Your Guide to Essential Oils for Home Care

Your Guide to Essential Oils for Home Care

Essential oils provide a fantastic natural alternative to common ailments. The actions of essential oils are broad, ranging from topical antiseptics and anti-inflammatories to analgesics, digestive system tonics, and anti-depressants.

While essential oils should not be a substitute for professional medical care, they can be successfully employed for many minor complaints, and as adjuncts to other therapies.

Here we will have a brief look at ten essential oils which may comprise the ‘basic home care kit’. While by no means exhaustive, this list will go a long way to providing effective (and often pleasant!) treatments for you and your family for things like cuts and scrapes, sunburn, digestive troubles, stress related conditions and more.

Oil #1: Tea Tree Essential Oil

When first examined for it’s antiseptic properties, Tea Tree essential oil was found to be 100 times more powerful than carbolic acid – the medical standard at the time. Tea tree has an extremely broad range of antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties that have been confirmed by modern scientific research. Often used topically on small wounds, Tea Tree is also commonly found in oral hygiene preparations, and can also be effectively employed for Candida, athlete’s foot and acne, among other things.

Oil #2: Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has often been called the ‘medicine chest in a bottle’ for its broad range of applications. Every home should keep Lavender on hand, even if no other oil is used, as it is so very effective on burns. It’s anti-inflammatory action is responsible for the beginnings of modern aromatherapy, as Dr. Jean Valnet discovered Lavender’s healing properties after being burned in a laboratory accident. Lavender is considered to speed wound healing and reduce scarring. The oil is also pleasantly calming, and can be used to reduce stress in a variety of situations – a commonly used technique is to apply Lavender oil ‘neat’ (undiluted) to the soles of the feet of patients recovering from almost any ailment.

Oil #3: Chamomile Essential Oil

Ah, the great tension reliever, Chamomile oil. This extremely gentle essential oil is useful for a wide variety of nervous conditions, and is often indicated for cases of stress in children (including teething and general ‘crankiness’). Rubbing into the solar plexus is a commonly used application if that is where one tends to ‘hold tension’. Chamomile essential oil is available in to varieties, German or Blue Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. The Roman variety is most often used for stress relief, whereas the German variety has the added bonus of being an extremely effective anti-inflammatory.

Oil #4: Peppermint Essential Oil

An excellent digestive tonic, Peppermint essential oil can sooth many stomach complaints. For the traveler, it’s effectiveness on calming motion sickness can be of great help. Further, at least eight controlled studies have shown Peppermint oil to be effective in reducing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a painful condition of the intestines. Beyond it’s support of the digestive system, Peppermint is delightfully stimulating to the mind, brightening and sharpening mental focus. Finally, Peppermint is considered by some to be a more effective insect repellent than citronella when used on the body (rather than in the surrounding air).

Oil #5: Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Another essential oil with a broad range of properties, Eucalyptus is most often used for respiratory conditions, being useful in clearing congestion with coughs and colds. However, it’s effects are certainly not limited to the airways – because of it’s broad range of effects, it has been called the aromatherapists ‘designer oil’. Eucalyptus oil can cool the body in Summer (or due to fever – use in a compress), and support the immune system in Winter. Diffusing Eucalyptus oil can kill most staphylococcus bacteria, again being supportive of bronchial infections. It is considered equally effective in cases of cystitis, candida, and sunburn, to name a few, as well as being an insect repellent.

Oil #6: Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium (sometimes known as ‘Geranium Rose’) works wonderfully on both physiological and psychological levels. It’s floral aroma is brightening and uplifting, while also working as a sedative. Malte Hozzel has made this statement regarding this oil : “Geranium’s vital, sensual presence is not subtle, but direct & unavoidable, making it one of the oils of choice for aphrodisiac qualities. (Geranium Essential Oil) inspires natural beauty & enjoyment, uplifts instantly & “tonifies” the mind & intellect in a powerful, nearly demanding attitude. Mobilizing hidden creative & emotional reserves, helping us to rise to our own earthly & spiritual identify. A fiery beauty for the spells of all worlds.” Particularly noted for it’s effect on female physiologic conditions, Geranium oil can be effective for menopausal problems, uterine and breast complaints.

Oil #7: Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is an effective physical and mental stimulant, whether used in a diffuser or in a morning bath. It’s slightly spicy, rather than floral aroma, has a warming effect particularly useful for arthritic joints and other muscular complaints. It also has a long history of treatment for colds and flu – Rosemary was a component of ‘Four Thieves Vinegar’, which robbers rubbed upon their bodies to prevent infection when up to no good during the plague years of the middle ages. Also, Rosemary is the essential oil most often associated with improving hair growth in cases of Alopecia.

Oil #8: Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme oil is a powerful antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic and diuretic, though it should be employed with great care. There are many types of Thyme oil available, but only the ‘linalol’ chemotype is appropriate for use with children; all varieties should be diluted prior to topical application. Given the precautions, Thyme can be a first line of defense in cases of flu, being used in a room diffuser. It also supports elimination of toxic wastes from the body (particularly noted for excessive uric acid), and it’s warming quality can eliminate mucous and phlegm. It’s application for the digestive system is that of a powerful anti-parasitic, and for the muscular system, it can be helpful for rheumatic aches and pains. Thyme oil may also be supportive in cases of hair loss.

Oil #9: Lemon Essential Oil

A recent study on test-taking college students showed the diffusion of Lemon oil into a room improved test scores more than any other oil. In addition to it’s mind-brightening qualities, it can also disinfect room air and act as a natural deodorant. Lemon has been noted to support liver function, and is also commonly used to assist in weight loss and cellulite reduction. In blends, lemon adds a pleasant top note, and can create a synergistic effect with other oils. Finally, Lemon oil is commonly used as both a fragrance and flavoring agent.

Oil #10: Clove Bud Essential Oil

The power of Clove essential oil is noted upon the first sensing of the aroma – it is quite strong, sharp and earthy. Clove oil has been found to be the strongest anti-oxidant of any essential oil, and is a component of ‘longevity’ formulas. It is also an extremely potent antibacterial, effective against a broader range of microbes than any other oil except perhaps Oregano – Clove oil has even been employed to sterilize surgical instruments. Clove also has analgesic properties, and can be used to temporarily reduce the pain of toothache. Clove oil (or ground cloves) is also a component of Dr. Huda Clark’s anti-parasite protocol, helping eliminate parasites from one’s digestive system. This is a very powerful oil which should be diluted to 1% or less for topical application.

So, there we have a possible ‘top ten’ essential oils for the home medicine chest, a selection with an extremely broad range of uses for common ailments that we see.

It is important to note that all essential oils are powerful, and they should be treated with caution and respect.

Always refer to a trusted source before making specific applications of any oil, as many can be irritating or possibly toxic if used incorrectly.

Note: The links for each essential oil above are all for Rocky Mountain Oils. After doing incredible amounts of research on essential oil companies, I settled on Rocky Mountain Oils. For one thing, they are a non-MLM essential oil company. I do believe doTERRA also has high quality oils but I personally preferred to be part of a non-MLM company.

Essential Oils to Keep (or Restore) Calm

Essential Oils to Keep (or Restore) Calm

Article written by Patrick Bailey.

This year has been a stressful one, with COVID-19, lockdowns, and other uncertainties.

Some might be running a hot bath and hoping Calgon can take them away, and others might be eyeing those amber-glassed vials housing essential oils and wondering if a few drops of lavender and a shake of orange oil can lift spirits or restore calm.

Considering there are literally dozens of essential oils — and infinitely more blends — it’s a tempting prospect and one that’s not without merit.

Essential Oils 101

Essential oils are made when parts of a plant are steamed or pressed to collect the fragrance compounds — basically the essence of a plant.

Sometimes they’re just used for aromatherapy — breathe in some flower scents and enjoy some springtime smells or blend a few for fragrant effect.

Others like essential oils because they offer antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial qualities. Tea tree oil has been shown to have antifungal properties, for example.

Often essential oils get added to soaps, candles, perfumes, air freshener sprays or diffusers, or cleaning concoctions. They’re also diluted into carrier or base oils (like coconut, almond, or avocado) for various health benefits (both from the base and the add-ins). Essentials oils also tend to be diluted into sprays and lotions because it’s not always a good idea to apply them in pure form directly to the skin. (At least not without doing a little bit of homework.) Some can cause rashes. Others can be poisonous when swallowed. 

Then, as points out, “anyone can be allergic to anything.” Enough said.

Pregnant women, children and pets — or anyone with allergies or other health concerns — are not ideal candidates for essential oils either. 

Oils for Calm

Essential oils tend to stir up a bit of debate. Those who are wholeheartedly in favor of these fragrant oils swear they can ease migraines, erase anxiety, and much more. Then there is the anti-oils camp. They say it’s a bunch of hooey.

They remain popular, however, and many do love their essential oils, especially for calming purposes. Here are a few to consider which have withheld the tests of time and soared above the hype.


There are two main types of daisy-like chamomile — Roman and German — and it’s long held a place in people’s hearts as a soothing herb. Some sip the tea for comfort. Others put it into lotions (especially in Europe) to help stressed skin. And still others like the herbal and earthy scent (of the German variety) or slightly sweet and fruity (the Roman variety) for a soothing sniff

lemon essential oils


Citrusy extracts make for very popular essential oils. Many people enjoy the invigorating and uplifting scent, and some find orange and its zingy kin are great at reducing tension and anxiety. Other citrusy oils are commonly used to soothe frayed nerves, including bergamot and lemon. Lemon balm, which comes from the mint family, has an uplifting, lemony aroma that has long been used to induce calm. It may be mostly anecdotal, but its popularity persists.

Clary Sage

This herb comes from the salvia family, and boasts a woody, sweet, clean scent. It gets used both in perfumes and to help flavor liqueurs and vermouths. It’s also said to be especially good for the ladies, relaxing crampy muscles and calming hormones


Lavender is one of the most popular oils used in aromatherapy, particularly for anxiety. A lot of people find its scent soothing, so it’s found its way into many lotions, bath bombs, and other pampering products. There is some small evidence it can help people sleep better, too.


Peppermint is a beloved calming oil. It can help irritable bowel syndrome (calming the tummy) and easing digestion overall. Some people find it’s a great way to help tension headaches, especially when dabbed on temples.

Get the Real Deal

If you do go shopping for essential oils, be sure you’re getting the real stuff. Things to look for include:

  • Labels. Make sure it has the Latin name of the plant, tells you where the plant was grown, and if other ingredients have been added besides the oils.
  • Dark, glass containers. Pure oils are concentrated and they can wear down plastic bottles or leach chemicals from them. Clear glass vials are more prone to lose potency or get altered if exposed to bright sunlight.
  • No to “fragrance.” Fragrance or perfume oils are not pure. Usually they’re a mix of real and chemical additives, or just chemicals posing as the real thing. A lavender perfume oil might smell something like lavender, but it will not have the same soothing chemical compounds or effects.
  • Research the seller. This includes looking at prices. Some oils are more rare, like jasmine or rose absolute, so they’ll be more pricey — sometimes much moreso. Other oils, like lemon or orange, are easier to produce, so they’ll cost considerably less. Also, research the company. If it’s well known and reputable, that’s a good start. If it’s a new spot with few reviews, you may want to pass on purchasing, or at least wait and see.

One thing’s for certain: If you love the scent of lavender and it makes you happy, that’s enough. There’s not a lot of research, and there aren’t a lot of human studies, so there are many unknowns when it comes to essential oils. Just be sure to read the label first before you try this type of treatment, especially if you’re considering applying it to your skin or ingesting it.

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. If you want to find more articles by Patrick, you can find them on his personal blog or in Sunshine Behavioral Health.

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