there are so many beneficial essential oils to use for aromatherapy or topically. here are just a few popular oils and their benefits along with a glossary of NEED-TO-KNOW terms! essential oils can be tricky, so education is imperative!


AROMATHERAPY – the use of essential oils extracted from natural botanicals to relax, balance and rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.

CARRIER OIL – a vegetable oil such as coconut oil or grapeseed oil that can be used to dilute an essential oil. some oils may irritate the skin if they aren’t diluted, so they ensure that essential oils are comfortable to use. dilution with a carrier oil does not dilute the effect of the oil. (normal dilution ratio of 1 drop E.O. to 3-5 drops carrier oil)

ESSENTIAL OIL – the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants.

HOT OIL – oils that, when applied to the skin, can cause a hot or burning sensation. hot oils should be used with a carrier oil to prevent sensation. (hot oils include: cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, peppermint, oregano, thyme)

NEAT– a “neat” drop refers to a drop of liquid that is unmixed, or undiluted.

PATCH TEST – a test to determine whether you are sensitive to the oil. before use of each essential oil, apply 1-2 drops of the oil to a patch of skin on the forearm. observe that area of skin over the course of 1-2 hours for any noticeable reaction.

benefits / properties

ANALGESIC – pain relieving – usually applied locally
bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary

ANTIDEPRESSANT – uplifting to the mind and spirit, alleviates depression
basil, bergamot, chamomile, geranium, jasmine, lavender, patchouli, rose, ylang-ylang

ANTI-FUNGAL – helps destroy fungus
lavender, myrrh, tea-tree

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY – reduces inflammation
basil, chamomile, frankincense

ANTISEPTIC – helps prevent the growth of bacteria
bergamot, eucalyptus, juniper

ANTISPASMODIC – calms muscle spasms
basil, bergamot, black pepper, chamomile, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary

ANTITOXIC – works against poisoning
black pepper, juniper, lavender

ANTIVIRAL – counteracts the effects of viruses
cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavender, tea-tree

APHRODISIAC – stimulates sexual desire
black pepper, jasmine, juniper, patchouli, rose, ylang-ylang

ASTRINGENT – toner for skin
frankincense, geranium, juniper, peppermint, rose, rosemary

BACTERICIDAL – helps destroy bacteria
clary sage, clove, lemon, oregano, tea-tree

CARMINATIVE – helps rid of gas from the digestive tract
basil, benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, clary sage, fennel, juniper, lavender, peppermint, lavender, rosemary

CEPHALIC – stimulating for the head and mind
basil, peppermint, rosemary

CICATRISANT – promotes the formation of scar tissue, so good for helping wounds to heal
bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, juniper, lavender, rosemary

CORDIAL – this is a heart tonic
benzoin, lavender, melissa, neroli, peppermint, rose, rosemary

DECONGESTANT – relieves congestion – especially from mucous
black pepper, eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, tea-tree, thyme

DEODORANT – works against and masks body odor
benzoin, bergamot, eucalyptus, lavender, patchouli

DETOXICANT – helps eliminate or reduce toxic substances
black pepper, juniper

DIGESTIVE – helps digestion
basil, bergamot, black pepper, chamomile, fennel, frankincense, peppermint, rosemary

DIURETIC – helps increase the production of urine
black pepper, chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, lavender, rosemary

EMMENAGOGUE – increases the flow of blood and assists menstruation
basil, chamomile, clary sage, fennel, hyssop, juniper, lavender, marjoram, myrrh, peppermint, rose, rosemary

EXPECTORANT – helps get rid of phlegm and mucous
basil, bergamot, eucalyptus, peppermint

FEBRIFUGE – cools and reduces fever
black pepper, chamomile, eucalyptus, peppermint

HAEMOSTATIC – helps stop bleeding from wounds
geranium, rose

HEPATIC – a tonic for the liver
chamomile, peppermint, rose, rosemary

HYPERTENSOR – raises blood pressure

HYPOTENSOR – lowers blood pressure
clary sage, lavender, melissa, ylang-ylang

LAXATIVE – mildly promotes evacuation of the bowels
black pepper, fennel, rose

NERVINE – acts on the nervous system – often as a tonic
basil, chamomile, clary sage, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rosemary

REGULATING – balances the body’s systems
geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang

RUBEFACIENT – stimulates circulation locally and so causes redness of the skin
black pepper, eucalyptus, juniper, rosemary

SEDATIVE – has a soothing and calming effect
Bergamot, chamomile, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, patchouli, rose, ylang-ylang

SPLENETIC –  tonic for the spleen
black pepper, chamomile, fennel, lavender, fennel, rose

STIMULANT – has a invigorating action on the body and circulation
black pepper, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, tea-tree

STOMACHIC – a tonic of the stomach – helps digestion and improves appetite
basil, black pepper, chamomile, fennel, juniper, peppermint, rose, rosemary

SUDORIFIC – causes or increases perspiration
basil, chamomile, ginger, hyssop, juniper, lavender, melissa, peppermint, rosemary

TONIC – tones the body generally, or in one area. can be mildly stimulating and has a restorative effect
black pepper, chamomile, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, patchouli, peppermint, rose, rosemary, tea-tree

UTERINE – a tonic of the uterus
clary sage, frankincense, jasmine, rose

VASOCONSTRICTOR – when applied locally causes constriction of the blood vessels
chamomile, peppermint