Holistically Speaking: 15 Essential Oils for a Healthier You
They say big things come in small packages – and essential oils best epitomize that. You may have heard about the importance of essential oils and what they could do, not just for your skin, but also for your overall health, too. In fact, you can find tons of articles about essential oils, including this one that you are currently reading. However, here are some reasons why these essential oils are important and how they affect your health, as well as the different ways you can use them. We’ve even listed some places where you can find them.
Are you ready? Check out these 16 essential oils you should have at home, and find your way towards a healthier and more youthful you.
What You Need to Know About Essential Oils
Before you know the different essential oils you need to keep yourself healthier, you should know first why essential oils are important to your health.
Essential oils contain the physical properties of plants and flowers in highly concentrated form. In fact, essential oils are the very essence of a plant, and so they provide therapeutic benefits, even in small amounts. The best part is, essential oils are natural and chemical-free, so you are sure that you are getting the best benefits.
The use of essential oils dates back to the ancient Egyptian times to treat anxiety and various skin problems. Since then, people use essential oils in many ways, including the following:Aromatherapy
More importantly, every essential oil has unique healing properties, which you will learn more about as you keep reading.
1. Lavender Oil to Help You Sleep Better – and More
When it comes to essential oils, lavender will always be a favorite. This is because lavender oil helps increase the alpha waves in your brain, which is associated with deep sleep and relaxation.
According to the Yale Center for Sleep Medicine, lavender facilitates restful sleep and can be an alternative treatment for insomnia. A 2005 study from Wesleyan University also revealed that participants who sniffed lavender before bedtimes increased their amount of deep sleep.
However, lavender oil promotes more than just deep sleep. In fact, you can use this essential oil as a:headaches
Bug repellent, since the scent is potent for many types of bugs, including mosquitoes and moths.
Natural treatment for headaches, migraines, emotional stress and anxiety issues.
Effective pain reliever for sore and tense muscles and joint pains.
Immune booster due to its antibacterial and anti-viral properties.
Overall skin care treatment to minimize skin disorders like wrinkles, acne, psoriasis and other inflammatory conditions.
2. Start Your Day and Keep It Perky with a Sniff from Peppermint Oil
If you are not fond of peppermint, then here is a reason why you should reconsider your choices.
According to one study, peppermint enhances athletic and exercise performance, which makes you perky and energetic throughout the day. In other words, if you want to maintain alertness, then a bottle of water with few drops of peppermint oil or sniffing this essential oil first thing in the morning is enough to jumpstart your energy. There is no need for energy drink or a trip to a coffee shop.
Aside from this, other health benefits of peppermint oil are:peppermint
Soothes digestive issues.
Reduces stomach aches.
Keeps bad breath away.
Releases tight muscles.
Repels bugs naturally.
Provides relief from allergies.
3. You May Be Able to Replace Your Antidepressant Pills with Lemon Oil
You might recognize lemon as an effective treatment for almost any skin condition. If you are looking for an immune booster and a simple way to supply your body with vitamin C, then lemon is definitely on top of the list.
Did you know that lemon is also an effective antidepressant?
According to a study published in the Behavioral Brain Research, Japanese researchers found out that lemon oil had the strongest anti-stress effects compared to lavender and rose oils. It turns out that a lemon scent normalizes your hormone levels and comes with anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects, which suppresses depression.
The bottom line is lemon is more than just an immune booster and a treatment for acne. All it takes is a single whiff and you can kiss depression goodbye, but before you toss your anti-depressants in the trash can, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
4. Argan Oil: The Miracle Benefits of Liquid Gold from Morocco
Here’s the truth: argan oil is among the best oils you can feed your skin and health. It is rich in essential nutrients like vitamin E and fatty acids, which makes it a favorite in many skin care products.
Argan OilArgan oil is beneficial in many ways, because it:
Makes your hair softer, shinier and silkier, which makes it an ideal hair conditioner.
Gives your skin a more youthful glow and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Prevents dryness and irritation brought by eczema and other skin conditions due to its vitamin E and fatty acid content.
Promotes the healing of acne.
Improves your digestion by increasing the pepsin concentration in your body’s gastric juices.
Protects your body and health against free radicals that could lead to chronic illnesses thanks to its antioxidant content.
Lowers your bad cholesterol levels, making it an effective substitute against other less healthy oils.
Argan Oil Facial Moisturizer
One of easiest ways to enjoy argan oil is by using it as a facial moisturizer. Here’s how to use it:
Cleanse your face using warm water and a gentle cleanser.
Massage two to three drops of argan oil gently into your skin.
Allow it to dry completely.
Argan Oil Face Mask
Mix one tablespoon each of lemon juice and raw honey, three teaspoons of Greek yogurt, and three drops of argan oil.
Apply on your face and leave it on for 10 minutes.
Rinse with warm water.
5. Keep Your Blood Pressure Steady with Rose Essential Oil
Photo by Naomi King / CC BY
Are you burning the candle at both ends? Then you might need to stop and take a long whiff of soothing rose oil.
Rose oil is a type of essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy. Once you inhale or absorb the rose’s essential oil molecules, these molecules start to transmit messages to your limbic system, or the area in your brain responsible for controlling your emotions. Thereafter, these messages will have a positive effect on your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.
Sprinkle a few drops of rose oil on a cloth, aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer and inhale. If you can’t find rose oil in natural food stores or health and beauty stores, you can try aromatic candles infused with rose oil. Rose essential oil will provide you with relief from stress and anxiety.
6. Maintain Your Hair and Skin’s Moisture with Sesame Oil
If you want to add a nutty flavor to your foods, then a few drops of sesame oil will do the trick. It is also one of the healthy alternatives to vegetable oils. Apparently, the uses of sesame oil go well beyond your kitchen.
Here’s the deal with sesame oil: your skin and hair love it, too. Sesame oil comes with antibacterial properties, which gets rid of pathogens, foreign bodies and other unwanted substances that attack your hair and scalp. It also increases your skin’s moisture and elasticity and is an effective treatment against various skin conditions, like acne and premature aging.
Sesame oilSesame oil is:
Essential for bone growth, development, and repair.
Great for boosting your oral health by whitening your teeth, reducing dental plaque, and protecting against bad bacteria.
Helpful for ensuring proper blood circulation due to its high copper and zinc content.
An effective way to reduce your inflammation and swelling of your joints.
Can’t find your favorite essential oil here? Keep reading, because there are more essential oils in the list.
7. Enjoy the Scent of Grapefruit Oil and Say Goodbye to Your Overactive Appetite
Are you trying hard to lose weight? A proper diet and regular exercise will do. However, you might need a little push, and grapefruit oil might just do the trick.
Based on a study published in Neuroscience Letters, smelling grapefruit oil decreased appetites and increased weight and fat loss among rats. The star of the show: grapefruit’s limonene content, a chemical responsible for weight loss effects.
weight lossDespite the weight loss benefits, some experts believe the research is still limited and there is a need to conduct human studies. Still, grapefruit oil works to:
Disinfectant against infections and bacteria.
Remove toxins and excess water from your body.
Ensures healthy functioning of your lymphatic system.
Treats stiffness and muscle cramps.
Whether you want to lose weight or give your health a boost, grapefruit oil won’t surely let you down.
8. Stop Your Sniffles and Stuffy Nose with Eucalyptus
Are you looking for a natural and effective way to reduce your sniffles and stuffy nose? Then take a whiff from eucalyptus.
Are you wondering why?
EucalyptusEucalyptus oil is effective in treating various respiratory issues including, but not limited to:
This is because eucalyptus contains antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a natural decongestant. All you need to do is to put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a big bowl of warm water, cover your head with a towel, and breathe in.
If your stuffy nose is not an issue, then you can still use eucalyptus oil to relieve you from exhaustion, an effective massage tool for joint and muscle pain, and to promote dental health by fighting against cavities, dental plaque and dental infections.
9. Coconut Oil: A Superfood Your Body Should Not Live Without
How many times have you heard about coconut oil’s benefits? Most of the time, health advocates will encourage you to add coconut oil to your diet. This is because coconut oil is among the superfoods that come with tons of health and skincare benefits.
Coconut OilWhat are these health benefits exactly?
The medium chain triglycerides have therapeutic effects on various brain disorders.
Coconut oil is an effective energy booster and helps you burn more fat.
The lauric acid found in coconut oil kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses to prevent infection.
It is an effective appetite suppressant to effectively curb cravings and reduce your hunger.
It improves your blood cholesterol and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Coconut oil is an effective skin and hair moisturizer and sun protector.
There are many way you can use coconut oil. You can use it for cooking, in salads, and even as the following luxurious skin care treatment:
Coconut Oil Body Scrub
You will need:
One-fourth cup granulated sugar
One-half cup coconut oil
One tablespoon lemon juice, optional
body scrubTo make your own body scrub:
Combine all ingredients.
Add more sugar if you want the mixture to have a coarser texture.
Massage on your body in circular motion.
Rinse yourself and pat dry.
10. Rosemary Oil to Help You Remember and Focus Better
Are you always struggling to get your work mode on? Do you find it hard to focus and concentrate on a particular task? Perhaps, you need rosemary oil to give you a kick, at least just to get the job done.
Researchers from Northumbria University in England found out that the scent of rosemary oil could help improve your memory, which involves your ability to remember events and tasks critical for everyday functioning. At the same time, rosemary oil improves your concentration, accuracy, and speed when doing mental tasks.
Here’s the good news: rosemary oil is not limited to boosting your mental health. It also helps in indigestion, stomach cramps, bloating and constipation. It is also an effective skin care treatment, dental health booster, and hair care solution. In case you are looking for a pain and stress reliever, rosemary oil could help you with that, too.
11. Fight Infections Using Tea Tree Oil and Improve Your Skin, Too
Do you want to get rid of acne? What about smelly feet? Whatever infection is bothering your body, tea tree oil can surely help.
AcneHere’s the deal with tea tree oil: it is an all-around remedy, thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Here are specific ways on how tea tree oil can help:
Acne – A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia showed that tea tree oil is effective in reducing the appearance of acne, and with fewer side effects.
Bacterial Infections – Tea tree oil is an effective treatment for wounds, and even severe infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.
Fungal Infection – This essential oil could treat toenail onychomycosis, acne and athlete’s foot.
In other words, tea tree oil, especially its high terpene content, is effective in killing fungus and bacteria, thereby reducing skin reactions and inflammations. If you are planning to use tea tree oil, make sure to dilute it with other natural ingredients, such as coconut oil and honey, because using it on its own may cause skin irritations.
Various Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil
For cuts and sores, add one to two drops of tea tree oil to the affected area.
Rinse your hair with warm water, and add one to two drops on your hair to get rid of lice or dandruff.
Add six drops of this essential oil to your bath water.
Pour tea tree oil onto an oil diffuser to create a medicinal antiseptic.
12. Say Yes to Cedarwood Oil to Ward Off Hair Loss and Skin Irritations
taking a bathAfter taking a bath, you realized that there are lots of hairs on the drain, which is not something usual. You probably blamed your stress and decided to switch to anti-hair fall shampoo and conditioner.
Did you know that there is a simpler way to address hair loss? All it takes is cedarwood oil, combined with other essential oils.
In one study, experts mixed rosemary, thyme, cedarwood and lavender with carrier oils like jojoba and grapeseed. Then, participants were asked to massage the mixture on their scalp daily. They found out that cedarwood mixture is a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata and it even promotes hair growth.
That’s not all. Cedarwood essential oil is also anti-seborrhoeic, which means it can be an effective treatment for seborrheic eczema, a type of skin disease due to the malfunction of the sebaceous glands. It also treats acne and helps reduce skin inflammation.
Aside from the hair and skin benefits, this essential oil is good for your health too. Cedarwood oil can:
Tighten your muscles.
Boost your metabolism.
Reduce the inflammation of your joints and tissues.
Act as a natural deodorizer.
Relieve spasmodic conditions like restless leg syndrome and asthma
13. Frankincense Oil: A Not-So-Popular Oil with Tons of Physical and Emotional Benefits
lavenderHow many times did your mother say that she is applying frankincense oil on her skin? Most of the time, you will hear lavender, rose or tea tree oil as part of her daily skin care routine. Believe it or not, frankincense oil could offer the same benefits.
Frankincense oil is beneficial because it:
Helps build and maintain your healthy immune system.
Calms and soothes your skin.
Reduces the appearance of your stretch marks and scars.
Is useful for prayer and meditation.
Prevents panic attacks.
14. Jasmine Oil: An Essential Oil with Romantic Fragrance that Comes with Health Benefits
Jasmine is a popular flower often associated with romance and love. This is also the reason why jasmine oil is a popular aphrodisiac that makes you feel more in love. This gets you in the mood, enhances your libido, and boosts your feelings of sexual desire.
romance and loveSexual desire aside, jasmine oil is also:
A sleep aid, thereby promoting long, undisturbed sleep.
An effective antidepressant, thanks to its pleasing and uplifting effects on your mind.
A good antiseptic and disinfectant for your cuts and wounds.
An effective treatment for brittle, dry or dehydrated skin
Great for reducing irritations or allergic reactions.
Efficient in fading scars.
A way to promote better uterine health.
Uses of Jasmine Oil
To use Jasmine Oil, just:
Apply a few drops of jasmine oil on your forehead or neck to help clear your mind.
Treat skin disorders and muscle spasms with a few drops of jasmine oil on affected areas.
Add a few drops to your diffuser to provide a refreshing and relaxing fragrance to your home.
15. Oregano Oil: A Must-Have Kitchen Ingredient with Tons of Health Benefits
If you are fond of cooking Italian food, then you are surely familiar with oregano. In fact, this herb brings flavor and aroma to your favorite dishes, which makes it a staple ingredient in many households.oregano oil
It turns out that oregano, especially its oil version, offers tons of benefits, such as:
Providing relief from sore throats with just a few drops in a glass of water or juice.
An effective treatment for various hair and skin conditions like dandruff, muscle aches, cold sores, and nail fungus.
A natural insect repellent, thanks to its carvacrol content.
Helping you fight against antibiotic resistance.
Despite its benefits, keep in mind that oregano oil in its pure form is strong, so make sure to dilute one part of oregano oil to three parts of a carrier oil, like jojoba or olive oil before using it. Otherwise, it could cause irritation of your skin and mucus membranes.
What You Need to Remember
On your next trip to health or natural food stores, make sure to get any of these 16 essential oils to boost your health. You can also check supermarkets or online stores for your dose of any of these oils.
Remember, essential oils could help you address various skin conditions and give your health a boost. However, take it easy. Despite the oils’ health benefits, this doesn’t mean you are exempted from their side effects. Apply small amounts on hidden areas and check for any allergic reactions. If there are none, then you are free to use it.
More importantly, consult a dermatologist, especially if you have sensitive skin or skin allergies. It is far better to be safe than sorry.