A list of the most popular Essential Oils, their Uses & Cautions (in alphabetical order).
To help you choose which essential oils to use in what ever you’re making, be it bath blend or room scent, here is a list you can refer to with some of their most useful properties and any cautions you need to be aware of.
I will be constantly updating this list, so if there are any essential oils that do not appear yet or that you would like more details on, then please contact me, or comment on the post and I can add to the list.
- Basil (sweet basil) ~ Supports digestive problems, another great oil for a tummy balm blend. Read more on using basil in a digestive massage here: Digestive Massage with Essential Oils
- Caution ~ Avoid in pregnancy (due to varied methyl chavicol/estragole content). Maximum 2% blend strength.
- Black pepper ~ Similar to eucalyptus in effect – powerfully clearing, specifically great for respiratory system, especially lungs. Also great for muscle aches & pains but black pepper is much more warming and gentle than eucalyptus. A lovely oil to use in the evening in a bath blend, or if you feel you are run down or ‘coming down’ with something.
- Caution ~ possible irritant to some in high dose.
- Cardamom ~ Gently soothing tummy aches and nausea, supports appetite and is refreshing and comforting. A great oil for children, for travel sickness or for morning sickness. Read more on using cardamom to soothe digestion here: How to get through December and still smell Divine… with the most Delicious Essential Oils!
- Chamomile (german) ~ Very anti-inflammatory, so perfect for any condition with inflammation from bumps and bruises to arthritis and gout. It’s also good for skin inflammation especially bites, but Roman Chamomile ay be more suitable if it’s for delicate sore skin, as it’s more gentle.
- Caution ~ Sensitisation possible, avoid with ragweed allergy.
- Chamomile (roman) ~ Gentle, soothing and calming, great for very delicate skin, and skin conditions. Relieves itching, and allergies. See my blog on Chamomile for Skin Conditons for more details. A great oil for children.
- Caution ~ Potential sensitivity to those with ragweed allergy.
- Clove ~ Very powerful pain reliever, especially where there is nerve pain. Useful for toothaches and for warming and releasing aches and pains. Read more on using clove oil for cleansing the room here: How to get through December and still smell Divine… with the most Delicious Essential Oils!
- Caution ~ Maximum blend strength 1%. Sensitisation possible. Caution with hyper sensitive, diseased or damaged skin & with blood clotting disorders. Not suitable for children under 2 years.
- Eucalyptus (globulus) ~ Powerfully clearing, specifically great for respiratory system, especially lungs. Also great for muscle aches & pains.
- Eucalyptus radiata ~ this species of eucalyptus is more gentle than the globulus, so I would use it with children, elderly, or if someone feels the globulus is too fierce.
- Read more on how to use eucalyptus oil to support the respiratory system here: How to use Essential Oils from Trees to Support our Respiratory System and in Skin Care.
- Frankincense ~ A fantastic skin oil, very good for dry and mature types. Also good for calming and focusing on breathing so very useful in a burner to scent the room and to help calm anxiety. Read more on using frankincense oil here: How to use Essential Oils from Trees to Support our Respiratory System and in Skin Care.
- Geranium ~ Very sweet and feminine, balances the endocrine system, a great oil to use to support females cycles and any hormone related issues, including irregular periods and menopause. A very lovely, sweet and fresh oil for young women. Read more on using geranium oil here: How to Use Geranium Essential Oil to Support Women’s Health
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) ~ Powerfully cleansing and clearing. Helps clear stress and tension. Great for supporting sleep. Very anti-microbial and great natural antiseptic. Since lavender is so versatile, there are several blogs on using lavender to help you make the most of it:
- Lavender Essential First Aid
- How to Use Lavender Essential Oil to Help Sleep Problems
- Essential Oil Safety – Is it OK to use lavender essential oil undiluted on your skin?
- How to use Lavender and Chamomile Essential Oils for Hay fever
- Caution ~ There are no cautions with Lavandula angustifolia, it is a very user friendly oil, but just ensure you buy a pure, good quality oil, especially if you intend to use it neat on your skin -you don’t want to be using a synthetic perfume quality oil on a spot or graze.
- Lemon ~ Cleansing and detoxifying, ideal for using in a face cleansing balm (with lavender). Fantastic oil to use in a burner to cleanse and brighten the atmosphere especially when someone is sick.
- Caution ~ Phototoxic, meaning it reacts with sunlight (and sun beds), so avoid use on skin if exposed to sunshine. Citrus oils have a shorter shelf life, meaning they react with oxygen much quicker and can cause sensitisation and irritation.
- Mandarin ~ Very gentle to the skin, soothing and calming, a lovely one to add to an evening blend or for use in a blend for stretch marks. A great oil for children. Click here for the stretch mark balm recipe including mandarin oil: How to make a Stretch Mark Balm
- Myrrh ~ Deeply healing skin oil, especially for festering, difficult to heal wounds. Great for connecting to and supporting breathing very gently. See my blog on Myrrh Essential Oil for more details and Gargling with Myrrh for oral problems.
- Caution ~ Avoid in pregnancy, although can be useful in 3rd trimester to prepare for birth -seek professional advise here though.
- Neroli (orange blossom) ~ Apart from smelling completely beautiful and delicate, it is very soothing and calming to the nervous system, and so has an amazing effect on all that the nervous system controls, so this would include digestion, muscle tension & emotions. It is a great oil for melting stress, and anxiety.
- Peppermint ~ Great for muscle aches and pains, sometimes has a tingling sensation, great for refreshing feet. Supports digestion, would make a great tummy or foot balm. Read more on using peppermint oil in a digestive massage here: Digestive Massage with Essential Oils
- Caution ~ Do not use if cardiac fibrillation. Maximum blend strength 3%. Avoid use with babies.
- Rose (Rose otto – Rosa damascena or Rose absolute – Rosa centifolia)~ Deeply nurturing, great for those self-loving moments. Very supportive for women and men. A gorgeous oil to use in beauty and skin care, particularly for mature and dry skin. Rose is one of my favourite oils so here are a few blogs to learn more on this exquisite oil:
- Thyme (Mild – Thyme linalool)~ Powerfully anti-microbial, and anti-fungal, great for coughs, especially deep chesty ones. A fantastic oil to include in a blend for athletes foot.
- Caution ~ Use this mild version of thyme. Avoid use on hyper sensitive or damaged skin. Do not use with children under 2 years. Maximum blend strength 2%.
- Yarrow ~ this unusual bright ink blue oil is highly anti-inflammatory and is great for any conditions where inflammation is present e.g. gout, arthritis, allergies, pain, breaks, strains. See my blog on Yarrow Essential Oil for more information.
- Caution ~ yarrow can contain a varying amount of camphor in it, which means it is advisable to avoid with epilepsy, in pregnancy, and could cause sensitisation in ragweed allergy sufferers.
Note: Always ensure you buy good quality essential oils from a trustworthy source. Check out my own range of carefully sourced essential oils from organic farmers and artisan distillers: Essential Oils by Laura Hoy