Search for “most important essential oils” or “must-have essential oils” and you’ll get several lists. Some oils are on all the lists, others are personal preferences. The list in this article is my personal preference, based on what oils help me best.
When I began to use essential oils I bought a starter kit because I didn’t know anything about the oils. I supposed a starter kit would have all the right essential oils. But in the end, there are just a few types of essential oils that I kept on using once a bottle was empty.
Never did it occur to me that I could have better educated myself first, and after that buy the bottles that were right for me. So it’s really good, I think, to not make my mistake and browse the internet first before buying anything.
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Table of contents
My most important essential oils
The first 5 on my list happen to be on everyone’s list. They either have the perfect characteristics or are the easiest ones to get used to.
Most essential oils have antiseptic, antitoxic, and regenerative properties, making them great for healing purposes, and cleaning reasons.
Lemon oil is widely used in kitchen and bathroom cleaning products. It is antiseptic and anti-fungal, and removes grease stains excellently. It purifies the air, so it is ideal for diffusing. With the added advantage that insects hate the scent. When we go for a walk in the summer, I drip some lemon oil on my sun hat to keep the flies away.
The antiviral property strengthens our natural immune system.
Pay attention to the label if you want to use lemon essential oil internally. Not every oil is considered safe enough to put in your food. Lemon acid damages the enamel of your teeth, so if you mix it in water for taste, don’t add too many drops.
The list of primary uses of lavender oil is huge. The best known are the soothing and antidepressant effects of lavender producing more balance in our life. I use lavender oil to sleep better. Half an hour before I go to sleep, I inhale 3 drops from my palms, after which I rub my hands on the vita flex points at the soles of my feet.
Lavender is not only great for the mind, but also for the body. It is analgesic, antihistamine and anti-infectious, and works wonderfully on allergic reactions and rashes of all kinds.
Tea Tree oil is very strong, caution is advised. But precisely because it is so strong, it works wonderfully.
It is antibacterial, anti-infectious, and anti-inflammatory. My ear canal is often clogged and I drip some tea tree oil and helichrysum oil mixed with olive oil in my ears to ease the pain and itching.
Mind you, I am not a doctor, so this is not medical advice. And eventually, I have to go to the doctor for treatment. Yet, since I have been using the oil mixture, it has become a lot easier to treat.
I had to get used to eucalyptus oil. Once I was in a eucalyptus forest in Portugal and I have loved that air ever since.
The oil is anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory, making it great for respiratory problems. But the smell of eucalyptus essential oil is much stronger than I remember from my experience back then in Portugal. If I cough a lot I put 1 drop in my palm, divide it with my other hand, and inhale gently and deeply 3 times.
If cats often do their unwanted needs in your yard, you can mix water with eucalyptus and mist it with a spray bottle where they usually sit. Cats don’t like the smell.
Do not put too much essential oil in the water, because eucalyptus is poisonous to cats. After all, we just want them gone, not dead.
Peppermint essential oil is a must-buy if you are prone to bloating or stomach discomfort. Put 1 drop on the area between your thumb and the rest of your hand and lick it up.
Like eucalyptus, peppermint is strong, so you only need to use 1 to 3 drops.
You can also put some drops on your fingertips and gently massage your aching abdomen.
Peppermint is antibacterial and very suitable to add to toothpaste or food.
The use of frankincense is ancient and known as incense from the Bible and the Catholic Mass. I use this oil when meditating.
It is very helpful to diffuse frankincense when you are very tired or depressed.
Helichrysum helps with skin problems and eczema. It would also help against tinnitus, which was the first reason for me to buy it, but unfortunately, I didn’t notice much of that.
Traditionally, it has been commonly used for asthma and bronchitis.
For me, clove has the scent of my youth. My mother often used cloves in food, especially in beef hash along with bay leaves.
We don’t eat meat anymore and I only use cloves when there are a lot of flies: I stick them in half a lemon and put it on a plate.
Clove essential oil I use as a muscle warmer and when I have muscle pain, blended with helichrysum, peppermint, and wintergreen, along with some olive oil.
What essential oils should you avoid?
Some bottles of essential oils have a black cross on an orange square, the symbol of danger. It’s obvious you can better avoid those.
Don’t buy synthetic oils. Choose organic, non-GMO, and well-tested brands. Usually, these are not the ones available in the supermarket. Go to a specialty shop instead.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of fraud in the essential oil market. Especially since they became more used and better known. Price doesn’t always mean an oil is good or bad, but a cheap one of less than 10€ or 12$ is bound to be not good.
You have probably noticed that the essential oils I use mostly solve problems with the respiratory system and related ailments such as coughing and eczema.
As a child, I had severe chronic bronchitis and I suffered from eczema for half my life. Those remain my weak spots, which I have, however, well under control with, among other things, the essential oils mentioned.
I am not an expert in this field and as said before this article is not medical advice. I consider essential oils to be supportive and not a substitute for medical treatment when needed.
Do you know the oils from my list? Tell us in the comment box below.