If you don’t have essential oils in your household, it’s about time you go out and get some. Those little bottles of 100% organic plant essence have so many uses, it would practically be a crime to pass them up.
They are 100–10,000 times more concentrated than herbs.
They evaporate quickly, making them readily accessible to the body and immediately effective.
Essential oils are used for just about everything due to their unique and pleasant smells as well as their antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. They are used in all kinds of different medicinal and cosmetic treatments, therapies, cleaning supplies, and bug repellents.
Are you wondering how you can benefit from essential oils? These are just a few of their many uses.
1. Stress Relief
One of the most popular uses of essential oils is stress relief. Certain oils are proven to have calming effects when used either topically or aromatically.
Essential oils commonly used for tension, anxiety, and stress include lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, bergamot, chamomile, and cedarwood, among others.
Lavender essential oil is especially popular due to its adaptogenic properties—meaning that it gives the body a boost by helping it adapt to stressors. It also means that it is an adaptable essential oil, making it useful in just about any situation and for just about any mood.
To use essential oils topically for tension relief, mix 1–2 drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil (almond oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and rub gently into temples and wrists to promote calm and relaxation.
Essential oils can be used aromatically for stress relief by:
Inhaling directly from the bottle
- Using a diffuser – Blend lavender, roman chamomile, and ylang-ylang for a calming recipe.
- Pouring out a few drops while showering for steam diffusion
Adding a few drops to an article of clothing, handkerchief, cotton pad, or scarf and inhaling
2. Sinus and Respiratory Care
If you’re feeling clogged up and bogged down, a little assistance from essential oils may bring you respite.
Essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and oregano are all common choices for sinus and respiratory relief. These oils are known to help to open up the airways and reduce inflammation. They’re also expectorants; they help to loosen mucus so that it can be coughed up easily. In addition, their antibacterial and antiviral properties provide immune support when the body is fighting off an infection.
There are a few ways to use essential oils for sinus and respiratory relief.
Fill a large bowl halfway with hot water (not boiling) and add 5–6 drops of organic eucalyptus essential oil and a few drops of any other essential oil mentioned above. Put your face directly over the bowl and cover your head with a towel so that it drapes over the sides of the bowl. Repeat 3 times a day to clear breathing passages.
Add about 20 drops of essential oils to a humidifier in the room where you sleep.
Bring a bottle of eucalyptus or peppermint oil with you into the shower. Once the shower is steamy, pour a few drops out and breathe in deeply.
Put a few drops of essential oils directly into a nice, warm bath for sinus and respiratory relief.
3. Headache Relief
Whether you have a stress-induced headache, a sinus headache, cluster headaches, or frequent migraines, essential oils can help to alleviate your symptoms.
The best essential oils to use for headaches are peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and Roman chamomile.
Ways you can use essential oils for headache relief:
Pick any three of the essential oils listed above and mix 3 drops of each into a carrier oil. Rub on the back of your neck, behind your ears, and on your temples.
Add a few drops of the essential oils listed above into a diffuser and lie down for a few minutes with your eyes closed. You may feel immediate relief.
4. Energy and Brain Boost
Some oils have relaxing effects, while others have stimulating effects. The stimulating oils have been proven to boost energy levels, improve athletic performance, and boost brain power.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that peppermint essential oil effective for improving exercise performance, respiratory function, systolic blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory gas exchange parameters. (1)
The athletes improved their performance by consuming a few drops of peppermint oil mixed with water for 10 consecutive days.
In addition, essential oils can boost brain oxygen concentration and improve learning, cognition, and memory. Their antioxidant activity can also protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
5. Sore Feet Treatment
Relieve pain and swelling in your feet using an essential oil foot bath or foot rub. Not only will these methods ease aching feet, they’re also great ways to relax after a long day.
To reduce swelling in the feet, add 3–4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your favorite carrier oil and massage into feet. Lie down and prop your feet up using pillows to further reduce swelling.
6. Insect Repellent
If you’ve ever purchased an organic insect repellent, then you’ve used essential oils to keep critters away.
Essential oils are useful for repelling all kinds of unwanted creatures, including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and lice. The oils most commonly used as bug repellents include citronella, tea tree, eucalyptus, cedarwood, rose geranium, juniper, lemongrass, oregano, basil, clove, and thyme, among others.
These are the ways you can keep bugs at bay using essential oils:
Homemade mosquito and tick repellent spray
Fill a small spray bottle with 2 oz. of distilled water. Add 1 oz. of witch hazel, 30 drops of citronella essential oil, and another 30 drops of any combination of the other essential oils listed above.
When you’re enjoying a barbeque in your backyard, you don’t want to have to worry about a mosquito attack. Use a diffuser to keep away unwanted guests. Put in 10–15 drops of citronella essential oil and another 10–15 drops of any combination of the oils listed above. Refill as needed.
If you’re worried about fleas or lice, just add two drops of tea tree essential oil to shampoo in your hand and lather as usual.
7. All-Purpose Home Cleaner
Citrus and lavender essential oils are popular choices for all types of natural cleaning products. You can make your very own homemade cleaning spray using essential oils and apply it to countertops, stovetops, floors, toilets, bathtubs, showers, windows—you name it.
An all-natural essential oil cleaning spray—like the one mentioned below—will save you from nasty chemicals found in commercially sold cleaning products.
To make your own natural cleaning spray, add the following ingredients to a spray bottle:
- 1 cup distilled water
- ½ cup white distilled vinegar
- 30 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
8. Deodorize Your Home
There are many places around the house that tend to collect and trap unpleasant smells. These smells are not only hard on the nose, but they indicate that there is something unhealthy going on—bacteria growth.
The best essential oils to use for deodorization include citrus oils (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.), geranium, lemongrass, tea tree, and peppermint.
Make a deodorizer by adding a few drops of any of the essential oils mentioned above into baking soda. Sprinkle on the bottom of trash bins or inside smelly shoes—or put in small, open containers and store in cabinets, drawers, shoe storage units, and in the refrigerator and freezer.
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the countless uses essential oils have to offer. They are also used to:
- Clear acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems
- Soothe burns, bites, bruises, blisters, and lacerations
- Soften, tame, and thicken hair
- Dissolve stains and spots on clothing
- Freshen breath
- Reduce cellulite
- Soften skin and lips
- Strengthen nails
- Eliminate dandruff
- Promote healthy sleep
- Improve digestion
Are you new to the wide world of essential oils? To get your collection going, we recommend starting with lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and lemon. You may be surprised to find out how many ways these magical little vials can drastically improve your life!