MY TOP 8 FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OILS

[I am not sponsored by any essential oil company and I mention Stillpoint Aromatics throughout this article because I just happen to love them, and have been working with them for years. Feel free to choose to work with whatever company you feel comfortable with.]

I discovered essential oils over five years ago when I took a weekend workshop introducing me to this wonderful world of nature magic. A group of about fifteen complete strangers spent two intensive days together, sharing intimate personal stories with one another as we learned about essential oils, how they can be applied to the body and used in meditation, and how to work with them safely. I have been working with them ever since and really use them as my first go-to for alternative medicine.

[Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert and essential oils should not be used as a replacement for modern medicine. This article represents my own personal experience with essential oils and I encourage you to consult your doctor beforehand if you are concerned about using them.]

Let me first begin by telling you where essential oils come from.

A diagram of a distiller used for distilling essential oils.

Essential oils are collected using a distiller. Plant matter is gathered and placed in a distiller and water is heated in order to naturally encourage the plant to gradually open and release its “plant blood.” The plant releases multiple substances–essential oils and hydrosols–when it is distilled and they are both collected during the process. There are many organizations, farms, and individuals who create essential oils, and the quality can vary. Be sure to do your research in terms of suppliers and who you trust to purchase your oils from.

Stillpoint Aromatics is the company I use to purchase all of my essential oil products, and here is how they define hydrosols:

“‘Water Solution’ is the Latin translation of the word, but in aromatherapy a hydrosol is the molecular melding of the essence of a plant or aromatic substance with the water that is used to distill the essential oils from the plant material.  Hydrosols are also known as floral waters or hydroflorates. Flower waters or distillates are produced from steam-distilling plant materials. Hydrosols contain all of the essence of the plant in every drop, just like essential oils but in a milder form; making them suitable for all manner of applications where essential oils would be too strong. The highest quality of hydrosols comes from devoted artisan distillers who, with steam distill small batches of fresh floral and plant material strictly to produce hydrosol.”

I have mostly worked with essential oils, but I use hydrosols as well. As stated above, they are far less intense compared to essential oils, and for me, I like to use them just for fun, perhaps before a meditation, or just to perk myself up. I give myself a few spritzes when I need a bit of an emotional or energetic boost and move on with my day. Something like a lavender hydrosol would be great for those with mild but daily anxiety. You could keep a bottle in your purse or your car and just give yourself a few spritzes when you feel like you might be starting to spiral.

Sandalwood and White Sage hydrosols in spritzer bottles.

I love using Sandalwood and White Sage hydrosols to get grounded before/after meditation and yoga.

My experience with essential oils has been very powerful, and I have learned over the years which essential oils work best for me and which ones to avoid. For instance, I have incredibly sensitive skin, and I’m also very sensitive to heat. During the weekend workshop, the group experimented applying Cinnamon Bark essential oil to a small part of our neck. Instantly, I felt a burning sensation that continued to grow stronger over the course of a few minutes. People from across the room were beginning to notice that my neck was bright pink and blotchy. It was truly painful, and I recommend anyone attempting to use this (or any other “hot” oil*), should first test on a part of the body where your skin is a bit thicker, for instance the sole of your foot.

*There are many “hot” oils, and it can be overwhelming trying to sort it all out. But to start, assume that anything in your spice cabinet that has an essential oil equivalent is going to be a “hot” oil that may cause varying levels of irritation to your skin. These include: pepper, clove, thyme, cinnamon, lemon grass, oregano, etc.

A detail of cinnamon bark, used to create essential oils.

That being said, many oils are completely gentle on the skin and absolutely safe to use. But, while we are on the subject, let me get into safety tips before I give you my TOP 8 FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OILS, yay!

SAFETY TIPS FOR USING ESSENTIAL OILS

  • Burning on the surface of the skin is probably the most common side effect of using essential oils, so it’s important to know how to treat this. Most importantly, DO NOT USE WATER to wash off the oil. Water actually enhances the effects of essential oils, so water will just make everything worse*. Instead, you should apply a carrier oil, such as olive oil or canola oil, to the effected area. A carrier oil will dilute the oil that is already on your skin and any burning sensations should disappear (or at least calm down) after a few minutes.

*Since water and oil repel one another, if you have essential oils sitting on the surface of your skin and absorbing underneath the surface, when you add water on top of that, the oil will repel in the opposite direction of the water, and go even deeper into your skin. On the other hand, if you know you are not sensitive to a particular essential oil, and instead want to increase the intensity of an essential oil, I recommend applying oils before a shower. Give the oils a few minutes to absorb into your skin before hopping right in the shower, and then enjoy all the tingles.

  • Do not ever use essential oils on your face. They can burn if they get in your eyes and you have many mucous membranes on your face, thus making this area more vulnerable. In general, avoid applying essential oils to any mucous membrane areas. I have at times used Carrot Seed oil, one of my favorite oils and fantastic for the skin, but if I apply the oil above my eyes, anywhere around my forehead, I have found that minuscule amounts of the oil can microscopically trickle down into the eyes and I can feel a slight burning or fuzzy sensation in and around my eyes for hours to come, so in general I just avoid. You can also try applying Lavender oil to your temples for a headache, but that’s at your own risk. I have never tried that before, but I know some people do.
  • Do not ingest essential oils. I do know that people ingest their essential oils, and it may be harmless, but in general, essential oils are best and most effective when they are applied to the surface of the skin, working through the blood stream, moving to the effected area. Essential oils can also enter the blood stream through inhalation, and breathing essential oils can have positive emotional effects as well.
  • Essential oils should be stored in dark/dim lighting and kept out of extremely hot environments.
Be sure to store your essential oils in a cool and dark place.

I store my oils in my medicine cabinet in a cute little bamboo container from The Container Store.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water after applying essential oils to your body (your hands have thicker skin and you will most likely not experience any burning sensations as mentioned above). If you have any residual oils on your hands, or forget to wash them, you may accidentally touch your eye, or another sensitive mucous membrane area.
  • Essential oils can possibly leave stains on your clothing if you aren’t careful or if the oil has a strong color. Many oils are clear, but some have intense coloring and may not always wash out of your clothing. Just be careful.
  • Remember to treat essential oils with respect, as you would anything in nature. Nature can be mysterious, unpredictable, incredibly loving, and incredibly terrifying, all at the same time. Even though we are just talking about a little bottle of liquid here, remember that this little bottle of liquid contains incredibly pure entities from the wild. Never forget, and always remember to just treat your oils, and the entire process, with respect and humility.

TIPS FOR APPLICATION

  • In general, imagine that 50% of the oil you apply to your skin will absorb into your blood stream. Therefore, when I am working with essential oils, I typically apply about ten drops to the surface of my skin. One drop will most likely not be very effective, and more than ten is a bit unnecessary and wasteful of your precious oils.
  • When applying to the surface of your skin, I recommend applying directly to the area of your body you are wanting to treat with essential oils (rather than putting in your hand first). However, if it’s a hard to reach area, putting oils in your hand first is fine. I turn the bottle upside down and allow the oils to spill onto the desired area. Be careful, as some oils actually run faster than water and come come out of the bottle really quickly. Other oils are much more viscous and require a bit of patience 🙂
  • As mentioned above, oils are great to apply before a shower. For one thing, most essential oils have an incredibly strong smell. Some people may not love the smell, and trust me, once you apply the oil to your body, you will smell strongly of it! However, if you apply before a shower, you can have the benefit of the oils to absorb deeply into your skin, and you can wash the residual amount of oil off before you exit your shower. Even if you don’t wash off the excess, the smell is much less strong, and you can go out into the world without smelling so intensely if that is a concern.

Take your time and apply patience to the process of working with essential oils. Your best friend might love a certain essential oil, but for you, it does nothing, or makes you feel lousy. This is a very personal process, so take it slowly and give the essential oils time to get to know you.

It’s also important to use your intuition when working with essential oils. Just like nature, essential oils are very magical and otherwordly, and they carry a much higher vibration than human beings. I often close my eyes and hold my hand over all of my bottles, asking for one to come forward, the one I most need in that moment. Or, if I have already chosen an oil, I will close my eyes and ask where it wants to go on my body. Trust this process and enjoy this relationship!

The experts say…

“As it turns out, essential oils tend to have very high frequencies, generally ranging from 52 MHz to 320 MHz. Some have claimed that essential oils have the highest frequency of any organic substance available.” Obtained from here.

When we apply essential oils to the skin, we can raise our own vibration, thus treating illnesses, ailments, and in general, increasing our overall health and well-being. Health is all about vibrations and a typically healthy human being vibrates at about 62 to 72 megahertz (MHz). When we dip below this level, our body becomes ill, and below a certain level, we are no longer alive.

Here are a few articles discussing this theory:

HOW TO RAISE YOUR BODY FREQUENCY WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

SCIENCE BEHIND AROMATHERAPY

THE SCIENCE: HOW ESSENTIAL OILS CAN RAISE YOUR FREQUENCY

And now for the list…

MY TOP 8 FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OILS

After years of working with many oils, I have found that I have a handful of go-to oils that I use on a regular basis. They are amazing and I am happy to share with you my most trusted and treasured essential oil babies.

LAVENDER FINE

Lavender Fine is really my number one pick out of all essential oils. It is such a well-rounded oil and works for so many things. Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Analgesic, Anti-anxiety, Anti-bacterial, Anti-convulsant, Anti-depressant, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Anti-oxidant, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-viral, Calming, CNS depressant, Deodorant, Hypotensive, Immuno-stimulant, Sedative, Wound healing

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

Personally, I use this oil very often layered on top of other oils. Since other oils can smell very strongly, I like to cap everything off with a few drops of lavender, after I have applied other oils to my skin. Layering oils is very powerful and allowing the oils to work in harmony together will only enhance the effects of each oil. I typically use Lavender Fine as an anti-inflammatory if I’m experiencing any joint aches or pains. If am starting to feel like I might be getting sick, I will apply Lavender Fine to my abdomen area, to target my immune system.

Just a note that there is also an essential oil called Lavender Spike, and this oil is very similar to Lavender Fine. However, this particular oil is camphoraceous and smells as such. Sometimes I’m in the mood for this because the aroma is more intense and earthy, but in general, I prefer the Lavender Fine. I recommend you try both and see which one you prefer!

Fields of lavender flower, used to make Lavender essential oil.

SWEET ORANGE

I’m a Virgo with an incredibly sensitive stomach, and I use Sweet Orange oil as my go-to for minor indigestion, heart-burn, and upset stomach. Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Anti-anxiety, Anti-bacterial, Anti-depressant, Anti-septic, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-viral, Carminative, Digestive stimulant, Digestive tonic, Disinfectant, Energizing, Liver supporter, Stomachic, Tonic

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

Just a word of warning about this one, because it is a citrus essential oil, it can be sensitive on the skin. More than half the time I apply this oil to my abdomen, I have to apply some olive oil as well, because it does in fact burn when I apply. I never use this oil before entering this shower.

Orange slices, used to make sweet orange essential oil

BERGAMOT

Bergamot essential oil is similar to Sweet Orange in that it is another citrus and smells almost identical. I have found that Bergamot is a bit smoother in aroma, and I often like to use both Sweet Orange and Bergamot when treating my tummy. Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Anti-anxiety, Anti-bacterial, Anti-depressant, Anti-infectious, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-viral, Calming, Carminative, CNS tonic, Digestive stimulant, Energizing, Sedative, Stomachic

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

Bergamot essential oil has a beautiful, deep and dark chartreuse color, and applying this oil to my body just makes me happy. Sometimes, it can be a bit much to be using only really woodsy and earthy essential oils, and Bergamot is a breath of fresh air.

Bergamot fruit, used to make bergamot essential oil

CARROT SEED

Carrot Seed essential oil is so interesting and definitely a good oil to keep in your arsenal. I use Carrot Seed oil mostly for skin issues and also if I’m feeling heavy after a glass of wine or a heavy meal. Carrot Seed oil is phenomenal for the detoxification of the liver and is also amazing for minor skin conditions. Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-oxidant, Carminative, Cicatrisant, Diuretic, Liver supporter, Vermifuge

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

If I am using Carrot Seed oil to detox after a heavy meal or a few glasses of wine, I will apply this oil directly to the area where my liver resides. If I have a minor cut or a burn (Carrot Seed oil works amazingly at healing minor skin burns), I apply a few drops of carrot seed oil, along with a few drops of Witch Hazel (alcohol-free) and wrap the area in a band-aid, or if it’s a burn, I let it breathe. It may sting for a time, but within 12 hours, the pain vanishes like magic. I have experienced minor burns that feel sore for days, and Carrot Seed oil works so very quickly. The aroma is also pleasant and smells slightly sweet, slightly floral, and quite musky.

Carrot seed flower, used to make carrot seed essential oil

CYPRESS

Cypress essential oil is one of my favorite pine/woodsy/grounding oils to use throughout the year, although I especially love to use in the winter time. This essential oil has a rich and forest-y aroma and I love applying this oil to my thighs before a shower. Without knowing it, I realized after the fact that this is a tonic for the veins, good for enhancing blood circulation when my legs are feeling restless, tired, and/or stiff. My intuition guided me to this, so always trust yourself! Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Anti-bacterial, Anti-infectious, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-rheumatic, Anti-septic, Anti-spasmodic, Astringent, Decongestant, Diuretic, Vein tonic

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

Cypress leaves from the cypress tree, used for making Cypress essential oil

JUNIPER BERRY

Juniper Berry is another fantastic wintery essential oil to use, although I do also use all year round. The aroma is very pungent and I often layer this with Lavender or Ylang Ylang essential oil. I also almost always use this before I go into a shower, especially on my lower back, since I have been so super stiff, working from home since quarantine began in March 2020. Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Analgesic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-rheumatic, Anti-septic, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-viral, Astringent, Diuretic, Liver supporter, Lymph decongest, Lymphatic support, Rubefacient, Sedative, Tonic, Vein tonic, Warming

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

Juniper berries, used to make Juniper Berry essential oil.

TURMERIC

Turmeric essential oil is my go-to for anything relating to aches and pains. I use this one also on my lower back and layer it with Juniper Berry and Lavender before I go into the shower. Turmeric is known for its intense anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, and the results are just lovely. I don’t wan to imagine a world without Turmeric essential oil. A word of warning though, the smell is very strong and not my favorite. Some may love it, but to me it smells very rocky and kind of bitter. However, it’s all worth it once you experience the effects. Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Analgesic, Anti-arthritic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-depressant, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Anti-oxidant, Anti-rheumatic, Carminative, Cephalic, Circulatory stimulant, Digestive tonic, Hypotensive, Rubefacient, Stimulant, Warming

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

Turmeric root, used to make Turmeric essential oils.

ROSEWOOD

Last, but certainly not least, is a very special essential oil called Rosewood. From my experience, working with Rosewood essential oil is transformative both physically and emotionally. I use this oil whenever I am having heart issues related to anxiety. Whenever I experience a racing heart, perhaps as I’m falling asleep and am anxious or panicked, I apply Rosewood essential oil to the center of my chest, and I have experienced moments when my fiercely pounding, anxious heart returned to a calm murmur within several seconds. The aroma is also so beautiful and is a mix between rose and pine, and you must smell it to believe it, because my description doesn’t accurately convey. Stillpoint Aromatics characterizes this essential oil as assisting with the following:

Analgesic, Anti-anxiety, Anti-bacterial, Anti-depressant, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-septic, Anti-spasmodic, Calming, Cephalic, Cicatrisant, CNS tonic, Immune support, Nervine, Sedative, Tonic

Click HERE for more information about this essential oil.

This is such a loving essential oil, so comforting, calming, and delicate, and I recommend anyone with anxiety should keep this in their collection. It’s also very useful if you feel a cold coming on. Apply ten drops to your abdomen two to three times a day to boost your immune system.

Rosewood tree, used to make Rosewood essential oil.

Essential oils are such an integral part of my life, as I deeply believe in holistic healing and I seek natural alternatives whenever possible. I can recall several years ago when I was nursing myself through a really rough case of the flu and my cough was incredibly debilitating. The over-the-counter cough medicine I had was not making a difference so I began applying almost every oil I had in the house at the time to my chest area. Within moments, my cough would cease and I would be cough-free for about three hours. I would re-apply when my cough would begin again, and I think the combination of cough-relief, mixed with the immune-boosting, and vibration-raising properties of these nature angels, helped me to heal much faster and much more comfortably than I would have without their assistance.

I will say that I would recommend you contact the essential oil supplier for any advice they can recommend for Covid-19. I think some oils could actually exacerbate certain symptoms rather than relieve, and you must make sure that you are choosing your essential oils wisely and carefully. For the common cold or flu, your choice of oils is less serious, but this deadly Covid-19 virus is another beast all together, and seeking out the experts for their wisdom is strongly advised.

I truly believe that the only way to become familiar with these essential oils is to work with them over time. Discover which ones work best for you and which ones your body responds to happily. Have patience and allow these nature angels to bond with you in the way that they see most fit. They are so wise. And our bodies are so wise. Our bodies can communicate with nature directly, and vice versa, and all we need to do is take a step back and allow this relationship to develop. What a beautiful thing.

Please send me your comments, questions, and experiences working with essential oils, I would love to hear from you!

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The Goddess Attainable

I am from Reading, PA and I live, work, and create in the Philadelphia area. The Goddess Attainable is for goddeses like me, living each day as perfectly imperfect women in the real world. I hope this site inspires you as much as it inspires me!

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