These 9 Essential Oils May Help Improve Your Health

We see them more and more on store shelves: essential oils. Not only do they smell nice, but once we inhale them and get them into our lungs, they then go to our bloodstream. Others are absorbed when put on the skin.

Whenever I use a vanilla one on my wrists and neck, I attract people everywhere since I smell like cupcakes! The scent also elevates my mood because of its sweet aroma and how it reminds me of my grandma’s baking when I was a child.

Lucky Vitamin also suggests many other things to do with vanilla essential oil including:

  • Gently inhaling it (from the bottle or drops on your hands)
  • Applying it like a perfume
  • Applying it to a wet washcloth, then using it as a compress against your skin
  • Adding it to a bath (or your pillowcase or sheets!)
  • Using it in a diffuser

Aside from being used as aromatherapy, essential oils provide relief akin to certain medications. For instance, they may help get rid of your nausea or migraine, sleeplessness, aid in digestion, as well as bacteria and certain antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli.

Before buying them, though, make sure they’re 100 percent essential oil (meaning, straight from the plant), not synthetic “fragrance” oils or perfumes, which don’t have the same therapeutic effects.

So which essential oils should you be using? Here’s the lowdown.

1. Lavender

Its scent is renowned for being calming and easing stress and anxiety, it also can help soothe cuts and bruises, eliminate headaches, aid in digestion and promote better sleep. It also has antibacterial, germ-fighting agents, and helps your complexion.

lavender photo
Photo by Aneo

2. Peppermint

Aside from being a natural gum (chew on a mint leaf and you’ll see), peppermint helps calm an upset stomach, gets rid of nausea and headaches, alleviates congestion from a cold (when you inhale it in steam), assists with concentration, and works well when you rub it into sore muscles.

Plus, you can drink it (by adding a few drops to some water), unlike many of the essential oils out there.


3. Lemon Balm

Like peppermint oil, lemon oil can make you more alert; feel less depressed and anxious, and can help with acne, ulcers, insomnia, and infections. Try dabbing some on your wrists and neck for all-day aromatherapy, too. Little-known fact: It can deter fleas from your favorite four-legged loved ones, so you’re not the only one who will benefit from the citrusy oil.


4. Tea Tree

From Australia, tea tree essential oil is great at helping skin issues, from blemishes to cold sores to athlete’s foot. You’ll probably find that it’s already in many of your facial products, and you can buy a pocket-sized bottle at Trader Joe’s to have on hand for last-minute emergencies.

tea tree photo
Photo by John Tann

5. Chamomile

Like the tea, the oil will relax you. You can also add a few drops to your pillowcase or sheets to help lull you to sleep.

chamomile photo
Photo by Maria Keays

6. Marigold & Geranium

These are great psoriasis-fighting oils (just add a drop or two to your bath water), as well as excellent for acne, oily skin conditions, and inflammation. The oil can also reduce acne scarring.


7. Oregano

People swear by oregano essential oil to fight the flu and related sicknesses. All you have to do is put a few drops on your tongue and there you have it. (Note: It’s not for everybody. Sometimes, you’ll end up tasting oregano all day (and night) long, so try it for yourself and see.)


8. Pine

It doesn’t have to be Christmas season for you to use pine oil. It helps a lot with skin conditions (from breakouts to eczema to psoriasis), and joint pain, it ups your metabolism, and makes you breathe better when you suffer from respiratory ailments. It also has many antiseptic agents and loves to destroy bacteria.


9. Rose

Women, this is for you. If you want better hormonal balance, help alleviating PMS and menopause symptoms, and want glowing skin, look no further. Plus, it could help regulate digestion.


Health, Life

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About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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