Essential oils are by definition the liquid compounds from natural sources. Just as varied as plants are, is the variety of natural oil extracts you can get from the plant itself. There are hundreds of essential oils to choose from.

With such a wide variety, there is an abundance of choice, but you may find yourself not knowing where to start. maybe you want to use it to calm yourself and relieve stress or to exfoliate your skin, or just to fill your space with a pleasant scent.

The plants the oils are derived from have attributes that will benefit your mind and body in different ways. Some oils like the Amyris plant might act as an aphrodisiac, treat cough and congestion and stress all in one, while another, such as Rhododendron will help you with sore muscles, inflammation, anxiety and stress. When you blend two essential oils together, they may be more beneficial together than the sum of their parts.

Top 12 List

If you’re looking into essential oils for yourself or someone else, here’s a list of the top 12 most popular oils and what they can do for you!

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is an herb native to the Mediterranean. It is commonly used to fragrance soap and other cosmetic products. In antiquity, this plant was commonly called nard, named after a certain city in ancient Syria. In the Roman period, its flowers per pound would be worth a month’s wages for the average farm laborer, about 100 denarii.

It can also be used as food. It has been the case historically as well as today. It has also been used in teas both medicinally and for taste. In essential oil form, lavender can ease symptoms of anxiety. Lavender oil is known to give a calming effect without the problematic drawbacks of dependence or withdrawal. Lavender oil also promotes wound healing because it enhances the activity of proteins involved in rebuilding tissue.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil has a delightful scent that also carries health benefits and can improve gastrointestinal conditions. It has some benefit for those in athletics or strenuous physical activity because with topical use it treats muscle aches, headaches and joint pain. The vapors of peppermint oil also have antibacterial properties that can alleviate some upper respiratory infections.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil is very good for skin, it supports the immune system. It can also act as an all-natural, organic household cleaner. Lemons are native to southeast Asia and China, and were not substantially cultivated in the West until around the 15th century. Some time later, its medicinal benefits were just beginning to be appreciated. The Scottish doctor James Lind discovered a link between treating scurvy and adding lemon juice to the diet of sailors at a time when the concept of vitamins was unknown. Its antioxidant properties are also good for skincare and cleaning the pores.

Frankincense Essential Oil

The vapors of frankincense are shown to reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure. It may have anti-anxiety and depression-reducing abilities, but in contrast from prescription medications it does not carry along with it negative side-effects. This is because the compound incensole and incensole acetate, have the ability to activate the proteins that allow ions to flow thru neurons and alleviate anxiety and depression.

In addition, frankincense has the benefit of boosting the immune system and helps destroy bacteria, viruses and even cancers. Many use frankincense to naturally relieve oral health problems because it has antiseptic qualities that prevent germs from forming.

Tea Tree Oil

This is one you may have heard of if you’ve ever needed a good bug repellent during the summer season. Its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for treating acne, cuts and wounds, and other skin conditions like hives. The benefits of tea tree oil have been well-known and used for generations in Australia. These uses are owing to its natural anti-microbial properties. Research suggests it is effective at damaging and breaking down the cell walls of bacteria.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary is widely used as a spice when cooking. Native to the Mediterranean region, the plant thrives in warm and sunny climates. It is also well-used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps. it has stimulating properties and has benefits that support healthy hair growth. For deterring harmful insects, either for yourself or garden, Rosemary oil can be used as an organic pesticide as a natural alternative to chemical products that can remove pests without harming the plants.

Rosemary has also been seen to have beneficial effects on memory and concentration and can provide stress relief.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus trees are originally native to Australia. However, it is now grown all over the world and the benefits of eucalyptus are well-known. Eucalyptus oil is very often used to relieve a cough. Menthol chest rubs contain some eucalyptus, about just over 1% in mixture. Derivatives of eucalyptus are often used to alleviate cough and congestion, this is how most are acquainted with its use, but the Australian Aborigines used the leaves to treat wounds and infection. This may be because one of its main compounds, alpha terpineol or a-terpineol, is known to have antioxidative properties. This is also the reason why many over the counter balms for cold sores may include eucalyptus as one of its active ingredients.

Geranium Oil

This essential oil comes from the leaves of Pelargonium graveolens, a plant species native to South Africa, yet grown in many parts of the world. It is widely used in perfumes and cosmetics and it is well known for having a floral, sweet and refreshing scent. Geranium oil is seen to have effective properties in balancing hormones and promoting relaxation as well as being helpful with promoting healthy skin. It is often used by being diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin or diffused in the air.

Ylang ylang Oil

This is a popular essential oil well-known for a sweet and floral scent. It is extracted from the star-shaped leaves of the Cananga tree, and is native to Southeast Asia. There are actually about several types of essential oil derived from this plant and they have a variety of uses. It is used as a top note in some perfumes, such as Chanel Number Five. Other less potent oils derived from the plant can be used in cologne, soap and food flavoring.

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil is made from the citrus fruit of the bergamot tree, and native to Italy. Bergamot oil has a variety of uses and benefits, both for physical and emotional health. It has an aroma that is both uplifting and calming, and has cleansing and purifying properties. Bergamot has been used for hundreds of years in the Middle East as a flavoring, perfume and a great addition to moisturizers and cosmetics.

Bergamot contains limonene, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, absorbing and removing free radicals before they can injure cells. Linalyl acetate is also a compound of bergamot that kills or slows the growth of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and viruses. Linalool is a form of alcohol that has a positive effect on the serotonin receptors in the brain. Linalool usually is effective in treating conditions such as anxiety and depression and can help to combat insomnia.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile was used as one of the most ancient known medicinal herbs. Chamomile is most commonly used as a tea. But its natural oil extract is just as beneficial, if not more. Chamomile can be a mild sedative to calm nerves and reduce anxiety by promoting relaxation. Chamazulene gives chamomile its anti-inflammatory properties. Bisabolol is a natural alcohol found in chamomile that can act as a muscle relaxer. The oil farnesene or trans-B-farnesene may also have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil is distilled from the wood of the Sandalwood tree. Native to India and Southeast Asia, it has been significantly valued and used for at least 2,000 years.

It is a versatile oil that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and aromatherapy. Sandalwood oil has a distinct woody, sweet, and earthy aroma, and has a variety of uses and benefits, both for physical and emotional health. Sandalwood oil has a calming effect on the mind and body, making it useful for promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety. It can help improve mood and promote a sense of well-being. Sandalwood oil has natural digestive properties, making it helpful for relieving digestive issues such as indigestion, gas, and bloating. It can be used topically or inhaled for this purpose. Sandalwood oil has been found to have cognitive enhancing properties, making it helpful for enhancing focus and concentration. It can be used in aromatherapy diffusers or added to a warm bath for this purpose.