Australia is home to an astounding 24,000 species of endemic flora, making the country’s flora one of its most prized assets. Due to its array of vast flora, much scientific research is being conducted on these indigenous plants’ properties, benefits, and uses.
One of the most known benefits of plants is their therapeutic properties, and plant extracts have been used either in their pure form as essential oils and extracts or as a component for the production of medicines. These essential oils are now part of aromatherapy products in Australia and have become household names.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are naturally occurring oils from plants and, when extracted, are highly potent and contain unique healing properties. They are found in the leaves, flowers, gums, roots, fruit rind, seeds, and when extracted, have a distinct aroma. Essential oils are volatile and evaporate quickly once exposed to air.
The majority of pure essential oils are steam or water distilled, where the oils are liberated by heat and removed from plant material with steam. Those that come from citrus fruits are cold-pressed from the rind of the fruit.
Scientific research into essential oils has demonstrated the body’s psychological benefits and antiseptic properties, making them powerful remedies for some common illnesses. Because of this, essential oils are used for aromatherapy, a form of treatment modality that promotes overall well-being.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy, or essential oil therapy, is a treatment that uses a holistic healing approach and uses plant essences to promote health and well-being. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve the psychological, spiritual, and physical health of the body.
Recently, aromatherapy has been gaining more recognition, and its use as an adjunct therapy for common illnesses has gained worldwide acceptance. Other uses for essential oils are:
- To manage pain
- Helps improve sleep
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Soothes sore joints
Essential Oils From Australia
Because Australia has a vast array of plant species indigenous to it, the country has also become known to produce some of the most highly sought-after essential oils in the world. These have already gained worldwide recognition, such as the Tea Tree Oil, Lemon Myrtle Oil, Eucalyptus Radiata Oil, and Neroli Oil.
- Tea Tree Oil – Tea Tree Essential Oil has been associated with traditional medicinal use by indigenous Australians for centuries. It has a fresh, earthy, and clean aroma. Some of the benefits include anti-fungal, antibacterial, decongestant, and analgesic properties. Because of these properties, tea tree oil is commonly used in manufacturing medicines and personal care products such as lotions, creams, gels, shampoos, and other products.
- Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil – Another essential oil native to Australia, Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil, is a popular essential oil used for aromatherapy because of its sweet lemon-like aroma and many health benefits. The most common benefit of lemon myrtle oil is easing chest congestion. This oil has also been known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties and is used in some cleaning products. As an aromatherapy oil, it is known to bring focus and help with anxiety.
- Eucalyptus Radiata Oil – Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil has a comforting essence with a refreshing, crisp, and woody scent and is known to be a natural decongestant. Other benefits of this oil are for treating minor burns, cuts, wounds, and infections. It also helps soothe muscle and joint pains, ease headaches, and lessen allergy symptoms. However, perhaps the most known benefit of the eucalyptus oil is in repelling insects which is why it is a common ingredient for natural insect repellent preparations.
- Neroli Oil – Neroli Essential Oil comes from the flowers of the Citrus aurantium tree. Its aroma is rich and floral. Its therapeutic benefits are extensive, from aromatherapy to general health. When used for aromatherapy, Neroli Oil can help balance moods and reduce stress and anxiety. This oil is also known to help reduce blood pressure by reducing cortisol levels, soothe premenstrual pains, and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation and skin irritations.
- Kunzea Oil – Kunzea Essential Oil is a relatively new essential oil from Australia that has gained popularity very quickly. It has a fresh, clean, earthy aroma and is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Amongst its benefits are for the relief of pain, aids in healing small wounds, minor burns, and insect bites, and has a natural decongestant aroma. Kunzea oil is also known to ease stress and anxiety.
Australia’s rich and diverse flora has helped produce some of the world’s most potent, effective, and beautifully fragrant essential oils. They are widely used in both aromatherapy products in Australia and as components in producing commercially available medications and household cleaning products. Many Australian native essential oils have been known for decades, while others have only been recently discovered but are fast gaining popularity worldwide.