Best essential oils for every situation 2019

Essential oils Image: Getty ImagesIf you're in the market for essential oils, you'll know there's a lot to choose from. We spoke to an accredited expert to find out which ones you should consider.

The popularity of essential oils has skyrocketed over the last few years. As we become more and more aware of organic food, sustainable products and going-green as a society, it seems more and more people are turning to natural remedies. Essential oils are also growing in popularity with tens of thousands of essential oil related searches running through Google AU every month.

While there still isn't a lot of scientific evidence out there regarding the many therapeutic claims made about essential oils, there's no doubt they are well loved and many of us have incorporated their use into our daily lives. So what can essential oils be used for? And what oils are the best?

Since we aren't experts on the subject, we decided to ask someone who has had a long association with essential oils and works in the industry. We met with Pat Princi-Jones who is the in-house aromatherapy specialist at Byron Bay company Oil Garden. Pat is also a member of the International Aromatherapy & Aromatic Medicine Association and she's been working in the industry for 30 years. It's also worth noting that Oil Garden is a TGA certified company.

If you are looking to turn to essential oils for any reason, whether it be for fragrance or in hope of some therapeutic alleviation, here are the essential oils that should be on your list.


Essential Oil favourites – here are the all-round heros

We asked Pat for her favourite all-rounder oils and these are the oils (and their claimed effects) that she recommended to us.

lavander Image: Getty Images

Lavender

Lavender pure essential oil is reputed for relaxation, inner peace and healing. It's also useful for headaches, stress, insomnia, insect bites, eczema and inflamed skin. Lavender oil smells lovely and is a great oil to put in a vaporiser or use as a perfume substitute.

Image source: Getty


peppermint Image: Getty Images

Peppermint

This oil claims to invigorate and stimulate the mind. It's also useful for: Stomach upsets, nausea, colds, flu, sinusitis and flatulence. Peppermint oil is effective through massage on the skin or through vaporisation. But it is not recommended to use on the skin during pregnancy.

Image source: Getty


Oil Image: Getty Images

Frankincense

Frankincense pure essential oil is comforting and inspirational. It also claims to be useful for congestion, coughs, nervous tension, mild anxiety and stress. This is another fragrant oil that also works as a perfume substitute.

Image source: Getty


orange Image: Getty Images

Orange

This oil claims to help with self-confidence, courage and creativity. It's also useful for colds, coughs, muscular cramps and spasms. This is a refreshing smelling oil that is great to use in a vaporiser to add energy to your home.

Image source: Getty


Teatree Image: Getty Images

Tea Tree

A protecting, strengthening and fortifying oil. It can be useful for cuts, abrasions, insect bites, stings, acne, sinusitis and mild upper respiratory tract infections. This is a go-to oil during cold and flu season.

Image source: Getty


Best essential oils for a specific problem according to Oil Garden

There are a few common problems and conditions that some people choose to resolve with essential oils. We've found the most commonly searched ailments and used the information provided by Oil Garden to recommend oils.

Best for assisting sleep

sleeping Image: Getty Images

  • Chamomile – can promote rest and promotes inner contentment. Useful to combat eczema, dermatitis, minor burns, sunburn, minor wounds, cuts, scratches and abrasions.
  • Lavender – promotes relaxation, inner peace and healing. Can help combat headaches, stress, insomnia, bites, eczema and inflamed skin.
  • Neroli – promotes reassurance and is restorative and settling. Useful to combat stress, mild anxiety, nervous tension and insomnia.
  • Rose – promotes calm and is refreshing to the senses. Claims to help combat acne, bruises, eczema and premenstrual symptoms.
  • Sandalwood – promotes meditation and stablisation. Claims to help to combat cystitis.
  • Vetiver – promotes abundance and self-esteem. Useful to help combat circulation issues and muscle aches.
  • Ylang ylang – promotes calm, sensuality, meditation and warmth. Claims to be useful to combat stress, mild anxiety, irritability, mood swings, nervous tension and insomnia.

Image source: Getty


Best for anxiety and stressanxiety Image: Getty Images

  • Bergamot – promotes joy, confidence and motivation. Claims to be useful to combat sore throats, stress, irritability and sleeplessness.
  • Frankincense – promotes comfort and inspiration. Claims to be useful to combat congestion, coughs, nervous tension, mild anxiety and stress.
  • Jasmine – promotes sensuality and euphora. Claims to be useful to combat stress, mild anxiety, nervous tension and menstrual cramps.
  • Lavender – promotes relaxation, inner peace and healing. Claims to be useful to combat headaches, stress, insomnia, bites, eczema and inflamed skin.
  • Ylang ylang – promotes calm, sensuality, meditation and warmth. Claims to be useful to combat stress, mild anxiety, irritability, mood swings, nervous tension and insomnia.

Image source: Getty


Best for colds and flu

  • Aniseed – promotes renewal and is refreshing. Claims to be useful to combat digestion problems, flatulence and coughs.Cold and flu Image: Getty Images
  • Citronella – promotes feeling uplifted and is refreshing. Claims to be useful to combat excessive perspiration.
  • Eucalyptus – promotes balance, energy and revitalisation. Claims to be useful to combat sinusitis, colds and flus.
  • Frankincense – promotes comfort and inspiration. Claims to be useful to combat congestion, coughs, nervous tension, mild anxiety and stress.
  • Grapefruit – promotes spontaneity and positivity. Claims to be useful to combat acne, headaches, nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.
  • Juniper – promotes purity, clarity and self-worth. Claims to be useful to combat rheumatism, fluid retention and acne.
  • Lavender – promotes relaxation, inner peace and healing. Claims to be useful to combat headaches, stress, insomnia, bites, eczema and inflamed skin.
  • Lemon – promotes enlivenment and is stimulating. Claims to be useful to combat acne, oily skin, warts, corns, colds and flu.
  • Lime – promotes refreshment and is uplifting. Claims to be useful to combat sore throats, nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.
  • Myrrh – promotes inspiration, warmth and fortification. Claims to be useful to combat fungal infections, colds and flu, and mucous congestion.
  • Orange – promotes self confidence, courage and creativity. Claims to be useful to combat colds, coughs, muscular cramps and spasms.
  • Peppermint – promotes invigoration and stimulates the mind. Claims to be useful to combat stomach upsets, nausea, colds, flu, sinusitis, flatulence.
  • Pine needle – promotes inspiration and self-esteem. Claims to be useful to combat catarrh, coughs, sore throat, rheumatoid arthritis and muscle pains.
  • Thyme – promotes stimulation, energy and offers encouragement. Claims to be useful to combat laryngitis, colds and flu, coughs, muscular cramps and spasms.

Image source: Getty


Best for more energyenergise Image: Getty Images

  • Lemon – promotes enlivenment and is stimulating. Claims to be useful to combat acne, oily skin, warts, corns, colds and flu.
  • Orange – promotes self confidence, courage and creativity. Claims to be useful to combat colds, coughs, muscular cramps and spasms.
  • Peppermint – promotes invigoration and stimulates the mind. Claims to be useful to combat stomach upsets, nausea, colds, flu, sinusitis and flatulence.
  • Citronella – promotes feeling uplifted and is refreshing. Claims to be useful to combat excessive perspiration.
  • Eucalyptus – promotes balance, energy and revitalisation. Claims to be useful to combat sinusitis, colds and flus.
  • Thyme – promotes stimulation, energy and offers encouragement. Claims to be useful to combat laryngitis, colds and flu, coughs, muscular cramps and spasms.

Image source: Getty


Best for skin

  • Cedarwood – promotes nervous sedation. Claims to be useful to combat sinusitis, nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.Skin Image: Getty Images
  • Geranium – promotes stablisation and balance, and soothes. Claims to be useful to combat eczema, acne, bruises and premenstrual symptoms.
  • Juniper – promotes purity, clarity and self-worth. Claims to be useful to combat rheumatism, fluid retention and acne.
  • Palmarosa – promotes stabilisation and settles. Claims to be useful to combat acne, dermatitis, nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.
  • Rose – promotes calm and is refreshing to the senses. Claims to be useful to combat acne, bruises, eczema and premenstrual symptoms.
  • Sandalwood – promotes meditation and stablisation.
  • Chamomile – promotes rest and inner contentment. Claims to be useful to combat eczema, dermatitis, minor burns, sunburn, minor wounds, cuts, scratches and abrasions.
  • Lavender – promotes relaxation, inner peace and healing. Claims to be useful to combat headaches, stress, insomnia, bites, eczema and inflamed skin.

Image source: Getty


Editor's favourites

I'm not an expert on this by any means, but I do use a lot of essential oils. I'm a big fan of fragrances but I'm allergic to traditional perfumes. Most department store and pharmacy-purchased perfumes give me blinding headaches. So, essential oils provide me a chemical-free way to make myself and my home smell nice without triggering my oddly-specific allergy.

I generally put my essential oils in a vaporiser I purchased from a pharmacy. It yields a similar effect as using an old-school oil burner, so you could use one of those. But you can sleep with a vaporiser on without worrying about your house burning down. If you're like me and you're just interested in something that smells nice, here are the oils I recommend.

ylang oil Image: Instagram

Ylang ylang

This is my favourite. It has a very pretty and inoffensive floral smell. I find it inviting and feminine and it's what I use when I'm unwinding from a long, hard day.

Image source: Instagram


oil Image: instagram

Eucalyptus

Whether or not this oil has any healing powers, I'm not sure. But, regardless it's a clean, calming smell that helps to unblock my nose when I have a cold. When I have the flu, I will put this in a vaporiser and put it on overnight. I find the smell helps me sleep better.

Image source: Instagram


jasmine Image: instagram

Jasmine

The smell of Jasmine reminds me of long, hot summers. It's a dreamy scent and total crowd pleaser. No one hates Jasmine. I pop this in the vaporiser when I have people coming over.

Image source: Instagram


rose oil Image: Getty Images

Rose

Rose perfumes were always my favourite before my allergy and rose essential oil is my way of still accessing rose fragrances. I have a rose oil roll-on that I keep in my handbag.

Image source: Getty


grapefruit Image: instagram

Grapefruit

This fruity-fresh smell is what I like using on a hot day. A lot of the heavier florals smell nicer in cold weather – to me at least. But this scent is perfect for summer.

Image source: Instagram


How to use essential oils

The therapeutic benefits of essential oils can be felt through inhalation, through the skin or oral ingestion. You should not however take any essential oils orally without talking to a doctor who is able to correctly advise and prescribe oral remedies.

Inhaling in a burner or vaporiser

If you want to try out the claimed therapeutic effects or even if you just like the smell, using an oil burner or a vaporiser is an easy way to get the inhalation benefits of essential oils. Add water and a few drops of any oil you like to your device and off you go.

An oil burner will traditionally require a smaller amount of water and oil. It will also require a candle, usually a tealight, to heat the emulsion and send it into the air. Oil burners are great to perfume your home with fragrant and romantic oils.

A vaporiser is an electrical device which can turn water into steam, usually cold steam so as not to introduce mould into your home. Vaporisers generally require a few hundred millilitres of water but it will depend on the device. Add the recommended amount of oil, each device will have a different suggestion but you can add more or less as you please.

On the skin

There are two key ways you can use essential oils on the skin. You can add them to a carrier oil and massage in or you can add them to hot water like a bath, compress or facial steam.

  • When choosing to use your oils on your skin through massage, pick a carrier oil like a low-scent coconut or sweet almond oil. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oils to a larger amount (15mL or 20mL) of your carrier oil and massage into your preferred area of skin, avoiding any mucous membranes.
  • When adding oils to water, you can add a few drops to your bath water. Make sure to agitate the water before entering the bath. You can also add essential oils to a bowl of hot water then dip a cloth or cotton pad in to use as a compress on your skin. Or you can add to a facial steamer (or bowl of hot water) and let the steam drift over your skin.

Ingestion

Ingestion of essential oils should only happen on the recommendation of a doctor who is qualified to prescribe medicines or oral remedies. If you would like to take essential oils orally, you must speak to a doctor first.

Using essential oils during pregnancy

If you are pregnant, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor or health-care professional before using any new product or any product that you are unsure about.


There are some essential oils that some people claim are not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Oil Garden suggests that the following oils should not be used by pregnant women:

  • Basil
  • Aniseed
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary sage
  • Cypress
  • Fennel
  • Jasmine
  • Juniper
  • Marjoram
  • Myrrh
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Thyme

Essential oils and their effectiveness – the story so far

When it comes to health claims some purveyors of essential oils will claim that their oils can cure just about all ills. So it's important to know that there has not been enough mainstream research into essential oils to determine if they have an effective therapeutic application at all. Some studies like one conducted by Dr. Mark Moss from Northumbria University have shown certain essential oils to have mild positive effects. This study, shows that some oils have negative estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities, while other studies like this one determined that more research needs to be done to draw an accurate conclusion.

Either way, if you enjoy using essential oils go for it, just know that when it comes to measuring the claimed health benefits, the jury is very much out.

Shop Oil Garden oils

Oil Garden Sleep Assist Medicinal Oil
Oil Garden Sleep Assist Medicinal Oil

Chemist Warehouse

Oil Garden Tranquil & Calm Blend
Oil Garden Tranquil & Calm Blend

Chemist Warehouse

Further reading

If you want to know more about essential oils and their efficacy, here are some recommended sources to check out.


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