Essential Oils are becoming more common place in the home since the resurgence of natural remedies. From homeopathic to a transdermal application, these oils are made and used for benefits specific to each herb. This is a quick list of the top 5 essential oils to keep around the house for a myriad of uses.
Lavender has been used for medicinal and home care purposes for thousands of years and is one of the most versatile oils you can buy. When it comes to therapeutic uses, lavender can be applied topically (directly to the skin) to alleviate:
- Skin rashes
- Insect bites
- Minor burns
It’s also an effective disinfectant for cuts and scrapes.
A few drops of lavender oil in a bath can help to soothe frayed nerves and help you get a good night’s sleep, and rubbing the oil into your temples and forehead can relieve headaches. In the home, sachets of dried lavender with some extra oils dribbled in can keep moths, and adding a few drops to your laundry’s rinse cycle can eliminate odors from stinky socks and sweaty gym clothes. Add lavender oil to the water you use to wash the floor to freshen up your living space as well.
- Tea Tree
Tea Tree Oil is one of the most useful essential oils to have on hand, and with good cause: it’s often been called “a medicine cabinet in a bottle,” as it can be used to treat almost any common ailment. Although you’d never consume tea tree oil, you can use it topically to treat the following:
- Athlete’s foot
- Cold sores
- Nail fungus
- Insect bites
…just to name a few. You can add a few drops of it to unscented shampoo to alleviate dandruff and psoriasis, and a few more drops in that same shampoo will treat head lice as well.
For use around the home, you can add a teaspoon of tea tree oil to the water in a misting bottle to create a disinfectant spray for counter tops, door handles, and a few drops of undiluted oil around your pet’s bed basket will keep fleas at bay.
This is one of the best essential oils for home use, as it has more applications than most other oils will ever dream of. A few drops of lemon EO added to olive oil makes a gorgeous furniture polish, homemade laundry soap, floor cleaners, and spray cleaners.
Lemon essential oil also has therapeutic uses:
- Add a couple of drops to a glass of water and gargle with it to relieve bad breath.
- A few drops added to shampoo can alleviate dandruff.
- Lemon oil added to a bath or diffuser can alleviate anxiety.
- Blended with aloe gel, it acts as an antimicrobial hand sanitizer.
One thing to keep in mind is that lemon essential oil can make your skin photosensitive, (increasing the chance of sunburn) so don’t slather it on and then go sunbathing: wait 12 hours before exposing lemon-daubed skin to the sunshine.
Most people have probably taken a cup of peppermint tea to alleviate nausea or an upset stomach, but you can also massage your abdomen with a carrier oil that has a few drops of peppermint essential oil added to it to relieve stomach cramps and queasiness.
Blended with pine and eucalyptus and added to a carrier oil, peppermint is great for applying to the chest and throat to calm coughing fits and help relieve bronchial congestion, and a drop or two added to cool water can make a great foot soak to soothe tired, overheated feet.
Around the home, you can spray diluted peppermint oil into stinky shoes and boots to eliminate odors, and add a teaspoon of the EO to floor-washing water to add a fresh scent, as well as antibacterial properties. Placing a few drops of peppermint oil around cracks in walls will also deter rodents and spiders: they can’t stand the scent of it.
Hailing from Australia, this essential oil can be recognized easily by scent.
As mentioned above, eucalyptus EO is great for alleviating chest congestion (either blended with other oils or alone), and a salve made with it can also ease asthma attacks when spread on the throat and chest. That same salve may help to alleviate the pain of fibromyalgia if rubbed into the affected area a few times a day. A few drops added to a compress and placed on skin affected by shingles can ease the pain associated with that condition and may speed the healing process.
Eucalyptus’ disinfectant properties make it ideal to use in a spray for your kitchen and bathroom or diffuse the oil in your bathroom to eliminate germs and odors.