Essential Oil Properties

Your guide to essential oil uses and properties... learn how to use essential oils every day

Essential oils have so much to offer. They're wonderful aids to balance your spirits, restore your body and enhance your environment.

Use them for easing pain, improving mood, cleaning, skin care and a hundred other things. (Try making some of the aromatherapy recipes here - it's easy, fun and very rewarding!)

Essential oils are powerful botanical substances, and it's important to know some basic information about essential oil properties and safety precautions for using them.

Quick Overview - Essential Oil Properties

Essential oils work in three major ways to support your well-being:

  1. They help kill viruses, bacteria and fungi in the air and on your skin, helping you stay healthy and germ-free.
  2. They help reduce pain, inflammation and swelling, easing your aching muscles and joints.
  3. They sedate your nervous system, relaxing and loosening tight, tense muscles, calming your nerves and quieting your mind.

Each essential oil has its own special strengths and properties. So each essential oil is especially suited for a certain job.

For example... Lemon, Tea Tree and Cinnamon are known to be powerful antiseptics (germ killers) and are perfect for use in home cleaning products.

Sandalwood, Frankincense and Ylang Ylang rejuvenate skin and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles - perfect in formulas for aging or devitalized skin.

Check out the Essential Oil Use Chart, which gives you the best essential oils for problems ranging from acne to weight loss, plus aromatherapy recipes.

How to Use Essential Oils Safely

How to Do a Spot Test

Put 1 drop of the essential oil into 15 drops of carrier oil (rice bran oil is probably your best bet) and rub it into your upper chest.

If you show no reaction after 12 hours, it's likely safe to use it.

Always dilute essential oils when applying them to your skin (in a bath or massage oil, for instance.)

The one exception to this rule is lavender - it's safe to apply lavender 'neat' (undiluted) in the case of cuts, burns, scrapes, bug bites and such.

Pregnant women need to be careful about using essential oils. Only some essential oils are considered to be safe when used in small, well-diluted amounts: cardamom, coriander, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lemon verbena (also called melissa,) lime, neroli, palmarosa, petitgrain, spearmint and ylang ylang.

If you're highly allergic or have extremely sensitive skin, do a spot test before using essential oils.

Essential Oil Properties

Click on the links below to get detailed information on each of the most common essential oil properties, uses and safety precautions.

Buying a Starter Set of Essential Oils

New to this whole aromatherapy thing? Here's some links to help you buy your first oils, based on Valerie Ann Worwood's suggestions in The Complete Book of Essential Oils. Happy blending!

Or try a sample size starter kit for an easy, inexpensive way to begin.

Check out some related pages and then GET MIXING!!! The links below are an easy way to begin your aromatherapy adventure.

How to Mix Essential Oils

Essential Oil Use Chart

Aromatherapy Recipes Homepage from Essential Oil Properties

Using the Search Box

Looking for recipes containing a certain essential oil? Use the Search Box below. For example, simply type in "lavender" (without the quotes) and hit Search. Every page on this website that includes the word Lavender will pop up. Poke through them and decide which recipe to try next. Happy hunting!