Grown in Northern Italy, Bergamot essential oil will bring a little drop of zesty happiness to your day, no matter how gloomy the outlook.
Bergamot is a type of bitter orange with greenish-yellow skin. Its pulp is too sour to eat, so this uplifting, fruit yielding plant is grown purely for the extraction of essential oil from its peel.
Mostly used in aromatherapy for its cheering and uplifting qualities, Bergamot is a versatile oil which can also be used in a host of beauty blends and products for the home.
Black peppercorns have been used as a spice for over 4000 years in cooking and medicine in the Far East. In the 5th century AD Attila the Hun demanded 3000 pounds of peppercorns as a ransom for the city of Rome – the spice was considered as valuable as gold.
It is used in aromatherapy to ease aching muscles, boost the immune system, improve circulation and comfort a tired spirit.
Fresh and sweet Cedarwood Virginian is actually extracted from a tree in the Cupressaceous family. The bark of the tree cultivated in the USA and Canada is steam distilled, to release a fresh, woody essential oil.
In the practice of aromatherapy, Cedarwood Virginian is used in massage blends to boost circulation, ease aching muscles and help flush toxins out of the body. It is also naturally antibacterial and disinfectant and is often used in preparations to treat oily or problem skin.
Much the same as Cedarwood Atlas, this oil can also be used in a steam inhalation treatment or diffuser as a decongestant, when suffering from cold and flu symptoms.
Extracted from the leaves of a grass-like plant, native to Sri Lanka, the benefits of this essential oil have been used in traditional medicines for generations. Used in a massage blend, Citronella will help to soothe tension and relieve aching muscles. In a vaporisation blend as aromatherapy it will cleanse and refresh a room and enliven the spirits.
In modern aromatherapy, Clary Sage is often used in treatments for women during transitional periods such as puberty, labour and menopause due to its restorative and balancing effects.
Used in massage or a vaporising blend, Clary Sage can help improve the symptoms of menstruation and menopause, such as cramp, tiredness and mood swings, bringing calm and balance to the body and mind
Eucalyptus essential oil is used in a plethora of modern treatments and not only aromatherapy. It can be used for everything from a common cold to reviving tired muscles.
Eucalyptus proved a valuable traditional remedy to the native people of Australia who soaked the leaves in boiling water to release a powerful vapour that helps clear chest conditions and coughs.
Used in massage Eucalyptus can boost the circulation and warm cold hands and feet. The perfect remedy for the stresses and strains of the colder seasons.
Frankincense is one of the world’s most famous and prized essential oils. In contrast to the rocky landscapes and dry climates in which Frankincense is produced, the fragrance of this resin-based essential oil is rich, warming and sweet.
Frankincense is one of the most important essential oils for skincare. In facial treatments it rejuvenates and restores dry, tired or mature skins, improving the appearance of fine lines and gently stimulating the circulation to give the skin a ‘peachy’ complexion.
When used in a diffuser as aromatherapy, Frankincense will lift the mood of a room, easing troubles and bringing inner peace and calm.
There are over 250 known varieties of Geranium, grown throughout the world.
Unlike many other floral fragrances, the distillation process for Geranium essential oil uses the leaves of the plant, not the flowers themselves. The velvety leaves of the plant contain thousands of microscopic hairs, each one housing a tiny drop of essential oil.
Geranium is used in modern aromatherapy to nurture and lighten the soul. Great for balancing mood and calming anxiety.
Grapefruit essential oil is extracted from tiny pockets of oil in the skin of the fruit. The peel is pressed, releasing a burst of sharp citrus oil with an underlying sweetness.
This detoxifying oil is often used in cleansing and clarifying aromatherapy treatments. When used in massage, Grapefruit can help stimulate kidney function and rid the body of excess fluid.
Used in a diffuser or aromatherapy roll on, Grapefruit can sharpen concentration, improve mental clarity and help to boost self-confidence.
Lavender is used in a multitude of natural health products and cosmetics and is one of the most popular essential oils in the practice of aromatherapy.
The soothing properties of Lavender essential oil will help calm anxiety, improve relaxation and help to promote a good night’s sleep. Used on the skin, Lavender is effective for soothing minor cuts and grazes and can also provide nourishment to dry or sun-chapped skin.
Lemon is one of those lovely citrus fragrances that lifts a dark mood and reminds you of summer.
The average Lemon tree if grown in a warm enough climate, will continually produce fruit all year which is good as it takes 1,000 whole lemons to yield just 650g of essential oil.
In the practice of aromatherapy, Lemon is used to uplift feelings of depression, low spirits and anxiety. When applied in a massage blend, this stimulating oil will also help to detox the lymphatic system and improve circulation.
Lemongrass is a versatile tropical grass, used in medicinal preparations and cookery throughout Asia. In traditional Chinese Medicine, Lemongrass is used to treat headaches, colds, stomach pains and rheumatism.
In India, the essential oil is used to help fevers and other infectious diseases and is also an effective insect repellent.
In the practice of aromatherapy, Lemongrass essential oil can be used in a diffuser, as a topical treatment or in a massage blend. The cheering and uplifting fragrance will have an instant, positive impact on mood and helps to lift the spirit.
Lemongrass can help to tone and invigorate the body after exercise or heavy physical activity.
When travelling, Lemongrass can be vaporised to repel biting insects and when applied to the skin in a body massage blend it can help protect against stings.
Although the origin of Lime is not certain, botanists believe this citrus fruit began its life in the jungles of Myanmar (previously Burma) and India, and was first introduced to Europe by early Arab traders. Limes are now cultivated throughout many warm climate countries and grow natively in South America, thanks to successful naturalisation.
When expressed or squeezed, the peel of the fruit releases a strong, green citrus essential oil which cleanses the body and energises the mind, making it suitable to use as aromatherapy.
Use in massage treatments as a natural detox agent and in a vaporiser or burner to instantly refresh and revive the spirit.
Mandarins were successfully introduced to Southern Europe in the early 20th century and as they were available only through the winter months, became popular as British stocking fillers at Christmas.
When the fruit is expressed, pungent and bittersweet fragranced essential oil is released from the peel. This essential oil can be used in aromatherapy to ease mental fatigue and lift the spirit. It is also an effective facial cleanser, working to open pores and remove dead skin cells.
The uplifting citrus fragrance of May Chang essential oil is derived from the small fruit of the Litsea cubeba tree, native to China, where all May Chang in the modern aromatherapy market is currently produced.
Unlike other citrus essential oils, May Chang is produced from the steam distillation of the fruit, which yields a light, sherbet fragranced oil, extensively used in the cosmetics industry.
In massage treatments, May Chang can act as a digestive and liver tonic, particularly useful in abdominal massage.
May Chang can also help to clear the head and refresh the mind and spirit, soothing and restoring frayed nerves.
Myrrh is an essential oil with a wide and interesting history. This humble shrub has appeared in numerous historical records, dating back nearly 4,000 years. In order to distil the essential oil used today, the bark of the Myrrh shrub is pierced causing a fragrant gum to seep from its branches. This is steam distilled, creating a wonderfully versatile and beneficial oil.
Popular throughout ancient Egypt, Myrrh was used in an array of cosmetic and medicinal processes, from the embalming of mummies to the preparation of skincare treatments for affluent women.
The Greeks also revelled in Myrrh’s cooling and healing properties, using it in fragrance blends and applying it to wounds to help inflammation and prevent infection.
In modern aromatherapy Myrrh can be used to treat a host of physical and emotional ailments. Applied in a compress, the oil can help to draw out infection from a wound. Blended with floral oils in a diffuser, Myrrh is said to relax the mind and dissolve negative feelings.
Sweet Orange is a fragrance and flavour popular throughout the world in cosmetics and cookery alike. The essential oil extraction process squeezes tiny pockets found in the skin of the fruit, releasing a soft, sweet orange smelling essential oil for aromatherapy.
Orange is popular as a digestive tonic and can be massaged on to the skin with a carrier oil to help improve digestive function, particularly after indulging in high fat foods.
The familiar fragrance of orange is cheering to the spirit and will help to release anxiety and encourage feelings of joy.
The sensual, exotic and earthy fragrance of Patchouli adds a luxurious element to any aromatherapy blend.
Patchouli is a perennial herb, native to tropical regions of Asia. In order to create essential oil, a steam distillation process is used. This extracts the oil from tiny pockets of liquid held on miniscule hairs, across the leaves of the plant.
Patchouli has a deeply moisturising effect and is often used in aromatherapy treatments to help restore dry and tired skin. It can also be used as an intensive treatment for cracked and damaged skin, for example on very dry heels or skin suffering with the signs of eczema.
Patchouli’s deep, earthy fragrance will help to bring peace of mind, grounding the user and bringing a sense of inner calm.
Peppermint essential oil comes from a hybrid of mint plants. This particular type of Peppermint oil has a very strong aroma, making it ideal for use in aromatherapy practice and fragrances.
The medicinal properties of Peppermint have been documented for many years, with emphasis as a reliever for the symptoms of coughs and colds and as a natural decongestant. It also has benefits when treating IBS and digestive complaints and can be massaged in to the stomach to sooth indigestion and bloating.
Peppermint’s unique fragrance is also very clearing to the mind. Including a few drops in a vaporisation blend will help to sharpen concentration and focus a busy brain.
Warming and revitalising Rosemary essential oil is a potent and powerful inclusion to stimulating aromatherapy blends.
Steam distillation is applied to the leaves of the Rosemary shrub, releasing intensely herbal essential oil, hailed for its effects in boosting circulation and invigorating the skin and mind.
Use in diffuser blends with a citrus or mint fragrance to cleanse a room and awaken creativity. A few drops inhaled from a tissue may also help to improve short term memory, particularly helpful during exams or periods of increased workload. A recent survey found that pupils working in a room infused with Rosemary essential oil achieved 5% to 7% better results in memory tests.*
Sandalwood essential oil is used in a multitude of blends for face, body and home, adding a solid, woody base to fragrance blends.
Added to a massage blend for the face, Sandalwood is wonderfully softening, helping to tone and moisturise environmentally-damaged skin. It may also be used as an immune booster in full body massage and is particularly effective at strengthening the body through the winter months.
The soft, sweet and grounding fragrance of Sandalwood is also beneficial during times of stress or anxiety, helping to ease mental fatigue and warm the heart.
Possibly one of the most renowned herbal treatments throughout the world, pungent Tea Tree is ideal for use in soothing and healing a ream of ailments, as well as aromatherapy.
Hailing from Australia, indigenous aboriginal people have used Tea Tree for centuries to treat coughs, colds, fevers and headaches for centuries. Combined with other medicinal, circulation boosting oils such as Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Peppermint, Tea Tree is ideal for supporting the body during winter month.
Due to its medicinal properties, a bottle of Tea Tree oil is a very useful addition to any family medicine cabinet.
Extracted from the tropical Cananga Odorata Tree grown in Madagascar, this intensely floral essential oil is a wonderful addition to feminine aromatherapy blends.
Emotionally Ylang Ylang is said to appeal to our inner femininity and was often used in its native country to decorate the beds of newlyweds. It also blends wonderfully with citrus oils such as Mandarin and Bergamot, helping to release tension and uplift the mind.
Ylang Ylang’s cleansing properties are also helpful to people with greasy or combination skin. Applied to the face in a massage blend this oil can help to cleanse, clarify and improve skin tone.