If the average person hears the words “essential oils,” it’s quite likely that the first association they’ll make has something to do with the perfume industry, soap, or flaky aromatherapy practitioners. Yes, essential oils (which may be referred to as EOs) are indeed used to perfume various personal care products, but they have many uses other than enhancing one’s mood or making one’s underarms slightly less offensive.
The 5 essential oils listed below have a number of different benefits that range from health care to home and many other uses in between. Many other oils out there also have numerous uses, but if you only plan to have a few in the house at any given time, these may be your best bet.
1. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, aka Lavandula officinalis)
If you only plan to have one essential oil in the house, make it this one. Lavender has been used for medicinal and home care purposes for thousands of years and is one of the most versatile EOs you can get. When it comes to therapeutic uses, lavender can be applied topically to alleviate skin rashes, acne, insect bites and minor burns.
2. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
This is one of the most beneficial and useful essential oils to have on hand, and with good cause: it’s often been called “a medicine cabinet in a bottle,” as it can be used to treat almost any common ailment. Although you’d never consume tea tree oil, you can use it topically to treat athlete’s foot, dermatitis/eczema, acne, cold sores, nail fungus, warts, and insect bites.
3. Lemon (Citrus limonum)
This is one of the best essential oils for home use, as it has more applications than most other oils will ever dream of. A few drops of lemon EO in a glass of water, gargled can relieve bad breath, few drops added to shampoo can alleviate dandruff, added to a bath or diffuser can alleviate anxiety and blended with aloe gel, it acts as an anti-microbial hand sanitizer.
4. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Most people have probably taken a cup of peppermint tea to alleviate nausea or an upset stomach, but you can also massage your abdomen with a carrier oil that has a few drops of peppermint essential oil added to it to relieve stomach cramps and queasiness.
Blended with pine and eucalyptus and added to a carrier oil, peppermint is great for applying to the chest and throat to calm coughing fits and help relieve bronchial congestion, and a drop or two added to cool water can make a great foot soak to soothe tired, overheated feet.
5. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
Hailing from Australia, this essential oil can be recognized easily by scent.
As mentioned above, eucalyptus EO is great for alleviating chest congestion (either blended with other oils or alone), and a salve made with it can also ease asthma attacks when spread on the throat and chest. That same salve may help to alleviate the pain of fibromyalgia if rubbed into the affected area a few times a day. A few drops added to a compress and placed on skin affected by shingles can ease the pain associated with that condition and may speed the healing process.
Eucalyptus’ disinfectant properties make it ideal to use in a spray for your kitchen and bathroom or diffuse the oil in your bathroom to eliminate germs and odours.
Thanks for reading.