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Essential Oils for Folk Medicine

Essential Oils have been used as folk medicine to remedy a variety of maladies since Biblical times. Prior to modern day pharmacies and hospitals, if you became ill in 2000 B.C., your physician might have recommended an aromatherapy bath and/or massage. The Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is reputed to have said that the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day. After dismissing such claims as folk lore for years, in recent years modern scientists have begun to re-examine these herbal remedies, and have made some surprising discoveries... or, should we say, rediscoveries, regarding the effects of essential oils on the human body.

The essential oils listed in the chart below all have medicinal value, both in folk tradition, and now backed with scientific evidence too! Whether you're interested in essential oils for their healing benefits, aromatherapy and mood enhancing benefits, or just because they smell nice, this chart should help you learn some of the benefits of the more common essential oils used for aromatherapy and healing purposes.

  Essential Oils for Folk Medicine

Therapeutic use (according to folk tradition):

  • Bergamot....................Fevers, acne, tension, wounds, coughs, stress, and as an antidepressant
  • Black Pepper..............Colds, aches and pains, influenza, flatulence, and rheumatism
  • Cedarwood.................Bronchitis, catarrh, acne, arthritis, and as a diuretic
  • Chamomile.................Nerves, migraines, acne, inflammation, insomnia, menstrual problems, and dermatitis
  • Clary Sage.................Depresseion, nerves, sore throat, aches and pains, debility, and as a sedative
  • Coriander...................Indigestion, influenza, fatigue, rheumatism, flatulence, nervousness, and as an analgesic
  • Eucalyptus................Sore throat, coughts, bronchitis, sinusitis, skin infections, ulcers, sores, rheumatism, aches and pains, and as an antiseptic and/or anti-inflammatory
  • Frankincense............Sores, wounds, fevers, coughts, colds, stress, bronchitis, laryngitis, nervous conditions, tension
  • Geranium Rose............Depression, menstrual problems, diarrhea, diabetes, sores, neuralgia, bleeding, circulatory conditions, eczema, sore throat, nervous tension, and kidney stones
  • Ginger.......................Rheumatism, muscular aches and pains, sprains, broken bones, colds, nausea, diarrhea, alcoholism, and digestive disorders
  • Lavender...................Burns, inflammation, cuts, wounds, eczema, dermatitis, fainting, headache, influenza, insomnia, hysteria, migrines, nausea, nervous tension, infection, bacterial condeitions, sores, ulcers, acne, boils, asthma, rheumatism, and arthritis
  • Lemon.....................Sore throat, nervous conditions, blood pressure, digestive problems, gallstones, debility, fever, anxiety, and as a tonic, astringent, or antiseptic
  • Lemongrass.............Infections, headache, sore throat, respiratory problems, fever, and as a tonic, antiseptic, or insect repellent
  • Lime........................Fever, rheumatism, sore throat, headache, anorexia, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, and as an astringent or tonic
  • Marjoram.................Sprains, bruises, colds, rheumatism, intestinal cramps, menstrual problems, anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, insomnia, circulatory disorders, and muscular problems
  • Orange....................Depression, anxiety, constipation, nervous conditions, muscular spasms, and as a tonic, sedative, or antiseptic
  • Patchouli.................Skin inflammation, fungal infection, acne, eczema, dandruff, and as an antiseptic, diuretic, or insecticide
  • Peppermint..............Inflammation, nausea, indigestion, fever, flatulence, headache, migraines, liver problems, arthritis, and as a stimulant
  • Petitgrain.................Anxiety, insomnia, depression, and as an antiseptic, tonic, or aid to convalescence
  • Pink Grapefruit.........As a tonic, obesity, kidney and liver problems, migraines, depression, and an aid for drug withdrawl
  • Rosemary.................Gout, headache, fatigue, rheumatism, skin infections, muscular aches and pains, sprains, dandruff, alopecia, obnesity, spinal injuries, and as a nerve stimulant, heart tonic, liver decongestant, or analgesic
  • Rosewood................Antiseptic, depression, aphrodisiac, bacterial infections, cephalic, cytophylactic, deodorant, and as a stimulant
  • Spearmint................Flatulence, indigestion, intestinal cramps, fever, nausea, colic, and hemorrhoids
  • Tangerine.................Antiseptic, muscle spasms, carminative, dipurative, digestive aid, diuretic, sedative, and as a tonic
  • Tea Tree..................Fungal infections, viral and bacterial infections, colds, influenza, cold sores, warts, verrucas, inflammation, acne, burns, candida, shock, and hysteria
  • Ylang Ylang.............Palpitations, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and as a sedative or general tonic


You may also be interested in learning about our disinfecting essential oils or our essential oils for skin care purposes.

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