The most quintessential essential oils

Essential oils are all the rage nowadays, but what are they actually useful for?

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~

Essential oils—they’re essential.While many may still believe that the healing powers of essential oils is just an old wives’ tale that should be left to hippies and witch doctors, studies have shown that there are more benefits and uses than one might initially think.

At first, people may be overwhelmed by the laundry list of weird plant names and they may wonder what magical powers some obscure oil in a little brown bottle might have. There are hundreds of different varieties, which translate to hundreds of different uses. It can be hard to choose which oils to start with, so I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular types and the uses different uses they have.

1. Lavender

With its many calming and relaxing properties, lavender is ideal for those who struggle with insomnia and anxiety. Rub some on your wrist for instant stress relief, put some in a diffuser at home after a stressful day or shake out a few drops onto your pillow at night for a restful sleep.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint is a refreshing and grounding scent. It helps wake you up and keep you alert and focused on tasks. It also can help with feelings of nausea when inhaled. When mixed together with lavender, it makes for a powerful headache aid. Rub drops together in your hands, then inhale and massage into temples.

3. Frankincense

This multi-use oil isn’t just for baby Jesus anymore. Put a few drops into a diffuser to ease your breathing if you have respiratory issues. Rub into any stubborn stretch marks on your body; it helps them fade over time with regular use.

4. Lemon

Diffuse lemon oil in a room to cleanse it of impurities and make it smell fresh. It has a cleansing effect without any harsh artificial chemicals. Putting lemon oil in your water will make it taste fresh as well as speed up your metabolism.

5. Orange

Citrus scents also help with boosting your mood and tend to make you feel uplifted. Orange oil can also help to boost your immunity and keep you from getting like everyone else in your dorm this winter.

6. Eucalyptus

This oil helps to heal all kinds of ailments. Rub into sore muscles to help them heal up faster. Eucalyptus is often found in cough drops and has a soothing and cooling effect. Diffuse in your room to help ease a cough or cold and open up your airways again. 

7. Tea Tree/Melaleuca

This powerful oil packs a bunch. It has a pungent smell but lots of benefits. When applied topically, it can shrink angry outbreaks of acne almost overnight. It can also be used as an antiseptic for small cuts and similar wounds. 

8. Patchouli

Quite possibly the hippie-est essential oil of them all, patchouli has always been known for its strong scent. When diffused in a room, it has the potential to lift your mood and can even help alleviate depression and anxiety.

Now that you’re familiar with the most popular oils, you’re ready to embark on your hippie journey. Essential oils are powerful tools and should be treated as such, so be sure to do your own research on the types you end up buying as some may be toxic to pets or detrimental to your own health. You can purchase  essential oils in all kinds of places, but health food stores such as Whole Foods and Health Haven have the widest variety. Which ones are you going to add to your medicine cabinet?

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