Essential Oil

The many uses and benefits of essential oils range from skin care, muscle relaxant, aromatherapy, first aid and stress relief.

Let’s take a moment to acquaint ourselves with the basic knowledge and uses of essential oils.

Essential Oils: The Basics

Essential oils are not really oils. They do not contain the fatty acids that constitute what we would consider an actual oil.

Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties: This makes them an excellent addition to your homemade cleaning preparations. Oils that are best for cleaning are: Lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary.

Essential oils are minuscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to heal, soften, and nourish. However, they do not accumulate in the body over time – they simply offer up their healing properties and then pass on through.

Scientific studies have shown that rosemary essential oil helps your brain perform. Specifically, smelling rosemary essential oil helps memory recall and performance on tests. Interestingly, this study also showed that groups that inhaled either rosemary or lavender essential oil felt much more relaxed than those who inhaled no odor at all.

Essential Oils UsesFragrance oils and essential oils are NOT the same thing. As a rule of thumb, if you see the word “fragrance” or “fragrance oil” or even “perfume” on anything, you can assume this is synthetic and NOT natural. (Even if it says natural fragrance.)

Essential oils are wholly natural and cannot be patented; which means that you’ll never see an essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug. Because essential oils cannot be patented, drug companies will not waste money studying them. This limits our scientific knowledge of essential oils greatly, and the majority of what we know about them are things that have been passed down through thousands of years of personal use and experimentation.

Most essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin. Instead, they should be combined with “real” oils (called carrier oils), waxes, butters, alcohols, or other diluting measures. If you don’t dilute, you may end up with an unfortunate reaction (and unhappy skin).

There are a few essential oils that are generally recognized as safe to use undiluted. The only essential oils that are widely acknowledged as safe to use undiluted (sparingly) are: lavender, German chamomile, tea tree, sandalwood, and rose geranium.

Never use an undiluted essential oil on a baby or child. Children have much thinner, more delicate skin than adults have, and tend to be very sensitive to the potency of essential oils. In fact, even if you do use essential oil in a recipe for children, only use half of the essential oil recommended in the recipe.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)*

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)**

Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile)

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lemon (Citrus limon)*

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)*

Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Melaleuca-Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Orange (Citrus aurantium)*

Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)**

Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Thyme (Thumus vulgaris CT linalol)

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

*These oils are photosensative; always dilute. To prevent a rash or pigmentation of the skin, do not use citrus oils when exposed to direct sunlight.

**These oils should never be used undiluted on babies and children.

Essential Oil Uses

Almond – bitter -Toxic

Aniseed – Anethole rich

Angelica – Emmenagogue

Basil – Possible irritant

Birch – Possible irritant

Black pepper – Skin sensitization

Boldo leaf – Toxic

Buchu – Liver hazardous

Calamus – Toxic

Camphor – Toxic

Cassia – Skin sensitization

Cedarwood – Emmenagogue

Chamomile – Emmenagogue

Cinnamon – Skin sensitization and emmenagogue

Clary sage – Emmenagogue

Clove – Skin sensitization

Elecampane – Skin sensitization

Fennel – Anethole rich

Fir – Possible irritant

Ginger – Emmenagogue

Horseradish – Toxic

Hyssop – Could cause toxicity

Jaborandi leaf – Toxic

Jasmine – Emmenagogue

Juniper – Emmenagogue

Lemon -Possible irritant

Lemongrass – Possible irritant

Marjoram – Emmenagogue

Melissa – Possible irritant

Mugwort – Toxic

Mustard – Toxic

Myrrh – Emmenagogue

Nightshade – Toxic

Nutmeg – Skin sensitization

Oregano – Skin sensitization

Parsley seed – Apiol rich

Pennyroyal – Toxic

Peppermint – Emmenagogue

Pine – Skin sensitization

Rose – Emmenagogue

Rosemary – Emmenagogue

Rue – Toxic

Sage – High thujone content

Sassafras – Toxic

Savin – Toxic

Savory – Could cause toxicity

Southernwood – Toxic

Stinging nettle – Toxic

Tansy – Toxic

Thuja – Toxic

Thyme both Red and Linalol) – Possible irritant

Wintergreen – Toxic

Wormseed – Toxic

Wormwood – Toxic.

 (and skip Essential Oils completely in your first trimester):

To test if you’re sensitive to an essential oil combine one drop of essential oil with 1/2 tsp carrier oil (like olive, jojoba, or sweet almond). Rub this on the inside, upper portion of your arm and wait a few hours. If no redness or itching develops, you’re most likely not sensitive to that essential oil.

Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children – and avoid contact with your eyes. This is just standard safety precautions, but must be mentioned.

Do not take essential oils internally, especially oils like wintergreen and eucalyptus. While some essential oils may be used well-diluted in something like toothpaste with safety, it’s generally recognized that there’s no need to take essential oils internally. In fact, there are several toxic essential oils that should be avoided even through skin contact. Luckily, these are NOT common essential oils, and most of them you’ll never find in the store.

To test your essential oil to see how “pure” it is, put a single drop of it on a piece of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes).

Essential oils will last for at least 5 years (if not 10), so one bottle could literally last you a decade. The only exception to this rule is citrus oils, which will see a reduction in potency after a year or two.

Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles out of direct sunlight. This is simply to help preserve their potency.

Remember that what you’re allergic to in food, you will be allergic to in essential oils. So if, for some reason, you can’t eat sage without breaking out in a rash, steer clear of sage essential oil (or any product containing it).

Use essential oils to help your mood. Lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, chamomile, lemon, ylang-ylang all help produce happy, joyous moods. Clary sage helps with PMS (although there have been reports that overuse of clary sage can lead to intoxication). Rosemary increases focus and concentration.


21 Things You Should Know About Essential Oils | Crunchy Betty


  1. I need some advice on what kind of oil that will calm my dogs so I can brush their teeth. they are chihuhuas and they run in weight from 2.5 to 15lbs any help please


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