The Use of Herbs and Spices in Aromatherapy

herbs and spices in aromatherapy

Most people use herbs and spices on a daily basis. Whether it’s cracked pepper in an omelet, basil on a pasta dish or a dash of cinnamon in your favorite dessert, herbs and spices play a big part in our culinary lives. While they certainly add a delightful burst of flavor to whatever you’re cooking, the health benefits are often overlooked. Many health benefits of herbs and spices can be gained from using them in aromatherapy.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to help promote physical, spiritual, and psychological well being. It is a holistic form of treatment, meaning that it views the body as a whole instead of focusing on each separate part. Holistic forms of treatment try to get to the underlying problem behind a particular symptom, instead of attempting to simply mask the pain with medication. Aromatherapy works as both a preventative method as well as a natural treatment for illness or discomfort.

The word ‘aromatherapy’ was originally coined in 1937 by a French perfumer and chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. He published a book titled “Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy” which contained a collection of clinical findings for using essential oils for a wide variety of symptoms. 1

Although the term ‘aromatherapy’ wasn’t coined until the 1900s, the use of aromatic plant parts for both medicinal and religious purposes dates back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used oils of cedarwood, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and myrrh in the embalming process. Infused oils were also used by the Egyptians for cosmetic, fragrance and medicinal purposes. The actual distillation of essential oils dates back approximately one thousand years and is usually attributed to the Persians in the 10th century. 2

Essential oils are highly concentrated natural plant extracts. Each has its own unique chemical composition and offers a variety of therapeutic properties, from antiviral to expectorant to antispasmodic.

When used for therapeutic purposes, essential oils can be applied topically, inhaled, and used internally to experience a wide variety of health benefits. They can also be added to natural cleaning products, beauty products, candles and massage oils.

bottles of essential oilsHow Does Aromatherapy Work?

Inhaling the relaxing scent of lavender essential oil can almost instantly ease feelings of stress and anxiety, but how does this work exactly? There’s actually a lot of science behind this seemingly simple reaction. The limbic system of your brain is primarily responsible for your emotions, but also controls the flow of adrenaline, heart rate, behavior, blood pressure, breathing, hormone balance, long-term memory, motivation and olfaction (sense of smell). Simply inhaling the scent of essential oils can instantly have a positive effect on your wellbeing. 3

Essential oils work in subtle ways on the systems of the body over time. If added to your daily routine, they can help ease nausea, muscle pain, anxiety, stress, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, circulatory problems and more. Essential oils aren’t like over-the-counter medications that simply mask one particular symptom. Aromatherapy helps ease your symptoms but also supports all the systems of your body to enhance the body’s innate healing processes.

Different Types of Aromatherapy

There are four main types of aromatherapy: cosmetic, massage, olfactory, and psycho-aromatherapy. Each of these works under the same basic principles, although differ in their execution.

  • Cosmetic aromatherapy uses essential oils in skin, body, face and hair care products. These products can be cleansers, moisturizers, lotions, shampoos, facial oils, toners and more. Healthy hair and skin can be obtained by using a blend of essential oils combined for your own needs.
  • Massage aromatherapy combines essential oils with a carrier oil to use in massage, whether hand, foot or full body.
  • Olfactory aromatherapy is what people generally think when they hear the word ‘aromatherapy’. Simply inhaling the essential oil, whether diffused throughout a room or sniffed directly from the bottle, can help improve emotional, physical and spiritual health.
  • Psycho-aromatherapy is used when particular moods or emotions need to be promoted through the use of different essential oils. Using essential oils in psychotherapy can promote feelings of relaxation and happiness or trigger good memories. 4

Ayurvedic MedicineWhat is Ayurvedic Medicine?

Ayurvedic medicine (also referred to as Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It originated in India over 3,000 years ago and to this day is one of India’s most-used health care systems. Ayurvedic medicine is based on the belief that overall health and wellness depend on the balance between mind, body and spirit. Ayurveda focuses more on promoting general good health than fighting off diseases, but treatments may be geared toward fighting particular symptoms. Ayurvedic medicine is widely known in Eastern cultures, but isn’t as well known in Western cultures.

The term ‘Ayurveda’ originates from the Sanskrit words for life (ayur) and science or knowledge (veda). Many Ayurveda practices are so old that they were not written down, merely passed through word of mouth. 5

The Basic Beliefs of Ayurveda Include:

  • All things in the universe are connected, whether living or nonliving. All things are made from five elements: fire, water, earth, air, and space.
  • The self and the environment have a deep connection.
  • Good health requires good balance.
  • Balance is often disrupted by lifestyle choices, including diet, exercise, stress, and relationships. Each of these things can create physical, emotional or spiritual imbalances.
  • Humans are all responsible for their own health. The choices we make can help us attain and maintain good health as long as we maintain a proper balance. 6

Ayurvedic medicine can be both preventative and curative, and diet plays a large part. Introducing healing herbs and spices into your diet and daily routine can help you reattain the natural balance needed to promote overall wellness.

Common Herbs and Spices Used In Natural Remedies and Preventative Medicine

Herbs and spices play a large part in natural, holistic medicine. Many of them may already be in your pantry! If you’ve ever sipped on a warm mug of echinacea tea to ward off seasonal illnesses or sucked on a ginger candy to ease nausea, you’ve already experienced simple forms of holistic medicine.

ginger on woodGinger

Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and is closely related to galangal and turmeric. Ginger has a long history of being used in various forms of alternative medicine, especially throughout China and India. It has been used to ease nausea, support digestion, and help fight off both the flu and common cold. Although less common, ginger has also been known to be used to ease muscle pain, decrease joint stiffness related to arthritis, reduce blood sugar levels and protect against infections. 7

A 2014 study conducted a meta-analysis of the efficacy of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting. Over the course of 12 different studies, ginger was shown to significantly decrease nausea symptoms, but only had a slight effect against the frequency of vomiting. 8

Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger and is responsible for many of ginger’s medicinal properties. Gingerol has been known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and even anti-cancer properties. 9 In a 2016 study published in Phytotherapy Research, the effects of 6-gingerol on human oral and cervical cancer cells was tested. The results showed that 6-gingerol was a safe and effective way to kill off cancer cells and inhibit their ability to replicate. 10

To use ginger to reduce feelings of nausea, try drinking a warm ginger tea mixed with a spoonful of honey. If you’re attempting to ward off the cold or flu, try mixing freshly minced ginger with a spoonful of honey and eating it straight!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another spice that has been used in alternative medicine for hundreds of years, and is a well-known spice in Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, cinnamon bark is often used to help enhance the bioavailability of other herbs – meaning that it helps the body absorb and circulate other herbs. Cinnamon is commonly used to soothe digestion and ease nausea. It can also be combined with other warming herbs such as ginger and black pepper in a tea to help ease symptoms of a cold. 11

Researchers have found that cinnamon actually ranks #1 out of 26 of the most popular herbs and spices in terms of antioxidant levels! 12 Aside from antioxidants, cinnamon is known for having anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antibacterial, antifungal, and carminative properties.

In terms of digestion, cinnamon can help relieve flatulence, stimulate gastric acid to promote the breakdown of food, relieve nausea and cramps, reduce acidity and increase appetite. Cinnamon is also known for having anthelmintic properties, which can help get rid of parasites in the intestines.

Cinnamon can be especially beneficial to the respiratory system due to its antibacterial, expectorant, antitussive and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon can help relieve symptoms of the common cold, ease a cough, and reduce symptoms of bronchitis by easing inflammation and helping expel mucus.

Other medicinal uses of cinnamon include increasing blood circulation, regulating menstruation, stimulating the nervous system, treating fungal infections and reducing bad breath by eliminating harmful bacteria.

When using cinnamon medicinally, it is recommended to use cinnamon sticks rather than the ground spice. If the ground spice is your only option, be sure you are purchasing high-quality cinnamon and you replace the spice every 12 months. When cinnamon is ground, the essential oils become volatilized and lose some of their efficacy. 13 Try adding a dash of cinnamon to a bowl of oatmeal, or use it in a warming tea with a handful of your other favorite herbs and spices.

black pepper on woodBlack Pepper

Adding a pinch of black pepper to a dish is almost second nature to many people. However, many people don’t know that this seemingly simple little spice actually packs a whole lot of health benefits! Black pepper can help improve digestion, promote weight loss, relieve symptoms of the common cold, alleviate a cough and boost metabolism. Black pepper is also high in antioxidants, which can help prevent and repair the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants can help prevent and reduce various signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and memory loss.

Eating black pepper can help increase the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which can in turn help aid in digestion. When the body produces an insufficient amount of hydrochloric acid, food takes longer to digest and can lead to indigestion, heartburn, gas, intestinal irritation, diarrhea or constipation. Black pepper also has carminative properties, which can help alleviate flatulence. Adding black pepper to a meal can promote both sweating and urination, which help aid the body in the release of toxins. 14

In a 2011 study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, the outer layer of black peppercorns was shown to stimulate the breakdown of fat cells, which can aid in weight loss while giving you extra energy! Ayurvedic tea made with black pepper is a common tea recommended for weight loss and is a combination of cloves, cinnamon, licorice, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper. 15

Garlic

You may already be familiar with a few of garlic’s healing benefits, as it is a common folk remedy for the cold and flu. Did your grandmother ever try to get you to eat a raw clove of garlic to ease your discomfort? There’s actually a bit of truth behind that common remedy, as the allicin released when garlic is crushed has powerful antimicrobial properties. Allicin is only briefly present in fresh garlic after it has been chopped or pressed, so it’s important to use raw garlic for medicinal purposes.

Although garlic is a popular ingredient in many dishes, throughout history the most prevalent use of garlic has been for medicinal purposes. One of the most common uses of garlic is to help ward off illnesses. In a 2001 study, the efficacy of garlic against the common cold was tested on 146 volunteers. The results of the study showed that the group who took an allicin-containing garlic supplement had significantly fewer colds and a significantly shorter duration of symptoms than those in the placebo group. 16

Garlic also helps to flush toxins from the body, purify the blood, lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood sugar levels, treat skin infections and prevent various forms of cancer. You can introduce garlic into your daily routine by making a fire cider out of garlic, horseradish, onion, ginger, hot pepper, lemon, orange, and apple cider vinegar. Take a shot of this every morning or mix it into a glass of hot water to make a tea. You can also crush up fresh garlic and spread it onto a piece of toast.

Turmeric on white backgroundTurmeric

Turmeric is most well-recognized by its bright yellow color that gives curry its distinct hue. While it is usually found in powdered form, turmeric is actually a root closely related to ginger. The main active compound in turmeric is known as curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Although curcumin has a lot of health benefits, it is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream. To reap the full health benefits, it is recommended to consume black pepper along with turmeric. Black pepper contains a natural substance called piperine, which can increase the absorption of curcumin by 2000%! 17

Turmeric has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for inflammatory conditions. In a study published in 2016, the anti-inflammatory role of curcumin against osteoarthritis was tested. The results showed that patients who took a curcumin supplement experienced less pain, improvement in physical function and general improvement in the quality of life. Patients also reported fewer side effects and a reduced need for analgesic medications during treatment. 18 Studies such as this one show that turmeric and curcumin supplements can be a healthy alternative to common anti-inflammatory treatments.

Turmeric is also known to have powerful antioxidant properties, which can protect the body against damage from free radicals and reduce signs of aging. Although more studies need to be conducted to prove the efficacy of curcumin against a variety of health conditions, it is thought to also help lower the risk of brain disease, improve heart health, prevent various types of cancer, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improve conditions for those suffering from arthritis, and ease negative emotions. 19

Rosemary

Rosemary is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family along with oregano, thyme, basil, lavender, and other common culinary herbs. While it adds a delightful flavor to many dishes, it is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. Along with many other common herbs and spices, rosemary has been used since ancient times as a treatment for a variety of conditions. It has traditionally been used to help alleviate muscle pain, boost the immune system, improve cognitive function, enhance the circulatory system and promote hair growth.

Rosemary has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help to increase blood circulation, improve immune function and fight off free radicals. Rosemary is also used to treat indigestion, protect against Alzheimer’s, slow the spread of leukemia cells and protect against macular degeneration. 20

In a 2012 study published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, the aroma of rosemary was shown to help improve performance on cognitive tasks! Twenty healthy volunteers exhibited improved concentration, performance, speed, and accuracy. 21

Rosemary is an easy herb to grow in your home, and can be added fresh to a variety of dishes. It can also be found in powdered or supplement form.

Ginseng

Ginseng is very popular in traditional Chinese medicine, and has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, increase energy levels and more. While ginseng isn’t as popular in Western cultures, it is slowly becoming more common as a form of alternative medicine.

Although they belong to different botanical families, ginseng looks similar to ginger and turmeric and can sometimes be mistaken for one of the two. One of the main health benefits of ginseng is its ability to increase energy and vitality and reduce feelings of fatigue. A 2013 research study showed that ginseng helped to lower levels of oxidative stress, fight feelings of fatigue, enhance physical activity and increase energy levels! 22

Ginseng has also been used to improve cognitive ability, reduce alcohol toxicity by increasing enzymes that assist in alcohol breakdown, relieve stress, reduce inflammation, treat erectile dysfunction, alleviate menstrual discomfort, ease symptoms of menopause, improve lung function, lower cholesterol, improve heart health, lower blood sugar levels, detox the body and aid in weight loss! While many of these claims come from a limited number of studies, ginseng can be a healthy alternative to many common medications for these conditions.

Side effects of ginseng can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, or insomnia, so it’s important to consult with a medical professional before attempting to treat any chronic condition with ginseng. Ginseng may also negatively interact with certain medications. 23

Tulsi plantTulsi

Tulsi is a common name for holy basil and is a very important herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Tulsi is considered an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that can help the body adapt to stress. Holy basil is often associated with the Hindu god Vishnu and has been used throughout history to provide both mental and physical benefits. Its health benefits are so varied that it has even been referred to as the ‘elixir of life’.

Tulsi can help improve digestion, promote cardiovascular health and boost the immune system. In India, it is often used as an aid to meditation to help promote a relaxed state of mind. It is thought to improve memory, enhance circulation and has even been used as a natural treatment for ADD, ADHD, and depression. Tulsi has also been used to balance hormones, maintain healthy levels of cortisol and regulate blood sugar levels. It can help promote healthy liver function, eliminate harmful toxins from the body and strengthen the kidneys. Tulsi is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting against damage from free radicals!

Because of its wide variety of health benefits, Tulsi is a wonderful herb to add to your daily routine, whether taking it in supplement form, drinking it as a tea or simply adding a few fresh leaves of it to your dinner. While tulsi does not have a long list of side effects, it has been known to thin the blood slightly and shouldn’t be used by people who are taking blood thinning medications. Because it has the ability to lower blood sugar, it should not be used by anyone with hypoglycemia. 24

Fennel

Fennel is known for its licorice-like flavor, which is wonderful in both teas and culinary dishes alike. It also boasts a wide range of health benefits, from relieving flatulence to preventing anemia to treating indigestion!

Particularly in India, it is common practice to chew fennel seeds after meals. While this helps eliminate bad breath, it is also done to help facilitate digestion. Chewing fennel seeds can stimulate the secretion of gastric juices and reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Fennel can also help relieve constipation by maintaining proper peristaltic motion of the intestines, reduce acidity and facilitate proper absorption of nutrients from food.

Fennel is thought to help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce cholesterol levels, improve immune response, reduce inflammation, boost metabolism, aid in weight loss, increase iron absorption and regulate menstruation. Fennel is also useful in treating respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, congestion, and cough due to its expectorant properties. 25

A great way of adding fennel into your daily routine is to take one teaspoon of dried fennel seeds and add to hot water to make a tea. You can also use fresh fennel in soups, stews, and roasts!

spearmint plant on white backgroundSpearmint

While there are many varieties of mint, spearmint and peppermint are generally the most common. In Ayurveda, spearmint is a cooling herb that is often used to treat digestive issues, promote respiratory health, reducing fevers, and easing the pain of headaches. While spearmint and peppermint have similar health benefits, spearmint is often thought of as a more milder mint that is good for use with children.

Spearmint can be used to relieve nausea, alleviate symptoms of a cough and cold, reduce a headache and sinus pain, ease feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, and provide relief from the pain of menstrual cramps. Fresh spearmint leaves can be used in a tea to benefit from all of these therapeutic properties. Fresh leaves can also be added to desserts, smoothies, salads or simply a glass of water!

Coriander

Coriander, also referred to as cilantro, is often used as a garnish on many dishes around the world. In America, ‘coriander’ commonly means the seeds of the cilantro plant, while other parts of the world simply refer to the whole plant as coriander! Many people write off this herb as a simple decoration and it often gets tossed in the trash at the end of a meal. However, this simple herb offers a wide variety of health benefits. In Ayurvedic medicine, coriander is often used as a digestive aid. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to treat nausea, hernias, toothache, measles, and hemorrhoids.

Coriander is commonly used in the form of a tea to treat digestive disorders. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, coriander was proven to help with indigestion, relieve flatulence, lower blood pressure and release toxins from the body due to its diuretic properties. Coriander also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis. 26

Cardamom

Cardamom seeds are commonly used for flavoring in coffee, desserts, bread, and other dishes. Traditionally, cardamom has been used in India and other Asian countries to treat diarrhea, depression, heart disorders, dysentery, and nausea. The seed has powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and is often used to ease feelings of stress and anxiety. A daily dose of cardamom can help maintain general health, ease insomnia and improve eyesight. 27

A study published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 2009 studied the effects of cardamom on blood pressure in 20 people diagnosed with hypertension. The participants were given 3g of cardamom powder for 12 weeks, with blood pressure being monitored throughout the study. The results showed that the daily dose of cardamom significantly lowered blood pressure and significantly increased fibrinolytic activity. 28 The results of this study are thought to be linked to both the high antioxidant and diuretic properties of cardamom.

Cardamom is also thought to help fight off cancer cells, reduce the risk of developing a  chronic illness, heal ulcers and treat bacterial infections. Cardamom can easily be added to your favorite dessert, mixed into a warm mug of hot chocolate, or taken as a supplement.

Clove

Many of us are familiar with cloves, but where do they really come from? This common spice is native to East Asia, and whole cloves are actually dried flower buds! Cloves are most often used to add flavor to East Asian dishes, but they also offer a wide variety of health benefits. Adding cloves to your daily routine can help improve digestion, protect your liver, fight inflammation, support oral health, ease the pain of headaches, relieve stress, fight infections, support healthy bones and prevent stomach ulcers. 29

One of the most common uses of cloves in natural medicine is to support oral health. In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, the anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis effects of an herbal mouth rinse were tested. The mouth rinse included tea tree, clove, and basil, and was compared to a commercially available mouth rinse. The results showed that the mouth rinse that contained clove was actually more effective against harmful bacteria than the commercially available rinse! Both were effective against plaque and gingivitis, showing that clove can help promote oral health. 30

Cloves are available in both dried and powdered form and can be added to a wide variety of dishes such as desserts, curries or chutneys. They can also be mixed into a homemade chai tea with a variety of other healing herbs and spices.

Essential Oils From Herbs and Spices

Most of your favorite herbs and spices can also be found in essential oil form. This highly concentrated version offers major health benefits in just a drop or two! Whether you’re diffusing them throughout your home, adding a few drops to a relaxing bath or mixing into homemade beauty products, the benefits of herbs and spices have never been easier to reap.

Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil is commonly used to improve digestion, support the respiratory system, prevent infections, reduce inflammation and alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

It is sometimes referred to as the “oil of empowerment” due to the spicy scent which promotes feelings of confidence and self assurance. For an easy way to boost your mood, diffuse ginger essential oil throughout your home. You can also take a drop of this essential oil internally to kill gastrointestinal infections such as food poisoning. To treat nausea, try mixing a few drops of ginger essential oil to a warm carrier oil and massage gently over the stomach.

This essential oil can be found in MONQ’s Relieve, Vibrant and Love personal diffuser blends.

pile of cinnamon barkCinnamon Bark and Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oils

Two different types of essential oil are distilled from C. zeylanicum – cinnamon bark and cinnamon leaf. Cinnamon bark essential oil is high in cinnamaldehyde, while cinnamon leaf essential oil is high in eugenol. This makes cinnamon bark essential oil harsher on the skin, so cinnamon leaf is often recommended for topical use.

Cinnamon bark essential oil contains cinnamaldehyde, carophyllene, cinnamyl acetate, linalool, and eugenol. It is known to have antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic, and carminative properties.

Cinnamon bark essential oil can be used to prevent infections, boost the immune system, ease digestive upsets, support respiratory health, support oral health, relieve the pain of sore muscles and joints, alleviate stress and support cardiovascular health. To benefit from this essential oil, diffuse it throughout your home.

Cinnamon leaf essential oil also contains cinnamaldehyde, linalool, and eugenol. It is known for its antiseptic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, and stress reducing properties, as well as its ability to support heart health and boost energy levels. Cinnamon leaf essential oil can be used to improve cognitive function, ease the pain of headaches, promote weight loss, support heart health and maintain digestive health. To benefit from this essential oil, diffuse throughout your home, add to a relaxing massage oil, or add a drop to a mug of tea.

Black Pepper Essential Oil

The health benefits of black pepper essential oil are all due to its chemical composition, which includes beneficial terpenes such as a-pinene, b-pinene, camphene, myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene and many others. It is known for its ability to alleviate feelings of fatigue, promote healthy circulation, ease muscle and joint pain, relieve stress, heal minor wounds and bruises, relieve spasms and improve digestion.

To ease digestive upsets or eliminate excess gas, try mixing a few drops of black pepper essential oil to a carrier oil and gently massaging onto the lower abdomen. For muscle pain, add a few drops of this essential oil to a warm bath. Diffusing this oil throughout your home can help fight fatigue and boost your mood, as well as promote general wellbeing! Black pepper essential oil can also be found in MONQ’s Active blend.

Turmeric Essential Oil

Turmeric essential oil contains curcumin, ar-turmerone, alpha-turmerone and beta-turmerone, among others. All of these compounds work together to help promote healthy skin, ease muscle pain, improve mood, boost immune system function, improve respiratory function and support the digestive system!

To support the immune system during cold and flu season, try diffusing a few drops of turmeric essential oil throughout your home. If you’re suffering from muscle or joint pain, add a few drops to a warm bath or mix into a soothing massage oil blend. This essential oil is great for treating acne and reducing the appearance of scars; try adding a drop to your daily cleanser or moisturizer. Turmeric essential oil can also be found in MONQ’s Healthy and Forest personal diffuser blends for a quick pick-me-up on the go.

field on rosemaryRosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is composed of 1,8 cineole, a-pinene, b-pinene, camphene, camphor, limonene, and a variety of other terpenes. Its many health benefits are all due to its varied chemical composition. Rosemary essential oil is commonly used to improve mental clarity, relieve the pain of headaches, fight bacterial infections, alleviatea cough, support digestive health, relieve stress, ease muscle and joint pain and boost the immune system!

Alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety by diffusing rosemary essential oil throughout your home, relieve pain by adding to a gentle massage oil, or improve respiratory function by breathing it in through steam inhalation.

Caraway Seed Essential Oil

Caraway seed essential oil is packed with beneficial compounds that work together to provide a wide range of healing properties. The main component of caraway essential oil is carvone, which can help stimulate digestion and support weight loss. Limonene provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, while carvacrol acts as a powerful antibacterial. A-pinene relieves stress, linalool can help improve sleep quality, and anethole can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Caraway essential oil can be used to relieve symptoms of a cold, alleviate stress and anxiety, improve the appearance of skin, support heart health, improve digestion, ease muscle pain and support immune system function.

HAPPY-4Caraway essential oil can be used in a variety of ways. Mix it with a carrier oil to make a relaxing massage oil, add a few drops to a bath, or diffuse throughout your home. This essential oil can also be found in MONQ’s Sexy, Vibrant, Happy and Healthy diffusers.

Parsley and Parsley Seed Essential Oils

Parsley essential oil is a powerhouse of health benefits. It is known for its anti-flatulent, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and stomachic properties – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Parsley essential oil can be used to detoxify the body, relieve muscle and joint pain, ease nausea, promote proper digestion and improve circulation. Try using parsley essential oil in a massage blend to ease sore muscles, reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, or promote digestion.

Parsley seed essential oil is steam distilled from the same plant and is also helpful in regulating menstrual cycles, promoting weight loss, reducing water retention and relieving nausea.

Final Thoughts

The list of essential oils distilled from herbs and spices goes on and on – you can use lavender for promoting a good night of sleep, peppermint to reduce fevers, clove bud to promote oral health and rosemary to ease muscle pain. Depending on your own particular symptoms, you can create a unique mix of essential oils to add to a massage oil, diffuse throughout your home or mix in with homemade beauty products. Whether you’re adding fresh herbs and spices to your daily meals or using their essential oils in home aromatherapy, these powerful plants can do wonders for your health.

Photo credits: patchii/shutterstock.com, NilaNewsom/shutterstock.com, EvgenyKarandaev/shutterstock.com


Kiri Rowan

By Kiri Rowan

Kiri Rowan is a writer, photographer, and traveler with a strong interest in alternative medicine. She helps friends, family, and other travelers treat their symptoms with essential oils and medicinal plants.

Favorite MONQ blend: Vibrant

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers.

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