I began my essential oil journey a few months ago. I decided to start using essential oils because I wanted to use a more natural product in my everyday life, which not only would benefit me but the environment as well. Before I got into essential oils, I always thought they were only used for aromatherapy. Boy, was I wrong! Essential oils are extremely versatile and have so many benefits.
Now let me start off by saying I am not an expert by any means. I’m just a college student who spends her free time researching essential oils.
What is an essential oil?
Essential oils are extracted from a plant’s roots, stem, bark or flowers through distillation by steam or water. These oils have been used for centuries in a number of cultures. Common uses included religious purposes and for healing the ill. The earliest records of essential oil use dates back to 4500 B.C.E., by the Egyptians.
Where to buy essential oils:
Recently, essential oils have become more “trendy,” meaning you can find them almost everywhere. Oils can be found at health food stores, on Amazon and even at Walmart! To add to the vast availability, there are also numerous brands to choose from. Plant Therapy, Young Living, Eden’s Garden and doTerra are some of the more well-known ones. So, with all these options, aren’t you feeling a bit overwhelmed? I knew I was when I first got into essential oils.
Buying essential oils isn’t as easy as you may think. Oils that are conveniently stocked at big-box stores are not the real deal, I’m sorry to say. In order to find the highest quality essential oil, you must do a little homework. Pure, high-quality essential oils will have the beneficial properties essential oils are known to have. They are cleaner and healthier for you to use as well. With the high demand for essential oils, a lot of companies have chosen quantity over quality. Those essential oils stocked at big-box retailers, for example, are often extremely diluted and full of filler materials and other nasty chemicals.
It’s extremely important that you do your research on essential oil brands to see which ones are the best. Look for ones that are certified organic, third-party tested and have positive reviews. Pure oils do come with a price tag. As a college student, I only splurge on the oils I need, and don’t impulse-buy ones that I’ll never use. Only a few drops are needed in either a diffuser or a homemade remedy, so a bottle of an essential oil can last a long time.
With more than 90 types of essential oils, it can be hard to choose the ones right for you. Trust me, it’s overwhelming!
So here are some oils I swear by and believe every college student needs:
If there is only one essential oil to own, this is the one. Lavender is the most popular essential oil there is and for good reason. It has many uses and beneficial properties. It is best known for its calming aroma and can relieve any stress that you may have. If you’re like me and can’t sleep well, then diffuse some lavender! It’s a natural sleep aid that will have you catching Zs in no time.
If you’re clumsy like me, you can apply a drop of lavender oil onto a burn or minor cut. It reduces swelling and the pain of a burn, kills bacteria and cleans a cut just as good as any antibiotic cream. Lavender oil can also be used to moisturize chapped lips, dry skin and even sunburns.
There are quite a number of other benefits to lavender oil (including stopping nosebleeds!), so check it out for yourself. There are plenty of awesome recipes for moisturizers, pillow sprays and beauty products that utilize lavender oil as well.
Peppermint not only brings holiday cheer, but has several other properties. It is known to keep you energized and focused, which I always need during my lectures. Nervous about an exam or ate something that isn’t sitting right? Peppermint oil can also be used to relieve nausea, stomach pain and other minor digestive issues.
If you’re worried about scaring away a first date with bad breath, then be sure to place a drop of oil on your tongue to be pepper-minty fresh! My favorite benefit of this oil is that it helps relieve headaches. By rubbing a drop or two behind your ears, your headache will disappear in no time.
Lemon is one of the best cleansers because it’s a natural disinfectant and can be made into a natural all-purpose cleaner. Diffusing it will purify the air and will make your place smell refreshing. Its purifying and refreshing properties can also be utilized through internal use. Adding a drop of lemon essential oil to your morning glass of water is a refreshing way to wake up and will help cleanse you from that 2 a.m. Topper’s Pizza run from the night before.
This oil can also be used for skin and hair care. Making a homemade face wash with lemon essential oil can give you a refreshing, healthy glow every morning – even if you’re running on four hours of sleep. It can also help to combat oily skin.
4. Tea Tree
If you’re accident-prone like me, then this is the essential oil for you. Tea tree is an antiseptic and can heal minor cuts and scrapes by stimulating white blood cells and reducing inflammation. Tea tree oil can fight acne too. A study found that the essential oil was just as effective as the most popular anti-acne medication, benzoyl peroxide. Because tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, it can also be used in a number of homemade natural recipes. It can be used to make deodorant, mouthwash, hand sanitizer and all-purpose cleaner.
Rosemary is the best study buddy. Why? Because it’s known to improve memory. So, if you’re like me and cram for an exam the night before, test out rosemary. The oil is also useful for aiding in digestion and soothing muscle aches. Rosemary has antiseptic properties and can be used for skin and hair care, too.
Essential oils can be diffused, made into products and applied topically. When applying an oil directly to the skin, be sure to use a carrier oil! Because essential oils are so concentrated, applying them directly to the skin can sting. In order to obtain topical benefits, be sure to dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or argan oil.
These oils aren’t just for making your room smell nice. Each one has its own unique benefits. Essential oils are a natural way to stay healthy and can save you money on medicine, beauty products and cleaning products by allowing you to make your own at home! There’s so much to learn about essential oils and I’ve only scratched the surface here.