Essential oil, just like its name suggests, is the oil extracted from plants that capture the plants’ essence, i.e., smell. It is made from certain parts of the plant, like its leaves, bark, etc. It is a potent oil that is obtained through steam distillation or cold pressing.
It originated thousands of years ago but is still a popular choice nowadays. Essential oil is used in aromatherapy, beauty products, herbal medicines, etc. Its use is endless. However, it should never be used alone. It should always be diluted with a lighter carrier oil before its use.
Essential oil is now commercially available as well, which makes it a great choice to add to our lives for various purposes.
Some of the most common essential oils are as follows:
1. LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Lavandula angustofolia
It is one of the most popular essential oils in aromatherapy. Lavender is mainly sourced from France and is steam-distilled. It has a floral scent, which helps in relaxing and calming down. It is known to have anti-anxiety properties. It is also anti-fungal, anti-septic, and anti-bacterial.
- Treats anxiety and insomnia by calming down the body and reducing anxiety and restlessness
- treats skin issues like acne by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation and eczema due to its anti-fungal properties
- improves the quality of sleep
- helps in easing menstrual cramps
How to use: Mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil, or mix it with some water and use it as a spray. It can also be used in a diffuser.
2. TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Melaleuca alternifolia
Tea tree essential oil is most famous for its anti-bacterial properties. It is mainly sourced from Australia, which produces the most potent tea tree oil and is steam-distilled. It has a strong smell that may bother people with sensitive noses.
- Treats acne by killing acne-causing bacteria and shrinks its size
- Reduces dandruff and infections
- Treats fungal infections
- Relieves congestions in the nose with its strong smell
How to use: To apply on acne, mix it with some moisturizer and apply with a cotton swab. Dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply it to your scalp to treat dandruff. Pour few drops in hot water use it as a vaporizer to treat nose congestions.
3. PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Mentha piperita
Peppermint essential oil is another essential oil which is highly popular with the general public because of its multitude of use. Its strong yet soothing smell makes it an ideal choice for products that focuses on smell. It is sourced from the Pacific Northwest and is steam-distilled
- It has germ-killing properties, for which it is used most commonly in toothpaste and mouth fresheners. It also has cooling properties, which help to refresh the mouth and prevent bad breath.
- Due to its strong smell, it is also used in headache-relieving balms.
- Used in medicines that treat stomach problems like gas and heartburn
- Relives congestions in the nose with its strong smell
4. CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Chamaemelum nobile
Chamomile is known for its calming properties, which helps to soothe and relax our body. Chamomile is a very popular choice among people who find it difficult to fall asleep or calm down. Chamomile is now most popularly consumed in the form of tea, but the oil has equal benefits. It is found in both Germany and Rome, but the German variety is known to be more potent.
- Its smell helps to calm down and relax
- It reduces anxiety and uplifts mood
- It helps in inducing sleep and reduces insomnia
- Soothes certain digestive issues
How to use: Mix few drops with water and use it in a diffuser to allow its smell to calm you down. Apply few drops on the abdomen and massage slowly to allow it to penetrate through the skin and calm down the digestive system.
5. YLANG YLANG ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Cananga odorata
Ylang ylang has similar properties to chamomile and is also known for its calming properties. It has a light, sweet, floral fragrance, which helps in calming down. It is mostly found in Asian countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, like the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and parts of Australia, making it popular in the south and southeast Asia, compared to chamomile found in Europe. It is derived from steam distillation.
- It helps in reducing high blood pressure among patients
- Calms anxiety
6. LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Citrus limonum
Lemon is one of the most favorite fruits of people because of its smell and powerful acidic composition. Lemon, along with being a taste enhancer, also has many useful, powerful properties. It has anti-bacterial properties and can help to fight germs. It originated from China but is now cultivated worldwide.
- It helps to ease digestion due to its acidic properties
- Refreshes the air with its fresh smell
- Skin healing properties
- Uplifts and brightens the mood
- Cleans dirty surfaces and hard stains
How to use: Mix few drops with water and consume it to relieve stomach problems or spray the mixture to freshen the air. Add it in a 1:3 ratio with vinegar and use it to clean surfaces like dirty kitchen tops and oil stains, mirrors, or floor.
7. FRANKINCENSE ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Bosellia carterii
Frankincense is one of the oldest known essential oils which has been used from the times of the ancient civilizations. Its mention can also be found in the Holy Bible. It has a woody scent with spicy undertones, which is unique and appeals to people’s senses. It is a bit more expensive than other essential oils, and so it is mixed with other carrier oils and sold. Frankincense is known for its calming and soothing properties.
- It helps to clear the nasal passageway.
- Reduces stress
- It helps to induce sleep and relaxation
- Improves skin flaws like wrinkles and fades dark spots
- Helps to reduce inflammation and swelling
How to use: Mix few drops with water and use it in a diffuser and allow the smell to calm your senses. Combine with your moisturizer and apply it to your skin to solve skin problems.
8. PATACHOULI ESSENTIAL OIL
Scientific name- Pogostemon cablin
Patchouli essential oil is the kind whose scent takes time for people to get accustomed to. It has a woody and spicy aroma, which is similar to Frankincense essential oil. This essential oil has anti-bacterial properties. It is sourced from India and Sri Lanka and is steam distilled.
- It helps to relieve anxiety and reduces fatigue
- Balances hormones
- Used in skincare
How to use: Inhale its smell directly to relieve anxiety. Mix in few drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil and use it in your daily skincare routine.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and should never be used alone. They should always be diluted with a heavier carrier oil to avoid any adverse allergic reactions.