Best Essential Oils
Essential oils have been favored for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egypt, when aromatic plant oils were used for rituals, healing, and intimacy.1 Since then, our understanding of essential oils has vastly evolved, with scientific research boasting various benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and wound healing properties.
Essential oils provide a natural and affordable way to treat headaches, relieve sunburns, repel insects, and even minimize dandruff. With hundreds of essential oils, users often wonder which are the best essential oils to have in your home. Based on versatility, number of supporting scientific studies, benefits, and aroma, the top 5 essential oils are peppermint essential oil, lemon essential oil, lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil.
Peppermint Essential Oil
With its sweet, minty aroma, peppermint essential oil makes the list of top 5 essential oils because of its use as a cooling agent, digestion aid, headache reliever, energy booster, and natural skincare product.
The natural cooling properties of peppermint essential oil make it the best essential oil to use as a body wash for hot days. If you’re feeling overheated, try using a homemade peppermint essential oil body wash before bed. This body wash has the added benefit of relieving symptoms of congestion, especially when mixed with the soothing steam of a hot shower.
To make your own peppermint essential oil body wash, combine ½ cup castile liquid soap, 4 Tbsp. jojoba oil, 3 Tbsp. sweet almond oil, 10 drops peppermint essential oil, and mix well. Pour into an 8oz glass soap dispenser, and use as needed.
Another great use for peppermint essential oil is in your steam diffuser as a natural energy booster. A 2004 study revealed that inhaling the minty aroma for only 11 minutes significantly reduced fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
To benefit from the energy boosting effects of peppermint essential oil, add 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to water in a diffuser, and fill the room with the invigorating aroma of peppermint.
Lemon Essential Oil
Extracted from the peel of lemons, lemon essential oil offers a zesty, bright fragrance which has been proven to help fight nausea, relieve stress, brighten skin, whiten teeth, and even repel mosquitoes.
With natural antimicrobial properties, it also works well as an environmentally safe cleaning product. In fact, a 1986 study found that lemon essential oil was effective in halting the production of 7 different strains of bacteria, including E. coli, making it a great natural choice for kitchen counter wipes.
You can make your own lemon essential oil kitchen counter cleaner at home by mixing ¾ cup vinegar, ¼ cup water, 10 drops of lemon essential oil, and 1 Tsp. castile liquid soap into a mixing bowl. Stir well and pour into a clean spray bottle. Store in a cool dry place, and use as needed.
To use lemon essential oil as a natural mosquito repellent, fill a 4-oz. spray bottle with 2 oz. of water, 1 oz. of witch hazel, 1 Tsp. of sweet almond oil, 20 drops of lemon essential oil, 10 drops of tea tree essential oil, and 20 drops of citronella essential oil. Shake until blended, and spray onto exposed skin every 2 hours as needed.
Lavender Essential Oil
One of the best smelling essential oils, and certainly one of the most well known, lavender essential oil offers notes of floral sweetness. It’s used in aromatherapy to relieve headaches, anxiety, and insomnia, and a recent study found it to be helpful in regenerating hair growth in patients diagnosed with alopecia areata.
Using lavender essential oil aromatherapy has also been proven to help control and relieve pain, due to its natural analgesic (pain relieving) properties.
So whether you’re looking to relax after a long day at the office, relieve feelings of anxiety, or alleviate the symptoms of a headache, the calming aroma of lavender essential oil can provide relief.
To use lavender essential oil for insomnia, anxiety or stress, add 3-4 drops of lavender essential to a diffuser filled with water. For a headache, mix 2 drops of lavender essential oil mixed with 4 drops jojoba oil together. Apply a small amount onto both of your temples for natural headache relief.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
With a sharp, medicinal scent, tea tree essential oil is often recognized as the best essential oil for hair and skin treatments. As a proven dandruff opponent, you can add tea tree essential oil to your favorite shampoo, or make your own at home to prevent a dry, flaky scalp.
Thanks to its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities, tea tree essential oil has also shown promise as a natural acne remedy. These same qualities have also been clinically shown to help treat athlete’s foot and nail fungus infections.
To use the dandruff fighting power of tea tree essential oil at home, simply add 2-4 drops into 1 Tbsp. of your regular shampoo. Mix together and massage the blend into the scalp. Rinse and repeat if necessary.
A tea tree essential oil shampoo can also help get rid of lice, according to a 2012 study. Researchers found that even at the low concentration of 1%, a 30-minute application of tea tree essential oil had a 100% mortality rate against head lice.7
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
The sweet, minty aroma of eucalyptus essential oil is often considered one of the best essential oil scents. Used in traditional aboriginal remedies as a healing agent, eucalyptus essential oil has long been celebrated for its antibacterial properties.
Eucalyptus essential oil has several beneficial uses, such as allergy prevention, pain relieving properties, and a home remedy for respiratory health. A 2011 study found that the use of 2-3% eucalyptus essential oil used in a laundry detergent, could reduce 95.1% of dust mites found on plush toys.
If you suffer from dust allergies, a great way to minimize contact with dust mites is by creating your own natural, anti-allergen spray. Add 4-6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture throughout your home to help reduce indoor allergens.
To further relieve the stress of respiratory problems due to allergies or cold symptoms, try using eucalyptus essential oil as a soothing vapor rub.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Press A. (2013) Essential oils for beginners: The guide to get started with essential oils and aromatherapy. Berkeley, California. Rockridge Press. Retrieved on May 20, 2017 from
- Di Campli, E., Di Bartolomeo, S., Pizzi, P. D., Di Giulio, M., Grande, R., Nostro, A. & Cellini L. (2010) Activity of tea tree oil and nerolidol alone or in combination against pediculus capitis (head lice) and its eggs. Parasitology Research, 111(5), 1985-1992. DOI: 10.1007/s00436-012-3045-0