Herbal Essential Oils
Throughout this year our friends in Europe will be remembering the tragedies and horrors of the Great War (1914- 1918). Because of this, when I began writing this article I was reminded of a famous French Professor (Rene-Maurice Gattefosse) who experimented with herbal remedies. He made essential oils from herbs and used the herbal essences he produced on soldiers wounded during this dreadful war.
He discovered that essential oils, particularly lavender oil were superior to antiseptics at counteracting the toxic substances produced by decaying wound tissue.
Professor Gattefosse also told a more personal story of his herbal remedy success with lavender oil. He recorded in his journals that he burned his hand badly in the laboratory during an experiment. After a couple of days his hand started to turn gangrenous. He decide to use lavender oil on the wound and found that the oil not only immediately eliminated the pain, but also caused the skin to heal rapidly. Within a few days his hand was perfectly cured.
This last story is one of thousands of stories that record how herbal essential oils can be used as herbal remedies in order to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Thankfully, after many years of neglect we are beginning to discover the power of using herbs in this way and, with a little care, you can join this revival of interest.
The Development of Aromatherapy with Herbal Essential Oils
A student of Gattfosse (Madame Maury) who also started making essential oils from herbs was also very interested in the healing properties of the essential oils she produced. She continued the work that Gatfosse started and eventually developed the massage techniques and treatments that are now associated with aromatherapy.
As you are probably well aware, trained aromatherapists regard their treatment as holistic. Their claim is that when aromatherapy is carried out properly it can be a powerful means of strengthening the bodies natural defense systems. The aromatherapist uses essential oils as part of the therapy – for massage and in baths and inhalations.
Herbal Remedies – Using Your Herbal Infusions & Essential Oils
And so now that you have established your own herb garden you can start investigating herbal remedies using the herbs you’ve grown. One of the best ways of doing this is to make herbal infusions. (Read my earlier article to find out the difference between herbal essence infusions and concentrated herbal essences).
Your herbal infusions can be used in your cooking in the same way you would use herbs, but why not also try them out as herbal remedies for a wide range of illnesses and ailments.
Many of the herbal remedies I have mentioned below have been used for hundreds of years to cure and promote health. As I mentioned in my article on herbal infusions, it may not be possible for you to make sufficient quantities of the concentrated herbal essential oils yourself, but you can make herbal infusions and experiment with using them.
You can buy the concentrated herbal essential oils from on-line or local suppliers and use these as herbal remedies alongside your own herbal infusions. I have provided links to good quality suppliers of herbal essential oils to help you get hold of any oils you might want to try.
Making herbal infusions can be very rewarding, especially once you start to use some of them for home aromatherapy and herbal baths. If you intend to use your herbal infusions and herbal essential oils medicinally as herbal health remedies, carry out some research first to find out how and where you can use them, especially if you intend to use them as oral treatments.
Also, if you intend to use essential oils for more serious health conditions its a good idea to check with you doctor first.
Herbal Remedies Using Some Popular Herbal Essential Oils
Basil makes an uplifting and energizing herbal oil. It’s sometimes used to combat depression.One drop will help to sooth a wasp sting, but avoid overuse – it can irritate some skins
A fresh and uplifting oil that also has antiseptic properties (lots of herbs do). It is often used to help with anxiety and depression and to stimulate the appetite
Refreshing and relaxing. Good for relieving dull aches. It has been used to combat depression and insomnia, and is also good for skin conditions
Use to soothe and calm. Has antiseptic properties. Good decongestant. Good for fatigue. Reputed to help with low blood pressure and respiratory problems
Sweet and uplifting. Has been known to help combat nervous conditions and rheumatic pain
Anti-toxic – often used to combat poisons. Diuretic. Do not give to epileptics or children under 6 years of age
Refreshing and relaxing. Repels insects. Cleanses the skin. Most often used in aromatherapy
Refreshing and soothing. Good antiseptic properties. Good for repelling insects. Helps with insomnia, headaches and muscular pains
This oil revitalizes. It also has antiseptic properties. Has been used to help with blood circulation problems, acne and oily skin
An Invigorating oil. Antiseptic properties. Also good for pain relief. Often used to help with shock and fatigue, travel sickness, headaches and toothache
Stimulant. Also a nerve tonic. Antiseptic properties. Often used to help with fatigue, depression , poor circulation and respiratory problems
A good oil for toning and invigorating. Also an insect repellent. Often used to help with fatigue, circulatory problems and headaches
Calming and warming. Often used to relieve tension and help with insomnia and high blood pressure
Further Information on Making Essential Oils from Herbs
Want to learn more? There’s lots of additional information on herbal remedies and making herbal infusions and herbal essential oils from herbs in my Herb Gardening eBook “The Secrets of Successful Herb Gardening”.
Happy herb gardening,