When you want to unlock your superpowers after hitting a lull, you need something that can help you get through the day. Luckily, essential oils provide you with that extra boost after a workout. They are part of our wellness world, whether you want to improve your sleep cycle or a way to alleviate stress.
Used for pretty much everything, the aromatic oils have become a must-have in your arsenal. There is no denying that each essential oil has a unique smell and has plenty of therapeutic benefits. Lavender, for instance, is excellent for reducing stress, and peppermint is a great energy booster.
So how do you choose the one you want for your specific needs?
To choose the best essential oils for your needs, you will have to dig deeper and find out specific benefits, uses, applications of different essential oils, and the key factors to evaluate the essential oil brands. Here, we have tapped into plant power and picked the top 15 popular essential oils to help you choose the best.
1. Lemon Essential Oils
Lemon oil is used in various commercially available items you use every day. When you check the aisles of grocery stores, you will see everything, including household cleaners, hand soaps, sparkling water, cold drinks, and face cleansers with lemon essence. It is the same with several scents and citrus oils, closely mimicking the fruit they are derived from – light, zesty, and clean.
Many manufacturers prepare smells and flavors artificially. However, there is a reason why lemon has become the fruit that’s universally associated with freshness: The extracted oil from lemons is a powerful astringent, antibacterial, and antiseptic agent.
Lemon oil in diluted form is wonderfully useful for skincare as it has a high concentration of compounds like D -limonene. It contributes to diminishing the appearance of scars and wrinkles. Also, diluted lemon oil promotes circulation and tones the skin. Recent research on skincare found that D-limonene has some fantastic anti-inflammatory and skin-repairing properties.
Not only this, but the subtle scent of this lemon essential oil also has a strong and powerful effect on your mind and mood. According to a study’s findings, lemon oil also has antidepressant properties. Another comprehensive study showed that lemon oil scent can reduce symptoms of depression. The findings in the self-reported data and empirical data confirm that lemon scent can elevate anti-stress hormones in your blood.
- Benefits: freshening, cleansing, and uplifting
- Uses: Body lotions, scrubs, creams, perfumes cleansers, soaks, cleaning sprays, body mists, cleaning wipes, diffusions, room mists
2. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oils
The strong fragrance of Ylang-Ylang is the most recognizable feature of this essential oil. The sweet aroma of this essential oil is fantastic for reducing anxiety and depression as an aphrodisiac.
Like other varieties of essential oils, people use it for massage purpose and blend it with lotions and vaporizer. You can add a few drops into humidifier and bath, especially if you want to uplift your mood for romance.
Because of its calming properties, Ylang-Ylang oil has become one of the best essential oils to soothe nausea, headaches, improve skin conditions, and speed up hair growth.
- Benefits: energizing, purifying, uplifting
- Uses: scrubs, body oils, body mists, creams lotions, soaks, room mists, perfumes, and diffusions
3. Chamomile Essential Oils
Chamomile is another widely known essential oil for its relieving and soothing characteristics, mainly if you drink it in hot beverages tea. German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile are two different types of Chamomile plants. Manufacturers extract essential oils from both varieties; however, the healing properties have a slight difference.
You can blend both varieties of this plant with massage oils or use it in vapor and steam therapy. People also mix it with creams and lotions. Moreover, Chamomile contains excellent calming agents, as well as antiseptic, antibiotic, and antidepressant properties.
Overall, Chamomile essential oil is a high mood lifter. Both varieties have potent analgesic properties and can help you eliminate acne. However, if you want to combat digestive and urinary tract inflammation, German Chamomile is a better option.
- Benefits: cleansing, freshening, and uplifting
- Uses: creams lotions, body mists scrubs, body oils, soaks, perfumes, room mists, and diffusions
4. Marjoram Essential Oils
Is your child hyperactive? Add a few drops of this powerful essential oil to his or her vaporizer or bath. Marjoram essential oil has some excellent therapeutic properties when it comes to calming hyperactivity or relieving anxiety. Marjoram was very popular among ancient Greeks, who used it in many medicines to help people with digestion problems such as cramps and constipation.
Manufacturers steam distill Marjoram oil after extracting it from the flowers and leaves. Using Marjoram essential oil in vapor therapy is an effective way to ease symptoms associated with sinusitis and asthma.
Adding 4 to 5 drops of it to a bath can help you increase blood circulation and relieve insomnia. The blended mixture of Marjoram essential oil makes a relieving massage treatment to lessen headaches, stress, and tension.
Marjoram essential oil has an array of aromatherapy uses. Marjoram’s scent not only aids in stress relief or anxiety but also combats depression and fatigue. Plus, it can alleviate circulatory and respiratory issues. Although this essential oil is non-toxic, doctors and herbalists do not recommend it for pregnant women.
- Benefits: relaxing, uplifting, freshening
- Uses: lotions, cleansers, body oils, scrubs, body mists, creams, meditation roll-on, soaks, perfumes, room mists, and diffusions
5. Patchouli Essential Oils
Patchouli is another widely popular essential oil. Many people often associate it with hippies for its fantastic mood-lifting properties. Patchouli is a species of Pogostemon Cablin plant and possesses excellent skincare properties. It comes in the form of thick oil. Manufactures steam distill it after extracting it from the young leaves.
Patchouli essential oil serves as a potent skincare agent because it promotes cell growth when you apply it directly to your skin. Patchouli also helps you relieve depression, anxiety, fatigue, and curb addiction. It reduces bloating and cellulite. Some people use it for its enchanting musky-sweet fragrance, while for others, its antibacterial and antifungal properties are more prominent benefits.
Patchouli essential oil is one of those products that have Ecocert organic certification. To alleviate your anxiety and depression, you can add 2 to 3 drops of essential oil to your humidifier or bath. Also, you can blend essential oil with your massage lotion to prevent skin infections and to speed up healing of bruise.
Although this essential oil is non-toxic, it is best to start with small doses as it may have a substantial effect on you.
- Benefits: relaxing, grounding
- Uses: Body oils, lotions, cleansers, scrubs, meditation roll-ons, creams, soaks, perfumes, body mists, room mists, yoga mists, and diffusions
6. Bergamot Essential Oils
Bergamot is a dominant citrus-scented essential oil that manufacturers extract from the Citrus Beragamia tree- an inhabitant of Southeast Asia. However, you can find these trees primarily on the ivory coastal line of Italy. Bergamot is a unique aromatherapy oil that manufacturers use in colognes and perfumes.
In addition to using it for several aromatherapy purposes, you can use Bergamot essential oil to relieve anorexia, anxiety, depression, stress, and a wide variety of skin infections such as eczema and psoriasis. Many people use it to stimulate the spleen, digestive system, and liver. The oil provides a lift to people suffering from malaise.
Manufactures extract Bergamot essential oil by pressing the fruit’s rind. You can use it in many ways, such as in a vaporizer or as incense. Blend it with your massage oils or dilute it with the bathwater to make the most of this beneficial oil. It has a distinctive and enticing scent that can enhance your massage oils, lotions, and perfumes.
However, if you apply Bergamot essential oil directly to your skin in the pure form, it can potentially cause skin burn, especially in daylight. When applying this oil, make sure to cover your skin before you go out in the sunlight.
- Benefits: Uplifting, freshening, purifying relaxing, energizing
- Uses: Body cleansers, deodorants, massage oils, creams, lotions, soaks, perfumes, room mists, diffusions, cleaning wipes, and sprays
7. Clary Sage Essential Oils
Clary sage contains a myriad of beneficial properties, especially for the skin. For instance, it makes excellent antibacterial, antiseptic, and astringent oil that can help you protect your skin from harmful bacteria to prevent acne. Clary sage has a unique and sweet herbal aroma, which may help cut through the smell of pungent components used in most natural skincare products.
Clary sage is a species of perennial plant that grows in the Northern Mediterranean of North Africa. Like other oils mentioned above, manufacturers source this essential oil from its native region and process it through steam distillation of flowering tops and leaves of the plant.
Although many ancient Egyptian used Clary sage in medicinal practices, it was not until the medieval time that this plant really garnered attention. Many herbalists and doctors started using Clary sage’s seeds to treat eye disorders, particularly vision problems, after discovering its benefits.
Medical professionals laud Clary sage for its reputed properties to regulate hormones. Not only this, but its scent also has powerful antidepressant effects. A 2014 study on twenty- four postmenopausal women in their 60s with depressive symptoms found that breathing Clary sage (diffused form) can help to alleviate depression by reducing cortisol levels.
Moreover, Clary sage essential oil can increase the levels of thyroid hormone. A 2012 study showed that Clary sage, when mixed with Marjoram and lavender, could make a soothing massage treatment to reduce cramping and menstrual pain.
- Benefits: Uplifting, alleviating pain, invigorating
- Uses: Massage and body oils, cleansers, salves, creams, scrubs, soaks, scalp oils, perfumes, body mists, diffusions
8. Peppermint Essential Oils
The scent of peppermint essential oil smells like many products you use every day. That means you might have mixed into your mouthwash, toothpaste, and shampoo or smelt it in your medicine drawer. Or maybe you love its flavor in chewing gum or like to use the fragrance as an air freshener. But little did you know why many manufacturers add peppermint to these products.
Typically, manufacturers use menthone and menthol in Peppermint oil. The scent of peppermint oil is not the only reason that makes it a standard component of many products. Its antispasmodic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and antioxidant properties make it a must-have essential oil.
Peppermint oil is stimulant and is an effective treatment for sore throat and headaches: Participants of one study found a significant reduction in their pain, tension, and headache within 10 minutes. Their pain continued to reduce for the following hours.
Moreover, peppermint oil may help you soothe nausea, improve memory, and concentration. It is an analgesic and has a property to numb and combat inflammation and irritation on the skin. Besides this, peppermint oil is useful when you use it as a lip product. It is incredibly refreshing, and if you apply a little bit of it, it keeps you refreshed and rejuvenated all day.
- Benefits: Uplifting, freshening, invigorating
- Uses: Body oils, creams, cleansers, scrubs, soaks, body mists, massage oils perfumes, room mists, hair rinses, workout mists, diffusions
9. Sweet Orange Essential Oils
Sweet orange oil is one of the best-smelling essential oils. It has a great property to uplift your mood and energize you quickly. Many users prefer sweet orange oil to satisfy their constant sweets cravings. That means sweet orange oil can offer many uses in an inexpensive swoop.
Some recent studies found that this essential oil may help you reduce anxiety. Whether you inhale it or apply topically, it may slow down the breathing and pulse rate and make you feel more vigorous and cheerful. Manufacturers extract essential oils from the rind of oranges called Citrus sinesis.
It is worth mentioning that incorporating sweet orange oil can be a bit tricky your life because sometimes it doesn’t disperse and diffuse well, like other oils. You need to follow proper skincare when using orange essential oil. If you apply it topically, it can make your skin highly photosensitive.
Many dermatologists recommend using this essential oil in a limited quantity, such as 12 to 13 drops per ounce. Plus, it is always better to use it when you plan to take a shower. It can help you balance the effects and freshening benefits.
Don’t forget to you buy only “sweet orange essential oil” and not bitter one as it can be very phototoxic.
- Benefits: balancing, uplifting, freshening
- Uses Body oils, soaks, scrubs, shampoos, massage oils, body mists, hair serums, diffusions, scalp oils, room mists.
10. Rosemary Essential Oils
The scent of rosemary oil is like a herb you add to your food. It is a common ingredient in skincare, particularly natural products. It is because rosemary oil has many topical benefits and can extend the shelf life of many products exponentially.
This rosemary essential oil is typically a stimulant. When you inhale it, its aroma can help you improve heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood circulation. The oil is powerful to boost the immune system.
Besides this, numerous studies link Rosemary oil to improved brain activity. That means the pleasant aroma and beneficial components of this essential oil can aid some parts of the nervous system, particularly the ones that control organ functions.
While rosemary oil stimulates multiple bodily systems, it can help you decrease cortisol levels – which is the stress hormone. And it can do it while airborne, which means all you need to do is to diffuse it and reap plenty of health benefits. If you want to make your house smell like a garden, you can combine eucalyptus with rosemary oil.
- Benefits: energizing, uplifting purifying
- Uses: Body oils, scrubs, soaks, massage oils, shampoos, body mists, hair serums, scalp oils, diffusions, room mists
11. Tea Tree Essential Oils
Tea tree oil is popular with the name of melaleuca oil. The super beneficial oil is all the rage in the natural-beauty-world, and for all the right reasons. From eliminating head lice to wound care, it can do everything.
Australia is the only region where the tea tree grows naturally and abundantly. Many indigenous Australian cultures use tea tree leaves to cure cough and cold, alleviate sore throats, heal wounds, and different skin ailments.
Tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and can exhibit anticancer activities. It can kill oral bacteria for two to three weeks. Many dentists recommend it for gingivitis and removing moderate dandruff.
Additionally, this Australian wonder shows the properties of benzoyl peroxide to cure acne. Although the oil takes longer, it has a few side effects. Know that tea tree oil can be a little itchy and irritating to your skin or eyes. That is why it is important to be careful when using it as a shampoo or a lice treatment.
- Benefits: Cleansing, purifying
- Uses: Body oils, cleansers body, cleaning sprays, scrubs, room mists, cleaning wipes, diffusions
12. Eucalyptus Essential Oils
Eucalyptus essential oil has some strong properties and is definitely for you if you are looking for a potent and strong formula. Even if you have never smelled its fragrance directly, you might have smelled any component it contains—like Vicks VapoRub.
It has a similar scent to camphor, which is another important ingredient of VapoRub, and Tiger Balm ointment. It is capable of clearing a blocked nose and airways within minutes.
Moreover, Eucalyptus works as a pesticide as it has the property to kill bacteria, fungus, mites, insects, and weeds. The oil is effective in killing a drug-resistant parasite that causes diarrhea and malaria. It can help people boost their immune system and fight diseases. Eucalyptus essential oil is also anti-inflammatory.
The scent of Eucalyptus essential oil is quite strong, but it can freshen up your home and make the air feel germ -free and clean. The aroma is typically medicinal and frosty.
- Benefits: cleansing and clarifying
- Uses: Body oils, salves, massage oils, diffusions, outdoor and room mists
13. Lavender Essential Oils
If you have used lavender oil, you cannot deny how wonderful it is. Lavender is a species of plant called Lavandula Angustifolia. It contains a large proportion of linalyl acetate, linalool, camphor, and eucalyptol.
The high quantities of these compounds are the reason why lavender is one of the strongest essential oils. Lavender is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antispasmodic, sedative, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anesthetic, antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting.
Although Lavender essential oil is super safe, if your skin is prone to allergies, direct application of it may be sensitizing. That is why it is better to dilute it in six to seven drops in one spoon of carrier oil.
- Benefits: uplifting, relaxing, and cleansing
- Uses: Body oils, cleansers, massage oils, body mists, lotions, creams, shampoos, perfumes, hair masks, conditioners, hair mists, hair serums, diffusions, and room mists.
14. Lemongrass Essential Oils
Your Google results for “lemongrass” will probably garner a few hits for Chinese restaurants in the local area. Here, however, we are talking about Lemongrass essential oil. Sourced from a fast-growing native Sri Lankan and south Indian plant, it comes with multiple therapeutic benefits.
This plant grows in tropical and warm climates in Asia and Africa. People use lemongrass in their entirety for many things, such as tea, cleaning products, and skincare products. Indian healing and ayurvedic traditions have been using lemongrass plants for several years to treat conditions like gastrointestinal disease and fever.
Essential oil made from Lemongrass comes from the process of steam distilling the plant. The plant has a sweet, mild, and lemony-yet-herbal smell. People prefer using it for its cheerful and energetic scent alone.
However, a bulk of evidence suggests that lemongrass essential oil has powerful pharmacological and medicinal properties. Lemongrass essential oil has potent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial qualities. The properties can also combat dandruff.
- Benefits: uplifting, purifying, cleansing
- Uses: Body cleansers, body mists, perfumes, lotions, room mists, creams, scrubs, soaks, diffusions, cleaning wipes, and cleaning sprays.
15. Jasmine Essential Oils
Sweet-smelling Jasmine comes from the Jasminum grandiflorum, an evergreen plant native to China. Although Jasmine essential oil is an expensive option, it has excellent healing properties. It can aid everything from childbirth problems to depression. It is well-known for its calming and relaxing properties.
Jasmine oil requires a slightly different extraction process compared to other essential oils. Manufacturers obtain Jasmine oil through solvent extraction. After that, it goes through a long process in which manufacturers place flowers over fats to give it fragrance. Jasmine makes a safe essential oil and is entirely non-toxic. It is excellent to ease depression and respiratory problems.