HomeHealthBest Essential Oil Uses: 5 Must Have Oils & How to Use Them [Pro Tips] When it comes to essential oils, there are a lot of questions out there. What benefits do essential oils offer? How can essential oils be used and applied? Are there any helpful recipes from the experts? What should I know about their safety? In this guide we’ll provide the answers to these questions about the top five essential oils which you can browse specifically by clicking on the quick links below: Lavender Essential Oil Tea Tree Essential Oil Peppermint Essential Oil Rosemary Essential Oil Lemon Essential Oil As you begin to use essential oils, keep in mind that most oils should be either used for aromatherapy or applied topically, and never ingested. You should also dilute the essential oil with either a carrier oil (coconut, almond, or vegetable) or mix the essential oil with a paraben-free lotion which will dissipate the concentrated molecules that can sometimes cause skin irritation. 1. Lavender Essential Oil With narrow leaves, short stems, and a tuft of blueish flowers, Lavandula angustifolia, or more commonly known as English Lavender, has long been used to soothe, heal, and be a disinfectant to burns. This is a popular essential oil because of the gentle and calming effects it has which makes this oil ideal for aromatherapy use. Blend Suggestions For those interested in blending lavender with other essential oils, some great scents to mix with are floral, woodsy, spicy, and citrus oils include: Lemon and Lemongrass Geranium Pine Frankincense Applications To help promote relaxation and relieve stress, use 1-2 drops of the oil and rub them between the palms of your hands then gently smooth over your pillow before going to sleep. Not only will this make your pillow smell better but can help you fall asleep. Another option is to rub the lavender oil into the your hands, cupping them, then holding your hands up to your nose to let you breathe in the floral scent. You can also rub a few drops onto the soles of your feet where skin is less sensitive and can be absorbed easily. Household Uses & Recipes Household lavender essential oil uses are: laundry freshener, air freshener, inside a moth-away sachet, and in lotion. Follow these recipes for handmade hand soaps, candles, and other household products. “By mixing a few drops of lavender into a jug of perfume- and dye-free detergent, I’m able to choose what the laundry smells like (I love my towels to smell like lemon but I prefer lavender for my clothes).” – Kelly, My Happy Belly Wellness Uses & Recipes For those who struggle with frizzy hair, an itchy scalp, or dandruff, use lavender on your dry hair to help relieve Enjoy water therapy by adding drops to your bath or making bath bombs. “An evening bath is a non-negotiable part of my self-care routine and it helps me after a long day of teaching yoga. Lavender’s relaxing and soothing qualities ease tension all over my body and sets me up for a great night’s sleep.” – Renee Kennedy, Renee Kennedy Yoga “Lavender is wonderful to make into a facial steam by boiling 3 cups of water in a tea kettle, pouring it into a ceramic bowl, and adding about 4 drops of oil. It’s calming.” – Pearl, Facials by Pearl Health & Safety Considerations Before using Lavender, there are some health and safety considerations you should be aware of, such as: When taken by mouth, lavender oil may cause constipation, headache, and increased appetite. Applying lavender oil to the skin of prepubescent boys can possibly disrupt normal hormones. Lavender oil may slow down the central nervous system so it is advised to stop using for two weeks before a scheduled surgery. 2. Tea Tree Essential Oil Tea tree essential oil is popular for many reasons; for one, its antimicrobial qualities have been confirmed by numerous scientific studies. Tea tree oil has a fresh odor and is a clear, pale yellow color which comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, native to Australia. Blend Suggestions Tea tree oil works well in conjunction with other woodsy essential oils such as: Eucalyptus Rosemary Oregano Applications Tea tree oil has a number of thoroughly studied and widely confirmed uses, and may be used for any of the following: For acne: apply with carrier oil twice daily to face for 45 days to possibly reduce acne outbreaks. For nail fungus: apply pure tea tree oil directly to affected nail twice a day, for six months. For athlete’s foot: apply a concentrated solution of tea tree oil to affected area daily for four weeks. Household Uses & Recipes Tea tree oil can be used in a variety of household cleaning tasks. A couple drops can be added to a load of wash to boost laundry power, and it can also be used to make air fresheners. About five drops per two cups of water creates a cleaning solution, while double the concentration creates an antiseptic and mold/mildew buster. “When combined with white vinegar, tea tree is the perfect tool for fighting mildew. Spray over the affected area and wait for 10 minutes. Then, just wipe with a damp sponge.” – Harriet Jones, Go Cleaners London “I make my own yoga mat spray by mixing tea tree oil and water. It is a natural antiseptic and purifier and a few drops go a long way. Not only do I know my mat is clean, but it smells amazing, too.” – Renee Kennedy, Renee Kennedy Yoga Wellness Uses & Recipes Tea tree oil is popular to use on the scalp and feet which may help relieve itchiness due to dandruff or athlete’s foot. Tea tree oil can also be made into an effective breakout mask with a few other ingredients from your pantry. “I make my own deodorant by combining tea tree oil, coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. It works like a charm!” – Sara, NoMo Nausea “Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with an equal amount of water and dab on acne blemishes. In addition to acne, I use it on eczema, toenail fungus, cuts, head lice, and jock itch.” – Alice Nguyen, Punica Makeup “In the summer I make a foot soak bath with epsom salt, magnesium flakes, and tea tree oil to work as an antimicrobial against any of the city dirt my feet pick up while wearing sandals.” – Kristen, Wellness by Kristen Health & Safety Considerations As with any essential oil, take these health and safety considerations into account and consult your healthcare provider before using: Tea tree oil is not safe to take by mouth. It is not recommended to use tea tree oil in the ears as it may cause damage to the inner ear. When applied to the skin, tea tree oil may cause an allergic rash. 3. Peppermint Essential Oil Peppermint essential oil is valued for its antiseptic properties and beneficial digestive effect. The Mentha x piperit plant, which peppermint oil is created from, thrives in North America and Europe. Its leaves can be eaten raw or cooked to be used as flavoring. Blend Suggestions Customize your own scent by blending peppermint with minty, woodsy, earthy, herby, and citrus essential oils. Some popular essential oils to use in the mix include: Frankincense Lemon Applications Peppermint oil can be used both topically, and in aromatherapy. Used topically, it can be a potent muscle relaxant and pain reliever. Apply one drop to the temples on either side of the head can help alleviate headaches, while applying to achy muscles or joints can help relieve tension and pain. Peppermint oil can also be used to help reduce itching from rashes. Inhaling peppermint may help clear sinuses, reduce hunger cravings, and enhance mental focus. Household Uses & Recipes Peppermint oil is great to be used as a carpet freshener or added to hand soap. When added to shampoo, it is stimulating and invigorating. It’s also an effective mosquito repellent and bug spray (ants, spiders, gnats). Mix with water, and spray on trouble areas to deter vermin, who hate the smell. “You can keep mice away by placing a few cotton balls dampened with peppermint oil in the areas where mice are entering.” – Harriet Jones, Go Cleaners London Wellness Uses & Recipes For bath time, add peppermint oil and epsom salt to your water for a more relaxing experience. When out of the bath, add a drop of peppermint oil to your lotion and rub into your skin thoroughly. Peppermint oil is also great to use in an oil diffuser for any room in the house to give your home a fresh, clean smell. “Peppermint is an affirming scent that works great in an aromatherapy diffuser. It gives a zing to your positive energy all day.” – Gwynne Rife, Gwynstone Handmade Health & Safety Considerations Take these health and safety considerations into account and consult your physician before using: In large quantities, some sub-species can cause abortion. Therefore, peppermint should not be used by pregnant women. Peppermint may interact with certain medications. Heartburn may be a side effect of peppermint oil. 4. Rosemary Essential Oil Rosemary comes from the Lamiaceae family in southern Europe to western Asia. This plant grows in dry scrub and rocky places, especially near the sea. Young shoots, leaves, and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked or made into a tea. The essential oil has shown to be a remarkably strong antioxidant. Blend Suggestions Rosemary works beautifully when blended with other woodsy essential oils, such as: Eucalyptus Bergamot Thyme Lavender Applications Rosemary can be applied topically to the scalp to potentially promote hair growth and help with dandruff. Topical applications may also help with muscle and joint pain. When inhaled, it may have a positive impact on memory and mental function. Household Uses & Recipes Rosemary essential oil uses include room spray and a repellent against mosquitoes. “Rosemary is always my go-to oil for the diffuser. I keep it next to my desk. It helps me focus and concentrate!” – Kristen, Wellness by Kristen Wellness Uses & Recipes Rosemary essential oil recipes are great for showers and baths, whether in the water or in your shampoo. This essential oil is also a great muscle warmer and moisturizer. “I use a couple drops in a facial serum to move lymph and decrease puffiness when I do facial massage with my clients.” – Pearl, Facials by Pearl “I use rosemary oil in my hair and scalp each night. Just a couple of drops helps keep my scalp flake-free and my new hair growth is thick and strong.” – Tina “Kat” Courtney, Afterlife Coach Health & Safety Considerations Take these health and safety considerations into account and consult your healthcare professional before using: In very large quantities, rosemary has been reported to lead to vomiting, spasm, coma, and death. Pregnant or nursing women should not use rosemary. 5. Lemon Essential Oil Citrus limon (Lemon) is an evergreen shrub that flowers from January to December. Lemon essential oil is much beloved for its clean, energizing scent and is widely used in cooking as well as in a variety of aromatherapy applications. Blend Suggestions Lemon can be paired with many different types of oils including floral, woodsy, minty, spicy, and other citrus oils. A few to consider when mixing your scents are: Pine Cypress Peppermint Ginger Orange Ylang Ylang Rose Nutmeg Cinnamon Bark Geranium Applications Apply lemon essential oil to your face to help with acne by rubbing on a drop or two of the oil with a carrier lotion. You can also add lemon to your bath water along with Epsom salts for a relaxing soak (remember to soak for no more than 10 minutes). For stimulation, rub 1-2 drops of the lemon essential oil in the palm of your hands or wrists. You can also breathe the citrus scent in for added energy and stress relief. Household Uses & Recipes Lemon essential oil is wonderful for carpet care and laundry to give your stuff a fresh scent. You can also apply lemon to your dishcloth or sponge to sanitize it and keep it smelling nice. “Try taking a glass of tap water and drop a couple drops of lemon essential oil in and then stir it with a spoon. Wait about 2 minutes and then scoop off the layer that rises to the top. Drink the water and you will notice how clean and fresh your water will taste.” – Pearl, Facials by Pearl “Cutting boards take a lot of wear and tear. They often have tough stains and smell weird. To clean them, cut a lemon and rub the surface. Then wait for 20 minutes before rinsing the board.” – Harriet Jones, Go Cleaners London “Rather than spending money on toxic cleansers that are loaded with fake scent, I like to make my own lemon all-purpose cleaner for my home. All you need is a spray bottle, water, white vinegar, and lemon essential oils. This simple and cheap cleanser can be used anywhere in the home. I can feel good about the ingredients I’m using and it makes the place smell fresh and inviting!” – Renee Kennedy, Renee Kennedy Yoga Wellness Uses & Recipes Lemon oil has incredible antibiotic and antifungal properties with a soothing aroma. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and natural astringents which can reduce swelling. “Add a few drops of lemon essential oil into moisturizers to revitalize and replenish skin.” – Alice Nguyen, Punica Makeup “Lemon connects you to the world and boosts your creativity.” – Gwynne Rife, Gwynstone Handmade “I love to add a drop of lemon to my sparkling water, which tastes just as good as some of the popular flavored sparkling waters out there. I love that I don’t create waste by using a can and it saves a lot of money as well.” – Maya Henry, Meals with Maya Health & Safety Considerations Lemon oil, though useful, is uniquely phototoxic, so care needs to be taken when exposing skin to sunlight after a topical application. As with all essential oils, remember to take these health and safety considerations into account and consult your healthcare provider is you have any questions or concerns. Essential Oil Accessories There are a number of accessories every essential oil enthusiast should have in order to get the most from their oils. We’ve listed three of the most popular ones here. Diffusers Diffusers are practically miracle workers. They can treat a whole room at once, providing the benefits of one or several oils to multiple people over a longer period of time. They can be used to fill your home with calming lavender in preparation for bedtime, or an uplifting lemon and rosemary blend for doing homework. Diffusers come in different models and different sizes, so pick one that best fits your home. Keep in mind, you may quickly find you prefer to have one for each major room, rather than having to move the same one from place to place. Spray Bottles Much of the good essential oils can do lies beyond applications directly to the human body. Having a spray bottle for use in mixing your own oil-based cleaners or creating a spritzer can be a lifesaver. Be sure it’s a glass one, so the oils don’t eat through it. Travel Cases Whether it’s a mini case for mini bottles that you keep in your purse everywhere you go, or a handy case for a specific selection of regular bottles you open most frequently, having something you can take with you sometimes makes all the difference. Travel cases come in a variety of designs, so be sure to pick one that matches your style. Conclusion Now that we have looked at the top five essential oils and their uses, you can confidently try any of the above recipes and put them to good use in your home, promoting overall wellness of body and soul. To learn more about essential oils, check out our Essential Oils Resources page and discover more about our single oils and blends. Did you enjoy the article and find it informative? Be sure to share with your family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.