Essential Oil Properties



 
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  Below is a list of the essential oils that we carry and the some of the applications that they are commonly used for.  Also listed are some appropriate cautions relating to particular oils - PLEASE read them and take note of any cautions that they may have.  NEVER use essential oils undiluted for applications to the skin! Always dilute first in a carrier oil for massage or in water for bathing use. Essential Oils are are extremely concentrated and should be treated with the appropriate respect. Remember that a little goes a long way and more IS NOT better. Always use the minimum amount possible. They are for external use only and should be kept safely away from the reach of children.

Basil, Sweet (Ocimum basilicum) - Steam distilled from the leaves, Sweet Basil has a warm, herbaceous scent. It is said to be useful in stimulating healthy hair growth and may be helpful to relieve fatigue. Used in a massage oil, it has a warming effect. 

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) - Cold pressed from the peel of the fruit, it has a sharp citrus scent.  Cold pressed from the rind of the fruit.  Uplifting and refreshing.  It is said to help to relieve nervous anxiety and to promote a restful sleep.  Use in a diffuser as an air freshener. May cause sensitivity to sunlight, avoid direct exposure to the sun for six hours after application to the skin. This oil is a skin irritant, and should be avoided in individuals with sensitive skin. Best used in a diffuser. Bergaptene free bergamot also known as FCF - furocoumarin free - is terpenless and considered safer to use.

Carrot Seed (Daucus carota) - Steam distilled from the dried seeds, carrot see oil may be useful in skin care preparations to be used on dry or mature skin. 

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) - Steam distilled from the flowering tops, the scent of Catnip oil is strong and not exceptionally pleasing. Studies have shown that Catnip oil is about ten times more effective than DEET for repelling mosquitoes and other insects. To read more about the study, click here. Blending catnip oil with Lemon Eucalyptus - which has a higher citronellol content than Citronella, and is also said to be useful as an insect repellent - will yield a more pleasing scent.

Cedarwood, Atlas (Cedrus atlantica) - Steam distilled from the wood, stumps and sawdust. It has a woody aroma which has been used to repel insects. Inhaled, it is believed to be helpful for respiratory conditions. It is antiseptic and fungicidal, used in a diffuser it may kill airborne bacteria.

Chamomile, German or Blue Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) - Steam distilled from the flowers with a strong, herbaceous scent. This oil gets its blue color from the content of azulene which is also anti-inflammatory in nature. Chamomile is believed to be useful for relaxation as well as beneficial in skin care.

Chamomile, Roman (Anthemis nobilis) - Steam distilled from the flowers. It can be pale blue to yellow in color, it has a warm, slightly sweet, fruity scent. It is believed that this oil should be avoided if you have allergies to the Ragweed family. Like German chamomile, it is thought to be useful for relaxation.

Cinnamon Leaf (Cinnamomum zeylancium) - Steam distilled from the leaf, it has a warm, spicy aroma.  It it germicidal, antiseptic, and antifungal. Add a bit of cinnamon leaf, orange and clove to a diffuser or potpourri to purify the air and add a touch of warmth to your home. STRONG skin irritant!  Not recommended for direct application to the skin. Avoid cinnamon bark oil as it is considered to be hazardous. Best used in a diffuser or inhaled.

Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus/nardus) - Steam distilled from the leaves (grass), it has a fresh, citrusy scent. Citronella is commonly used to deter insects, it has a citronellol content of up to 50%. It is also believed to be disliked by cats and may be helpful to apply to areas where you would want to deter them.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) - Steam distilled from the flowers and leaves, the scent is grounding and herbaceous similar to Earl Grey tea.  Deeply relaxing, and it may be helpful to reduce melancholy, stress and relieve tension.  Also thought to reduce symptoms associated with PMS and menopause.  Considered by some to contain aphrodisiac qualities. Possible skin irritant.  Avoid use during pregnancy and also avoid use after consuming alcohol as it may exaggerate the effects of alcohol.

Clementine (Citrus clementina) - Steam distilled from the peel, the scent is slightly sweeter than tangerine with mild floral undertones. It is calming and relaxing and may be useful to relieve anxiety.  Blending it with some Petitgrain will give you a scent similar to Neroli. Blend ratio would be approximately 80% Clementine to 20% Petitgrain - or 20 drops Clementine to 5 drops Petitgrain.

Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) - Steam distilled from the buds it is spicy, warm and sweet.  Contains antiseptic properties, best used in a diffuser or vaporizer to help purify the air during cold and flu season. SKIN IRRITANT!  Not recommended for skin applications. DO NOT use on damaged or sensitive skin.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) - Steam distilled from the needles and cones this oil has a sweet balsamic scent. It has antiseptic and astringent qualities and may be useful for respiratory conditions. Also considered to be helpful in soothing nervous tension.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) - Steam distilled from the leaves, it has a strong, camphorous odor.  It is a powerful antiseptic and is highly effective when used in a vaporizer or diffuser to relieve respiratory congestion. Avoid use if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy. Eucalyptus is toxic in small amounts if taken internally, as with all essential oils keep stored out of children's reach.

Eucalyptus, Lemon (Eucalyptus citriodora) - This oil has a lemony scent but doesn't have the camphorous scent of E. globulus. It has a higher citronellol content than citronella (80-90%) which makes it useful as an insect repellent. It's antiseptic and deodorizing characteristics also makes it a nice addition to water when mopping the floor, leaving a fresh scent.

Fir Needle - Steam distilled from the needles of the Fir tree, it has a rich, balsamic scent - the scent of an Evergreen forest. It may be useful as a respiratory tonic or to soothe anxiety. 

Frankincense (Boswellia thurifera) - Steam distilled from the resin, Frankincense has a warm, spicy, balsamic aroma. We offer two varieties, Boswellia carteri which is what most people are familiar with and Boswellia frereana. Boswellia frereana has a gentler, slightly sweet aroma.  Frankincense is calming, grounding, quiets the mind and is often used to enhance meditation. It is also said to have a restorative effect on mature and dry skin.

Geranium, Egyptian (Pelargonium graveolens) - Steam distilled from the leaf, yhis herbaceous, slightly rose scent is believed to have balancing and calming effects.  It may be beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety and is often used for irritability associated with PMS. Many believe that its restorative and balancing properties make it useful for skin care for all skin types, especially mature skin.

Ginger (Zinginer officinale) - Steam distilled from the root, the scent is warm and spicy. Inhaling the scent is said to be stimulating and helpful in clearing your head. While fresh ginger root is often used as a digestive aid for upset stomach, we cannot recommend taking this oil internally. Used in a compress, Ginger oil is believed to be helpful to find relief from aches and pains.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) - Has a fresh, citrus scent. It is refreshing and energizing and can be used as a natural air freshener with disinfecting properties. Thought to be beneficial as an anti-depressant, as it may help relieve anxiety as well as stimulating detoxification of the body. Grapefruit may also be helpful in relieving symptoms associated with PMS. Causes sensitivity to sunlight. Avoid direct exposure to the sun after direct application to the skin.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) - Steam distilled from the flowering tops of the plant commonly known as Immortelle, it has a unique scent that's difficult to describe - somewhat tea-like, but not quite. It is believed to be exceptional in skin care with regards to bruises and scarring. Many people have claimed great success in treating scars and bruises by mixing Helichrysum with Rosehip Seed Oil. 

Juniperberry (Juniperus communis) - Steam distilled from the berries or a combination of berries and twigs.  The scent is sweet and balsamic (similar to Gin) and the oil has antiseptic qualities. May cause irritation of sensitive skin. Should be avoided by those with kidney disease.

Lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) - Sweet, crisp scent.  It is relaxing and soothing and can be helpful in reducing stress.  Many individuals use lavender to promote a blissful sleep.  Powerful, yet mild antiseptic, it can be used directly on the skin for  urgent needs such as bee stings, minor cuts and burns.  Lavender is one of the best all around essential oils.

Lemon (Citrus limon) - It has a clean, refreshing and uplifting scent.  Used in a diffuser, lemon will purify stale air and act as a disinfectant. Lemon juice has the ability to reduce acidity in the body and is generally beneficial to the digestive system.   It also stimulates the white corpuscles in the body which help to fight infection. We do not promote the use of using essential oils internally. Causes sensitivity to sunlight.  Avoid direct exposure to the sun for six hours after direct application to the skin.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuous) - Has a grassy, citrus aroma.  It is uplifting and cleansing and it believed to have a sedating effect on the central nervous system.  Very effective as a natural insect repellent. Skin irritant!  Use highly diluted (1% or less).

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) - Both distilled and cold expressed from the peel. Lime shares most of the same characteristics as lemon including fighting infections, colds, and dyspepsia. Expressed lime causes sensitivity to sunlight, avoid exposure to the sun for six hours after direct application to the skin. Distilled lime does not contain phototoxic properties although it doesn't have the fresh lime scent that distilled lime does. 

Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) - Steam distilled from the berries, this oil has a fresh lemony, slightly floral uplifting scent similar to lemongrass but not as sharp. It has a high citral content and works well as an air freshener. It can also be used as a fixative with other more volatile citrus oils. Possible sensitization risk in some individuals.

Mandarin, Red (Citrus deliciosa) - Cold pressed from the peel, the scent is similar to tangerine, slightly sweeter and floral. It is a calming and relaxing oil. May cause sensitivity to sunlight, avoid exposure to the sun after application to the skin.

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) - Myrrh has a sharp, balsamic scent.  Traditionally known for its religious uses along with Frankincense.  During ancient times, both Frankincense and Myrrh were such sought after oils, that they became difficult to obtain, thus making them as valuable as gold.  It may be useful to revitalize and nurture mature skin.  May also provide relief for bronchitis and colds when used in a diffuser or vaporizer.

Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) - Steam distilled from the leaves, it has a scent similar to Tea Tree with a stronger camphorous note. It has antiseptic qualities and is believed to be beneficial for the respiratory system as well as being useful for inflammations and infections.

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) - Steam distilled from the seeds, it has the scent of freshly grated nutmeg. It is believed to have analgesic properites and may be useful in a massage oil for aches and pains. It is also thought to be helpful in combatting mental fatigue. Avoid large doses as it can have a stupifying effect. To be on the safe side, avoid use during pregnancy.

Orange, sweet (Citrus senensis) - Refreshing and invigorating fresh orange aroma.  Its scent and properties are energizing and invigorating and may be helpful in reducing fatigue.  Used as a room freshener, orange contains antiseptic qualities.  It's scent may calm and soothe the nerves. May cause sensitivity to sunlight.  Avoid direct exposure to the sun for six hours after direct application to the skin.

Oregano (origanum vulgare) - This is a potent oil which is antiseptic and kills parasites, viruses, bacteria and fungus. Inhaled, it is believed to be beneficial  for respiratory conditions that are bacterial or viral in nature. It also contains analgesic properties and works as an expectorant. Please note that there is a popular "oregano oil" on the market that is sold in a diluted version. Ours is pure, undiluted oregano and is very potent. We do not recommend taking essential oils internally. Strong skin irritant! Not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) - Steam distilled from the grass. The scent is sweet, similar to a combination of geranium and rose, with a slight citrus note. Considered to be a cellular regenerative, it may be useful in skin care preparations for dry or mature skin. May also be useful in alleviating stress and fatigue.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) - Intensely rich, earthy/woody scent.  It contains anti-depressant properties  and may be useful for relieving stress and restoring emotional balance. It works well on dry, cracked or aging skin.  Believed by some to possess aphrodisiac qualities.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) - Steam distilled from the leaves, the scent is a combination of minty and earthy. It is useful as an insect repellent. Pennyroyal is an oral toxin - NEVER take this oil internally as it is dangerous!

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) - Fresh, minty scent.  It has an energizing effect, and is often used to reduce mental fatigue and improve concentration.  Peppermint aids in digestion and eases stomach upset.  It may be useful to reduce pain when used in a rub, and help to reduce respiratory congestion to improve breathing. Many believe that it works well on sore muscles or in a foot rub for your tired, weary feet.  Peppermint is a skin irritant, always use well diluted.

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) - Crisp, fresh aroma with a slight citrus scent.  It is uplifting and may help to reduce mental fatigue.  It is mildly sedating.  Petitgrain blends well with sweeter scents with similar properties because it helps to balance out the fragrance.  It is believed to promote restful sleep and reduce the effects of anxiety as well as helping to clear the mind. May cause sensitivity to sunlight, avoid direct exposure to the sun for six hours after direct application to the skin. Possible skin irritant, always use diluted.

Pine Needle (Pinus sylvestris/kessia) - Steam distilled from the needles, it has the pine scent that people are familiar with.  P. sylvestris is commonly known as the Scotch Pine. It is strongly antiseptic as well as killing germs. It is believed to be helpful for respiratory infections as well as having a calming effect to overcome anxiety.

Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) - Steam distilled from the leaves, the scent is a spicy-sweet with a slight anise-like undertone. It is beleived to be useful for treating respiratory conditions, flu symptoms and viral infections.

Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) - Steam distilled from the leaves, it has a sweet, rosy, camphorous scent. This is a relatively new and untested oil. It is best to not use it in skin applications until more information is available. It may be useful in the diffuser for respiratory conditions.

Rose Otto (Rosa damascena) - An exquisite and beautiful rose essential oil. The rose is known as the queen of flowers in Aromatherapy. It takes a very large quantity of rose petals to produce a very small amount of oil. However, this oil is extremely concentrated so only a very small amount is needed. You may dilute rose otto in a carrier oil at a rate of 10% Rose Otto to 90% carrier oil and still retain the marvelous fragrance. A combination of Rose Otto and Sandalwood is called Rose Attar and makes a wonderfully soothing and sensual blend.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - Camphor-like scent.  May be helpful to reduce muscular pain when used in a carrier oil base for a massage into the affected areas.  It also may be help to relieve headaches when inhaled. Avoid use if you are pregnant.  There is a belief that you should avoid rosemary if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy, although we have found no evidence to support this.

Rosewood (Aniba roseadora) - Steam distilled from the wood, the scent is a combination of sweet, floral, and woody with an herbal hint. May be ueful for skin care for dry, sensitive or mature skin. This oil may also be beneficial to relieve tension and promote relaxation. 

Sandalwood (Santalum album) - Has a rich, woody, earthy scent that many feel contain aphrodisiac qualities.  Many individuals find that sandalwood has calming and soothing effects that help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety. Often used to enhance meditation. It has antiseptic properties which are believed to be useful for respiratory conditions.

Seabuckthorn Berry (Hippophae rhamnoides) - Extracted using Carbon Dioxide, rather than steam yields an oil which is truer to the essence of the plant. Seabuckthorn is rich in beta-carotene and high in vitamins A, E and linoleic acid which makes it a wonderful oil to use in applications to soothe and restore the skin.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) - Steam distilled from the flowering tops of the herb, the scent is refreshing and minty. It is a comforting scent which can be relaxing and help to relieve mental fatigue. It is slightly antiseptic and may be useful for minor skin eruptions.

Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) - Sweet, citrus scent. Tangerine is uplifting and refreshing and may help to soothe troubling emotions. Its scent often has a calming and sedating effect and may help to ease nervous tension. May cause sensitivity to sunlight, avoid exposure to direct sun for six hours after direct application to the skin. Possible skin irritant, always dilute in a carrier oil.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) - Strong, medicinal scent.  It is a powerful, yet gentle antiseptic and disinfectant.  Often used for the treatment of athlete's foot.  Can be used directly on cuts to cleanse and disinfect.  Also good for soothing itching caused by insect bites. Works well applied directly to pimples. This is a wonderful oil and one of the few that is acceptable to use directly on the skin although we still recommend dilution. Tea Tree is often recommended as one of the "must have" oils as it is useful for so many applications.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Contains antiviral and antibacterial properties.  Kills airborne bacteria when used in a vaporizer or diffuser, and may provide relief of symptoms from bronchitis or pneumonia. Skin irritant! 

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) - Sweet and exotic, sensual floral scent.  Very seductive, and believed to possess aphrodisiac qualities.  It is a relaxing and soothing scent that may help to relieve anxiety and calm the nervous system. Often used in blends for promoting a restful sleep.

Carrier Oil Properties

Apricot Kernel Oil - This is a light textured, nourishing oil with a high vitamin A content. It is useful for all skin types, especially dry, mature or sensitive skin. It is best kept under refrigeration as it has a shelf life of approximately six months.

Avocado Oil - Is very rich and works well to nourish and moisturize dry or mature skin. It contains many nutrients including vitamins A, D and E. As it is a somewhat heavy oil, you may wish to use it mixed 10-20% in a lighter carrier oil especially if it is to be used in a massage oil. Refined Avocado oil is yellow to yellowish-green in color and is lighter than unrefined Avocado oil. Unrefined Avocado contains more of the Avocado fruit, is dark green in color and heavier. As it contains more of the fruit, its beneficial properties are greater than the refined oil.  Both have a shelf life of up to one year, longer if it is kept under refrigeration.

Sweet Almond Oil - A medium weight oil which is high in oleic and linoleic acid. This oil is commonly used in skin care preparations for it's moisturizing properties. It is useful for all skin types and is well suited as a massage oil. It is best kept under refrigeration and has a shelf life up to one year.

Evening Primrose Oil - Evening Primrose Oil - Obtained from the seeds of the Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis), this oil contains a high percentage of the essential fatty acid GLA (gamma linolenic acid). It is often used up to 10% in combination with another carrier oil for it's restorative properties to the skin. It is best kept under refrigeration as it has a short shelf life.

Fractionated Coconut Oil - A lightweight, odorless, colorless oil with an indefinite shelf life. It is an ideal oil for use in massage as it has an excellent slip. It doesn't clog pores which makes it a wonderful choice during warmer weather. It has an excellent shelf life.

Grapeseed Oil - This light oil is high in Vitamin E, linoleic acid (Omega 6) and essential fatty acids as well as antioxidants. It is great for massage use as it absorbs into the skin easily. It also has a slightly astringent nature which may help tone the skin.

Hempseed Oil - Hempseed oil is high in essential fatty acids - especially the Omegas - and is wonderful for skin care. It is said to contain the perfect ratio 3:1 of Omega 6 and Omega 3 which is considered by some to match the needs of the human body.  The refined version has a shelf life of six months to one year, whereas the unrefined oil is not as stable, having a shelf life of three to six months. 

Jojoba Oil - This golden, odorless 100% pure oil is simlar the skin's natural oils. It is suitable to all skin types and is easily absorbed. It is believed that when it is used on the scalp that it regulates and removes excess sebum in hair pores thus encouraging new hair growth. It is a rich, nourishing oil which penetrates quickly and has an indefinite shelf life.

Macadamia Nut Oil - Easily absorbed into the skin and high in palmitoleic acid, macadamia oil makes an excellent base for massage or use on dry or mature skin.  It is an emollient oil which helps nourish and hydrate the skin. This oil has a good shelf life.

Rosehip Seed Oil - Rich in essential fatty acids and GLA, this oil is considered to be a useful for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis as well as helping to nourish mature and dry skin. It is best kept under refrigeration as to prolong it's shelf life.