How To Use Essential Oils Part I: Which Essential Oils To Use?

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Essential Oils - Which Essential Oils To Use?

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Essential Oils: How To Use Essential Oils


Susan L. and Danny T. Siegenthaler

We hear and read much about the benefits of Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils, however, rarely do we find out how and what essential oils can be used, or for which purpose. What are their properties? How can they be used and what forms/medium should they be used in?

Essential Oils: How To Use Essential Oils






What Do Different Essential Oils Do?

We hear and read much about the benefits of Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils, however, rarely do we find out how and what essential oils can be used, or for which purpose. What are their properties? How can they be used and what forms/medium should they be used in?

This series of articles is designed to help answer some of these questions surrounding essential oils and give helpful information, hints and tips on how to use essential oils safely and effectively around the home.

The first article in this series is devoted to the properties of essential oils. Unless we know what they are good for, how can we make use of them?

Words of Caution.

The essential oils below are generally safe if used correctly. Do be careful however when using Tea tree, Peppermint, or Eucalyptus oil. They can be irritating to the skin. Remember in general you should never use essential oils undiluted.

I have left out a considerable number of  essential oils such as Wintergreen, Black pepper and others, because some of them can cause serious burns and injury if used inappropriately or incorrectly.

The essential oils that are listed, however, still require your attention and caution. Make sure you always dilute them before applying them to the skin, avoid the eyes and do not take them internally.


Key Properties of Essential Oils

(You can click on many of the essential oils to find out more about them. Each of the oils is only linked once, so click on the essential oils when it first appears.)


Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile (roman), Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Peppermint, Rosemary.


Cypress, Lavender, Lime, Rosemary, Tea tree, Thyme.


Basil, Bergamot, Chamomile, Clary sage, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Melissa, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rose, Ylang ylang.


Lavender, Lemongrass, Lime, Tea tree.


Bergamot, Chamomile, Lavender.


Bergamot, Chamomile, Lemon, Tea tree. 


Basil, Bergamot, Clary sage, Chamomile, Cyprus, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Marjoram, Neroli, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rose, Tea tree, and many other essential oils.


Aniseed, Bergamot, Chamomile, Clary sage, Cyprus, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa, Neroli, Rose,


Bergamot, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Ginger, Juniper, Lemon, Jasmine, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli Tee tree, and many more


Clary sage, Jasmine, Juniper, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose,  Rosewood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang ylang


Cedarwood, Clary sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Juniper, Lemongrass, Lime, Peppermint, Rose, Sandalwood.


Aniseed, Basil, Bergamot, Clary sage, Chamomile, Fennel, Frankincense, Juniper, Lavender, Mandarin, Marjoram, Melissa, Peppermint, Sandalwood.

Concentration aid

Basil, Lemon, Rosemary.


Bergamot, Clary sage, Cyprus, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli.


Basil, Bergamot, Clary sage, Chamomile, Fennel, Frankincense, Ginger, Mandarin, Marjoram, Melissa, Orange, Peppermint.


Bergamot, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rosewood.


Basil, Fennel, Juniper, Lemon, Rosemary


Aniseed, Cedarwood, Cyprus, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Frankincense, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Thyme.

Energising / Tonic

Basil, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary,


Basil, Marjoram, Tea tree, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Frankincense, Lavender, Peppermint, Bergamot, Cedarwood,


Basil, Bergamot, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lavender, Melissa, Petitgrain, Peppermint,

Insect repellent

Cedarwood, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea tree, and others

Lowers blood pressure

Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa, Ylang ylang

Nerve relaxant / Carminative

Basil, Clary sage, Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Melissa, Neroli, Orange, Vetiver,

Raises blood pressure

Clary sage, Peppermint, Rosemary

Relieves insomnia

Basil, Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli.

Sedative and relaxing

Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile (roman), Clary sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Marjoram, Melissa, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Rosewood, Vetiver, Ylang ylang.


Aniseed, Basil (of adrenal cortex), Bergamot, Cypress, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Peppermint, Rosemary, Tea tree, Thyme.

Strengthens body’s immune system

Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Rosewood, Tea tree.


Basil, Bergamot, Chamomile, Clary sage, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Mandarin, Melissa, Marjoram, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose (heart, stomach, liver, uterus), Rosemary, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Thyme, Vetiver.

Uplifting & refreshing

Basil, Bergamot, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, Melissa, Orange, Pine, Rosemary, Rose geranium.


Ginger, Marjoram.

Wound healing

Bergamot, Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Rosemary, Tea tree.

The properties listed above are by no means exhaustive, however, this is not meant to be a course on medical Aromatherapy rather it is an introduction to how essential oils may be used in everyday life and some minor ailments.

Now we have established a starting base. We now know what properties the different essential oils have and what they can be used for.

As you read through the list of properties, you have probably noticed that several of the essential oils occur in more than one category. This will help in the selection process later on. For now, it is important just to recognise that the different oils have several properties for application.

For example, lets look at Lavender oil, which has the following properties:

Analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and immuno-tonic.

These properties, when viewed as a whole, provide insight into the type of situations in which Lavender may be useful. It is these properties that are the key indicators for its selection under different circumstances.

For example, Lavender is well known for its ability to help in facilitating sleep. When we look its list of properties, which includes, carminative and sedative, we can see how this is possible.

Similarly, Lavender is great to treat minor and moderate burns. Again looking at its properties we can see that it is analgesic (pain relieving), anti-bacterial (prevents secondary bacterial infection), anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation), antiseptic (destroys or inhibits the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms), carminative (has a calming effect on the person), diuretic (relieves excessive fluid build up), and sedative (helps the patient to relax). Clearly, these are the type of properties that are useful in a case of sunburn or similar burn to the skin.

As is evident from the above example, knowing the properties of essential oils is the key to understanding how and when to use them.

The next article in this series will deal with how to use essential oils in different media such as water, base-oils, air, etc. Before we can make a choice of which essential oils to use, we need to know and understand how the essential oil(s) will be applied. This is because some essential oils such as Lavender, for example, can be directly applied to the skin, however, Peppermint, Lemon and others are not ideal for direct application and will need to be applied via a medium such as a water bath, cream, or together with a base/carrier oil such as Apricot or Almond.

How to Use Essential Oils Part: 1 2 3


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