While each essential oil has its own unique properties, many also share some common therapeutic actions. All plant essences are antiseptic to a greater or lesser degree. Some oils are endowed with antiviral properties such as Garlic and Tea Tree, which have the most powerful on the antiviral properties. Many essences, notably Rosemary and Juniper, are also antirheumatic. When rubbed into the skin, they stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation and increase oxygen to the painful areas, which in turn aids the elimination of tissue wastes which contribute to the pain of arthritic and rheumatic complaints.
There are many uses of essential in the medical aromatherapy such as treating Hormonal Imbalances. A major area of influence is the effect of essential oils upon the female reproductive system. Essences such as chamomile, cypress and rose are cited as especially helpful in regulating the menstrual cycle. For the aromatherapy of central nervous system, the aromatherapists believe that enough essential oil is absorbed through the skin and into the systemic circulation to exert a pharmacological action. However, inhalation of the aromatic molecules is another significant pathway. It has been found that essential oil reaches the bloodstream more speedily via inhalation than by oral administration.
An essence may also have the ability to exert seemingly paradoxical actions. A person suffering from exhaustion as a result of hyper-anxiety, for example, can be both calmed and stimulated by sniffing Peppermint essential oil. This may be easier to understand if we consider a common response to the oil. Its piercing aroma gives an initial charge which clears the head and awakens the senses. This feeling gradually gives way to an expansive sensation which may also be perceived as a sense of quietude.