The Ultimate Guide to Essential Oils

Why Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils are completely natural extracts of plants and fruits that obtain an extensive list of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. By using essential oils, you can be sure that what you are using to heal your body and mind are natural and safe. Uses of essential oils range from aromatherapy to crafting with many options in between. While it is not recommended that you use essential oils in place of medical remedies when treatment is necessary, many oils can help to heal wounds and lessen the symptoms of colds and aches. Each essential oil provides its own unique benefits and a little research can help you determine which oils will best suit your needs.



Basic Oils and Their Benefits:

There are so many different essential oils in the world that it would take an entire book to list them all - maybe longer! Here is a simple guide to the most common essential oils you will find and the fantastic and diverse benefits of each unique aura.



Basil: This spicy, yet earthy oil is perfect for reducing anxiety, motion sickness, cold and fever symptom alleviator, muscle soreness, vomiting pain, bronchitis, itchiness, indigestion and helps with asthma. Basil oil can also help treat infection and improve circulation. Basil has also been known to have many hair benefits, including an increase in hair luster. Basil oil is best kept in your medicine cabinet, where it can be easily found for hair and body care.

NOTE: Use basil oil in especially small amounts due to its natural pungency.


Eucalyptus: The clear, medicinal aura of Eucalyptus oil provides a variety of different benefits. This oil is an excellent aid for respiratory issues and helps with clear breathing. Eucalyptus can also be used as an antibacterial, as it is often used in homemade hand sanitizers, and can also be used as a deodorant. Eucalyptus also has medicinal uses as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory oil. Keep a bottle of eucalyptus oil near your oil diffuser to take advantage of its effective respiratory benefits.


Frankincense: Frankincence has a hearty aroma and is the perfect oil for keeping positive mental health. This oil helps alleviate stress, pain, and anxiety. Frankincence can also be used as an astringent, helping to cleanse skin cells as well as reducing acne marks and preventing wrinkles. Adding a drop of Frankincense to your facial cleansing routine can not only work wonders for your skin, but help to clear your mind as well. Frankincence is best kept on your bathroom sink for easy access during your cleansing routines or to quickly grab for stressful days.


Grapefruit: As a lively bundle of lively citrus, grapefruit oil is the perfect pick-me-up and energizer. Grapefruit is also used as an antiseptic, air purifier, cleaning disinfectant, alleviator of hand stiffness and fatigue, reducer of jet lag, reducer of food cravings, and to help combat depression. Grapefruit oil helps to awaken and lift the mind and spirit and is best applied after a morning shower to set the tone for the day ahead.


Lavender: Lavender is the ultimate soothing oil, with its light floral aroma. This oil is perfect to apply before bed to help you fall asleep. Lavender can also help reduce stress, nervousness, anxiety, and headaches. Lavender can help with blood circulation, infection and bacterial prevention, and respiratory problems as well. Keep lavender by your bedside or on your desk to help keep your mind and body calm.


Lemongrass: This citrusy and earthy-scented oil has many medicinal qualities and can help sooth stomachaches, help with digestion, vomiting, high blood pressure, coughing, fever, the common cold, exhaustion, and aches. Lemongrass is an all-around healer and an essential for traveling. Keep a bottle of lemongrass oil in your medicine cabinet to reach for whenever you are feeling low.


Peppermint: This spicy and sweet oil is best known for its mind stimulation qualities. Peppermint has been shown to be an effective tool for students to apply or consume before studying or test-taking. Peppermint oil is also known for its cooling sensation and slight tingling. For this reason, it is recommended to use peppermint oil in especially small amounts. This oil can also be used to help digestion, freshen breath, clear sinuses, focus the mind, and to soothe muscles headaches, coughing, and sore throats, and general pain. Because peppermint has so many diverse qualities, I recommend purchasing a peppermint roller and keeping it in your everyday bag for ease of access.


Rosemary: Rosemary has a hearty, woodsy aroma and is known for its skin and hair benefits including dandruff removal, hair growth, as well as cellulite, stretch marks, and acne reduction. For this reason, rosemary is often added to home-made lotions and shampoos. Rosemary oil can also help improve memory, improve circulation, boost immunity, and soothe muscle cramps, cold extremities, migraines, and indigestion. Rosemary oil can also help to repel insects while delighting you with its earthy fragrance at the same time! For this reason, rosemary is best kept in the kitchen where you can reach for it on the way outside or hand-make some scented soaps and hair products.


Sweet Orange: Because of this essential oil’s bright, citrusy aroma, sweet orange is often used in body products, fragrances, and room sprays. Sweet Orange oil has cheerful qualities and helps to combat anger, depression, anxiety, worry, inflammation, pain, irritation, acne, muscle spasms, and also works as a wound disinfectant. It is wise to keep sweet orange oil on your desk to help you get through study sessions or the workday grind with a smile.


Tea Tree: Tea Tree oil has a very pungent aroma that is both spicy and medicinal. This oil works wonders on problems with the ears including clogging from sinuses, aches, infections, and fluid in the ears. After rubbing a small amount of tea tree oil on the back of the affected ear, the ear will clear up party, if not entirely in minutes. Tea tree oil has many practical and versatile uses as a disinfectant, insect repellent, antiseptic, wound healer, sunburn alleviator, acne alleviator, common cold symptom reliever, and aids in combating viral and fungal infections. It is recommended to apply a small amount of tea tree oil to a warm, wet washcloth for skin use. Tea tree oil is best kept in the medicine cabinet where it can be found to provide relief for a myriad of issues.

NOTE: When consumed orally, tea tree oil can be poisonous. Never consume tea tree oil. Exercise caution when applying tea tree oil to the head area. Tea tree oil is extremely pungent and powerful and on some skin types has proven to be an irritant. Do not keep tea tree oil around your pets.


Vanilla: Vanilla oil’s sweet and warm scent makes it a popular room scent, additive in home-made body and hair products, and popular aromatherapy choice. This oil is also known for its tranquilizing properties, making it the perfect before-bed oil. Vanilla oil also contains antioxidant and antibacterial properties, can help fight infection, balance hormones, relieve PMS symptoms, lower blood pressure, combat depression, reduce fever, and soothe inflammation. Vanilla is best kept by your beside so that you can start the day and end the day with the perfect aromatherapy fragrance.


Essential Oil Blends: Apart from purchasing a single essential oil, many blends are available as well. Blends are an especially good idea if you are looking for a specific use of essential oils. For example, many sleep blends are available that combine oils such as lavender and chamomile in the perfect proportions. Travel blends are also ideal, as they combine the precise oils in the right amounts to provide the best relief for motion sickness, jet lag, and other travel-related ailments. Before purchasing an oil blend, be sure to read the ingredients to see what oils are used in what amounts to be sure you will enjoy their combined aroma.

My Favorite Easy Essential Oil Blends:

Blending essential oils is fun and simple! You can simply blend together your favorite scents or combine oils with common benefits to achieve specific goals in your aromatherapy practice. These blends are perfect to add to an essential oil diffuser or to combine in a diluted spray bottle for an aromatic and soothing mist.



Breathe Blend:

3 drops eucalyptus oil

3 drops peppermint oil


Energize Blend:

2 drops eucalyptus oil

2 drops grapefruit oil

2 drops sweet orange oil


Sleep Blend:

1 drop basil oil

3 drops lavender oil

2 drop vanilla oil


Study Blend:

1 drop frankincence oil

1 drop lavender oil

2 drops peppermint oil

2 drop rosemary oil


Travel Blend:

1 drop basil oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

2 drops lemongrass oil


Making Your Own Essential Oils:

Extracting the natural essence of something is extremely easy to do. However, you must be sure to only store essential oils in glass bottles, preferably with a stopper or controlled dispenser. These can be purchased at craft stores, and often dispenser bottles can be re-used.



Basic Guide: A general way to extract essential oils is to place your desired plant into the glass bottle and pour enough olive oil over the plant so that the plant is entirely covered. Wait a minimum of two weeks before use. Easy plants to extract are spearmint, peppermint, and other herbs.


Vanilla Extract Recipe: To create your own vanilla extract, you will generally need a much taller glass bottle. Split two vanilla beans in half so that their essence can be extracted. Place all four halves of the vanilla bean into your glass bottle and add enough vodka so that the beans are completely covered. Wait a minimum of two weeks before using the vanilla extract, but it is recommended that you wait until your extract has turned a dark brown color.


Using Essential Oils:

Now that you are a certified essential oil genius, it's time to put that knowledge to use! There are so many different ways to purchase and use essential oils ranging from droppers and rollers to diffusers and crafting.



Controlled Dispenser Bottle: Most essential oils come in a bottle with a dispenser that slows down the release of oils. As essential oils are pure, extracted oils, these controlling mechanisms help the user to not accidentally add too much oil at one time. (A little essential oil goes a long way!) Some dispensers work slower than others, and some require the user to hold the bottle anywhere from a 90-degree angle to a 180-degree angle. It is recommended that you hold your bottle at a 90-degree angle to begin to ensure a controlled drop of the oil. Controlled dispenser bottles are ideal for skin-contact use, oil diffusers, or additive use.


Dropper Bottle: Dropper bottles are ideal for adding essential oils to crafts or self-care items. The dropper makes it easy to control the number of drops added to a homemade candle, hand sanitizer, or hot tea. A dropper bottle would also be an easy method for adding a precise amount of drops to an essential oil diffuser.


Roller: Essential oil rollers are perfect when you are on-the-go. The roller mechanism stops the oil from leaking and spilling. While essential oil rollers cannot be used to add oil to other things or to use in a diffuser, they are the easiest way to apply oils to your skin. This method ensures that you will not add too much oil to your skin and will prevent oil spillage.


Diffuser: Essential oil diffusers provide the benefits of essential oils through aromatherapy. Many oils with respiratory benefits, like eucalyptus, are best used through a diffuser. Essential oil diffusers work by adding a few drops of oil to a mainly water base and allowing the diffuser to release a gentle flow of aromatherapy into the user’s space. Aromatherapy can be a highly effective tool in setting the mood for your day, whether that means setting a breathable space when you are sick, preparing for a day of study, or curling up in bed at night. Essential oil diffusers are very affordable and can be purchased on Amazon at a minimum cost of $15.


Skin-Contact Use: The best, and most recommended, place to apply essential oils is to your pulse points. The most common and effective pulse points are on the wrists, the temples, and below the ears. However, essential oils can be applied to a specific area to serve medicinal or relief purposes. For instance, many essential oils have disinfectant qualities and can be used on wounds or scarring. Generally, essential oils can be used as a massage aid for headaches, sore muscles, and joints as well. A great way to utilize the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils is to rub a very small amount of essential oil on the bridge between your nostrils.


Additive: Essential oils are frequently used as in additive in skin care, crafting, and consumables because of their one-hundred percent natural state and numerous health benefits. Personally, I have used essential oils to scent home-made candles, bath bombs, bath oils, and lotions. Aside from crafting, essential oils can also be added to soaps and your skin care routine by adding a drop to your everyday cleanser. Essential oils can also be used in baking in the form of extracts to flavor cakes, cookies, and more. Some even add a drop of essential oil into hot teas or hot chocolate.


NOTE: Exercise caution when consuming essential oils. Some essential oils can be poisonous when consumed. Only consume oils in very small quantities, as they are very potent and concentrated. Always research your oils before you consume them.


Further Information:

To research more in-depth about essential oils, check out the websites below.



  1. Danièle Ryman Aromatherapy Bible

   2.  Dr. Axe’s Essential Oils Guide

   3.  Essential Oil Haven: Guide to Blending Essential Oils

   4.  Aura Cacia Pure Essential Oils

   5.  Radha Beauty

   6.  Basic Essential Oil Diffuser for $15 by URPOWER on Amazon