10 Essential oils you absolutely need

Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular for many different uses. People use them to support their health, clean their homes and even for pets. With so many uses and so many oils out there how do you know where to start? Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a huge EO kit then find themselves only using 2 or 3 of them! So what essential oils are the most popular and/or most needed in the home?

top 10 essential oils

If you're just getting started you'll want to read how I got started using essential oils cheaply for some tips on how to buy quality EOs affordably. Luckily the first 6 on my list are very common, so you should be able to find them for a great price at the places I mention in that post. You don't have to jump in with both feet, start slow to avoid getting overwhelmed and spending more money than you should!

Before we go any further I need to note that: while essential oils should not be a substitute for professional medical care, they can be successfully employed for many minor complaints, and as adjuncts to other therapies. As with any natural healthcare it's important to know when to use home methods and when to seek a professionals opinion.

10 most popular essential oils for health and home

1: Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree has an extremely broad range of antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties. Often used topically on small wounds, Tea Tree is also commonly found in oral hygiene preparations, and can also be effectively employed for Candida, athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and acne, among other things. It can be used in steam or diffuser for the common cold or sinus infections. I buy this one.

2: Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has often been called the ‘medicine chest in a bottle’ for its broad range of applications. It’s anti-inflammatory action is responsible for the beginnings of modern aromatherapy. Lavender is considered to speed wound healing and reduce scarring. 

The oil is also pleasantly calming, and can be used to reduce stress and soothe the mind. Many bedroom candles and sprays contain lavender as the aroma can help you drift off to sleep more easily. I order this one from Lucky Vitamin online.

Related reading: Make your own Lavender sleep sprays! Face mist and linen spray recipes!

3: Peppermint Essential Oil

An excellent digestive tonic, Peppermint essential oil can sooth many stomach complaints. For the traveler, it’s effectiveness on calming motion sickness can be of great help. Many people have reported that Peppermint oil is effective in reducing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. 

Peppermint is delightfully stimulating to the mind, brightening and sharpening mental focus. I often diffuse it in my truck when I have to drive at night to keep me alert. I ordered this one on Amazon a long time ago and still have it, but Walmart and other drug stores usually carry it.

Most common essential oils

4: Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is most often used for respiratory conditions, being useful in clearing congestion with coughs and colds. Eucalyptus oil can cool the body due to fever, used in a compress. Diffusing Eucalyptus oil may kill certain bacteria. It is considered equally effective in cases of cystitis, candida, and sunburn, to name a few, as well as being an insect repellent. 

I diffuse it by my desk when my sinus are bothering me and it helps to clear things right up! I just ordered this one, but I get it from Lucky Vitamin, it's less than $4!

5: Lemon Essential Oil

Just the scent of lemon oil can make you feel more alert and happier. In addition to it’s mind-brightening qualities, it can also disinfect room air and act as a natural deodorant. Lemon has been noted to support liver function, and is also commonly used to assist in weight loss and cellulite reduction. 

In blends, lemon adds a pleasant top note, and can create a synergistic effect with other oils. Lemon oil is commonly used in homemade cleaners to disinfect surfaces. I ordered this one from Amazon, but it's often sold in drugstores and big box stores.

6: Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil can help reduce tension, stress and fatigue whether used in a diffuser or in a morning bath. It’s slightly spicy, rather than floral aroma, has a warming effect particularly useful for arthritic joints and other muscular complaints. 

It also has a long history of treatment for colds and flu – Rosemary was a component of ‘Four Thieves Vinegar’, which robbers rubbed upon their bodies to prevent infection when up to no good during the plague years of the middle ages. Also, Rosemary is often rubbed into the soles of the feet to help with digestion. I just bought this one which is a big bottle, but I use a lot of it.

Affordable essential oils

7: Chamomile Essential Oil

This extremely gentle essential oil is useful for a wide variety of nervous conditions. Rubbing into the solar plexus is a commonly used application if that is where one tends to ‘hold tension’. 

Chamomile essential oil is available in two varieties, German or Blue Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. The Roman variety is most often used for stress relief, whereas the German variety has the added bonus of being an extremely effective anti-inflammatory. Also useful for digestive upset and sleeplessness. I like this one from Plant Therapy.

8: Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme oil is a powerful antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic and diuretic, though it should be employed with great care. There are many types of Thyme oil available, but only the ‘linalool’ chemotype is appropriate for use with children; all varieties should be diluted prior to topical application. 

Given the precautions, Thyme can be a first line of defense in cases of flu, being used in a room diffuser. It also supports elimination of toxic wastes from the body (particularly noted for excessive uric acid), and it’s warming quality can eliminate mucus and phlegm. Thyme oil may also be supportive in cases of hair loss. 

It can also be used with eucalyptus to make a natural insect repellent. I've used this one from plant Therapy but I just switched to the Revive brand. They're comparable.

9: Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium has a floral aroma that is brightening and uplifting, while also working as a sedative. Geranium oil can be effective for menopausal problems, uterine and breast complaints. It makes a nice addition to homemade face creams and can also be used as an insect repellant. 

I know those last two seem quite opposite, but it's not unpleasant on the face as long as it's properly diluted in a cream or oil. I bought this one until I recently switched to Revive.

10: Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil has been found to be the strongest antioxidant of any essential oil. It is also an extremely potent antibacterial, effective against a broader range of microbes than any other oil except perhaps Oregano. 

Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol, which acts as an anesthetic and antibacterial agent. It has even been used by dentists during dental procedures. Clove also has analgesic properties, and can be used to temporarily reduce the pain of toothache. This is a very powerful oil which should be diluted to 1% or less for topical application. I get this one at a local foods store.

Choosing Essential oils to use

Now you'll need to ask yourself a few questions before you go buying any/all of these. What would you like to use essential oils for? For instance I experienced headaches for years and nothing would help, so I tried several oils known to help headaches until I found the EOs that helped my headaches

I went through something similar when I caught a toenail fungus and turned to an essential oil to get rid of that! Maybe you just want to cut out using chemicals to clean your home. Or general health support. Have trouble falling asleep at night, or staying alert at work? 

Figuring out what you want essential oils to accomplish for you, then choosing oils for that task is the best way to pick your essential oils...though a list like this can help you narrow it down based on what works for most people!

Want more posts on taking care of your health naturally? Click here for my other posts on natural healthcare!


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I am not a doctor or other health care professional nor do I claim to be. I am not trained in any medical field. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. Please see a Dr if you are ill. Click for my full disclaimer.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you chose to purchase something through the link, I will get a small payment from Amazon. It will not affect your purchase price. Click for full disclosure.)

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