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What are the Most Common Aromatherapy Herbs?

By Constance Simmons
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are hundreds of aromatherapy herbs to choose from when looking for the right one to cure physical and mental ailments. Among the most common are lavender, tea tree, rosemary, sage, lemongrass, parsley, thyme, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Aromatherapy herbs are popular because of their antiseptic characteristics. Some of them are also said to have qualities that can improve a person's mental state. They are most often used in the form of essential oils that are derived primarily from the distillation of leaves and branches.

One of the most well-known aromatherapy herbs is lavender. This is typically derived from a plant in the mint family that produces flowers. It is used widely in aromatherapy for relaxation purposes. The scent is known to have a calming effect on users. For this reason, it is used for conditions like stress and insomnia. In addition to a relaxation aid, lavender also has antiseptic qualities and is sometimes used on insect bites to decrease inflammation and speed healing.

Rosemary is also widely used in aromatherapy. Essential rosemary oil comes from an evergreen tree with needle-like leaves. It is often used to help individuals who are congested or having breathing problems, because of its expectorant qualities. Rosemary is also used to assist people suffering from muscle pain and poor circulation. In addition to these physical problems, this herb is also said to be beneficial for those with memory difficulties.

For women experiencing adverse symptoms of menopause, sage is often used. It is said to relieve menopausal symptoms, like water retention. It is also known to help people express their emotions. Other ailments that sage is sometimes used for include constipation and muscle pain.

Thyme is an aromatherapy herb that may be better known for its use in cooking. Despite this, it is widely used in aromatherapy practice to soothe many conditions. For women, it can stimulate menstruation. It is also known to ease muscle pain. Like many other aromatherapy herbs, thyme can help breathing issues, like coughing, and can also stimulate the immune system.

Eucalyptus, which is native to Australia, is also an increasingly popular aromatherapy herb. It has antiseptic and antiviral qualities. In addition to this, it is also known to improve circulation, and help those experiencing pain from arthritis. Eucalyptus is also sometimes used as an insect repellent.

Peppermint, which may be more popular as a gum flavoring or ingredient in foods, is also reputed to have numerous healing qualities. This aromatherapy herb is known to aid digestion and decrease abdominal gas. It can also be used to increase circulation and reduce fever.

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Discussion Comments
By Kristee — On Sep 17, 2012

I've always heard that lavender is great for promoting relaxation, but I just don't like the scent. To me, it smells like men's cologne, and that is not something I find soothing.

My favorite type of relaxing aromatherapy uses sandalwood. It calms my nerves, gets rid of my anxiety, and seems to sedate me a little bit.

I dilute it with vegetable oil and rub it on my skin. I can usually fall asleep within an hour, because I am in such a relaxed state of mind.

By seag47 — On Sep 17, 2012

My congested chest aromatherapy blends eucalyptus and peppermint oil, and it works so well! I put the oils inside a humidifier, and I close the door to the room.

Within minutes, my chest and sinuses have opened up so that I can breathe easier. I love using this remedy at night, because it helps me sleep.

Of course, if I have a bacterial infection, aromatherapy isn't going to get rid of it. I need antibiotics for that, but the aromatherapy definitely makes life more bearable while the drugs are working on the source of the problem.

By giddion — On Sep 16, 2012

@shell4life – When you think about it, the plants that aromatherapy herbs come from are used to treat many conditions. Since the essential oils that we use in aromatherapy are just heavily concentrated parts of the plants, they are super potent.

Some people simply inhale them, while others take an aromatherapy bath or massage the oils onto their skin. It seems that all methods are beneficial, though.

I heard that it takes hundreds of pounds of some herbs just to make one pound of essential oil. That means that the oil is highly concentrated!

By shell4life — On Sep 15, 2012

I wonder if aromatherapy really benefits anyone or if it is all in their heads. I just don't see how smelling a fragrance can help with something internal and physical, like digestion.

I see how it could alter a person's state of mind, but how could it work on their bodies? I don't see the science behind it.

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