More people are turning to natural remedies and holistic medicine than ever before. Are you one of them?
Essential oils are among the most popular options for natural medicine. They can help with a wide range of physical, mental and emotional conditions.
And—let’s face it—they smell amazing.
With hundreds of oils out there, though, how do you know which ones are right for you? What are the best essential oils for your particular needs?
In this post, we’ll discuss how to choose essential oils, as well as some of the most popular types.
Read on to learn more!
What Are Essential Oils?
Here’s a quick Essential Oil 101 session.
Essential oils are derived from parts of flowers, trees, and herbs. The “essence” of the plant—its fragrance—is derived from these parts and made into a potent concentrate.
It takes enormous quantities of plants to make a small amount of essential oil. To get 1 pound of rose essential oil, for example, you need 10,000 pounds of rose petals!
There are many potions and lotions that may include these natural essences (and these have their uses too). Keep in mind that pure essential oils are 100% derived from their source and are not mixed with any other ingredients.
Remember never to apply essential oil directly to your skin without diluting it with a neutral carrier oil. Other ways to enjoy essential oils are by diffusing it, adding it to bathwater, or mixing it with water to make a spray.
Different Types of Essential Oils
If you consult an essential oils reference guide, you’ll find hundreds of different types of essential oils.
Here are 9 of the most popular ones to get you started.
Lavender is one of the most beloved scents in the world and, for that reason, perhaps the most commonly used essential oil.
Its subtle floral scent is the base for countless bath and body products. Used as an essential oil, it may help with:
- Skin irritations
If you have trouble sleeping or struggle with anxiety or skin problems, lavender is an excellent oil to try.
More than just a tasty flavor, peppermint essential oil has an array of health benefits.
Studies have shown peppermint oil can help battle symptoms of IBS, including nausea and indigestion. Other uses for peppermint oil include:
- Muscular pain
- Insect bites
Peppermint oil has a cooling, tingling effect when applied topically. Spearmint, wintergreen, and tea tree oil have similar properties.
Lemongrass has a powerfully sweet and citrusy scent. It’s a popular herb for teas and cooking, as well as the base for many bath products.
Lemongrass has powerful antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can also use lemongrass essential oil for:
- Blood sugar regulation
- Migraines & headaches
- Stress & anxiety
- Lowering cholesterol levels
No wonder people have been using this fragrant and potent plant for thousands of years!
4. Clary Sage
Sage is found across the plains and mountains of the western US. It’s known for its beautiful color as well as its herbal, woody, and coniferous scent.
You can use clary sage essential oil for:
- Mental clarity
- Hormonal balancing
- Skin irritations
Calming and balancing, sage will help you feel grounded and centered. You might experience similar results from basil, rosemary, or bergamot essential oils.
5. Ylang Ylang
Does your self-esteem need a boost? Studies show that the sweet, floral scent of ylang ylang can do exactly that.
Even if you’re already feeling good about yourself, ylang ylang can do wonders for your mental state. Some of the benefits of ylang ylang include:
- Deep relaxation
- Increased libido
- Lowers blood pressure
- Prevents hair loss
Whether you use it for an aphrodisiac or to unwind after a stressful day, ylang ylang will put you in the right frame of mind.
6. Roman Chamomile
Chamomile is among the mildest essential oils, but its effects can be powerful. It’s commonly used in teas and skincare products and has a subtle floral aroma.
Chamomile essential oil is an excellent choice for:
- Skin irritations
- Stress relief
Soothing for the skin and the mind, chamomile can help you feel balanced inside and out.
Another flower loved for its beauty and its scent, rose is more than just a garden decoration.
Studies have found that rose oil is an excellent (and natural) way to battle acne. Even if you don’t have breakouts, rose essential oil can help with:
- Antioxidants for younger-looking skin
A little rose oil (mixed with a carrier oil, of course) can do wonders for your complexion and keep your skin looking young.
Another essential oil that’s great for your skin is orange oil.
Packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, orange essential oil offers these benefits:
- Brightens & smooths skin
- Eases anxiety
- Pain relief
- Boosts mood
Bold, zesty, and citrusy, orange makes a great addition to your essential oil collection. Lemon, lime, and grapefruit have similar scents and properties.
If you’re prone to respiratory troubles, eucalyptus essential oil could become your new best friend.
When inhaled or used topically, it can offer relief from:
- Sinus congestion
- Chest infections
- Muscle soreness
It has a cooling, tingling effect similar to peppermint oil. Eucalyptus is also a natural deterrent against bugs and ticks.
How to Choose Essential Oils: Now You Know
The right essential oil for you is the one that makes you feel the best.
Some of us pick essential oils because we like the way they smell. Others seek essential oils to address a specific medical or emotional concern. And some of us use essential oils simply for relaxation and enjoyment.
Whatever your reasons, one thing is for certain—there’s no shortage of options to choose from!
Now that you know how to choose essential oils, what’s next? Check out our other health-related blogs for more terrific advice.