We know of many essential oils because of their famous smells — Lavender, Rose, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Tea Tree. We find them in our candles, soaps, and lotions, and if you’re really into the trend, you know the calming or energizing effects that sniffing essential oils can have on your mood. But there are dozens of essential oils besides the ones that are popularly used to scent candles, and they have many uses for them besides their magnificent scents.
Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, meaning they can be used for a wide range of medicinal, cosmetic, or useful purposes. Here are some ways to use essential oils that you probably haven’t thought of.
1. To help indigestion
Black Pepper oil helps the stomach produce the enzyme that aids in digestion of protein and fats and absorbs B vitamins and minerals. It is also anti-inflammatory, so it can soothe any irritation in the gut and digestive track. Try adding a few drops to soups, sauces, or salad dressings (a bonus is the spicy taste that’s more flavorful than standard ground pepper).
2. To beat breakouts
East Indian Sandalwood oil is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which means it works to kill pore-clogging bacteria, while also reducing the inflammation in current breakouts. Make sure to use only one or two drops diluted with about 6oz of skin-calming almond oil, as East Indian Sandalwood’s effects are strong and can cause irritation.
3. Or to make skin glow
You know all about DIY masks with coconut oil or olive oil for extra glowy skin, but try adding an essential oil in to your daily routine for effects that show. Rosehip Seed oil contains a natural form of retinol that gets rid of dead skin cells for flawless complexion and reduces wrinkles, and Essential Jojoba, Almond, and Apricot oils are easily absorbed for moisture and hydration and do not irritate the skin.
4. To help you focus
I’m sure you’ve heard of sniffing Lavender oil to help calm anxiety or some Peppermint oil to wake you up, but what about Nutmeg Oil to help you focus? The essential oil ignites chemicals in your brain that make you alert and focused. Some reports say it also helps symptoms of poor memory, fatigue, and depression. I guess we don’t need our pre-study sesh coffee anymore! Try spritzing a DIY Nutmeg Spray before a big meeting or tough project.
5. To clean your house
The ways to make use of the anti-bacterial properties in essential oils to help clean your house are endless. Boost the cleaning power of household cleansers with a few drops of Orange, Lemon, or Grapefruit oils. You can also clean sinks with a mixture of Bergamot and Lime oil diluted in water, or try dissolving stubborn substances (like wax, oil, gum, or glue) with Lemon oil.
6. As a DIY Sunscreen
Mixing one part Myrrh oil, one part Carrot oil, and two parts Jojoba oil actually provides sun protection equivalent to SPF 30. Apply liberally for a great-smelling, moisturizing, and totally natural sunscreen. Or, if you burn easily, apply it over your typical sunscreen to totally protect your skin.
7. To cure headaches, nausea, or relieve menstrual cramps
Essential oils can also be used to naturally cure many ailments, so throw away the Advil and pick up some oils! Ginger or Nutmeg oil can help relieve nausea just by the smell, but also rubbing a few drops on chest or stomach can relax the digestive system. Soothe a headache by massaging a combination of 2 drops of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Lavender oils and six drops of a carrier oil (like coconut oil) into temples and the back of the neck. Clary Sage, Basil, or Rosemary oil mixed with a coconut or almond oil can relieve intense menstrual cramps when massaged into abdomen.
8. For thicker, fuller hair
Adding about 30-40 drops (depending on size of bottle) of Rosemary oil to shampoo and conditioner helps to grow thicker hair, and though it doesn’t help to regrow any hair loss, it slows thinning. Extra bonus — it smells entirely refreshing and adds an extra clean scent to your hair products.
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