25 Most Commonly Used Essential Oils (and when to use them)

The acceptance of the use of Essential Oils as a part of Integrative Medicine is trending upwards. I have compiled a List of Essential oils which are most commonly used in Aromatherapy for their health benefits. The list of 25 Essential Oils is Part 3 in our Essential Oil Series.

 Anise        Basil     Bergamot         Black Pepper

  • Anise. Works with some drugs increasing the effectiveness they have on the central nervous system, it also decreases the antidepressant effects of these drugs.
  • Basil essential oil reduces the symptoms of depression and sharpens concentration.  It is great to relieve headaches and migraines.  Don’t use it during pregnancy.
  • Bergamot essential oil is a citrus oil with powerful healing qualities, it may help ease stress, relieves pain and inflammation, useful for digestive tract or urinary tract problems.  Bergamot can cause skin irritation when applied to the skin, so test before using topically.  Combining bergamot and eucalyptus oil may ease pain in chickenpox and other skin problems, but be careful to cover up when going in the sun or outdoors as the oil can cause the skin to burn due to photosensitivity. It has an attractive distinctive citrus fragrance that makes it great to add to lotions, perfumes and massage oils.
  • Black pepper essential oil is frequently used as a stimulant for circulation, muscular aches, pains, and bruising. When a ginger essential oil is mixed with black pepper essential oil it makes a great arthritis pain reliever and improves flexibility.

Chamomile     Cinnamon       Citronella      Clove      Corianderessential oils amber bottles with flowers

  • Chamomile essential oil is great for the treatment of eczema but is also a relaxant, calming nerves, reducing anxiety, and helping with sleep.
  • Cinnamon. A focus and energy booster that decreases frustration. Care with taking this oil as it must be diluted and not ingested as it can give nasty reactions if not used properly.
  • Citronella essential oil is one of the best insect repellents and a relative to lemongrass
  • Clove essential oil is wonderful for toothache, it is a topical analgesic, or painkiller and helps with respiratory complaints, reduces gas in the gut, digestive upset, and prevents nausea and vomiting. It is also used to treat infections, it is a good one for the medicine cabinet.
  • Coriander essential oil used aromatically is a calming uplifting oil that helps stabilize emotions giving you clarity and peace. Known more for its possible antifungal, antiseptic and detoxifying properties when applied topically and it works well with joint pain, headaches, and toothache. Adding it to mouthwash or chewing on the seeds can help control bad breath, added to natural deodorant can help fight bacteria and odour.  Used internally, it is a great oil to aid with digestion as it may eliminate gas and help with weight loss.

Eucalyptus       Geranium       Grapefruit       Jasmine

  • Eucalyptus essential oil clears the nose to stop you sniffling as it reduces mucus and opens the airways calming coughing when you have a cold or flu.  It is great to use in humidifiers and diffusers as it stimulates the brain promoting mental clarity, quietens headaches and increases energy levels.  Eucalyptus should never be ingested and can cause seizures, care must be taken as some people are allergic to it.  Eucalyptus is a great cleaner, with its refreshing and distinctive scent it can help eliminate mildew and household odours.
  • Geranium essential oil is said to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties, it has been used for centuries to reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and promote calm deep sleep.  It is also used in the treatment of pain management, infection, skin disorders inflammation and improves circulation.  It is also a great insect repellent.
  • Grapefruit essential oil is a good mood balancer helping you chill, it also is reported that it helps lower blood pressure.
  • Jasmine essential oil helps decrease cramps, spasms, and labor pain when used by adding to the diluted massage oil. Jasmine, as a sweet-smelling fragrance that increases beta waves, it is said to be an aphrodisiac as it might intensify penile blood flow.

Lavender     Lemon       LemongrassBotle of lemon balm essential oil and leaves

  • Lavender essential oil is one of the most popular and flexible oils used in aromatherapy.  Relieving stress, depression, and anxiety. Promotes relaxation and good sleep.  Also used as an antibacterial for eczema, fungal infections, minor cuts and burns, it is also good for nausea, headaches, migraines and menstrual cramps.  It is exceptional massage oil.
  • Lemon essential oil is a great mood lifter, reducing fatigue, stress and depression.  Lemon is great for the skin as it kills bacteria, harmful viruses and reduces inflammation, is used to treat warts, corns, acne and is good for oily skin if used as an astringent.  Used as a powerful non-toxic cleaner, Lemon purifies the air and kills bacteria on surfaces.
  • Lemongrass essential oil reduces stress, anxiety and lowers blood pressure, used to treat digestive problems it’s also good for the garden and keeps insects away.

Nutmeg     Peppermint     Patchouli       Rosemary

  • Nutmeg essential oil is full of antioxidants supporting the cognitive and immune system, it is used to fight inflammation in the body. It has been used for centuries to treat kidney problems, easing rheumatic pain and the digestive system with wind, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.  Nutmeg is known to warm the body revitalizing it, stimulating the heart and increasing blood movement.   Also, a mild sedative helps improve sleep.
  • Peppermint essential oil is a minty cool aroma and historically drunk as a tea and used in aromatherapy for its treatment of coughs, colds, influenza, asthma and digestive complaints such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, IBS, bloating, cholera and to increase the secretion of bile. It can be used to increase mental clarity, lessening stress, averting fatigue, insomnia and increasing exercise performance.  Also used as a great pain reliever for ulcers, headaches, migraines, muscular pains and cramps.  Peppermint oil is good for skin and body care as it helps with dermatitis, dandruff, skin irritations, head lice.
  • Patchouli essential oil, maybe it is the antioxidants or the antibacterial properties that make Patchouli a great anti-aging skin care product as it reduces the appearance of skin blemishes, wrinkles and blotches as well as treating skin problems like dermatitis, dry, acne or cracked skin. Patchouli helps ease stress and alleviates anxiety, it promotes a feeling of relaxation reducing depression.
  • Rosemary essential oil calms the body influencing emotional states by increasing mental focus, activity and enhancing memory. It is also useful for muscular aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatic pain, headaches, it averts muscle spasms and supports the autonomic nervous system.

Sage     Sandalwood     Tea Tree     ThymeLemon essential oil and rosemary leaves

  • Sage essential oil is a natural antidepressant, it reduces stress and anxiety, calms the mind improving memory and cognition. It lowers blood pressure, regulates menstrual cycles and slows down aging, aids in digestion.  Its’ antibacterial properties mean sage is used in the treatment of bronchitis, asthma, colds, coughs, bacterial infections, eliminating toxins, joint and muscular pain.
  • Sandalwood essential oil is one the best oil for your skin, with anti-viral, anti-fungal anti-bacterial and astringent properties, its great for removing germs and bacteria, treating wounds, psoriasis, eczema and inflammation, it helps nurture the skin improving elasticity and refining skin tone, spots, heals scars and has anti-wrinkle properties. Sandalwood lowers blood pressure, bad cholesterol, stress levels and helps in weight loss improving depressive symptoms lifting your mood, aids in sleep and aids in dental health.
  • Tea tree essential oil comes from the leaves of the Australian Melaleuca tree.  Believed to be antibacterial have antiseptic and disinfectant properties it is most commonly used for the treatment of fungal infections like athlete’s foot, nail fungus and candida, wound care, removal of head lice, dandruff control, burns, bites and acne.  Often added to shampoos, care is needed of the eyes as the oil is toxic and should not be ingested.
  • Thyme essential oil helps reducing stress, nervousness and can help reduce tiredness by boosting energy and your mood. It is believed to contain antibacterial, antifungal and antibacterial properties so is a great germ killer if used in mouthwash and liniments, it is great for sore throats, swollen tonsillitis, mouth ulcers, laryngitis and bad breath, it is also suggested it might help prevent dental decay.
  • Thyme may help with respiratory problems as it reduces the inflammation in the airways reducing coughing and chest infections.  Thyme is good for the skin helping with eczema, dermatitis, scaly patchy skin and alopecia, it could also help with yeast infections and candida albicans.  Good for stomach upsets or pain it could also help with gas, it works as a diuretic increasing urine flow.

Ylang Ylang

  • Ylang ylang essential oil is a great chill-out oil known for its calming properties that promote relaxation lessening tension and stress. It lowers blood pressure and reduces depression and helps us sleep like a baby.  By increasing blood flow it supports the circulatory system and is said to be an aphrodisiac, it nourishes the hair and kills head lice.


For beginners, this list of 25 Commonly Used Essential Oils is a good place to start to explore the essential oil health benefits. There are many more Essential Oils, without even touching on the Blended Oils. Please keep in mind the precautions that need to be taken when using the oils. Consult an Aromatherapist or Naturopath if you need further help.

1 Comment

  1. Anthea

    I love some blends of oils, would these be essential oils and have the same benefits?


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