Aromatherapy Essential Oils Guide

Most Popular Essential Oils

How to Dilute Essential Oils Applying essential oil to the skin is one of the smartest uses for essential oils, but only if you do it right. The following oils are good choices for carrier oils: Rub the diluted oil onto your skin. Popular spots for application are feet, wrists and temples. See the dilution process in action in this video by Joanna Banana Strawberry: Diffusing Essential Oils If you've asked around about what essential oils are good for, you've probably received the suggestion to try diffusing essential oils, but you might not know what that means.

The Best Smelling Essential Oils Because diffusing oils will fill your room with their scent, you'll want to choose some of the best smelling essential oils for this job. Consider diffusing any of the pleasantly fragrant suggestions on this list of essential oils: When first starting out with exploring essental oils uses, consider using the following list of essential oils to guide your shopping: Where to Buy Essential Oils Many of my readers have asked where to buy essential oils and what are the best essential oil brands out there.

How to choose the right essential oils:

Reduces stress Cleanses skin Deodorizes Disinfects Supports digestion. Expose the oil to sunlight Go out in the sun after applying it topically - The oil is photosensitive Use on babies under 6 months. Easy Natural Bergamot Recipes: Ea rl Grey Tea: Brew a cup of tea. Add a drop of therapeutic-grade bergamot oil to give your drink an Earl Grey flavor. Dilute with coconut oil. Apply this mixture to hands before beginning a foot massage. Improves hair and scalp health Tightens muscle tone Gives off a pleasant scent Balances menstrual cycle.

Use during first trimester of pregnancy Use on babies under 6 months. Add five drops to bathwater to help relieve eczema For a holiday air freshener , splash a few drops on a fireplace log half an hour before lighting the fire Apply to cedar furniture - This restores the natural scent Inhale for menstrual benefits Put on cotton balls - Place these in storage areas to repel moths. Mix oil into hair conditioner. Let stand on hair before rinsing. Blend with a small amount of witch hazel.

Swipe over red or acne prone skin. Ingest - Chamomile tea is made by crushing the dried chamomile flowers. Apply warm Chamomile tea bags to the eyes. Easy Natural Chamomile Recipes: Combine 10 drops of chamomile oil with 5 tablespoons of coconut oil and apply to the burn. Natural Toothache Relieving Mouth Rinse: Combine warm water, a chamomile tea bag, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Brush your teeth, then swish the chamomile mouth rinse around in your mouth, and spit out.

Boosts circulation Is antibacterial Increases cognitive activity Relieves congestion. Hold the bottle directly up to your nose - Diffuse for short periods of time only Use for children under 6 years Use cinnamon bark oil topically - Only cinnamon leaf oil is for topical use. Simmer in a pot of water to freshen the air after cooking Apply topically to help your circulatory system Diffuse to take care of airborne bacteria.

Easy Natural Cinnamon Recipes: Blend cinnamon oil into your hair serum. Rinse out after a few hours. Blend one part apple cider vinegar, one part coconut oil, three parts honey and several drops of cinnamon oil. Use to wash face. Numbs nerves for pain relief Repels pests Has anti inflammatory properties Works as an aphrodisiac. Swallow the oil - It can cause stomach upset Apply to skin without diluting Use on children under 2 years.

Inhale or diffuse for nausea relief Add to bathwater to ease sore muscles Use store bought clove toothpaste. Easy Natural Clove Recipes: Mix one part clove oil to 10 parts rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle for use as a bug spray. Mix clove oil and olive oil. Rub on sore gums. Has a fresh scent Promotes wound healing Is calming Provides pain relief. Inhale Arizona cypress oil - Stick with the other varieties, such as Monterey cypress oil Use on babies under 6 months. Apply cold water and cypress oil to a rag - Use as a compress for nosebleeds Add to bathwater - You'll feel refreshed afterword Soak feet in water with cypress oil to deodorize them.

Easy Natural Cypress Recipes: Combine 1 ounce each of shea butter and coconut oil. Add 30 drops of cypress oil. Mix cypress oil into coconut oil. Calms coughs and loosens mucus Keeps bugs away Is an anti inflammatory. Ingest - overdose of this oil can be fatal Use with children under 10 years.

Purchase an insect repellent that contains eucalyptus oil Apply with a carrier oil for a cold sore treatment Use with steam inhalation or as a chest rub when congested Diffuse to improve mood and alertness on a rainy day. Combine equal portions of eucalyptus oil and apple cider vinegar.

Apply to wounds or bug bites. Spritz it over feverish skin.


Alleviates nausea and stomach discomfort Reduces headache Boosts immunity Helps with respiratory concerns Works as an aphrodisiac. Expose skin to direct sunlight for 24 hours after application Use on children under 2 years. Place a few drops on a tissue - Hold it to your nose on a car ride to relieve motion sickness Apply topically to feet or abdomen for a libido boost Drink ginger tea. Add a drop of ginger oil. Stir a few drops of ginger oil into a small bowl of milk.

Pour this into a warm bath. Relieve sore muscles with a soak in the tub. May suppress appetite Energizes the body Is antibacterial Supports the immune system and eases muscle pains. Go out in the sun right after application Use on babies under 6 months. Spritz a mixture of water and grapefruit oil around the house for an air freshener Use diluted oil on dogs or horses to keep away fleas Massage over stiff body parts Diffuse to cleanse the air or ease a headache.

Put a drop of grapefruit oil in a glass of lemonade. Drink to reduce sugar cravings. Stir a touch of grapefruit into coconut oil. Every night before bed, apply the mixture to parts of the body plagued by cellulite. Promotes relaxation Eases muscle tension Helps heal skin irritation. Give orally to babies Use on babies under 3 months.

Sprinkle on stuffed animals to calm children Massage colicy babies with diluted oil Inhale to relieve headaches, anxiety, or sleeping problems Apply to burns, sunburns, or other skin troubles. Combine two cups of baking soda and 30 drops of lavender oil. Shake over carpets a few hours before vacuuming.

Mix witch hazel and lavender oil in a spray bottle. Get full directions in this video by Oily Mama RN: Boosts immunity Cleans surfaces and skin Brightens and heals skin. Go out in direct sunlight for several hours after application - Lemon oil is phototoxic Use with babies under 6 months Apply topically on young children.

What Are Essential Oils?

Pour boiling water in a pan, and add five drops of lemon oil. This combination can help loosen burnt-on food. Put three drops of dish soap, 5 tablespoons of baking soda, 3 tablespoons of sea salt and 5 drops of lemon oil in your dishwasher's detergent compartment. Eases headaches Calms the mind Improves immunity Relaxes muscles. Use when pregnant Use on children under 2 years. Sprinkle Epsom salt with lemongrass oil. Stir in coconut oil to make a paste.

Essential Oils As Medicine: Essential Oils Guide

Rub this over skin and rinse clean. Dilute lemongrass oil with witch hazel. Apply to the face to improve the look and feel of the skin.

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Calms the stomach and increases appetite Is astringent, antiviral and antibacterial Improves breathing Carries a refreshing scent. Go out in direct sunlight for up to 24 hours after application Use on children under 2 years. Freshen the bathroom by placing a few drops on a cotton ball and stashing it in an out-of-the-way spot Try steam inhalation to relieve common cold symptoms Wipe on a dry-erase board to remove old marks Inhale to increase appetite Flavor water. Blend equal amounts of olive oil and brown sugar. In one study, people exposed to the smell of lavender oil while waiting for a dental appointment reported feeling less anxiety than did those in an unscented room.

Try adding 4 to 6 drops to a warm bath or mixing the oil with water in a spray bottle to mist into the air. Some research suggests it might also help fight hair loss when massaged into the scalp. To relieve sore muscles, combine 5 drops with 5 drops of peppermint oil and 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil, then massage into skin.

Close View all gallery. Close Share options Pinterest. Sure, they smell nice. But if you're stressed-out or stuffed up, a few drops might also help you feel better, fast. Eucalyptus Oil Try it when: Peppermint Oil Try it when: Jasmine Oil Try it when: Clove-Bud Oil Try it when: Tea-Tree Oil Try it when: On every EO label, you should clearly see both the common and scientific name of the individual oil or oils if buying a blend along with any carrier oils if it is diluted.

The word "therapeutic" or some trademark including it should appear if you want the essential oils to support your health and wellness. The bottle should be 5 to 15 mL in dark glass amber or cobalt and fitted with both an orifice reducer and a tightly fitting cap; dropper tops, if present, should come on the side. The company manufacturing the essential oil should also appear on the label, preferably one that you recognize and trust based on your research.

Finally, the price should vary from bottle to bottle due to the unique process of extraction and the quantity of plant material required; in other words, similar prices for each oil should be a huge red flag for you!

What affects the quality of essential oils?

Find out everything you need to know from our essential oils guide the help of Charlynn Avery, aromatherapist and educator at Aura Cacia. Each essential oil comes with its own therapeutic benefits. Lavender is a stress reliever; peppermint is a natural energy booster. With so many essential oils.

The four C's are a way to remember how to store essential oils in a way that preserves them. Just as there is a delicate growing and extraction process, there is also a careful way that you should store your high-quality essential oils to ensure they continue to be as potent and powerful as possible. Because my roots ground me in biochemistry—my degree is in biochemistry, and I've worked as a biochemist for four years—I always like to share a bit about the chemical properties of essential oils for the science nerds like me.

As the backbone of life, chemistry gives us a glimpse into the foundation of our world, and essential oils provide such a gift from nature. A complex combination of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, with some constituents containing nitrogen and sulfur, essential oils are further divided into two specific groups based on chemical constituents: Monoterpenes cleanse and stimulate our moods while supporting our bodily systems with their antioxidant power.

Cellular vitality can be supported by using monoterpenes containing limonene, pinene, terpinene, and cymene.


The most commonly used are citrus oils, frankincense, black pepper, dill, fennel, white fir, juniper berry, coriander, cypress, rosemary, melaleuca, and marjoram. Sesquiterpenes cleanse our bodies by supporting circulation and digestion while also giving emotional balance allowing for mental clarity and a sense of well-being. The most common sesquiterpenes in essential oils are cedrene, zingiberene, himachalene, and caryophyllene found in cedarwood, ginger, helichrysum, and Melissa. Oxygenated compounds consist of several subgroups, including alcohols, phenols, aldehydes, esters, ketones, and oxides.

Knowing the proper techniques for safe and effective use of essential oils to support your health and well-being is, well, essential! Whenever I mention essential oils, I will always note their category as a basic indication of the effect they can have on your body. Just as important are the three main ways to use essential oils: Understanding both the basics and the intricacies of these techniques can make the difference in finding success in your essential oil journey.

The easiest and most common method for utilizing the incredible power of high-quality essential oils is aromatically, or by aromatherapy. For thousands of years, people have harnessed this power to improve moods, help with anxiety , and heal via the olfactory lobes. With a high percentage of the vapors being absorbed into your body, the chemical constituents trigger areas of the brain to stimulate the neurochemistry of other systems for a multiple and incredible effect. Anyone who has smelled an aroma from the other side of a room knows the incredibly volatile nature of essential oils and their ability to immediately permeate an entire area for instantaneous effect on the mind and body.

Inhaling the oils can be done in a variety of ways. Direct inhalation should always be your first use of an oil to see how it affects you, which means sniffing the aroma from an open bottle of oil. Into your respiratory system they move, being absorbed into lung tissue and jumping into your bloodstream to travel through the body and supporting the areas of need. Eventually they will be evacuated through the kidneys, lungs, and pores but only after having affected your body in a dramatic way, especially hormonally by their effect on the endocrine system.

This method refers to placing the essential oil on a vessel, such as a cotton ball, felt pad, reed, or cloth, which then releases it into the air. It is a great way to easily scent small areas or to keep your mood elevated. Pop a peppermint pad in your gym bag to nix odors and amp up your workout, tape a lemon cotton ball to a ceiling fan to cleanse the air, or spray lavender on your bedclothes to support restful sleep.

Even hospitals have gotten in on the act, utilizing essential oils in their ventilation systems. This method utilizes a machine to create a fine mist of essential oils usually paired with water for easy dispersion throughout the air. I recommend diffusing for only 15 to 30 minutes at a time with an hour break in between to allow your body to recover when first using essential oils.

You also want to ensure that the oil being diffused is safe for anyone in the immediate area. They can be especially helpful for those with respiratory issues, though be sure to discuss this with a trusted health care provider ahead of time. My favorite is an ultrasonic cool-air diffuser, which oxygenates the molecules of the air with a fine water—essential oil mixture, but be sure that what you purchase is specifically recommended for high-quality essential oils, as a lower-quality product could break down and release impurities into the air.

This is a great way to get the healing qualities of essential oils to your entire family at the same time. A simpler method of diffusion can be done with steam or water vapor as well, by heating a mug of water and dropping the EO into the water, then deeply breathing in the steam, or simply using a drop on a cotton ball while you shower to work into the steam. Topical, or direct, application is the next step after aromatic, which simply involves directly applying the essential oils to the skin in the area where they are needed most.

Your muscles and connective tissues are all affected, with the essential oils eventually moving into the bloodstream and traveling like in aromatic application. This method has a dual effect, however, since you are getting both aromatic benefits as you inhale the oil with your skin being the vessel, and then the direct absorption into the body for a secondary effect. Two terms are associated with topical application: Neat application means applying the EOs directly to your skin, which can only be done safely with certain essential oils such as frankincense or lavender and for certain people.

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It is always recommended to generously dilute first and then increase concentration to achieve your desired effect. Diluted refers to adding the essential oil to a carrier oil to allow for more efficient absorption into your skin as it prevents the volatile oils from evaporating. Essential oils are extremely potent, however, and you should only ever use one drop at a time, if that, with a carrier oil, especially when using with children or on sensitive skin.

Carrier oils are fatty vegetable, nut, or seed oils easily blendable with the lipophilic essential oils, the most commonly used being fractionated coconut oil. While raw coconut oil is a semisolid at room temperature, it liquefies when heated; the fractionated form is liquid at room temperature allowing for easy dilution of essential oils. Be sure to always choose expeller-pressed versions of these oils. When using oils for massage, be sure to always dilute 15 to 30 percent, or one drop of essential oil for every three drops of carrier oil. Always, always, always dilute essential oils when using them with children, referring to the guidelines in my book, Smart Mom's Guide to Essential Oils , and never use eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, or wintergreen around babies and young children due to potential respiratory issues.

Never use them on children younger than three months, and after that, discuss their use with a trusted health care provider. Pregnant and breastfeeding women or those with health complications should always discuss essential oil usage with their provider as well. I recommend always patch-testing a new essential oil on your skin in a small location heavily diluted to see if you react; increase the concentration until you reach your desired effect, but pay careful attention to any sensitivities. The most common reactions caused by essential oils are from not diluting enough.

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That said, never try to wash off an essential oil if you do have a reaction since the water will only repel the oil and drive it in deeper; always dilute with more carrier oil until the reaction subsides or seek professional help. Certain oils always require dilution due to their potential to irritate skin. Hot oils can create a warming or burning sensation, such as with cassia, cinnamon, cinnamon bark, clove, hyssop, and oregano. Cooling oils create a cooling or tingling sensation such as with camphor, eucalyptus, lemongrass, ocotea, peppermint, spearmint, thyme, and wintergreen.

Phototoxic or photosensitive oils are those that cause a reaction when exposed to direct sunlight for at least 12 and up to 72 hours post-application and can cause anything from a mild hyperpigmentation to a severe third-degree burn. Always dilute citrus oils and these other phototoxic oils: Generally, you always want to apply directly to or close to the area of need. For headaches, apply to the temples or wherever your head hurts; for muscle aches, apply directly on the muscles, etc. There are also certain spots that are more effective than others, such as at your pulse points wrists, neck, over your heart, and ankles ; FEW spots Feet-Ears-Wrists , where pores are bigger; and the bottoms of your feet, following reflexology.

You can also layer the oils systematically but only if you fully understand the effect of each oil and how to layer or blend them together. Since water and oil repel each other, use a warm-water compress on top of oils applied to the skin for deep penetration. While it is possible to take essential oils internally as a dietary supplement, I recommend doing so only under the care of a trusted health care professional.

While essential oils can be an extremely powerful component of your daily self-care and health care regimen, it is always important to discuss and plan with your trusted health care provider before use for targeted solutions. Every person is a unique being with individualized needs, so no one recommendation for essential oils will work for everyone. Be sure to test the oils before you use them and always do your research to ensure that you are only using the highest-quality essential oils from a trustworthy source.

Which oils should you try first?