Everything You Need To Know About Essential Oils
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Everything You Need To Know About Essential Oils And What They Do For Your Health

You always hear about "essential oils" but what are they for?

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Emily Hendricks
Emily Hendricks

I am not, nor do I claim to be, an expert on essential oils. The following information is based on what I know that has worked well for me personally, mixed with a little research done to better understand what each oil is capable of. I only ever use them for aromatherapy, so sometimes I mix and match them. Here are the 10 oils I keep on my shelf!

Eucalyptus

This is one of my favorite oils, especially when I have a cold or cough and just can't seem to clear my lungs. The oil is good to inhale to help break up the mucus and grossness that happens in your chest, which helps when my asthma flairs up. I usually mix it with peppermint to give it more strength, but works just as great on it's own. Mixing it with a carrier oil–like coconut or olive, for example–dilutes it a bit so it doesn't sting your skin when you use it topically. Rubbing it on your temples, behind your ears, or neck can help lessen the effects of a headache. Other uses for it that I have personally not taken advantage of include: relieving muscle or joint pain, bug repellant, bad breath fighter, or treating cold sores, to name a few.

Tea Tree

This is one of the newer oils in my collection, so I honestly don't know that much about it. I bought it because I like the way it smells with lemon, but there are various uses for it as well. It can be used as a hand sanitizer when mixed with aloe vera, used to boost wound healing, and helps with dry scalps, among many other uses. According to Young Living, it is one of the most widely used oils because of its various purposes.

Peppermint

Peppermint is such a common scent, but not everyone knows what it is capable of. Aside from being a simply invigorating smell, peppermint is known for helping with focus and alertness. Some other uses include soothing relief after rough activities or for sore muscles. I like to use it with eucalyptus to help with deep breathing, or mix it with lemon to help with a spirited and bright aroma for studying or even relaxation. If you have a stuffy nose or congested lungs, I would suggest dabbing a diluted amount of oil right under your nose and on your chest (respectively) to help break it up.

Lime

The scent of fresh limes is uplifting and cheery, especially when combined with other citrus fruits such as lemon or orange oils. Its scent is said to help with creativity and mindfulness, making it great to diffuse in classrooms or daycares. The oil is also known to help make your skin look healthier when added to moisturizers. This being said, citrus oils tend to cause photosensitivity, making it a bad idea to apply before being in direct sunlight for an extended period of time.

Lemongrass

The Fresh Thyme bottle states that lemongrass oil is "vitalizing," and I couldn't agree more! If a room is smelling musty and gross, diffusing a bit of this oil will do away with the issue in record time. Some different possible uses include mouthwash, fighting headaches, and helping to relieve anxiety and stress. I personally just use it because of the smell, because to me it smells like a gentler, earthier version of lemon. It can also be used as insect repellant!

Lemon

I can honestly say that this is 100% my favorite scent, and I am unsure exactly why. When I buy Clorox wipes, they're lemon scented. My candles are generally a variation on lemon. My favorite lip balm is lemon. I have a wax warmer in my room (right next to my diffuser!) and it is almost always melting Limoncello wax from Bath and Body Works. The scent creates an uplifting and joyful aura and is also helpful with focus and concentration. Some specific uses include treatment for bug bites, add it to your facial moisturizer to tighten your skin, or even balance out oily skin like an astringent.

Orange

Young Living calls the orange essential oil a "burst of sunshine." Much like lemon, diffusing this oil helps to create an uplifting environment and promote a clean scent. An instant mood booster, citrus scents have the ability to put your mind at ease and in a playful mood. Supposedly, citrus oils contain a compound that helps fight cancer. Other benefits include an immune booster, helps with digestion, and works as an anti-inflammatory. I usually mix it with other citrus scents like lemon and grapefruit to make my room smell fruity and help put me in a positive mood.

Tangerine

While I sort of use orange and tangerine interchangeably, orange is probably my favorite of the two because tangerine is slightly more tart, much like the actual fruits themselves. That being said, tangerine oil hosts its own set of benefits and uses. Some of these include treatment for dandruff or dry scalp and lessening the appearance of scars, as well as helping with cellulite. It also promotes healthy sleep, which is great for someone like me who often struggles to stay asleep, let alone fall asleep in the first place.

Grapefruit

Another citrus scent, grapefruit is known for its being invigorating and energizing. Mixing it with a carrier oil can make for a great oiled massage or simply apply it for smoother and healthier looking skin. It is believed to help with stress and generally lifting spirits, as well as work to erase blemishes and acne scarring. As it is also a citrus, it is important to be used with caution on sensitive skin and to avoid direct sunlight after applications.

Lavender

Lavender is a scent that is most commonly associated with be calming and relaxing. In the past whenever I had trouble falling asleep, I would put a few drops of lavender on the edge of my pillowcase. Another option is to rub some lavender on the bottoms of your feet, as this is a quick and easy way to absorb the oil. As a topical solution, it is known to help with imperfections of the skin. After a long day in the sun and acquiring a sunburn, mix some aloe vera gel with lavender oil to soothe your skin and lessen any redness. My favorite nighttime diffuser mix consists of lavender, peppermint, and lemon.

Of course there are many more oils than the 10 I listed here, but these are ones I use personally, and the little information I know about each. If you want to learn more, doing a simple Google search should get you the information you need! I used Young Living to find out additional information, so check them out if you'd like to learn more!

I buy all of my oils at Fresh Thyme (except for Lime, that's from Walmart!).

A few mixes I use often are

breathe: equal parts eucalyptus and peppermint

citrus: equal parts lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and lime (or any mix of these)

relax: equal parts lavender and peppermint, light lemon

cleansing: equal parts lemon and lemongrass, light eucalyptus

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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