Off the top of your head, you can probably name at least half a dozen friends who are die-hard fans of essential oils. Millions of people swear by them to conquer everything from house chores to achy muscles to seasonal allergies.
If you're curious and ready to dip your toes into this au naturale world, our sister publication, FIT Arkansas, created a quick guide to a few common essential oils and their uses. Read the tips below, then click here to learn about how to use essential oils and what to look for.
How it works: Peppermint contains a natural anesthetic called menthol that dulls pain receptors. Peppermint oil can cause irritation if applied directly to the skin, so dilute it first. Add two drops to one teaspoon of a carrier oil (an unscented base oil, such as sweet almond or coconut oil), then massage into skin on temples and forehead. Bonus: Peppermint oil is also good relief from sunburns.
Problem: Feeling down
How it works: Research suggests that jasmine oil may act as a natural antidepressant when massaged into the skin. Add five drops to a few ounces of a carrier oil, then rub into shoulders.
How it works: Eucalyptus oil acts as a natural expectorant, which helps clear mucus from air passages. To alleviate congestion, boil one quart of water, let it cool slightly, then pour it into a bowl. Add four drops of oil, drape a towel over your head and lean over the steam, inhaling for 10-15 minutes.
Solution: Tea tree
How it works: It’s no secret that tea tree oil helps clear up breakouts, but it’s the oil’s antimicrobial properties that are responsible for clear skin. Use a cotton ball to apply tea tree oil directly to a pimple and leave overnight. By morning the pimple should be smaller and the redness should have subsided.
How it works: The scent of lavender is said to calm the nervous system. Try adding four to six drops to a warm bath or mixing the oil with water in a spray bottle to mist into the air.