What To Use Essential Oils For – A Guide To Benefits And Uses

what to use essential oils for
April 6, 2018 Anna 12 Comments

Essential oils have been used for centuries all around the world, and as you may know, there are many various benefits and uses for them. There have been studies that have shown many positive results from their use.

Since there are so many different essential oils it can be overwhelming or difficult to learn and remember which essential oils are good for what (also since many have similar properties). A lot of essential oils provide similar benefits – such as having antibacterial or anti inflammatory properties etc.

Below is a reference guide on what to use essential oils for. Of course you can combine essential oils together to create synergy blends, but these are basics for some of the more popular essential oils out there, listing some of their beneficial properties, uses and precautions. For more information on how to us essential oils safely and choosing them properly, go here.

 

Essential Oils
Benefits
Uses
Don’ts
 

Bergamot 

 

  • Reduces stress, anxiety & depression
  • Cleanses and heals skin
  • Disinfects/deodorizes
  • Supports digestion
  • Cures infections

 

 

  • Diffuse or inhale to reduce stress/tension
  • Cleanse your skin with the oil in the shower or make face cleanser
  • Improve digestion by rubbing diluted oil on abdominal area
 

  • Don’t go out in the sun after applying  it topically
  • Don’t use on infants under 6 months
 

Cedarwood

cedarwood

 

  • Promotes healthy scalp & hair growth
  • Acts as an astringent
  • Anti-inflammatory/ anti-septic
  • Relieves spasms
  • Can help balance menstrual cycle
 

  • Massage with carrier oil to relieve or tighten muscles
  • Inhale for menstrual benefits
  • Add a few drops to bathwater to relieve eczema
  • Add a few drops to 1 oz water in spray bottle to repel bugs
 

  • Don’t use during the first trimester of pregnancy
  • Don’t use on babies under 6 months
 

Chamomile

chamomile

 

 

  • Helps calm, reduce anxiety/depression
  • Aids in falling asleep
  • Anti-inflammatory, helps skin issues
  • Acts as a diuretic, fights acid reflux
  • Contains antioxidants to help prevent cancer
 

  • Diffuse or inhale to reduce anxiety/depression
  • Mix with coconut oil to use as a sunburn ointment
  • Mix with face lotion, or to treat skin issues
 

  • Don’t Ingest –    Chamomile tea is made by crushing dried  chamomile flowers
  • Don’t use if you have seasonal  allergy symptoms as it could bring    on allergic reaction
 

Cinnamon

 

 

  • Boosts circulation
  • Antibacterial
  • Increases Cognitive activity
  • Fights viruses
  • Stimulates immune system
  • Reduces ulcers
  • Helps to heal skin
 

  • Diffuse to purify, deodorize, & kill bacteria in the air
  • Mix a drop or 2 with lemon and honey and drink to boost immunity and treat sore throat
  • Mix with carrier oil and rub on bottoms of feet to fight cold/viruses
  • Use in homemade hand sanitizer
 

  • Don’t use on children under 5-6
  • Don’t apply without carrier oil – always dilute
 

Clary Sage

clary sage

 

  • Relieves menstrual discomfort
  • Supports hormonal balance
  • Relieves insomnia
  • Reduces stress
  • Kills bacteria and infections
  • Promotes skin health
  • Aids in digestion
 

  • Mix 5 drops with carrier oil and apply to needed areas to relieve cramps
  • Inhale, diffuse, or apply topically(diluted) to relieve stress/tension
  • Massage onto abdomen to ease digestion
 

  • Don’t use during pregnancy especially in first trimester
  • Avoid using clary sage after alcohol use
 

Clove

clove

 

 

  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • High antioxidant
  • Antibacterial
  • Boosts immune system
  • Promotes skin health
  • Aids in digestion
 

  • Diffuse to purify, and deodorize the air
  • Use in homemade cleaning products to clean surfaces
  • Apply to cotton swab, then onto gums to relieve toothache
  • Mix with cinnamon oil and carrier oil and apply to chest, and feet to fight colds/viruses
 

  • Don’t use on children under 2
  • Take caution if using when pregnant
  • Don’t use topically without carrier oil-always dilute
 

Cypress

cypress

 

 

  • Heals wounds and infections
  • Treats cramps and muscle pulls
  • Acts as a diuretic
  • Promotes blood clotting
  • Eliminates respiratory conditions, cough/cold
  • Helps treat cellulite and varicose veins
 

  • Diffuse to deodorize and create emotional balance
  • Apply topically with equal parts carrier oil   to treat arthritis/cramps
  • Apply 2-3 drops to affected area to reduce varicose veins, cellulite, wounds, or bruises
  • Apply to warm bath or rub on chest for respiratory issues
 

  • Do not ingest
  • Don’t use during pregnancy
  • Don’t use on children under 5
 

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

 

 

  • Treats respiratory problems
  • Relieves allergies/ sinus issues
  • Helps battle colds/congestion
  • Is antibacterial/ deodorizes
  • Treats wounds
 

  • Inhale from bottle or with steam, or mix with coconut oil for chest  rub when congested
  • Combine equal portions with apple cider vinegar for bug bites or wounds
  • Put a few drops in cleaning products or on spots to remove stains
 

  • Do not ingest
  • Don’t use on children under 10
 

Frankincense

frankincense

 

 

  • Helps reduce anxiety and stress
  • Boosts immune system
  • Potential to help fight cancer
  • Is antibacterial
  • Heals skin/conditions and preduces signs of aging
  • Eases digestion
  • Fights infections
 

  • Mix a few drops with lotion or oil and apply to face/body to reduce wrinkles, scars or heal wounds
  • Inhale or diffuse for respiratory benefits
  • Add a few drops to hot bath for stress/tension relief
  • Use with cleaning products or as deodorizer

 

 

  • Do not use if pregnant or nursing
  • Don’t use on infants under 6 months
 

Geranium

geranium

 

  • Promotes healthy skin and hair
  • Aids in balancing hormones
  • Relieves stress & depression
  • Improves circulation/tones muscles and skin
  • Antibacterial & anti- inflammatory
 

  • Add a couple drops to your lotion and apply to face/skin to reduce wrinkles or scars
  • Apply to wounds, or infected areas on skin
  • Diffuse or inhale to reduce tension/stress/improve concentration
  • Mix with coconut oil and massage into areas of pain or tension
 

  • Do not use when pregnant or nursing
  • Don’t use on children under 6
 

Ginger

 

  • Alleviates nausea and stomach discomfort
  • Reduces headache
  • Boosts immunity
  • Heals infections
  • High antioxidant
  • Improves liver function
  • Relieves anxiety
 

  • Diffuse/inhale or rub a couple drops onto stomach for nausea
  • Add a drop to water and drink, to treat vomiting or aid digestion
  • Add a drop or two to cooking for flavour
  • Diffuse to boost mood, or deodorize your space
 

  • Do not expose skin to direct sunlight for 24 hours after application
  • Don’t use on children under 2
 

Grapefruit

grapefruit

 

  • Aids in weight loss and curb sugar cravings
  • Reduces depression
  • Energizes
  • Antibacterial/ deodorizes
  • Supports immune system and digestion
  • Promotes healthy skin
 

  • Add a drop to water or inhale directly to kill  sugar cravings
  • Add to cream and apply to face to help acne or improve skin
  • massage with carrier oil onto abdomen to help digestion
  • Diffuse to boost mood,   or deodorize
 

  • Do not expose skin to direct sunlight for 12 + hours after application
  • Don’t use on infants under 6 months
 

Lemon

lemon

 

 

  • Anti-bacterial/anti-fungal
  • Astringent properties
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Boosts immunity
  • Deozerizes
  • Brightens and heals skin
 

  • Clean and disinfect any surfaces, dishes, or clothes
  • Use to cleanse /brighten skin
  • Get rid of grease/sticky residue from various items
  • Brush with baking soda to whiten teeth
 

  • Don’t go out into direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after topical application
  • Don’t use with infants under 6 months
  • Don’t apply topically on young children
 

Lavender

lavender

 

  • Improves sleep/falling asleep
  • Reduces anxiety/stress
  • Improves brain function
  • Alleviates pain/headaches
  • Promotes healthy skin and hair
  • Heals burns and cuts
  • Antioxidant
 

  • Inhale or diffuse to relieve anxiety/stress, sleeping issues
  • apply on temples and back of neck to alleviate headaches
  • Add a couple drops to stuffed animals to calm children
  • Apply a couple drops to hair for strength and softness
  • Use as a freshener or natural perfume
  • Apply to skin to improve skin conditions or aging
 

  • Don’t use on infants under 3 months

 

 

Lemongrass

lemongrass

 

  • Relieves stomach aches
  • Boosts energy & immune system
  • Reduces fever
  • Alleviates pain/ headaches
  • Muscle relaxer
  • Antibacterial &     anti-fungal
  • Detoxifying / diuretic
 

  • Apply on temples to relieve tension or headaches
  • Add a few drops to body scrub or on face to clear up skin
  • Add a couple drops to water or tea to reduce fever/, improve digestion, or reduce cholesterol
  • Diffuse to purify air and kill bacteria
  • Add lemongrass to homemade bug spray to repel insects
 

  • Do not use when pregnant
  • Don’t use on children under 2
 

Lime

lime

 

  • Calms stomach
  • Increases appetite
  • Antiviral & antibacterial
  • Reduces muscle & joint pain
  • Helps support healthy liver
  • Astringent for skin
  • Helps treat respiratory issues
 

  • Inhale to increase appetite
  • Use to clean off grease/sticky residue
  • Place a few drops on cotton ball to freshen up bathroom
  • Steam inhale to relieve cold/flu symptoms
  • Add to homemade cleaning products
  • Add a couple drops to your water to help with stomach issues/infections
 

  • Do not go under direct sunlight for up to 24 hours after application
  • Don’t use on children under 2
 

Oregano

oregano

 

  • Antibacterial/fights infection
  • Supports immune system
  • Helps treat sinus infections and allergies
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-fungal
  • Natural antibiotic
 

  • Use steam inhalation or apply with carrier oil on bottom of feet to help kill colds/viruses
  • Mix with water in spray bottle for a household cleaner
  • Mix with coconut oil and use on feet/toes to treat fungal infections
  • Add couple drops to water and drink, to treat indigestion, infections/viruses, allergies
  • Add with coconut oil to treat gingivitis
 

  • Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not use for more than 2- 3 weeks straight
  • Do not apply straight-always dilute
  • Do not use on broken skin
 

Peppermint

peppermint

 

  • Relieves headaches
  • Reduces nausea and stomach aches
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Encourages hair growth
  • Supports digestive system
  • Improves mental focus/alertness
  • Boosts energy
  • Relieves tense/sore muscles
  • Aids in respiratory issues
  • Antibacterial
 

  • Apply to temples and back of the neck to relieve headaches
  • Massage diluted oil onto stomach to help pain/digestion
  • Inhale to reduce nausea/motion sickness or to stay alert
  • Inhale or diffuse to help with colds/allergies & clear airways
  • Mix with carrier oil or shampoo and apply to scalp to promote hair growth/healthy scalp
 

  • Do not use when pregnant or nursing
  • Do not use if you have epilepsy
  • Don’t use with children under 6
 

Rose

rose

 

  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Reduces depression
  • Is antibacterial
  • Increase libido and helps balance hormones
  • Treats wounds
  • Acts as an astringent
 

  • Apply onto face to treat acne, blemishes
  • Diffuse or inhale to promote relaxation
  • Create a massage oil    by blending with      carrier oil
  • balance hormones
  • Use as a natural perfume
 

  • Don’t use during pregnancy
 

Rosmary

Rosemary

 

  • Promotes hair growth
  • Boosts mental performance
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Relieves muscle aches and pains
  • May help to prevent cancer
 

  • Inhale or diffuse to increase focus/memory
  • Mix with carrier oil or shampoo and massage into scalp for hair growth
  • Rub diluted oil onto gallbladder area to improve its function
 

  • Do not use when pregnant
  • Do not use if you have high blood pressure or seizures
  • Don’t use with children under 10
 

Sandalwood

sandalwood

 

  • Antibacterial, antiviral, & anti-inflammatory
  • May help prevent skin cancer
  • Increases mental clarity & memory
  • Relaxes and calms
  • Natural aphrodesiac
  • Acts as an astringent
 

  • Inhale or diffuse or add to massage oil to promote relaxation and / or focus
  • Blend with other oils to make natural perfume/cologne
  • Add a few drops to       hot bath
  • Apply diluted oil to skin to treat issues such as eczema
 

  • Do not ingest
  • Don’t use with infants under 6 months
 

Sweet Orange

orange

 

  • Antidepressant/ relieves anxiety
  • Treats spasms
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Improves complexion
  • Antibacterial
  • Helps remove excess grass & toxins
 

  • Mix with carrier oil and apply to face to improve skin / fight acne
  • Diffuse or inhale to boost mood, or deodorize
  • Add some to natural cleaning products
  • Add a few drop to water with salt and gargle for healthy gums and mouth/treat sores
  • Apply topically to alleviate stomach discomfort
 

  • Do not go out in direct sunlight within 12 hours of application
  • Don’t use with infants under 6 months
 

Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

tea-tree

 

  • Antibacterial, anti-fungal
  • Helps congestion and  respiratory issues
  • Has anti-cancer benefits
  • Aids with skin issues, bites, sores & sunburns
  • Promotes healthy scalp
 

  • Use with cleanser for acne wash
  • Mix with shampoo and massage into scalp to treat dandruff
  • Apply to insect bites   after diluting
  • Place a few drops on a cotton ball and put at bottom of the trash to deodorize
  • Aids with skin issues, bites, sores & sunburns
 

  • Do not ingest
  • Don’t use with infants under 6 months
 

Wintergreen

wintergreen

 

  • Antibacterial
  • Fights inflammation
  • Relieves pain
  • Reduces swelling and irritation
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves alertness
  • Treats colds, fever, flu, and infections
 

  • Massage several drops into affected areas or bath to relieve achy joints or sore muscles
  • Mix with coconut oil and rub on chest to help cold and congestion
  • Inhale to reduce hunger and cravings
  • Add a couple drops to water and gargle for mouthwash
  • Inhale or diffuse to increase concentration/ wakefulness
 

  • Do not ingest without a specialist
  • Don’t use with children under 12
  • Do not use during pregnancy or nursing
  • Do not use if you have an allergy to aspirin or are epileptic
 

Ylang-Ylang

ylang-ylang

 

  • Antibacterial
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lifts mood / anti-depressant
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Promotes healthy skin and hair
  • Helps fight infections
  • Natural diabetes remedy
  • Boosts digestion
 

  • Combine with carrier oil to make a massage rub
  • Massage 1 drop with carrier oil over heart or add to water or tea to relieve high blood pressure
  • Inhale or diffuse to alleviate stress
  • Apply to wrist, neck or chest to fight fatigue or body aches
 

  • Don’t use with infants under 3 months

Conclusion

As this table has provided information on certain essential oils uses and benefits, there are still many other essential oils and ways to use them. Although essential oils are not conclusively a cure for health issues, they have a lot of potential and they can aid in healing, relieving and reducing symptoms and pains, as well as provide other great benefits for skin, hair and for household cleaning etc.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

 

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12 People reacted on this

  1. This is quite a list! I can see I need to add to my essential oils. I just ordered Rosemary and Cayenne essential oils to help with hair growth. Which others would you recommend for this and to relieve stress?

    1. Yes, it’s a lot to take in.. And nice! I didn’t know there was a cayenne essential oil! My husband and I make our own chili oil so use some of that for part my hair growth treatment, as well as rosemary and also peppermint oil is great too. Also ylang ylang essential oil is good for the scalp and hair as well. For stress relief bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, geranium, lavender, and orange are some good choices the help.

  2. The chart is such a great visual! I’ve never been that informed on the benefits of essential oils, so this is definitely eye catching and very informative! Great info you have here

  3. Hi I have been a long time user of essential oils but I see you have some I havent herd of. I like the ones that give you more energy and help you to stay alert. Thanks for the great post it is very informative.

    1. Yes, there are so many essential oils, some that I haven’t heard of either! And the uplifting and “alert” oils are some of my favourites too.

  4. looking at this list and some of the uses….. i remember home remedies and concoctions my grandmother made… It turns out she wasn’t crazy and actually knew what she was doing lol….
    thanks for sharing.

    1. Haha, well there you go:-) I have been learning more and more lately, about all the various benefits and ways you can use essential oils.

  5. Dear Ana
    What a fab list and so informative. I love all things citrus, and often use orange and lemon essential oil. Had no idea grapefruit helped with curbing the sugar cravings! How amazing, I’m getting one today (very much needed at the moment!). Was wondering if you would make your list as a printable. I’d love to have a copy!
    Best,
    Alenka

    1. Hi Alenka! I’m glad you like the list! I made the table within wordpress, so actually if you just go to the top bar (at the very top of your computer) and select file – for your browser that you are using, there is a print option there, that will allow you to print the page! Cinnamon oil is also another great oil known to help with sugar cravings..Also, if you are interested in trying out a newer essential oil company – they are great quality and super affordabe – check out my review on Vitruvi where I have a discount code that I have provided on there 🙂

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