I failed to mention on my lemon post that I took the U of MN Extension Master Gardeners core course last year and after volunteering for a year, I am officially a Master Gardener! I love gardens, planting, and knowing that I have grown something we are eating or using. Which is why my posts on oils will often tell you more about the original plant than other posts. I plan to grow as many of my own plants for further research and use.
I am not a medical professional. What I share with you I have read while doing research on each of the oils. I also will share my personal experiences.
I am a Young Living Independent Distributor. Feel free to send me a private message if you have any question.
Young Living says, “Apply PanAway® after exercise or to the neck and back anytime for a soothing and stimulating aromatic experience.”
Young Living says “Wintergreen’s refreshing minty aroma is stimulating and invigorating. It is a great addition to lotions that are applied after activity.”
Wintergreen’s latin name is Gaultheria procumbens (G. procumbens). The plant is also called the eastern teaberry, the checkerberry, or the boxberry. Wintergreen is a short shrub only growing about 6″ tall. It grows well in zones 3-8 which means I can grow it here on my farm in Minnesota – another things to add to the list. I may have actually come across a wintergreen plant in the neighbors field – I will let you know once I find out for certain. The fruits of G. procumbens are edible with a taste of mildy sweet wintergreen. The leaves and branches are listed on some sites as making an herbal tea, but be cautious, I have read other reports that it is not safe for consumption. For the leaves to yield significant amounts of their essential oil, they need to be fermented for at least three days. This oil is NOT considered safe for human consumption so keep out of the reach of children.
The main chemical components of wintergreen oil are menthyl salicylate (85-99%) which accounts for almost all the health-promoting properties. It is topically soothing. It also contains guaiadiene, a-pinene, myrcene, delta 3-carene, limonene and delta-cadinene. Menthyl Salicylate (85-99% of wintergreen’s makeup).
Wintergreen is a traditional native North American remedy. It was used for aches and pains, and to help with breathing while hunting or carrying heavy loads. The clean and minty scent of this herbal oil is associated with relieving pain and stimulating mental well-being; as well as its ability to clear the airway. It is also useful in dissolving gum residue.
Young Living says, “Helichrysum is a great oil to diffuse when studying or doing homework, Helichrysum has a stimulating aroma that no home should be without.”
Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant of the daisy family. It is sometimes called the Golden Eternal Flower, Everlasting, Strawflower, Curry Plant, Immortelle, and Curry or Licorice Plant because of the strong smell of its leaves. It can reach 2 feet or more in height. The yellow flowers come out in summer and they keep their color after picking. It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground in Zones 8-11 (native to France, Italy) which make it another plant for my indoor herb garden – although the height might be a little problematic. The oil comes from its blossoms and steam distillation occurs within 24 hours of harvesting.
Helichrysum contains a fairly high level of Neryl Acetate, and has a high level of Sesquiterpene Hydrocarbons and Diketones. These main components contribute to relieving, relaxing, and reducing tissues in the area of an injury, sleeping better, more focus, and improving mood.
Europeans historically used Helichrysum to help with wounds, infections, digestive problems, supporting the nervous system, heart health, healing respiratory conditions, and for attracting a lover. To use helichrysum essential oil for soothing skin, combine it with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil and rub the mixture onto the affected area. I was excited to see that applying helichrysum mixed with lavender oil can help cool and soothe itching after an encounter with poison ivy.
Young Living says “Clove is an important ingredient in Young Living’s Thieves oil blend, and has a scent that is very warm and inviting. Always dilute Clove when using topically.”
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) oil is steam distilled from the flower buds. The clove tree is an evergreen that grows about 30′ – 40′ tall and is an ultra-tropical tree which will not survive temperatures below 50F, or above 100F. It requires a humid climate with 50 to 70 inches of rainfall annually; well-drained, fertile loam; and a position in full sun or part shade. I will not be able to grow this tree indoors because my indoor temperature will occasionally drop below 50 in the winter. The buds start out a pale, milky white color, which gradually shifts to green. Just before blooming, the flower buds take on a deep red color – it is at this stage that they are ready to be picked. If allowed to flower, the plant produces a striking pink flower, which is then followed by purple berries. The fruit, called mother-of-cloves, is an edible purple berry about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch across. The entire plant is extremely aromatic.
Cloves contain – among other compounds – gallotannins, triterpenes, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Oil derived from Cloves contains additional compounds including 60–90% eugenol, acetyl eugenol, caryophyllene and other minor constituents.
Clove has a long history as a folk remedy for toothache. Pakistan folk medicine used cloves to treat the common cold, cough and flu to more serious conditions such as asthma, jaundice and heat stroke. Europeans used clove tea as a digestive aid. Traditional Chinese medicine used cloves to treat fungal infections, diarrhea, hernia, hiccups, indigestion, intestinal parasites, impotence, ringworm, and kidney disorders. During the Middle Ages, cloves were used to cure the plague and were also considered an aphrodisiac due to the similarity in shape to the human penis. I know a ballerina who uses it on her feet and legs diluted by a carrier oil to help with sore and achey muscles after hours of dancing.
Young Living says “Fresh, nostalgic, and instantly recognizable, Peppermint essential oil’s scent invigorates the mind and senses, while inspiring a sense of peace. Used topically, Peppermint oil creates a cool, tingling sensation on the skin, making it a favorite for sports massage. When your day is dragging—through a workout, class, or day at work—enjoy some Peppermint oil benefits by applying it to your head and neck. The refreshing aroma will give you a boost of positivity!”
Mentha piperita aka peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint. It originally grew in Europe and the Middle East. It grows about 12–35 in tall. If you find a plant you think is mint, check for a square stem: if it is square you know it is part of the mint family and it is edible. Did you know that creeping charlie is a mint? Peppermint will grow invasive in zones 3-7, so plant with caution. It won’t tolerate dry conditions. While partial sun is sufficient for peppermint, planting it in full sun will increase the potency of its oils and medicinal qualities. I have not yet planted peppermint, but it is on this list to add to one of my pots on the patio this year. oil that is produced and harvested from the leaves just before the plant begins to flower.
Peppermint has a high menthol content. The oil also contains menthone and carboxyl esters, particularly menthyl acetate. Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene. Menthol is an organic compound that produces a cooling sensation when applied to the mouth or skin.
The Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all have historical record of using peppermint medicinally. Chewing a few peppermint leaves was thought to relieve a toothache. Indigestion, cold and flu sufferers could find some relief by drinking peppermint tea. Peppermint oil was found useful in combating flatulence and mild indigestion. Many over-the-counter stomach aids today contain peppermint to both enhance the taste as well as the effectiveness of the medicine. Be cautious peppermint is something of a trigger food for many suffering from acid reflux and may cause their symptoms to worsen. Also be cautious when using peppermint around small children as it can be overwhelming and cause scary breathing issues. Our family uses peppermint as a key ingredient our focusing blend, headache blend, and in our seasonal support blend. I like to use a drop in my water after a big meal too.