Updated: Nov 19
There are over 100 essential oils made from fruit peels, herbs, flowers, plants, and spices, and if you are new to essential oils, the vast number of options can be quite overwhelming. While they all have their place, some oils are more beneficial for everyday use than others. If you want to start using essential oils but aren’t sure where to start, these top five oils are great for beginners!
Made from a beautiful vibrant purple flower, lavender oil is well known for its calming effect. It aids in sleep, reduces anxiety, and boosts mood, making it great for those with depression, insomnia, or general anxiety. Lavender oil can relieve pain from muscle aches and menstrual cramps when rubbed directly on the region, and can help reduce migraines and headaches by inhaling the aroma for 15 minutes.
In addition, lavender oil does wonders for the skin and hair. Its inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties work to reduce scars, eczema, warts, sun and age spots, rashes from allergic reactions, and canker sores. It also helps improve dry skin and heal cuts and burns. When used in the hair, it can improve hair loss and reduce dandruff.
Recent studies suggest that lavender oil works as a powerful antioxidant, and its neuroprotective effects fight oxidative stress caused by toxins, chemicals, pollutants, and other free radicals. With all of its versatility, lavender is definitely an oil you can want to have around.
Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that make it great for improving respiratory issues. It’s one of the best oils for sinusitis, asthma, coughs, colds, the flu, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.
Peppermint also works to reduce joint and muscle pain, as well as headaches, but does so in a different way than lavender. Due to its cooling and stimulating properties, peppermint increases blood flow and provides a cooling sensation that is felt when applied directly to the skin. This sensation is similar to Icy Hot or Biofreeze, if you’ve ever used one of those for muscle pain. If you suffer from frequent headaches, this is a great oil to keep in your purse.
The stimulation of peppermint also makes it beneficial for improving focus and alertness. It’s a great oil to diffuse in the morning to help wake up and in the afternoon while studying or finishing up work at the end of a long day. In addition, peppermint oil has been known to improve dandruff when added to shampoo and conditioner, repeal bugs, improve nausea, and relieves itchy skin.
Lemon essential oil comes in hand quite a bit around the house, leaving a fresh citrus scent wherever it’s used. Though it mixes well with peppermint to help fight respiratory infections, and aids in digestion and detoxification when taken internally, this is one of the best oils for disinfecting and cleansing.
Whether you need to clean the bathroom or want to preserve your furniture or jewelry, a few drops of lemon oil will go a long way in making the perfect toxic-free cleaner. Not only can you use it in a diffuser and in natural cleaning products, but it makes a great addition to homemade lemonade for a powerful detox drink.
Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of a small Australian tree and is best known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. This is due to one of the common properties found in the oil, terpinen-4-ol, which has also been shown to increase white blood cells and fight germs and bacteria.
This essential oil can be used on wounds and minor cuts, and is an effective natural acne treatment. In addition, its antifungal properties make it useful for treating toenail fungus. This oil has a few other surprising benefits as well; it’s great for repelling insects and can help heal skin rashes and inflammation.
Many people are familiar with this aromatic oil made from the sap of the Boswellia tree, or at least with the name. In biblical times, frankincense was used in combination with myrrh and is said to be given to baby Jesus. These two oils make a powerful combination and are used together to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.
Frankincense has anti-anxiety and calming effects, helping in stressful situations and dealing with negative emotions. On the more physical side, it helps boost the immune system by killing harmful bacteria and viruses. It is also known to improve sleep, balance hormones, and reduce muscle pain and inflammation.
Once you decide which oils to try, make sure to check out the Essential Oil Basics to learn more about using essential oils safely and effectively.