If you don’t know how to use essential oils, don’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated by how to get started with essential oils. It’s really easy and a lot of fun! Below are a few ways in which you can start using essential oils, and soon you’ll be surprised in how many areas of your life you are able to use your essential oils:
1. Apply to the Skin
Essential oils are fat soluble, which means they are immediately absorbed by the skin. A popular way to enjoy your essential oils is to simply apply them to your skin for absorption – though never directly on the skin, but always mixed and diluted with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil.
Especially if skin sensitivity is a concern, definitely ALWAYS dilute your essential oil with a common neutral carrier oil (also called base oils) before application. Carrier oils are typically cold-pressed oils and do not evaporate like essential oils do, but they can go rancid where essential oils will not. Your choice of carrier oil will depend a bit on preference of smell, texture, and sensitivities to avoid allergic reactions. Popular choices for carrier oils are coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil or grape seed oil.
Popular areas of applying essential oils to your skin are on your wrists, your temples, your feet, or behind your ears.
2. Simply Inhale
You may choose to carefully inhale your essential oils. Open the bottle of essential oils, hold it up against your nose or place a few drops on a tissue, and take a deep breath to inhale and enjoy. When using a new essential oil for the first time, only use one drop to make sure you don’t have a reaction or sensitivity to the oil.
Attempt to keep your breath relaxed as you inhale. Notice if it gets caught in the body or if it flows in and out with ease. A deep breath isn’t a sniff. If you practice slow, deep breaths, your body will send signals to your mind that it needs to relax – and your entire body will follow. Your body and mind aren’t separate things, and sometimes tricking the body to relax first, is going go put the mind in a position to achieve relaxation as well.
You know breathing is vital to keeping you alive. Deep breathing, when it’s simple, natural, and necessary, may have a beneficial influence on the health and well being. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to calm down and regain composure when you are feeling anxious. Deep belly breathing is the secret. And if you add aromatherapy by way of essential oils, such breathing will help to harmonize our nervous system and lessen the quantity of stress in our lives.
3. Steam Inhalation
Boil 2-3 cups of water, pour it into a bowl and add 2-5 drops of oil to the water. Place your nose about 12” away from the bowl, cover your head and bowl with a towel, and slowly inhale the steam. Using either energizing or relaxing essential oils can make this method useful any time of the day or night. If you notice any discomfort or irritation, stop immediately.
Steam inhalation can be quite effective if it’s used with care. It can be beneficial for your skin as well. It is a very powerful and useful therapy for our health. Actually, it is one of the best and safe solutions to treat symptoms of the common flu and cold. It is the perfect way of clearing up sinuses.
Chest congestion, cold and flu are a few of the common respiratory problems especially whenever the weather changes. A “head cold” is essentially a common cold which impacts the nasal passages.
If you enjoy your steam inhalation bowl and notice the steam disappearing or getting cooler, add more hot water and a couple more drops of the herbal oil as needed, since the water will get diluted.
4. Use an Essential Oil Diffuser
Electronic diffusers are designed to disperse a super fine mist of essential oils. They will gently fill the air with the aroma and healing benefits of the essential oil of your choice within minutes.
Put a few drops of essential oils in your diffuser, turn it on, and circulate the oil into your room. You can read my essential oil diffuser reviews (coming soon) about the different types of diffusers, how they work and how to use them.
Diffusing vs. Candle-Burning
Essential oils are “volatile”, simply meaning that they easily evaporate at normal temperatures and break down molecularly when exposed to heat. The method of candle-burning to diffuse essential oils is therefore not recommended, as you can be destroying important health benefits of the essential oil with the heat of the candle.
Also remember that essential oils are flammable, making the electronic diffusing method safer and more versatile to use. You can plug-in an electronic diffuser anywhere in your home or office, without the need to carefully watch the flame, or needing to have a window open so that you have enough oxygen in the room to feed the candle flame.
5. Use In A Bath
Adding essential oils to your bath is an amazing way to take a relaxing time-out during your busy day. Buy a box of simple Epsom salts as the base for your essential oils. If you just drop the oils into the water, they will not dissolve as nicely as they do when first mixed into the salts, who then dissolve beautifully. Please don’t combine any other chemically produced soaps or products into this mix in an effort to fully enjoy all the benefits of the essential oil and Epsom salts alone.
Baths have existed for centuries. Hot baths enhance the blood flow inside your body and enable the blood vessels to operate better. If you should, build as much as a hotter bath above a week or so to let your body become accustomed to the warmer temperatures. A candle-lit aromatherapy bath can help you relax and enjoy your beautiful home. It’s a sure-fire way to carve out some “me” time at the end (or beginning?) of your busy day.
6. Aromatherapy Massage
Essential oils are too concentrated and strong to use for massage by themselves, so you need to mix them in with neutral-smelling carrier oils such as sweet almond oil or grape seed oil. Add up to 20 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Wondering how to best start with an essential oil massage, and which oils to use? Here are the 5 best essential oils for massage.
Massages are shown to be very therapeutic and lots of doctors actually recommend massages. Massage usually works on all big muscle groups within the body. It is extremely important to remember that if giving (or getting) a massage, the strokes should always go towards the heart. If not, you are not going to receive the full advantages of the massage.
How to Use Essential Oils
This is my current favorite method of use. I finally found a diffuser that I love and I have literally been using it round the clock for about 2 months. (Many of you have been asking about diffusers. I will share a post as soon as I can, but here are several great options.)
Simply put water and the oils in the diffuser according to the manufacturer's instructions, and your home (or room) will soon be filled with the oil's scent and properties.
I have been diffusing my DIY Antibacterial Blend frequently, as well as Orange and Peppermint on occasion. The citrus and mint are invigorating when the afternoon slumps occur.
Simply open a bottle, bring it close to your nose and inhale. I have done this with peppermint oil for a headache and with both Peppermint and Helichrysum (here's a link to both versions: Gymnocephalum or Italicum) after I sustained a head injury.
3. Apply topically
Just apply the oils to the desired location.
If you are just getting started with how to use essential oils in your daily life, you should start by blending the oils with a carrier oil. The most commonly used carrier oil is Fractionated Coconut Oil. It has a long shelf life and is odor-free. However, you can use any oil that you have in your home. I have personally used olive, but more commonly coconut.
Many people like to apply the oils to the bottoms of their feet. I do that occasionally, but I personally use essential oils more frequently directly on the area that is affected. I have used essential oils effectively this way for many issues – sleep aid (Lavender), tendon injuries (Peppermint and Lemongrass), body support for head tension (Peppermint), head injury (Peppermint and Helichrysum), skin support for acne (Grapefruit or Immune Strength, or my DIY Antibacterial Blend)
4. In the Bath
Mix 3-12 drops of essential oil into a tablespoon of carrier oil. This is essentially emulsifying the essential oils so that you don't end up with oil adhering to your skin and creating a problem (and it could be a HUGE problem indeed!)
Oils that would be perfect for this would of course be lavender or rose. Or use oils such as eucalyptus for respiratory issues. A nice steamy bath with Eucalyptus Oil might be just the thing for your stuffed up little one so he or she can get to sleep.
Even when using a carrier oil, please do take care not to use “hot” oils like cinnamon, oregano, lemongrass, etc., as they can still do damage to the skin.
Blend 6 drops of your essential oil of choice into a tablespoon of a carrier oil. Then add this mixture to a cup or so of water. Soak your compress pad in the water, squeeze the excess water out, and apply. You could do this with either a hot or cold compress. Peppermint would be a great choice for an injury or back pain. I've had many friends feel so much better after applying peppermint oil to stubborn back discomfort.
I personally do what I consider to be a simpler version of a compress. I put the oil (always diluted) on my skin and then apply a warm heating pad on top. That helps to drive the oils into the injury and avoids the added messiness of having to soak a pad in the oils, plus avoids waste of the oils.
There is a lot of controversy over this issue, but here is my official stance.
I recommend you consult with a professional before ingesting any essential oils. Consult a Medical Doctor, Naturopath, or clinically trained Aromatherapist who knows you and is aware of your medical history, as well as any medications you are on. With this information, the professional can tailor a regimen that works for your body.
Too many people out there are recommending willy nilly internal use of essential oils. This post goes into more detail about why you need to be careful about this.
Of course, none of the above is medical advice. Please talk with your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine or before using essential oils :). (Sorry but I have to write that.)
If you are interested in learning more about how to use essential oils, this short report on 10 Things to Know About Essentials Oils is a great resource as well. Plus you get access to my VIP newsletter – neato :)!
Do you use essential oils?What is your favorite safe way to use essential oils?
1. Lemon oil
Lemon oil is commonly used in the kinds of commercially available products you encounter every day. If you walk down the aisles of any grocery store, you’ll find everything from household cleaner to hand soap to flavored sparkling water with the essence of lemon. As is the case with many citrus oils, the scent closely mimics that of the fruit from which it’s derived: bright, light, zesty, and clean.
These days, of course, a lot of those flavors and smells are made artificially, but still, there’s a reason that lemon has become so universally identified with freshness and cleanliness: Its oil is a powerful antibacterial, astringent, and antiseptic agent.
There’s a reason that lemon has become so universally identified with freshness and cleanliness: Its oil is a powerful antibacterial, astringent, and antiseptic agent.
Diluted lemon oil can be wonderfully effective when it comes to skin care because of its high concentration of D-limonene, a compound that assists in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, promoting circulation, and toning the skin. In fact, recent research showed that D-limonene has skin-repairing and anti-inflammatory properties.
The scent of lemon oil has also been shown to have a powerful effect on mood. One study’s findings suggest that lemon oil vapor has antidepressant qualities. Another compelling study found that the scent of lemon oil boosted participants’ moods, a finding confirmed through self-reported data as well as empirical data (elevated levels of the anti-stress hormone norepinephrine were measured in the blood of participants).Photo: StockSnap/Mel Hattie
2. Cinnamon oil
If lemon oil is bright, cool, and invigorating, cinnamon oil is its opposite: sweet and spicy, musky and warm. For me, cinnamon conjures up a distinct mixture of sexy exoticness and cozy familiarity, which makes sense because it’s both a Far East import and a spice drawer mainstay.
Derived from both the bark and leaf of the Cinnamomum verum tree, it’s actually one of history’s oldest essential oils, with the Egyptians recording their extensive use of it in Ebers Papyrus, a medical text dating to approximately 1550 BC.
For me, cinnamon conjures up a distinct mixture of sexy exoticness and cozy familiarity.
At that time, cinnamon was a hot commodity. It was expensive and hard to get because Arab traders controlled most of the supply coming from Sri Lanka and India and—in a pretty savvy marketing tactic—they kept the true source of their supply a secret. Cinnamon oil was affordable only for the very wealthy—emperors, royals, and, later on, Europe’s elite. Fortunately for us, price and access to this super-useful oil are no obstacle today.
In aromatherapy, cinnamon essential oil can be used to help clear up chest colds. Applied topically, it can soothe muscle aches and pains, thanks to its antispasmodic and analgesic properties. It’s also an antiseptic and makes a powerful natural preservative. It is both antibacterial and antimicrobial, as well as being anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving. Some studies have shown that cinnamon oil contains powerful antioxidants and could potentially be useful in fighting neurological disorders and heart disease.Photo: Flickr/@DorteF
3. Lemongrass oil
Google “lemongrass” and your search will most likely garner a bunch of hits for Thai restaurants in your local area (yum!). I’m all for a killer curry, but I’m even more into the plant’s essential oil.
Lemongrass is a fast-growing, tropical grass native to Sri Lanka and south India and is now cultivated in warm climates in Africa and Asia. The entire plant is utilized in everything from tea to cleaning products, and it has been used for years in Indian healing traditions to treat maladies like gastrointestinal issues and fever (it earned the nickname “fever grass”).
I like to use it for its cheerful, energetic scent alone, but there also happens to be plenty of evidence that it possesses powerful medicinal and pharmacological properties.
Lemongrass essential oil is derived from the steam distillation of the plant and, true to its name, it possesses a mild, sweet, lemony-yet-herbal aroma. I like to use it for its cheerful, energetic scent alone, but there also happens to be plenty of evidence that it possesses powerful medicinal and pharmacological properties, including the potential to slow the growth of cancerous cells and tumors.
Research also shows that lemongrass essential oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and can be a potent insect repellent. Its antifungal properties are especially helpful in combating the nasty yeast associated with dandruff. One study noted that participants who used a dandruff tonic with a 10 percent concentration of lemongrass oil saw a significant reduction in dandruff in as little as a week.
Personally, I love to add some lemongrass oil to my bath when I’m feeling sick.Photo: Flickr/@MeeshyMia
4. Clary sage
Clary sage possesses myriad beneficial properties for the skin: It’s antibacterial, astringent, antiseptic, and can help improve circulation. I like the uniquely sweet herbal aroma of clary sage, which helps to cut through some of the more pungent ingredients used in natural skin care, too.
Clary sage has been lauded for its reputed ability to regulate hormones, and its scent is thought to have antidepressant effects.
Clary sage is a perennial plant that is native to the northern Mediterranean region and North Africa; its essential oil is derived via the steam distillation of the plant’s flowering tops and leaves. Although the ancient Egyptians used it in medicinal practices, it wasn’t until medieval times that clary sage really took off. During this time, doctors and herbalists used clary sage seeds to help treat vision problems; “clary” is derived from the Latin word for clear, “clarus.” And it was also used to flavor wine (and referred to as “muscatel sage” because of its similarity to German muscat wine). Someone, somewhere, got clever—maybe while drunk off clary sage wine?—and mashed up the two nicknames. Hence: clary sage.
Clary sage has been lauded for its reputed ability to regulate hormones, and its scent is thought to have antidepressant effects. A 2014 study of twenty-two postmenopausal women in their 50s—some of whom were depressed—showed that breathing diffused clary sage helped to alleviate participants’ depression by lowering cortisol levels and improving thyroid hormone levels. And a 2012 study revealed that clary sage—along with lavender and marjoram—makes an effective massage treatment for alleviating menstrual pain and cramping.Photo: Pexels/Valeria Boltneva
5. Lavender oil
Okay, okay. I know you’ve heard about lavender oil so many times in your life (and in this book) that you’re rolling your eyes at me. Why did the Taylor Swift of the oil kingdom make it onto my top 10 list? Because the honest truth is that it’s impossible to deny how amazing lavender oil is.
First of all, what we call lavender is actually Lavandula angustifolia, one type of lavender among 39 total species. Different species have different properties, but all types contain large proportions of linalool, linalyl acetate, eucalyptol, and camphor. That’s a lot of components to have in high quantities, and it’s the reason it’s such a powerhouse essential oil. Lavender is: sedative, antispasmodic, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, anesthetic, immune-boosting, and antiviral.
Why did the Taylor Swift of the oil kingdom make it onto my top 10 list? Because the honest truth is that it’s impossible to deny how amazing lavender oil is.
It’s super safe, but it does have a high content of linalool, which can be sensitizing for some people. As with all essential oils, and ingredients in general, be sure to try a small amount on your skin, diluted at about six drops in one tablespoon of carrier oil, and watch for a reaction.
If your skin loves lavender, you can use up to a 50-50 mix of half lavender oil, half carrier oil in your DIY products. I use lavender in a million different ways, all day, every day.Photo: Flickr/@Que Sara Sera
6. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil (also called melaleuca oil) is definitely enjoying a moment in the natural-beauty-world sun right now, and deservedly so. It’s pretty awesome stuff.
The only place that tea trees grow naturally is in Australia, but they grow super abundantly there. Traditionally, native Australian cultures used tea tree leaves to treat coughs and colds, heal wounds, and alleviate sore throats and skin ailments.
Tea tree oil is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and exhibits anticancer activity.
Tea tree oil is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and exhibits anticancer activity. It kills oral bacteria for up to two weeks, can be used for gingivitis, heals mild to moderate dandruff, kills the influenza virus, and has been shown to slow the growth of tumors in mice. This Australian wonder also works like benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. It takes longer, but causes fewer side effects, while being less drying than the common drugstore ingredient.
I put tea tree oil in virtually all of my DIY products; I recommend diluting to a 5 percent concentration, which is about 14 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil. One of my favorite ways to use it is to add a couple of drops to my store-bought mouthwash.Photo: Pixabay/LauraLisLT
Eucalyptus essential oil is definitely not for the weak. Even if you’ve never smelled it directly, you’ve probably smelled something that contains it—like Vicks VapoRub, maybe? The scent is similar to camphor (another ingredient in VapoRub, and also in Tiger Balm ointment) and slightly minty. It will clear your airways super quick and can take your breath away.
The scent is a little strong, but it really freshens up a room and makes the air feel clean.
Here’s what else it’s been shown to do: It works as a pesticide and has the ability to kill fungus, bacteria, insects, mites, and weeds—and it has been believed to kill the drug-resistant parasite that causes malaria. (It’s possible this is why eucalyptus trees were first planted in California in the 1850s. They were an invasive species from Australia but the government was worried about the spread of malaria. The trees helped!) It can also help boost your immune system and is anti-inflammatory.
I like to diffuse eucalyptus oil at home. The scent is a little strong, but it really freshens up a room and makes the air feel clean. It also makes a great pantry and closet moth and bug repellent.Photo: Pixels/Devanath
8. Rosemary oil
The scent of this oil is a lot like the herb you put in your food. It’s commonly found in skin care, especially natural products, because it not only has topical benefits but also will extend the shelf life of a product exponentially.
While it stimulates many bodily systems, it also decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Rosemary oil is a stimulant. When inhaled, the aroma of rosemary has been shown to increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate and boost your immune system. It has also been shown to increase brain wave activity and aid the part of your nervous system that controls organ function. But while it stimulates many bodily systems, it also decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And it does all of this while airborne, so you can simply diffuse it and gain these health benefits. If you like the scent of eucalyptus, you can combine it with rosemary to make your space smell like a forest.Photo: Pixabay/jarmoluk
9. Sweet orange oil
I was born and raised in south Florida. You know what they say about that, right? You can take the girl out of Florida but you can’t…okay, you get it. I love sweet orange essential oil. I think it is the best-smelling essential oil, period. It makes me happy and energized from one whiff, and in a weird way I believe that just smelling it can sometimes satisfy my sweets cravings (which are severe and constant because sweets are the best). So having orange oil around solves all of these problems for me in one inexpensive, convenient swoop.
In studies, it reduced anxiety when it was inhaled, and when applied topically, it slowed down participants’ pulse rates and breathing rates, while they also reported feeling more cheerful and vigorous.
It makes me happy and energized from one whiff, and in a weird way I believe that just smelling it can sometimes satisfy my sweets cravings.
It can be a little tricky to incorporate orange oil into your life because it doesn’t diffuse well, and, like lemon oil, it can make your skin photosensitive when applied topically, so I recommend using it in products you plan on rinsing off in the shower, and not going higher than 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. I find the smell of sweet orange oil to be so fragrant that you need only a very small amount when DIYing.
One important note: Make sure you purchase sweet orange oil and not bitter orange, since bitter orange oil is very phototoxic.Photo: Flickr/@Garik_K
- As a meditation aid. Use frankincense oil to help calm and center the mind, to promote spiritual awareness, and to cultivate a sense of inner peace while meditating. Frankincense contains compounds known as sesquiterpenes which work directly on the limbic system of the brain, the center of memory and emotions. Frankincense is calming, grounding, and centering to the nervous system. Diffuse it into your room, or just inhale directly from the bottle at the start of your meditation.
- For respiratory support. Frankincense is a powerful health support for respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, and bronchitis. It even helps when suffering from laryngitis. Diffuse it into the room where you intend to spend some time. For best results, use an ultrasonic cool mist diffuser. Never heat essential oils because heating them diminishes their therapeutic effects.
- To calm nightmares. Dilute frankincense oil as described below and rub over the large arteries along the sides of the neck before bed to help relieve nightmares (yes, really!).
- Skin complaints. Whether your skin is dry and mature or oily and blotched with blemishes, frankincense oil has wonderful balancing qualities. It helps to reduce lines and wrinkles by tightening and toning skin, accelerates the healing of blemishes, skin ulcers and wounds, and stimulates cell regeneration. For anti-aging benefits, put several drops into your favorite night time moisturizer. For acne and blemishes, apply it neat directly on the problem area, unless you have very sensitive skin, then dilute as described below.
- For immune support. Breathe the vapor right out of the bottle, or diffuse frankincense oil to help boost immunity. Research shows that the natural plant chemical constituents in frankincense oil stimulate the immune system.1
Lavender Essential Oil
- Calming, stress relieving, sleep promoter. Feeling stressed out or having a night of insomnia? Dilute as described below, and rub lavender oil along the sides of the neck and/or breathe it in deeply. You can also place a drop or two into a warm bath before you relax into it. Lavender has wonderful calming and soothing effects and promotes deeper sleep.
- Stops the itch and burn of insect bites. Put a drop of lavender oil on a bee sting, mosquito, or other bug bite to stop pain, itching, and reduce swelling. Reapply as necessary. Lavender oil works really well for this, especially if applied immediately.
- Soothes burns and sunburns. Put two to three drops of lavender oil on a minor burn to relieve the pain. Applied quickly enough, it should stop the burn from blistering as well. Keep a bottle of lavender oil in the kitchen for those burned fingers. Dilute it as described below and apply to sunburns to relieve pain and hasten healing time. Lavender oil is also wonderful mixed with a little organic aloe vera gel and applied to the skin after sun exposure.
- Promising research for breast health. 2014 Iranian research published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer found that lavender oil kills breast cancer cells but leaves healthy cells unharmed. It’s important to note that this study was on cells in a petri dish, not on humans. The researchers concluded that: “L. angustifolia has cytotoxic and apoptotic effects in HeLa and MCF-7 cell lines, and apoptosis is proposed as the possible mechanism of action.”2
- As a flavor boost. Add a drop of high quality lavender oil suitable for consumption to brownie batter, chocolate icing, cookie dough, dessert recipes, raw chocolate, or even salad dressings. It’s absolutely delicious.
- For toothache and dental abscesses. Apply clove oil to a cotton swab and press it against the sore tooth and surrounding gums. Clove oil has great pain relieving properties and has been used by the dental industry for years. Clove is often included in dental rinses and mouthwashes.
- Potent anti-fungal. Multiple studies have shown that clove oil is a powerful anti-fungal, especially against Candida albicans.
- For cold sores. Clove oil has anti-viral properties, especially against herpes simplex. Put a drop of clove oil on a cold sore to significantly decrease the pain and promote healing time. In fact, all of the essential oils in this article are good for this.
- For arthritic pain. Clove oil’s pain numbing properties make it beneficial for rheumatism and arthritis. Dilute as described below and massage it into the affected area.
- Help kills bacteria in the kitchen & around the home. Clove is a natural anti-bacterial, powerful against many bacteria strains. It kills E. coli, Salmonella, Helicobacter pylori (implicated with stomach ulcers), Staphylococcus aureus (also known as golden staph), Streptococcus pneumoniae, and many others, with no observed side effects. Put a drop on your kitchen sponge, in dishwashing liquid, and on cutting boards to reduce bacteria naturally. Don’t forget telephones, toilet seats, doorknobs, and computer keyboards!
Grapefruit Essential Oil
- In your drinking water. A drop or two of grapefruit oil added to drinking water helps to boost metabolism, supports weight loss, and adds an immune boost with its high level of the phytochemical d-limonene. Grapefruit oil is also a potent anti-bacterial, and gives you a hit of vitamin C too!
- Eases a hangover. Grapefruit oil’s natural ability to stimulate the gall bladder and liver helps to detox after drinking alcohol. Diffuse it (see #2 above) or put a drop or two in your drinking water and keep sipping at it all day when in the throes of a hangover.
- In your vacuum cleaner. Put a few drops of grapefruit oil on a cotton pad and vacuum it up. The aroma will diffuse out into the room where you are cleaning and add a clean, fresh scent to the room. It also helps to kill airborne bacteria.
- Banish anxiety. Breathing in the invigorating vapor of grapefruit oil helps to ease feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. It also helps to increase focus, so use it while studying or working on important projects. Diffuse it (see #2 above) or wear it like a perfume.
- Helps to overcome sugar cravings. Breathe in grapefruit oil from the bottle just prior to eating, going to the coffee shop, doing the grocery shopping, or whenever you feel tempted to have sugar. It will help curb cravings for those not-so-good-for-you sweets.
Orange Essential Oil
- Cold and flu prevention. Put a drop or two of orange oil into your drinking water every day. Not only does it contain vitamin C, it also helps to boost the immune system. If you take extra vitamin C along with orange-infused water, it helps to increase absorption of the vitamin C.
- Helps heal mouth ulcers. Rub a drop of orange oil into the affected spot as frequently as you can remember to do it. It might sting a tiny bit, but mouth ulcers will heal much more quickly.
- Wound disinfectant. Drip orange oil directly into a wound after it has stopped bleeding, then cover with a bandage. Orange essential oil is an excellent anti-bacterial. It will also help speed the healing process due to its tissue regeneration properties.3
- Foot callus softener/remover. Rub several drops of orange oil into affected area prior to putting on your socks and shoes.
- Skin anti-aging. Orange oil helps promote the production of collagen in the skin. It also helps the body detoxify, increases circulation, and improves skin tone and texture. Add a drop to your toner and/or moisturizer to improve skin appearance and decrease the signs of aging.
Lemon Essential Oil
- In your cooking. Lemon oil is one of the most popular essential oils to cook with. Add a drop or two of lemon oil to cake batter, muffin batter, seafood dishes, salad dressings, or any dish where lemon zest is required.
- For spot-free dishes. Add a drop of lemon oil to your automatic dishwasher soap. Run the cycle and enjoy spot-free dishes and a cleaner dishwasher.
- Add shelf life to fruit and vegetables. Fill a bowl or small bucket with cold water, add two drops of lemon oil and drench your fruit and/or vegetables in the water to preserve their shelf life. Best to do this before refrigerating.
- Diffuse lemon for health. Diffuse lemon oil (see #2 above) to help kill airborne bacteria. Research carried out by Dr. Jean Valnet (co-author of the book The Practice of Aromatherapy: A Classic Compendium of Plant Medicines and Their Healing Properties) shows that diffused lemon oil can rapidly kill off the bacteria that causes meningococcal infections, typhoid fever, staph infections, pneumonia, diptheria, and tuberculosis.
- For oily hair. Lemon oil has a balancing effect on the oil glands of the scalp. Massage a drop or two of lemon oil into your scalp before you go to bed at night. Wash it out in the morning. Done over a period of weeks, you will notice much less oily hair. It will make your pillow smell nice and fresh too!
Geranium Rose Essential Oil
- For premenstrual tension and cramps. Massage geranium rose oil across the abdomen and lower back to help relieve cramps, muscle tension, and promote relaxation.
- For hemorrhoids. When painful hemorrhoids strike, add a drop of geranium rose oil to one teaspoon of organic coconut oil. Apply with a piece of gauze, leaving this in place if possible, and repeat several times a day or whenever particularly painful. Being a natural styptic, geranium rose acts by gently contracting blood vessels in the area.
- Repels ticks and dust mites. Before going outdoors, apply geranium rose oil on exposed areas of skin, around collars, cuffs, and pant legs. It also works well on pets, but make sure to heavily dilute for them. For dust mites, spray onto linens and put a drop on the dust cloth when dusting.
- For liver detoxing. Geranium rose oil helps to improve the flow of bile by dilating bile ducts, thus assisting liver detoxification processes. Dilute as described below and rub across the right side of the rib cage (over the liver).
- Skin healing and regeneration. Geranium rose oil is considered a natural anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. Use it in skin tonics, lotions, moisturizers and balms to aid with conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, and acne. It also helps fade scars.
Peppermint Essential Oil
- Cool a hot flash. The high menthol content of peppermint makes it great for cooling off during hot flashes. At the first sign of a hot flash developing, place a drop at the back of the neck, at the base of the skull, or on the collarbones. Breathe it in. This has an instant cooling and calming effect.
- As a driving aid. Taking a long driving trip? Be sure to pack the peppermint oil. Its ability to wake up the nervous system and keep your brain alert is unmatched. It’s better than coffee and no caffeine jitters! Peppermint oil is also good for kids with ADHD. Add several drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle containing distilled water, shake it, and spray it lightly on their clothes before studying to help increase concentration and clarity of thought.
- For aching muscles and joints. Peppermint oil can relax muscles which in turn helps relieve pain. Dilute as described below and rub into sore muscles and arthritic joints for some quick relief.
- For allergy relief. Peppermint oil not only relaxes skeletal muscles, it also helps to relax the muscles of the respiratory system. Inhaling the scent of peppermint helps to relieve congestion due to allergies and counteract the effects of pollen. Diffuse as described in #2 above.
- As a digestive aid. Peppermint oil is superb for helping to relieve indigestion and heartburn. Put just one drop of peppermint oil into a glass of water and drink. It works much more quickly than peppermint tea due to the concentrated nature of peppermint oil. If it’s too strong for you, just dilute it (see dilution instructions below) and rub it across the tummy.
- As an infection fighter. A 2016 research study found oregano oil to be effective against 59 different strains of bacteria, including multi-drug resistant bacteria. It was even found to be effective against bacteria known to cause respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis patients.4 Oregano is also helpful when suffering from urinary tract infections. If taking oregano oil internally, please do so only under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist and/or healthcare provider.
- As an anti-aging antioxidant. Oregano oil’s high antioxidant content makes it perfect for fighting the effects of aging, which is all about free radicals creating havoc throughout the body. If using it topically, be sure to dilute as described below because oregano can be a “hot” oil when applied to the skin. Always avoid the skin around eyes and other sensitive areas.
- Ease a sore throat. Oregano oil will quickly relieve a sore throat. Add a drop to a glass of water and gargle with it. Sip it throughout the day. Oregano oil also helps to shorten the duration of colds and flu.
- For athlete’s foot and fungal infections. Dilute as described below and massage into feet, between toes, or into nails for an anti-fungal blast. Or get a basin of water and add a few drops of oregano and soak your feet in it. Oregano can also be used to help get rid of ringworm, another fungal skin infection.
- Eliminates intestinal worms. Oregano oil is a potent anti-parasitic. Take it internally only under the care of a qualified aromatherapist or naturopath.
- Anti-cancer, anti-proliferative. Turkish researchers in 2010 found that extracts from rosemary had strong anti-cancer effects on several different human cancer cell lines. They concluded that “Rosemary extract is a potential candidate to be included in the anti-cancer diet with pre-determined doses avoiding toxicity.”5
- Improves circulation, varicose veins. Rosemary oil helps to increase circulation. Warming and stimulating, rosemary oil assists blood to move. This makes it extremely helpful for varicose veins and spider veins.
- Improves brain health. Rosemary oil is stimulatory to the central nervous system, and helps to promote clearer thinking. Rosemary has long been valued for its ability to help overcome mental fatigue, and to improve mental clarity and focus. Japanese researchers have recently shown that carnosic acid (one of rosemary’s phytochemicals) has neuroprotective functions in brain cells and may be helpful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.6
- For healthy scalp and beautiful hair. Rosemary oil is beneficial for scalp problems like dandruff and seborrhea because it helps to regulate the secretion of oil in the scalp. It also aids hair regrowth. A 2015 study comparing rosemary with minoxidil, a commonly used drug for combating hair loss, found rosemary essential oil to be just as good as the minoxidil, but only after six months of use.7 So stick with it! Rosemary oil stimulates hair follicles, thus assisting hair to grow longer and stronger. It also promotes cell division and dilates blood vessels in the scalp which stimulates hair follicles to produce new hair growth.
- Counteract the effects of stress. The uplifting aroma of rosemary essential oil helps to relax nerves and banish stress. A 2007 study on rosemary and lavender showed that this pair of oils decreases cortisol levels, the hormone released when one is under stress.8
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Strong insect repellent. Eucalyptus oil repels ticks, fleas, mosquitos, flies, and other annoying bugs. Eucalyptus trees have even been planted in many parts of the world to block the spread of mosquito-borne malaria. Eucalyptus can also be used to relieve the sting and itch of an insect bite.
- Fever reducer. Put a drop or two of eucalyptus oil on a damp, cool washcloth and rub it along the sides of the patient’s body, the chest, back of the neck, and bottoms of the feet to help reduce a fever.
- Improves blood flow to brain. Eucalyptus oil is known to be a vasodilator, meaning it dilates, or opens, blood vessels. In 1994, Austrian researchers discovered that eucalyptol, a phytochemical in eucalyptus oil (also known as 1,8-cineol) improved global blood flow to the brain, after only 20 minutes of inhalation.9 A newer study released in 2016 by Korean researchers found that eucalyptol is also able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, a protective membrane that separates potentially harmful substances from harming delicate brain tissues. This research also found eucalyptol’s high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to be helpful in the management of chronic conditions such as respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative nerve and brain diseases.10
- Assists upper respiratory infections and eases asthma attacks. Eucalyptus oil’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-phlegm properties work very quickly to open congested airways. Make a steam inhalation by boiling two cups of water, pour it into a large bowl, then let it cool for five minutes. Add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil. Then create a tent from a small towel draped over your head. Place your face over the bowl and carefully breathe in the vapor until you get some relief. This should only take a couple of minutes. This is great for bronchitis, head colds, chest colds, and asthma.
- Beneficial for diabetics. Some studies have shown that several different species of eucalyptus help to reduce blood sugar levels in mice.11 Also because eucalyptus is such an excellent vasodilator, the entire body benefits from this increase in blood circulation. Diabetics commonly lack good circulation, especially to their extremities, which is a dangerous situation and can result in limb amputation. To help combat this, dilute eucalyptus oil (as described below) and massage it into the legs, hands, and feet as needed.
Tea Tree Oil (aka Melaleuca)
- For eczema and psoriasis. Due to its potent anti-inflammatory benefits, tea tree oil helps to relieve inflammatory skin conditions, especially eczema and psoriasis. Dilute as described below and apply to affected area two to three times daily.
- Boost your deodorant. If it’s an extra-hot day and your deodorant has failed, apply again, but this time with a drop or two of tea tree oil to help kill bacteria. Tea tree oil’s potent antibacterial properties are well proven with dozens of research studies.
- For pet health. Heavily dilute tea tree with coconut oil and, using a cotton swab, gently clean accumulated gunk in your pet’s ears. Proceed with extreme caution though and never drop essential oils into the ear canal (whether pet or human). Tea tree oil also helps to repel insects. Use a drop of tea tree on pet bedding or inside their crates to repel fleas and ticks.
- Prevents razor burn. Combine tea tree with a little coconut oil and apply after shaving to prevent or ease razor burn. If there are any blemishes or nicks or cuts on the skin, tea tree is a natural antiseptic.
- Natural insecticide, bug repellent, and bite reliever. Tea tree oil has long been used as a natural bug repellent by native Australian aboriginal people. Chinese research in 2016 found tea tree to be effective against the cereal weevil, Sitophilus zeamais.11 The cereal weevil is considered to be an extremely destructive pest to stored cereals all over the world. Tea tree also helps to relieve the pain, itching, and inflammation of insect bites.