8 Surprising Uses for Essential Oils

Essential oils have been popular for centuries, but some people are just discovering them. If you're new to essential oils, you may be unaware of all their many uses and health benefits. However, even if you’re a long-time fan, don’t miss out on these often overlooked ways to utilize essential oils.

To help you out, we compiled a list of eight surprising uses for essential oils you might not know about.

Estimated reading time: 4.5 minutes

Massage oil bottles at a spa with lemons and lemon essential oils.#1   Use Essential Oils to Freshen and Clean your Home

You probably know essential oils are great for aromatherapy, but did you know they also make great cleaners and disinfectants? It's true. A few drops of essential oil can help refresh your refrigerator when cleaning it or remove burnt food from your pans. It can help you eliminate unwelcome odors and mold from surfaces or the air. Some people like mixing their own homemade multipurpose cleaners made up of essential oils. For example, lemon essential oil is top-rated and commonly used in the kitchen to fight tough grease. Tea tree and lavender essential oil also belong among the favorites due to their antibacterial and calming effects.

Using essential oils instead of chemicals is practical, but their use is also healthy for your brain functions. By limiting the chemicals that you inhale inside your home, you can better support your brain and lower pollution in your blood.

#2   Whiten Your Teeth with Essential Oils

Yes, essential oils can help whiten your teeth and freshen your breath. For example, some suggest adding a couple of drops of orange oil onto your toothbrush before brushing; the results can be immediate. Some mix lemon oil with peppermint essential oil and baking soda for even better results. However, before attempting to DIY this concoction, please do your own research or check with your dentist.

Woman applying essential oil to her wrist to ease anxiety.

#3   Use Nature's Pharmacy in Your Skincare Routines

One of the most surprising things is how many different uses of essential oils there are for beauty and skincare. Just like eating habits and regular exercise are good for your body, essential oils are great for the health of your skin. Beauty experts frequently talk about the importance of proper skincare pre- and post-workout. And one of the skin-care tricks is these little miracle workers. You can add a few drops of geranium oil to your face cream to get firmer, tighter skin. For a similar anti-wrinkle effect, try mixing a couple of drops of rose oil into your favorite face cream.

Finally, you can use tea tree oil directly on your skin to help clear up acne, but test a tiny bit of oil on your skin first. Some people with sensitive skin can react to its potency so it’s best to dilute with a carrier oil, such as almond oil. Give these suggestions a shot and use essential oils in your routine before or after your workout to clean your face to ensure it stays blemish-free.

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#4    Add Food-Grade Oils to Your Food for  Culinary Dosing

If you look up healthy recipes and tips online, many people suggest you put essential oils into your food or add drops into your water. And yes, they're great for cooking—just one more way to use essential oils. Well, some of them. Be sure that the essential oil is food-grade and of high purity. The biggest problem with taking oils internally is that some essential oils are not intended for human consumption. So, before adding them to your food, make sure you check to make sure they are safe and pay close attention to dosage. A small amount goes a long way!

You can check the FDA list for essential oils that are considered safe for human consumption.

Couple cooking in kitchen with essential oils.Having said this, lemon oil, peppermint, oregano, and wild orange are among the favorites for seasoning or cooking. These food-grade essential oils are great to add flavor in the kitchen and have numerous health benefits. Culinary dosing with essential oils is one of the most surprising uses many people don’t know about.

#5   Manage Your Anxiety

If you want help with your anxiety, you may be surprised to learn that essential oils can assist you. Inhaling the calming aroma is most popular. Lavender is considered to help activate specific brain receptors and trigger your body's natural relaxation response, which is very needed if you're suffering from anxiety. This essential oil can help your brain move past excessive worries. There are multiple ways you can utilize essential oils for this purpose. You can diffuse the oils in a diffuser, spray them into the air to freshen a room, massage a drop or two into your skin or use them as a component in bath salts and lotions. Try them and discover what works best for you.

#6  Combat Stress Naturally

Similarly, essential oils are great for fighting and reducing stress. If you're having a tough time at work or in school, you can reduce your stress by adding aromatherapy into your routine. Treat yourself to a break every once in a while and breathe in one of your favorite scents. Or some people like to apply a few drops of chamomile to their temples or neck and gently rub it in as a relaxation method.

Many essential oils are high in the chemical constituent linalool, which is well known for its ability to shift sad and anxious feelings. Lavender in particular is high in linalool and when taken internally has been shown to reduce anxious feelings.

#7  Relieve Menstrual Cramping

A common but pesky problem for many women is painful menstrual cycles. Essential oils are a fantastic support and can help women decrease the severity of their period cramps. If you struggle with severe cramps, try to give essential oils a chance. Various studies have shown that the women who massaged oils into their abdomens reported less pain and bleeding during menstruation. If you want to experiment with this remedy, start a week before your period to reduce these painful PMS symptoms.

#8  Diminish Appetite to Support Weight Loss

If you're dealing unsuccessfully with weight loss, one of the most effective suppressants of appetite can be grapefruit essential oil. According to an animal study, smelling grapefruit oil can suppress the sensation of hunger. Similar research has also been done with lavender and other essential oils.

To lessen your appetite, you can inhale essential oils, add a few drops into your water or tea, or massage them into your skin. However, it’s best to avoid adding essential oils to plastic as they can erode the material.

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Final Thoughts

After reading all these amazing uses for essential oils, you’re probably eager to try them out! However, before you do, make sure the essential oils you're buying are pure essential oils versus synthetics made in a laboratory. You can confirm by reading the list of ingredients on the back. If you see a Latin botanic name, it's probably natural oil, and you can use it.

Also, essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate your skin when used undiluted. That's why, before using them liberally, test if you're allergic. Put a small amount on the crook of your arm and wait for a few hours, or up to a day. After some time, if your skin doesn't feel itchy, red, or look irritated, you know you're good to go. You can also dilute with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, or avocado oil.

Related reading: “How to Use Carrier Oils

Try natural remedies and test their effects yourself. If you'd like to purchase DoTerra essential oils, visit Habits for Health. For more on holistic health and healthy habits, visit our sister website, Habits for Wholeness.

* None of the statements in this blog have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the above recommendations are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Essential oils are naturally produced substances that can assist the body in its own healing process, but we make no claims whatsoever. Use with moderation and discretion.

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Guest Blogger: Julia PerezGuest Blogger: Julia Perez
Julia Perez is a mommy blogger interested in non-traditional medicine and natural remedies. She lives in San Francisco with her two sons and a husband.

Posted in Habits for Health

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