Essential oil uses vary according to each oil and its properties. Some may help to send you off to sleep, while others are particularly good for the skin. Others may be added to home cleaning products, while others can be used in room sprays, candles or even home-made perfumes.
While aromatherapy focuses on the scent aspect of essential oils, these powerfully scented oils can be used in other ways, too. Applied topically, they have all the benefits offered by the original plant source. Due to their high potency, just a few drops are needed to reap the rewards. Costs vary according to different brands, oils and plant origins, but for the most part, as the oil usually lasts a while, a small bottle goes a long way.
What are the best ones to start with, and what essential oil uses are worth noting?
Essential Oil Uses & Properties
Other than their heavenly scents, essential oils can be used for all sorts of things. Whether used in a burner to relax, destress or energise, or added to oils such as almond, grapeseed or jojoba for massage, skincare or bath oil, each oil has its own benefits and properties.
Some of my own personal favourites that I use on a regular basis include the following:
Orange Essential Oil
- Smell: Sweet, citrusy, calming and zesty.
- Uses: Colds and flu, constipation, dull skin, flatulence, oral hygiene, slow digestion, stress.
- Good for: Uplifting the mood, increasing productivity and giving an added burst of energy.
- How to use: Add a few drops to your bath, add to carrier oil for massage or skin oil, use with carrier oil in burner, add to distilled water for a room spray, add to vinegar and baking soda and hot water for a natural house cleaner, add a few drops to hair oils or take internally (ask your doctor for exact dosage and precautions).
Lavender Essential Oil
- Smell: Herby, fresh, clean, soothing with a hint of sweetness.
- Uses: Wounds, burns, scars, skin, stress, sleep, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory.
- Good for: Bedtime, relaxation, caring for scabs and grazes, soothing and calming the senses.
- How to use: Add to bath, use with carrier oil for massage, skincare or haircare, add to distilled water and use as pillow spray, use in natural deodorant and for natural treatment of wounds (always combine with carrier oil when applying directly to skin).
Lemon Essential Oil
- Smell: Fresh, sweet, clean, sharp, green, tangy.
- Uses: Anti-septic, anti-bacterial, energising, boosts circulation, insect repellent
- Good for: Home cleaners, room sprays, bug balm or repellent, skincare and stress relief.
- How to use: Mix with lavender and carrier in burner or for massage, add to bath, use in candles, use for oil cleansing, add to natural home cleaning products, use in deodorant and blend with mint for energy boost.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Smell: Sweet, strong, fresh, floral, tropical, mildly green.
- Uses: Insect repellent, anti-bacterial, pain relief, mood upliftment, astringent, anti-septic.
- Good for: Headache relief, deodorant, skincare, haircare, energy boosting and more.
- How to use: Add to mosquito repelling sprays, use with almond or grapeseed oil for massage, add to yoga mat for added energy, use in natural soy candles and use in skin oils.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
- Smell: Woody, warm, sweet, earthy, green with a hint of pine.
- Uses: Relieves itches, soothes eczema, psoriasis and acne, helps oily skin and dry scalps.
- Good for: Skin and hair care, stress relief and pain relief.
- How to use: Add to conditioner or shampoo, use for oil cleansing or face oil, use in diffusers or oil burners, add to sweet almond or other light oil for massage, add to bath, add to distilled water spray.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Smell: Green, fresh, woodsy, pine-like, invigorating with cooling undertones.
- Uses: Colds and flu, pain relief, alertness, asthma relief and more.
- Good for: Sick day relief from pain, colds and fever, reviving energy and uplifting mood.
- How to use: Add to bath or shower bombs, add to facial steamers to clear congestion, use in diffusers or oil burners, add to hot bath water, add to pillow sprays.
Essential Oil Recipes & Blends
Try some of these blends to put your oils to use in your home. Just remember – you will need to add these oils to a carrier oil to diffuse or apply topically. It can be very dangerous to apply essential oils directly to the skin. You can either blend oils to your preference and add to an oil such as almond, jojoba, apricot kernel, argan, rosehip, grapeseed or similar, or you could add to unscented soy wax to make candle, or even use in a soap blend.
For calm... lavender and orange
For a better mood… bergamot, orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime
For energy… lemon and mint
For romance… rose and geranium
For peace… bergamot, ylang ylang and jasmine
For focus… lemon, mint, grapefruit, rosemary and mint
For sleep… lavender, neroli and chamomile
For glowing skin… orange
For oily skin… tea tree
For dry skin… calendula
For colds… eucalyptus and peppermint
For insect repellent… citronella, lemongrass, lavender and eucalyptus
For PMS and cramps… lavender, peppermint and cypress
For cuts and scrapes… lavender and tea tree
I love to mix up bedtime blends to add to my oil burner at night. This is one of my favourite relaxation techniques and really helps to calm my mind. But I also always keep a bottle of lavender and lemon grapeseed oil on hand at all times, too. This is ideal for keeping mosquitoes at bay during the summer months, but also a lovely treat for my skin after my shower each evening. Lately, I have started adding a few drops of orange oil to my usual rosehip oil that I use on my skin, which not only smells good, but also helps to brighten the skin. Apparently, orange has some anti-aging properties, too, which is an added bonus I guess!
With so many essential oil uses, having a collection to suit every mood, occasion and minor ailment will always see you through… whether you need a quick pick-me-up or some natural first aid.
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