You’re probably familiar with the smells of lavender, chamomile, and peppermint or maybe the scents of rose, jasmine, eucalyptus, and lemon. What you may not know is that these essential oils can have many valuable properties. Essential oils are all-natural and are derived directly from plants. They can be a great non-processed alternative to traditional medicine for alleviating headaches, anxiety, digestive issues, and even skin problems. This article explains each of the above oils, their effects, and their applications to give you an overview and introduction to the best essential oils for beginners.
Lavender oil can have many different applications and is, therefore, one of the most versatile essential oils on this list. It has calming, antiseptic, wound-healing, pain-relieving, and circulation-enhancing properties. It’s most commonly used for headaches but can also help with anxiety, menstrual cramps, allergies, or insomnia.
Ways to Use Lavender Oil
You can rub a few drops on your forehead and temples to help with migraines or apply it to other parts of your skin. Lavender oil is also said to help with insect bites and can be used to moisturise dry skin. These are just a few of the benefits of lavender.
Chamomile oil is another very popular essential oil with several different uses. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is said to promote wound healing. Chamomile oil is also antibacterial and may help with infections. Plus, it can help with muscle spasms or cramps.
Ways to Use Chamomile Oil
Inhaling chamomile oil through a steam bath may help with respiratory issues and colds. Just add five drops to a bowl of steaming water and inhale the calming steam while always being careful not to burn yourself.
Chamomile can also be applied as a warm or cold compress to help with muscle inflammation, cystitis, and even acne. Just soak a clean cloth or towel in a bowl of water with a few drops of chamomile oil and apply it to your skin.
Similar to chamomile oil, peppermint oil has a wide variety of uses. It can help with muscle pain and itching. Peppermint oil also produces a cooling effect which may relieve headaches as well as muscle cramps.
Ways to Use Peppermint Oil
Take one tablespoon of skin-safe oil (e.g., olive oil) as a base and mix it with two to three drops of peppermint oil. The oil mixture can then be spread on the forehead and temples or lightly massaged into the area of a cramp. After application, always make sure to wash your hands so that no residue can get into your eyes or other sensitive areas which might cause irritation.
Rose oil is commonly used in cosmetics but can also have other benefits. It has cell renewing as well as moisturising properties and is suitable for all skin types. Furthermore, rose oil promotes blood circulation and also has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Ways to Use Rose Oil
You can massage the oil in small amounts (2-3 drops) directly into your skin without having to dilute it first. Always remember to patch-test before you attempt this. For gum inflammation or throat pain, you can mix two to three drops of rose oil with a glass of water and gargle the mixture. Don’t swallow it, though.
Like rose oil, jasmine oil is also widely used in cosmetics and has many benefits and uses. Jasmine oil is an antiseptic and antidepressant. In addition, it's an antispasmodic and even an aphrodisiac. The smell of jasmine oil is said to help with insomnia and sleep problems.
Ways to Use Jasmine Oil
You can apply a few drops to your skin or hair to moisturise and create a protective barrier. Jasmine oil can also be excellent as a massage oil, but make sure to dilute it first. For a better night's sleep, sprinkle a few drops of it on your pillow, or add the oil to a diffuser before you go to bed.
Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in medication used to alleviate cold symptoms. With its anti-inflammatory properties, eucalyptus essential oil can help with respiratory problems. Got a pesky cough and mucus build-up in the chest? Eucalyptus oil may help! It may also help with sinusitis and asthma symptoms. Plus, it's great for use outdoors to keep the bugs away!
Ways to Use Eucalyptus Oil
It's most effective when inhaled through a steam bath. Only three drops in a bowl of hot water are enough as the oil is highly concentrated. Another method is to put a few drops on a tissue, hold it in front of your nose and inhale deeply. Doing this can help with coughing or a blocked nose. At night rub a few drops on your chest for a more peaceful sleep.
Lemon oil is extracted from lemon peel and is another highly versatile essential oil. It strengthens the immune system and can kill bacteria and viruses. You can also use it in cleaning products or as a substitute for bug spray. In addition, lemon oil has mood-boosting properties that can help with stress and anxiety.
Ways to Use Lemon Oil
For bug problems, simply add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a candle to keep mosquitoes away during the summer. To help with stress, you can diffuse it or apply it directly to the skin. Just make sure to dilute it first with another skin-safe oil.
Essential Oil Diffusers
You can buy essential oil diffusers online or in larger department stores. There are very affordable options for around €10, although a high-quality diffuser may cost upwards of €50 or more. To use it, add 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to your diffuser and enjoy as calming scents fill your house. Don't forget to clean it every once in a while. Also look for a diffuser with an automatic shut-off feature if you plan on leaving it on overnight.
Which essential oil will you be trying first?
This overview of the top 7 essential oils for beginners briefly introduces the most commonly used essential oils. I hope you found it helpful! Remember, before applying oils to your skin or inhaling them, always do your research. Also, read the packaging insert carefully, as concentrations of the oils may vary between suppliers.
Not all oils are suitable for consumption, so only ingest essential oils if explicitly recommended by medical professionals. To avoid allergic reactions, you should consult your doctor before you begin using essential oils.
Buying oils from somewhere you trust is very important. I only use Young Living oils. With Young Living you can visit the farms and watch as the oils are extracted from the plants. For more information about Young Living or to get any of the oils, contact me.