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Sharp Health News

Healing power of essential oils (infographic)

Dec. 23, 2015

Have you ever noticed how the scent of a freshly cut lemon can make you feel instantly refreshed and uplifted? That's the power of essential oils: potent plant extracts that can help enhance your emotional well-being, improve your mental state and treat common health conditions.

Victoria Risovanny, licensed acupuncturist at Sharp Coronado Hospital's Sewall Healthy Living Center, practices Aroma Acupoint Therapy, where she applies essential oils to acupuncture points to treat a wide range of physical and emotional ailments.

"By alleviating pain, reducing nausea, promoting relaxation and improving sleep, essential oils can help a person's overall health as well as a patient's recovery," says Risovanny.

You can use essential oils at home in a diffuser, in the bath or directly on the skin when mixed with carrier oils such as sweet almond, coconut or olive oil. To help you get started, we outline 9 of the most common essential oils.

Essential oils such as lavender and chamomile have long been thought to cure medical ailments. “By alleviating pain, reducing nausea, promoting relaxation and improving sleep, essential oils can help a person’s overall health as well as a patient’s recovery,” says Victoria Risovanny, an acupuncturist at Sharp Coronado Hospital. Learn how your favorite scent can do more than just freshen a room. Bergamot. Bergamot helps calm nerves and promotes optimism. It can also help relieve urinary tract infections and shingles symptoms. Use it in a diffuser or bath; however, to avoid stinging sensitive skin, add a few drops of oil to a carrier agent such as milk or cream and then add the mixture to the bath. Direct exposure to the sun is not recommended after using this oil, even when diluted in a carrier scent. Chamomile. Chamomile helps relieve stress and irritability. It also helps ease muscle spasms, arthritis and PMS. It can be used in a diffuser or bath. Lavender. Lavender helps to reduce emotional overload and panic. It can help calm headaches, insomnia and flu symptoms, and also soothe burns. Use it in a diffuser or bath or topically on the skin. Lemon. Lemon helps concentration and acts as a natural antiseptic. Use it in a diffuser or bath. Peppermint. Peppermint helps clear and wake up the mind. It also helps nausea, indigestion and congestion. Use it in a diffuser or added to a carrier oil. Rosemary. Rosemary helps sharpen the mind and memory and can help improve circulation and sinus issues. Use it in a diffuser or bath. Sandalwood. Sandalwood helps fight fearfulness and low energy. It also moisturizes chapped skin and helps ease coughs and colic. Use it in a diffuser, bath or added to a carrier oil. Tea Tree. Tea tree oil helps improve morale and ease tension. It can help minimize acne and fungus and helps soothe burns. Use it in a diffuser or added to a carrier oil. Ylang-Ylang. Ylang-ylang helps promote joy and sensuality. It can also help relieve hypertension and heart palpitations. Use it in a diffuser or bath.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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