17 Uses for Essential Oils: Smell Your Way to Better Health

Aromas have powerful, immediate impacts on our states of consciousness and our wellbeing. While chemical fragrances are toxic and create unnatural, lingering odors, essential oils provide us a plethora of natural scents with emotional and physiological benefits.

Pressed from pure plants, flowers, barks, fruits and leaves, essential oils are incredibly dense and potent. You can find therapeutic grade brands at your local health food store or online and no shortage of uses. Here are 17 fabulous ways to incorporate essential oils into your life.

Read more about aromatherapy


1. Inhale lavender, chamomile or clary sage to help you relax. Try cinnamon to help you focus and citrus scents to energize.

2. Use lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon or peppermint for an energy and mood lift.

3. Dab peppermint on your temples to help relieve headaches.

4. Rub eucalyptus on your chest to reduce cough symptoms and promote sinus decongestion.

5. Use lavender to help relieve minor cuts and wounds such as insect bites.

6. Mix lavender and tea tree oil to help alleviate mild cases of athlete's foot.

7.  Freshen your laundry by adding several drops of your favorite essential oil to the washer load.

8.  Add essential oils to your homemade cleaning solutions: ten drops to a quart of vinegar. Try fresh scents such as lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, and even rose.

9. Splash a few calming oils into a warm bath.

10.  Make your own salt or sugar scrubs with essential oils. Cover 1 cup salt or brown sugar with almond, sesame or apricot kernel oils, or a mix. The oil should cover the salt about ¼ to ½ and inch. Mix in your favorite scents. Try orange, tangerine and neroli for an inspired scrub scent or come up with your own aromatic blends.

11. Use essential oils in your skin care regimen. A homemade oil solution (with a non-greasy carrier oil such as jojoba or apricot kernel) can leave the skin glowing. Try rose and clary sage for mature skin, lavender, thyme and helichrysum for sensitive or acne-prone skin.

12. Use a sensual scent for a massage. Try rose, lavender, chamomile, neroli or ylang ylang in a base oil such as almond or sesame for a relaxing and calming massage.

13. Carry essential oils with you to use a few drops instead of hand sanitizer containing triclosan.

14. Make your own dresser and closet sachets with your favorite oils so your clothes smell fresh! Here's a great tutorial.

15. Keep your mouth extra clean by using clove bud oil when you floss. Put a drop of oil on your index finger and thumb and then run the floss through the oil before using.

16. Make your own mouthwash, too! Mix ½ cup vodka (or water if you don't want alcohol) with two teaspoons of baking soda and 4-6 drops of any of the following (or a combination): peppermint, spearmint, clove, cinnamon, tea tree, lavender, lemon, grapefruit.

17. Give your own deodorant a try and cut out the toxins like propylene glycol. Melt three tablespoons of coconut oil and two tablespoons of either shea or cacao butter. Mix in 3 tablespoons baking soda and 20 drops of your favorite essential oils. For an uplifting aroma try lemon or grapefruit and for a more calming scent try rose, geranium or lavender. Store in a glass jar and use fingers to apply.

Read more about natural deodorants

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: expressmonorail

By Jill Ettinger| December 31, 2013
Categories:  Care
Keywords:  CareGeneral Wellness

About the Author

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist primarily focused on the organic and natural industries, she bridges her love for changing the food system with her lifelong passion for writing and connecting people in their shared values. You can connect with Jill on Twitter and Instagram.

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