101 Essential Oil Uses & Benefits
Categories: Health & Nutrition
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. An oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. The term essential used here does not mean indispensable as with the terms essential amino acid or essential fatty acid which are so called since they are nutritionally required by a given living organism.
Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Other processes include expression, solvent extraction, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, and cold pressing. They are used in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps and other products, for flavoring food and drink, and for adding scents to incense and household cleaning products.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Essential oil uses range from aromatherapy, household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicine treatments.
The particles in essential oils come from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. In ancient times, Jews and Egyptians made essential oils by soaking the plants in oil and then filtering the oil through a linen bag.
Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing oils are rapidly growing in popularity because they act as natural medicine without any side effects. Ready to harness the power of the world’s most proven therapeutic compounds? Then let’s talk about 101 ways to use these amazing essential oils.
Essential Oil Uses for Cleaning and Home
- All-purpose cleaner: Add three drops each of lemon oil and tea tree oil to a few ounces of warm water, then spray countertops to naturally disinfect.
- Natural mosquito repellent: Combine one drop each of lemongrass oil, citronella oil and eucalyptus oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil to make natural bug spray and rub on exposed skin. Reapply as needed.
- Sports gear: If your kids play sports, add two drops each of tea tree oil and lemon essential oil to one quart of warm water; next add four tablespoons of baking soda and mix. Use to clean ripe (!) jerseys, cleats and sports gear.
- Clean air: Diffuse cinnamon essential oil in the air and enjoy its anti-microbial properties.
- Homemade peppermint patties: Use peppermint oil, coconut oil, dark chocolate and raw honey to make real peppermint treats.
- Washing machine: Add 10-20 drops of your favorite scent per load.
- Vacuum cleaner: Add 5-10 drops of your favorite oil in your vacuum bag or dust container.
- Homemade sunscreen: Mix coconut oil, zinc oxide, shea butter, helichrysum oil and lavender essential oil, then store in a squeeze bottle to make homemade toxic-free sunscreen.
- Eliminate shower curtain scum: Using a 16-ounce spray bottle, use four drops of eucalyptus essential oil and four drops of tea tree oil (melaleuca) with warm water; spray onto your shower for natural mold killing action.
- Clean burnt pans: Use a few drops of lemon oil and some boiling water to help remove burnt food from pots and pans.
- Wonderful smelling home: Diffuse clove, rosemary and orange essential oils when guests come over, and they will talk about how amazing your house smells.
- Carpet cleaner: Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil with Borax for homemade carpet powder.
- Kill pests: Spray orange essential oil and clove oil to kill pests on contact.
- Lavender cake: Mix coconut flour, raw honey, organic eggs and lavender essential oil and bake at 350 degrees.
- Eliminate mold: Add tea tree oil to your diffuser to kill mold and other pathogens in the air.
- Christmas scent: Add a drop of pine, sandalwood or cedarwood oil on a fire log about 30 minutes before burning.
- Reduce anxiety: Diffuse lavender essential oil around your home to reduce feelings of stress and tension.
- Spiritual enlightenment: Diffuse frankincense essential oil while praying, meditating or reading to increase spiritual awareness.
- Bathtub scrub: Mix one-half cup of baking soda, one-half cup of vinegar and five drops of bergamot or lime oil; use as a scrub for a sink or bathtub.
- Freshen trash can: Put a cotton ball with two drops each of lemon oil and tea tree oil at the bottom of the trashcan to help decrease the odor and detoxify.
- Wash produce: To clean fruit and vegetables, add two drops of lemon oil to a large bowl of water then wash.
- Clean kitchen smell: Add a few drops of clove, cinnamon or citrus essential oil to a simmering pan of water to get rid of cooking odors.
- Bathroom freshener: Put a cotton ball soaked in lime or lemon oil behind the toilet for a bathroom refresher.
- Purify fridge: To freshen up the fridge or freezer when cleaning, add a few drops of lime, grapefruit or bergamot oil to the rinsing water.
- Mint tea: Use 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil in your favorite tea for a hint of mint.
- Eliminate smoke: To remove cigarette smoke, put four drops of rosemary, tea tree and eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle and spray around the house.
- Detoxify the air: Add peppermint and eucalyptus oil to a gallon of paint to dispel fumes.
- Get rid of shoe smell: To remove the smell from shoes, add a few drops of tea tree oil and lemon oil to freshen them up.
- Bridal shower gift: For a cute bridal shower gift, create a “love potion” with essential oils. Use 20 drops of sandalwood, and four drops of cocoa, vanilla and rose oil to unscented lotion.
- Baby shower gift: Give a wall diffuser with a lavender scent to calm the mom and baby.
- Flavored lemon water: Use 2-3 drops of lemon oil in water for a delicious citrus flavor.
- Cleaner dishes: Add a few drops of lemon oil to the dishwasher before washing for a spot-free rinse.
- Physician kit: Makeover your medicine cabinet and create a family physician kit with essential oils of lavender, lemon, peppermint, tea tree, oregano and frankincense.