Essential Oils

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Essential Oils 1 | Essential Oils

Essential Oils are organic, natural compounds, extracted from the most powerful healing agents in plants, that have been used by people for thousands of years to improve physical, mental and emotional health.

From home cleaning and air-freshening, to beauty products, mood-boosting, natural cold and flu “medicine,” pain alleviation, acne and cellulite reduction, hormone balancing, hygiene care and more, essential oils are like the “Windex” treatment for holistic healing and well-being.

You can use them in one of four ways*:

  1. Tincture” or “Ingestion”—Taken under the tongue, eaten and used for cooking and consuming.
  2. Topical”—Applied to the skin and body for healing purposes, or used for cleaning (able to penetrate the skin and pass into the blood stream and into different areas of the body for internal therapeutic benefits)
  3. “Personal  Care”—Used for hygiene and beauty on the body by making homemade DIY personal care products.
  4. Aromatic”—aromatherapy, natural perfumes, home cleaners and air diffuser (I LOVE my air-diffuser by URPOWER).

*Due to their powerful concentrations, a little bit goes a long way, and oils are typically added to water or a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or jojoba oil to dilute the powerful concentration.

There are hundreds of oils to choose from—each with different healing properties. Here are a few basics to get you started:

(Download today’s Essential Oil Recipes handout for a complete list)

Beauty & Body Care

Acne Buster: Tea Tree Oil. Mix five drops of pure tea tree essential oil with two teaspoons of raw honey and rub on face.

Chapped Lips: Frankincense: Make a natural lip balm. Combine one tablespoon of coconut oil, with 15 drops of Frankincense oil and 15 drops of lavender oil, and mix them well to get a moisturizing,

Dry Skin: Lavender. Add to your face moisturizer, or combine with coconut oil and cleanse face.

Glowing Skin: Rose: Add 2-3 drops to your face moisturizer or coconut oil.

Homemade Sunscreen: Mix 30 drops of oils (10 lavender oil + 10 helichrysum essential oil + 5 peppermint)  with 2-3  tbsp. coconut oil, 1-2 tbsp. shea butter, 1 tbsp. zinc oxide powder).

Natural Bug Spray: Lemongrass:  Mix one drop each of lemongrass oil, plus citronella oil and eucalyptus oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil to rub on exposed skin.

Natural Toothpaste: Tea Tree: Mix tea tree oil with coconut oil and baking soda to kill off oral bacteria.

Stinky Shoe Eliminator: Lemon: Add 2 to 3 drops of lemon and tea trees oil together and rub in shoes.

Stretch Marks & Wound Healing: Myrrh: Rub 2-3 drops on topically.

Thicker Hair: Rosemary: Add 2-3 drops to your shampoo as you use.

Health & Healing

All-Around Immune Booster: Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca): Add 2 to 3 drops to a diffuser. You can also apply to your chest and abdominal region to bust allergies.

Cellulite Reduction: Grapefruit: Mix with coconut oil and rub on areas of cellulite or take a few drops internally with water.

Constipation: Ginger & Fennel. Mix 1 drop ginger with 1 drop of fennel into a cup of warm water with 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey. You can also soothe peppermint on the abdomen to calm internal digestive distress, or prepare a warm compress with favored digestive-ease oil of choice (ginger, cinnamon, peppermint) and place on abdomen.

Hit the Headache: Peppermint or Lavender: Dilute two to three drops of peppermint or lavender oil with coconut oil and rub it into the shoulders, forehead and back of neck.

Hormone Balance & PMS: Clary Sage: Combine 3 drops each of clary sage, 6 drops of lavender, and 3 drops of rose oil, with 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil such as coconut, sweet almond, or jojoba oil. Rub on abdomen, back, or all over the body.

Kick a Cold: Oregano: Dilute 1-2 drops in water or coconut oil and ingest, or diffuse in air when feeling low. Eucalyptus oil can also open up the sinuses and lungs helping heal a cold fast.

Low Libido: Ginger: Diffuse two to three drops of ginger oil or apply one to two drops to the feet or lower abdomen.

Metabolism Booster: Ginger: Contains Gingerol which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and increases thermogenesis.

Mood Boosting, Anxiety & Stress: Peppermint: Rub on pulse points and the back of your neck to come alive.

Nausea & Bloating Relief: Ginger: Improves digestion, nausea and inflammation. Apply 2-3 drops directly to stomach, warm bath water or add to your dinnertime dish. You may also benefit from digestive bitters with ginger.

Relaxation & Calm: Lavender: Helps with relaxation, improves mood. Rub on pulse points or drop 1 to 2 drops into an air defuser.

Stomach Soother: Peppermint/Mint: Calm a disgruntled tummy with 1 to 2 drops of peppermint oil into warm tea

Sugar Cravings: Cinnamon: Balances blood sugar. Take 1 to 2 drops in warm cinnamon or ginger tea, add to yogurt or cooking dish, or rub on abdomen.

Home Cleaning & Lifestyle

All-Purpose Cleaner: Lemon: Great to use in homemade cleaning products: Add three drops each of lemon oil and tea tree oil with a few ounces of warm water to spray on countertop. You can also use a few drops of lemon oil with water to clean pots, pans and dishes.

Carpet Cleaner or Stain Remover: Tea Tree: Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil with Borax and rub on stain.

Clean Air: Cinnamon: Diffuse cinnamon essential oil in the air.

Kill Pests: Orange Oil. Mix with clove oil to kill off unwanted critters.

Mold Treatment: Tea Tree : Add tea tree oil to your diffuser to clean out grime.

What to Buy?!

Essential Oils

Not all essential oils are created equally. In fact, most of them are worthless to your health and often synthetic. How to know what’s the “best?” When buying essential oils make sure they are certified pure therapeutic grade. When you see a wide fluctuation in price between, say, lavender essential oils, you can bet that the far less expensive one is likely lower in quality.

Two companies with reputable reputations include:

doTerra and Young Living. Each company has their fans and following, but on balance, both have built quality brands based on certified pure therapeutic grade oils.

Don’t waste your money.

Important Note: Contraindications:

Since essential oils are a powerful form of “natural medicine,” there are a couple of contraindications (instances to NOT use certain formulas):

Pregnancy – Basil, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, rose, rosemary, sage and thyme.

In most cases, these oils are completely healthy but because they can affect hormones they are not recommended at this stage.

Heart medications (blood thinners) – Clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rosemary, sage and thyme.

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