Essential oils have been used for thousands of years within many different cultures for a wide variety of purposes. Their benefits come from their naturally occurring antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Essential oils are extracted from various parts of plants. There are hundreds of essential oils out there that can be used for things ranging from cleaning the home to baking and overall healthy living. Here’s our list of the eight best essential oils and their benefits.
Lemon is an extremely popular essential oil that can be found in almost any product scented or flavored with lemon. Lemon is correlated with a fresh essence and feeling, mainly because of its antiseptic, astringent, and anti-bacterial properties. Besides lemon oil being considered one of the most refreshing scents and flavors, it is also known for working wonders on the skin due to the makeup of D-limonene, an anti-inflammatory agent that helps with anti-aging. The scent also has a positive effect on mood.
Cinnamon is also an attractive scent and flavor, but isn’t usually thought of in oil form. Cinnamon oil is practically the opposite of lemon oil, in the sense that it is used in correlation to warmth and coziness rather than freshness and openness. Cinnamon oil is commonly used for chest colds along with muscle pains. Its antispasmodic and analgesic properties make the oil beneficial for uses that require pain relief or anti-inflammation. Some studies even show that cinnamon oil contains potent antioxidants that could aid in neurological problems and heart disease.
Nicknamed “fever grass” in India, it has been used for stomach irregularities for thousands of years. Lemongrass oil is known for a few other medicinal solutions including curbing the growth of cancerous tumors. It is also commonly used as an anti-fungal and antibacterial remedy. Other odd yet productive ways to use lemongrass oil is for insect repellent and to eliminate dandruff. Lemongrass has a fresh and deeply herbal scent, therefore it’s not commonly used within household cleaners or candles, but its physical properties have various positive impacts on the body.
Lavender oil is an all-around useful oil and can be used for many things throughout your day. Of course, the lavender smell is attractive, but it’s lavender oil’s makeup that makes it a dominant essential oil. According to Well & Good magazine, lavender oil is sedative, antispasmodic, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, anesthetic, immune-boosting, and antiviral. Though the oil is safe, this one should be tested out in diluted form when first used to make sure your body reacts nicely.
Tea Tree Oil:
Tea Tree oil’s claim to fame is how well it helps acne and pimples on the face. It dries out the skin blemish like benzoyl peroxide would, but in a gentler way. Tea tree oil also kills oral bacteria for up to two weeks, heals moderate dandruff, helps with gingivitis, and fights influenza virus. Much like the other essential oils, this one is quite versatile.
If you’ve ever eaten a clump of wasabi, you know what it’s like to have your sinuses cleared almost immediately. Eucalyptus has a similar effect when you get a whiff of it. Eucalyptus is in products like vapor rub, tiger balm, and other intense rubs with the semi-minty, yet powerful scent. It works as a pesticide and can eliminate bacteria and fungus, insects, mites, and weeds—Additionally, it is believed that eucalyptus can kill the drug-resistant parasite that causes malaria.
Rosemary oil has an herbal smell and is found in many products with “natural” brand labeling. Rosemary oil has unique stimulatory properties. When inhaled, the aroma of rosemary can increase heart rate, respiratory rate, and even boost your immune system response. While it benefits many systems including the nervous system, it also reduces stress by decreasing the levels of cortisol present in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone often associated with weight gain. Rosemary oil doesn’t even have to be ingested; you can reap the benefits while it’s airborne. A good way to use rosemary oil is to diffuse it in a room.
I’m sure you’ve heard that while studying for a big exam you should suck on a peppermint or chew peppermint-flavored gum. The smell of peppermint is refreshing and is in products like gum and toothpaste for a reason. Peppermint oil is made up mostly of menthone and menthol. It’s a stimulant with antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antispasmodic properties. It is also an effective treatment for sore throats, sinus infections, respiratory infections and inflammations of the throat. Peppermint oil is particularly beneficial for concentration and memory, as well as any feelings of nausea.
Essential oils have become a staple in many households around the world. Although they’re all unique in their benefits, there are such a wide variety of oils that you’ll certainly find one that benefits you. Let us know which is your favorite oil in the comments below!