Guide to essential oils: 20 Amazing essential oils…and their benefits
There is an amazing array of essential oils available and knowing which ones are the best to add to your collection can be a bit tricky. Essential oils are not all the same and each one can have its own different health and beauty applications. Because they are so different, you do need to take care with essential oils. Most cannot be taken internally and many cannot be applied to the skin undiluted. If you are unsure which essential oils can do what for you, here is a run-down of the amazing benefits of twenty of different essential oils that are available.
1. Tea tree essential oil
Known for its fresh and clean fragrance, tea tree essential oil is probably the best oil to use for its antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Tea tree oil should not be applied to the skin neat, it needs diluting with a carrier oil, and this blend can be applied to the face to treat acne, applied to the feet to treat athlete’s foot and to the scalp to treat dandruff.
2. Lavender essential oil
Lavender oil is the number one selling essential oil and it is used extensively in aromatherapy, because of its ability to calm the mood and reduce anxiety. It can be used in a diffuser in the home and is often used to help children relax and get to sleep. Lavender essential oil is also very useful for treating minor burns. Applied with a carrier oil, lavender oil soothes burns and helps them to heal faster.
3. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil, which is extracted from the peppermint plant, has a refreshing scent that can help to keep you alert when you are feeling drained and it improves the clarity of the mind. It’s also good for applying to aching muscles after a workout. Massage a few drops of peppermint oil into the skin and it will quickly soothe and reduce the soreness of tired legs.
4. Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is best known for its ability to clear the nasal passages and relieve congestion. It’s much safer to use than decongestants, which you shouldn’t use if you have high blood pressure. When you get a cold, or are suffering with an allergy, place a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil on a handkerchief and inhale the fumes. It will clear a stuffy nose and ease congestion in the chest fast.
5. Lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil has a fresh, citrusy smell that is great for freshening up a room. You can use it in a diffuser, or you can mix it in some water and spray some it into the air. Lemon essential oil provides a fresh and invigorating fragrance that brightens up a room and your mood. You can also use lemon oil to brighten up your skin. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a carrier oil and it will lighten blemishes, fade scars, and brighten up the complexion.
6. Helichrysum essential oil
Helichrysum oil, which is extracted from a flower that grows primarily in France and the surrounding regions, is one of the best essential oils for treating the skin. This is one of the essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin and it is used to treat injuries such as bruising, swelling and infections. It also contains pain killing ingredients and can be used to treat sore muscles and arthritis.
7. Jatamansi essential oil
Jatamansi essential oil, which is also known as Himalayan spikenard, is extracted from the roots of a plant that is native to Nepal and the surrounding Himalayan region. It is known to be one of the most potent oils for calming the mind and promoting good night’s sleep. It is usually used by mixing the oil with warm sesame seed oil and then massaging it into the feet, or the forehead. It’s also said that Jatamansi essential oil makes your dreams more vivid.
8. Neroli essential oil
Neroli essential oil, which is widely used in the cosmetics industry for its fragrance, is made from the flowers of the bitter orange tree. It has a sweet citrusy fragrance that can lift the mood and ease the symptoms of depression. Applied to the skin, Neroli oil improves skin elasticity, fights acne, and it reduces the appearance of scars, blemishes and stretch marks.
9. Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile oil is one if the gentler essential oils and it can be applied directly to the skin. With all essential oils, though, it is advisable to apply a small amount to a patch of skin fist to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction to it. Chamomile essential oil is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, so it is ideal for use if you experience cramps.
10. Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot oil is another one of the citrus essential oils that uplifts the mood and has an anti-depressant effect. You can use it in a diffuser or just rub some on the palms of your hands and inhale the fumes. Used on the skin, bergamot essential oil relieves aching muscles and helps to give you more energy. You should, however, be careful about using it on exposed areas of the skin, because it makes the skin hypersensitive to the sun.
11. Melissa essential oil
Melissa essential oil, which is also sometimes known as lemon balm, is one of the best oils for improving mental alertness. Inhaling the fumes of Melissa oil, sharpens the mind, improves concentration and the memory. The power of Melissa essential oil is so powerful in this area that scientists are now looking into the potential benefits that Melissa oil might hold for Alzheimer’s patients. Melissa essential oil can be inhaled from the palms of the hands, used in a diffuser, or applied to skin when properly diluted.
12. Frankincense essential oil
Frankincense, which is obtained from the resin of a tree, is the scent of ancient legends and it is often used in rituals and religious ceremonies. Fragrance essential oil enhances mental alertness and eases the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also be used diluted on the skin to help wounds heal faster and to reduce the appearance of scar tissue.
13. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary oil is an incredibly popular essential oil because it has so many different health benefits and uses. Used in hair masks and hot oil treatments, it will strengthen and thicken hair and promote better hair growth. It also has strong anti-bacterial properties and is often used in homemade mouthwashes. Used regularly, it helps to prevent cavities, gingivitis and the build-up of plaque. Used for aromatherapy, rosemary essential oil promotes mental alertness and is often used by students when they are studying for exams.
14. Patchouli essential oil
Patchouli essential oil has a very distinctive scent it is often worn as a fragrance by people who follow an alternative lifestyle, like punk rockers and hippies. Patchouli essential oil also has its uses in mainstream life too, it can be used as an effective anti-inflammatory component and it is very good to use diluted with a carrier oil for skin conditions, such as acne cracked heels and eczema.
15. Rose essential oil
Rose essential oil is made by the distillation of the Damascus Rose and it has a huge range of medicinal uses, as well as a beautiful scent. It is often used in aromatherapy to treat anxiety, stress and depression, as well as in natural skincare blends, and it also has strong ant0bcaterial and anti-viral properties. The other thing that rose essential oil is famous for is its aphrodisiac properties.
16. Ginger essential oil
Ginger essential oil has a wonderfully warm and spicy scent and it is probably best known for the effect that it has on the digestive system. Ginger oil can help reduce the feeling of nausea and settle an upset stomach. If you get tired during the day, then ginger essential oil is the perfect pick-me-up too. Inhale the scent of ginger essential oil, and it will boost your energy levels and revitalise you.
17. Rosewood essential oil
Rosewood essential oil comes from the giant rosewood tree of Brazil and it has powerful anti-depressant and mild analgesic properties. It has mild, spicy fragrances that make it a great ingredient for homemade deodorants. Rosewood essential oil also acts as an insecticide and an insect repellent, so it’s great to wear when you are taking a trip to the countryside in the summer.
18. Sandalwood essential oil
Sandalwood essential oil can be applied directly to the skin, or inhaled for its therapeutic aromatherapy properties. It is said to bring a sense of peace to the mind and to promote spiritual well-being. It’s also great for treating minor wounds and infections and it will clear up fungal infections on the skin as well. Sandalwood oil is one of the essential oils that cannot be used in a diffuser, though, because it is too viscous.
19. Saffron essential oil
Saffron essential oil is one of the ancient oils that have been used for many centuries. It has many beneficial properties that range from helping with digestive problems, to improving the libido. Saffron oil is also known to inhibit the appetite and it can be an aid to weight loss. It should be used with care, though, because, in large quantities, saffron essential oil can be toxic.
20. Grapefruit essential oil
The citrus smell of grapefruit essential oil provides an invigorating energy boost and can alleviate bad moods. It’s also great for the skin. If you use grapefruit essential oil with a carrier oil, it helps to lock moisture into the skin and will promote a clear and glowing complexion.