As you scroll through your Facebook feed or sip wine at a friend’s party, chances are you’ll hear someone talking about the power of essential oils. They seem to be everywhere these days, and it can be hard to determine which ones are worth trying. Essential oils are used for everything from physical health problems like fungal infections to emotional concerns like anxiety or depression. They have been used for thousands of years as both medicine and perfumes. Essential oils are even included in many religions’ rituals and practices.

Several studies have found that when healthcare providers use essential oils with their pregnant patients, the women not only report less anxiety and fear, but their pain level and nausea are improved as well. Essential oils have been helpful for hair loss, constipation, and psoriasis. Smelling some essential oils could even help you feel better during a colonoscopy! Those are some powerful little plants.

Because essential oils, like all natural remedies and supplements, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are not guaranteed to be safe or effective. It’s important to always be cautious and talk with your doctor if you have any questions about how essential oils will affect your health and any medications you’re currently taking.

Evening primrose oil

If you’re used to suffering all winter with red, chapped hands and skin, evening primrose oil is here to help. This essential oil has been proven to improve the itching and dry skin caused by eczema and dermatitis. As the mother of a child with eczema, I would be willing to try anything that will keep her from itching her skin off. Evening primrose has even been used by Native Americans to treat bruises, open wounds, and sore throats.

Evening primrose oil can also help with premenstrual syndrome (PMS)! When you take a supplement of it by mouth, it should help with common PMS symptoms like breast pain. Now if it only took care of those chocolate cravings.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil comes from leaves and can be applied directly to your skin. It is helpful for acne, as well as other skin infections. Studies have shown that using tea tree oil can help with the inflammation and number of pimples on your skin. So instead of trying to cover it up with makeup, it might be a better idea to apply a little tea tree oil every night.

Tea tree oil is also thought to have antiseptic properties, so it can treat and possibly even prevent some infections. It could help with fungal skin infections of the nail or athlete’s foot. With all those horrifying stories of dirty nail salons, I’m planning to apply a few drops of tea tree oil before my next pedicure.

Tea tree oil can be mildly irritating to your skin, so if you know you have sensitive skin watch out for that. Make sure to stick with the recommended amount and never go over that.

Grapefruit seed extract

Next time you enjoy half a grapefruit in the morning, hang on to the seeds and pulp. That’s where grapefruit seed extract comes from. Grapefruit seed extract is a natural detoxifier and can help our immune systems fight off infection. Taking it by mouth can help with tummy troubles like diarrhea and even food poisoning.

While grapefruit seed extract is loaded with health benefits, make sure to read the label before you buy it. Many store-bought varieties can be loaded with chemicals and preservatives, which pretty much defeats the purpose of trying this natural remedy. For this reason, physician Andrew Weil, M.D. recommends only using grapefruit seed extract on your skin, as opposed to taking it by mouth. Dr. Weil suggests placing some of the oil on your nails to treat nail fungus or even spraying it around your kitchen to prevent mildew. That sounds like a much better way to take care of that buildup in the shower than spending your weekends scrubbing it down with harsh chemicals.

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