The First 5 Essential Oils You Must Buy For Multiple Benefits
Essential oils are a must-have in every household. Peppermint oil improves one’s focus and concentration. Frankincense oil fades scars and perks up one's mood. Tea tree oil busts acne and fungal infections. Lemon oil repels bugs and promotes the breakdown of body fat. Lavender induces restful sleep and heals wounds and burns.
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from the leaves or seeds of plants. It takes a large amount of plant to produce just one small bottle of oil. It’s, hence, no surprise that due to their high concentration, a little bit goes a long way.
Essential oils have made a place for themselves in several aspects of life. You’re bound to come across some during a spa session or while shopping for candles, perfumes, or even bars of soap. And if you’ve only just ventured into the vast world of these versatile oils, you’re bound to be stumped by the sheer number of options that are at your disposal. We’ve put together a list of 5 most versatile essential oils that you can’t do without.
1. Peppermint Oil
Since ancient times, peppermint oil has been used as a digestive aid. Current studies also look at its benefits on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.1
Peppermint essential oil is most popular for its ability to improve your focus, concentration, and energy levels when diffused in the air. When it’s applied to the bottom of feet and on the chest, its antimicrobial and cooling properties are believed to clear up your sinuses and give you much-needed relief from the flu. Mixing it with coconut oil and applying this concoction to your muscles will heal any pain and soreness. Besides this, you could add a few drops of peppermint oil to a cup of water and spray this around your room, cupboard, or clothes to freshen up your room while keeping bugs at bay. Research has also found that inhaling peppermint oil can significantly improve antibiotic resistance and heal the body from the overuse of prescription drugs.2 Menthol, a compound in peppermint oil, is believed to relieves aches and pains, so you could massage a mixture of peppermint oil and coconut oil onto your sore muscles.
Caution: Avoid using peppermint oil around the throat or neck area of children under 18 months.
2. Frankincense Oil
The word frankincense is French for “pure incense,” and the name could be attributed to its fresh and woody scent.
If you tend to be stressed out often, frankincense oil might come to your rescue. It has calming properties when diffused in the air. Like peppermint oil, it also has antimicrobial properties. You could add a few drops of it to a cup of water and use it as a toner to ward off acne or as a mouthwash to get rid of bad odor. Besides this, you could also use this frankincense oil-water mixture to clean dirty surfaces. Certain studies have also found that frankincense oil improves the appearance of scars, acne marks, and wrinkles.3
3. Tea Tree Oil
The Aborigines of Australia were the first to use the tea tree leaves as medicine, crushing them and applying them to skin infections and bug bites.
Most popular for its acne-busting properties, tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties make it the ideal weapon against eczema, psoriasis, ingrown hairs, itchy/flaky scalp, and fungal infections as well. To use it topically, add a few drops of it to your moisturizer or a carrier oil like coconut oil. If you’ve recently had a cold or any other contagious disease and you’d like to disinfect your clothes, add a few drops of tea tree oil to your liquid detergent. And as for surfaces, you could add a few drops of the oil to water and use that to wipe any surfaces.4
4. Lemon Oil
Lemon essential oil is extracted from lemon peel, which is the most nutritious part of the lemon but is often discarded while cooking.
The most powerful anti-microbial agent of all the essential oils, lemon essential oil is best known for its ability to cleanse toxins from the body. Traditionally, it was added to a carrier oil like sweet almond oil or coconut oil to stimulate lymph drainage through massage. Diffusing it might boost mood, repel bugs, and improve neurological activity that promotes the breakdown of body fat. You could also add it to your liquid detergent to add a lemony-fresh fragrance to your clothes. Besides this, adding a few drops of this essential oil to olive or almond oil will give you a natural hand sanitizer. Mixing it with baking soda, meanwhile, will give you a natural teeth whitener, but be sure to have pure lemon essential oil when you do.
If you’ve used lemon essential oil on your skin, do avoid stepping out in the sun for 72 hours as they may cause an increased reaction to its UV rays.5
5. Lavender Oil
It is believed that Russian scientist René Gatefossé discovered the healing properties of lavender when he severely burned his arm and immersed it in a vat of lavender essential oil to find later on that his tissue had healed rapidly without scarring.
Popular for its floral aroma and calming properties, lavender is here for you on the days that you can’t get yourself to sleep. All you have to do is dab some onto your neck or on your pillow to get a peaceful night’s sleep. If you’ve had a long and winding day, you could add a few drops of the oil to your body wash or Epsom salts and have a relaxing bath. If you suffer from anxiety or painful headaches, diffuse the oil into the air for some relief. And if you enjoy the fragrance of lavender, you could substitute your perfume with lavender essential oil. Some studies have also found that applying lavender oil diluted in coconut oil (or other carrier oils) to rashes, burns, and wounds speeds up their healing time. This could be because it has antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties.6 Lavender is one of the very few essential oils that are considered safe to use without diluting but be sure to buy pure lavender oil.
A Word Of Caution
Although the essential oils we’ve listed out are considered safe, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when you’re using them.
- If you are prone to allergies, be sure to do a patch test. Apply a small amount of oil on the inside of the upper arm and let stay for 30 minutes before applying the oil to other areas of the body.
- Keep essential oils away from your eyes and out of your ears since they might trigger allergic reactions. Do not handle contact lenses or rub your eyes with oil on your fingers.
- Pregnant and lactating women should avoid using essential oils.
- Do not ingest essential oils until you’ve consulted a professional.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||By the way, doctor: What can you tell me about peppermint oil? Havard Health Publishing.|
|2.||↑||Common Essential Oils. Western Michigan University.|
|3.||↑||8 Surprising Uses For Frankincense Essential Oil. Space Coast Education Center.|
|4.||↑||The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil. Cinta Aveda Institute.|
|5, 6.||↑||Common Essential Oils. Western Michigan University.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.