The Bare Essentials: 10 of the Best Essential Oils

The Bare Essentials - 10 of the Best Essential Oils
We will look here at 10 of the most versatile and useful essential oils for the average home medicine chest.

These powerful natural oils have a range of medicinal properties. They are also useful for a diversity of purposes from skin care to gardening and from home care to celebrations

Check out the most worthy additions to any Basic Care Kit.

1) Lavender

Lavender is capable of many important jobs and is a delight to use.

Every home should have a bottle of lavender if nothing else. It’s highly effective in the treatment of burns and scalds.

Lavender oil is a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-depressant, sedative and de-toxifier. It promotes healing and prevents scarring. It also stimulates the immune system and contributes to the healing process. Lavender stimulates the cells of a wound to regenerate more rapidly.

Although not known specifically as a circulatory stimulant, lavender oil certainly seems to lessen the effects of clinical shock. It helps with the psychological shock of injury by acting as a mood tonic and antidepressant.

Lavender has a multitude of other qualities which make it a truly indispensable oil.

2) Tea Tree

The antiseptic action of tea tree is believed to be one hundred times more potent than carbolic acid. Despite this, this magical essential oil is still not poisonous to humans.

The Aborigines have been using this indigenous Australian tree in their medications for centuries now. Tea tree today is the subject of a great deal of international research.

Tea tree has impressive anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It makes it a very versatile oil useful in a wide range of conditions.

It’s used in the treatment of candida and many infections like ringworm, sunburn, acne, athlete’s foot and toothache.

3) Peppermint

Peppermint has been used by many ancient cultures like the Egyptians, Chinese and American Indians.

This staple essential oil is extremely useful in many different ways for improving general health. Peppermint is a superb digestive and also helps the respiratory system and circulation. It’s a great anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic as well.

Peppermint is used to treat indigestion, flatulence, bad breath, flu, catarrh, varicose veins, headaches and migraines, skin irritations, rheumatism, toothache and fatigue.

In addition to this impressive roster of treatments, peppermint also deters mice, fleas and ants.

4) Chamomile

There are several different types of chamomile essential oil. Two of the most common are:

  • Chamomile German: Excellent variety with deep dark blue coloring due to its high azulene content
  • Chamomile Roman: Great for treating nervous conditions and insomnia

Chamomile Maroc is not a true chamomile at all in spite of its name. Don’t be deceived by this imposter!

While chamomile is antiseptic, antibacterial and disinfectant, it’s most valued for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used both internally – like with rheumatism – as well being applied to external inflammation.

Chamomile is indispensable if you have children. It can be used to combat teething troubles and in the bath to ease nerves. It has many further uses in childcare.

This powerful essential oil is also great in treatment of burns (including sunburn), psoriasis, eczema, asthma, hay fever, diarrhea, sprains and strains, nausea, fever and the full range of nervous and depressive states.

Its analgesic, diuretic, sedative and calming properties make chamomile an extremely desirable oil.

5) Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has been distilled since at least 1788 when Dr John White and Dr Dennis Cossiden distilled Eucalyptus piperata for its use in treating chest problems and colic.

This took place in the Blue Mountains of Australia. These mountains in New South Wales are so named because of an incredible blue haze that exudes from the resin of the eucalyptus gum enveloping the entire landscape.

Eucalyptus is a remarkably versatile and useful oil. It cools the body in summer and protects it in winter. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, diuretic, analgesic and deodorizing. It also has certain anti-viral properties.

It’s best known, perhaps, for its effectiveness against coughs and colds but it’s equally efficient at dispatching cystitis, candida, diabetes and sunburn. Eucalyptus is also used in veterinary care and as an insect repellent.

Any of the many varieties of eucalyptus would be a welcome addition to any Basic Care Kit.

6) Geranium

Geranium has a profound effect on the emotions. It’s useful in many medical conditions.

This essential oil has a magnificent smell yet is hard-working in many capacities.

The oil is not extracted from the brightly colored geranium we are familiar with but from the species Pelargonium which is Geranium Robert or lemon plant. You often see this abundantly displayed in Greek restaurants.

Geranium can make chilblains vanish overnight and brings a radiant glow to the skin when used as part of your routine. It plays a core role in the treatment of endometriosis and helps with menopausal problems. It fights against diabetes, blood disorders, throat infections and acts as a nerve tonic and sedative.

This flexibile essential oil has many applications, from frostbite to infertility. It is antiseptic and astringent. With an enticing floral fragrance, geranium is a pleasure to use, either on its own or as a contributory oil in blends.

7) Rosemary

Rosemary acts as both a physical and mental stimulant. This makes it perfect in your morning bath.

This oil is also a powerful treatment for all muscular conditions meaning that it’s equally ideal for a bath after a long and tiring day.

This antiseptic oil is used in the treatment of muscular sprains, arthritis, rheumatism, depression, fatigue, memory loss, migraine, headaches, coughs, flu and diabetes.

Rosemary can be valuable in beauty treatments. It’s used in hair care, acne and cellulite remedies.

Whether you are a sportsman, a cook or a gardener, rosemary is indispensable.

8) Thyme

There are many different types of thyme. Some of these can be safely used in all situations but others not.

Thyme has notable anti-viral, antibiotic, antiseptic and diuretic properties and should be used with great care. Overuse of thyme can stimulate the thyroid gland and lymphatic system. Like many good things, it must be treated with caution and used in moderation.

Never apply thyme to the skin undiluted and do not use on children.

Thyme earns its place on the Basic Care Kit because of its powerful anti-viral properties. If flu is in the air then put some thyme in the room’s diffuser.

Thyme also helps to eliminate toxic wastes from the body. It’s used to treat a wide number of conditions including whooping cough, warts, rheumatism, neuralgia, fatigue and acne.

Other uses are for antiseptic powders, hair and skincare as well as for cooking.

Thyme also discourages all number of parasites and insects from invading your home.

9) Lemon

Fresh lemon prevented our seafaring ancestors from getting scurvy. Today, the essential oil of lemon is crucial for water purifying.

This antiseptic and antibacterial oil will perform many tasks when used in blends including treating verrucas, insect bites and tension headaches.

It has a tonic action on the lymphatic system and a stimulating action on the digestive system. It will aid you to slim, disperse cellulite and stave off wrinkles.

Lemon contributes well to synergy so it’s excellent in blends while also invaluable as a fragrancing and flavoring agent.

10) Clove

Clove oil is antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic. It’s a great oil for the prevention of disease and infection.

As a spice, it can easily be incorporated into your cooking. It is best known as a quick cure for toothache but is also great for treating asthma, nausea and sinusitis. It also serves as a sedative.

Clove is a powerful oil that has been used for the sterilization of surgical instruments. It should not be used undiluted on the skin.


With over 300 different essential oils to choose from you are spoiled for choice.

Start off with these 10 vital additions to your Basic Care Kit and enjoy!

Last Updated: 07/2016

Leia Chester

Editor at Essential Oil Diffuser Judge, I embrace natural living and aromatherapy with a focus on essential oils.

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