I narrowed this fave list to 5, with reasons for why I chose them. These are the oils I reach for the most and always want available in my home. I won’t get brand specific here. These oils will come up the most in future Using Essential Oil posts.
- Peppermint (mentha piperita): Let’s see…what is peppermint good for? Headaches, pain, congestion, allergies, constipation, nausea, inflammation, sore or tight muscles, circulation…I could go on. Plus I love the smell. Mark takes a roll-on applicator (1/4 oil, 3/4 carrier) every day to work and applies on his shoulders, neck, temples, and anywhere else that’s sore during his break. He works a physically demanding job and loves how it makes him feel. Peppermint is a hot oil, and should be used with caution, especially around young children and pregnant or breastfeeding moms (so, research before using, and only do what you’re comfortable with). Another plus, high quality peppermint is inexpensive since the plant is indigenous to the States.
- Lavender (lavendula angustifolia): One of the safest and most useful oils on the planet. I’ve used it neat (no carrier) to soothe burns and insect bites, promote fast healing, and diminish scars. It’s highly antiseptic, anti fungal, and anti microbial. Great for congestion and allergies. Relaxing and soothing in a bath–it helps my daughter get ready for bed. Calming, soothing on the skin. I’m comfortable diffusing it in near my infants, and mixing in drops with (regular) coconut oil for diaper rashes and baby massage.
- Frankincense Frereana (boswelia frereana): Also known as Sacred Frankincense, this pricey, but fantastic “King of Oils” has so many benefits I couldn’t list them here. I’ll start with that it’s fantastic for anything and everything skin related: wrinkles, spots, moles, warts, scars, skin tone. High in sesquiterpenes, “Frank” is stimulating and elevating to the mind and helps in overcoming stress and despair, as well as supporting the immune system. It’s being studied as a “therapeutic agent for treating inflammatory symptoms associated with arthritis” (PubMed) since it has been “demonstrated that B. frereana prevents collagen degradation, and inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory mediators and MMPs.” For more information about this oil, see Heritage Essential Oils’ page on frankincense frereana.
- Lemon (citrus limonum): Great for allergies, congestion, general illness. Antiseptic, cleansing. Refreshing, purifying, and energizing when diffused. One of the only oils I ever (but rarely) use internally (brand picky, more info another time). A hundred random uses you can look up on Pinterest and Google.
- Lemongrass (cymbopogon flexuosus): I had a hard time picking the #5 slot, but settled on lemongrass since I use it a lot, particularly on my wool dryer balls toward the end of laundry drying cycles. Because of the abundant supply of the plant, it’s one of the cheapest oils on the market, regardless of brand. Great for circulation and skin care, and has been “successfully used for bladder infections, respiratory and sinus infections, digestive issues, parasites, torn or damaged ligaments and muscles, fluid retention, varicose veins and salmonella” (though not by me). Once again, Heritage has great information about lemongrass.
Honorable mentions: Tea tree, eucalyptus radiata, basil, and oregano.