How to use Essential Oils

If you’re the sort of person that cares about health and wellness, then you might well have heard the term ‘essential oils’. These are products which are supposed to provide a wide range of health benefits (though some of the claims are contested such that the Advertising Standards Agency has put out some guidance which addresses them). 

Essential oils are used extensively in aromatherapy, but you might also want to keep them around just because you like the way they smell.

What makes an oil ‘essential’?

The first thing to understand here is that the term ‘essential’ doesn’t mean ‘required’ or ‘mandatory’. They’re not like the essential amino acids you need to include in your diet. 

Rather, in this instance, ‘essential’ means ‘containing the essence of’. So, to create an essential lemon oil, you might extract the aromatic chemicals from a lemon, and combine them with what’s called a ‘carrier’ oil.

This can be a little bit confusing – but this can be a profitable confusion, as far as the industry is concerned.

What are the common essential oils, and what are their benefits?

Let’s run through a few of the most popular varieties of essential oil.


Lemon oil is sharp and obviously citric. For most of us, it’s invigorating. It’s also thought to aid digestion and boost mood.


Lavender is among the most popular scents. It’s used widely for stress relief and relaxation.

Tea Tree

This oil is used as an antiseptic. You’ll find it in a wide range of skincare products. It’s also thought to boost the immune system – though the evidence for this is a little more dubious.


This invigorating oil is thought to be another means of improving digestion, and providing an energy boost.

Different ways to use them

We should make it clear here that essential oils are not meant to be ingested. Rather, they might be used in a diffuser, or applied directly to the skin. You might also place a few drops into the bath, or the floor of your shower, for the smell to linger thereafter. A high power shower should sweep those droplets away, so if you prefer to do your bathing standing up, it’s usually a good idea to use a diffuser instead.

You don’t need much to create a powerful aroma, which is part of the reason that these products make such a worthwhile addition to the bathroom cabinet. If you’re looking to take a long soak, it makes sense to break out the essential oils.

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