I originally got into essential oils because I wanted to make my apartment smell nice.
Candles are expensive and the majority of the affordable ones contain lead and carcinogens. Yuck. #thanksyankee
So I got myself a diffuser and a couple of oils to start from my friend Courtney at NYR Organic. The original investment for 1 diffuser and 5 essential oils is about $80. You can do it for less too, Amazon sells essential oil bundles (6 of them for $13) and really snazzy looking diffusers for $30. Although this one is my favorite for $45.
Moral of the story, that’s the cost of roughly 4 non-carcinogen candles.
Once I had the diffuser and slowly started picking up an oil here and an oil there, I learned how much more essential oils could be used for.
If you have ever been essential-oil-curious, I recommend starting with one of these 5, depending on your application desires.
Notes before we begin:
- Use with caution. These are the concentrated oils from a plant. They are very powerful and most need to be diluted.
- Some essential oils are okay to use topically but some will cause irritation or burns (i.e.; Thyme, oregano, clove, and cinnamon bark).
- Citrus essential oils can cause severe burns or skin cancer if applied to the skin before being exposed to natural sunlight or sun-bed radiation (i.e.;bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, and angelica).
- Don’t eat or drink the essential oils without really, I mean really, getting an experts opinion. I do not know who that expert is. My advice, don’t do it.
Alrighty then, here we go…
It’s a classic. Known best for its relaxation and anti-stress properties.
I use lavender…
- As a perfume: from Lavande (I think this is the best smelling lavender essential oil I have ever gotten my hands on). It’s a bit more expensive ($18), but it’s well worth it.
- To make my bedroom the ideal place for restful sleep: A couple of drops in the diffuser at night.
- To ease headaches: Rub 1 drop on your temples.
- As a relaxing massage oil: Mix 1 drop with 3 drops with coconut or jojoba oil (I put this on my cuticles before bed).
I love peppermint. I made the mistake of putting this into what was supposed to be a chocolate chip mint smoothie once (remember what I said about not eating it?). That smoothie was not drinkable. Moving on…
It has antibacterial properties making it a perfect and cost effective substitute to harmful home products.
I use peppermint…
- As a cleaner: about 7-10 drops per every cup of water to clean kitchen counters (this is what actually inspired me to give it a try).
- To soothe cramps/upset stomach: Rub 3-4 drops on your belly in a clockwise motion (same direction as digestion).
- To clear my sinuses: Rub 2 drops in your hands until you build a bit of heat, cup your hands around your nose and take a nice, deep breath in.
I’m fresh ginger root’s #1 fan. Ginger essential oil on the other hand… doesn’t win me over with its smell. But I love what it has to offer.
Gingerol is the active ingredient in ginger that makes it an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s in the root itself and especially potent in the oil.
I use ginger to…
- Ease upset stomach: Combine 1-2 drops with mint (or on its own) and rub in a clockwise motion on your belly.
- Reduce pain: Combine 1 drop oil with 1 drop of jojoba or coconut oil and rub on sore feat, wrists, knees, or muscles.
The scent of citrus has been known to promote feelings of well-being and happiness. Enough said.
This bright essential oil smells very like everything you adore about lemons. It also has antiviral and antibacterial properties, making it another perfect cleaner.
I use lemon to…
- Clean the kitchen: Add 5 drops for every 1 cup of water and use to clean your kitchen or bathroom counters.
- Get focused: Add 3-5 drops to a diffuser while you are working for a mood and energy booster.
One of my favorites for its practical uses. Its an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It has a very strong smell, so I recommend applying in the evening for any topical uses.
I use tea tree to…
- Treat acne: 1 drop in the palm with 1-2 drops of water and dab on the most stubborn pimples.
- Clean the kitchen: yes, another one. Use 5 drops of tea tree for every cup of water as a cleaner (you can mix with mint and/or lemon).
I’d love to hear from you! Tell me what you think here: