You have your stash of essential oils, and you’ve become quite familiar with a few self-blended recipes that have proven beneficial for your family. The books, pamphlets, blog posts, and Bare Oils support materials suggest mixing a few drops of this with a few drops of that, but sometimes you come across unfamiliar terms in the list of uses.
What do they all mean?
Below you’ll find easy-to-understand explanations of what these terms mean.
Analgesic: Substance that reduces or numbs pain
Topical analgesics are used on sore parts of the body to help alleviate pain.
Antiallergenic: Relieves or reduces allergic symptoms
Antibacterial: Destroys or inhibits the growth of bacteria
This is particularly helpful in cleaning wounds and surface areas.
Antibiotic: Destroys or inhibits growth of microorganisms
This is especially helpful when cleaning wounds or fighting illness.
Antidepressant: Helps to treat depression
These oils generally have a mood-lifting, stimulating effect on the body.
Antifungal: Destroys or inhibits the growth of fungi
Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation and signs of inflammation
Joint and muscle soreness is often the result of inflammation being present in the body.
Antimicrobial: Destroys or inhibits growth of microorganisms
Antioxidant: Inhibits destructive oxidation
Everyday stress and pollution exposure allows toxins to enter our bodies. When the body cannot metabolize these ‘free radicals’, oxidation occurs and damages the body’s cells. Oxidation is also what causes cells to age prematurely.
Antiparasitic: Destroys or reduces parasites
Antiseptic: Helps prevent infection by reducing or eliminating the growth of microbes
Antispasmodic: Prevents or alleviates spasms or convulsions
Antiviral: Destroys or prevents viruses by reducing or eliminating their growth and reproduction
Aperitif: Stimulates appetite
Lack of appetite can often lead to unwanted weight loss, fatigue, dizziness, and physical ailments. Appetite stimulation help encourage more proper nutrition for those lacking it.
Aphrodisiac: Induces or intensifies sexual desire
Aromatic: Used for its pleasant scent
Astringent: Constricts and contracts body tissues to control secretions or bleeding
This is common in skincare regimens.
Calmative: Provides calming and sedating effects
Carminative: Helps relieve gas/flatulence
Circulatory: Helps improve or maintain circulatory health
The circulatory system is comprised of organs and tissues—including the heart, blood vessels, and lymph glands—that help circulate blood and lymph fluid throughout the body.
Cosmetic: Used in products such as makeup, creams, and lotions
Culinary: Used in food preparation
Some oils are safe to ingest. Check the labels of the oils, and the recipes.
Decongestant: Relieves congestion
Most commonly used in situations with excessive accumulation of mucus in the nasal cavity or chest.
Deodorant: Destroys offensive odors
Everyone likes things to smell nice.
Diaphoretic: Increases perspiration
Sweating helps alleviate the body of harmful toxins, and helps regulate body temperature.
Digestive: Promotes digestion of food
Disinfectant: Prevents harmful bacterial growth
This generally refers to inanimate objects such as tables, counters, door handles, etc.
Diuretic: Promotes excretion of urine
Urination helps eliminate harmful toxins and any excess nutrients the body does not need.
Expectorant: Help with respiratory health by expulsing excess mucus and phlegm
This is particularly helpful during illness, such as with a cold, the flu, or sinus infection.
Insecticide: Used to kill insects
Laxative: Promotes bowel movements
Regular bowel movements help eliminate toxins from the body, as well as excess, unused nutrients.
Medicinal: Used for purposes pertaining to a medicinal nature; something that acts as a remedy or cure
Stimulant: Temporarily quickens or increases vital activity in a part of the body
Tonic: Invigorates and strengthens the whole body or its part
Tonics usually take into account a variety of concerns to restore physical, mental, and emotional health.
Come across a term not listed here? If your essential oil journey has introduced you to something new and you need help understanding it, let us know. We might just write a post about it.