The Top 11 Essential Oils to get you through the rest of 2020.
2020 has been a hell of a year, with even more in store for us over the next few months. From a pandemic to protests for social justice, wildfires and hurricanes to quite possibly the most important election of all time, this year has really thrown a lot at us. One way I’ve been keeping myself sane throughout all of it, is through the use of aromatherapy. Keep calm and essential oil on – right?
To prevent you from losing your wits, keep you healthy and ultimately living your best life I’ve come up with a list of 11 essential oils to use throughout the next few months. These oils have a variety of different purposes ranging from preventing illness, to chilling out, to beating the winter (or possibly election) blues.
BUT, I want to be clear about the use of essential oils. If you are not familiar with how to dilute them or use them properly, PLEASE consult a professional. Essential oils can be dangerous and “more” definitely does not mean “better.” The safest way to use essential oils is by smelling them. Never put an essential oil directly on your skin and avoid consuming essential oils internally as most are toxic.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s check out this list.
*Mucolytic* *Anti-septic* *Anti-viral* *Decongestant*
Eucalyptus is one of the most powerful anti-septic oils out, making it a popular choice as we enter cold and flu season. There are many varieties of Eucalyptus so make sure to check the Latin name to know which one your buying. Eucalyptus globulus is the most common but the other varieties are great as well. When used in a diffuser or room spray eucalyptus is great at reducing the spread of viruses and bacteria. It’s scent is potent, like a breath of fresh air that helps sharpen the mind-perfect to help wake you up on those cold, groggy mornings.
*Anti-fungal* *Anti-viral* *Anti-bacterial*
Tea tree is one of the most healing of all essential oils. So much so that its often referred to as a “first aid in a bottle.” It has the capacity to stimulate the immune system and inhibit the growth of viruses. I can also prevent fungal infections, kill bacteria, reduce fevers and break up mucus. It is a great oil to diffuse around your home during the winter when we spend most of our time indoors.
*Anti-bacterial* *Anti-fungal* *Expectorant*
This essential oil is made from the leaves and twigs of the Sweet Bay Tree. The aroma is a spicy almost medicinal scent that pairs great with eucalyptus, rosemary, and spice oils such as clove and cinnamon. It has a ton of beneficial properties such as helping to boost the immune system and preventing diseases such as influenza and bronchitis. It’s also great for the digestive system! Just be careful because bay laurel can cause skin irritation if not diluted properly.
*Anti-bacterial* *Anti-depressant* *Anti-fungal*
Lemon essential oil has a bright and clean scent that blends well with other citruses, lavender, eucalyptus, and frankincense. It has antibacterial properties which is why it is commonly used in cleaning products. Avoid putting lemon oil directly on your skin as it can cause sun sensitivity. Lemon oil supports the regeneration of white blood cells, boosting the immune system and can aid in purifying the blood. It also can help reduce fevers, soothe sore throats, and aid with coughs, colds and influenza. It helps to fight feelings of sluggishness and leaves the mind clear and alert. Lemon is a perfect oil to use to beat the mid-day slump.
*Sleep-aid* *Anti-inflammatory* *Anti-bacterial*
Lavender has been used for thousands of years and is probably the most well-known essential oil. Although it seems to get all the attention, there is a good reason why. It is one of the most versatile oils out and is extremely safe and gentle. Lavender is calming and relaxing and helps to ease depression. It is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and has antibacterial properties as well. Lavender can be used to stimulate the immune system, and alleviate insomnia, headaches and excess stress. Another fun fact about lavender is that it can reduce body odor and is great to use in natural deodorants. Lavender is perfect to use in a diffuser to combat coughs and colds and to bring calm to a chaos mind. Pro Tip: If you’re ever in an emergency, remember that lavender fixes just about anything.
*Anti-fungal* *Anti-bacterial* *Anti-depressant*
Sweet orange has a fresh citrus smell that blends well with cinnamon, nutmeg, lavender and other citruses. Be careful as this oil should never be used undiluted. It is great for combating fungal infections and killing bacteria especially when blended with lemon or lavender. Orange oil increases energy and boosts the immune system helping to reduce fevers during colds and influenza. When mixed with lavender it has been shown to be effective against respiratory tract infections. Orange oil helps to relieve depression and encourages us to have more fun!
*Anti-inflammatory* *Anti-insomniac* *Anti-anxiety*
Roman chamomile is one of the most relaxing essential oils I’ve encountered. I love this option for those days that you’re really stressed. Maybe another presidential debate is on, or your kids are just not giving you the space you need to work from home; whatever it is roman chamomile can help. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Roman chamomile has a pleasant aroma, almost apple-like. Although it is an expensive essential oil, it blends well with flowery smells like lavender, patchouli and rose – a little bit goes a long way. It’s good for skin conditions such as acne and is a potent anti-insomniac. When used properly roman chamomile is even safe for babies! Just make sure you have the Roman variety over the German variety since German chamomile can cause some adverse reactions. I love combining Roman chamomile and lavender to spray on my pillow before bed.
*Anti-viral* *Disinfectant* *Purifying*
Similar to lemon, lime can also be phototoxic and should not be used directly on the skin. It has a bright bittersweet aroma that blends well with rosemary, citruses, ylang ylang and bergamot. The smell often reminds me of lime frozen fruit bars which brings back some great childhood memories. Lime is great to use to ease fevers, infections, colds, flu and sore throats. When inhaled this oil will help to brighten your outlook on life and leave the mind clear and alert- something I think we all could use during these trying times.
*Anti-septic* *Analgesic* *Antioxidant*
Clove is a warming oil perfect for the colder months. It is a potent antimicrobial and is also great for digestion. Clove oil has the power to boost energy, improve the function of glands, and relieve bronchitis and asthma. In studies it was found to be an effective anti-bacterial for respiratory infections such as sinusitis and pneumonia. Care should be taken when using clove oil to dilute properly and make sure to never ingest it.
*Antimicrobial* *Antioxidant* *Anti-inflammatory*
This is one of my all-time favorite oils. There is a little company in Sedona Arizona who makes a Douglas fir essential oil that is absolutely to die for. But besides smelling amazing (like walking into a florist’s shop during the holidays), Douglas fir has multiple health benefiting properties. It is perfect to diffuse when having guests over to help clean the air and give off a “happy Holidays” vibe. It’s also an anti-viral and can help with expelling mucus when you have a cold. It’s aroma is guaranteed to boost your spirits.
*Expectorant* *Analgesic* *Anti-microbial*
One of the most refreshing essential oils, peppermint oil is great for clearing the sinuses. It blends well with lavender and this combination is perfect for combating headaches (like the ones I get from working from my computer for 8hrs a day. It also blends well with eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon. Diffusing peppermint around the home can help kill viruses and bacteria. It is also effective at reducing fevers and loosening up mucus in the respiratory tract. It can relieve stress and fatigue and is a great oil to help beat the winter blues as it promotes mental clarity and dispels negative thoughts. I love using a peppermint oil inhaler when my allergies act up, it’s a sure way to clear out the sinuses and improve airflow.
In all honesty it was really hard to narrow it down to just 11 essential oils.
The holidays are such a perfect time to diffuse oils around your home (they’re safer and better for your health than burning candles) and with winter approaching, were all spending more time indoors. There are infinite options to choose from and different combinations and blends can really add some spice to a room so don’t be afraid to experiment. But, the benefits don’t need to stop when you leave the house.
A new product coming out is going to make taking essential oils on the go incredibly easy. Aroma Haelo is a gaiter style face covering that has incorporated aromatherapy into their product. Each face cover contains a small pouch that fits their pre-blended essential oil pods. They currently have 3 different blends that incorporate over 10 different essential oils. This product takes the hassle out of purchasing multiple oils and learning to blend and dilute them yourself. I can’t wait to get mine in the mail and start benefiting from aromatherapy all throughout the day.
Their current blends include Breathe Easy, a blend of eucalyptus and bay laurel that is sure to kickstart your day, Breathe Joy, a blend of citruses to help you through that mid-day slump, and Breathe Calm, a blend of Lavender and Roman Chamomile perfect for winding down in the evenings.
We have to wear facemasks anyways, so why not enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy while wearing one? Plus, they’re made of 100% cotton, are biodegradable and won’t contribute to landfill waste or toxin exposure.
However you choose to enjoy essential oils this season, make sure you’re doing it in a safe way to reap all the benefits and none of the unwanted side-effects. Keep calm and essential oil on!
*A mucolytic is something that helps to clear mucus from the respiratory tract.
* An expectorant stimulates phlegm removal to relieve chest congestion.
*An Analgesic is something that can help to relieve pain.