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What Are Essential Oils - Their Benefits, Uses and List of Essential Oils

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Essential Oils

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural, aromatic oils obtained from the various parts of herbs and trees. They contain volatile compounds that evaporate when kept open. Essential oils are concentrated liquids.

Essential oils are so-called as each one of them has a distinctive smell, scent or essence of the plant from which it is sourced. However, they are not essential for health.

They are extracted by 2 processes. The major one is distillation, and to some extent by solvent extraction.

Plant parts like flowers, leaves, bark, wood, roots, seeds and even peels are used to extract the essential oils.

Essential oils are also called volatile oils, ethereal oils, atherolea or only as oil of (plant name), from which they are extracted.

The most popular essential oils are:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon
  • Frankincense

Most essential oils are colourless, some are yellow or amber in colour.

Uses Of Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used since centuries for a variety of treatments like in aromatherapy. They are also used in the manufacture of perfumes, candles, bath salts, soaps and cosmetics., added to incenses and as natural household cleaners, and to flavour foods and beverages.

Only therapeutic grade essential oils are safe to consume and that too in small amounts only and under medical supervision and guidance.

Essential oils have therapeutic properties and when used judiciously promote health and well being by providing both psychological and physical benefits.

Some essential oils can be toxic. Also pure and undiluted oils should not be used directly on the skin.

How to Diffuse Essential Oils

Using Essential Oils

Essential oils can be applied anywhere on the body but only after diluting them with a suitable carrier oil in a safe ratio of 1 part of essential oil to 4 parts of carrier oil.

The soles of the feet, palms and armpits are the areas where absorption occurs readily as these are sensitive areas.

Essential oils are also used in aromatherapy, added to bathwater, used in a compress and used in a diffuser.

Health Benefits Of Essential Oils

Almost every essential oil contains more than 100 different chemical compounds with specific healing properties which is why each one of them can be used for a diverse range of health problems.

Essential oils possess antiseptic properties while many also have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

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Essential oils help to improve the skin condition, relieve aches and pains, calm the emotions and mind, fight a variety of infections and treat various health conditions, etc.

List Of Essential Oils And Their Health Benefits

Essential OilPlant/Parts UsedSome Health BenefitsBlends Well With These Oils


Pimpinella anisum/Seeds

Eases colds, flu and bronchitis, increases breast milk, stimulates menses, relieves aches and joint pains

Cardamom, cedarwood, fennel, rosewood, caraway


Ocimum basilicum/Leaves, flowers and buds

Treats coughs, colds, bronchitis and flu, relieves flatulence,muscle and rheumatic pains, insects bites and repels insects

Black pepper, ginger, lavender, lemon, cedarwood

Black Pepper

Piper nigrum/Peppercorns

Treats muscle and joint pain and strains, improves blood circulation, relieves chilblains, sharpens digestion, relieves constipation

Clove, fennel, ginger, lavender, lemon, sandalwood

Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis/Leaves

It is an effective expectorant, treats colds, flu, tonsillitis, loss of appetite and amenorrhea

Cedarwood, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, lemon, rosemary


Elettaria cardamomum/Seeds

Improves appetite, relieves stress, depression and fatigue, bad breath. It is uplifting and energizing and also has aphrodisiacal properties

Rose, cinnamon, cedarwood, orange, clove


Juniperus virginiana/Wood

Useful in acne, cough, bronchitis, relieves arthritic pain, controls stress and dandruff, treats dermatitis. It repels insects.

Cinnamon, frankincense, lavemder, lemon, rose, rosemary


Anthemis nobilis/Flowers/buds

It combats insomnia, calms irritability, treats allergies, arthritis, useful in abscess, cuts, boils, relieves headache, dermatitis, nausea and PMS, sprains and strain, controls stress.

Lavender, jasmine, tea tree, lemon, rose


Cinnamomum zeylanicum/Leaves, bark

It relieves constipation, flatulence, exhaustion, lowers blood pressure, reduces pain and inflammation of rheumatism, reduces stress, relieves scabies

Clove, cardamom, frankincense, lavender, rosemary, thyme


Eugenia caryophyllata/Buds

Relieves asthma, arthritis, bronchitis, rheumatic pains, sprains, strain and toothache

Basil, cinnamon, lavender, ginger, sandalwood


Cupressus sempervirens/Needles

Calms mind, controls anger, improves circulation, eases cough and bronchitis, benefits in varicose veins, controls excessive perspiration and hemorrhoids

Lavender, pine, sandalwood, rosemary, all citrus oils


Eucalyptus globulus/ Leaves

Useful in treating colds, coughs, fever, flu, bronchitis and sinusitis, relieves arthritic pains, improves blood circulation,

Lavender, lemongrass, thyme, lemon, pine


Boswellia carterii/Resin

Useful in anxiety and stress, cough, bronchitis, asthma, relieves scars and stretch marks

Rose, sandalwood, all citrus oils


Pelargonium graveolens/Leaves

useful in acne, dull skin, cellulite, oily skin and menopause

Cedarwood, citronella, basil, lavender, jasmine, rosemary


Lavendula angustifolis/officinalis/Leaves, flowers & buds

Calms the mind, relieves stress,anxiety and tension headaches, treats coughs and other respiratory infections, allergies and asthma, relieves sores, sprains and strain, lowers high BP, heals cuts, bruises and burns, relieves itching, insect bites and stings, fades out stretch marks

Cedarwood, pine, nutmeg, all citrus oils


Citrus limon/ Rind

Relieves colds, flu, oily skin, chilblains, warts, corns, varicose veins and athlete's foot

Lavender, rose, sandalwood, eucalyptus, fennel


Cymbopogon citratus/grass

Treats acne and oily skin, relieves stress, controls excessive perspiration, reduces muscle pain and repels insects

Basil, cedarwood, jasmine, lavender, tea tree


Myristica fragrans/Seeds

Useful in arthritis and rheumatism, relieves muscle ache, neuralgia, eliminates fatigue, constipation and nausea, improves digestion and blood circulation

Black pepper, rosemary, orange, cypress, geranium,

Sweet Orange

Citrus sinensis/Rind or peel

Useful in colds and flu, relieves constipation and flatulence, poor digestion, relieves stress, mouth and gum problems

Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, ginger, sandalwood, frankincense


Oreganum vulgare/Leaves, flowers, buds

Relieves headache, fever, asthma, sinusitis, colic, flatulence, nausea and vertigo. Treats scabies

Lavender, rosemary, chamomile, cedarwood, tea tree, eucalyptus


Mentha piperita/Leaves, flowers and buds

Useful in headache, fever, asthma and sinusitis, relieves colic, flatulence, nausea and vertigo, controls scabies

Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, rosemary


Rosa damascena/Flowers &petals

For insomnia, stress, depression, anger, grief, eczema, moisturizes and hydrates and nurtures mature skin, useful in menopause and hormonal problems in women, boosts blood circulation, lowers BP, boosts liver and gall bladder functions, controls heart problems

With most oils but best with jasmine, clove, geranium


Rosemarinus officinalis/Leaves, flowers, buds

relieves muscle and joint pain, arthritic and rheumatic pains, combats mental fatigue, energizes, prevents water retention, controls cellulitis, relieves stomach cramps and indigestion, allergies and asthma

Cedarwood, citronella, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint


Santalum album/Wood

Useful in stress and depression, bronchitis and laryngitis, erases scars and stretch marks, useful for oily and sensitive skin, dry and chapped skin and in leucorrhea, relieves chest and urinary tract infections,

Black pepper, lavender, rose, geranium, ylang ylang

Tea Tree

Melaleuca alternifolia/Leaves

Controls colds, flu, acne, relieves ringworm, whooping cough and migraine, heals cuts, relieves itching and insect bites, warts and corns

Cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg


Thymus vulgaris/Leaves,flowers and buds

Treats sore throat, colds, muscle pains, arthritis, relieves insect bites, controls oily skin, improves blood circulation, controls scabies

Lemon, lavender, rosemary, pine, grapefruit


Gaultheria procumbens/

for poor circulation, muscle and joint pains, obesity and cellulite, high BP, inflammations, eczema, psoriasis, ulcers, gout, headache and hair care

Toxic oil, can be fatal in excess and can cause liver and kidney damage. Not to be used by those sensitive to aspirin. not to be used in aromatherapy

Ylang Ylang

Cananga odorata var genuina/flowers

For stress, depression and anxiety, high blood pressure and palpitations, fridigity and impotence, corrects sebum production and stimulates hair growth

Grapefruit, lavender, sandalwood





How to tell real plant essential oils vs. synthetic

About Fragrance Oils

They are synthetic oils made with synthetic chemicals. Though they may smell good and cost less they will never provide the healing benefits of organic essential oils.

Always buy pure essential oils of the highest quality.

Essential Oils - Precautions

  • Do not take internally unless advised by your doctor.
  • Keep away from the reach of children.
  • When applying to skin dilute the essential oil with a suitable carrier oil.
  • Pregnant and lactating women and those suffering from epilepsy, high BP, cancer, liver damage or any other health problem should use them under the guidance of an aromatherapist.
  • Always carry out a skin patch test when using essential oil for the first time.
  • Wash hands well after using essential oil.
  • Avoid getting the essential oil in the eyes or on the mucous membranes.
  • Discontinue use if irritation occurs.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

Some Of My Other Health Hubs

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 01, 2014:

Thanks for the kind comments and appreciation, precy. Your visit is appreciated as well.

precy anza from USA on May 31, 2014:

Such good information here Rajan. My favorite, lavender oil. I use it for massage, air spray, and shower. Very calming. Would love to try ylang-ylang next time, as I also love the smell. Thanks for the hub. Up and shared!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 20, 2014:

Audrey, I'm glad this hub is able to answer the questions you had. Thanks for all the votes and sharing of this hub. Always a pleasure to get positive feedback from you my friend. Thanks and peace and health to you.

Thanks, Nithya. appreciate your consistent support.

Flourish, I'm glad you find the hub providing you info you needed. Thanks for stopping by.

dearabbymom, glad you like the chart and find the oils that blend well with each essential oil to be useful. Thank you for the comments.

jabelufiroz, thanks.

Chitrangada, glad you like the information. Thank for reading.

MGSingh, thanks.

lisavanvorst, good to know that. Thanks for your input.

plogsinquito, you are right. Used correctly the essential oils treat a host of health issues.

Genna East, hope this hub gives you an idea of some other oils that can be used. Thanks for visiting.

MsDora, I'm glad this hub has given you some ideas about using other essential oils. Thank you.

Devika, I'm sure the oils that you've made will come out good. Thanks for stopping by.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 20, 2014:

Essential oils are so helpful to many ailments and I have tried making rosemary oil and lavender still another a few days before I see the outcome of my results. A very useful hub.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 20, 2014:

Thanks for the chart on oils and their benefits. I almost always have some lavender and eucalyptus (my favorites) with me, but your chart shows that I need some others. Voted Up!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 19, 2014:

Some of these oils, I use; others I’ve never thought of before reading this hub. Wonderfully informative. Thank you!

ologsinquito from USA on April 19, 2014:

This is a great introduction to essential oils. They have so many uses, in addition to being health promoting.

Lisa VanVorst from New Jersey on April 19, 2014:

A very informative hub. I worked in a nursing home and essential oils and the diffuser were very beneficial to our residents. Thanks for the breakdown of what each is used for.

MG Singh from UAE on April 19, 2014:

Nice information

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 19, 2014:

A complete hub on essential oils, well written and well researched!

Very useful and informative hub as always. Thanks for sharing!

Firoz from India on April 19, 2014:

Great article on essential oils.

dearabbysmom from Indiana on April 19, 2014:

Good information about essential oils. I make soaps. so often use them as fragrance. My soap customers know which varieties contain essential as opposed to fragrance oils--people into holistic living do really seek the ones containing only essential oils. I like how your chart offers suggestions for blending. Voted up and useful!

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 19, 2014:

This was a useful hub. Often you'll see information about essential oils without an explanation about what they are, so this was helpful.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 19, 2014:

Great information about essential oils and their benefits, well researched and presented. Thank you for sharing, voted up.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 18, 2014:

I use essential oils and like them very much. My 2 favorites are lavender and eucalyptus. I've been wondering how to use them and if I'm using them properly. So your hub answered my questions. The videos are most helpful. Thank you for the chart listing the variety of essential oils.

I will share this with others and tweet as well. Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. Thank you dear rajan and blessings and peace to you. ~ Audrey

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