If you’ve recently discovered essential oils you’ve probably read their long list of benefits; they promote relaxation, help soothe aching muscles, and even ward off illness. It’s true that people have been using essential oils from plants for centuries to help cure various ailments, improve their beauty routine, and even enhance their meditation practice. But just how do you put these essential oils to use? We’re breaking down exactly how to incorporate some of the most popular essential oils in different aspects of your life—from your beauty routine to your home cleaning—with 37 of our favorite ways to use essential oils.
As a precaution, be sure that the essential oils you’re purchasing are 100% pure—we recommend brands like Young Living or doTerra—and are safe to consume or use in the ways listed. (For example, some essential oils that aren’t actually 100% pure will say “do not ingest.” Oftentimes these oils are synthetic and that means you do not want to be adding them to your skin, let alone your water.)
Also, take note that essential oils are very concentrated. In cases where I’ve suggested using essential oils directly on your skin, test a single drop first and see if you react. I use the oils directly on my skin and I’ve had no issues with it, but if you have any sensitivities, it’s best to discover that before you slather it on! If you have any concerns or want to make the oils go further, a good general rule for essential oils can be to dilute in a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil. Go with around 3-5 drops of the essential oil per teaspoon of the carrier oil.
1) Relieve nausea: Take a good whiff of peppermint or apply it directly to your chest and neck to reduce nausea.
2) Freshen breath: Add a drop of peppermint oil directly to your tongue to freshen your breath.
3) Treat eczema: Combine a few drops of lavender with shea butter and rub on affected area.
4) Soothe sore feet: Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a bath with Epsom salts to soothe foot pain.
5) Alkaline your body/flavor your water: Add a few drops of lemon oil to your water to get the benefits of drinking lemon water daily. (The orange and grapefruit oils are also refreshing.)
6) Relieve headaches: Combine lavender and peppermint oils and apply them to the temples or back of the neck to alleviate headaches.
7) Stop a cough in its tracks: Combine a few drops of eucalyptus into a diffuser or steaming water; inhale to clear nasal passages and stop cough.
8) Soothe an itchy scalp: Add a few drops of lavender oil to your shampoo to soothe a dry, itchy scalp.
9) Curb food cravings: Inhale cinnamon oil to curb food cravings.
10) Stay alert: Inhale a bit of rosemary during long car trips or when a boost of mental alertness is needed.
11) Promote restful sleep: Combine a few drops of lavender or clary sage oil to coconut oil and massage it on the skin or bottom of the feet for peaceful sleep.
12) Boost your immunity: Drip a few drops of thieves oil on the bottom of your feet (or your kids feet) daily during cold and flu season to help boost the immune system.
13) Try homemade insect spray: Avoid DEET which can cause skin rashes and has been linked to other health concerns. Try making your own insect repellent that will not only smell better but won’t leave your skin all sticky. We like these homemade insect spray ideas from Wellness Mama.
14) Soothe tense muscles: Drip a few drops of marjoram (a calming oil that has a warming effect on both mind and body) onto sore muscles to soothe muscle tension after exercise.
15) Grow stronger nails: Combine a tablespoon of vitamin E oil with 10 drops of lemon and myrrh oils to grow stronger nails.
16) Reduce the appearance of cellulite: Combine two teaspoons of coconut oil with 6-8 drops of grapefruit or juniper oil to smooth dimpled skin. (Plus it just smells nice as a moisturizer.)
17) Soften skin: Combine a few drops of lavender oil, coconut oil, and shea butter to create an ultra-hydrating and spa-like body lotion.
18) Get glowing skin: Add a drop of rose or geranium oil to your daily moisturizer for an added glow.
19) Clear up acne: Take a few drops of tea tree oil and dab it on acne blemishes with a cotton swab to help clear your skin. You can also apply it to fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
20) Soften lips: Combine lavender oil and coconut oil for a homemade lip balm that will heal chapped lips.
21) Freshen your kitchen sponges: Add a few drops of lemon oil to your kitchen sponge to disinfect between uses.
22) Remove burnt food from pans: Add a few drops of lemon oil to boiling water in a burnt pan or pot to remove the burnt residue.
23) Freshen up your fridge: When cleaning up your fridge, add a few drops of grapefruit oil to water and use it to leave behind a fresh scent.
24) Say goodbye to shower curtain scum: Add a few drops of tea tree oil and eucaluptus oil to a spray bottle with some warm water and spritz onto shower curtains to get rid of mold or mildew buildup.
25) Polish copper: Add a few drops of lemon oil to a cloth to gently buff copper clean.
26) Eliminate mold: Add two to three drops of tea tree oil to your diffuser to clear the air of mold pathogens.
27) Clean the tub or sink: Combine baking soda, vinegar, and a few drops of lime oil to scrub out the tub or sink.
28) Freshen your trash cans: Put a few drops of lemon oil onto a cotton ball and place at the bottom of a trash can to freshen its scent.
29) Get rid of unwanted kitchen odors: Add a few dros of clove oil to a simmering pan to get rid of cooking odor.
30) Clean produce: Combine a few drops of lemon oil to a large bowl of water and use it to wash fresh veggies and fruit.
31) Say goodbye to pests: Spray a few drops of orange or clove oil to get rid of ants.
32) Get spot-free dishes: Combine a drop of lemon oil with your dishsoap in the dishwasher to reduce water spottiness and get a streak-free clean.
33) Reduce anxiety: Diffuse lavender oil in your home or bedroom to promote feelings of peace.
34) Improve focus: Inhale a whiff of peppermint or spearmint oil to increase concentration and regain your focus.
35) Boost mood: Sniff bergamot to uplift your mood or add rose oil to baths.
36) Enhance meditation: Diffuse or inhale frankincense for added peace or spiritual awareness during meditation.
37) Relieve PMS symptoms: Combine a few drops of rosemary and sage on a hot washcloth and apply to abdomen.
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