[dropcaps]L[/dropcaps]ong before aspirins, ibuprofens, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical drugs hit the store counters, natural remedies were used to ease all our aches and pains. An essential oil is a highly concentrated oil of a plant or herb, used ever since ancient times to heal a wide variety of ailments.
Several ancient civilizations prized essential oils for beauty and health maintenances and its significance can even be spotted throughout even their art and literature.
But the earliest use of essential oils could be traced back to ancient Egypt. It was there that the form of steam and distillation to extract oils from the plants was invented. Egyptians used oils of myrrh and cedar wood for the mummy embalming process, and frankincense and cinnamon were measured as valuable cargo—sometimes even exchanged for gold.
The use of essential oils also appeared throughout many religious texts as well. The Bible mentions essential oils over 200 times, such as the Three Wise Men presenting baby Jesus with frankincense and myrrh; olive oil for anointing kings; and when the woman washed Jesus’ feet with oil of spikenard, which was worth a whole year’s wages. The Qur’an and other Islamic texts also mentions special herbs and plants for healing, including calamus, santonica, and marjoram.
While modern age has seen the use of pharmaceutical drugs as almost the only absolute way to be cured, the practice of aromatherapy soon came back to fashion and the public re-acknowledged the powerful medicinal abilities of essential oils—with their antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties.
Nowadays, people are gradually dropping synthetic drugs in favor of a more natural and soothing alternative. Listed below are some common health issues and the essential oils to help alleviate them.
- Sleep trouble: Rubbing some lavender oil on your hands or sprinkling the oil along your pillowcase can assist in helping you sleep better.
- Psoriasis: Putting a drop of Calendula oil into your bath water can soothe your skin.
- Stuffy sinus: Rubbing some eucalyptus oil around your nose can help clear nasal airways.
- Cold: Putting a few drops of oregano oil on your tongue can quicken the healing process for the common cold.
- Fleas on pets: Dabbing on some lemon oil on your pet’s fur can keep the fleas away.
- Headache: Rubbing peppermint oil along your temples and massaging it along the temples and hairline can help alleviate the ache.
- Teeth whitening: Swishing a spoonful of coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for 15 minutes and spitting it out can help whiten teeth. It can even heal canker sores.
- Hair growth: Adding a couple drops of lavender, rose, and thyme oil to your shampoo and rubbing it onto the scalp can help promote hair growth.
- Acne: Dipping a Q-tip into a bottle of tea tree oil and gently rubbing it onto each zit can help heal acne due to natural antibacterial properties. Tea tree oil can even be used to treat insect bites.