19 Essential Oils For Beginners

I am new to essential oils. In fact I only started to use them this year and I didn't dare use them for anything other than cleaning because I had no clue what I was doing.  What I learned this year is that essential oils do not have to be scary and overwhelming. Yes, there are lots of options and the research seem overwhelming but once you break it down to the key basic essential oils you will see just how simple it can be to incorporate them into nearly every aspect of your life.

Start Small
Don't go crazy buying every type of essential oil you can think of. A small number of types will provide you with a massive variety of uses. Start your stash with the basics - my favourites are Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Grapefruit and Tea Tree. Don't go down the rabbit hole of essential oil blends. That is not for beginners but rather EO ninja's.

Pick a Reputable Company
Not all EO companies are created equally. And - I am going to blow your mind here - organic does not mean better. BAM. MIND BOMB. I know!  Organic certification for essential oils just means they were grown without pesticides, it does not take into account the extraction process. Some of the less reputable companies use chemicals in the extraction process instead of steam, which means that those chemicals are in your little bottle of EO. Do your research and pick a company that has 100% pure essential oils that are extracted using a steam process and has certified therapeutic grade or certified food grade products.

A Little Goes a Long Way
When you first start out it is easy to use way too much when you are adding essential oils to something. Did you know that 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea or that in one teaspoon there are 60 drops of essential oil! If the "recipe" you are using calls for 5 drops of EO start to tip the bottle slowly and count in your head stopping at 3. That will mean by the time you get the bottle back up right probably 5 drops will have fallen.

Unique Uses for Essential Oils
After using several different essential oils this year I can say that these are my absolute favourite quick and easy uses for them. Uses that I honestly had never even thought were possible until I started to research and really use them.

Laundry Neglect - I pretty much forget a load of laundry in the washing machine every single week. And I am not just talking about overnight, I am talking about several days. You know what that smells like when you finally grow the balls to open the washer door. The last time I did it (last week) I went through my regular routine of first proclaiming that I will never forget again (hahaha) and then I lay everything out to let it dry before rewashing. What I did differently this time was that when I put the load back into the washing machine I added 3 drops of lemon essential oil to the laundry detergent.  That load...it came out with no indication what so ever that it smelled like used hockey equipment only an hour earlier.

Note - if you are potty training your child you can also use this process to get pee smell out of clothes and linens.

Face Scrub - I completely looked like an idiot when I walked out of the bathroom with my face covered in wet oatmeal and a bowl in my hands to catch the pieces that were falling off.  But the results....like a baby's bum. Take about a cup of oatmeal (not cooked) and add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to it. Add just enough water to make it look like....oatmeal?  I don't know...until it is wet mud like. Then go to town rubbing it on your face in circular motions. I recommend looking in a mirror to see just how awesome you look. Rinse off and I dare you to try and stop touching your face. It's not possible.  You know what else is awesome? You can do the exact same thing with lemon essential oil instead of lavender if you like lemon better.

Congestion - It is that time of year....cold season. I can't even count the number of times I have been congested already this year. I am right now actually. Peppermint essential oil to the rescue! You can either apply the EO directly to your chest or you can diffuse it and you will start to feel like you can breathe again. Think about it...."peppermint" gum clears your sinuses doesn't it....well imagine what real peppermint can do.  I have diffused a small amount of peppermint essential oil onto a clay necklace and am wearing that to help with my congestion. After only a few minutes one nostril is completely clear.

Mouthwash - Ditch the chemical laden Scope and Listerine and use essential oils to combat bad breath. Now here is where the buying from a reputable company angle comes into play. Only do this if you know you are buying from a reputable company who uses 100% pure essential oils. Add a few drops of peppermint oil and lemon oil to a small glass of water and then swig away.

I have learned a lot in the last year trying out essential oils. I'm still a novice but I am not afraid to ask questions or find new ways to use the essential oils that I have.  As a thank you for being such awesome readers and to help you stock up on essential oils I have teamed up with The Wellness Lab to bring you a great giveaway. You could win an Introductory Kit that contains Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint essential oils (5mL each), an Introduction to Essential Oils CD and Deep Blue (a natural alternative to A535).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer - This post has been sponsored by The Wellness Lab - a distributor of doTerra Essential Oil products. All thoughts and experiences are my own. 

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  1. So far, I use Lavender for calming properties and Tea Tree Oil for antibacterial but would love to try diff oils for other things.

  2. Fabulous post! I love essential oils, bu have a lot to learn. I like using them in homemade body butters and foaming soap to give a nice scent and add some anti bacterial-ness (word?) I leave laundry in the wash ALL.THE.TIME! I need to get another bottle of lemon to leave by the washer.

  3. Do you have a good recipe for homemade body butter Kristina?

  4. I bought unpetroleum jelly and eucalyptus EO, and make "vapo rub" for when my 3 year old gets a cold. Which, considering he is a thumb-sucker and goes to daycare, is ALL THE TIME. I add the EO until it smells strongly of eucalyptus, then rub it on his chest and the soles of his feet. I feel so much better about doing that than buying Vicks.

  5. We use a lot of tea tree oil to disinfect. I use lavender as a massage oil. Thank-you for the contest!

  6. I have been using peppermint a bit lately for a chest cold.

  7. I use tea tree oil and pine in my cleaning products; those are probably the ones I use the most. I also use patchouli mixed with jojoba oil for perfume.

  8. Thanks for clarifying why some companies are better than others. We use tea tree oil for many different things.

  9. I've never used essential oils before, but have considered buying some for making bath salts. I'm so glad I read your post first, I learned so much! Thank you for the info.
    Debbie ;)

  10. I love essential oils! My fav thing to do is use them in a diffuser so the air smells amazing.

  11. This is SO timely. I have been thinking about getting some oils. I've even started looking at them in the store but haven't pulled the trigger. Thanks for the great info

  12. I was the same way Carol. It can be so overwhelming knowing where to start!

  13. I love aromatherapy. I used to work in a aromatherapy clinic too! I loved Bergamot for my nausea when pregnant, niaouli for cold season...speaking of. I need some essential oils!

  14. I love essential oils. Tried them once. Wish I could afford it all the time! It was $75 for 10 oz. But I am so glad to have more info about them!!

  15. My co-workers use these essential oils and they swear by it.
    I got one from them for my daughter the other day to boost immune!

  16. @May-B - they can get expensive. Check out the sponsor of this giveaway, her prices are much more reasonable.

  17. Jen, yes I have a great recipe for body butter! One that is very simple - coconut oil, vitamin E and essential oil of your choice - whipped with a hand mixer. (here is a post with full directions: http://thegreeningofwestford.com/2012/08/coconut-oil-does-triple-beauty-duty.html)
    Lately I have been combining coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and a little avocado oil. LOVE this one. Formal recipe coming soon.

  18. Huh! I never knew you could use it for mouth wash :) great info!

  19. Absolutely! Just make sure it is food grade.