They smell good, they keep bugs away and they’re powerful disinfectants. Essential oils are hot right now, and for good reason.
These little bottles of oils really pack a punch, both in how fragrant they are, and in the potency of their affects.
While there are hundreds of essential oils, some of them can get mighty pricey, and not all of them have great uses outside of aroma therapy.
There are three, however, that I feel are the best essential oils to always keep on hand:
Many people will praise lavender as the best essential oil to keep on hand, but I’d say that honor should go to peppermint oil, thanks to its versatile range of uses.
Apart from the fact that it makes everything smell minty fresh, it’s also my go-to solution for headache relief while I’m waiting for my ibuprofen to kick in.
Three drops of peppermint oil in a tablespoon of any oil of your choice can be applied along the back of your head, the temples, and behind the ears for some quick relief from headaches. While this method doesn’t stop the pain completely, it helps you get by until your meds can kick in. The peppermint smell is soothing, too.
Better yet, bugs hate the smell.
If you’ve got an ant problem, dip a cotton swab in some peppermint oil and wipe along their entry point. The smell of the oil will keep them away.
Finally, use peppermint oil whenever you’re feeling nauseated.
Whether you’ve been overeating at Thanksgiving, came down with a stomach bug, or you’ve had a little too much to drink the night before, just sniffing the open bottle of peppermint oil provides instant relief from nausea.
Eucalyptus is by far the best essential oil to have on hand for when you’re sick or suffering from allergies.
I like to mix a couple drops in a few tablespoons of oil and apply it right below my nose when I’ve got a cold to free up my nasal passages.
Adding a drop to a boiling pot of water or to the bottom of your shower will give your sinuses some relief, as well.
Got a nasty cough? You can even apply a few drops to some Vaseline to act as a substitute for VapoRub, if you don’t happen to have any at home.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil has a really strong smell that takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.
Whenever I have a breakout, I mix a drop of tea tree into my face lotion to help clear up any annoying acne. Works like a charm.
Tea tree is the best essential oil to use if you need a disinfectant. It’s great for sanitizing nail files, nail clippers, tweezers, and other personal cosmetic items.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of tea tree oil is to add a few drops for your shampoo for relief from dandruff. Tea tree does a great job killing the fungus that causes that itchy flakiness on your skull. Be sure to use with caution, as it might irritate your skin further if you overdo it.
If you’ve got a nail infection from too many manicures or pedicures, tea tree can help with that, too. Just apply a little to infected nails, and you’ll see it clearing up in no time. However, always speak with a trained physician before using tea tree oil to treat any conditions.
While essential oils are great, it’s important to understand just how potent they are. Essential oils shouldn’t be applied directly to skin without being diluted first, and should never be ingested. Furthermore, they must be stored in dark glass containers, as they have the ability to eat away at plastic over time.
That being said, they’re great for aroma therapy and other various household uses, and when used with care, they can be a real life saver for your next cold, breakout or headache.