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Top 10 Essential Oils: Aromatherapy for Health and Beauty

1. Calendula (Marigold)

Calendula is a flower that has been used for hundreds of years to prevent muscle spasms. This natural cure also has a long history as a treatment for sore throat, menstrual cramps, and even cancer.

Furthermore, scientific research has shown that topically applied calendula essential oil is capable of preventing the skin oxidation that is typical of ultraviolet light exposure. It was also found that applying calendula oil topically increases your overall skin health by improving the levels of ascorbic acid, protein, and glutathione in your skin.

While the results are inconclusive, other studies have indicated that calendula might also be a potent anti-inflammatory substance. Calendula also has a rich and pungent aroma, which makes it a great choice for aromatherapy. Overall, calendula might be one of the most valuable oils to have in your toolkit if you like to spend time outside and want to protect your skin from the sun.

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2. Chamomile

While chamomile is mainly known as a soothing tea, this plant also has incredible benefits as an essential oil. It's been indicated that chamomile essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antibiotic effects. When applied topically, chamomile may also be a potent analgesic, sedative, and antidepressant substance.

If you have any trouble with acne, chamomile essential oil is a solution you'll definitely want to have in your arsenal. Chamomile can help cure acne by cleaning out your eccrine and sebaceous glands as you sweat. The sooner that you take the reins and get your acne problem in check, the less you'll have to deal with acne scarring down the road.

Plus, keeping some chamomile around in tea form can also help you get the sleep you need to keep your skin healthy and vibrant. If you apply chamomile essential oil right before drinking chamomile tea, you'll benefit from a superpowered sedative effect.

3. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus oil has tons of incredible benefits. This oil is a strong and natural antimicrobial, which means that it can knock out any bacteria or other malicious microbes that might be present in your skin. In addition, eucalyptus oil has immune-boosting, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. This oil is such a strong natural remedy, in fact, that it's been suggested that eucalyptus oil could be a viable alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.

This oil can help you decongest when you have a cold, and it can also reduce the severity of your cough. This oil can alleviate itchy scalp, and it's even an effective treatment for lice. It is a powerful bug repellant, and it doesn't have any toxic side-effects like those associated with DEET. If you have diabetes, you can also benefit from eucalyptus oil, and this oil can reduce your bad breath if you include it in your homemade mouthwash.

If you've had a hard day, rubbing a few drops of eucalyptus oil on your wrists, feet, and forehead can even reduce your stress levels. As with all essential oils, eucalyptus oil shouldn't be underestimated, and you should always do a patch test with this oil before applying it to the rest of your body.

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4. Frankincense

Frankincense, which is also known as Boswellia serrata, is a natural substance with incredibly potent healing potential. The benefits and value of Boswellia have been known for centuries, which is why an extract of this plant is listed in the bible as one of the three gifts given to baby Jesus by the wise men.

In recent years, a great deal of research has been done into Boswellia serrata, and scientists from around the world have confirmed the ancient wisdom suggesting that this substance has indisputable healing qualities. Specifically, it's been found that frankincense extract has the ability to reduce inflammation. Since it's been indicated that inflammation is the root cause of many skin diseases, such as acne and rosacea, it stands to reason that applying Boswellia serrata extract topically can reduce the instance of skin disease.

Cancer has also been linked to inflammation, which means that Boswellia has the power to indirectly protect you from this disease. However, it also appears that frankincense directly fights cancer without harming healthy cells. If true, Boswellia could be a breakthrough treatment for cancer patients who are sick of using treatments that attack their bodies.

If you have any inflammation-related skin conditions, or even if you simply want to reduce inflammation throughout the body, applying a frankincense essential oil topically may be one of the best things that you can do for your dermal health. Plus, Boswellia is so good for firming up aging skin that you might not even need to use makeup if you start applying this essential oil regularly.

5. Grapefruit

One of the best benefits of grapefruit essential oil is its ability to clear out your lymphatic system. This system, which consists of a number of tiny glands called lymph nodes that are dispersed throughout your body, plays a vital role in removing toxins from your system. Grapefruit oil boosts the activity of your lymphatic system, which means that it is most effective when it is applied on areas of skin that are near your lymph nodes. One such area is below your chin at the base of your neck.

Grapefruit oil also has a stimulating effect throughout your body. It increases the activity of your endocrine glands, which regulate the secretion of hormones and enzymes. It also improves the activity of your nervous system, which leads to greater alertness. It's even been indicated that grapefruit oil can regulate apidogenesis, which is the formation of fat in the body. In tandem with this essential oil's metabolism-boosting effects, it is possible that grapefruit oil can also help you lose weight.

Since grapefruit oil is such a potent healing substance, you should always consult with your doctor before using this oil if you're pregnant or if you have any medical conditions.

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6. Lavender

Lavender oil is undeniably one of the best-smelling essential oils. One whiff of this pungent oil is enough to reduce anxiety, soothe stress, or aid sleep. However, lavender essential oil has a number of topical benefits to complement its incredible aromatic profile.

Firstly, lavender oil is an effective treatment for parasitic infections. It also reduces the severity of burns, and it helps with the itchiness of bug bites. Lavender oil can also reduce the incidence of muscle spasms in the face, which can be disfiguring for those who suffer from them.

If you suffer from acne, you'll be glad to know that lavender oil has been shown to be a strong antibacterial substance. It is also an astringent, which means that it can help to normalize your skin's oil production. This oil also reduces overall skin redness, which is the bane of those who suffer from psoriasis and eczema.

If you have acne scars or your skin has been damaged in some other way, lavender oil can even help speed up the healing process by stimulating cell regeneration and new cell growth. When it comes to lavender oil, you'll be drawn in by the alluring aroma, but you'll stay for the unexpected and profound healing benefits.

7. Lemon

Anyone who has ever puckered up after sucking on a tasty wedge knows that lemon is a zesty fruit with an unequaled degree of sourness. However, it may come as some surprise that lemons can stimulate more than simply your sense of taste.

In fact, lemon essential oil has powerful antiseptic benefits. This attribute means that this oil can be used as a treatment for acne, skin infections, or even lice. Lemon oil is also an astringent, and it has anti-viral properties. You can even use lemon oil to soothe your skin in dry weather or if you get a sunburn.

Lemons also have antioxidant properties, and these properties are most pronounced when lemon is ingested orally. However, when you apply lemon oil topically, your skin will also benefit from these antioxidant effects and will be more resistant to the signs of aging.

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8. Oregano

Oregano oil is another essential oil that has been shown to have antimicrobial effects. This oil might also be one of the best essential oils for pushing back the effect that aging has on your skin. Oregano essential oil has been shown to fight wrinkles, and it also improves skin firmness in people of any age.

This oil absorbs well into the skin, and it has the power to soothe aching muscles or joints after you enjoy a long workout or sustain an injury. Oregano oil reduces the severity of dermal allergic reactions, and it is also a great insect repellent.

If you have any fungal infections like athlete's foot or toenail fungus, oregano essential oil might be a lifesaver. This substance has incredibly potent antifungal effects, and it can be used to make a soothing foot bath. To treat your toenail fungus with oregano, simply add a few drops of oregano essential oil to a basin filled with warm water.

Oregano oil also has other benefits that shouldn't be overlooked. This essential oil has anticarcinogenic effects, it improves your immunity, and it also reduces your risk of heart disease.

9. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil has a powerful and uplifting aroma, and the healing properties of peppermint have been known for thousands of years. Research has been done on the power of peppermint oil to fight inflammatory bowel syndrome, and the scientific community has tentatively concluded that this oil is a safe and effective treatment for this irritating digestive disease. But what about the topical uses of peppermint oil?

For starters, the numbing effect of peppermint can help reduce itchiness. Whether you've run afoul of a poison ivy bush or sustained a bee sting, peppermint oil can soothe your pain. Also, this oil can help with headaches if you apply it directly to your forehead. The scent of peppermint can remove the stress from even the most taxing day, and this oil is also a great addition to massage oils.

However, peppermint oil shouldn't be underestimated. It is one of the most powerful essential oils, and you should always use it sparingly. Too much peppermint essential oil could damage your skin, and you should definitely do a patch test before the first time you try this potent healing tool.

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10. Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil is one of the most common natural treatments for acne. This oil has powerful antimicrobial properties, and it is also a potent anti-inflammatory. Tea trees are native to Australia, and this plant has an iconic smell that is magnified by many times when the leaves of a tea tree are extracted for their healing oil.

In addition to fighting acne, tea tree oil also has the power to normalize your skin oil levels. If your skin is too oily, tea tree oil can make it dryer, and this oil can also add moisture to skin that is too dry. Tea tree essential oil can also soothe skin itchiness, and it can be used to treat dandruff if you add it to your shampoo or conditioner.

In your search for the right tea tree essential oil, always try to lean toward organic products. To make sure that the oil you're considering is genuine, make sure that the bottle identifies its contents as Melaleuca alternifolia. Also, try to find an oil that has between 10 percent and 40 percent terpinen, which is the terpene in tea tree oil that provides its anti-inflammatory effects. And, as always, do a patch test before you use tea tree oil.

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