Best Essential Oil Brands Reviews
PLEASE NOTE: The following material was taken from Essential Oils for Beginners by Althea Press, Berkeley, California. DISCLAIMER: The information found in this guide is for informational purposes only and is not to be used in place of professional medical advice.
Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product.
What Are Essential Oils: Interesting Must-Know Info
Sourced from plants, healthy for our planet, and naturally effective, essential oils are versatile and convenient. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts derived from whole plants or plant parts. Sometimes referred to as ethereal oils or volatile oils, essential oils carry the actual essence or fragrance of the plants from which they are extracted.
A few popular essential oils are derived from whole plants, but most are derived from specific sections of the plants from which they are named. Some essential oils, including almond and nutmeg oils, come from seeds.
Many, including patchouli, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils, are extracted from leaves. Still others come from wood, flowers, resin, or roots. Professional practitioners use approximately three hundred essential oils to treat a vast range of illnesses, but home practitioners typically use between ten and twenty essential oils on a regular basis.
Some favorites include lavender, eucalyptus, clary sage, and orange essential oils.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine in which essential oils are used to positively influence a person’s mind, bodily health, mood, or cognitive function.
The human sense of smell is about ten thousand times more powerful than other senses, and scent travels to the brain so rapidly that the mental or physical response to the fragrance of an essential oil can be immediate.
Essential oils interact with the limbic system by providing input that activates the hypothalamus, instructing it to release neurochemicals to calm, relax, or stimulate the body. This is why aromatherapy can play such an important part in stress reduction, appetite control, increasing alertness, and much more.
What Are Organic Essential oils?
A legitimate and critical concern about essential oils is the presence of pesticides and insecticides. These chemical impurities are harmful to the body. Because of this, organic essential oils have become popular.Organic essential oils are oils from plants with no artificial fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.
What Are Essential Oils Good For?
There is a vast array of essential oils for various medicinal, therapeutic, cosmetic, industrial and household uses.People use them for the skin, hair, stress, anxiety, depression, yeast infection, weight loss, and many others.
Heres more information scientifically explained on how plants have evolved and survived over millions of years to provide humans with various uses and benefits through essential oils. (Source: Floracopeia Essential Oils)
How Do Essential Oils Work?
How are the therapeutic effects experienced? In what way do they achieve results in the body?
Essential oils act as stimuli on the brain, provoking a reaction in your chemical make up. They enter the body through two passageways and means:
First, the nostril through inhalation.
- Essential oils enter the body through the nose by inhalation and sense of smell. This is why they are often inhaled in some way or another.
- When inhaled, they reach the limbic system. The limbic system is a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain. These nerves and networks controls basic emotions and drives. With the limbic system, you feel fear, pleasure, and anger. You feel a driving force within such as hunger, sex, dominance or care for offspring.
- They then affect other systems that they connect with. These include the circulatory system, respiratory system, endocrine system, and nervous system.
Second, the skin through topical application.
- Essential oils are also absorbed into the body through tissues of the skin when used in baths, massages or compresses. When you have had a massage treatment with essential oils, it is wise not to bathe or wash it off for a couple of hours. This is because the systems of the body take time to absorb the oils from the skin.
- They then enter the bloodstream where they affect the various organs.
Before you use essential oils on your body, it is important to know what they are. This post on what are essential oils should point you to the right direction in your health and wellness journey.
The Healing Power Of Essential Oils
Many essential oils are natural analgesics - substances that provide relief from pain by acting on the peripheral and ventral nervous systems. For instance, wintergreen essential oil contains between 85 and 99 percent methyl salicylate, which is the same active ingredient contained in aspirin.
Before synthetic pain relievers were introduced in the 1920s, wintergreen and birch were considered to be the best remedies for pain; in fact, Native Americans used both plants before written records were even kept.
Doctors have battled against infections since the beginning of time, and some of the best tools in their arsenal are antiseptics, which are antimicrobial substances that reduce the potential for infection when applied to living tissues.
Some of the most powerful antiseptic essential oils include lavender oil, tea tree oil, and clove oil. Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties. Clove essential oil is so effective as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic that it has been approved for use as a dental anesthetic by the American Dental Association.
It is excellent when included in mouthwash recipes, particularly if you suffer from sore, inflamed gums.
Are There Other Uses For Essential oils?
In addition to their therapeutic benefits, essential oils have many practical applications. For example, they can be used to create natural laundry detergents and nontoxic household cleaners. Some, such as citronella, make effective natural insect repellents.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce the amount of chemicals you use in your home, making your own products with essential oils is an excellent choice.
Is there a grading system for essential oils?
No, there is no official grading system for essential oils.
Are all essential oils the same?
All essential oils are not created equal. There are many factors that determine essential oil quality. For example, plant species, extraction techniques, and even growing conditions, including soil quality, cloud cover, and environmental temperature, can affect the plants from which essential oils are extracted.
Over 40 Health Benefits of Essential Oils that You Need to Know
Unknown to many, essential oils have various health benefits that range from dealing with common ailments to more complicated ones.Different essential oils elicit different unique changes to moods, feelings and states of mind and body.
Benefits of Essential Oils
Here is a list of over 40 health benefits of essential oils that you need to know:
- Relieves Pain (Analgesic).
- Fights Anemia (Anti-Anemic).
- Fights Bacteria (Antibacterial).
- Fights Depression (Anti-Depressant).
- Treats Or Prevents Convulsions As In Epilepsy (Anti-Epileptic).
- Fights Fits Of Uncontrollable Laughter Or Weeping (Anti-Hysteric).
- Acts Against Infection By Inhibiting, Weakening And Killing Infectious Agents (Anti-Infective/Anti-Infection).
- Reduces Inflammation (Anti-Inflammatory).
- Destroys Or Inhibits The Growth Of Microorganisms, Especially Pathogenic Microorganisms (Antimicrobial).
- Counteracts Neuralgia (Anti-Neuralgic).
- Inhibits Oxidation Or Removes Potentially Damaging Oxidizing Agents In A Living Organism (Antioxidant).
- Relieves Spasm In Involuntary Muscle (Antispasmodic).
- Fights And Eases Rheumatism (Anti-Rheumatic).
- Prevents The Growth And Development Of Disease-Causing Microorganisms (Antiseptic).
- Fights Sclerosis (Anti-Sclerotic).
- Kills Virus Or Suppresses Its Ability To Multiply And Reproduce (Anti-Viral).
- Restores Or Cures (Balsamic).
- Relieves Flatulence (Carminative).
- Promotes The Discharge Of Bile From The Gall Bladder Into The Duodenum (Cholagogue).
- Heals Or Closes Through Scar Formation (Cicatrisant).
- Reduces And Relieves Congestion (Decongestant).
- Prevents, Destroys Or Masks Unwanted Odor (Deodorant).
- Purifies And Detoxifies (Depurative).
- Induces Perspiration Or Heavy Sweating (Diaphoretic).
- Causes Increased Passing Of Urine (Diuretic).
- Stimulate Or Increases Menstrual Flow (Emmenagogue).
- Promotes The Secretion Of Matters From The Respiratory Tract Like Sputum, Phlegm And Mucus (Expectorant).
- Reduces Fever (Febrifuge).
- Destroys Or Inhibits The Growth Of Fungi (Fungicide).
- Retards Or Stops The Flow Of Blood Within The Blood Vessels (Haemostatic).
- Relates To The Liver (Hepatic).
- Lowers The Blood Sugar (Hypotensive).
- Kills Insects And Other Arthropods (Insecticide).
- Stimulates Or Facilitates Evacuation Of The Bowels (Laxative).
- Calms The Nerves (Nervine).
- Irritates And Reddens The Skin (Rubefacient).
- Calms Or Induces Sleep (Sedative).
- Stimulates Or Raises Levels Of Physiological Or Nervous Activity In The Body (Stimulant).
- Promotes The Appetite Or Assists In Digestion (Stomachic).
- Gives A Feeling Of Vigor Or Well-Being (Tonic).
- Destroys Or Expels Parasitic Worms (Vermifuge/Antihelmintic)
- Among Others.
Again, remember to exercise due diligence on the proper use of essential oils: Research. Read. Think.
And the most important thing: Always consult health professionals doctors, aromatherapists, homeopaths, herbalists, naturopaths or other health practitioners for decisions and actions that may jeopardize or adversely impact your and other peoples health condition.
Make sure that the benefits you derive from essential oils far outweigh the cost.
This list of over 40 health benefits of essential oils is by no means complete. Please feel free to add to it.
How Are Essential Oils Produced?
There are several different methods for extracting essential oils. Expression Expression is the most direct method for producing essential oils. In expression, the oil is simply pressed from the plant’s seeds, flesh, or skins in a process similar to that used to press olive oil.
Employing chemical solvents is the least natural method for extracting essential oils. In this method, the plant from which the essential oils are sourced is dissolved in a chemical solvent: benzene, methylene chloride, and hexane are some common ones. Essential oils extracted with solvents are called “absolutes.” Vanilla and jasmine essential oils are often produced this way.
HYPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXODE One of the newest methods for producing essential oils relies on plant interaction with carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide becomes hypercritical - meaning it is neither a true gas nor a true liquid - at 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Extraction occurs rapidly with this method, and as carbon dioxide is inert, there is no chemical interaction between it and the plant from which the essential oil is being extracted.
Essential oils extracted with the help of carbon dioxide tend to be extremely high quality, and it is possible to find nearly any popular essential oil produced using this method. There are two different types to look for: CO2 selects, and CO2 totals.
STEAM DISTILLATION Most plants from which pure essential oils are obtained stand up well with the steam distillation process. In this simple procedure, freshly harvested plants are suspended above a vat of boiling water, and the steam emerging from the water extracts the oil from the plant.
A vessel catches the rising steam, which is pushed through a tube before being cooled. The steam is then condensed back into water, and as essential oils do not mix with water, the two substances separate. The essential oil is collected, and in many cases, the remaining water is collected as well since it retains the fragrant character of the essential oil. This water is referred to as hydrosol and is often used in moisturizers, linen sprays, and simple perfumes.
ENFLEURAGE A very old method for producing essential oils that is rarely used, enfleurage is an expensive and complicated process. Whole blossoms are laid out on sheets coated with warm vegetable oil that in turn absorbs the oils from the flowers. As the oils are bled from the blossoms, exhausted flowers are replaced with fresh ones until all the oil has been infused with fragrance.
Buying and Storing Essential Oils
The most important aspect of purchasing essential oils is the source. Some companies consistently sell high quality essential oils. You’ll find essential oils as well as supplies (including diffusers and carrier oils) at natural food stores and on skin care and aromatherapy websites.
Once you have chosen essential oils, it is vital that you store them properly. Always store essential oils in glass containers rather than plastic ones. This is because many essential oils are so potent that they have a tendency to cause plastic to begin dissolving.
Properly stored, most essential oils will last for several years; in fact, several types are much like valuable wines in that they actually improve with age. Patchouli that has been properly stored for several years develops a rich fragrance that is nothing like fresh patchouli oil.
Benzoin, clary sage, vetiver, and sandalwood also improve with age. Citrus essential oils, including orange, lemon, and grapefruit, have a tendency to lose their potency over time. They last longer when refrigerated in dark colored containers.
No matter what type of essential oils you prefer, keep them away from direct sunlight and store them well away from heat sources, since both sunlight and heat can cause them to lose their potency.
Safety Tips and Precautions
Besides using the following general guidelines and precautions, keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets, and never apply concentrated essential oils to mucous membranes or sensitive areas.
Also, if you are allergic to a certain food, do not use any essential oils or carrier oils that come from the same plant as the allergen. Essential oils should rarely be applied undiluted. Some, including those sourced from conifer and citrus trees, have strong caustic characteristics and come with warnings concerning dilution rates.
Follow instructions carefully to avoid chemical burns. People with sensitive skin or allergies must be doubly cautious when using essential oils. Some essential oils, including bergamot, petitgrain, and most citrus oils, are phototoxic, meaning that skin irritation resembling a severe sunburn can result when these oils are applied to the skin that is then exposed to sunlight.
Do not apply them to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight anytime within forty-eight hours of application. To remove unwanted essential oils from the skin, cover the area with a carrier oil or oil-based cleanser.
Wash the area with soap and warm water, and repeat until you are certain the oil has been removed. If essential oil gets into the eyes, flush them with vegetable oil or cold milk to dilute the oil, ensuring you remove contact lenses first if applicable.
If stinging persists for more than a few minutes, seek medical attention. Some essential oils, including mint, orange, and basil are meant to be consumed in small quantities; however, most are meant for external use only.
If an essential oil is ingested accidentally, call your poison control hotline. Always consult a physician and/or certified aromatherapist before using any type of essential oil during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
Is It Possible To Burn Essential Oils For Aromatherapy?
It is best to use a diffuser, which gently warms the essential oils and releases them into the air.
Why Do Many Essential Oils Have Long, Complicated-Looking Names?
Essential oils are labeled with their common names as well as with their Latin names, which are made up of the plant’s genus and species.
What Are Carrier/Blending Oils?
Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils and essential oil blends. Sweet almond, sesame, grape-seed, coconut, wheat germ, and sunflower oils are all examples of carrier oils; these can be used on their own or mixed together to create a texture and fragrance that is both pleasing and balanced.
Passionflower, avocado, and jojoba are also popular carrier oils. Most therapeutic blends call for between twenty-five and thirty drops of essential oil to approximately half an ounce of carrier oil.
How Do You Blend Essential Oils?
There are two basic rules to keep in mind when blending essential oils. First, essential oils that have a lighter, thinner stream when poured are usually more aromatic (volatile) than those that are thicker.
These oils have light, smaller molecules than their more viscous counterparts. Second, the body absorbs light, small molecules faster than larger, heavier ones. The smaller the molecules a blend contains, the faster that blend is metabolized.
The opposite is true of larger molecules. These are absorbed slowly and remain in the body longer. These two rules matter because when you blend heavy molecules with lighter ones, they have a synergistic effect on one another, allowing for the light molecule to remain in the body longer.
This is as important for creating therapeutic blends as it is for creating simple perfumes and aromatherapy blends designed to be diffused. In the perfume industry, the heavier oils, which act to stabilize the lighter, more volatile oils, are called fixatives or fixing oils. Sandalwood, myrrh, and ylang-ylang are excellent examples of fixing oils.
How to Use Essential Oils the Right Way
Essential oils have various medicinal, psychological, physical, and cosmetic uses and benefits. Yet, not everyone knows how to use essential oils the right way.
4 Key Considerations on How to Use Essential Oils
Proper care should always be a top priority for anyone considering the use of essential oils for whatever purpose. Here are the reasons why:
- First, most essential oils are in concentrated form and are, thus, potent.
- Second, essential oils are flammable.
- Third, some essential oils have high toxicity levels and can cause severe damage.
- Fourth, essential oils cannot treat all medical conditions.
7 Precautionary Measures on the Use of Essential Oils
With the crucial considerations in the application of essential oils, remember the following important steps:
- Except for lavender and tea tree oil, do not apply essential oils directly to the skin. Dilute them first in a base or carrier oil, cream or lotion such as jojoba, avocado, peanut, soy, peach kernel oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, among others.
- Use extreme caution around flames and heat sources. If you use a burner to diffuse the oil, put water in the burner first. The essential oil will enter the air as the water evaporates.
- Use essential oils for external applications only. Do not swallow even with therapeutic effect when diluted, like with mouthwash for oral treatments. On rare occasions, a qualified aromatherapist could prescribe essential oils by mouth.
- Keep all essential oils beyond the reach of children.
- Do a patch test on the skin before using the essential oil. Some people can be very sensitive or have allergic reactions. For example, some oils, like the lemon and the verbena, can cause spots when exposed to the sun.
- Do not use essential oils at home to treat serious medical or psychological problems.
- Before using essential oils, seek professional advice first from your:
- Doctor to treat any medical or psychological condition;
- Aromatherapist when treating pregnant women, babies, kids and people with allergies, diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and other disorders;
- Homeopathic or herbal medicine practitioners and aromatherapist as part of homeopathic or herbal treatment.
2-Step Process on How to Use Essential Oils by Inhalation
Using essential oils through inhalation is fairly simple:
- Choose an essential oil based on specific benefits that you want. For example, if you want to uplift mood or ease fatigue, choose lemon grass. To sooth and release tension, try ylang-ylang, which is known to combat stressful feelings.
- Place the oils in a diffuser and let the scent permeate the air. The aroma would heighten the senses and, depending upon the oil, bring various emotional and physical benefits to those exposed to the aroma.
This guide on how to use essential oils would keep you and loved ones safe and let you enjoy the healing, soothing and pleasurable benefits of essential oils.
Common Essential Oils and Uses
Please note: The following material was taken from Essential Oils for Beginners by Althea Press, Berkeley, California, except where noted otherwise. DISCLAIMER: The information found in this guide is for informational purposes only and is not to be used in place of professional medical advice.
Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
DESCRIPTION A thin, clear-colored oil, basil essential oil has a pleasant spicy scent that is reminiscent of licorice. When used in aromatherapy, it is considered a top note.
ORIGIN France, Hungary, Unites States, Vietnam.
PRIMARY USES Relaxes muscles; soothes body aches and bug bites; alleviates rheumatism symptoms; eases colds, coughs, headaches, and bronchitis; stimulates digestion; prevents flatulence; alleviates gout; repels insects. Basil essential oil promotes clear-headedness and stimulates the mind. When used in meditation, it can promote trust, openness, and enthusiasm while releasing stagnant energy.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
DESCRIPTION This golden-green essential oil has a thin consistency and a fresh, citrus-like aroma with floral undertones. When used in aromatherapy blends, it is considered a top note.
ORIGIN Mediterranean countries, United States.
PRIMARY USES Alleviates painful skin conditions, including acne, abscesses, psoriasis, and boils; relieves itchy skin; balances oily skin; comforts coughs; reduces cold symptoms; soothes insect bites and cold sores; prevents halitosis; promotes feelings of peaceful relaxation; alleviates stress and anxiety.
When used in meditation, bergamot oil can support healthful detoxification from drug and alcohol addiction, and aids in smoking cessation. Bergamot essential oil is generally considered safe; however, it is not recommended for use with children younger than five years old.
Applying bergamot essential oil without diluting it first can cause skin irritation, and repeated use can lead to contact sensitization. It is extremely phototoxic; direct sunlight and UV light should be avoided for as long as seventy-two hours after use.
FUN FACTS Bergamot gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor. It’s also a very popular perfume additive: approximately a third of all colognes and half of all perfumes contain bergamot.
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
DESCRIPTION Black pepper oil has a complex, green fragrance and does not irritate the eyes or cause sneezing, as ground black peppercorns often do. This crisp, fresh-smelling essential oil has a thin consistency and is considered a middle note when used in aromatherapy.
ORIGIN China, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia.
PRIMARY USES Improves circulation; soothes muscle soreness; alleviates joint, arthritis, and rheumatism pain; relieves nausea and indigestion; prevents flatulence; boosts metabolism; stimulates endocrine system. When used in aromatherapy and meditation, it alleviates worry, soothes anxiety, and aids in releasing negativity and recognizing self-worth.
FUN FACTS While traveling on pilgrimages, Indian monks consumed several peppercorns each day. They believed the peppercorns would give them greater physical endurance to see their journeys through.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
DESCRIPTION A sweet and spicy oil with a clear color and a thin consistency, cardamom essential oil is considered a middle note when used for aromatherapy.
ORIGIN Guatemala, India, Sri Lanka.
PRIMARY USES Relieves abdominal discomfort, heartburn, vomiting and indigestion; eliminated halitosis and flatulence; alleviates headaches, sciatica, and sinus infections. Cardamom essential oil has a sweet, uplifting fragrance that refreshes the mind. When used in meditation, it helps alleviate stress, release trauma, and help one accept new ideas.
Carrot (Daucus carota)
DESCRIPTION Also known as wild carrot, carrot seed essential oil has a yellow-gold color and a thin to medium consistency. Its fragrance is woody and earthy, and many consider its smell unpleasant on its own. When used in aromatherapy, it is considered a middle note.
ORIGIN France, Hungary, India.
PRIMARY USES Alleviates pain from sunburn, rheumatism and psoriasis; reduces appearance of wrinkles; tones oily skin; decreases itchiness caused by eczema; detoxifies the liver; prevents water retention. When used in aromatherapy and for meditation, it aids in the release of negativity and promotes self-acceptance. Carrot seed essential oil is excellent for cultivating gratitude.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
DESCRIPTION Chamomile essential oil has a thin consistency and a sweet, herbaceous fragrance with fruity undertones. When used for aromatherapy, it is considered to be a middle note.
ORIGIN Afghanistan, Canada, Europe, Iran, Unites States.
PRIMARY USES Soothes itchy skin; eases chronic tension; relieves headaches and migraines; eliminates insomnia; alleviates premenstrual tension and menopausal symptoms; promotes feelings of calm, dissipates anger.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)
DESCRIPTION A medium-bodied oil with a golden to yellow-brown color, cinnamon essential oil has a strong cinnamon scent. When used in aromatherapy applications, it is considered a middle note.
ORIGIN Sri Lanka.
PRIMARY USES Alleviates urinary and intestinal discomfort; stimulates the immune system, circulatory system, and libido; relieves coughs; alleviates cold and flu symptoms; soothes inflammation; increases circulation; mitigates diabetes symptoms.
Cinnamon essential oil is believed by some to attract wealth. When used in meditation, it aids in transformative thought, releases anger and frustration, and helps alleviate addictions of all types.
FUN FACTS Cinnamon is one of the oldest-known essential oils. It was recorded in the Ebers Papyrus, one of the earliest Egyptian medical texts, which dates to approximately 1550 BCE and contains more than seven hundred remedies for everything from asthma to indigestion – along with instructions for properly embalming the deceased to ensure they enjoy a happy afterlife.
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
DESCRIPTION A thin, clear oil with a slightly fruity, sweet scent and a strong citrus characteristic, citronella essential oil is considered a top note when used in aromatherapy blends.
ORIGIN Java, Sri Lanka, Vietnam.
PRIMARY USES Repels insects; alleviates cold and flu symptoms; relieves muscle pain, fatigue, headaches and migraines; treats acne and oily skin. Women who are pregnant should avoid contact with citronella essential oil. Those with heart disease should avoid it, too, as it can increase heart rate.
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
DESCRIPTION This light golden-yellow oil has a thin to medium consistency and an invigorating herbaceous aroma, with subtle notes of fruit and earth. It is considered a middle note when used in aromatherapy blends.
ORIGIN Bulgaria, France, Unites States.
PRIMARY USES Alleviates premenstrual symptoms and menstrual cramps, premenopausal symptoms, and hormonal imbalances; promotes healthful cholesterol levels; relieves insomnia; improves circulation; relieves tired eyes when added to eye wash; alleviates bronchitis symptoms; boosts mood.
Clary sage essential oil quiets the mind and promotes a gentle sense of euphoria. When used in meditation, it promotes enhanced creativity and increased focus. It is used to enhance the ability to enjoy vivid dreams.
FUN FACTS Clary sage gets its name from the nickname medieval authors gave it: “clear eye,” for its ability to heal vision problems. It was also used, like chamomile, as a substitute for hops in ale production, and it was added to wine to heighten the drinker’s sense of intoxication.
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
DESCRIPTION Often called clove bud essential oil, clove essential oil has a spicy, warming scent and a golden to yellow-brown hue. It has a medium, slightly oily consistency, and when used in aromatherapy blends, clove essential oil is considered a middle note.
ORIGIN Indonesia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka.
PRIMARY USES Numbs arthritis and rheumatism pain; soothes insect bites and bee stings; relieves inflammation and digestive problems, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Clove essential oil is used by naturopaths to treat lupus, hepatitis, viral infections, cataracts, skin cancer, and thyroid disorders.
When it is used in aromatherapy and for meditation, clove bud essential oil aids in the release of negativity and acceptance of self-worth.
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
DESCRIPTION Pale yellow in color, with a thin consistency, cypress essential oil has an evergreen aroma with hints of wood and herbs. When used in aromatherapy blends, it is considered a middle note.
ORIGIN France, Morocco, Spain.
PRIMARY USES Slows perspiration; eases hemorrhoid discomfort, menorrhagia, and menstrual cramps; improves circulation; eases varicose vein discomfort; treats muscle spasms, tones excessively oily skin; detoxifies the lymphatic system; reduces water retention.
When used in aromatherapy for meditation, cypress essential oil has a calming, grounding effect. It promotes feelings of total well-being and assists in discernment while alleviating fear of the unknown.
FUN FACTS The word cypress is derived from the Greek term sempervirens, which means “to live forever.” The Greeks used cypress to carve statutes of their deities.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
DESCRIPTION There are over seven hundred eucalyptus species, many of which are used in the production of eucalyptus essential oil. Only a handful of these species are effective when used in aromatherapy.
Of these Eucalyptus globulus is most popular, and it should not be confused with E. radiate (sometimes nicknames black peppermint essential oil), E. citriodora (lemon eucalyptus essential oil), or any other type of eucalyptus essential oil.
Eucalyptus essential oil has a fresh woody, earthy fragrance, with a strong medicinal aroma and a thin consistency. When used in aroma therapy, it is considered a top note.
ORIGIN Australia, Brazil, Spain.
PRIMARY USES Soothes arthritis, rheumatism, and muscle pains; eases sinusitis, coughs, bronchitis, cold and flu symptoms, and ear inflammation; combats candida, chicken pox, and measles symptoms; reduces acne; cleanses minor wounds; eases diabetes symptoms; boosts immune system.
Eucalyptus essential oil is used in manufacturing, as a fragrance, for cosmetics and perfumes, and in antiseptics, ointments and liniments, cough drops, toothpaste, and other products. Some dentists use eucalyptus oil as a solvent for root canal fillings.
It is also often used for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer. In addition, eucalyptus essential oil is useful as an insect repellent and as a natural flea deterrent. When properly diluted, it can be used on pets as well as humans.
It makes a fantastic addition to massage oils and lotions, household cleaning products, and bath products, including shampoos and conditioners. When inhaled, eucalyptus essential oil can be used to promote emotional well-being, and during meditation it is useful for focusing on relationships.
FUN FACTS When Jean Valnet, MD, ran out of antibiotics during World War II, he discovered that eucalyptus oil was effective in killing almost three-quarters of staph bacteria in the air. You, too, can squash bacteria with this powerful essential oil: if you’re beginning to catch a cold, try inhaling steam from a basin filled with hot water and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. You may just stop that cold in its tracks.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
DESCRIPTION Frankincense essential oil has an irresistible woody, balsamic fragrance, a light yellow color, and a thin consistency. When used in aromatherapy blends, it is considered a base note.
ORIGIN Europe, India, North Africa.
PRIMARY USES Boosts immune system and combats infections; alleviates coughs, sore throat, strep, pneumonia, and staph symptoms; reduces stress and nervous tension; boosts mood. When used for aromatherapy or during meditation, frankincense essential oil provides an uplifting, centering effect that promotes a deep sense of inner calm.
Many believe frankincense opens a direct pathway directly to the divine; it is a favorite for diffusing during prayer sessions.
FUN FACTS The uses and benefits frankincense provides have been well known for at least five thousand years. It is mentioned in the Bible fifty-two times, and was very popular with the Egyptians, who used it for stomach ailments, skin care, and incense. Kohl, which was used as an eyeliner, was made from frankincense.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
DESCRIPTION Geranium essential oil has a thin consistency and ranges in color from clear to light amber. It has a fresh floral aroma with a hint of fruit, and is considered a middle note when used in aromatherapy blends.
ORIGIN Egypt, France, Italy, Spain.
PRIMARY USES Alleviates anxiety and stabilizes emotions; heals broken capillaries, bruises, and circulatory disorders; eliminates fluid retention; soothes insect bites, stings, burns, and minor wounds; relieves sore throat and lymphatic congestion. When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, geranium essential oil lifts the spirit while easing nervous tension.
It can help alleviate fear concerning abandonment or commitment, and it can help promote self-acceptance.
German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
DESCRIPTION Often referred to as blue chamomile due to its deep blue color, German chamomile essential oil has a thin consistency and a sweet, herbaceous aroma with fruity undertones. It is considered a middle note when used in aromatherapy blends.
ORIGIN Afghanistan, Bosnia, Canada, Europe, Hungary, Iran, United States.
PRIMARY USES Promotes healing of broken capillaries, bruises, and minor wounds; soothes insect bites, muscle spasms, arthritis pain, and sprains; alleviates nausea, stress, and nervous tension; aids sleep.
When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, German chamomile essential oil can help calm feelings of irritation and anger while promoting peace, clarity, and patience.
FUN FACTS German chamomile was one of the herbs listed in Europe’s first guide to medicine, Pedanius Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica - the first known standard reference book of herbal treatments, written in 78 CE.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
DESCRIPTION There are more than 1,200 species of ginger; of these, Zingiber officinale is best suited to medicinal and internal use. It is an excellent essential oil for blending with others; for example, when blended with juniper, it provides a powerful detoxifying effect.
Ginger essential oil has a warm, spicy aroma with delightful notes of earth and wood. It has a thin consistency and is typically steam distilled. When used in aromatherapy, it can be used as a middle or base note.
ORIGIN India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Sri Lanka.
PRIMARY USES Reduces congestion and respiratory infections; eases motion sickness, indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea; soothes angina and sore throats; prevents scurvy. Ginger essential oil is uplifting and energizing; in addition, it has an aphrodisiac effect when used in aromatherapy.
Its sweet, spicy aroma enhances feeling of vitality and promotes a feeling of physical well-being while enhancing energy. When used in meditation, it can help promote self-confidence and provide motivation to transform ideas into realities.
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
DESCRIPTION Grapefruit essential oil is a favorite not just for its delightful scent, but for its ability to help ease water retention and congestion. Grapefruit essential oil is derived from Citrus paradisi fruit peels.
Both pink and white grapefruit essential oils are available, with the pink variety normally being more sweetly scented than the white. Its sweet, tangy, tart citrus fragrance blends beautifully with other essential oils, including white pine oil and frankincense oil. This essential oil is cold pressed or expressed. It has a thin consistency, and when used in aromatherapy, it is considered a top note.
ORIGIN Unites States, West Indies.
PRIMARY USES Treats headaches, anxiety, and depression; Eases Alzheimer’s symptoms; combats obesity; reduces appearance of cellulite; eliminates water retention and puffy skin; cleanses liver, kidneys, lymph system, and vascular system; boosts mood; promotes physical energy; repels insects.
Grapefruit essential oil is particularly effective against fleas, and if you have horses, it helps repel flies. It can be used in formulating nontoxic household products, massage oils, lotions, and bath products, including shampoos and conditioners.
When used in meditation, it aids in releasing confusion, clearing mental chatter, and relieving feelings of sadness and tension. It is also known for its ability to bring clarity and a renewed sense of spiritual purpose.
FUN FACTS If you open a bottle of white wine or champagne and the taste doesn’t seem quite right, try adding a single drop of grapefruit essential oil to the bottle to completely transform its taste. This is especially fantastic in Sauvignon Blanc.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
DESCRIPTION With a fresh, earthy fragrance and a thin consistency, helichrysum essential oil has a light yellow color. It is considered a base when used in aromatherapy blends.
ORIGIN Bosnia, France, Italy, Spain.
PRIMARY USES Speeds the healing of bruises, burns, and minor wounds; alleviates muscle aches and pains; soothes pain from sprains and strains; softens dry skin; soothes sunburns; reduces appearance of scars and stretch marks; slows or stops minor bleeding; soothes coughs; reduces fevers; calms nerves, relieves tension.
When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, helichrysum essential oil helps remove emotional blocks and promote perseverance. It is ideal for anyone suffering from mental stress or anxiety.
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
DESCRIPTION With a fresh, slightly sweet aroma bearing undertones of fruit, earth, and wood, hyssop essential oil is clear, with a thin consistency. When used in aromatherapy blends, it is considered a middle note.
ORIGIN France, Hungary, Spain.
PRIMARY USES Restores appetite after illness; raises low blood pressure; alleviates anxiety, fatigue, and nervous tension; combats respiratory infections, congestion, and viral infections. When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, hyssop essential oil stimulates creativity, aids in understanding one’s spiritual purpose, and releases self-doubt and self-judgment.
Jasmine (Jasmin officinale or J. grandiflorum)
DESCRIPTION Though jasmine blossoms are pure white, jasmine essential oil is a deep gold to amber color. It has a medium consistency and is considered a middle note when used in aromatherapy blends.
ORIGIN Egypt, France, India, Italy.
PRIMARY USES Eases anxiety; boosts mood; soothes respiratory illnesses, including congestion; alleviates premenstrual symptoms; promotes hormone balance; relieves skin conditions, including acne and eczema.
When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, jasmine essential oil aids in bringing about emotional balance, alleviating fear, and promoting euphoria. Jasmine essential oil is also a noted aphrodisiac.
FUN FACTS Jasmines nickname is "Queen of the Night." The plants blossoms are most fragrant during the evening, so they are normally harvested just after the sun goes down.
Juniper (Juniperus communis)
DESCRIPTION Often called juniper berry essential oil, juniper essential oil has a distinctive woody fragrance with a hint of sweetness. It has a thin consistency and is clear; when used in aromatherapy blends, it is considered a middle note.
ORIGIN Bulgaria, Canada, France, Nepal, United States.
PRIMARY USES Purifies air; repels insects, soothes skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and dermatitis, softens scar tissue; promotes nerve regeneration after injury; relieves gout; reduces water retention.
When used for aromatherapy or during meditation, juniper essential oil aids in releasing suppressed anger and negativity.
Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
DESCRIPTION Lavender essential oil is by far the most popular aromatherapy oil available, and its benefits are nearly endless. Lavender essential oil is a floral, but its fragrance is not sweet like most other florals. Instead, it is fresh and strongly herbal, with camphor undertones. This essential oil has a thin consistency, and is typically steam distilled. When used in aromatherapy, it can be a top or middle note.
ORIGIN Bulgaria, France, Ukraine, United States
PRIMARY USES Soothes insomnia, nervous tension, and premenstrual symptoms; treats skin conditions, including acne and excessive oil on the skin; reduces blood pressure and cholesterol; treats allergies and asthma; soothes bruises and burns; eases headaches; combats mild bacterial and fungal infections, including swimmer’s ear and athlete’s foot; repels insects.
Lavender essential oil can be used to formulate nontoxic household products, lotions, massage oils, and bath products. It can be used to promote as sense of calm and balance, as well as to relax the mind and ease feelings of anger and frustration. When used for meditation, it promotes feelings of clarity and invites greater intuition.
FUN FACTS Native to the Mediterranean region, lavender was used as a bath additive throughout Persia, Rome, and Greece. Its Latin name comes from lavare, which means “to wash.”
Lemon (Citrus limon)
DESCRIPTION Lemon essential oil has a fragrance much like that of fresh lemon zest. It is pale to deep yellow in color and has a thin consistency. When used in aromatherapy blends, lemon essential oil is considered a top note.
ORIGIN Italy, United States
PRIMARY USES Repels insects; aids the digestive process; soothes indigestion; detoxifies the liver; improves circulation; soothes insect bites; tones oily skin; smoothes appearance of wrinkles.
Lemon essential oil is excellent for use in natural household products. It also makes a wonderful addition to insect repellants for humans, dogs, and horses. When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, lemon essential oil can aid in improving concentration. It uplifts the mind and body while releasing negativity and promoting a sense of joy.
FUN FACTS Lemon oil is often used to protect unsealed wood and provide a natural sheen. Guitars, violins, and other stringed instruments are often treated with lemon essential oil.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosius)
DESCRIPTION Lemongrass essential oil is yellow in color and has a thin consistency. With a fresh, earthy, lemon scent, it is considered a top note when used in aromatherapy blends.
ORIGIN Madagascar, Nepal, Sri Lanka
PRIMARY USES Speeds healing of ligament and tendon injuries; repels insects; aids sedation; dilates blood vessels to promote healing and improve circulation; promotes lymphatic flow. When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, lemongrass essential oil clears the mind and heightens psychic awareness.
It aids in the release of regret and resentment while promoting feeling of hope, courage, and optimism.
Lemon Tea Tree (Leptospermum petersonii)
DESCRIPTION Lemon tea tree oil has a yellow tint and a thin consistency. It has a sharp citrus fragrance and is considered a top note when used in aromatherapy blends.
PRIMARY USES Repels insects; soothes arthritis and rheumatism pain; calms itchy skin; heals minor burns and small wounds; relieves cold and flu symptoms; aids sedation. When used in aromatherapy or for meditation, lemon tea tree essential oil promotes relaxation and an overall sense of peace and well-being.
FUN FACTS During World War II, tea tree producers and tea tree farm workers were granted exemption from military service until enough essential oil had been harvested. The oil was then issued to soldiers and sailors for treatment of topical infections and minor wounds.
How to Make Essential Oils: 8 Doable Steps Using Distillation
Before you dive deep into the topic of how to make essential oils, do yourself a favor by asking these questions:
Why Make Your Own Essential Oils
- Why go through the hassle of producing your own essential oils, not to mention the cost of buying your own equipment, sourcing plant materials or growing your own, and spending valuable time to process materials to generate a bottle or two of essential oil?
- Why make when, with a few clicks at your computer, you can easily buy in the market?
- Whats all the logic behind making your own essential oils?
Consider four possible reasons:
- First, when you have an abundance of raw plant materials whether in your own garden or community and supply of pure essential oils in the market is scarce;
- Second, when you want to make sure that the essential oils you use are no less than pure, organic and of top quality;
- Third, when you want to pursue it as a hobby;
- Fourth, when youre looking at starting a business from producing essential oils.
Why Making Your Own Essential Oils Is Not a Good Idea
The process of making your own essential oils is a sensitive one. It also costs valuable resources, money and time. You must know how things are done properly so as not to waste all your investments.
But its all up to you. You know better.
And if you decide to make your own, here are 8 simple steps on how to make essential oils using a distiller.
8 Steps to Successfully Extract Your Own Essential Oils
Step 1: Make a plan.
- Make a plan where you define what needs you want to address, how you are to address them, what you need to have and do, and when.
- Define what extraction method you would use.
- Identify what materials or supplies you would need.
Step 2: Find a durable distiller.
- Choose a glass distiller. Make sure that it is durable to stand the pressure of steaming.
- Take note of the four important components of a distiller: (1) Heater that plays a critical role in properly steaming and heating the plants to make extraction possible; (2) Holding tank that determines how much water you can use; a smaller one means less steam; (3) Condenser that collects the steam and holds it for cooling; (4) Separator that is used to separate the water from the oil.
Step 3: Source out and dry your plant materials.
- Source out plant materials either from your own garden or farm or somewhere else. Make sure you get them from trusted sources; better from organic farm growers to make sure that your essential oils would have no impurities like pesticides, insecticides and other harmful chemicals.
- Air dry the plant materials for a day or two. Doing so would allow more plants into the distiller. As a result, you produce more essential oils. Protect the plant materials from the sun as it can damage the oils and make the plant useless.
Step 4: Set up your distiller
- Position your distiller in a safe place away from possible accidents from breakage, falling or fire. Also, in a place with good ventilation.
- Add water to your distiller.
- Pack the plant material into the container. No need to cut or break the plants as the distiller would extract from whole plant material. You may pack the plant matter thickly to make sure you get enough extract.
Step 5: Begin and watch the distillation process.
- Boil the water so that steam starts to form.
- Keep an eye on the distiller to make sure it does not overflow.
- Make sure that the water does not run out as the heat without the water can break your distiller.
Step 6: Filter the solutions. (Optional)
- Pour the solution through a cloth fabric to catch some of the small imperfections and contaminates that can cause allergies. It will also remove dirt from the solution making it more pure.
Step 7: Store the oil properly.
- Most essential oils have an approximate shelf life of 2 years when handled properly.
- Store them in dark glass containers; not clear ones, which can spoil them quickly.
- Stock them in a cool, dark place away from contaminates.
Step 8: Decide on what to do with hydrosol.
- After youve collected the essential oil, you are left with hydrosol. Hydrosol, also called floral waters or hydroflorates, is like essential oil but far less concentrated. It has some of the oil and aroma, and therapeutic effects.
- You may use the hydrosol as bath water or light scent, or simply throw it away.