How to Choose the Best Essential Oils for Your Needs
Which Oils Are Essential Oils?
In brief, essential oils are aromatic compounds that have been extracted from different plants. There are many unique aromatic compounds that give each essential oil its signature essence. The most popular oils include lavender, peppermint, lemon, and frankincense essential oil. If you’re interested in a more in-depth article on essential oils, check out our previous article on the same topic.
What Essential Oils Are Good for What Things?
- Angelica root – For psoriasis, fatigue, gout, sinus infections, and nicotine addiction
- Anise – For muscle aches, flatulence, flu, colds, and bronchitis
- Atlas cedarwood – For acne, dermatitis, stress, cystitis, and dandruff
- Basil – For sinuses, insect bites (as an insect repellent), muscle aches, and rheumatism
- Bay laurel – For amenorrhea, colds, flu, tonsillitis, and loss of appetite
- Black spruce – For tendonitis, cellulite, over-exercised muscles, sinus congestion, and catarrh
- Cajeput – One of the best essential oils for colds, oily skin, asthma, sore throat, spots, and bronchitis
- Catnip – For congestion, also works as an antiseptic and a mosquito repellent
- Cistus – As an antiseptic, anti-microbial, sedative, and vulnerary
- Coriander – As an analgesic or carminative, and helps with digestion
- Frankincense – For PMS, menstrual cramping, and mood swings
- Geranium – For menstrual cramps, infertility, endometriosis, hemorrhoids, neuralgia, depression, fatigue, and PMS
- Hemp – As an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial
- Jasmine absolute – One of the best essential oils for face care, dry skin, depression, labor pains, and sensitive skin
- Lavender – For headaches, nausea, chills, vomiting, and anxiety
- Lemon – For anxiety, depression, and infections
- Lemongrass – For high blood sugar, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, and inflammation
- Mandarin – For scars, spots, stress, wrinkles, and insomnia
- Manuka – For catarrh, contusions, cuts, wounds, athlete’s foot, parasitic infection, and ringworm
- Melissa – For fungal infections, nausea, herpes, stress, sleep disorders, and candida
- Myrtle – For colds, exhaustion, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections, and boils
- Opoponax – As an antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant, and fragrance fixative
- Palo Santo – For arthritis, anxiety, panic, headaches, and allergies
- Patchouli – One of the best essential oils for hair care, dermatitis, mature skin, oily skin, stress, and chapped skin
- Petitgrain – For fatigue, acne, perspiration, stress, and insomnia
- Pink peppercorn – For circulation, sprains, and arthritis, and also works as a stimulant or an antiviral
- Rose – For digestion, sore joints or muscles, and congested nasal passages
- Spearmint – For nausea, vertigo, fever, asthma, and headaches
- Spikenard – For muscular spasms, menstrual problems, aging skin, sciatica, and neuralgia
- Sweet orange – For depression, acne, and digestion
Side Effects and Warnings
Even though essential oils come with heaps of benefits, they may also be dangerous if used incorrectly. Keep in mind that herbal products and plants contain numerous bioactive compounds that can be harmful for humans and animals. Of course, when essential oils for aromatherapy are combined with a base oil or inhaled, the majority are safe to use. However, children, pregnant women, and pet owners need to be extra cautious.
The most common side effects of essential oil usage include rashes, headaches, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks. Peppermint, ylang-ylang, lavender, and tea tree are the most common essential oils that have caused a great number of adverse effects.
Even some of the best essential oils for aromatherapy, such as cinnamon, contain phenols, compounds that are known for causing irritation on the skin. Furthermore, oils such as lemon may worsen a skin reaction to sunlight and make it more prone to sunburn. Above all, swallowing any type of essential oil may be hazardous and in some instances, fatal.
Helpful Ways to Verify Quality
Essential Oil Storage
The best pure essential oils should be stored in dark glass bottles. One of the easiest signs to look for when searching for a reliable supplier is how the essential oil products are stored. The best quality oils must always be sold in containers that are dark colored, like dark blue or amber.
The reason for this is that dark containers protect the essential oils from exposure to ultraviolet rays, which may cause degradation over time. Remember that any essential oil products that are stored in containers made from plastic aren’t considered pure essential oils.
The Essential Oil’s Texture
Another helpful way to determine whether you’ve spotted fake or pure aromatherapy oils is by doing the “greasiness” test. Try rubbing a small amount of the essential oil between your fingers. If it’s greasy or oily, it most likely contains a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. Quite simply, pure essential oils absorb into your skin quickly, and they don’t leave an oily residue.
The Paper Residue Test
Do great essential oils leave residue on paper? Due to their volatile nature, quality pure essential oils shouldn’t leave any traces of residue on white paper when dried. Hence, an easy way to spot a fake “pure” essential oil product from the real thing is by conducting a simple test on white paper. If there’s any residue on the paper after you let the essential oil dry, most likely you’re dealing with a product that has been diluted with some type of carrier oil.
To Sum Up
Hopefully, this review of the 15 best essential oils on the market will be of great help when searching for the highest quality product for you. All in all, we cannot recommend each of these products on our list enough, so we suggest you pick the one you like best. Also, have you already tried an essential oil product before? Which one do you recommend and why? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below.