Have a cold or can’t seem to get rid of a headache? Since ancient times, essential oils have been used to help treat such common ailments. Bethanny Gonzalez, a certified aromatherapist who teaches the benefits of using essential oils at classes in Naples, including BKS Yoga Studio and the Naples Botanical Garden, shares five essential oils that can help support the body’s ability to heal.
- Frankincense: One of the most versatile essential oils, frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties and works as an immune booster. Like lavender, a few drops of frankincense oil can also be used to clean cuts and, like peppermint, can help alleviate migraines. Gonzalez recommends putting a drop or two of the oil on your thumb and pressing it to the roof of your mouth for more effective migraine relief.
- Eucalyptus: The cool, refreshing scent of eucalyptus can help open the bronchial airways, making breathing easier when you have a cold. Use it in a diffuser or, Gonzalez suggests, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a steaming pot of water and inhale the vapor.
- Peppermint: Feeling sore after a workout? Blend 15 drops of peppermint oil with a half cup of carrier oil—such as jojoba, coconut, or almond—and apply to the affected areas. For a headache or migraine, blend a few drops with a carrier oil and dab it on your temples, hairline, and back of the head.
- Lavender: While this oil can be directly applied to minor cuts and scrapes as an antiseptic and to boost the healing process, its calming properties can help relieve stress. Try mixing up to 15 drops of this essential oil with a cup of sea salt and add it to your bathwater to relax before bed.
- Clary Sage: This essential oil is believed to help relieve cramps and mood swings related to a woman’s menstrual cycle, as well as to help increase circulation. Gonzalez recommends blending 20 drops with a quarter cup of a carrier oil, to avoid skin irritation, and applying it to the abdominal area.