A Basic Guide to Essential Oils

Believe the hype: Essential oils are life changing. What we smell can directly impact how we feel, both physically and emotionally. It’s a very powerful thing. If you want to start incorporating essential oils into your everyday life but don’t know where to begin, read on...

Essential Oils: A Brief History

For centuries, cultures around the world have relied on the physical and mental healing properties of essential oils to improve their quality of life. Essential oils are highly concentrated, naturally occurring chemicals that have been extracted from raw plant material like leaves, seeds, bark and more. These scented extracts stimulate nerves in the nose and send messages to the brain to relax, among other things.

Essential oils can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt, and still remain popular as ever today. Their uses span far and wide, including everything from freshening a room and promoting relaxation to relieving stress and healing the sick. They’re healthier than a glass of wine, and cheaper than a trip to the spa. They promote overall well-being and can help you feel a sense of balance in a crazy world. No matter which way you spin it, essential oils are here to stay.

The Essentials

There are so many essential oils to explore—sometimes, it can feel a little overwhelming. Use this guide to get to know the basics.

Eucalyptus: Use it when: you’re congested. Clear your nasal passageways by dabbing a little bit of it under each nostril. Inhale deeply. And relax.

Peppermint: Use it when: you have a headache that just won’t quit. Peppermint is full of menthol, which is a natural anesthetic. Apply it to your temples and wait for relief to kick in.

Jasmine: Use it when: you’re feeling a little blue. Jasmine oil is actually a natural antidepressant, so if you need a quick mood boost, rub it into your neck, arms and shoulders.

Tea-tree oil: Use it when: you want a DIY spa day. Tea tree oil is full of antimicrobials that help banish breakouts. Mix it with your favorite lotion or cream and apply liberally to your face.

Lavender oil: Use it when: you need a little TLC. Lavender is full of natural calming properties that soothe anxiety and leave you feeling relaxed. For the ultimate experience, try mixing it in with your favorite bubble bath. Ahh, better already.

Lemon oil: Use it when: you want to shake up your skincare routine. Lemon oil can help reduce wrinkles and promote circulation, making your face look smoother and brighter.

Sweet orange oil: Use it when: you want to feel calmer ASAP. If you have anxiety, this is your go-to essential oil. It smells great and helps ease those anxious feelings. A win-win!

Well+Good Editors. (2017, March 6). 10 Essential Oils Everyone Should Stock Up On.