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85 Ways to Use Essential Oils That Might Surprise You

Megan Thompson
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Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for medicinal and health purposes. Their uses range from aromatherapy and household cleaning products to personal beauty care and natural health and wellness treatments. There are endless ways to use these miraculous oils, which is they’re a staple in so many natural wellness regimens.
 
The particles in essential oils come from distilling or extracting different parts of the plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. These separate parts combine to make incredibly healing and beneficial oils with little to no side effects. And while many know that lavender helps treat anxiety and tea tree is a natural astringent, there are so many other, more surprising ways to use essential oils.
 
Here are 85 ways to use essential oils that might surprise you:
 

How you can use essential oils in your home

 

Clean air

Add a few drops of an antimicrobial oil (such as cinnamon, eucalyptus or tea tree) to your air filter in your home each time you replace it. Or diffuse these oils in your home to kill mold and pathogens in the air.
 

Fresh air

For stinky rooms such as bathrooms, diffuse lemon, grapefruit, geranium, lavender, lemon or rosemary oils.
 

Ward off rodents

Add 15 drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray cracks and large gaps where spiders, mice and other rodents can enter your home.
 

Insects be gone

Diffuse peppermint, lavender, citronella, rosemary or lemongrass oil near entrances to your home to prevent flies from entering. Kill pests on contact with a water, orange and clove oil mixture.
 

Deep clean

Combine lemon oil and tea tree oil with a few ounces of water for a naturally disinfectant countertop cleanser.
 

Bathroom scrubber

For deep-down dirt and soap scum on sinks and bathtubs, mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda with lime and bergamot oils in water.
 

Clean dishes

Lemon oil can fight greasy dishes and even remove permanent marker from solid surfaces. Clean burnt pans and hard-to-clean dirty dishes with a few drops of lemon oil and hot water to remove caked on food. Add lemon oil to your sponge to disinfect between uses.
 

Remove gunk

Use lemon or wild orange oils to remove gum from hair or fabrics, clean sap, and remove labels and stickers.
 

Kill germs

Kill germs on your yoga clothes, bag, yoga mat and shoes by spraying them regularly with a lavender and melaleuca oil (or tea tree oil) mixture in a spray bottle filled with water.
 

Fabric softener

For an inexpensive anti-microbial fabric softener, combine melaleuca and a cup of white vinegar and add it to your next load of laundry.
 

Fresh laundry

Add your favorite oil to a washcloth and toss it in the dryer to freshen your laundry without harsh chemicals. Add eucalyptus oil during the drying cycle to disinfect your clothes.
 

Fresh fridge

Add bergamot, grapefruit, lemongrass, lime or grapefruit oil to a box of baking soda in your fridge to keep it smelling clean and fresh.
 

 

Fight funk

Remove the funk from trash cans with two drops each of lemon and tea tree oil on a cotton ball in the bottom of the can.
 

Clean carpets

To freshen carpets, sprinkle a mixture of baking soda with peppermint, lemon, lavender or geranium oils to your carpet and let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming.
 

Pet odors

Add 20 drops of geranium, lemon or lavender oil to apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on fabrics.
 

How you can use essential oils for health & wellness

 

Funky feet

Add geranium, lavender or basil oil to your shoes to keep the stink away.
 

Bad breath

Add a drop of peppermint oil under your tongue to freshen your breath and kill germs.
 

Mosquito repellent

To create a natural bug spray, mix a drop each of citronella, lemongrass and eucalyptus oils with a teaspoon of coconut oil (http://amzn.to/29MTGFb) and apply it topically to exposed skin.
 

Bug bites

Apply lavender oil topically to soothe bug bites.
 

Antifungal

Apply melaleuca oil to your fingers or toes before your next mani/pedi to prevent infection.
 

Hiccups

Take a shot of water with a few drops of peppermint oil to kick the hiccups’ butt.
 

Digestion

Ingest a combination of peppermint, fennel and ginger oils with water to support digestion.
 

Disinfect cuts and scrapes

Dilute equal parts lavender or tea tree oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and rub onto the affected area.
 

Anti-itch treatment

Add a few drops of peppermint oil to coconut oil and apply it to itchy areas, including skin affected by poison ivy or oak.
 

Cure head lice

Apply a mixture of coconut oil with three drops of thyme, lavender and eucalyptus oils and apply to the scalp. Cover the entire head with a shower cap and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then shampoo and rinse.
 

Fight fatigue

To energize your senses and fight fatigue, inhale peppermint oil. This is especially great before a workout!
 

 

Peaceful sleep

Add lavender oil to your pillow or blanket to calm your mind and promote restful sleep.
 

Circulation

Add 10 drops of grapefruit oil to a bath to help improve your circulation.
 

Treat skin conditions

Treat eczema, psoriasis and red dry skin with a mixture of lavender essential oil and shea butter. Massage a combination of three drops tea tree oil and coconut oil into the affected area twice daily to treat ringworm.
 

Bruises

Treat bruises with a warm compress and a combination of five drops each of lavender and frankincense oils.
 

Headache

Rub a few drops of peppermint oil on your neck, behind ears, temples, forehead and under your nose to combat tough headaches.
 

Pain relief

Add two drops each of lemongrass, wintergreen and cypress oils to lotion and massage onto affected areas.
 

Sunscreen

Mix one part myrrh oil, one part carrot oil, and two parts jojoba oil and apply liberally for sun protection equivalent to SPF 30.
 

Sunburn soother

To reduce the inflammation and tenderness caused by a sunburn, combine three drops lavender or chamomile oil to the affected area.
 

Burn relief

Combine aloe vera and lavender oil to treat burns and blisters.
 

Sore muscles

Combine a few drops of eucalyptus, wintergreen and cypress essential oils with either an unscented lotion or coconut oil and rub into sore muscles.
 

Alleviate back and neck pain

Mix peppermint, ginger and cypress essential oils with cayenne pepper and coconut oil. Rub into sore muscles.
 

Sore feet

Ease sore feet by adding 10 drops of peppermint oil and epsom salts to a warm bath.
 

Loosen stiff joints

Mix a few drops of wintergreen, juniper or vetiver oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil. Massage onto achy joints.
 

Runny nose

During cold and allergy season, rub a drop of lemon oil inside your nostrils to get relief from a runny nose.
 

Cough

Add eucalyptus oil to a diffuser to fight coughs and open up airways. Or, make your own chest rub by mixing eucalyptus and peppermint oils with coconut oil.
 

Fight fever

Add three drops each of lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint oils to a cool cloth and apply it to your forehead.
 

Allergy reducer

To reduce itchy eyes and throat, rub a few drops of frankincense and lavender onto your palms and inhale.
 
Clear your sinuses

Mix equal parts eucalyptus, lavender and carrier oils. Rub onto chest before bed.
 

Immune system booster

Combine one drop of oregano essential oil with four drops of a carrier oil of your choice and rub on the bottom of your feet before flying.
 

DIY hand sanitizer

Mix equal parts cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary oils in diluted water. Keep in a small spray bottle and spray onto your hands. Shake well before each use.
 

Relieve tension caused by stress

Massage a few drops of lavender oil under the ear just behind the jaw, into temples, and over stiff neck muscles.
 

Reduce anxiety

Diffuse lavender oil around your home whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious.
 

Aid in concentration

Diffuse grapefruit, bergamot and peppermint oils to increase focus and concentration overall.
 

Calm children

Help soothe children by adding lavender or chamomile essential oils to their stuffed animals during a nap or bedtime.
 

Find relaxation fast

Mix three drops of chamomile, lavender and peppermint essential oil and use your fingertips to rub on your temples for a cooling effect and immediate relaxation.
 

Improve your mood

Add rose oil to baths and diffusers to boost your mood.
 

Curb hunger cravings

To curb food cravings, diffuse peppermint and cinnamon oils.
 

Stimulate weight loss

To boost and support a healthy metabolism, mix grapefruit, ginger and cinnamon essential oils and ingest as a supplement three times a day.
 

 

Re-energize your body

Combine lavender, sage, frankincense, lemon, peppermint, lemongrass or basil essential oils in any mixture on a napkin or washcloth. Apply to the back of your neck and shoulder areas.
 

Alleviate morning sickness

Pour a few drops of wild orange, lemon or ginger oil to a napkin or washcloth and inhale.
 

Relieve menstrual cramps

Mix one part clary sage with one part basil or rosemary essential oil and combine with four parts carrier oil. Massage onto the abdomen and cover with a warm compress for 15 minutes. Repeat as needed.
 

Stop hair loss

Combine burdock root, ginger, hops flower, lavender, rosemary, thyme, or yarrow oils with a carrier oil. Add a small amount to your palm and massage into your scalp. We recommend applying this prior to showering, leave it in for at least fifteen minutes.
 

Detoxify your body

Add rosemary and juniper oils to a warm epsom salt bath.
 

How you can use essential oils for beauty

 

Itchy scalp

Add lavender, cedarwood or basil essential oils to your regular shampoo to reduce itching.
 

Hair thickener

Add rosemary essential oil to your regular shampoo as a natural hair thickener.
 

Natural DIY shampoo

To make natural homemade shampoo, mix lavender oil, rosemary oil, aloe vera gel and coconut milk. For oily hair, combine 10 drops of ylang ylang, lime and rosemary oil with two ounces of an unscented oil. Massage onto scalp three times per week. Rinse with shampoo.
 

Shaving aid

Add a drop of sandalwood or lavender essential oil to shaving cream to calm skin.
 

Lip balm

Combine coconut oil, beeswax and lavender oil to chapped lips.
 

Body butter

Mix coconut oil, shea butter, magnesium oil and preferred essential oils for a moisturizing body lotion.
 

Reduce the appearance of cellulite

Mix five drops of grapefruit essential oil with two teaspoons of coconut oil and massage into any areas with cellulite.
 

Reduce stretch marks

Combine five drops of frankincense, myrrh and grapefruit essential oils with coconut oil and apply to stretch marks.
 

Natural perfume

Dab one or two drops of jasmine, vanilla or lavender essential oil on your wrists for a natural fragrance. For something more musky, try cypress and clove.
 

Acne face wash

To help treat acne, mix tea tree oil and raw honey and rub onto your face as a natural face wash.
 

Teeth whitener

Mix lemon essential oil, coconut oil and fresh strawberries into a paste and then rub on your teeth. Leave on for two minutes and rinse.
 

Natural toothpaste

Mix together sea salt, baking soda, coconut oil and xylitol (http://amzn.to/29RsARt) with peppermint essential oil to create a natural toothpaste.
 

Natural deodorant

Mix coconut oil, beeswax and your favorite essential oils like cedarwood and clove oil or lavender and vanilla oil for a natural deodorant.
 

Nail strengthener

Combine 10 drops each of frankincense, myrrh and lemon essential oils with two tablespoons of Vitamin E oil to rub on cuticles.
 

Wrinkle reducer

Combine four drops each of sandalwood, geranium, lavender and frankincense essential oils with an unscented lotion as a face moisturizer.
 

Reduce age spots

Apply frankincense essential oil three times daily directly onto skin to improve sun and age spots.
 

Body spray

Add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil to four ounces of water and keep in a spray bottle for a natural body spray.
 

Body scrub

Combine a few drops of your favorite essential oil with almond oil and sugar for a natural body scrub.
 

Facial scrub

Mix ¼ cup yogurt, ¼ cup cornmeal and five drops of patchouli, grapefruit and lavender essential oils.
 

Natural skin toner

Combine eight ounces of water with two drops of lavender, geranium and frankincense essential oils and apply to face after washing and before moisturizing.
 

Heal dry, cracked feet

Combine three drops of lavender oil to two tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply to your feet at night before bed.
 

How you can use essential oils for cooking

 

Produce cleanser

Wash your fruit and vegetables in a large bowl of water with two drops of lemon.
 

Flavor booster

Add your favorite citrus flavored essential oil to your next smoothie for added flavor. Or give your salsa or guacamole extra flavor by adding a drop of cilantro, lemon and/or lime essential oil.
 

Boosted lemonade

Add a drop of lemon or lime essential oil to lemonade to amp up the citrus flavor.
 

Mint coffee

For a minty coffee, add a drop of peppermint essential oil.
 

Lavender cake

Add lavender essential oil to a basic vanilla cake recipe for a floral take on the sweet treat.
 

It is important to note that when it comes to ingesting essential oils, not all oils are created equal. Look for brands that sell organic oils and have stated that their oils are safe to ingest. Regardless of the type of essential oil, a drop is almost always enough. Ingesting large quantities of essential oils is not only unhealthy – it can also be dangerous.
 
And not ALL essential oils can or should be ingested. Do your research on each oil to make sure it’s safe before you ingest it.
 

Shop the most commonly listed essential oils from this article by clicking on them below:

Peppermint essential oil
Lavender essential oil
Lemon essential oil
Tea Tree essential oil
Frankincense essential oil
Sandalwood essential oil
Grapefruit essential oil
Rosemary essential oil
 

Keeping the most popular essential oils on hand is a great way to start incorporating some of these practices into your day-to-day life. Peppermint, lavender, lemon and tea tree oil are a few great staple oils that you should have at all times.

 
What are your favorite ways to use essential oils? Have we missed any? Please share in the comments below.
 
This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat or diagnose. Please consult your doctor for any health-related questions or concerns.
 

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Megan Thompson

Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free. You can find her work at Rocky Mountain Essential.

rockymountainessentials.net

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