Its preservative powers are often employed to lengthen the life of creams and potions. Sandal wood is a wonderful facial oil, with a soothing emollient effect on dry or sensitive skin. This oil also has a powerful relaxing effect and can alleviate upset stomachs, especially where nervous tension or stress has been a causative factor. Sandalwood also seems to have a powerful antiseptic effect that is particularly useful in the treatment of cystitis and urinary tract infections. It is also favoured for menstrual problems, as a sedative and for catarrh.
Tea tree contains four substances that do not occur anywhere else in nature and, next to thyme, is the most antiseptic of all oils. It is also strongly disinfectant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral – all qualities that make tea tree an invaluable weapon in the treatment of a multitude of infections. Similarly, it also seems to offer a boost to the body’s own immune system whenever threat of infection occurs. Tea tree should be considered when treating any of the flowing problems: colds, influenza, bronchitis and asthma, warts and verrucas, burns and inflammation, thrush and similar fungal infections, mild shock and hysteria. It can be used undiluted on facial spots and in a cream, on sunburn.
It is generally very safe, but may cause sensitization in some people.
Thyme is a strong antiseptic, perhaps the strongest of nay oil, and is also a powerful stimulant to the appetite, the immune system, and the central nervous system. Respiratory infections, coughs and asthma all seem to respond well to thyme oil, especially if used in inhalations and gargles. Note, however, that gargles must not be swallowed and care must be taken to use the thyme in low dilutions. Its use is indicated in a wide variety of fungal, bacterial and viral infections, in the treatment of wounds and sores and as an aid to the immune system.
It should not be applied undiluted to the skin or used during pregnancy, or on children’s skin. Always dilute prior to use in the bath. In fact, generally it is best used in low concentrations. There are several types of thyme, some of which can be dangerous. Only sweet thyme is safe for home use.
Ylang ylang is a native species of the Far Eastern islands of Indonesia, the Philippines, Java and Madagascar. To obtain the essential oil used in aromatherapy, the flowers are subjected to a process of steam distillation. Like most essential oils ylang ylang has a strong antiseptic effect, but it is best known for its euphoric and aphrodisiac properties. The nervous system can also benefit greatly from its relaxing powers, and its antidepressant powers can also be harnessed to treat mild shock, anger and stress. It has a calming effect on the heart-beat rate and can be used to relieve palpitations, tachycardia, hypertension (raised blood pressure), depression and shock.
It is used widely as an ingredient in skin care, having a wonderful tonic effect and gently action.
It is generally very safe, although sensitization has been reported in a small number of cases. Used excessively, it can cause nausea or headache.