Among ancient civilizations, the use of plants and their extracts was not known as Aromatherapy. But it was still an important therapy. They used plants, tinctures and infused oils for everything, just like we do today. Now we have essential oils, and they can still be used in just about anything that crosses your mind. Get ready for a list of fun 101 uses for essential oils.
In the first part of the article, I will tell you a bit about essential oils. You also ought to know what their precautions are so you can use them safely. It’s not as scary as it sounds. You can then start having some fun using your oils in so many creative ways!
Indulge in a rather long list of essential oil uses. But don’t worry! I’ve categorized each use as best as I could. I want you to find the info really easy because I know, and I have seen how other such lists look like. There’s nothing more boring and hard to follow than an endless list of numbers and words.
A Few Words on Essential Oils and Their Precautions for a Safe Use
When you hear oil you know exactly what it is and how it feels on the skin. But those are vegetable oils or carrier oils, as they’re called in Aromatherapy. Essential oils are a whole different thing. They are called essential because they represent the true essence of plants.
Also, for the lack of a better term, they were called oils since they can float above the water. Their molecules are heavier than water so they float.
But those molecules don’t contain fatty acids like true oils do. They are volatile molecules that contain various chemical constituents. They evaporate into the air and they give the essential oils their properties and aroma.
You can rest assured that if you use an essential oil on your skin, it will not leave oily or greasy traces on it. They will just leave the skin smooth and soft. That happens when they’re fast absorbed into the skin and bloodstream.
Essential oils are very concentrated essences. One single drop could hold the power of 20 – 30 plants or teas. For example, Peppermint oil: 1 drop equals 20 cups of peppermint tea.
Essential oils need to be diluted before being applied on the skin, or ingested when it’s the case. Their ingestion should only be done with the consent of a doctor.
- Don’t use undiluted oils around the nose, mouth, eyes and ears.
- Make sure you store your oils properly: tightly capped and in a cool, dark place.
- If you suffer from certain affections or you’re pregnant, seek the advice of a doctor before using essential oils.
- Don’t use them on children younger than the age of 10. Or you can do it with the doctor’s approval.
- Read the label carefully and make sure you buy the species you want (Latin name).
- Do your research before using any oil.
Because these essences can be used in so many ways, we will now move on to the 101 uses for essential oils. Bear in mind that this list is not really complete. Each person can think of new and more fun ways to use their oils. Here’s a thought: keep your own list of uses for all the oils you like and use on a frequent basis.
101 Uses for Essential Oils per Categories
The following uses are general and they refer to all essential oils. But keep in mind that some are better than others at being more useful in certain situations. Some are more powerful, maybe even toxic if they’re used in large doses. Others may be gentle and good to be used undiluted, but I don’t necessarily recommend it.
I know there are many uses, but you will find them divided into seven main categories. From local applications to baths and adding them to cosmetics. Or diffusion, home improvement and kitchen uses. You will also find a section for perfumes.
You can use essential oils that you like, or those reccommended for various blends. Just make sure you trust the source of your blends, and that the oils are pure.
Local Applications and Massages
This is the most common and the safest way to use essential oils (EOs). There are too few oils that can actually be used undiluted on the skin. The rest of them need to be diluted in carrier oils. In fact, just to make sure your skin doesn’t become sensitized in time, you should always dilute your oils.
A 1% dilution means 6 EO drops per Oz. carrier oil. Generally speaking, a 2% dilution is great for face blends and 4 – 5% for body blends.
Through dilution you can cover wide portions of skin. You can also save good money by using just a few drops of your essential oils.
a) Skin Care
1. Relieve the tension in your body, migraines, muscle fatigue, and sore joints with massage blends.
2. Improve your circulation with a foot rub blend.
3. Prepare digestive blends and rub them on the stomach area with clockwise movements.
4. Relieve anxiety and frustration feelings with an uplifting blend.
5. Improve respiratory issues by rubbing a few drops of a blend on your chest and solar plexus.
6. Apply and gently rub a few diluted drops on insect bites or on the whole body, as a preventive measure.
7. Clean your hands with a few drops of a disinfecting blend when you’re out and you can’t wash.
8. Soothe and disinfect open wounds, cuts or mild burns with a protective blend.
9. Manage your acne with a drop or two of essential oil used directly on it. Depending on how bad it is, you could also use undiluted EO.
10. Control your sebum production with some of the best oils (Peppermint, Lemon, etc.).
11. Improve the aspect of your stretch marks and/or cellulite (Cedarwood). This is one of the 101 uses for essential oils that is worth the effort.
12. Protect your complexion against premature aging and wrinkles.
13. Nourish and improve eczema and dry skin with proper blends.
14. Dilute a few mild essential oils to protect your skin against minor sunburns.
b) Hair Care
15. Prevent or get rid of lice with strong antibacterial and antifungal oils (Thyme, Juniper, Cedarwood).
16. Use them to improve those nasty hair splits. Blend them with a floral water and shake well before use. They will not leave oily traces on your hair.
17. Nourish your scalp, get rid of dandruff and stimulate hair growth with EOs.
18. Revive your hair and bring back its natural glow with potent blends.
19. Get rid of a dry hair and scalp with concentrated warm hair masks! Keep your hair in a shower cap for really good results.
20. Add between 30 – 35 drops of EO in 3 Oz. shampoo to prevent hair loss (or stimulate hair growth). This is one of the best 101 uses for essential oils.
Baths are a great way to take some time for yourself. The best part about essential oils here is that they will act in 2 different ways. They will protect and nourish your skin and improve your mood through inhalation.
You should always disperse the oils in a fat or soluble material. Oils don’t float but they do mix with fat. You can use milk or salts to disperse the EO molecules. Make sure you massage your body with your bath blend to enjoy their properties.
21. Relax, unwind and get your breathing to a normal level in a long hot bath where you’ve added your oils in some milk. Now that’s a fun way to feel pampered!
22. Improve blood circulation with stimulant oils (Chili, Cedarwood, etc.). Don’t forget to massage your limbs gently.
23. You can also get rid of nasty hangovers with essential oils. At the same time you can also relax and slowly get back to normal with such a bath. Citrus oils are the best in this case.
24. Get warm in the winter. By adding oils that stimulate the circulation, you will feel warm for a long time after you’ve left the bathroom.
25. Cool off in those really hot summer days. You can use oils with cooling effects like Peppermint or Eucalyptus. Add no more than 10 drops into some milk. This and the one above are among the best 101 uses for essential oils.
Adding Essential Oils to Cosmetics
These oils are active constituents that can be added to your cosmetics. Whether you’re making them or you buy them, you can boost the effects of your cosmetics in seconds.
You should use a maximum of 2% EOs in your face cream, and a maximum of 5% in your body lotions.
26. Add oils with astringent properties and the ability to drain out toxins in your anti-cellulite treatments.
27. Certain oils can be added to anti-aging lotions and creams as well.
28. Essential oils can be added to water-based emulsions too, especially if they’re already made. But you can definitely make them yourself, also. You will need a dispersant, which is usually found at the same seller where you buy your EOs.
29. Increase the effects of your purifying masks or lotions with essential oils.
30. Uplift your mood and get a nice kick-start in the morning by enhancing the properties of your shower gel. This is one of the simplest 101 uses for essential oils.
31. Add your favorite cicatrisant oils in your creams or lotions. That will speed up the recovery of your skin tissue.
32. Mix EOs with your favorite carrier oils to get potent blends for your skin.
33. Mix your favorite oils in your body milk to keep the skin tight and firm.
34. Add a few drops of EO in your cream for cracked heels.
35. Boost the effects of those lip balms that can be melted. You can do it for a new scent in case you got bored of the old one. Or you can make it more powerful for damaged lips.
Diffusion and Breathing In
Both methods imply dispersing the beneficial oil molecules in the atmosphere. Through these methods, the molecules have a 70% chance of reaching your body and blood in a fast way.
They can then stimulate the nervous cells and alter your mood. When it comes to diffusion, you must always make sure the room is well-ventilated. Don’t diffuse essential oils for more than 15 minutes per hour either. Depending on case, you should never use more than 7 – 10 drops in your diffuser.
36. Guard your body against infections and flus or colds.
37. Improve your immune system with daily diffusions.
38. Improve the quality of the air you breathe with oils that have antimicrobial and antifungal qualities.
39. Stimulate your mind and body with uplifting essential oils. This is a very fun way of starting your morning, for instance. Citrus oils are, again, the best for this.
40. Create a romantic atmosphere with the diffusion of sensual and aphrodisiac oils like Rose or Vanilla.
42. Relax and unwind after a stressful day or decision making process. A few minutes of peace and inhaling oils should be part of your rewarding system.
43. Diffuse oils to keep bugs and insects outside your home. Some oils are known to have really strong repellant qualities.
44. Use steam baths to improve respiratory issues. Add no more than 5 drops of EO into your steaming bowl of water. Leave it for a minute or two, then start inhaling as deeply as possible.
45. Use the same steam baths to open up pores. After you pat dry your face, the blend or cream you apply will penetrate the skin better.
46. In case you don’t like steam baths, use a few drops of EO on a cotton pad and inhale deeply for a few moments.
47. Pour a drop or two in your cupped hands and inhale to relieve nausea.
48. Add a few drops on a cotton pad and put it next to you when you work. This is one of the 101 uses for essential oils that can be done even at work. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and pleasant to take your oils with you and use them anywhere.
49. Inhale from cupped hands to reduce motion sickness.
50. Relieve allergy symptoms like itchy nose, throat or eyes.
51. Inhale from your hands to calm down nerves before speaking in public.
Natural perfumes are the best because you’re in total control. You can mix and match whatever scents you like and wear them anytime. You can even make perfumes for various moods or days.
You have many options here. They can either be made with base oils (carriers) or alcohol. You can also make them solid, based on waxes. The choice is yours.
52. Make yourself a simple and natural perfume to guard you against microbes and uplift your mood.
53. How nice would it be to just play around with EO scents until you find the perfect combination? Keep at it until you’re satisfied, then wear it everywhere.
54. Another one of the 101 uses for essential oils is that you can make really unique gifts. All you need to do is find out what your friends like and start mixing and matching. It’s a really fun activity, trust me!
55. Create your own signature perfume and start making some extra money!
56. Create your own perfume for traveling. It can make you feel good and relieve nausea too.
57. Infuse your favorite bookmark with your favorite oil scents. Leave it in a plastic bag over night and then use as normal. Whenever it starts fading, infuse it again. Reading will totally be worth it for intellectual and emotional benefits.
58. Stronger scents, like base notes (Vanilla, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Clove, etc.) can be applied directly on pulse points for a subtle perfume.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy gadgets or products to take care of your home. You have essential oils, which are very concentrated. They can help you clean, change the atmosphere and the smell around the house.
59. Take control over the mood of all your family members by diffusing specific EOs.
60. What if it’s winter? You can still smell the freshness of summer with your favorite floral oils. They will put you in a fantastic mood right away.
61. Get rid of bad odors from your garbage bins by throwing in a few drops of essential oil.
62. Get in the mood for Holidays from November if you like. You can diffuse Cinnamon and Orange and Fir oils all day long.
63. Remove tobacco smell from the house with essential oils. Diffuse them for 15 min/hour three times a day.
64. Clean your countertops, sink and faucets with citrus oils and hydrogen peroxide.
65. Get rid of ants or bugs that crawl in your cabinets with Cinnamon oil among others.
66. Scent all your cardboard toilet paper rolls with your favorite oils. This one is among the most fun and pleasant 101 uses for essential oils.
67. Or if you have a fireplace, you could scent a log and let it dry before burning it.
68. Sometimes, kitchen sponges may smell badly. You can remedy this situation by pouring a few drops of your favorite essential oil on it. It will also disinfect it.
69. If the aspect of a wilted lemon doesn’t appeal to you, you can remove bad odors from the fridge with a few drops of Lemon EO. Pour a few drops on a cotton ball and place inside the fridge.
70. How nice would it be if your laundry would smell like oranges or lavender, or whatever you like? Place 10 -15 drops on a cloth inside your dryer.
71. You can also vacuum a cotton pad soaked in essential oils. Each time you vacuum, it will release that scent in your home.
72. Make a spritzer from water and Lemon EO and spray your fruits with it. Let them dry then store in the fridge. That way they will hold for longer.
73. What if you could get rid of the bad smell of shoes? Wash them and then add a few drops of essential oil in them each day. They will smell great and the oils will also kill germs and bacteria.
74. Add 30 – 40 drops of oils in the water of your toilet basin for a clean smell each time you flush.
75. Spritz molded areas with oils that have high antibacterial and antifungal properties.
76. Clean carpets with an easy water and oil spray. Leave it on for a few minutes before vacuuming.
77. Shower curtains can also get mold. Use the same spritz from number 75) after every shower and let it dry.
78. Another fun and pleasant method of the 101 uses for essential oils is to mix calming and soothing oils with water. You can then spritz the mixture, after shaking it well, on your sheets and pillows for a better sleep.
79. Put a cotton pad with EOs inside the closet to get rid of any bad odor or moths.
80. Let the towels soak in some warm water with oils. Then wash them to remove bad odors from there too.
81. Make your own scented candles. Wait for it to melt a bit then add your oils making sure you don’t pour over the wick.
82. Add 30 – 40 drops of EO into a recipient with baking soda. Gently stir it in every time you need to refresh the air.
83. Or you could use oils with water to wash the windows and door frames.
84. Add 15 – 20 drops to your liquid hand soap to give it a bit more antimicrobial power.
85. Give your friends or family essential oil gifts. That way they can also get into these 101 uses for essential oils and enjoy their benefits.
Give your dishes and desserts an aromatic and subtle flavor with essential oils. Dissolve them in the fatty matter of your recipes (vegetable oils mostly). You can use 2 drops tops to give your food the flavor it needs and make your mouth watery.
86. Marinade your chicken with any of the herbs’ essential oils. You can also use Lemon oil a lot in the kitchen.
87. It’s always nice to be able to add 2 drops of Oregano oil in your pizza sauce when you run out of herbs.
88. Add a drop to your herbal tea. This quantity is enough for a normal-sized mug.
89. Add oils to your salad dressing to make it even tastier and original.
90. Sprinkle 2 – 3 drops on your roast before putting it in the oven.
91. Use natural Vanilla extract on your cakes. A drop is usually enough to scent a large quantity of dough or cream.
92. Add 1 or two drops of essential oil in your hot chocolate or cappuccino. Among all the 101 uses for essential oils, this one must be tested. Peppermint oil on hot chocolate is really delicious.
93. Add a few drops to your summer smoothies, especially if you’re out of fresh herbs.
94. Bake muffins with all sorts of scents and flavors.
95. Flavor your homemade cereal bars with your favorite essential oils.
96. Flavor your water with a drop of EO.
97. Add a drop or two to your fresh lemonade for more flavor.
98. You can also marinade pork with a drop or two of your desired aromatic oil.
99. Prepare all sorts of sauces and store them for the winter. A drop of Lemon oil, for instance can also lengthen their shelf life.
100. Sprinkle a drop or two on your salmon before baking it. Or ad some Lemon oil to your tuna sandwich.
101. Dishes like hummus, sautéed vegetables, homemade candies, rice, etc. can all be enhanced with a drop or two of essential oils.
Remember not to use more than 2 drops of EO when you prepare food! When you cook or bake you can add as much as 3 drops, but not more. The oils will mostly evaporate but they will still flavor your food. For raw foods you shouldn’t go above one drop only.
You could add to this list any use that comes to your mind. Our imagination and their versatility allow us to grow this 101 uses for essential oils list each day. Do you have any other uses for your favorite essential oils? If so, would you like to share them with us? I’d be delighted to see how you use these amazingly aromatic oils.