Essential Oils

Essential Oil Information and Properties

Credit for these descriptions goes to Marge Clark at Nature's


Basil is considered helpful for mental and physical fatigue, aids in mental alertness, concentration A good wake up oil, used in moderation. Helps ease sinus congestion. and headaches. Helpful against colds and congestion, as well as easing muscular aches and pains. Can reduce menstrual cramps. Avoid use if pregnant or if subject to seizures. Not a good essential oil to use just before bedtime. Anti bacterial, headaches, mental alertness, fatigue, stress, Period pains


Bay ( Dominican ) Essential Oil The traditional source of West Indies Bay Rum, this Bay Essential Oil has a spicy, sexy aroma. It is said to stimulate hair growth it may be useful in cases of strained or sore muscles. Emotionally it is said to stimulate and uplift, warming the emotions, reviving the emotionally exhausted. 
WARNING: Bay Leaf may be a dermal irritant and a sensitizer. If using on the skin, use in very weak dilutions


Bergamot is named after the Italian city of Bergamot, where the oil was first sold. The oil has been used for many years, primarily for fevers (including malaria), worms, mouth, skin, respiratory, and urinary tract infections. This oil has been used in most major food categories, for perfume, and to flavor Earl Grey tea. Medicinal Properties: Analgesic, anti-infectious, anti-toxic, antidepressant, antiseptic, bactericide, antimicrobial, astringent, antispasmodic, diuretic, digestive, deodorant, expectorant, combats fever
Safety Precautions: Non-toxic and non-irritant. Add to mouthwash, get rid of halitosis. Inhaling from a tissue will counter a cold, decrease PMS or help de-stress. Use with Mixing Lotion for insect repellant. In a massage blend, it lessens fatigue and depression. Use with a carrier for acne and varicose veins. Physical benefits: Acne, Cystitis, Deodorant, Bad breath, Boisl, Colds, Eczema, Flatulence, Flu, Insect repellant, Instestinals.parasites, Mouth infections, Oily complexions, PMS, Varicose veins. Psycho-Emotional Benefits: Help Stress-related disorders, Calming, Lower anxiety, Clear Mild Depression: Regulate appetite; Level PMS mood swings; Lessen anger or frustration; Lower emotional addictions 


Cedarwood: Cedar is a versatile oil that acts as an astringent and a cleansing agent. Believed to have originated from the famous Lebanon cedars, this essential oil provides an exhilarating tonic for the scalp and face to help the body  deal with dandruff and acne. It can also be massaged into the skin for soothing, relaxing muscle rubs. Cedars are thought to offer longevity, and the oil it yields was used for embalming in ancient Egypt, and as an incense by Tibetan monks to aid in meditation. Medicinal Properties: Antiseptic, astringent, expectorant (helps remove mucous from respiratory system), kills and combats fungal infection, sedative, insecticide. Dilute with oil or add a few drops to a moisturizing lotion and massage into the skin for arthritis, hair loss, rheumatism and dry skin conditions.  For oily skin, add a few drops to boiling water and lean over it with a towel for a steam facial, or diffuse to help ease tension and stress.
Safety Precautions: Avoid in pregnancy. Possible irritant to sensitive skin or in strong dilution. Do not continue use for more than a few days at one time. bends with rosewood, bergamot, boronia, cypress, calamus, cassie, costus, jasmine, juniper, neroli, mimosa, labdanum, olibanum, clary sage, vetiver, rosemary, ylang ylang, and other oriental and flower bases 

Clary Sage

The word clary comes from 'clear-eye' for a plant from which the seeds were used to heal eye problems and was highly esteemed in the Middle Ages. Clary Sage was used for stress relief and as a sedative. Clary Sage has been used for meditation and spiritual communication. The ancients considered it an oil of protection and psychic sight. Compress or massage to relieve PMS or tiredness. Good for fainting. Dilute before putting on the skin.  A good addition to massage oils to ease tension and cramps. Used sparingly; 2 to 3 drops in a bath will have the same relaxing and euphoric effect. An uplifting, yet relaxing and mildy aphrodisiac aroma in a diffuser. Common ingredient in hair oils and, "masculine" scents. Traditionally used in dream blends, a little is sufficient as it can easily be too stimulating particularly for the sensitive, the very young and the elderly. Estrogen-like properties make it potentially useful for menopause situations like hot flashes. For the same reason it should be avoided by those with estrogen related conditions like cysts and fibroids etc. 

Clove Leaf

Clove leaf is a hot oil. It can be used in a carrier oil for any infection. It has been used in the dental industry for years to deaden pain. Clove oil can be applied topically with a carrier. It has been used for arousing and fortifying. According to a study at the University of Iowa, compounds in clove oil have shown "strong activity" against bacteria associated with plaque and gum disease. Diffuse to kill airborne pathogens. Helpful for toothache. Always dilute before using. Do NOT add to the bath water; it is a powerful "hot" oil. Physical Benefits, Arthritis, Bronchitis, Cholera, Dental infection, Diarrhea, Fatigue, Sore Gums, Headache, Herpers, Hiccups, Infectious Deseases, Insect Bites, Mouth ulcers, Nausea, Pains, Sinus congestion, Toothache, Tuberculosis, Viral Hepatitis, Virus, Warts. Also an aprodisiac, mental stimulant, Sleep inducing, Relaxing, Stimulates Dreams and Brings Courage


Cypress promotes enhanced energy while assisting in proper circulatory, muscular, joint, respiratory and nervous system health. It was used medicinally by the Egyptians and has a tradition of easing internal bleeding. It is now known to be a good vaso-constrictor. Supports the body in its fight against water retention associated with pregnancy and menstrual cramps associated with pre-menstrual syndrome. Imported from Spain, Cypress acts as an astringent while easing muscle spasms. It is often used as a facial tonic for oily skin and as a deodorant. In aromatherapy it is excellent for menstrual or menopausal problems, varicose or broken veins, fluid retention or cellulite, and to calm a persistent cough. Cypress is lovely when used as a scent in bath and in skin care products. Topically, Cypress is often used as a facial tonic for oily skin, body sprays, aftershaves and traditional 'masculine' perfumes, a deodorant, or added to a hot bath water for its scent. When diffused, Cypress helps support the body's circulatory and hormonal systems.  Helpful in increasing circulation it also has antiseptic and astringent properties.  In esoteric and emotional blends Cypress is added to ease grief and crisis Cypress 


Eucalyptus is excellent for Athletes Foot and other fungal infections (candida) cuts, dandruff, herpes, insect repellant, heals scabs, sores, wounds, boosts energy and supports the respiratory, circulatory, epidermal, and urinary systems. Eucalyptus leaves were crushed by the Aborigines to heal wounds, fight infection and to relieve muscular pain. Grown and harvested in China, Eucalyptus is often diffused in sick rooms to support the respiratory system and ease congestion. Cool and pungent, Eucalyptus has a camphor-like quality that blends well with lavender and pine for an uplifting massage. It is a powerful antiseptic that kills airborne germs and it has a cooling effect on the skin. In aromatherapy, it is an excellent decongestant for fever, flu, coughs, colds or sinus. It soothes muscular aches, sprains and pains and helps to heal abrasions.
Medicinal Properties: Antiseptic, astringent, antiviral, bactericidal, deodorant, expectorant, fungicidal, sedative, insecticide
Safety Precautions: Avoid in pregnancy, if have you have high blood pressure, or a history of epilepsy. Possible irritant to sensitive skin used pure or in strong dilution. Do not continue use for more than a few days at one time. Toxic when taken internally. Abscesses, boils, Air purifier, Asthma, Arthritis, Acne, blemishes, Blisters, burns,  Bruises & sprains, Cuts, Cystitis, Chest & throat infections, Common cold,  Fever, Headache, Immune stimulant, Insect repellant, Laryngitis, Muscle stiffness, Pain caused by a nerve lesion,  Stings & insect bites,  Swollen glands. Psycho-Emotional Benefits: Deepen concentration, Strengthen focus, Increase alertness, Stay awake, Clears the mind.


Fennel is an ancient herb, believed to convey longevity, strength and courage. Fennel has been used to ward off evil spirits, improve vision, and to neutralize poisons. It has traditionally been used for obesity, which may be due to a type of estrogenic action, which also increases the milk of nursing mothers. It is said to balance hormones. Used for infections, Considered helpful for obstruction of the spleen, liver and gall bladder. Fennel is great for massage and can be diffused. It helps eliminate toxins from the body. Add to mouthwash for gum disease or infections.
Culpepper says: 'One good old custom is not yet left off, viz., to boil fennel with fish, for it consumes the phlegmatic humour which fish most plentifully afford and annoy the body with, though few that use it know wherefore they do it. It benefits this way, because it is a herb of Mercury, and under Virgo, and therefore bears antipathy to Pisces. Fennel expels wind, provokes urine, and eases the pains of the stone, and helps to break it. The leaves or seed boiled in barley water and drunk, are good for nurses, to increase their milk and make it more wholesome for the child. The leaves, or rather the seeds, boiled in water, stayeth the hiccup and taketh away nausea or inclination to sickness. The seed and the roots much more help to open obstructions of the liver, spleen, and gall, and thereby relieve the painful and windy swellings of the spleen, and the yellow jaundice, as also the gout and cramp. The seed is of good use in medicines for shortness of breath and wheezing, by stoppings of the lungs. The roots are of most use in physic, drinks and broths, that are taken to cleanse the blood, to open obstructions of the liver, to provoke urine, and amend the ill colour of the face after sickness, and to cause a good habit through the body; both leaves, seeds, and roots thereof, are much used in drink, or broth, to make people more lean that are too fat. A decoction of the leaves and root is good for serpent bites, and to neutralize vegetable poison, as mushrooms, etc.'


Frankincense has long been attributed with spirituality. Like myrrh, it was a prized possession in the ancient world, rivaling the value of many precious gems and metals. Frankincense was taken up by Egyptian women for rejuvenating face masks. It's centering aroma slows the nervous system and promotes feeling of calm and introspection. Frankincense enhances immune, respiratory, epidermal, and nervous systems. Frankincense encourages deep, rhythmic breathing and a relaxed state of mind. Frankincense helps improve dry, chapped mature-looking skin. It's especially useful to the respiratory system during seasonal changes. Frankincense contains monoterpene compounds which give the oil astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is relaxing, uplifting, calming and mildly antiseptic. It is excellent for tiredness, grumpiness, negative moods, lack of confidence and emotional turmoil, It helps to slow the breathing and has a calming effect.  


Grapefruit Enhances the digestive, circulatory, glandular, urinary, and nervous systems. It is an overall relaxer. A stimulating lymphatic massage of Grapefruit can promote the appearance of smooth, undimpled skin, enhance circulation, and help regulate healthy body fluid levels. In addition, the aromatic influence of Grapefruit helps decrease appetite and balance emotional extremes. Dilute with oil or add a few drops to a moisturizing lotion and massage into the skin for sore muscle treatments.  Use anytime, especially before exercise for cellulite treatment. For oily skin, add a few drops to boiling water and lean over it with a towel for a steam facial, or diffuse to help ease tension and stress. Diffuse for balance and appetite suppressant.

There are many different species of lavender in the world, but perhaps the truest of the “true” (Lavandula angustifolia) is English Lavender.
The genus, angustifolia, grows all over the world, and most experts will tell you that it is the lavender of choice, when compared to the other species. This is because, angustifolia, when distilled, produces an oil that contains less than 1% camphor. By contrast, other species, such as latifolia (Spikenard) and x intermedia (which is actually a lavandin) contain up to 8% camphor.
Lavender is said to be excellent for eczema and is an especially soothing scent which will promote a wonderful nights sleep. This is a good scent for those who shave at night before bed. The encyclopedia of natural healing recommends the essential oil of lavender externally as an antiseptic, for headaches, insect bites, relaxing baths and stress relief and skin irritations.  

Tart, tangy true lemon aroma. This one smells like grated lemon peel (just as it should).
Lemon Oil is a strong germicide and astringent, a wonderful air disinfectant and freshener. I use it in cleaning solutions all the time for its clean scent and disinfecting action.
Lemon Essential Oil has fever reducing action as well as its effective germicidal action, so it's a good oil to use to aid in treating colds and fevers. Lemon oil stimulates the immune system, and stimulates circulation. Lemon is a key component in most anti-cellulite blends. It has a toning effect on oily skin and hair.
Of all the oils where Organic as opposed to conventional farming methods make a difference, the citrus fruit oils lead the way. After all, when a crop is sprayed with insecticides, it is the rind of the lemon that is coated with and absorbs the chemicals. Research has shown appallingly high levels of pesticides in many essential oils. 

Lime Oil was introduced to Europe by the Moors, and to the U.S. by Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. The lime was what English ships carried for their sailors, to prevent scurvy, a Vitamin C deficiency that causes general weakness. The nickname "limey" for British sailors derives from this. It is used for similar purposes to that of lemon; fever, infections, sore throats, colds, etc. This oils is an appetite stimulant, digestive stimulant. Medicinal Properties:  Antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial, astringent, antibacterial, appetite stimulant, stops bleeding, remedy for scurvy and is an immune tonic. It is said to clear anxiety, lessen apathy, clear mild depression, refresh tired minds and uplift spirits. It is an astringent for oily skin, helps with colds, coughs and sore throats and works as a skin toner. Can be drying on skin. 

MINT (Peppermint):
Mint supports the respiratory, immune, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems. During painful periods and at times of PMS it assists against cramps, relieves pain and eases tension. Lessens fatigue associated with pre-menstrual syndrome, dispels hot flashes associated with menopause. Peppermint's invigorating aroma enhances alertness and soothes headaches.
Peppermint is one of nature's finest digestives and peppermint herb is great to help oxygenates the blood - therefore it assists invaluably in: healing of circulatory disorders, nervousness, insomnia, flu, headaches, fevers, PMS, stress and tension. Peppermint herbs makes a superb herbal tonic tea, and can be used as an after dinner tea - it eases nausea and reduces flatulence. The volatile oil acts as a mild anesthetic to the stomach wall which helps to relieve the nausea of pregnancy and travel sickness. Because peppermint herbs stimulate bile and digestive juice secretion, the peppermint therefore helps in relieving intestinal colic and other associated conditions. Recent research has found that peppermint herb and herbal compounds stimulates the brain and increases the capacity to retain fact and to hold the memory. 

Myrrh Essential Oil is a respected and ancient wound healer and panacea for many diseases of the old world, such as dysentery and leprosy. Used in the Egyptian embalming process and valued spiritually for its perfume. Soothing, drying, and fortifying, myrrh has an antifungal quality and is useful in many skin, gum and bronchial disorders. Myrrh Essential Oil has a powerful preservative property that can be effective in preventing the spread of gangrene. It has a steadying effect on the nerves.

ORANGE (Sweet):
The essential oil of the Sweet Orange is delightfully bright and cheery, strongly antidepressant. . Used in the aroma lamp, it brightens the atmosphere of a room. Blended with any of the spice or coniferous oils it makes a wonderful winter holiday blend. Orange is refreshing and relaxing. It can cause photosensitivity so be careful of applying to the skin prior to exposure to sunlight. It is generally considered mild enough for use with small children.Orange is great sent that is invigorating, wonderful in the mornings!
BLENDS WITH:  Geranium, Lavender, Neroli, Petitgrain, all woods and spices 


Rich, sweet earthy renewing essential oil  Medicinal Properties: Antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, antimicrobial, diuretic, deodorant, carminative, astringent, expectorant, fungicidal, sedative, tonic, decongestant, insecticide
Safety Precautions: Non-toxic, non-irritant Patchouli supports the digestive and nervous systems. Patchouli is a stimulating aromatic oil, that promotes increased feelings of desire. When diffused, Patchouli help crease an amorous atmosphere. Embrace the musky sweet aroma as it calms skins cells and enhances the appearance of younger-looking skin. This is well known from the '70's as an earthy scent and is nice when mixed with a floral or a citrus...


Rosemary assists the immune, circulatory, nervous,  musculoskeletal, glandular, and urinary systems. It is an energy booster that also supports against hair loss associated with old age. Tunisian-grown Wild Rosemary has a penetrating, uplifting scent that assists in enhancing mental clarity. Diffuse or inhale to soothe feelings of nervous and mental exhaustion. Massage into the neck and temples to ease tension headaches (either alone or with Peppermint and Lavender). A full body massage of Wild Rosemary enhances circulation. The oil stimulates the central nervous system and blood circulation, relieving muscular pain.    Medicinal Properties: Antiseptic, analgesic, anti- bacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, digestive, fungicidal, stimulant, insecticide, invigorating, nervine, restorative, diaphoretic, decongestant, hypertensive, parasitic. Dilute with oil or add a few drops to a moisturizing lotion and massage into the skin for arthritis, hair loss, rheumatism and dry skin conditions.  For oily skin, add a few drops to boiling water and lean over it with a towel for a steam facial, or diffuse to help ease tension and stress. Helps with acne, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, coughs, dandruff, flatulence, gout, hair loss, headache, liver cleanse, muscle pain and tones skin. Also lightens fatigue and strengthens focus. 


ROSEWOOD (Bois de Rose):
Note: Many people will not use Rosewood because they believe that harvesting the wood denudes the rain forest. I have been told that the Brazilian government now requires that one new Rosewood tree be planted for every mature tree that is harvested, to protect the future of the rain forest. This oil is distilled from a plantation that reforests.
Rosewood, with its rich floral aroma, can be an aphrodisiac, an antidepressant, and a general balancer to the emotions.   In skin care, it is said to stimulate new cell growth, regenerate tissues and help minimize lines and wrinkles. It helps balance both dry and oily skin, and can prove helpful against acne.  Some authorities say it has a hormonal effect, not unlike that claimed for rose and for geranium. It blends well with both of these oils.


Sandalwood is not an inexpensive treat. The cost of the raw material was $AU 10,000 per metric tonne, in 2002. The cost of the oil has been steadily increasing over the past five years. Why? Traditional, Asian supplies of Sandalwood have diminished, and many countries now impose cutting standards on native stands. I am paying about $200 dollars an ounce for this essential oil, which should give you an idea of why the soap is higher in price.
Farming sandalwood has become a lucrative business -- it's Australia's most highly priced exported wood. South Pacific islanders farm sandalwood privately, and more farmers are being wooed by the large pay-off at harvest. But they must be patient, and have other occupations, as well, since it takes 14-30 years til a Sandalwood tree is ready to harvest. At the time of this writing, no national or international body has come forward to take the reins on Sandalwood production and preservation. However, regular meetings occur between neighboring islands throughout the South Pacific region, to discuss and address the export and farming issues.
Sandalwood has a deep, sweet, woody and long-lasting scent, and acts as a fixative in perfume blends. It blends well with florals such as geranium, rose and tuberose; resinous oils such as myrrh, patchouli and vetiver; other woods, such as rosewood; citrus oils, such neroli and bergamot; spices, such as black pepper and clove. Sandalwood helps reduce tension and anxiety, and is moisturizing to dry skin and hair. It is believed to be an antidepressant, expectorant and aphrodisiac. Calms the mind and spirit, oily skin, soothes irritated skin, and is an aphrodisiac for men.


This native American essential oil is a delight.  Many sources treat spearmint as a milder, gentler form of peppermint, but the two oils have very different chemical makeups and very different effects.  Unlike Peppermint oil, Spearmint essential oil is calming, relaxing and uplifting, rather than stimulating.  As such, it is a useful oil in treating mental fatigue and depression. (A nice alternative to the more familiar citrus oils for these conditions.)  I use it to cool off in the summer, add it to iced tea and iced water for its sweet, minty flavor. One friend swears by it for headache's, others use in a facial soap for oily skin.  Spearmint is a proven antibacterial and antifungal so should be useful in inhalation for respiratory infections, and in topical applications for skin infections..  (Blend it with other oils and dilute well, to avoid irritation.)  It's lighthearted aroma would be a refreshing change from the more commonly recommended antibacterial oils. An inhalation of spearmint alone, or with a drop or two of lime or ginger, is said to be an appetite stimulant.  (Wonderful during the dog days of summer)


Assists the lymphatic, digestive, and circulatory systems. Use with orange and lemon for a calming blend. The sweet, comforting aroma of Tangerine promotes feelings of tranquility when inhaled, and can be applied topically to oily skin. Tangerine also maintains healthy digestive processes when massaged into the stomach in a clockwise direction. Dilute with oil or add a few drops to a moisturizing lotion and massage into the skin for arthritis, hair loss, rheumatism and dry skin conditions.  For oily skin, add a few drops to boiling water and lean over it with a towel for a steam facial, or diffuse to help ease tension and stress. Physical benefits: acne, blemishes, digestion, excess fluid, hiccups, muscle spasms, obesity, PMS, scars, stretch marks and skin toner. Psycho-Emotional Benefits: dispel stress, clear irritability, lighten fatigue, dissapate anger and nervous tension and lower anxiety. Invigorating.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree's astounding healing qualities were used by the Aborigines. It is also known to have powerful germicidal and antiseptic effects.  Tea Tree helps support the immune system. The essential oil is a powerful, antiseptic that kills bacteria, fungi and virus 12 times as effectively as  carbolic. In aromatherapy it is used for cold sores, athletes foot, nail fungus, toenail fungus, cuts, burns, acne, herpes and nappy rash.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is very effective in treating yeast and fungal infections. In recent research, Tea Tree Oil was tested for use with several different fungal infections, including candida. Tea Tree Oil was tested on twenty-six strains of various skin organisms, 54 yeasts as well as twenty-two different other strains of fungi. Tea Tree Oil inhibited growth of all of the fungi. Or add it to the bath for viral or fungal infections. Diffuse to help soothe symptoms of asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, and colds. Apply topically to ease the discomfort of insect bites, cold sores, blisters, athlete's foot, diaper rash, dandruff, chicken pox, head lice, warts, and wounds. All topical applications should be diluted, as Tea Tree Essential Oil can dry the skin too much, and if applied to direct to sensitive skin, as the face, it can leave a mild burn


I love Vetiver...but there is so much bad, burned Vetiver out there today...smelling like the ruins of last night's campfire...not the rich, sweet honeyed depth that I love.
But then a new Haitian distiller started Hydro diffusing Haitian oils, and I was gifted with a smidgeon of his Vetiver essential oil.
I fell in love with this different, lighter specimen. Hydro diffusion gives a sweeter, lighter oil. Ideal for use alone, I suspect it may have less tendency to "take over" a blend. More of a heart/bottom note than my beloved base note that I blend with so often. That means that if you are NOT a Vetiver lover, you may prefer this.   
Ylang Ylang

Tropical islanders have long credited the sweet, heady aroma of ylang ylang blossoms with the capacity to help ease the unpleasant effects of stress and nervousness. It was used by the islanders of Asia to treat insect bites and to ward off fever, and also by the Victorians for romance and as a stimulator for hair growth. Because the flower is so sensual it is the perfect aphrodisiac. The essential oil has a sweet, flowery smell which is aromatic, hypnotic, and relaxing, affecting both the mind and the emotions. It is also a rejuvenator for the skin and hair. In aromatherapy it is used to calm tension, lift negative moods and increase sensuality. Imported from Madagascar, Ylang Ylang Extra helps deliver vitality to dampened enthusiasm and uplifts depressed emotions.  
Because it is so strong, it is best used sparingly in a massage or a bath. The effect will soothe away stress, improve the mood and stimulate the senses. It is one of the best oils for calming and relaxing without sedating. 

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