10 Best Uses for Essential Oil
Essential oils are very well known for their natural healing and calming properties. The oils are usually highly concentrated extracts of plants, such as flowers, peels, roots, or leaves.
We have put together the 10 best uses for essential oils and detailed which oils achieve the greatest effect.
1. Improve Sleep
If you are looking to improve your sleep, lavender oil has been proven to help relieve sleep difficulties (5). You can place a few drops onto your pillow, into a diffuser, mix into your moisture routine before bed, or simply rub onto your wrists and temples.
2. Relieve Anxiety
A study published in Physiology & Behavior found the effects of orange essential oils helped reduce anxiety in dental patients (8). To create the perfect anxiety relief mixture, combine lavender and orange essential oils.
3. Balance Hormones
In a 2014 study, researchers found clary sage oil effectively improved thyroid hormone levels (6). As well, they found clary sage oil had a significant anti-depressant effect. Thereby, it improved the mood of participants in the study. For the utmost effect, inhale clary sage oil to help balance hormones.
4. Boost Immunity
Oregano oil can help to boost the immune system (11). Oregano has antimicrobial properties which means it can help prohibit the growth of certain kinds of bacteria.
As well, a study conducted in 2010 found chamomile can stimulate the immune system and may also provide minor protection from cancer (10).
5. Increase Hair Production
To help promote hair production, cypress essential oils have been found to be an effective solution (4). Shampoos containing cypress oils have also been reported to help individuals suffering from baldness or hair loss (4).
6. Reducing Pain
A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that inhaling lavender and/or rosemary helped reduce pain sensitivity (3). If you are looking for natural relief from pain, place a few drops of lavender and rosemary essential oils into a diffuser, inhale from the bottle, or rub onto your wrists and temples.
7. Improve Brain Function
Citrus essential oils such as lemon and orange help to improve brain function (2). By aiding in the release of dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin, citrus oils may help individuals feel more alert, able to concentrate, and have an increased ability to learn.
For patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, they may find relief from inhaling citrus oils. As well, students may find studying while smelling citrus improves their ability to uptake and retain information.
8. Improve Energy Levels
To improve energy levels, add peppermint oil to your diffuser. An experiment investigating the effectiveness of peppermint during a workout showed a statistical improvement in performance (9).
Peppermint oil acts as a stimulant which can help increase blood flow (oxygen) to the brain and thereby reduce exhaustion.
9. Help Breathing Issues
To help aid respiratory issues, clove essential oil can be a good solution (6). For the greatest effect make a clove tea and breathe in the mixture. As well, clove can be good a good air freshener due to its ability to remove strong smells. Simply place the mixture into a spray bottle and use where needed or place a few drops into a diffuser.
10. Aiding Oral Health
Essential oils can help improve oral health due to their anti-bacterial proprieties. Bacteria produce an acidic bi product which erodes tooth enamel over time. By rinsing the mouth with essential oils, this helps to remove bacteria and keep the area clean.
A study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found an essential oil mouthrinse effectively reduced plaque by 50 percent over 6 months (1).
The best essential oils for oral health care are peppermint, clove and orange.
- Araujo, M., Charles, C., Weinstein, R., McGuire, J., Parikh-Das, A., Du, Q., Zhang, J., Berlin, J. and Gunsolley, J. (2015). Meta-analysis of the effect of an essential oil–containing mouthrinse on gingivitis and plaque. [online] Science Direct. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002817715003360 [Accessed 14 May 2019].
- Fukumoto, S., Sawasaki, E., Okuyama, S., Miyake, Y., & Yokogoshi, H. (2019). Flavor components of monoterpenes in citrus essential oils enhance the release of monoamines from rat brain slices. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10284150600573660
- Gedney, J., Glover, T. and Fillingim, R. (2004). Sensory and Affective Pain Discrimination After Inhalation of Essential Oils. [online] Psychosomatic Medicine. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Abstract/2004/07000/Sensory_and_Affective_Pain_Discrimination_After.21.aspx [Accessed 14 May 2019].
- Geun-Shik, L., Eui-Ju, H. and Ki-Seob, G. (2010). The essential oils of Chamaecyparis obtusa promote hair growth through the induction of vascular endothelial growth factor gen. [online] Science Direct. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367326X09001452 [Accessed 14 May 2019].
- Jami Cooley, C. (2019). Lavender for Sleep: How to Get Quality Shut-Eye, Naturally. [online] University Health News. Available at: https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/sleep/lavender-for-sleep/ [Accessed 13 May 2019].
- Kumar, K., Yadav, A., Paswan, S. and Srivastava, S. (2012). Recent Trends in Indian Traditional Herbs Syzygium Aromaticum and its Health Benefits. [online] Research Gate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241678166_Recent_Trends_in_Indian_Traditional_Herbs_Syzygium_Aromaticum_and_its_Health_Benefits [Accessed 14 May 2019].
- Lee, K., Cho, E. and Kang, Y. (2014). Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24802524 [Accessed 13 May 2019].
- Lehrner, J., Marwinski, G., Lehr, S., Johren, P. and Deecke, L. (2005). Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood in a dental office. [online] Science Direct. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938405002660 [Accessed 13 May 2019].
- Meamarbashi, A. and Rajabi, A. (2013). The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. [online] Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Available at: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-15 [Accessed 14 May 2019].
- Srivastava, J., Shankar, E. and Gupta, S. (2019). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future (Review). [online] Spandidos Publications. Available at: https://www.spandidos-publications.com/mmr/3/6/895 [Accessed 14 May 2019].
- Swamy, M., Akhtar, M. and Sinniah, U. (2016). Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review. [online] US National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5206475/ [Accessed 13 May 2019].