they have come from. Some plants tend to be called the same for example marigold but there are two types tagetes and calendula. The uses are different and the plants totally different. With oils such as lavender there are different types too but the oils from the plants in this case vary mostly as to the quality of the oil.  Whilst not exhaustive this is a list of the more common available oils with their suggested uses (based on widely available information on aromatherapy) The descriptions are for EXTERNAL use only.

DO NOT USE UNDILUTED ESSENTIAL OILS DIRECTLY ON THE SKIN
PLEASE ALSO REFER TO THE WARNINGS PAGE FOR CONTRA-INDICATIONS AND SAFETY ADVICE

ESSENTIAL OIL

 

LATIN NAME

 

COMMON USES/PROPERTIES
Basil Ocimum
Basilicum
Calming and for lifting the spirits.  Be careful to use sparingly as this oil can be soporific in large quantities.
Bay Pimento
racemosa
This is the West Indian Bay Rum in the Myrtaceae family. Slightly narcotic and warming.  Can he helpful for increasing confidence. Used a lot in men’s fragrances. Antiseptic, astringent, stimulating and warming
Bergamot Citrus bergamia Risso Light and citrus this oil may uplift the mood and reduce anxiety and help with compulsive behaviours.
Black
Pepper
Piper
nigrum
Warming and strengthening for nerves and mind. The properties listed are analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aperitif, aphrodisiac,bactericidal, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant (nervous, circulatory, digestive),  stomachic, tonic.
Cajeput Melaleuca
cajuputi
Balancing and combating sluggishness. Said to be useful for problem with the stomach, rheumatism and chronic skin problems. Room spray to freshen the air and ward off insects. Use sparingly (very strong).
White
Camphor
Cinnamomum
camphora

Used to ease muscle aches, pains, sprains and traditionally used for coughs, colds and fever. 

Properties – Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Carminative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Insecticide, Rubefacient, Stimulant

Carnation Dianthus caryophyllus Lifts the mood.
Cedarwood (Atlas) Cedrus
atlantica
Helps to clear the breathing tubes.  Often used in hair and skin care products.
Chamomile Roman Anthemis
nobilis
Soothing for mind and body. Helps sleep and is gentle enough to use for the young and fragile. Good for protecting dry skin. Also for headaches and hay fever provided you are not allergic toragwort pollens.

 Chamomile

Moroc (Sauvage)

 

Anthemis
mixta
This is not a true chamomile but is also useful for calming the mind and also for intestinal problems.
Properties are balancing, soothing, cooling and toning.
Cinnamon Cinnamomum
zeylanicum
Familiar smell of Christmas and is a good room fragrance.  Warming and stimulating it also has a good antiseptic quality and is cleansing.
Citronella Cymbopogon
nardus
Familiar through the summer months as an insect repellent.  Light and citrus it is a natural deodoriser and is fresh and uplifting.
Clary Sage Salvia
sclerea
Soothing, relaxing and warming.  Clary Sage has a constituent that is similar to oestrogen that makes this useful for menstrual problems.  It is also uplifting.
DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT
Clove Eucenia
carophyllata
The traditional use is for toothache rub the oil onto the gum.  It is also antiseptic and stimulating.  Muscle relaxant and soothing.
Coriander Coriandum
sativum
Used as a massage oil it is used to relax muscles and help with aches and pains.  In the bath it is stimulating and refreshing.
USE SPARINGLY AS SLIGHTLY TOXIC.
Cumin Cuminum
cyminun
May be useful to counteract mental or physical exhaustion and stimulate the metabolism to help with obesity/fluid retention.
Cypress Cupressus
sempervirens
Astringent useful for greasy skin.  Natural anti-perspirant  especially for sweaty feet.  Good massage oil for menstrual cramps/cellulite. Useful for menopausal problems.  Also antiseptic and insect repellent.
Elemi Canarium
commune
Said to improve the immune system.  Can be an expectorant and has been useful for asthmatics.  Aids sleep.
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus
globulus
Powerfully antiseptic it is used in baths and massage in the cold period. Good to clear the breathing passages.
Use in a vaporiser or oil burner to keep the air germ free.  Toning and stimulating.
Fennel Foenicum
vulgare
May be useful as a massage for cellulite and digestive problems particularly wind!  Energising and toning
Frankincense Boswellia
carterii
Has been used for hundreds of years to burn in temples and churches and as an aid for meditation.  Soothing and warming.  Good for mature/ageing skin.
Geranium Pelargonium
graveolen
Balances mind and body.  Relaxes and stabilises emotions. Insect repellent. In massage use for cellulite and also psoriasis and eczema.
Ginger Zingiber
officinalis
Hot and comforting.  Good for sickness/nausea. In massage good for aching muscles or after exercise.
Grapefruit Citrus
paradisi
Refreshing and uplifting. Toning effect on greasy and congested skin.  Good to lift nervous exhaustion.
Hyssop Hyssopus
officinalis
Warm and vibrant and can help clear the mind and promote clear thinking.  Can help with colds, flus and bruises.
Stimulating and balancing.
Jasmine Jasminum
officinale
Very expensive and whilst you can buy pure absolute oil a more affordable option is to buy the oil ready mixed with a carrier oil.
It is also a very intense oil so the diluted oil is usually fine for most purposes.
Juniperberry Juniperus
communis
Often used in male fragrances.  Toning, stimulating, antiseptic and astringent for either bath or massage. Calms the emotions and reputedly aids the immune system.
Lavender Lavendula
augustifolia
The most versatile of the oils and one of the few that can be used undiluted on the skin. Relaxing, soothing and balancing of mind and body.  A balancer either reviving or relaxing accordingly to need.   Aids sleep.  Can be used to treat burns and to reduce scarring.
Lemon Citrus
Limonum
Cleansing, refreshing, cooling and stimulating.  Used in beauty products.  Astringent and antiseptic.
Lemongrass Cymbopogon
Citratus
Refreshing, cleansing, stimulating tonic. Antiseptic and astringent.  Good as a room fragrance.
Lime Citrus
Aurantifolia
Similar to the other citrus oils, lemon, grapefruit etc.
Mandarin Citrus
Noblis
Gentle and calming oil. Good for oily skin and massage for digestion.  Can be used to help reduce stretch marks.
Marjoram Origanum
marjorama
Soothing, comforting and warming.  Good for massage into tired muscles and also for menstrual pains.  Regulates nervous system and helps sleep.  Use in the bath or massage for after sports.
Melissa Milissa
Officinalis
Melissa comes from the Lemon Balm plant.
Soothing and uplifting.  Good in cold weather and also for easing hay fever.
Myrrh Commiphora
Myrrha
Like frankincense myrrh comes from resin. Myrrh is probably the oldest known perfumes.  A very recognisable incense blend is myrrh and frankincense.  Good for meditation, insect repellent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.  Useful for dry or ageing skin.
Myrtle Myrtus
communis
Revitalises the mood and good for meditation.  Clears nasal passages.  Muscle relaxant.
Neroli Citrus
aurantium
This oil too is expensive and the absolute very intense so the diluted version is both more affordable and generally still strong enough for most purposes.
Niaouli Melaleuca
Viridiflora
Very antiseptic and thus good for skin problems such as acne.  Can also be used as a chest rub or room fragrance.
Nutmeg Myristica
aromata
Calming and good for digestion.  Can aid sleep.
Orange (Sweet) Citrus
Sinensis
Another of the smells of Christmas, warming and comforting.
Good to aid digestion.  Calming, soothing and astringent.
Palmarosa Cymbopogon
martinii
A light floral fragrance that I find a good alternative to rose if rose is too strong.  Good for skincare and said to help cell regeneration so good for aging/mature skin.  Insect repellent, skin conditioner, soothing agent, emollient, muscle relaxant.
Patchouli Pogostemon
patchouli
Uplifting and musky smell.  Good for aging, dry or blemished skin. In the East it is used to repel lice and fleas.
As it is strongly stimulating it may prevent sleep.
Peppermint Mentha
piperita
Refreshing, stimulating, cooling and stimulating.  Uplifting mind and body. Good to aid digestion and also for tired and aching feet.  Can help to keep your mind clear when driving or revive yourself during travel.  Put a drop or two on a hankie or piece of cotton wool.  Make sure not to let the oil contact the  dashboard though as it may damage the finish.
Petitgrain Citrus
aurantium
Petigrain comes from the same plant as neroli but is made from the leaves rather than the blossom and has similar properties.  Relaxing, cleansing and uplifts the spirit.  Helps relieve anxiety and stress.
Pine Pinus
sylvestris
Stimulating, refreshing and cleansing. Strong aroma with antiseptic and deodorant properties.  Often used in commercial cleaning products.
Ravensara Ravensara
Anisata/Aromatica
Anisata comes from the bark and aromatic from the leaves of the same plant.  Good for clearing the sinus, releasing tight muscles and relieving menstrual discomforts.
Rose Absolute Rosa
damascena
Rose absolute is obtained by solvent extraction. Very feminine fragrance and soothes the emotions.  It tones, cleanses and uplifts the spirits.  Good for skincare particularly ageing or mature skin.  A very expensive oil so rarely used in commercial products where an artificial substitute is used.  Diluted oils are cheaper and very usable.
Rose Otto Rosa
damascena
Rose otto is obtained by steam distillation and is the best rose oil.  As for Rose Absolute but more intense and powerful aroma.
Rosemary Rosemarinus
officinalis
Reviving, warming, restoring and stimulating. Use to ease tired muscles and clear the mind.  It aids suppleness so it also good for pre and post exercise rubs.  A general pick me up that helps ease fatigue and fuggy air.  Aids release of water retention and reducing cellulite.
Rosewood Aniba
Rosaeodora
Ensure the oil comes from a sustainable source to save the hardwood forests.
Sage Salvia
officinalis
Helps regulate the central nervous system and may also help with menstrual and digestive disorders.  Soothing.
Sandalwood Santalum
Album
White sandalwood is becoming shorter in supply and the price has increased.  The best oil comes from East India.
Other sources produce a cheaper but generally not such good quality oil. It is  antiseptic, emollient, soothing agent, astringent, insect repellent, skin conditioner.  Used traditionally in meditation and also reputed to be an aphrodisiac.
Spikenard Nardostachys
Jatamansi
May reduce inflammation.  Useful too in helping restful sleep and also reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Tea Tree Melaleuca
alternifolia
Insect repellent and antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-baterial.  A must for your first aid kit also one of the oils that can be used neat on unbroken skin.  Has a wide range of uses.
Thyme (sweet) Thymus
Vulgari
Deodorant and antiseptic.  Used as a household disinfectant and is said to repel rodents and fleas.
Vetivert Vetivera
zizanoides
Very relaxing and soothing for both mind and body.  Intense and best diluted.  Sensual and may help reduce blood pressure
Violet Viola
Odorata
Calming, balancing and soothing.
Ylang Ylang Cananga
Odorata
Sensuous and feminine.  Soothing and relaxing and so good when experiencing periods of stress.  Good for both dry and oily skin and as a hair rinse.

 

DISCLAIMERThe information contained in this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a guide to replace the advice of a counsellor, physician or medical practitioner. There is always a possibility of allergic or other adverse reaction to herbs, oils or crystals referred to and information where known is included on the site for the suggested uses.  If you have any questions please contact your medical practitioner or health provider particularly if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant.   It is not intended that anything contained on this site should be used in place of medical care.

The author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy, completeness, fitness for a particular purpose or currency of the contents of this site and exclude all liability to the extent permitted by law for any errors or omissions and for any loss, damage or expense (whether direct or indirect) suffered by anyone relying on any information provided on the site.

Home 9 Essential Oils Aromatherapy

Essential Oils Aromatherapy

 

Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

There is a huge range of essential oils available that may be used in aromatherapy although most practitioners will tend to work from a limited range that they find best for them of say 12 or 15 different oils. Not all essential oils are suitable for use in this way and there are some that are positively dangerous. See warnings page for more information. 

Also it is important to look at the latin names for the oils to be sure of which plant they have come from. Some plants tend to be called the same for example marigold but there are two types tagetes and calendula. The uses are different and the plants totally different. With oils such as lavender there are different types too but the oils from the plants in this case vary mostly as to the quality of the oil.  Whilst not exhaustive this is a list of the more common available oils with their suggested uses (based on widely available information on aromatherapy) The descriptions are for EXTERNAL use only.

DO NOT USE UNDILUTED ESSENTIAL OILS DIRECTLY ON THE SKIN
PLEASE ALSO REFER TO THE WARNINGS PAGE FOR CONTRA-INDICATIONS AND SAFETY ADVICE

ESSENTIAL OIL

 

COMMON USES/PROPERTIES
Basil Calming and for lifting the spirits.  Be careful to use sparingly as this oil can be soporific in large quantities.
Bay This is the West Indian Bay Rum in the Myrtaceae family. Slightly narcotic and warming.  Can he helpful for increasing confidence. Used a lot in men’s fragrances. Antiseptic, astringent, stimulating and warming
Bergamot Light and citrus this oil may uplift the mood and reduce anxiety and help with compulsive behaviours.
Black
Pepper
Warming and strengthening for nerves and mind. The properties listed are analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aperitif, aphrodisiac,bactericidal, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant (nervous, circulatory, digestive),  stomachic, tonic.
Cajeput Balancing and combating sluggishness. Said to be useful for problem with the stomach, rheumatism and chronic skin problems. Room spray to freshen the air and ward off insects. Use sparingly (very strong).
White
Camphor

Used to ease muscle aches, pains, sprains and traditionally used for coughs, colds and fever. 

Properties – Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Carminative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Insecticide, Rubefacient, Stimulant

Carnation Lifts the mood.
Cedarwood (Atlas) Helps to clear the breathing tubes.  Often used in hair and skin care products.
Chamomile Roman Soothing for mind and body. Helps sleep and is gentle enough to use for the young and fragile. Good for protecting dry skin. Also for headaches and hay fever provided you are not allergic toragwort pollens.

 Chamomile

Moroc (Sauvage)

 

This is not a true chamomile but is also useful for calming the mind and also for intestinal problems.
Properties are balancing, soothing, cooling and toning.
Cinnamon Familiar smell of Christmas and is a good room fragrance.  Warming and stimulating it also has a good antiseptic quality and is cleansing.
Citronella Familiar through the summer months as an insect repellent.  Light and citrus it is a natural deodoriser and is fresh and uplifting.
Clary Sage Soothing, relaxing and warming.  Clary Sage has a constituent that is similar to oestrogen that makes this useful for menstrual problems.  It is also uplifting.
DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT
Clove The traditional use is for toothache rub the oil onto the gum.  It is also antiseptic and stimulating.  Muscle relaxant and soothing.
Coriander Used as a massage oil it is used to relax muscles and help with aches and pains.  In the bath it is stimulating and refreshing.
USE SPARINGLY AS SLIGHTLY TOXIC.
Cumin May be useful to counteract mental or physical exhaustion and stimulate the metabolism to help with obesity/fluid retention.
Cypress Astringent useful for greasy skin.  Natural anti-perspirant  especially for sweaty feet.  Good massage oil for menstrual cramps/cellulite. Useful for menopausal problems.  Also antiseptic and insect repellent.
Elemi Said to improve the immune system.  Can be an expectorant and has been useful for asthmatics.  Aids sleep.
Eucalyptus Powerfully antiseptic it is used in baths and massage in the cold period. Good to clear the breathing passages.
Use in a vaporiser or oil burner to keep the air germ free.  Toning and stimulating.
Fennel May be useful as a massage for cellulite and digestive problems particularly wind!  Energising and toning
Frankincense Has been used for hundreds of years to burn in temples and churches and as an aid for meditation.  Soothing and warming.  Good for mature/ageing skin.
Geranium Balances mind and body.  Relaxes and stabilises emotions. Insect repellent. In massage use for cellulite and also psoriasis and eczema.
Ginger Hot and comforting.  Good for sickness/nausea. In massage good for aching muscles or after exercise.
Grapefruit Refreshing and uplifting. Toning effect on greasy and congested skin.  Good to lift nervous exhaustion.
Hyssop Warm and vibrant and can help clear the mind and promote clear thinking.  Can help with colds, flus and bruises.
Stimulating and balancing.
Jasmine Very expensive and whilst you can buy pure absolute oil a more affordable option is to buy the oil ready mixed with a carrier oil.
It is also a very intense oil so the diluted oil is usually fine for most purposes.
Juniperberry Often used in male fragrances.  Toning, stimulating, antiseptic and astringent for either bath or massage. Calms the emotions and reputedly aids the immune system.
Lavender The most versatile of the oils and one of the few that can be used undiluted on the skin. Relaxing, soothing and balancing of mind and body.  A balancer either reviving or relaxing accordingly to need.   Aids sleep.  Can be used to treat burns and to reduce scarring.
Lemon Cleansing, refreshing, cooling and stimulating.  Used in beauty products.  Astringent and antiseptic.
Lemongrass Refreshing, cleansing, stimulating tonic. Antiseptic and astringent.  Good as a room fragrance.
Lime Similar to the other citrus oils, lemon, grapefruit etc.
Mandarin Gentle and calming oil. Good for oily skin and massage for digestion.  Can be used to help reduce stretch marks.
Marjoram Soothing, comforting and warming.  Good for massage into tired muscles and also for menstrual pains.  Regulates nervous system and helps sleep.  Use in the bath or massage for after sports.
Melissa Melissa comes from the Lemon Balm plant.
Soothing and uplifting.  Good in cold weather and also for easing hay fever.
Myrrh Like frankincense myrrh comes from resin. Myrrh is probably the oldest known perfumes.  A very recognisable incense blend is myrrh and frankincense.  Good for meditation, insect repellent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.  Useful for dry or ageing skin.
Myrtle Revitalises the mood and good for meditation.  Clears nasal passages.  Muscle relaxant.
Neroli This oil too is expensive and the absolute very intense so the diluted version is both more affordable and generally still strong enough for most purposes.
Niaouli Very antiseptic and thus good for skin problems such as acne.  Can also be used as a chest rub or room fragrance.
Nutmeg Calming and good for digestion.  Can aid sleep.
Orange (Sweet) Another of the smells of Christmas, warming and comforting.
Good to aid digestion.  Calming, soothing and astringent.
Palmarosa A light floral fragrance that I find a good alternative to rose if rose is too strong.  Good for skincare and said to help cell regeneration so good for aging/mature skin.  Insect repellent, skin conditioner, soothing agent, emollient, muscle relaxant.
Patchouli Uplifting and musky smell.  Good for aging, dry or blemished skin. In the East it is used to repel lice and fleas.
As it is strongly stimulating it may prevent sleep.
Peppermint Refreshing, stimulating, cooling and stimulating.  Uplifting mind and body. Good to aid digestion and also for tired and aching feet.  Can help to keep your mind clear when driving or revive yourself during travel.  Put a drop or two on a hankie or piece of cotton wool.  Make sure not to let the oil contact the  dashboard though as it may damage the finish.
Petitgrain Petigrain comes from the same plant as neroli but is made from the leaves rather than the blossom and has similar properties.  Relaxing, cleansing and uplifts the spirit.  Helps relieve anxiety and stress.
Pine Stimulating, refreshing and cleansing. Strong aroma with antiseptic and deodorant properties.  Often used in commercial cleaning products.
Ravensara Anisata comes from the bark and aromatic from the leaves of the same plant.  Good for clearing the sinus, releasing tight muscles and relieving menstrual discomforts.
Rose Absolute Rose absolute is obtained by solvent extraction. Very feminine fragrance and soothes the emotions.  It tones, cleanses and uplifts the spirits.  Good for skincare particularly ageing or mature skin.  A very expensive oil so rarely used in commercial products where an artificial substitute is used.  Diluted oils are cheaper and very usable.
Rose Otto Rose otto is obtained by steam distillation and is the best rose oil.  As for Rose Absolute but more intense and powerful aroma.
Rosemary Reviving, warming, restoring and stimulating. Use to ease tired muscles and clear the mind.  It aids suppleness so it also good for pre and post exercise rubs.  A general pick me up that helps ease fatigue and fuggy air.  Aids release of water retention and reducing cellulite.
Rosewood Ensure the oil comes from a sustainable source to save the hardwood forests.
Sage Helps regulate the central nervous system and may also help with menstrual and digestive disorders.  Soothing.
Sandalwood White sandalwood is becoming shorter in supply and the price has increased.  The best oil comes from East India.
Other sources produce a cheaper but generally not such good quality oil. It is  antiseptic, emollient, soothing agent, astringent, insect repellent, skin conditioner.  Used traditionally in meditation and also reputed to be an aphrodisiac.
Spikenard May reduce inflammation.  Useful too in helping restful sleep and also reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Tea Tree Insect repellent and antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-baterial.  A must for your first aid kit also one of the oils that can be used neat on unbroken skin.  Has a wide range of uses.
Thyme (sweet) Deodorant and antiseptic.  Used as a household disinfectant and is said to repel rodents and fleas.
Vetivert Very relaxing and soothing for both mind and body.  Intense and best diluted.  Sensual and may help reduce blood pressure
Violet Calming, balancing and soothing.
Ylang Ylang Sensuous and feminine.  Soothing and relaxing and so good when experiencing periods of stress.  Good for both dry and oily skin and as a hair rinse.

 

DISCLAIMERThe information contained in this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a guide to replace the advice of a counsellor, physician or medical practitioner. There is always a possibility of allergic or other adverse reaction to herbs, oils or crystals referred to and information where known is included on the site for the suggested uses.  If you have any questions please contact your medical practitioner or health provider particularly if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant.   It is not intended that anything contained on this site should be used in place of medical care.

The author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy, completeness, fitness for a particular purpose or currency of the contents of this site and exclude all liability to the extent permitted by law for any errors or omissions and for any loss, damage or expense (whether direct or indirect) suffered by anyone relying on any information provided on the site.