Essential oils are everywhere these days. They aren’t just for hippies anymore, friends! It seems that everyone – from Kerry Washington to the neighborhood mailman – is using them!
And why not? They smell AMAZING, they make life more fun, and they have oodles of healing properties.
But both you and I know that the sheer amount of information about essential oils out there can be completely overwhelming, especially if you’re an oil “newbie” (if you are a newbie, you totally need to read this post).
Plus, there are SO many different essential oils that it can make your head spin!
I want to demystify essential oils for you because I use them daily. I can’t imagine my life without them!
- What oils should you always keep on hand?
- Which oils are good for common ailments?
I’ve broken down the top 10 essential oils that you can’t live without. Read on to learn how to use them to keep you and your family happy and healthy!
10 Must-Have Essential Oils
Note: I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet. If you’re pregnant or have a health condition, check with your doctor before using. And NEVER ingest essential oil (I know some people say you can, but I never recommend it).
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Even the newest newbie has heard that lavender essential oil (link will take you to the ONLY lavender oil that my family and I use :) is great for calming and promoting quality sleep. I use it daily for anxiety… But wait! There’s more!
Lavender oil is also an antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, so it’s great for all types of things. For example, you can use it to speed up healing for a variety of skin conditions – everything from everything from eczema to acne.
It is also said to help inflammation and the pain it causes on joints and muscles too. And it smells great!
Fun tip: I put a tiny amount of lavender oil on our dryer balls, instead of using synthetic dryer sheets or fabric softeners. It keeps our laundry smelling fresh and clean.
Lavender oil is also wonderful for improving digestion (but for the love of all things green, we NEVER recommend ingesting essential oils – simply diffuse or use topically in a carrier oil)!
2. Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot gives Earl Grey tea its unique, flowery flavor, which is so yummy! It’s great for stabilizing your mood and healing skin abrasions.
During super stressful times, pour a few drops of bergamot essential oil into a diffuser with a drop of lavender and frankincense oil.
When cold and flu season hits (ugh, I know!), mix bergamot oil with a few drops of eucalyptus oil to make a homemade decongestant chest rub and reduce fever.
You can simply mix the blend with a carrier oil and rub a little on the chest or place it in a diffuser.
3. Frankincense Essential Oil
Along with reducing stress and improving mood, frankincense has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This is definitely one for all of those that suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and sore muscles!
Frankincense oil can also improve digestive disorders and is the perfect addition to DIY scar-reducing oil (for stretch marks or surgery scars!).
When mixed with a little carrier oil, it’s also helpful to reduce the swelling of bug bites.
4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil can also be used to reduce the number of germs in your house and improve your family’s immune system. No kidding!
Its anti-microbial properties reduces the amount of germs in the air.
Simply add a few drops to a diffuser and voila!
You’ll reap the benefits of eucalyptus’ immune boosting properties! Imagine your home smelling like eucalyptus all winter long? Yum!
Eucalyptus essential oil also boosts energy and mental clarity and is a favorite to add to homemade cleaning products, as it kills bacteria, too.
5. Clove Essential Oil
Clove is a smell that I personally adore! I can remember my grandma adding clove to the ham she cooked for Sunday dinners and the house always smelled divine!
Cooking ham aside – clove essential oil is best known for its pain relieving benefits. You can use it for all types of pain, including toothaches, headaches, and muscle/joint pain. Not only does it reduce pain, but it also reduces the inflammation that often is the cause of the pain. That means you get lasting results.
Clove oil is also a good choice for nausea, too. When someone in my house has a queasy stomach, I fire up the diffuser with clove oil, and in no time, the “patient” is feeling better.
6. Lemon Essential Oil
I use lemon essential oil for ALL sorts of things, including in my homemade cleaning sprays and detergents and even in my DIY facial beauty regiment!
Lemon oil is also wonderful for lifting your spirits and improving concentration.
It’s anti-fungal properties are well-known, and I’ve seen great success when using it with tea-tree oil to treat nail fungus… waaaaay better than the chemical stuff that you buy in the drugstore!
Like eucalyptus oil, it’s also a good choice to reduce nausea, including morning sickness! Just a few drops in a diffuser can be helpful.
Oh – and it’s also said to aid in weight loss – high five!
7. Oregano Essential Oil
We’ve probably all put oregano in our meatballs – but to treat our skin? Oh, yes!
If you have eczema, grab some oregano oil and whip up a batch of salve. It should help reduce the inflammation and itchiness.
Tip: Remember to use a carrier oil whenever you are using essential oils directly on the skin.
Oregano essential oil is also excellent for headaches caused by sinus congestion, and it can provide relief for colds, flu, bronchitis and other upper respiratory illnesses. My husband has also used a drop of oregano oil mixed in with his Neti pot solution.
8. Peppermint Essential Oil
Did you know peppermint oil has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, antifungal, and anti-parasitic qualities? That makes it the perfect addition to our homemade products!
My grandma has used it in her homemade toothpaste blend and DIY cleaners.
A few drops of peppermint oil in a foot soak is absolutely divine after a hike or standing on your feet all day.
I use peppermint oil in a diffuser when I get migraines because it eases the nausea AND headache pain. It’s also wonderful to upper respiratory issues.
Oh, and if you need a little “pick me up”, skip the Red Bull – and pop a little peppermint oil in the diffuser instead. It will help keep you alert – without the jitters and sugar! Peppermint stimulates both body and mind.
9. Rosemary Essential Oil
Like many essential oils, rosemary is a great way to reduce stress and enhance mood. It’s also wonderful for providing mental clarity and even enhancing memory.
When our kids were younger, we used to put rosemary essential oil in the diffuser when they were studying.
Some say it also gives your immune system a boost and is great for tension headache and migraines – because it lessens pain and increases circulation, which gives double the relief.
10. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil was one of the first essential oils to gain widespread notoriety and everyone should have a bottle in their home.
You’ll find tea tree oil in natural shampoos because of its effectiveness in dealing with dandruff, itchy scalp and preventing lice infestation.
When you become an essential oils addict like me, you’ll find that tea tree oil becomes your “go to” oil for cleaning cuts and scrapes.
Because it has strong anti-fungal properties, it’s a great choice for athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and ringworm. It can irritate skin, so make sure you use it in a carrier oil.
Tea tree oil is also great for insect bites (it reduces the inflammation). It even keeps mosquitoes, ants, and spiders away! And we’ve long used it to diminish acne and blemishes—yes, I have teenagers.
That’s about all I have for you, friends. I’m super excited that you’re on your way to becoming an essential oils enthusiast!
Next Read: Essential Oil Uses and Benefits