An essential oil is a liquid distilled from the leaves, flowers, or other parts of a plant – in effect capturing the plant’s “essence” in a highly concentrated form. Essential oils are distributed in a much purer form than perfumes or other products that are derived from plants but include artificial components. Even a small amount of these potent oils are said to have important therapeutic and health benefits, depending on the plant used.
Essential oils are generally used in some form of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy, as the name implies, involves controlled exposure to some particular scent in order to promote health or emotional well-being. Some practitioners of alternative medicine also advocate the consumption of essential oils or their use as topical treatments for certain illnesses. Essential oils have a wide variety of applications. Some may be used as antiseptics, while others are associated with emotional or mental well-being and other effects.
Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Articles: Selection of articles on essential oils, their uses, their properties, how to effectively create aromatherapy treatments in the home, how to find and compare essential oils, and much more.
Essentials of Aromatherapy: Basic introduction to the history and uses of essential oil, with particular attention to how they are used in aromatherapy.
How to Use Essential Oils Effectively: Article originally published in The Yogi Times offering great facts about how to maximize the potency and value of your essential oils.
Aromatherapy and Herbs for Healing: Interesting article about the historical use of essential oils, tying the topic in to the present day and the current state of research.
The International Federation of Aromatherapists: Large amount of information on essential oils from a premier nonprofit devoted to researching the efficacy of aromatherapy and related processes.
American Botanical Council: Great resources on a variety of topics related to herbal medicine, including essential oils, aromatherapy, and more.
Positive Health Aromatherapy and Essential Oils : Collection of quality, referenced articles, many from clinical professionals, discussing topics related to essential oils and aromatherapy. Includes basic, informative pieces as well as somewhat technical studies, analyses of research, and more.
How Do I Choose and Use Essential Oils?: Referenced overview on choosing essential oils, the various methods of applying them – including some unusual methods – and uses for the oils in everyday life.
Essential oils may be classified broadly into two kinds: organic and non-organic. Organic essential oils are derived from plants grown without pesticides or other artificial additives. Many practitioners believe that organic oils are markedly superior in a number of ways: their quality, scent, and benefits. Organic oils may be more expensive than non-organic alternatives, since only a small amount of essential oil can be produced from a relatively large quantity of plant matter. However, the benefits of organic essential oils are worth the price in many cases; this is also true of other organic products, which may be purer, more potent, and generally healthier than non-organics.
Organic FAQs: Information about organic products, with a particular focus on foods and organic farming practices, from the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Also offers resources on a variety of topics related to organic products and consumption.
Why Buy Organic?: Fact sheet from the California Certified Organic Farmers trade organization that offers a great deal of information on the environmental, economic, and human benefits of using organic products in general.
Organic Consumers: Essential Oil: Index of producers, suppliers, and professionals who use or supply only organic essential oils, divided by state.
There are as many types of essential oils as there are plants. Essential oils may come from a huge variety of trees, flowers, fruits, and other plant products both typical and unfamiliar. Some of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy include peppermint, ginger, lavender, and the oils of citrus fruit. The popularity of an essential oil is usually linked to its therapeutic effects. There are also regional considerations; areas where oranges are grown may offer more ready access to oil of orange, for example.
Essential Oil of the Month: Sandalwood: Detailed fact-sheet from the Massage Therapy Center at the International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego. Same site also includes similar treatments of other oils.
Complementary Medicine: Peppermint: Informational listing from the University of Maryland Medical Center on the use of oil of peppermint to treat various minor symptoms. Several other essential oils also have entries in the database, including rosemary, lemon, and vanilla.
Herbal Safety: Cinnamon: Cited packet about the medicinal uses and benefits of cinnamon and its oil. From the University of Texas at El Paso.
Geranium Oil: Properties and in-depth information about geranium oil, one of the most versatile essential oils, which is used for relaxation and as a sleep aid, among other things.
Tea Tree Oil Research Group: Great resource from the University of Western Australia all about tea tree oil and current research to discover and use its amazing properties.
Uses for Orange Essential Oil: Uses for orange oil around the home and for personal health.
Pure Lemon Essential Oil: Description of the uses and benefits of lemon essential oil, and how to get the most out of lemon.
Ginger Essential Oil: Properties and uses of ginger essential oil.
Fibers & Fiber Plants: Includes facts on the use and benefits of violet, lavender, ylang-ylang, and several other plants and how their oils are used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
Clove and Clove Oil: Basic information about clove and clove oil from Medline Plus, part of the U.S. Library of Medicine. Same online database includes information on a variety of other herbs and their oils.
Essential Oil Directory: Compendium of information on essential oils’ effects. Broken down by alphabetical order, and consists of dozens of individual listings with facts on the use and history of each oil.
Properties of Essential Oils: In-depth listing of essential oils and their benefits, provided by the Wellness Directory of Minnesota. Same site includes several other articles about essential oils and aromatherapy.
Healing Properties of Essential Oils: Simple, highly accessible index of different essential oils and their uses for both physical and emotional health.
Essential Oil Profiles: Basic information on the benefits of several of the more common essential oils. Also includes articles focusing on essential oil uses for health and beauty, and several other helpful topics.
There is a huge variety of uses for essential oils. While much aromatherapy focuses on controlling negative emotions and heightening positive emotions, there is a broad range of applications, including sinus relief, headache relief, and relief from arthritis. Certain essential oils are even used as aphrodisiacs! With so many applications, it’s no surprise that there is a large community in America and elsewhere made up of people who use essential oils for health on a regular basis.
Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Natural Health: Selection of articles discussing the benefits of essential oils for health, including women’s health, stress relief, digestion, and a variety of others. Good introduction to the health value of essential oils.
Essential Oils for Health and Wellness: Even more health uses of essential oils, including oils for depression, anxiety relief, and pain relief associated with specific conditions. From the Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Common Cold Remedies: Variety of home remedies for the common cold and sinus complications, including essential oil remedies using lavender, pine, and more.
Essential Oils for Arthritis: Includes detailed instructions on a blend of several essential oils for controlling pain associated with arthritis.
”Essential Oils for Pain Relief”: Article from Massage Today discusses the use of essential oils, particularly lavender and sage, for pain relief.
Spices as Aphrodisiacs: Information on natural aphrodisiacs, including the essential oils of various herbs and spices.
Essential Oils for Headaches: Descriptive text that covers the origins of headaches, essential oils that can be effective in managing headaches, and how to use those oils for self-treatment.
Using Essential Oils: Tips about essential oils and their use in massage, how to select oils for aromatherapy, and listings of several dozen oils with their benefits.
Health, Body, and Skin Care: Large index of articles pertaining to the use of essential oils in spa treatments, massages, cosmetics, and a variety of other health and beauty topics.
Different Uses of Essential Oils: Huge compendium of brief articles on all topics related to essential oil use. Also has information on the benefits and uses of a large variety of oils and the plants they come from.
Everyday Uses of Essential Oils: Lists household uses of essential oils, along with which types of oil have the most pleasing effect in each situation.
National Cancer Institute: Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: Information about ongoing inquiries into the benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy from the National Cancer Institute.
50 Uses for Essential Oils: Various household and health uses of different essential oils. Several other articles are available, including use of oils to benefit depression, and an index referencing symptoms to oils that treat them.
”Essential Oils for Management of Symptoms in Critically Ill Patients”: Scholarly article from the American Journal of Critical Care.
Giorgio Armani Perfumes, Colognes, and Fragrances: A selection of Giorgio Armani perfumes and colognes available from Fragrance X.