These less-well-known options are antibacterial and combine well with massage oil or a light lotion.
1. Cypress. This vasoconstrictor can diminish the appearance of varicose veins over time if used everyday.
How to use it: Add 2 drops to a hot foot bath to control perspiration and odor; place 6 drops in a full bath for arthritis, asthma, and cramps; or blend 2 drops into 1 ounce of lotion and apply to skin.
2. Eucalyptus. Ideal for treating most respiratory problems and relieving muscle tension, eucalyptus loosens cold and flu congestion.
How to use it: To make a natural vapor rub, add 1 ounce melted beeswax to a 1 ½ cup sweet almond or vegetable oil; pour into small containers. Mix in 30-40 drops of essential oil per ounce of base, shake, let it harden, and apply to chest and back.
3. Geranium. Less expensive than rose oil, geranium relieves PMS symptoms, stress, and anxiety. It also helps clear up eczema, treats burns, and repels insects.
How to use it: Mix 5 drops into a hot bath or blend a few drops with lotion and apply to skin.
4. Jasmine. Use this anti-depressant oil to ease muscle pain, relieve tension and nervousness, and soothe coughs.
How to use it: Add 1-2 drops to a hot bath.
5. Mandarin. A mild sedative, mandarin has an uplifting effect and is safe for children.
How to use it: Add 7-10 drops to a bath; add 3 drops to humidifier water.
Source: Ingrid Martin, author of Aromatherapy for Massage Practitioners (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2006).
Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit deliciouslivingmag.com for more articles and free recipes.