10 Best Essential Oils and How to Use Them - Plant Therapy Blog

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Essential Oils Blog

10 Best Essential Oils and How to Use Them

By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist

When you first start shopping for essential oils, it’s easy to get overwhelmed right off the bat. With so many wonderful choices, how do you know which one to get? We often get calls and messages from newer customers who need a bit of guidance on what to buy, but it’s not always an easy answer. There are so many different things to consider before making a purchase: What kind of problem are you trying to address? What type of scents do you enjoy? Are you sensitive to certain aromas? Do you prefer using organic ingredients or does it not really matter? Will the essential oil be used on or near a child?

See what I mean? There are a lot of things to think about when making your essential oil choices and everyone has their own unique needs. But to give newcomers a solid head start on their essential oil journey, we’ve compiled this list of the 10 most popular and versatile essential oils. You’ll learn why these oils are so widely used throughout the world and some of the most beneficial ways you can bring them into your own life!

Lavender

Essential oil bottle next to lavender

Lavender Essential Oil is an all-around great oil that just about everyone can benefit from. It’s known to be a wonderful choice when we need our minds to wind down because of its immediate calming effect on the nervous system—making it helpful as well for supporting quality sleep! Additionally,  Lavender can comfort our aches and pains, provide relief when headaches strike, and help reduce the always unwanted symptoms of seasonal allergies. It’s great to help freshen up your home or add to your cleaning products, soothe painful burns and skin inflammations, and calm itchy irritations. And this is all in addition to having a lovely herbaceous-floral aroma that works like a charm for beautifying skin and hair.

We sell Lavender Essential Oil in both organic and non-organic forms. Our pre-diluted roll-on is perfect for beginners who want to get to know Lavender without buying an undiluted bottle. We also have Lavender Lotion, Lavender Body Cream, and Lavender Aloe Jelly. This essential oil is part of our KidSafe line of products, is nursing and pregnancy safe, and has a shelf life of 3-4 years.

Learn so much more about this powerhouse oil and how to use it here: 10 Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oil

Lemon

essential oil bottle with lemons and mint

This quintessential citrus essential oil is exactly what you need for bringing sunshine indoors! It’s bright, fresh, and wonderfully uplifting and energizing. Lemon is known to promote mental clarity and focus, while its zesty and tangy aroma helps boost your mood! It’s popularly used to boost household cleaning products because of its immune supporting properties.

Lemon is another choice we offer in organic and non-organic. It is also offered in a steam distilled form, which is safer for topical applications as it isn’t phototoxic. Lemon is KidSafe, pregnancy and nursing safe, and has a shelf life of 1-2 years.

To learn more, read Explore Your Essential Oils: Lemon and Cleaning with Essential Oils: Six Oils to Enhance Your Routine

Tea Tree

Tea Tree Essential Oil Plant Therapy

Tea Tree is a go-to for tons of skincare needs. You’ll even find it commonly listed as an ingredient in many soaps and cleansers you can buy at the store. It helps with skin blemishes and irritations. It’s also a great one to use for cleaning because of its ability to fight odors and promote healthier air quality. Musty towels, gym bags, and stinky shoes don’t stand a chance against Tea Tree!

Our Tea Tree comes in organic and non-organic, as a pre-diluted roll-on, and as a lotion. It is pregnancy and nursing safe and has a shelf life of 2-3 years. To learn more information and recipes, check out 17 Last Minute DIYs with Lavender, Lemon, and Tea Tree.

Peppermint

The fresh, clean, and invigorating aroma that comes from Peppermint Essential Oil is hard to mistake. One of the best things about it is how much of a powerful brain energizer it is. It stimulates the mind, supports memory, focus, concentration, and mental performance. If you’re looking to step up your game this year, Peppermint is a must-have.

We offer Peppermint in both organic and non-organic forms, as a pre-diluted roll-on, and in a lotion. This is not a KidSafe oil; however, a close substitution to Peppermint is Spearmint, which is safe to use around young children. Peppermint is pregnancy safe, but not nursing safe, and has a 4-5 year shelf life.

Check out this DIY using Peppermint for a little bit of natural motivation: Healthy Habits DIY

Bergamot

bergamot essential oilBergamot is one of the most popular citrus oils available. It has an incredibly bright and fruity aroma and is full of mind and body benefits. It is calming and uplifting, making it perfect for a wide variety of emotional issues. It is also often used for skincare, digestion comfort,  and easing tension from the body.

Our Bergamot is available organic or non-organic. It is KidSafe, pregnancy and nursing safe, and has a shelf life of 2-3 years. To learn more about Bergamot, check out 5 Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil.

Frankincense Carteri

Frankincense Carteri Essential Oil Plant Therapy

This is an ideal essential oil to help promote the healing of bruises, swelling, sores, and discomfort. It helps to rejuvenate the look of mature skin and is a popular skincare choice. Emotionally, Frankincense Carteri is incredibly soothing, especially during times of grief and sorrow.

Organic, non-organic, a pre-diluted roll-on, and CO2 products are all available for Frankince Carteri. It is KidSafe, pregnancy and nursing safe, and has a shelf life of 2-3 years. Learn more about Frankincense Carteri here.

Orange Sweet

Orange Sweet essential oil plant therapy

Bright, sweet, and uplifting, this “happy” oil is wonderful to support a positive outlook. When stress and sadness are taking a toll on your well-being, Orange Sweet might be a perfect addition to your day. Plus, it can help keep your immune system strong and makes an excellent addition to cleaning products.

We offer both organic and non-organic Orange Sweet. It is KidSafe, safe during pregnancy and nursing, and has a shelf life of 1-2 years. Learn more about Orange Sweet on our Spotlight blog!

Vetiver

Vetiver essential oil plant therapy

Not too many oils can complete with how incredibly relaxing and balancing Vetiver is. It helps improve sleep, promotes positive thinking, is grounding, and very skin-nourishing. With a unique smokey and earthy aroma, Vetiver is a popular choice.

Vetiver is available as an organic and non-organic product. It is KidSafe, pregnancy and nursing safe, and has a shelf life of a whopping 6-8 years. Learn more about Vetiver with our Top 4 Ways to Use Vetiver.

Chamomile Roman

essential oil bottle surrounded by white flowers

The sweet, apple-like scent of Chamomile Roman is known to be relaxing during times of worry and anxiousness. It is one of the best essential oils to use before going to bed because of how it eases emotional and physical tension. Chamomile Roman can also support healthy digestion when your stomach isn’t feeling at its best.

We sell organic and non-organic Chamomile Roman. It is KidSafe, pregnancy and nursing safe, and has a shelf life of 2-3 years. Learn more about Chamomile here

Clary Sage

The earthy, fruity, and floral aroma of Clary Sage is balancing and calming, which makes it perfect when wanting to reduce feelings of anxiety and symptoms associated with depression. It helps create a calming atmosphere and supports mood stabilization.

You can get it in organic or non-organic forms, it is KidSafe, nursing safe but not pregnancy safe, and has a shelf life of 3-4 years.

Want to learn more about essential oils? Our Safe Essential Oil Recipes page on Facebook has thousands of active EO enthusiasts who love to share their stories, recipes, and so much more!

 

113 thoughts on “10 Best Essential Oils and How to Use Them”

  1. This is such thorough, helpful information! It has made EOs less intimidating and the information is presented in such an accessible manner. Love that it provides good overviews, with links for more info.

  2. Great post, and starter list! Like that they include oils that you don’t necessarily think of right out of the box. I ordered Vetiver and Frankincense after reading this post, and can’t wait to try them out!

  3. Wonderful information! I’ve read in a few different places that I can use cypress (KS) for bedwetting. Has anyone heard of this?

    1. Amber, there are some people who report help with Cypress and their children bedwetting, which is likely due to Cypress being a vasoconstrictor. However, I can’t personally point to any research done on this topic, but our team of aromatherapists may have more information. Feel free to reach out to them at [email protected]. 🙂

  4. This is really such a helpful blog post when getting started. Sometimes I find myself getting overwhelmed with all the choices but this is a good reminder that you only need a few and which ones to get started. Thanks Plant Therapy for making such helpful posts for when I need info!

  5. All your blog posts are so thorough and well thought out. This one is no exception – it’s not lengthy but there’s a ton of great info here! Thanks PT!!

  6. This was really helpful as I’m just starting out with EOs, appreciate the kid safe/pregnancy safe advisories as well!

  7. This is such a great post for getting started! I will definitely be adding Bergamot to one of my next orders!

  8. Wow. This list is fabulous. I’m slowly acquiring a cabinet full of oils but I’m missing some of these and need to restock some (I’m looking at you, lemon and lavender). Thanks for taking the guess work out of some of these!

    1. Chelsey, Peppermint contains a high amount of menthol, which we do not recommend using topically or diffusing around children because it can be very irritating for little bodies 🙂 An alternative to Peppermint is Spearmint, which offers a lot of the same benefits and is safe for children ~

  9. A great list to start anyone oil journey. However, I’d have to trade off clary sage for a hot oil for a beginner repertoire. Cassia , cinnamon, black pepper or clove- not kids age, but great oils to have in pain or muscle tension relief as well as other uses. A good starting collection should have both a cold oil and hot oil, as well as a resin and herb, citrus, and tea tree.

  10. Woah ! I thought this list would be full of basic EO, I’m so happy vetiver was on the list because this is a newly acquired oil for me. I love it for its earthy scent but it has so many wellness properties

  11. This is why I love Plant Therapy! I love reading your posts because sometimes you just need to remember the basics and understand what the oils are used for and how to use them.

  12. Great advice here! Of course lavender, lemon and peppermint are my go-to, but there are a few others I have yet to try.

  13. I’m about a year and a half into my adventure with essential oils, and there is SO much to learn. Articles like this are so helpful to me. I appreciate learning more about the best/basic oils, because I don’t want to grow my collection faster than I can learn how to effectively use them. I have 5 of the 10 oils discussed in this blog. I’ll be adding the ones I lack in future orders. Thanks so much!

  14. Well after seeing this list ; I see there are a few more oils I need to try. Thank you Plant Therapy for helping to take the mystery out of working with EO. I’m looking forward to learning more and reading your blogs.

  15. Thank for the informative blogs! I have all the oils, but have not yet tried clary sage. I will need to soon!

  16. A basic kit is like having sugar and flour in your pantry. But what if you already know that you are going to want to make pineapple upside down cake? So I also research what I want to use the oils for, and then compile my oils from that ‘basic’ list. The recent ‘build your own set’ was awesome! I was able to think in further terms of what over groups do I want? Bottom line: get the basics (unless one or more just isn’t your thing, ie lavender is for me) but think outside the basic basic.

  17. Interesting list. This has to be the first list I have seen in my 15 months of oil research that has vetiver and clary sage on it. Others have stated oregano or clove/cinnamon are must haves( at least one hot oil in your repertoire). It is a fascinating journey, for sure.

  18. I have all of these and love them so much! So glad I found vetiver! It makes falling asleep so much easier!

  19. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to essential oils, my first purchase was in October 2018, and sometimes I find all the recipes and projects to be a little over whelming. Plant Therapy is great at offering tips and tricks to make it easier and more approachable. Lots of great information in this blog that I see myself coming back to time and time again. Thanks PT for the great oils and knowledge!

  20. It’s so helpful to know that I do not need an arsenal of oils to start with. It really is overwhelming at first. Thank you for this reminder !

  21. Great list, have tried all but one. My girls love orange sweet. They smile a mile wide when we pair it with vanilla in their tub.

  22. These are all super oils but one additional one I would add is lime. I absolutely LOVE using it anytime with almost anything! I especially like to mix it with bergamot in my diffuser. Lime just reminds me of summer and a tall, cool gin and tonic!!!

  23. What a great list! I have most of these and use at least one of them almost daily. My order for chamomile is on the way but I removed vetiver from my cart right before putting in the order because I second guessed it! I read a few comments that said vetiver can make people feel drowsy and if used before bed can make it difficult to wake in the morning, has anyone else had this experience? Thanks for the blog post.

  24. It’s great to see what I’m missing. I also appreciate that an oil doesn’t need to be the most expensive to be among the best. Thanks!

  25. I love your description of Roman chamomile scent! I’m definitely going to be purchasing it now! I have clary sage but have never really used it so thanks for this great post!

  26. I just bought Vetiver and am so happy to hear it has such a long shelf life because I don’t ever use very much at one time. I’m also still looking for a way to use chamomile that doesn’t make me gag. My nose doesn’t seem to agree.

  27. This is a great blog post! I have all these oils but it’s funny you get so used to using them for a specific one or two things, you forget all the other uses. Thanks for expanding my knowledge PT!

  28. Great article for all of us “newbies” to essential oils! I’ve got all but Chamomile and Vetiver and definitely need to add these to my wish list.

  29. Great list! I have all these oils and am surprised by how many people don’t have chamomile or vetiver. These are my two top oils for settling my kiddos down at night. Whether it’s vetiver with vanilla or lemon or lavender with orange and chamomile. They work! Thank you for putting this together. Another great article from PT!

  30. I have all of these oils and use most daily. They are a definite must have! My favorite is Camomile for skincare with its calming and skin smoothing properties I won’t do without!

  31. I am grateful for this post. Most of these oils I use quite frequently but I still yet to incorporate clary sage and vetiver into routine. Thanks for the tips!

  32. I was wondering what the difference was between the different lemons, I’ll have to pick up the steam distilled lemon for summer time when I’m in the sun more.

  33. These are definitely oils for everyday use – mine are yet to live to their expiration date, I spend them much faster 🙂 (sharing is caring) I am missing Chamomile from this list, so let’s go shopping!

  34. I’m new to EOs so I’m pretty excited I have 9 of the 10 listed (with Vetiver already in my shopping cart!) I love all the resources Plant Therapy provides!

    1. This is a great post! I have most of these but I definitely need to add chamomile to my list of must haves! It is also nice learning all of the benefits for so many of the oils I already use!

  35. I love using lavender and tea tree for a fresh scent in a room in a spray bottle. Cant wait to try the uses for the oils mentioned, really great information!

  36. This is a great place to start! I’ve ordered bergamot at least three times from PT, and Vetiver twice! And have the rest of the oils on this list too. ☺️

  37. I love this list! Now I have some more oils to put on my wish list. I already use lavender, lemon, and peppermint but will definitely need to order some bergamot and vetiver soon.

  38. Love this list! But lavender is soooo overrated to me! It makes me nauseous and my kids don’t love it either. It’s kist not our favorite.

  39. Thank you for this summary! I wasn’t sure about Vetiver and Roman Chamomile, but they are now on my list. Bergamot is my absolute favorite, followed by Lemon and Sweet Orange, but I’d like to branch out more and I really appreciate guidance.

  40. I have most of these and have been very happy with them. I purchased 1 of the kits in the wooden box when I first started out, that was the way to go because it gave you a variety of different ones.

  41. Wonderful list for both newcomers to EO’s and more experienced users! It’s often helpful to be reminded to keep it simple and go “back to the basics” when getting overwhelmed by all the options.

  42. Will need to keep in mind the scent profile of vetiver, smokey and earthy, it sounds amazing. Frankincense seems like such a powerful essential oil, so no surprise it can help with grief.

  43. Wonderful list and refresher as to the great health benefits of using these essential oils. I’m happy to say I have all of them.

  44. Hmmm – I have all of these but Chamomile – maybe it’s time to add it to the collection! Great info on the shelf life of all of these – I hadn’t thought about that at all before.

  45. I have most of these oils. A couple of people mentioned not having Vetiver. I love Vetiver but for the uninitiated, let me mention that I find it quite strong. It smells woodsy and smoky to me, somewhat like Cedarwood. I like to mix it with floral fragrances such as Rose Absolute or Ylang Ylang.

    I do have a question: How is sweet orange different from wild orange and are the interchangeable in application? Is sweet orange interchangeable with tangerine?

    1. Amelia, you’ll want to compare the GC-MS reports of both types of orange oil you have to learn if you are comfortable interchanging them. However, orange varieties are often very similar and can be used in the same way. Sweet Orange and Tangerine are both citrus oils that can be used in many of the same ways and are both rich in the chemical constituent limonene, but they have a much different aroma. It really boils down to your own personal preference so some experimenting may be in order 🙂

  46. Great list!! I have most of these oils and particularly love lavender, peppermint and tea tree, I use these ones almost daily. I have bergamot and Vetiver on my wish list for my next order.

  47. What a great starting list for beginners. I own all of them, and I appreciate how versatile they all are. Clary Sage is my newest oil, and I’m eager to become more familiar with using it.

  48. I love this list. I was contemplating what oils I need to add to my collection. I have dabbled in essential oils for years but I have a newfound interest in their healing properties . I will now have to add Vetiver, Roman Chamomile to my wish list. I just purchased Clary Sage and Bergamot. I am happy to see more organic oils as well. I am loving the Bergamot and hope to learn to love the Clary Sage because its good for women’s health.

  49. Awesome list! The only one I don’t have is the Vetiver. I’m just not sure I will like it because I like more fruity/floral scents.

  50. What a great list! And I have all but one so now to check out what diys I can do with the new ones I got! Thank you PT!

  51. I loved reading this and glad I already have all of these except vetiver. It’s in my cart now! Thank y’all for putting out so much practical information to help everyone learn.

    1. Sammy, Vetiver is such a great EO to have in your collection. If the smell isn’t really up your alley, I suggest blending it with citrus oils, like Lemon or Bergamot, to help round it out and make it more appealing 🙂

  52. Excellent article. I always enjoy the blogs. Always something new to learn. I really like the fact that the shelf life is included.
    Thank you.

  53. I love how these oils are so versatile. Lemon, Lavendar and Peppermint were the first three oils I ever purchased, and they’re still my go-to’s for so many things.

  54. Thanks! Newbie here – I have a wishlist-full of your synergies, but maybe I should learn some of the more basics, first? (I love my lavender & peppermint)

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