50 Ways to Use Essential Oils for a Cleaner, Sweet-smelling Life

1. For Scent-Sational wash, place a few drops of your favorite EO onto a small piece of terry cloth and toss into the clothes dryer while drying. Alternatively, add 5 drops of EO to 1/4-cup fabric softener or water and place in the center cup of the wash
2. Revive potpourri by adding a few drops of EO.
3. Freshen air by adding a few drops of EO to water in a spray bottle and spray.
4. Add a few drops of EO to a pan of water and simmer on a stove or in a potpourri pot.
5. For a scented candle, place a drop or two of EO into the hot wax as the candle burns.
6. Eliminate household cooking odors, add a few drops of Clove oil to a simmering pan of water.
7. For tired, aching muscles or arthritis, mix 1-drop Cajuput, Sage, and Basil oil to 30 drops vegetable oil and use as a massage oil.
8. Ease headache pain by rubbing a drop of Rosemary/ Lavender oil onto the back of your neck.
9. Blend your own massage oil by adding 3 drops of your favorite EO to 1 oz. Jojoba or other skin-nourishing vegetable oil.
10. For fresher smelling carpets, add 10 drops of EO to a box of cornstarch or baking soda, mix well, let set for a day or two and then sprinkle over the carpets in your home. Let set for an hour or more, than vacuum.
11. To make a natural flea collar, saturate a short piece of cord or soft rope with Pennyroyal or Tea Tree oil, roll up in a handkerchief and tie loosely around the animal’s neck.
12. Smelly feet or shoes can be remedied by either dropping a few drops of Geranium EO directly into the shoes or by placing a cotton ball dabbed with a few drops of Lemon oil into the shoes. Athlete’s foot? Tea tree oil is great.
13. Household odors? Put a few drops of your favorite EO on a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag. Lemon and Pine are nice; Rose Geranium helps with doggy odor.
14. To fragrance your kitchen cabinets and drawers, place a food scent EO dabbed on a cotton ball in an inconspicuous corner.
15. Are mice a problem? Place several drops of Peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in problem locations.
16. Scent the bathroom by placing oil-scented cotton balls in inconspicuous places or sprinkle oils directly onto silk or dried flower arrangements or wreaths.
17. To promote healing, apply 1 or 2 drops true Lavender oil and Tea Tree oil directly to cuts, scrapes or scratches.
18. Homemade soaps are pleasant and offer therapeutic effects when scented with EOs. Use Spirit Soaps that contain pure aromatics.
19. Home-made sachets are more fragrant when EOs is blended with the flowers and herbs.
20. Scent an entire room, set a calming or uplifting mood. Use a drop of EO on a radiator, scent ring, or light bulb. Do not put EO in the socket.
21. For “scentual” hand washables, use a few drops of your favorite EO or blend in the final rinse water.
22. Anise oil has been used by anglers for years to cover up the human scent that scares the fish away. Use a drop or two on the fingertips and hands before baiting up.
23. Create your own personal essence! EOs and blends make wonderful perfumes. Add 25 drops to 1 oz. perfume alcohol. Let age two weeks before using.
24. To dispel mosquitoes and other picnic or Bar-B-Q pests, drop a few drops of Citronella OR Eucalyptus citriodora oil in the melted wax of a candle or place a few drops on the Bar-B-Q’s hot coals.
25. Eliminate a troublesome wart by directly applying 1 drop of Lemon or Moroccan Blue Artemis EO to it. Apply daily until the wart is gone.
26. Rosemary and Basil promote alertness and stimulate memory. Inhale occasionally during long car trips and while reading or studying.
27. Selling your home? Fragrance sells! Fill the kitchen with the aroma of spices, such as Clove, Cinnamon and Vanilla by simmering a few drops of Cinnamon or Nutmeg EO. Create a warm, cheerful, inviting mood by sprinkling Geranium oil throughout your home. Add Cinnamon or Lemon oil to furniture polish and wipe down the wood.
28. Create a lovely, aromatic art piece by adding EOs to papier-mâché.
29. Infuse bookmarks and stationary with EOs. Use a few drops on paper, place in a sealed plastic bag & leave overnight to infuse the aroma. Send only good news on the perfumed letter.
30. To make gifts such as neck pillows or padded and decorative hangers more memorable put a couple of drops of EO on them before giving them as gifts.
31. Overindulge last night? EOs of Juniper, Fennel, Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend of these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.
32. For a wonderfully scented wood fire, use EOs of Vetivert, Cypress, Atlas Cedarwood, Frankincense and Myrrh. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.
33. Flies and moths dislike Lavandin oil. Sprinkle in on the outside of your window frames.
34. For restful sleep, place 1 or 2 drops of sleep enhancing oils, such as Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli, Marjoram or Hops on your pillow before retiring.
35. When moving to a new home, first use a water spray containing your favorite EO and change the odorous environment to your own. Do this for several days until it begins to feel like your own space.
36. Ideal scents for the bedroom are Roman Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender or Lemon.
37. Make your own copper polish. Add 1 drop of Lemon EO to a soft cloth and gently buff.
38. When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Mandarin or Orange EO to the final rinse water.
39. For burns or scalds, drop Tea Tree oil directly onto the affected area.
40. To aid digestion and relieve an upset stomach - place 1 drop of Peppermint oil in 1/2 glass of water and
slowly sip.
41. To relieve teething pain in children, use 1-drop Chamomile oil on a washcloth wrapped ice cube.
42. To cool the body in summer and protect it in the winter, add 6-8 drops of Eucalyptus oil in the bath
43. To bring out a radiant glow in your skin, add 1 drop Geranium oil to your facial moisturizer.
44. For thicker hair, or to promote growth, place 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary on your hair brush before brushing.
45. When flu is going around add a few drops of Thyme to your diffuser or simmer in a pan on the stove.
46. To bring fever down, sponge the body with cool water to which 1 drop each Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Lavender oils have been added.
47. Create a better work environment. Lavender creates a calm, tranquil atmosphere while Grapefruit stimulates the senses and clears up stale air.
48. Alleviate anxiety and depression. Blend Geranium, Lavender & Bergamot, and use in a diffuser or add 6-8 drops of this blend to the bath.
49. A wonderful massage blend for babies is one drop Roman Chamomile, 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Geranium diluted in 2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil.
50. Headaches? Rub the back of the neck with 1-drop Peppermint oil diluted in 1-teaspoon vegetable oil.
51. Perfume! Make a blend of 20 drops Neroli + 10 drops Lemon + 5 drops of Patchouli. Umm, yum. Age for 2 weeks; add an equal amount of high-proof alcohol. Age again and use.

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Make good essential oil blends by understanding scent characteristics

As mentioned in the last article (Prolong scents of your essential oils), essential oils are categorized by their notes or scent characteristics. We can classify them into three notes: top notes, middle notes, and bottom notes. The notes of essential oils are separated by the period oil evaporation and odor retention.

Top Notes: Essential oils which are categorized as top notes generally vaporize very quickly and typically have antiseptic properties. They tend to be fleeting, fresh and exhilarating in nature. Normally they are not expensive. Top notes give the first impression of all notes; however they stay not laong lasting.

Middle Notes: The aroma of middle notes do not immediately appear and may take a fell minutes to settle their odor. Normally essential oils with middle notes give warm and soft scents which help relax and balance our mind.

Bottom Notes: Bottom notes generally tend to have more staying power than top and middle notes. The essential oils categorized as bottom notes are normally heavy and have very solid odor. As their heavy weight, they evaporate slower than the other two notes, which means that the bottom notes will be present the more staying power. They normally calming and relaxing in nature, and are most expensive.

Below are the groups of essential oils categorized by their notes:
Top Notes: Basil, Bergamot, Cajuput, Clary Sage, Coriander, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Hyssop, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Niaouli, Orange, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Ravensara, Sage, Spearmint, Tagetes, Tangerine, Thyme, Verbena

Middle notes: Bay, Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cassia, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cypress, Fennel, Geranium, Ho Leaf, Ho Wood, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa, Myrth, Nutmeg, Palma Rosa, Pine, Rosemary, Rosewood, Spikenard, Tea Tree, Yarrow

Bottom Notes: Balsam Peru, Benzoin, Cedarwood, Clove, Frankincense, Ginger, Jasmine, Myrrh, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Valerian, Vanilla, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang

Don’t forget, an essential oil blend of top, middle, and bottom notes gives the best combination of appealing odor with the most staying potential.

Make good essential oil blends by understanding scent characteristics
By Jirayu Jirapinyo
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Aromatherapy: Herbal Remedy


Aromatherapy is an alternative field of medicine which is gaining popularity, it aim not only on the treatment but also on prevention of diseases. Aromatherapy practice is predominantly based on the use of essential oils. Herbs are also used at times for aromatic and therapeutic effect. The discipline of studying herbs for the purpose of establishing their medicinal value dates back to the prehistoric era. The tradition of using herbs for the creation of medicines - including recreational mood-altering drugs – is in vogue today also1. It involves use of herbal oils. Aromatherapy activates the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain, activate thermal receptors, and kill microbes and fungi2.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using naturally extracted essences of aromatic plants to promote the health and well-being of your body, mind and emotions. These essences, called essential oils, contain the vital life force of fragrant botanical plants. Pure essential oils are the key to success with aromatically. They can restore balance and harmony to your body and mind, while adding depth, dimension, and definition to your life3.

The history of aromatherapy dates back to more than 3500 years before Christ’s birth, to a time when the use of aromatics was recorded for the first ever instance in human history. The truth is that the history of aromatherapy is deeply linked with the progress of aromatic medicine, which in its initial stages was typically combined with religion, mysticism and magic. In India, around 2000 BC, various writings mention the role of ‘perfumers’ and ‘incense sellers’. The word ‘aromatherapy’ was used for the first time in the 1920s by French chemist Rene-Maurice-Gattefosse, who dedicated his life to researching on the discipline of aromatherapy.

Essential oils: These are fragrant oils extracted from plants mainly through steam distillation (e.g. eucalyptus oil).

•Absolutes: These are also fragrant oils, but extracted from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent extraction (e.g. rose absolute).

•Phytoncides: These are volatile organic compounds obtained from plants that destroy microbes.

•Hydrosols: These are aqueous by-products of distillation (e.g. rosewater). Many herbs are used to make herbal distillates. They have culinary, medicinal as well as skin care uses.

•Infusions: They are aqueous extracts of various plant materials (e.g. infusion of chamomile)

•Carrier oils: These are oily plant based triacylglycerides used to dilute essential oils for use on the skin (e.g. sweet almond oil) so as to avoid irritation4.


Aromatherapy works by synergistically using the properties of all the chemicals in essential oil for their correct application

Aromatherapy works through-

a) Inhalation- The vapour formation of an essential oil is very minute and passes through the lungs from where they diffuse across tiny air sacs (alveoli) into the surrounding blood capillaries and eventually find their way into the systemic circulation from where they exert their therapeutic effect.

b) Skin absorption- The shin is a two-way road capable of both absorption and excretion ; for example, rub a small piece of cut garlic on the sole sof your feet, within 5 minutes you will have garlic breath . The tiny molecules of essential oils pass through the hair follicles, which contain sebum, an oily liquid to which essential oils have an affinity from here, the oils diffuse into the blood stream or are taken up by the lymph or interstitial fluid to other parts of the body.


Aromatherapy is used in the treatment of various diseases such as bronchitis, fatigue, migraines, respiratory ailments, acne, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, cystitis, cold and flu. Aromatherapy also encourages emotional peace and calm with a gently calming effect on mind, body and emotions2. Aroma therapy is a holistic treatment that works as a natural stress buster that can be easily fused into your work environment with immediate positive benefits for conditions like lack of concentration, depression, agitation and of course stress. Essential oils that form the basis of this treatment are derived from flowers and have calming effects on the central nervous system, thereby relieving you of stress and increasing concentration levels. Some of the aroma oils that work best to relieve office stress include the following6:

Lavender Oil: It can be used in a diffuser, which heats the oil and allow its molecules to harmonise with the atmosphere to keep you relieved. If a diffuser is not available, then put just a drop or two of lavender oil on a cotton bud or tissue paper and place it near your work station. Soon you’ll find the fragrance working for you. Not just this, studies show that scenting your office with Lavender essential oil can even reduce computer errors by at least 25 per cent.

Quantity: 1-2 drops

Neroli Oil: The best time to use Neroli oil is the moment you lie on your bed. Just put a drop of the oil on your pillow and let it work to give you a soothing sleep.

Quantity: Less than 1 drop

Geranium oil: The best way to use geranium oil is to create your own spa with it. Add it in a tub full of lukewarm water and soak yourself in it for 20-30 minutes before going to bed.

Quantity: 3-4 drops in bath tub.

Basil oil: Take a bowl of water and put less than a drop of Basil oil in it. Now, soak a towel in it and then use it to wipe off your body, specially the exposed parts of your body before going to sleep.

Alternately, you can also put one tenth of a drop of this oil behind your ear and feel the fragrance giving you a relaxing effect.

Fennel Sweet Oil: Again, it can be used in a diffuser placed in the room or on a cotton bud.

Quantity: 1-2 drops

Rosemary oil: It can be used in a bath or in a diffuser.

Apart from these, if you have any other favourite essential oil, you can use it in the following ways in your office:

1. A few drops of oil on the cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper works well to ensure a nice smelling bathroom.

2. Want to spread the scent around? Simply keep cotton ball dipped in essential oil between your business card box and there - you have scented cards!

Herbs with their therapeutic uses in aromatherapy7:

Ocimum sanctum Linn. (Basil)
Family: Labiatae

Usage: Used for bronchitis, fatigue, migraines, and aches & pains.

Citrus bergamia (Bergamot orange of Europe)

Family: Rutaceae

Usage: Uplifting, refreshing and relaxing. Encourages cheerful emotions, ideal for depression.

Used to freshen and uplift a room

Juniperus virginiana (Cedarwood )

Family: Cupressaceae

Usage: Ideal for soothing, harmonizing and focusing the mind. Antiseptic and astringent

properties beneficial to oily skin.

Anthemis nobilis Linn. (Chamomile)

Family: Compositae

Usage: Aids sleep and soothes tired muscles, encourages emotional peace and calm with a

gently calming effect on mind, body and emotions.

Eucalyptus globules (Eucalyptus)

Family: Myrtaceae

Usage: A Powerful, penetrating bactericidal and anti-viral oil for sickrooms.

Boswellia carteri (Frankincense)

Family: Burseraceae

Usage: Good for meditation, relieving stress, tension,anxiety; mucus conditions, aging skin.

Aids in arthritis, rheumatism, joint aches, radiation burn.

Pelargonium graveloens L’Herit. (Geranium)

Family: Geraniaceae

Usage: Relieves anxiety, hot flashes, palpitations, diarrhea, acne, dry, inflamed skin, minor

surface burns.

Jasminum officinale Linn. (Jasmine absolute)

Family: Oleaceae

Usage: Good for easing trapped feelings of sadness, trauma and grief; anxiety, nervousness,

apathy/withdrawal. Eases anger, aphrodisiac. Good for dry skin. Helpful for post-natal recovery

and also a good skin tonic.

Juniperus communis Linn. (Juniper berry)

Family: Cupressaceae

Usage: Purifying, eliminating with a clear woody aroma. This oil clears emotional overload and

helps to cleanse the body of impurities. A great tonic for oily or congested skin.

lavandula officinalis Chaix. (Lavender)

Family: Labiatae

Usage: Helps ease anger, anxiety, nervousness, stress, insomnia, headaches, neuralgia,

wounds, burns, shock, thrush. Good for cravings, decreasing appetite, arthritis, rheumatism,

joint aches and chest aches.

Citrus limon Linn. (Lemon)

Family: Rutaceae

Usage: Refreshes and cools bringing clarity to mind and emotions restoring vitality acting as a

tonic to the circulatory system. Has beneficial effects on the immune system, is cleansing on

the skin.

Citrus reticulata Blanco (Mandarin)

Family: Rutaceae

Usage: Fruity, tangy citrus perfume with a gently cheering effect, aiding youthful thoughts and

feelings. Soothing effect upon the digestive system. Can be used in pregnancy with Neroli to

avoid stretch marks.

Origanum marjorana (Marjoram)

Family: Labiatae

Usage: A warm and spicy aroma with warm comforting tones. Eases loneliness and grief,

relaxing for muscles especially after sport or work.

Citrus aurantium (Christm.) (Neroli)

Family: Rutaceae

Usage: Good for aging, dry and sensitive skin and balancing in times of shock and

hysteria ,aphrodisiac; calm and soothing atmosphere. Relieves depression, worry, stress,

insomnia, mature skin, stretch marks.

Cymbopogon martini (Roxb.) (Palmarosa)

Family: Gramineae

Usage: Refreshing and uplifting. Gently soothing whilst promoting clear thought. Helps all skin

types especially dry skin.

Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli)

Family: Labiatae

Usage: Deep earthy, sensual, grounding oil which uplifts the spirit whilst clearing the mind.

Moisturizing for dry skin.

Mentha arvensis Linn. (Peppermint)

Family: Labiatae

Usage: Clears the head and soothes the emotions, soothes the digestive system, relieves

tired feet and mind.

Rosa damascena Mill. (Rose)

Family: Rosaceae

Usage: This oil is soothing and uplifting, great when sad or tired. A tonic for the female

reproductive system. A sensual and delightful oil, romantic, creative, gently cheering.

Rosmarinus officinalis Linn. (Rosemary)

Family: Rubiaceae

Usage: A powerful mental stimulant which aids memory and concentration restores vitality and


Santalum album Linn. (Sandalwood)

Family: Santalaceae

Usage:Helps ageing, dry and itchy skin. Good for meditation; aphrodisiac. Aids in cystitis,

venereal infections, chronic coughs, dry skin; anxiety, tension and nervousness.

Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree)

Family: Myrtaceae

Usage: Effective oil with powerful antiseptic properties benefits the immune system disinfects

and de-odorises, strengthens especially during the winter months and convalescence.

Thymus vulgaris Linn. (Thyme)

Family: Labiatae

Usage: A stimulating, protecting oil that has a strengthening effect on the the nerves. Ideal for

the treatment of exhaustion both physical and mental. A help to the immune system.

Aromatherapy and Herbs that Promote Wound Healing8:

As many Diabetics can tell you, suffering from wounds that have poor or slow healing can become unbearable. If a cut or a wound heals slowly, it will increase the chances of becoming infected and spread. There are many natural herbs that will promote healing in various wounds and cuts, as well as carry antiseptic and germicidal properties. These ingredients mixed together are Mother Nature’s natural remedies to cuts and wounds. You can try products that carry one or two of these ingredients, however direct application and Aromatherapy methods will provide direct contact with these herbs therefore providing faster results. You may create an infusion by using fresh herbs, roughly one ounce of dried herb to one pint of boiling water that may be sipped or added to an Aromatherapy bath. However, for many cuts and wounds, a salve or poultice may be applied as well. To prevent infection in slow healing wounds, you can use Aromatherapy to clean and purify your air, thereby decreasing the chance of germs in your immediate environment.

Aloe Vera is an incredible medicinal plant that has been used for centuries. It is making headway in the realm of Aromatherapy by being used as a base for Essential Oils. To make a wonderful Aloe Vera based healing balm for wounds, add your choice of Essential Oils such as: Black Walnut, Fenugreek, Comfrey, Calendula, Horsetail, Rosemary, and Apricot Seed. All of these herbs also promote wound healing and help prevent infection in cuts and are a wonderful addition to your Aloe Vera based balm.

Black Walnut may be infused with Olive Oil for a wonderful herbal remedy that prevents infection in cuts and wounds. Black Walnut also treats fungal infections as well. It has been used for many centuries and is also a great darkener for brunette hair. You can add a few drops of Black Walnut oil into your bath, but be prepared for a dark ring to be left in the tub. It can be mixed with Tea Tree Oil for a healing salve that may be applied directly to cuts and wounds. The leaves, hulls, and bark of the Black Walnut tree have all been used in various herbal remedies and formulas.

Fenugreek was used by the Ancient Egyptians to treat everything from coughs and colds to skin infections and irritations. It was also a main ingredient in many Egyptian beautifying regimes. The seeds of the Fenugreek plant are known for softening the skin as well as preventing infection.

Rosemary is known for its rich aroma that smells like Camphor. It has many antiseptic properties, which makes it perfect for wound and cut healing. Rosemary has also been used for treating headaches, coughs, cold, mental confusion and fatigue, to brighten drab hair color, in perfumes, and to improve circulation and fight cellulite.

You can make an infusion of Rosemary for your bath by using one ounce dried Rosemary to one pint of boiling water. Rosemary is also a stimulant, so make sure that you don’t use Rosemary before going to sleep, or you will find that it will keep you awake.


a) Avoid essential oils deemed hazardous.

b) Keep flammable oils away from fire.

c) Always consult your health care professional before starting any therapies with essential oil.

d) Dilute essential oils as recommended to avoid irritation.

e) Always test essential oils on a skin patch first.


1) http://www.beautymakeuptips.org/aromathrapy.
2) http://www.iloveindia.com/indian - herbs/aromatherapy.
3) Wilson R. Aromatherapy- essential oils for vibrant health and beauty. 2002: 5
4) http://www.themedguru.com/articles/aromatherapy_more_than_just_good_smell
5) Bharkatiya M, Nema RK, Rathore KS and Panchawat S. Aromatherapy: Short overview. International Journal of Green Pharmacy 2008; 2(1):13-16
6) http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
7) http://www.circle-of light.com/Aromatherapy/aroma-remedies.html
8) http://www.bestaromatherapy.co.uk/Aromatherapy_and_Herbs_that_Promote_Wound_Healing.html

Author’s names: Sonia Singh1*, Komal Singh2

Institutional affiliations:

1) GLA Institute of Pharmaceutical Research, Mathura, U.P

2) Extol College, Bhopal, M.P

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