When it comes to the top five oils you must always have in an aromatherapy tool kit, the likes of Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon, Peppermint and Eucalyptus are always written about, as they are deemed to be the most beneficial in terms of properties and their varied uses. But with hundreds of other essential oils available on the market we thought it time we picked our favourite five which don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
Its well know that some essential oils benefit the mind and spirit, whilst others work wonders on the body and skin. The oils we’ve picked offer significant benefits in all aspects and can either be used to create the perfect treatment or turn a regular blend into something a touch more special.
May Chang (Litsea Cubeba) Mid Note
Native to China and South East Asia this small tree bearing berries and delicate yellow flowers grows naturally in some parts, and is also cultivated for commercial use. The berries of the tree produce the spicy, lemony scented oil, also known as the “Oil of tranquility”. It is one of the most valuable oils for de-stressing as it provides deep physical relaxation, and acts as a tonic to the nervous system. When used periodically it can help to break negative emotional patterns, and clear the way for a fresh start. It provides thought clarity to people with the inability to switch off. It is also anti-septic, anti-fungal and anti-viral, a great cleansing oil for greasy and acne prone skin and deodorising. Inhalation of the oil will also help to sooth indigestion. Blends well with earthy tones such as Basil, Geranium, Ginger and Petitgrain.
Rose Moroc Absolute (Rosa Centifolia) Mid Note
This prickly, flowering bush with its sweet, musky aroma is also known as Cabbage or Provence Rose. It is cultivated mainly in France and Northern Africa where it thrives to achieve maximum flowering in the hot climate. Due to the lengthy extraction process and the amount of petals required to produce just 1 ounce, this beautiful oil commands a high price, however it’s still less costly than Rose Otto and some would say much lighter and sweeter in scent.
Rose Moroc is one of the most valuable and useful oils due to its array of benefits especially for females. On an emotional level it helps to calm anger, restore emotional balance and enrich inner femininity while its also particularly helpful in easing feelings of grief by providing a tonic to the heart. It effectively relieves hormone related mood swings, hot flashes and cramps and needless to say that it is the first choice for all womanly problems, including menstruation, fertility and menopause. It is a known aphrodisiac, thus helping individuals with frigidity or impotence, and supports couples who lack intimacy.
Rose oil is also commonly used in anti-aging skin preparations because of its powerful skin toning attributes. It will restore the glow in mature or wrinkled skin and will rejuvenate and repair dry, damaged skin. It reduces redness and the appearance of broken capillaries, thread veins and rosacea.
Lime (Citrus Aurantifolia) Top Note
This small, evergreen tree is cultivated mainly in Italy, Spain and throughout Europe with the mouth-watering, sweet smelling, oil being expressed from the peel of the fruit. The citrusy fresh scent of Lime offers clarity of thought and can boost positivity for moving on and its a great oil for emotional lethargy and mental exhaustion. It’s a bactericidal oil so it’s particularly helpful in balancing oily or acne prone skin, when used as part of a daily routine. It has very similar properties to Lemon oil and so can be used in its place as a sweeter alternative to help treat colds, flu, catarrh and digestive complaints. With a pungent smell it blends well with warm oils like Nutmeg and Ginger, as well as other citrus oils like Bergamot and Neroli.
Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum) Base Note
This aromatic herb native to the Mediterranean produces a pale yellow, sometimes reddish oil known as “everlasting”, and is widely used in perfumes and cosmetics for its rich, honey- like aroma. It is a comforting anti-depressant and is particularly useful where exhaustion and lethargy are key factors. It helps to heal the heart of emotional wounds, restoring inner peace and dispelling feelings of anger and destruction. Immortelle is a valuable convalescent oil to help combat fatigue and support the immune system until the body is back to full health. It is anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic so used in many skin preparations to help treat skin complaints such as Psoriasis and Eczema. It accelerates the healing process for broken skin, ulceration, boils and abscesses, and also contains a powerful anti-bruising agent. This sweet, subtly woody scented oil is great for children for use in baths and mild lotions. Blends well with Rose Absolute, Sandalwood and Mandarin.
Benzoin (Styrax Benzoin) Base Note
This warming, vanilla scented oil is actually a resin extracted from the bark of these tall tropical trees which are native to Asia. The thick brown liquid has an intensely rich scent, and has been used in the east for thousands of years to drive away evil spirits by burning in its solid form. Benzoin is a useful anti-septic and anti-inflammatory although is more commonly used for its calming and sedative qualities. When inhaled this oil can create the feeling of inner warmth and relieve feelings of sadness, vulnerability and loneliness. It can also help soothe tickly coughs and bronchitis, ease a tight chest and can be helpful in dispelling urinary tract infections. When applied topically, Benzoin will transform a blend into a rich, cloudy liquid which will help to heal broken, damaged skin. For this reason its very popular with dancers for their sore, cracked heels, with gardeners and builders for their hard-working hands and for treating eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions. Blends well with May Chang, Chamomile and Sandalwood.