You’ve probably heard about essential oils before. But, some of the information may seem a little “out there.”
Plus, the market is flooded with tons of essential oil blends, brands, and claims of (questionable) health benefits.
Lucky for you, we compiled a bunch of essential oil research to find the top 5 essential oils you should use for better health. Plus, we also share our top 3 choices for essential oil brands!
If you’re wondering, “wait, what the heck are essential oils?”, then read our Essential Oils 101 blog post first!
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Top 5 Essential Oils for Better Health
1. Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
We know you’ve probably heard about lavender oil like 300 times already. But, ya’ll. Lavender oil is like the OG of essential oils. It’s impossible to talk about the top essential oils without mentioning lavender oil!
Lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant and is well-known for its soothing properties. This power flower has some of the most researched benefits. For example, many studies show that lavender oil can reduce feelings of anxiety (1, 2). It may also help you recover postpartum, with one study finding that lavender oil aromatherapy reduced pain and fatigue, and improved mood in the first 24 hours of the postpartum period (3).
Additionally, if you have sleep issues, lavender oil may be the best essential oil for you. Combined with good sleep hygiene, lavender oil can improve sleep quality (4, 5). It’s also fantastic to fight inflammation!
How to Use It
Diffuse lavender oil anytime you feel anxious or stressed. You can also place a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow before bed to promote better sleep quality.
2. Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Tea tree oil comes from a small tree native to Australia and has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.
It is most well-known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil has the ability to kill several common bacteria known to cause illness, like E. coli (6).
Tea tree oil can even be a natural treatment for acne! Several studies have shown that it can reduce zits and overall severity of acne (7). In fact, one study found that tea tree oil was as effective as benzoyl peroxide (a common acne medication), but did not cause as much dryness (8). Score!
How to Use It
Because of its powerful bacteria-killing benefits, tea tree oil is often used in homemade cleaning products and natural hand sanitizer. You can also mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and place over minor cuts and scrapes to prevent infection.
For acne concerns, mix 4 to 6 drops of tea tree oil into your facial moisturizer and apply it to your entire face. For those annoying singular zits, place a few drops of tea tree oil onto a cotton swap and dot it directly onto the blemish. Don’t forget to do a skin patch test beforehand, though!
3. Peppermint Oil (Mentha x piperita)
You’re probably familiar with the next top essential oil because many people use derivatives of peppermint oil every day! Chewing gum and toothpaste aside, peppermint oil has many benefits for digestion, headaches, and mental clarity.
This oil has been studied most extensively for a condition called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). When used in capsule form, peppermint oil extract may reduce IBS symptoms like bloating and abdominal pain by up to 50 percent (9). It can also be used topically to relieve tension headaches within 15 minutes of application (10).
While the research is limited, many people also use peppermint essential oil to reduce nausea and improve focus!
How to Use It
For IBS symptom management, try enteric-coated peppermint capsules. Studies have successfully used up to 225 mg of peppermint oil three times per day.
Additionally, there are a few ways to use peppermint oil to reduce tension headaches. First, you can try mixing 3 to 5 drops of peppermint oil with a small amount of coconut oil and massage into the sides of your temples. You may also diffuse it into the air or place a few drops into your warm bath.
4. Lemon Oil (Citrus limon)
For refreshing and uplifting aromatherapy, lemon oil is our top essential oil of choice!
Lemon oil is a mood enhancer and can even have antidepressant-like effects when diffused into the air (11). Many other studies show its benefits for stress relief, creativity, and increased concentration!
If that isn’t enough to convince you, this essential oil also contains a compound called D-limonene which diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and promotes blood circulation (12).
How to Use It
We love diffusing refreshing lemon oil when we have the Monday blues. Not only can it boost your mood, but it can also promote creativity and concentration, which makes it a great oil of choice for the workplace!
To reap the antioxidant and skin-enhancing benefits, mix 3 to 5 drops of lemon oil into your daily moisturizer. However, citrus oils increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so stay out of direct sunlight for a couple of hours after using lemon oil topically.
5. Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
Eucalyptus oil comes from the leaves of an Australian eucalyptus tree and is used in many over-the-counter drugs like vapor rubs, creams, and mouthwashes.
It has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it ranks in our top 5 essential oil choices. The most popular use for this essential oil is for reducing respiratory symptoms in conditions like asthma, nasal congestion, bronchitis, and the common cold!
We also like to refer to eucalyptus oil as nature’s “icy hot” because it can help relieve muscle and joint pain when massaged into the affected areas (13).
How to Use It
To treat colds and other respiratory conditions, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a diffuser or place a few drops onto your pillow to ensure a restful night of sleep!
Alternatively, you can mix 3 drops of eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and massage onto your chest to relieve coughing and clear congestion.
Best Essential Oil Brands
Whether you’re an essential oil newbie or a seasoned pro, you cannot go wrong with our top five essential oil choices!
But, where can you buy these essential oil champs? We did a bit of digging to find our top three choices of essential oil brands.
This company sources their oils through small, independently-owned organic farms to ensure top quality and integrity of their essential oil products. Their oils are free from pesticides, chemical fertilizers, adulterants, and added synthetic chemicals.
It’s nearly impossible to jump into the essential oil world without hearing about DoTERRA! This company mandates extensive purity testing for all of its products, which is key to ensure you are getting top quality, 100% pure oils. They offer a wide variety of oils, including single-ingredient products as well as mixed blends.
This essential oil brand provides transparent third-party testing information on their oils to ensure purity and safety. In fact, each of their products is numbered, allowing you to quickly check which tests were completed on that specific oil product.
With a tagline of “Changing the game for anxiety, sleep, and pain,” who wouldn’t benefit, right?! We believe in the sourcing of this product so much, it’s the one we use (for people and pets). Learn more here in this podcast. And, use code: CHALENE for a discount!
Do you use essential oils at home? Leave a comment below to share your experience!