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What Are Essential Oils - Their Benefits, Uses And List Of Essential Oils

Updated on November 20, 2016
rajan jolly profile image

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 colorless, some are yellow or amber in color.

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 flavor 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.

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 Oil
Plant/Parts Used
Some Health Benefits
Blends 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 aroma therapist.
  • Always carry out a skin patch test when using an essential oil for the first time.
  • Wash hands well after using an 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.

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

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

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      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 jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      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.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      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.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      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 profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

    • ologsinquito profile image


      6 years ago from USA

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

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      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 profile image

      MG Singh 

      6 years ago from UAE

      Nice information

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

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

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

    • jabelufiroz profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Great article on essential oils.

    • dearabbysmom profile image


      6 years ago from Indiana

      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 profile image


      6 years ago from USA

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

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

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      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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