How to use essential oils
Ever walked around the wellness section of Whole Foods and wondered about all those essential oils? The endless options can feel overwhelming, and sometimes it’s not obvious what each one does—or how it can benefit you. For starters, let’s understand what an oil is. After sourcing plants, they can be steamed, pressed, and broken down to their concentrated extracts—which requires many plants. According to Cleveland Clinic, it takes about 250 pounds of lavender flowers to make one pound of lavender essential oil and 5,000 pounds of rose petals or lemon balm to create one pound of rose or lemon balm essential oil. Now you can see why these oils get so pricy! This practice is nothing new, as it dates back to ancient India, Persia, and Egypt.
How they help
Essential oils have been proven to help with everything from killing fungus to helping you sleep better. While these oils shouldn’t replace medical treatment, they’re great for a little extra help or to supplement your medication. Here’s what each type can do for you:
- Lavender Oil - Reduces stress, helps sleep, and minimizes pain
- Rosemary Oil - Improves focus
- Sweet Orange Oil - Reduces anxiety
- Peppermint Oil - Helps alleviate headaches
- Eucalyptus Oil - Clears sinuses
- Tea Tree Oil - Antiseptic and antifungal; acne treatment
- Frankincense Oil - Reduces inflammation
- Lemon Oil - Helps with nausea
- Lemongrass Oil - Reduces anxiety (and keeps mosquitos away!)
- Bergamot Oil - Can help reduce blood pressure
- Chamomile Oil - Reduces anxiety
- Ginger Oil - Helps with nausea
- Sage Oil - Promotes relaxation
They're even better when combined
It’s so fun mixing and matching various oils and experiencing their myriad benefits. Here are some aromatic combinations we can’t get enough of.
- Lavender + chamomile
- Lemon + sage
- Orange + peppermint
- Eucalyptus + rosemary + lemon
- Chamomile + sage
How to use them
While not initially intuitive, there are several ways to use essential oils—and best of all, a little bottle can go a very long way.
- Add a few drops to your bath
- Use an oil diffuser or vaporizer like this one
- Add a few drops to a spray bottle and use as a home or linen spray
- Rub a few drops into your pulse points
- Dilute a pitcher of water with a few drops and pour over your sauna for a steam-room effect
Blair Smith is a lifestyle and beauty writer who currently resides (and will likely stay forever) in Brooklyn, New York.