Essential oils have become increasingly popular alongside the ever-growing natural lifestyle many people are taking on. While I applaud anyone who commits to reshaping their lives and creating healthy habits, it is very important to become educated before diving in head first.

An essential oil is an aroma compound from the respective plant it was taken from. This is not to be confused with fragrance oils, such as generic body washes and perfumes which are made up of water and do not contain a wholly natural plant base. Natural essential oils can easily be found at many natural food stores and online through various companies.

Depending on the usage, several essential oil recipes require a carrier oil. A carrier oil helps dilute the essential oil and aid in absorption. The most popular carrier oils are olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. Other recipes require outside ingredients such as witch hazel, distilled water, baking soda, and other various components which can be altered to fit your needs.

Everyone reacts differently to certain oils, so don’t be afraid to play around with them and find combinations that work best for you. The following examples can be used individually, layered, blended, or mixed with a carrier oil. Essential oils are meant to be rubbed directly on the skin and not to be used internally unless combined with water.

Medicinal Uses

When using essential oils for health related issues, be sure to keep in mind any allergies you might have. If you have an allergy to a specific type of food, you will also be allergic to any oils that might make up that food.

Because essential oils are entirely natural, they cannot be patented, which means they are not tested by drug companies. Therefore, it is highly unlikely your doctor or pharmacist will be recommending them to you.

  1. Menstrual pain and bloating – Clary Sage, Rosemary, Basil

    Recipe: Layer a few drops of clary sage, rosemary, and bergamot to the area of cramping.

  2. Nausea – Peppermint, Ginger

    Recipe: Place 10 drops of peppermint and 20 drops of ginger in on your palms and inhale deeply.

  3. Cold or flu relief – Peppermint, Lemon, Four Thieves

    Recipe: Stir together 2 tablespoons of warm water with 2 drops lemon and 2 drops peppermint. Gargle and swallow 3 times daily.

  4. Cold sores and blisters – Melaleuca, Four Thieves, Edens Garden

    Recipe: Stir together 3 tablespoons warm water with 2 drops melaleuca and gargle 3 times daily.

  5. Headaches – Peppermint, Wintergreen, Spearmint

    Recipe: Combine 20 drops peppermint, 17 drops eucalyptus, and 5 drops wintergreen. Rub on temples for headache relief.

  6. Neck pain – Birch, Basil, Elemi, Wintergreen, Ginger

    Recipe: Apply a few drops to crown of the head and base of the neck.

  7. Scrapes and scratches – Lavender, Tea Tree, Frankincense

    Recipe: Mix 8 drops lavender and 8 drops frankincense with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and apply to area.

  8. Hangovers – Lemon, Grapefruit, Ginger, Rosemary

    Recipe: Mix 1 drop lemon, 1 drop peppermint, 2 drops of ginger and 2 tablespoons of raw honey with warm water and drink.

  9. Fever – Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint

    Recipe: Apply 3-5 drops of peppermint directly to forehead, beck, and bottoms of feet.

  10. Arthritis – Wintergreen, Cypress, Lemongrass

    Recipe: Combine 1-2 drops of favorite oil with ½ cup of coconut oil and massage area.

  11. Constipation or gas – Dill, Fennel, Lime

    Recipe: Mix 1 drop of fennel with 8oz of water and drink.

  12. Tonsillitis or sore throat – Thieves, Lemon, Bay Laurel

    Recipe: Mix 1 drop thieves, 3 drops lemon, raw honey, and warm water, drink twice a day.

  13. Toothache – Clove Bud, Thieves Recipe: Apply a drop of thieves directly to area to numb pain.

  14. Upset stomach – Ginger, Lemon, Grapefruit, Fennel

    Recipe: Combine 10 drops of ginger, 2 drops grapefruit, and 4 drops of lemon with 2oz of unscented lotion and apply to stomach.

  15. Anti-inflammatory – Grapefruit, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint

    Recipe: Add 3 drops grapefruit oil to warm water and soak area.

  16. Nasal congestion – Peppermint

    Recipe: Apply 1-3 drops of peppermint on forehead nose, cheeks, and back of the neck.

  17. Allergies – Copaiba, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint

    Recipe: Stir together 2 tablespoons of warm water with 2 drops lemon, 2 drops peppermint and 2 drops lavender. Gargle and swallow 3 times daily.

  18. Athletes Foot – Melaleuca, Thieves, Peppermint, Lavendar

    Recipe: Mix 10 drops melaleuca, 10 drops thieves, 5 drops peppermint, and 5 drops lavender with ½ cup coconut oil and apply to infected area twice a day.

  19. Cavities – Frankincense

    Recipe: Apply 1 drop frankincense to a dry toothbrush and brush infected areas once a day.

  20. Weight loss aid – Grapefruit

    Recipe: Add 2 drops grapefruit oil to 2 cups of water and drink before each meal.

  21. Dizziness – Frankincense, Cypress, Basil, Peppermint

    Recipe: Rub 1-2 drops of frankincense to palms and inhale.

  22. Motion sickness – Ginger, Lavender, Peppermint

    Recipe: Combine 7 drops ginger and 8 drops peppermint and apply to wrists and neck.

Beauty Uses

Essential oils can be used to replace several expensive beauty products. And because essential oils are so potent, they will outlast and outshine many store bought products.

  1. Unclog pores – Lemon, Tea Tree, Sweet Orange

    Recipe: Mix 1 cup sea salt with ½ cup olive oil and 10 drops lemon. Gently scrub areas prone to acne.

  2. Dandruff – Lemon, Lavender, Rosemary

    Recipe: Mix together 20 drops lavender, 20 drops rosemary, and 20 drops melaleuca and massage into the scalp. Wait 3-5 minutes and shampoo as usual.

  3. Stretch marks – Frankincense, Lavender, Coriander

    Recipe: Blend 3 drops frankincense, 3 drops lavender, and coconut oil together and message onto the area.

  4. Skin toner – Tea Tree, Palmarosa, Rosewood, Lavender

    Recipe: Boil 4 tablespoons green tea and 1 cup of water, add 1-3 drops of tea tree oil. Use a cotton ball to apply toner morning and night.

  5. Hair loss – Rosemary, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, White Fir

    Recipe: Mix 3 drops clary sage, 2 drops white fir, 1 drop of rosemary and 1oz coconut oil together. Massage on scalp, leave for 30 minutes, and shampoo as usual.

  6. Hair thickness – Rosemary, Cypress, Clary Sage, Lavender

    Recipe: Mix 5 drops rosemary, 5 drops lavender, 4 drops cypress, and 4 drops clary sage with favorite shampoo and use once a day.

  7. Lice – Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary, Lavender

    Recipe: Combine 10 drops lavender and 10 drops rosemary with 2oz water and apply daily to scalp.

  8. Acne – Cedarwood, Rosewood, Lavender

    Recipe: Apply lavender oil directly to the affected areas for 2-3 days.

  9. Oily skin – Lemon, Lemongrass, Geranium

    Recipe: Dilute 1-4 drops lemon or geranium in water and apply to face using cotton ball.

  10. Feet Softener – Lemon, Wintergreen, Lavender

    Recipe: Mix 1 cup coconut oil, 1 cup Epsom salt, and 3-5 drops of favorite essential oil. Rub on feet and wash with warm water.

  11. Eye lash thickener – Lavender

    Recipe: Add 1 drop of lavender in mascara tube and apply as usual.

  12. Wart remover – Oregano

    Recipe: Apply 1 drop of oregano to area twice a day until wart disappears.

  13. Spider veins – Yarrow, Juniper, Lemongrass

    Recipe: Blend 30 drops of cypress, 2 drops of lavender and 10 drops lemon together and rub on areas. Can also be added to lotions.

  14. Cellulite – Cedarwood, Basil, Lemon, Cypress

    Recipe: Massage lemon to areas every night.

  15. Dry skin – Clary Sage, Lemon, Rose, Myrtle

    Recipe: Whip 1 cup coconut oil with kitchen mixer until creamy, add 30 drops of lemon, 30 drops melaleuca, and 30 drops rose.

  16. Skin elasticity – Geranium, Lavender, Myrtle, Sandalwood

    Recipe: Mix 4 drops geranium, 3 drops lavender, 6 drops frankincense, and 5 drops sandalwood with any carrier oil and apply to face in circular motion.

  17. Nail strengthener – Frankincense, Myrrh, Lemon, Wintergreen

    Recipe: Combine 1 drop wintergreen, 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops myrrh, and 2 drops lemon, apply 1 drop to each nail 2-3 times a day.

  18. Scars – Lemongrass, Myrtle, Patchouli, Frankincense, Lavender

    Recipe: Rub 1 drop of frankincense and 1 drop lavender to area twice a day.

  19. Eczema – Melrose, Lavender

    Recipe: Add 2-3 drops of melrose and lavender to coconut oil and apply to broken out areas.

  20. Whiten teeth – Lemon, Wintergreen, Thieves

    Recipe: Place 1 drop thieves on toothbrush each night and brush as usual.

  21. Nail anti-fungal – Melaleuca

    Recipe: Rub melaleuca on each nail 2-3 times a day.

  22. Swimmers ear – Basil, Melaleuca, Lavender

    Recipe: Combine 1 drop basil, 1 drop lavender, and 1 drop carrier oil. Rub ON ear and down the jawline 3 times a day.

Household Uses

Essential oils can be used throughout your home for various tasks, and are safe alternatives to toxic cleaners and expensive candles.

  1. Autumn aroma blend – Sweet Orange, Lime, Sage

    Recipe: Mix 10 drops sweet orange, 5 drops lime, and 5 drops sage to 3 cups water and warm on the stove.

  2. Winter aroma blend – Fir Needle, Spearmint, Cinnamon, Nutmeg

    Recipe: Mix 10 drops fir needle, 5 drops spearmint, 10 drops cinnamon, and 5 drops nutmeg to water and warm on the stove.

  3. Summer aroma blend – Lavender, Grapefruit, Lemon, Spearmint

    Recipe: Mix 5 drops lavender, 5 drops grapefruit, 5 drops lemon, and 2 drops spearmint to water and warm on the stove.

  4. Pet odors – Lavender, Geranium

    Recipe: Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, ½ cup lemon juice and 5 drops lavender in a spray bottle and use as necessary around the home.

  5. Leather furniture and clothing – Lemon

    Recipe: Mix ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup white vinegar and 3 drops lemon and apply to leather.

  6. Mice repellent – Peppermint

    Recipe: Saturate cotton balls with peppermint and place in areas of mice.

  7. Mold and mildew – Purification, Tea Tree

    Recipe: Mix 10 drops tea tree and water in a spray bottle. Spray area and leave overnight.

  8. Anti-bacterial – Thieves, Melaleuca, Eucalyptus, Lemon

    Recipe: Mix ¼ cup white vinegar, 15 drops melaleuca, 10 drops eucalyptus, and 1 cup water in spray bottle or soap dispenser and use as necessary.

  9. Bathroom odor – Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Sweet Orange

    Recipe: Add two drops of favorite essential oil to toilet bowl or toilet paper roll when needed.

  10. Air purification – White Camphor, Eucalyptus

    Recipe: Add 8 drops of eucalyptus with water and fill a spray bottle. Spray around home once a day.

  11. Carpet deodorizer – Lemon, Lime, Orange

    Recipe: Combine ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup borax, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 20 drops of your favorite citrus oil and spring onto carpet. Let sit for 20 minutes and vacuum.

  12. Insect repellent – Citronelle, Lemongrass, Lavender

    Recipe: Combine 12 drops lavender, 12 drops citronelle, 12 drops lemongrass, and 14 ounces of witch hazel together in a spray bottle.

  13. Bed bugs – Lavender, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Clove

    Recipe: Spray undiluted lavender oil twice a day for one week on areas with bed bugs.

  14. Window cleaner –Thieves, Lemongrass

    Recipe: Mix 2 cups water, ½ cup vinegar and 3 drops lemon or lemongrass oil.

  15. Indoor plant growth – Thieves

    Recipe: Water plants with 2 drops thieves for every 2 cups water.

  16. Countertop cleaner – Pine, Thieves, Cinnamon

    Recipe: Mix equal parts water and vinegar with 15-20 drops of your preferred oil.

  17. Shower curtain cleaner – Eucalyptus, Tea Tree

    Recipe: Mix 3 parts water, 2 parts vinegar, and 5 drops eucalyptus in a spray bottle and lightly spray area.

  18. Bathtub grime – Tea Tree, Lime, Bergamot

    Recipe: Combine 6 drops tea tree with ¼ cup baking soda and scrub areas of grime.

  19. Permanent marker remover – Lemon

    Recipe: Drop 1-2 drops of lemon on area and let sit for 30 seconds, scrub and wash out with water.

  20. Gum remover – Lemon, Wild Orange

    Recipe: Rub 3-5 drops lemon to gum and massage out.

Cooking Uses

Cooking with essential oils adds flavor to your foods without adding processed ingredients. There are numerous essential oils that can replace many artificial sweeteners and genetically modified mixes.

  1. Baking – Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Lavender, Grapefruit

    Recipe: Add your favorite oils to any baking recipes to strengthen flavor.

  2. Sweet tooth – Fennel, Ocotea

    Recipe: Place 1-2 drops of ocotea under tongue to curb cravings.

  3. Meat – Clove, Back Pepper, Oregano, Basil

    Recipe: Add spice oils to any meat recipe to increase flavor.

  4. Produce wash – Lemon, Lime, Thieves

    Recipe: Soak produce in 1 cup vinegar, 5 cups water, and 5 drops lemon for 10-15 minutes.

  5. Cutting board cleaner – Lemon

    Recipe: Mix 2-3 drops lemon with sea salt and scrub cutting board.

  6. Flavored water – Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit

    Recipe: Add 1-2 drops favorite citrus oil to 8oz water and drink throughout the day or before each meal.

  7. Burnt pans – Lemon

    Recipe: Sprinkle ¼ cup baking soda, ½ cup white vinegar and 2 drops lemon on pan and let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing.

Emotional Uses

Most of us know the feeling of immediate serenity associated with the intense aromas of a salon or spa. The moment you walk in you close your eyes and for an instant you are delightfully drunk on the calming candle scents. Read on to recreate your own bliss.

The following are best experienced when used with a diffuser. If you do not have a diffuser, you can simple add them to a warm bath, or mix with water and heat on the stove.

  1. Aromatherapy – Lavender, Peppermint
  2. Mental pick-me-up – Lemon
  3. Stress relief – Clove, Fennel
  4. Women hormone balance – Progessense
  5. Mental clarity – Basil
  6. Depression – Rosemary
  7. Relaxation – Lavender, Bergamot
  8. Hyperactivity – Vetiver, Cedarwood, Lavender
  9. Mood balance – Citrus, Fennel
  10. Improve sleep – Lavender, Valor
  11. Panic attacks –Valor
  12. Nervousness – Patchouli, Bergamot
  13. Rejuvenation – Rosemary
  14. Self-esteem boost – Ylang Ylang, Vanilla

Additional Uses

  1. Dog hot spot relief – Lavender, Roman Chamomile

    Recipe: Mix 10 drops lavender oil with 2 tablespoons coconut oil and message around hot spots on the skin.

  2. Flea and Tick repellent – Cedarwood, Lavender, Citronella, Orange

    Recipe: Soak collar in the following recipe and let dry. 1 drop cedarwood, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops citronella, 3 drops orange

  3. Diaper Rash – Melaleuca, Frankincense, Lavender

    Recipe: Mix 3 drops melaleuca and 3 drops lavender to coconut oil and rub on rash.

  4. Hiccups – Peppermint

    Recipe: Add 2 drops peppermint to a small glass of water and drink quickly.

  5. Anti-inflammatory for pets – Copaiba

    Recipe: Apply 2-4 drops of copaiba to swollen areas.

  6. Love potion – Ylang Ylang, Spruce

    Recipe: Mix equal parts ylang ylang with favorite carrier oil and rub on wrists and neck.

  7. Body odor – Patchouli, Lemongrass, Lavender, Chamomile

    Recipe: Fill a spray bottle with witch hazel and add 20 drops of your favorite oils. Use as necessary.

  8. Restless legs – Lavender

    Recipe: Rub 1-2 drops lavender to each thigh and the back of each calve.

  9. Snoring – Valor

    Recipe: Apply 2-3 drops on the bottom of feet before bed time.

  10. Growing pains for children – Wintergreen, Peppermint, Cinnamon Bark

    Recipe: Massage equal parts peppermint and coconut oil on areas with pain.

  11. Pesticide – Thieves

    Recipe: Fill a spray bottle with 4oz water, 4oz witch hazel, and 10 drops thieves. Shake well and spray areas.

  12. Water retention – Orange

    Recipe: Add 1-2 drops of orange or wild orange to water bottle and drink each morning.

  13. Pet ear infections – Peppermint, Melaleuca

    Recipe: Mix 2 drops melaleuca and 2 drops carrier oil and rub on inside of ear flap.

  14. Pet digestion – Ginger, Tarragon, Peppermint, Lemon

    Recipe: Add 1-2 drops in large water bowl.

  15. Bed wetting – Valor, Cypress

    Recipe: Rub 1 drop of valor to bottom of feet, and 1 drop cypress over bladder area before bedtime.

Micah Larsen

Micah is a traveling swim coach and personal trainer, depending on the season. She is also currently working on her Master of Science in Athletic Administration and Coaching. Micah loves to live an active lifestyle, whether she is competing in open water swims, running a road race, practicing yoga, or biking with her dogs. The main objective in her career is to... Read More

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