Are you new to essential oils? Most of the people new to essential oils are confused with a large number of choices of essential oils. There are more than 300 commercially available essential oils in the market. It is natural to feel overwhelmed with such a wide variety of essential oils. For beginners, it is difficult to comprehend how to begin using essential oils. In the article, we are going to discuss 6 must-have essential oils for beginners. Read on to find out why and how to use these essential oils.
These 6 essential oils are absolute must-haves when it comes to a beginner setting foot in the world of aromatherapy for the first time.
If you are wondering what essential oils are, essential oils are fragrant volatile essence extracted from different plant parts, like roots, flowers, leaves, and seeds. The methods of extraction vary from one essential oil to another, but the most common procedure is distillation. The quality of essential oils is affected by a large number of factors like climate, amount of water, soil quality, distillation, and so on.
Based on our experience and research, we have selected 6 essential oils for beginners. These essential oils have a number of properties that make them beneficial for skincare, haircare, general health improvements, and home improvements. In addition, these oils are safe to use with proper guidelines.
Frankincense or olibanum essential oil referred to as King of oils due to its numerous benefits, versatility, and antiquity. It is extracted by steam distillation of oleo gum resin. The aroma of frankincense is exotic, fresh, sweet, balsamic and resinous with a hint of spice. Its enticing wood aroma is sensual and liberating.
Some of the major benefits of frankincense essential oil include anti-aging treatment, skincare, pain relief, stress relief, oral care, digestion aid among others.
Lavender oil is one of the most popular and widely used essential oils because of its calming aroma and numerous benefits. It has analgesic, anxiolytic, antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, calmative, sedative and skin healing properties.
Lavender oil is considered one of the best oils for sleep disorders and stress relief. In addition, it is widely used for skin and hair care. It is also beneficial in dealing with inflammatory and allergic conditions, treating urinary tract and bladder infections and headaches.
The aroma of lemongrass is pleasant, fresh and lemony with an herbal note. Its effect is uplifting and refreshing to the mind, body, and emotions.
Lemongrass oil has regulating properties that help in stabilizing and promoting balance and harmony, especially the mood and emotions. Sedative properties of lemongrass oil are helpful in calming and soothing mind and get relief from chronic mental states of anxiety, fear, worry, and depression.
Lemongrass oil is a well known natural mosquito repellent.
Peppermint oil has a clean, fresh, minty scent that is distinctly penetrating. Peppermint oil has a history of medicinal uses and benefits in healthcare and daily use.
Peppermint oil is useful for focusing the mind and improving memory. It is known for its analgesic properties and eliminating muscle tension. It is particularly useful in the soreness of muscles and joints.
In addition, peppermint oil can be used to repel rats, cool and soothe skin irritations and fight infections.
Orange oil has a lively, fresh, sweet, fruity and sweet citrus aroma. Sweet orange essential oil helps boost mood and increase energy, but also boasts a variety of other health benefits. This powerful essential oil can fight acne, relieve inflammation, promote better digestion, and improve the appearance of skin. It can also be used around the house to disinfect surfaces and freshen the air.
Tea tree oil has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Recently, it has gained a lot of popularity as a natural skincare product. Tea tree oil has a fresh, warm, camphorous and spicy aroma.
It is beneficial in skincare, haircare, acne treatment, immunity-boosting, clearing colds, asthma, sinus infections, and bronchitis and as a great all-round purpose cleaner and sanitizer.
Applying essential oils on the skin has several benefits like clearing acne, reducing wrinkles, getting rid of scars and blemishes, fighting off infections, and many more.
Read more about how to use essential oils for skincare.
One of the best essential oils for acne is lavender oil, as it can kill bacteria after penetrating the pores on the skin. Lavender oil, unlike other essential oils, can be applied directly to the skin without diluting it with a carrier oil first. Antibacterial properties also make tea tree oil good for acne. Apart from reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks, frankincense can be beneficial for the fading of acne. The antiseptic properties of sweet orange oil help fight bacteria that are responsible for causing acne.
While frankincense oil speeds up the secretion of digestive enzymes and reduces pain in the stomach, lemongrass oil has been proved to have antidiarrheal effects. The flow of bile from the liver is stimulated by sweet orange oil, thereby easing digestion.
Using essential oils is a very effective way of improving the mood, increasing energy levels, and reducing depression and fatigue.
For more information on stress relief using essential oils, please read the article.
Peppermint and lemongrass are two of the best essential oils used as natural insect repellents. Sweet orange oil kills house-flies and ants, and while tea tree oil repels bugs, it can also soothe bug bites.
Natural painkillers are found in the forms of lavender oil, peppermint oil, and frankincense oil. All 3 are essential oils for neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle, and joint pain, with lavender relieving pain from inflammation. Pain-related to digestive disorders can be alleviated with the help of frankincense.
For those with thin or damaged hair, peppermint oil is a boon. It helps stimulate the scalp, and can naturally nourish and thicken damaged and thinning hair.
In case the scalp is itchy or you are suffering from hair loss, use lemongrass essential oil to strengthen the hair follicles, making your hair odor-free and shiny.
You can also massage lavender oil onto the scalp daily when dealing with hair loss. For dry scalp, scaly patches on the scalp, and for reducing dandruff and head lice, it is best to use tea tree essential oil.
According to a study, 93% of Indians are sleep deprived, getting less than 8 hours of sleep and around 58% believe that their work suffers due to not getting adequate sleep. According to another pan India survey, about 79% of Delhi’s residents feel sleepy in their workplace. At least thrice a week, people feel the need to take a quick nap during working hours.
Essential oils are one of the best natural alternatives to fight sleep disorders. Most essential oils help to improve sleep patterns, as they can reduce feelings of stress that tend to keep people awake at night.
The calming scent of frankincense naturally acts as a sleeping aid by allowing the body to reach an ideal temperature for sleep and opening up breathing passages.
Lavender oil is generally used to treat insomnia due to its sedative properties. This is because lavender oil, unlike many other sedative drugs, promotes mental health without causing any unwanted side effects. Diffusing lavender or frankincense before or during sleep will help improve sleep quality.
In addition to the choice of essential oils, beginners are also not sure how to use essential oils. Broadly, essential oils may be used in a diffuser, or can be inhaled, or may be applied topically among other ways. Let’s dive into details of methods to use essential oils for beginners.
Diffusing an essential oil in the air is one of the best methods of using it. This is because once you release it into your surroundings, the oil can directly impact your brain through the limbic system, thus imparting calmness and relief from anxiety. It also helps make the air in your room fresh and clean.
For these purposes, a number of diffusers are available in the market. But before deciding to purchase one, let’s understand the different kinds of diffusers available in the market.
An ultrasonic diffuser operates with the help of water but needs to be cleaned every now and then. Just add regular water to the container, pour in a few drops of one or more essential oils you like, and then press the mist button. Using an ultrasonic diffuser would be an economical choice.
Another type of diffuser is the glass-made nebulizer. It sprays the scent molecules of the essential oils into the air with the help of an electric pump and not water, unlike an ultrasonic diffuser. Considered the most powerful and one of the most expensive of all diffusing devices, you need to be extra careful while cleaning a nebulizer since it is made of glass. The glass can just be rinsed with rubbing alcohol.
Essential oils must be diffused for a certain period of time, normally for 15-20 minutes. In an ultrasonic diffuser, add 3-5 drops of essential oil to every 100 ml of water. In case you use a nebulizer, 5-15 drops of essential oil will suffice.
Once released into the air, the amount of time for which the scent of each essential oil persists in the air depends on their fragrance notes. For example, top notes (fresh, light, and highly volatile) like lavender, lemongrass, sweet orange, and peppermint stay in the air for a maximum of 1-2 hours. Tea tree oil, which is a middle note one (soft and warm aroma), basically evaporates within 2-4 hours. And frankincense oil, a base note (heavy and long-lasting), lingers for 5 or more hours. But please note that this time frame depends upon a lot of other factors also.
Make sure you are enclosed in a well-ventilated room when diffusing the oil.
Directly inhaling an essential oil is another manner in which the therapeutic properties of the oil can start affecting the brain by way of the limbic system. It helps calm a stressful mind and relieves feelings of anger, irritability, or hypertension. This method is also followed by those who suffer from insomnia.
Rub 4-5 drops of essential oil onto your palm and breathe it in deeply, or spray a few drops of the oil onto a handkerchief. You can use a personal essential oil inhaler at home or while commuting, as a natural remedy for stress, headaches, and so on.
Lavender oil, peppermint oil, frankincense, and tea tree oil are among the best essential oils that can be used in an essential oil inhaler.
Aromatherapy inhalers should be kept out of direct sunlight, and breathe in the oil for not more than 2-3 times. Also, do not bring the inhaler or the oil too close to your nose.
Using essential oils topically is one of the best methods to improve general health and for skin and hair care. However, it is important to be safe first.
Do not use essential oils undiluted on the skin unless otherwise directed as per essential oil uses instructions. Essential oils can be diluted in carrier oils, lotions, creams, shampoo, bath oil, bath salts, pure alcohol (to make perfume), body scrubs and even room and body sprays.
Also, always conduct a patch test before using the essential oil topically. Just pour 2-3 drops of oil onto your wrist and wait for some time to check if there are any rashes or some other problems on the skin. If there are, it is better to avoid that essential oil.
A massage with essential oils eases tension and imparts a soothing feeling, apart from improving blood circulation. Mix 10-15 drops of essential oil like peppermint in ½ cup of grapeseed oil, almond oil, or any carrier oil of your choice, and begin massaging from the feet.
You can also add lavender oil to this mixture. With so many benefits, lavender oil will help you relax more.
Essential oils are concentrated compound and safety instruction should be followed while using them.
For more details, please read our safety and dilution guide.
Frankincense, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, orange, and tea tree oils are great choices for the beginners of the essential oils. These oils have plenty of uses for personal care and home improvement. They help us in improving general health, hair, and skin and lead a stress-free and positive life. We strongly suggest you make sure that you buy only pure and natural oils to get the best benefits out of essential oils.
Bașer, K. Hüsnü Can and Buchbauer, Gerhard (eds.). Handbook of Essential Oils: Science, Technology, and Applications. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2016. http://cms.herbalgram.org/BAP/EOs/Hdbk-EO-Adulteration-chapter18.pdf (Accessed 2019-03-13).
Rubin, Jordan, Axe, Dr. Josh and Bollinger, Ty. Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine for a Modern World. Shippensburg: Destiny Image Incorporated, 2017. https://books.google.co.in (Accessed 2019-03-14)