Essential Oil Guide—Essential Oils for any Occasion

Many of us know about the myriad health benefits of essential oils, but haven’t yet tried using them. Essential oils are more than just nice-smelling herbs. They target many health issues when used as part of aromatherapy or massage sessions. Essential oil blends have been around for millennia and are continuously relied on for today’s homeopathic therapies. The following guide serves as an introduction to the proven benefits of essential oils.

Weight Loss Support

Although many oils have appetite suppressive abilities, the three most commonly used in aromatherapy practices are bitter orange, grapefruit, and ginger. Bitter orange and grapefruit oils contain limonene--a substance proven in scientific research to counteract the effects of a high-fat diet. Both oils also have a diuretic effect. Ginger oil supports digestion and improves absorption of minerals.

Suggested Use: Add several drops of oil to a diffuser for optimal exposure. You can also apply topically dilution with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil and sweet almond oil.

Cold Remedy

Cough and cold symptoms are commonly targeted with essential oil use. Remedies include myrrh, lemon, peppermint, pine and eucalyptus oils. Cold symptoms are diminished and congestion alleviated after essential oil exposure

Suggested Use: To stop coughing fits, combine an even mixture of eucalyptus and peppermint drops with a carrier oil like coconut or olive. Rub on your chest and breathe in the scent for 30 minutes or more. Lemon oil and myrrh oil can be added to a diffuser or a warm bath, and then inhaled for respiratory relief. Alleviate runny nose symptoms with pine oil aromatherapy.

Healthy Hair and Skin

Essential oils keep you beautiful inside and out. Many essential oils have simultaneous benefits for your hair and skin. Aloe Vera oil treats dandruff and relieves skin irritations. Thyme oil has antibacterial properties to target breakouts. Massage lavender oil into your scalp to promote hair growth. To stop oily skin from causing breakouts, use tea tree oil and rosemary oil. Use rose oil to moisturize dry skin.

Suggested Use: Test out a small area of the skin with any of the oils to check for reactions. If skin sensitivity doesn’t occur, massage gently into scalp or face after combining with a carrier oil.

Stress Relief

Many essential oils offer a much-needed mental boost. Aromatherapy sessions are particularly effective for stress relief. Aa 2009 Korean medical journal study found reduced stress levels in high school students after aromatherapy treatment. Lavender, bergamot and ylang ylang lowers blood pressure and heart rate to relax the mind and body.

Suggested Use: Diffuse your preferred oil for an hour or more to relieve stress symptoms.

Stop Snoring

Thyme and marjoram are proven to curb snoring. The oils promote respiratory wellness and are useful in treating asthma.

Recommended Use: Use a diffuser to inhale oils while sleeping. Avoid topical exposure, especially with thyme oil, since concentrated exposure causes skin irritation.

Increased Energy

Getting through the day can be a challenge for all of us. Revitalize with a quick whiff of any of the following essential oils: lemon, grapefruit, and sweet orange. The citrus fragrance provides an energy surge.

Recommended Use: Topical use and inhalation are acceptable ways to use citrus oils. Always dilute formulations to avoid adverse reactions.

Eye Health

As we age, our eyesight deteriorates. To optimize eye health, use helichyrum and lavender oil daily. Castor oil and lavender essential oil mixed together increases eyelash growth.

Suggested Use: Never apply essential oils directly into your eyes or on your eyelashes. The oils will irritate your eyes. Instead, place diluted oils under your eyes.

Wrinkles

Essential oils applied topically can prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, oils may diminish the signs of aging. Neroli oil increases the skin’s elasticity while geranium essential oil stimulates cellular regrowth.

Suggested Use: Mix 1-2 drops of your selected essential oil into your daily moisturizer with Shea butter. Apply topically. Always wear sunscreen since some oils cause sun sensitivity.

Warts

Warts and other stubborn skin tags can become a severe annoyance. Instead of harsh chemical treatments, try essential oil formulations for relief. Tea tree oil and oregano oil help dissolve the offending skin tag.

Suggested Use: Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of oregano oil in a small dropper bottle. Fill with one ounce of apple cider vinegar. Apply solution daily directly onto wart.

Ear Health

Ear problems, including tinnitus, can be alleviated with essential oil products. A 2006 review published in “Clinical Microbiology Reviews” affirmed that tea tree oil has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. Ear infections are treated topically in lieu of aromatherapy.

Suggested Use: Apply a 1:1 ratio by combining tea tree oil with olive oil for treating ear pain and infections. Soak a cotton ball with the mixture and place in your ears while you sleep.

Wound Healing

Speed up your body’s natural healing abilities with essential oil applications. Helichyrum prevents your wound from becoming septic, while lavender relieves pain and heals the cut faster.

Suggested Use: After carrier oil dilution, apply one drop of both oils to a bandage. Place directly on the wound. Change bandage daily.

Stop Rashes

While trying to pinpoint the cause of a rash, use essential oil products to relieve itching and inflammation. Bermagot and cedar oils are recommended when treating rashes. Both calm inflamed and itchy skin caused by psoriasis, shingles, allergies and eczema.

Suggested Use: Mix two drops of each oil with coconut oil and massage into affected skin. With bergamot, avoid sunlight for 12 hours after each application.

Healthy Teeth

Essential oil supplementation promotes dental health and targets toothaches. Spearmint and peppermint oils have anti-microbial abilities—effectively preventing cavities. Clove oil acts as an analgesic when you’re suffering from a toothache.

Suggested Use: Massage a small amount of clove oil directly onto the gums surrounding the infected tooth. Blend spearmint and peppermint oils with water for a homemade mouthwash. Never ingest the mixture.

Thyroid Management

For an underactive thyroid, a daily regimen of essential oils can prove helpful for naturally reducing fatigue and weight gain. Lemongrass and myrrh can be used in conjunction with traditional medicines.

Suggested Use: Add equal parts coconut, lemongrass and myrrh oils to a roller bottle. Roll onto wrists and pressure points daily for thyroid maintenance.

Treatments for Pets

Your pets can benefit from supplementation. Lavender oil heals skin irritation while tarragon oil provides digestive support. To repel fleas, make your own flea collar by applying five drops of lavender oil weekly to the pet’s collar.

Suggested Use: For initial exposure, try diffusing scents around your pet’s area. For topical use, avoid areas around the pet’s face. Instead, apply to the pads of their feet. Diffuse any fragrant oils to remove pet odors.

Depression

Many depression sufferers prefer natural remedies to alleviate symptoms. Aromatherapy with lavender, chamomile and jasmine oils create a calming environment for the user.

Suggested Use: Place concentrated drops in a diffuser for daily use. Without a diffuser available, add the oils to a bowl of steaming hot water and breathe in the aroma.

Focus and Memory

Need help getting your children to focus on their homework? Try an aromatherapy blend of vetiver and cedarwood.

Suggested Use: Diffuse in a room when you’re trying to focus. For children, diffusers are preferred over topical usage.

Combat Fever

Fevers are your body’s way of fighting off infections. However, fevers can make you feel even worse during an illness. Chamomile oil lowers the body’s temperature during a fevered state. Apply peppermint oil when a fever is caused by a cold.

Suggested Use: Rub diluted peppermint oil on your chest for an all-natural fever-reducing vapor rub. Moisten a washcloth with water and a couple of drops of chamomile oil, and place on your forehead.

Quick Gout Relief

Gout symptoms occur when uric acid builds up in the body. Wintergreen oil stimulates blood circulation to help remove uric acid buildups. Birch bud oil has a cleansing effect on the body for gout sufferers.

Suggested Use: Apply essential and carrier oils during massage to relax the muscles and joints while relieving pain symptoms.

Bug Repellent

Keep spiders away from your home with lavender, lemon or tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is also useful as a lice treatment. Lavender and roman chamomile oils relieve bee stings.

Suggested Use: Make your own bug spray out of lavender, lemon and tea tree oil. Add a few drops of the oils to a spray bottle filled with mild detergent and water. For lice and bee sting relief, use the oils topically with carrier oil.

Herpes Treatment

The herpes simplex virus causes cold sores around the mouth. Herpes has no cure, but outbreaks can be mitigated by supplement use. Lemon balm, star anise and geranium have antiviral effects on herpes outbreaks.

Suggested Use: Apply one drop of diluted essential oil up to twice daily on affected areas.

Headache and Migraine Relief

When you’re suffering from a headache or migraine, peppermint oil is the way to go. A 1995 clinical trial studying the effects of peppermint oil and ethanol on headache pain uncovered the essential oil’s significant analgesic effects.

Suggested Use: For pain relief, soak a moist sponge with diluted peppermint oil and apply generously to your forehead.

Jock Itch Treatment

Due to the delicate nature of the area, some men are leery of using essential oil products. However, many herbs have anti-fungal properties to fight against jock itch.

Suggested Use: Make a cream from coconut, neem, myrrh and tea tree oils. Use twice daily until fungal infection clears up.

Nail Care

Essential oil blends have several positive effects on your nails: they will grow longer and stronger with a protective layer against nail fungus. Carrot seed, rosemary and cypress are examples of essential oils good for the nails. Lemon oil combats nail fungus.

Suggested Use: Massage diluted oils into nail beds and cuticles to strengthen and nourish nails. Avoid nail polish application for at least one day after application.

Unsightly Bruises and Varicose Vein Treatment

Our legs take the biggest hit when it comes to varicose veins, bumps and bruises. Cypress, lemon and helicrysum are the most effective oils against varicose veins. These oils also promote healing for bruises.

Suggested Use: Mix cypress, lemon or helicrysum oil with jojoba oil. Rub onto the bruise or varicose vein daily until blemishes fade.

Cures for Stomach Upset and Nausea

Feeling queasy? Ginger, lavender and peppermint oils cure nausea caused by stomach issues or pregnancy.

Suggested Use: Simple inhalation is the safe and effective way to combat nausea.