Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. They are just now becoming more popular again and there is good reason for this. Essential oils contain powerful healing and mood enhancing properties.
Essential oils are natural oils that are derived from plants through a distillation process. You can apply them to your skin, ingest them orally or inhale them in the air via a diffuser. The concentrated plant extracts are helping countless people with various ailments from the common cold to joint pain to more serious issues including cancer and autoimmune disorders.
Here is a list of 10 commonly used essential oils (starting with the 5 most popular ones) as well as their common uses:
Best for: General relaxation, calming, when feeling stressed and skin irritations.
Properties: The scent of lavender oil is believed to help calm the nervous system, ease headaches, and lessen anxiety. It can also help disinfect wounds or scrapes, relieve minor burns or rashes, and treat acne or insect bites. Some studies also suggests that it can fight hair loss by simply massaging it into your scalp.
How to Use: Apply directly to the skin or dilute with a carrier oil (unscented base oil) . You can also mix the oil with distilled water in a small spray bottle for misting into the air. You can also add 4 to 6 drops of lavender oil to your warm bath or use in a diffuser as an aromatherapy. For relieving sore muscles, combine 5 drops of lavender essential oil with 5 drops of peppermint oil and add to 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Massage into your skin.
Best for: For concentration, increased energy, healthy respiratory function, clear breathing, upset stomach, mood elevation or when having a tension headache.
Properties: Peppermint contains the natural anesthetic menthol that makes it effective for headaches, nausea and stomach pains, cramps, or upset stomach. It is also energizing and a natural mood elevation.
How to Use: Take a few drops of peppermint oil for treating stomach discomforts. Topically, add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil (sweet almond oil or coconut oil) for massaging into skin. CAUTION: Peppermint oil may cause irritations so dilute it first if applying topically or directly to your skin.
3. Citrus Essential Oils (Lemon, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine and Others)
Best for: When needing some immediate energy or mood boost, immune system enhancer as well as for cleansing.
Properties: Citrus oils are known for their anti-septic, anti-viral, astringent, disinfectant, tonic, and anti-bacterial properties. These oils help protect wounds from infections, stop hemorrhaging, prevent bad breath, strengthen gums, and stop dandruff or hair loss. They can also be used as an anti-microbial hand sanitizer once blended with aloe vera gel, and can lift the skin, firm the muscles, and even cure mild fever. Citrus essential oils are also a natural anxiety alleviator and mood enhancer.
NOTE: Inhaling lemon scents also help curve sweets cravings.
How to Use: Add a few drops of citrus oil to drinking water to purify it. To inhale it for lifting up mood, place a few drops of this citrus oil in a diffuser. You can apply these oils directly to the skin as well.
Best for: Soothing muscles, cleaning surfaces, when feeling congested and mood elevation.
Properties: Eucalyptus oil works as an expectorant that helps with chest congestion as it clears the mucus from your respiratory passages. It can also help ease asthma attacks when applied to the chest and throat and works as a pain reliever for fibromyalgia and shingles. Eucalyptus oil can also elevate the mood, clean surfaces and sooth tired and sore muscles.
How to Use: Use as a salve or add 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to 1 quart of hot water poured in a bowl. Lean over and inhale the steam for 10-15 minutes while having a towel draped over your head. You can also put eucalyptus oil in a diffuser or apply it directly to the skin.
5. Tea-Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca)
Best for: When dealing with pimple breakouts and other skin problems as well as cleaning, immune system enhancement and protection against environmental threats.
Properties: Tea-tree oil’s anti-microbial property helps eliminate bacteria that causes acne or pimple breakouts. It is also effective for dandruff and can help treat dermatitis or eczema, nail fungus, warts, cold sores, athlete’s foot, and insect bites.
How to Use: To apply as a toner after washing your face, mix 5 drops of tea-tree essential oil with 4 tablespoons of aloe vera or apply it directly to the skin. For dandruff, add 1 drop to a dollop of your regular shampoo.
*** Other famous essential oils:
Best for: When cleansing or preventing infections and digestive issues.
Properties: Oregano oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidizing, and anti-allergenic. It helps protect from infections, cure allergies, soothe digestive inflammations, and even open up obstructed menstruations. Emotionally, oregano oil helps lessen anxiety and promote feelings of peace and calm.
How to Use: To relieve digestive issues, ingest 1 to 2 drops of oregano essential oil. To lessen sinus congestion or ease sore throat, add 3 drops to a glass of orange juice and drink 3-5 times a day until all symptoms disappear. Apply directly to skin with a carrier oil for skin issues.
Best for: When needing better cellular / immune / emotional health or for protecting the skin.
Properties: Frankincense oil is often used as a disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, diuretic, sedative, tonic, etc. It helps fight infections, heal scars, protect wounds from getting septic, cure colds and coughs, promote contraction in the blood vessels, muscles, and gums and promotes cell regeneration. It also assists healthy digestion, regulates menstruation, maintains uterus’ health, increases urination, soothes inflammation, lessens anxiety, and eases arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
How to Use: For relieving menstrual pain, add 8 to 10 drops of Frankincense essential oil to your warm bath and soak in it for at least 20 t0 25 minutes. Add Frankincense to your diffuser, apply directly to the skin or ingest 1 -2 drops for specific issues. CAUTION: DO NOT use Frankincense oil if using blood thinners.
Best for: When needing some tension relief and hormonal and emotional balance.
Properties: Clary sage oil is commonly used as an anti-septic, anti-microbial, astringent, anti-spasmodic, anti-convulsive, sedative, aphrodisiac, anti-depressant, etc. Clary sage oil helps uplift mood, prevent anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, and stop convulsions through nervous system sedation. It helps protect wounds from becoming septic, eliminate body odor, helps relax spasms, promote contractions, increase libido and reduce sexual dysfunction. It also improves digestion, removes excess gas, relieves obstructed menstruation, and promote the overall health of the uterus and nervous system.
How to Use: Apply a few drops to the abdomen during menstrual cycle to relieve symptoms or diffuse it in your diffuser.
Best for: When improving metabolic function and oral health, circulation, immune system enhancement and cleansing.
Properties: Cinnamon oil has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, astringent, cooling, stimulating, tonic, and anti-clotting properties. It is often used for treating or preventing blood impurities or blood circulation issues, heart disorders, diabetes, indigestion, colon cancer, menstruation problems, breastfeeding and birth control issues; and is also used for pain relief, wounds and skin infections, as well as cure for bad breath.
How to Use: Use internally in an “empty capsule” (for oils that may burn the tongue) or under the tongue (diluted). It can also be diffused into the air or added to food.
Best for: When treating dental issues, cardiovascular issues, powerful antioxidant.
Properties: Clove oil is considered as one of the best treatments for oral/ dental health issues such as Gingivitis gum disease, cold sores/ canker sores, and toothaches. It can also be used for fungal infections, athlete’s foot, prickly heat rashes, bruises, insect bites, wounds, cuts, and ear aches. Likewise, it has powerful antioxidant properties.
How to Use: For the ear, drop diluted clove oil on a cotton swab and tuck it just inside your ear canal. CAUTION: Clove essential oil is very strong hence should always be diluted in a carrier oil. People with super-sensitive skin may have to avoid it altogether.
GENERAL ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY TIPS:
- Use only certified pure essential oil and/or food grade oils (especially if taking internally).
- Use them only as needed to prevent overdosing and to keep your body from becoming immune or accustomed to the oil. (You may also try alternating between 2 or 3 similar-acting essential oils.)
- Use only a few drops and start with just 1 drop to test the oil and work your way up from there.
- Do a skin test first using a small amount before applying it to any part of your topically.
- If in doubt, always dilute in a base carrier oil.
- In case an irritation occurs, stop using the oil immediately.
- Pregnant and nursing women as well as children under 6 years old should never ingest essential oils or use it internally.
- If pregnant, nursing, or under a physician’s care for a certain medical condition, seek medical advice first before trying any of these essential oils.