As a digestive aid. Peppermint oil is superb for helping to relieve indigestion and heartburn. Put just one drop of peppermint oil into a glass of water and drink. It works much more quickly than peppermint tea due to the concentrated nature of peppermint oil. If it’s too strong for you, just dilute it (see dilution instructions below) and rub it across the tummy.
Essential oils are extremely concentrated, and it is often advisable to dilute them in a carrier oil before applying them to skin. The most popular carrier oils are almond oil and grapeseed oil, but a variety of different oils can be used. They can be added during the bottling process or mixed with the pure oil just prior to use. The latter is often preferable because you may not want diluted oil for some uses, and carrier oils often have a shorter shelf life than essential oils.
After years of carrying around this unasked question, I discovered that the term “essential oil” was coined by the sixteenth-century alchemist Paracelsus because, in his mind, these substances contained the quintessence of plants. Centuries earlier, Greek philosophers had proposed that matter appears in four forms (air, earth, fire, and water), and Aristotle had proposed a fifth form—in Latin, the quinta essentia—which would represent the essence of things. To Paracelsus, the oils represented the most concentrated form of the individual characteristics of the plant—its essence. Today, I often get a blank stare when I tell people that I breed essential oil plants. However, like most people, I love to talk about my intense interests, and given time, comfortable surroundings, maybe a cup of tea, and a willing ear, I’m likely to launch into a discussion of one of my favorite subjects—essential oils.
Properties: Traditionally, camomile essential oil has been used for almost anything you can imagine, including its use as an anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antidepressant, anti-neuralgic, antiphlogistic, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, emenagogue, analgesic, febrifuge, hepatic, sedative, nervine, digestive, tonic, bactericidal, sudorific, stomachic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, vermifuge, and vulnerary.
Health benefits: This oil protects wounds from becoming septic, increases sweating, cures rheumatism and arthritis, purifies blood, eliminates spasms, stimulates functions, and is good for the stomach. Juniper essential oil also makes gums stronger and stops hemorrhaging, reduces excess gas, promotes urination, brings color to the skin, and generally promotes quick healing of wounds.
Some essential massage oils may make their way into the placenta, an organ in your uterus that grows along with your baby and helps to nourish it. It’s not clear if this causes any problems, unless you take toxic amounts, but to be safe, it’s best to avoid certain oils if you’re pregnant. Those include wormwood, rue, oak moss, Lavandula stoechas, camphor, parsley seed, sage, and hyssop. Ask your doctor if you’re unsure.