I’ve recently gotten into Essential Oils and had a lot of questions about them. I only knew that I could use lavender to calm the kids down at night, and tea tree on a rash, but not much more. I had to do a bit of online digging to learn, so I figured I’d make this Essential Oils 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils to help you out, in case you were looking into using essential oils as well. Happy to save you some time.
Feel free to share this with anyone you think would appreciate the info!
What are essential oils?
“An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove.”
Essential oils have been used for centuries for aromatherapy and healing purposes. They are extracted from plants and fruits using a steam distillation process usually. This leaves us with an oil that is the “essence” of the plant, and can be used to impart many benefits from the plant.
Essential oils can be used for treating a variety of health issues or just as a natural option for scenting your home or body. The health and wellness benefits abound. Below I’ll share some common oils and the way they can benefit you therapeutically.
How are essential oils used?
In The Home
Diffusers are containers that are filled with water and drops of essential oil. The diffuser is run on battery or plugged in, and creates a steam from the water and the aroma from the oil is diffused through the air.
We use diffusers in our home and I love that I can enjoy the aroma and am getting other benefits from the oils without having to do anything but breathe. #easybutton
As Cleaners / Disinfectants
Many oils are used in home made cleaning products. Tea tree, lemon, grapefruit, peppermint are common oils used for cleaning and disinfecting.
In/On The Body
When mixed with a carrier oil (ex: jojoba, almond) essential oils can be applied to the skin. You can purchase a roll-on bottle to have an easy way to apply the oil. (It’s a small bottle with a roller ball tip that you fill with the oil mix.) The essential oil mixed with the carrier oil can then be applied directly to points of pain, or to specific points on your body to help alleviate issues when absorbed.
I have applied an oil mixture to my lower stomach to help with menstrual cramps, to my temples for headaches, and to my wrists just to smell nice.
Inhalers are small bottles similar to the roll-ons, that have a “wick” inside. You fill the bottle and the wick absorbs the oil. On the top of the bottle, there are openings so the aroma can escape when you remove the cap.
Essential oil inhalers are my new favorite thing. I have a few from Plant Therapy and I keep specific blends in each one to help me with feelings of anxiety, tension or stress. My lovely model below is holding the purple inhaler.
(PS if you’re wondering if essential oils are safe for kids, check this out)
What to look for in a quality essential oils?
The quality of essential oils vary greatly by brand. Be sure the brand you purchase uses steam or hydro distillation to extract the oil. Some brands use chemical solvents to extract the oils and when that process is used the resulting oil is NOT considered an essential oil. Be sure to choose 100% pure essential oils and not ones that are mixed with fragrance or other oils. (except if you purchase a pre-made roll-on or body product that uses a carrier oil)
Where should we start on our essential oil journey?
Aromatherapist Kristin Leil says:
“Begin your essential oil journey with the basics. A couple versatile essential oils such as Lavender and Tea Tree are a good place to start.
A carrier oil is needed so you can enjoy your essential oils topically. Additionally, a diffuser will allow you to maximize the therapeutic benefits by releasing essential oils into the air.
With clear usage guidelines and handy Kidsafe logos, Plant Therapy makes it easy to select essential oils that are safe for you and your family.”
What essential oils should we keep on hand and what are they used for?
Lavender – anxiety and sleep issues, helps keep you calm
Tea Tree – acne, insect bites, powerful disinfectant properties (anti fungal, bacterial, viral)
Eucalyptus – coughs, asthma, sinusitis, anti-inflammatory properties
Cinnamon – acne, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory
Lemon – cleaning home and body, anti-fungal, energizing and invigorating aroma
Peppermint – headaches, IBS and stomach issues, lethargia, pain relief, sunburns
Sage – constipation, depression, mental fatigue, anti-microbal (also good for smudging your home if you can’t tolerate burning sage)
Sandalwood – skin care, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff
There are hundreds of essential oils extracted from various plants and fruits. It’s easy to find one for aromatherapy and therapeutic benefits to suit your needs.
You can also find blends to help you in all areas of your life. For example, the blend in Kaya’s hand below is a mix called “Sniffle Stopper” and contains a synergy of fir, spruce, cypress, cedarwood, spearmint and some others.
Bonus Section: Gifting EOs
If you want to give a gift, here are a few ideas:
- Books and guides on essential oils
- Diffusers that match the home’s decor
- Bundle of essential oil blends (these synergies are cool)
- A Diffuser and Essential oil set
AND YOU CAN WIN THE GIFT POSTED ABOVE!!!
Just visit and like this Facebook Post, like the OKDani Facebook page and leave a comment on the post sharing your favorite aroma or who you’d like to gift this to and why. (comments linking to products will be disqualified and deleted)
Winner will be chosen by Random.org on November 20th.
Thank you to Plant Therapy for sponsoring this awesome giveaway.
CLICK HERE to get $10 off your purchase of $25+ at PlantTherapy.com
Sheila F says
Very thorough review. I do love peppermint to energize, lavender to relax
Donna Clifford says
Parenting style-laid back and loving. Yes I do use essentials oils.
I love using lavender to help me sleep at night and citrus blends to help me wake up in the morning.
Annette Abrahamson says
Carolyn Daley says
I visited the Facebook post. I would love to gift this to a good friend of mine. She just got news that she is in remission and she loves essential oils. She started using some of her favorite oils to make candles and soaps.