All of us have been held in awe by the endearing scent of jasmines, multiple times in our lives. The pleasantly pungent, otherworldly aroma of jasmine that captures our olfactory senses is the essence of the beautiful flower. An essential oil is a natural oil that contains this essence of a plant. It holds the naturally occurring aromatic compounds of a plant and is obtained through a process of distillation. These fragrances are usually found in the stems, barks, leaves, flowers and roots of a plant. In addition to its fragrance, essential oils have been used historically for therapeutic and medicinal reasons. While peppermint oil helps to cure nausea and exhaustion, lavender oil will aid in keeping stress and depression at bay.
Aromatherapy is famously known to relieve stress and anxiety. In today’s life of everyday mundane and monotonous schedule, long working hours, limited social interaction and reduced leisure time, more and more individuals are falling prey to deadly mental disorders. The faint, pleasant smell of lavender is all a person needs sometimes, to lighten their mood and relax their nerves.
There are a multitude of essential oils in the market, with innumerable benefits and uses. This article will be a comprehensive essential oils guide outlining 11 major essential oil uses, also giving you insights about the best essential oils in the market.
#1 Deal with pests
Mosquitoes,bugs and garden pests can often get on your nerves. Riddling your beautiful plants with holes or not letting you have a good night’s sleep- pests are definitely not man’s best friends! The everyday insect repellents and pesticides are however often hazardous and sometimes deathly. While it may aid us in bidding adieu to bugs, it comes with a range of health problems to its user. This is why essential oils have an upperhand over everyday pesticides.
It is common knowledge that insects and bugs are extremely sensitive to scents, and it is this factor that we play on, while making the essential oil concoction that will keep the pests out of the way. Essential oil benefits such as an endearing aroma are the added advantages of using an essential oil insect repellent.
Lemongrass, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender are all known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. In addition to this, bugs hate the smell of these essential oils and will therefore keep away.
Mix a few drops of these oils with about half a cup of warm water and spray it on your window panes, doors, bed stands and gardens. Another method is to dab a cotton ball with any of these essential oils, and to place it around the house or to spread it on furniture to keep pests away.
#2 Say goodbye to stinky shoes
If you are one of those regular shoe users, you would know the pain of keeping away odour and foul smell of your feet. In spite of being properly shielded from dirt and dust, shoes and socks leave you with a dire need to wash your feet thoroughly with scented soap once you take them off. If you are one of those lazy souls, who would rather fall into the bed after a hard day at work, than rush into the washroom to get your feet cleaned up, then essential oils should be your solution! This is also extremely advantageous to sports persons, who spent a considerable amount of time in shoes and socks and would also sweat profusely creating the best environment for odour to develop.
Dabbing your toes with tea tree oil before you put on socks, will ensure that your feet remains clean and dry and shall also aid in fighting fungi and bacteria. While this practice will help to check sweating, it is also advisable to place cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil or lemongrass oil inside your shoes, to ensure a pleasant fragrance inside your shoes.
#3 Acne fighting face wash
A range of essential oil uses, are related to taking care of your beauty woes such as rough hair, ageing skin, etc. But this one, is especially for all of you teenage souls out there, fretting over pimples and acne that have started scarring your unblemished faces! Fret not, this essential oil benefit will give you the picture perfect skin (or atleast close!) again!
This homemade face wash is also composed of tea tree oil. If you are scared to rub oil on your already oily faces, then let me remind you, essential oils like everyday oils do not make your skin oily or sticky. Make a concoction with tea tree oil and honey mixed in equal proportions, rub it on your face thoroughly and wash off with freshwater. Do this regularly and voila, your pimples will start bidding adieu.
#4 Keep your trash cans fresh
Haven’t we all screwed up our noses in absolute disgust when we opened our trash cans to clean them up? Unbearable would be an understatement. If you think it is hard to wade away such a strong smell, with essential oil fragrances, then no. Aromatic benefits take the top spot in the list of essential oil uses, and they are not going to let us down, no matter how strong the foul smell is!
Properly wash out your trash cans and dry them under the sun. Soak a cotton ball in pleasant smelling oils such as lavender oil or peppermint essential oil and place it at the bottom. Alternatively, you can rub or spray the insides of the can with a mixture of essential oil and water. This will help greatly in keeping the bad smells at bay. Using tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil on the other hand, will fight bacterial growth and thus detoxify biodegradable waste, keeping them unrotten for a longer period.
#5 Say hello to a good night’s sleep
There are plenty of people today,who are haunted by insomnia. Work pressures, family issues, financial difficulties- there are umpteen number of problems that can make our hearts and nerves restless. Overthinking about them, might often disrupt your sleeping cycle and may even giving you unpleasant dreams, only making the problem more difficult to deal with. Loss of sleep is directly proportional to a spike in our stress levels. There are many ways to bring down and soothe our raging nerves- from music to spending time with a loved one and essential oils are one of them.
The fragrance which emanate from these oils are known to have therapeutic effects since a very long time and will help to take your mind off all worries and put you to sleep. Lavender oil and jasmine oil will put to rest all feelings of restlessness. Sprinkle some of it on your pillows and bed sheets before you go to sleep. Over a course of few days, sleep would be much more easier and also calmer.
#6 Let go of motion sickness
How many of you have backed out of trips for fear of throwing up during the bumpy bus journey? How many of you have packed your bags with tablets, fresh lemons and plastic covers? If you have it’s essential oil to the rescue again! The underlying principle is the same as keeping a lemon to your nose, to wade away feelings of nausea. It’s only more convenient than carrying around lemons. There is no fear of decay either!
The pleasantly pungent smell of peppermint essential oil, lavender oil and ginger oil will help to alleviate feelings of nausea. You can keep a cotton ball dabbed in one of these oils to your nose when the sensation is strong and as nausea slowly alleviates, you can spread a generous amount of essential oil on your chest and around your nose to keep discomfort away.
#7 Relieve menstrual cramps
It’s a common practice among women and adolescent girls to take one or two painkillers every month, so that they can go about their life as usual. But it’s common knowledge that these painkillers are damaging to our livers. One of the most commendable of essential oil uses is its ability to alleviate menstrual cramps and discomfort.
Mix a few drops of sage, basil and rosemary oil and apply it to a warm and moist towel. Place the towel on your abdomen and work for this concoction to work its magic.
#8 Scrub burnt cooking utensils
Everyone who has been in the kitchen has experienced the pain of cleaning out burnt pans after trying to cook up a delicious meal. If you are thinking of what to gift your mother, who loves to cook, then essential oil it is! It is every householder’s guide to a perfect kitchen. Essential oil uses in a kitchen are multitude.
Pour a few drops of lemon oil into boiling water. Once it has cooled down a little, pour into the pan and scrub it clean. It’ll leave your not only clean, but also with the pleasant fragrance of lemon.
#9 Say goodbye to chipped nails
Broken, chipped nails are one of the biggest woes of women today. Who doesn’t love to flash around long, elegant nails? Changing to a more balanced diet can help strengthen your nails, but a more quicker result yielding choice would be to apply essential oils on your nails.
For this you need 10 drops of frankincense, myrrh and lemon oil which is to be mixed with 2 tablespoons of vitamin E oil. Spread this mixture on your cuticles and let it rest. In no time, you’ll have glimmering, elegant, long nails.
#10 Alleviate respiratory problems
One of the most common instances when essential oils are put to use, is when you catch a cold or cough. Do not let your respiratory problems to develop into a more serious viral fever. Treat it immediately using natural remedies that are available at hand.
We have all tried inhaling steam to relieve a blocked nose-add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the boiling water and watch nature work its magic. Alternatively you can keep cotton balls dabbed with eucalyptus oil near the vent of the inhaler.
#11 No more lice bites
One of the side effects of thick luscious hair is the fact that it makes for a warm abode for lices. Chemical shampoos to kill the lices will do just as much bad as good, by damaging your hair.
Try a different remedy the next time you are plagued by a lice attack. Mix 3 drops of thyme, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil with a generous amount of unscented oil. Massage thoroughly on to your scalp and hair and leave it on for some time. Wash off with shampoo. Repeating this for a few days, will reduce lice infestation significantly.
Which is the best?
Now that we have covered up 11 effective essential oil uses, you might be wondering which variant to buy. I would recommend tea tree oil. It’s self evident from the number of times listed out its uses that tea tree oil is an all rounder. From a pleasant fragrance to strong anti-microbial properties, tea tree oil is the go to oil for all your woes.