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A Comprehensive Guide to Essential Oils

comprehensive essential oil guide

Essential oils have been used for thousands of year, including extensive use by the Ancient Egyptians who knew the healing, restorative and rejuvenating powers of plants and aromatherapy. Whether inhaled, massaged, or, in some cases such as peppermint or chamomile, ingested, essential oils often replace popular drugs such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, antacids, Vick’s, Pepto-Bismol, and many other common OTC and prescription drugs.  As we embark on our winter post New Year cleanses, bear in mind, essential oils play an important role in detoxification whether it is to cleanse the liver, cleanse parasites, or even simply to uplift a mood caused by rapid detoxication.

Essential Oils for Detox

Juniper berry : This powerful, detoxifying oil is a purifier, helps avert nervous tension, and reduces cellulite. Juniper essential oil is an antiviral, antiseptic, diuretic, and can help relieve pain, the symptoms of rheumatism, and expel uric acid from the system. Juniper’s spicy aroma helps to strengthen and fortify the spirit during times of low energy, anxiety, and emotional overload. The oil can irritate some people’s skin, and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Helichrysum : Ideal for use during a drug or alcohol detox or a detox from estrogen dominance, helichrysum helps stimulate liver cells, thin mucous secretions, and acts as a free radical scavenger. It is non-toxic and non-irritating.

Lemon: A refreshing citrus oil, lemon stimulates white blood cells to defend the body against infection. Its detoxifying and regenerating properties are beneficial for the liver, and aid in bringing clarity to the mind and emotions. Lemon may irritate those with sensitive skin, and when used in a bath it must be used with a carrier oil.

Grapefruit:  Having a detoxifying effect on individuals recovering from substance abuse, grapefruit is antiviral, antiseptic, diuretic, and can aid the digestive system and skin. It refreshes the mind, relieves anxiety, is reviving, uplifting, and helps disperse negative energy. It may, however, increase photosensitivity.

Laurel: Characterized by a fresh, sweet smell, laurel contains eugenol which makes it effective in thinning mucous secretions, as an expectorant, and as an anti-viral and anti-fungal.  Laurel has a powerfully balancing effect on the lymphatic system.Rubbing a few drops of oil on swollen lymph nodes for an immediate effect. Laurel should be used in moderation, and avoided during pregnancy.

Below is a list of common symptoms and/or ailments along with body, skin and hair conditions along with the essential oils that balance them.

Essential Oils for the Skin

Acne: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Geranium, Grapefruit, Everlasting, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Ravensara, Rose, Rosemary, Petitgrain, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Thyme

Aging Skin: Bergamot, Cypress, Chamomile, Everlasting, Jasmine, Juniper, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Neroli, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Patchouli, Ravensara, Rosewood, Rosemary, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang

Dry Skin: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Everlasting, Fennel, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Rosemary, Rose, Sandalwood, Thyme, Ylang Ylang

Normal/Combination Skin: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, Rose, Chamomile, Geranium, Jasmine, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang

Oily Skin: Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Geranium, Grapefruit, Geranium, Jasmine*, Juniper, Lemon, Lime, Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Ravensara, Rose, Rosemary, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Thyme, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang

Essential Oils for the Body

Breakdown of Fat and Cellulite: Basil, Cedarwood, Cypress, Fennel, Juniper, Lavender, Lemongrass, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lemon, Pine, Mandarin, Rosemary

Deodorizing: Bergamot, Cypress, Clary Sage, Lavender, Petitgrain, Lemon, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Peppermint

Eczema, Dermatitis & Psoriasis: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Cedarwood, Fennel, Geranium, Lavender, Juniper, Orange, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Thyme

Herpes & Cold Sores:Bergamot, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Chamomile

Stretch Marks / Scars:  Lavender, Rosehip, Rosemary, Rosewood, Patchouli, Chamomile. Also use, Calendula Wheat Germ Oil and Vitamin E as part of therapy but also as carrier oil.

Varicose Veins: Cypress, Everlasting, Lemon, Lavender, Juniper

Essential Oils for the Hair

Normal Hair: Lavender, Lemon, Geranium, Chamomile, Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang

Dry Hair: Lavender, Rosemary, Geranium, Sandalwood, Chamomile, Cedarwood, Clary Sage

Oily Hair: Lavender, Rosemary, Cypress, Lemon, Basil, Thyme, Cedarwood, Juniper

Calming: Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon, Rosewood, Patchouli, Neroli, Sandalwood, Mandarin, Ravensara, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang.

Cradle Cap: Chamomile, Lavender

Dandruff: Basil, Cypress, Cedarwood, Rosemary, Patchouli, Juniper, Lavender, Mandarin, Thyme, Tea Tree

Hair Loss: Rosemary, Basil, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Cypress, Cedarwood, Thyme, Juniper, Geranium, Neroli, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang

Essential Oils for Health

Antibacterial: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cypress, Everlasting, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Patchouli, Palmarosa, Pine, Ravensara, Rose, Sandalwood, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Basil, Tea Tree

Antifungal: Cedarwood, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Thyme, Tea Tree, Basil

Anti-Inflammatory: Chamomile, Citronella, Everlasting, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Rose, Patchouli, Spearmint, Peppermint, Sandalwood
Antiviral: Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Palmarosa, Ravensara, Tea Tree, Thyme, Tarragon
Anti-Yeast/ Anti-Candida Growth: Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Geranium, Patchouli, Rosemary, Thyme, Tea Tree

Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Geranium, Ginger, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Orange, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Thyme, Mandarin, Neroli, Petitgrain

Circulation: Cypress, Ginger, Juniper, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Neroli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Rose, Thyme

Depression: Angelica*, Anise, Bergamot, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Cypress, Everlasting, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Lavender, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Peppermint, Tangerine, Ravensara, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Spruce, Ylang Ylang, Pine Needle

Endometriosis: Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ravensara Menopause Angelica, Basil, Bergamot, Cypress, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Fennel, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood, Ravensara, Rose

Fatigue: Basil, Bergamot, Cypress, Cinnamon, Lavender, Geranium, Grapefruit, Juniper, Neroli, Orange, Rose, Mandarin, Palmarosa, Peppermint, Ravensara, Rosemary, Tangerine, Thyme, Tarragon, Lemon, Petitgrain, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang

Headache:  Eucalptus, Helichrysum, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Spearmint, Nutmeg

Hormone Balancing: Angelica, Bergamot, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Fennel, Geranium, Lavender, Ravensara, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Ylang Ylang

Hot Flashes: Clary Sage, Chamomile, Fennel, Geranium, Lavender

Immune System Adaptogen: Cinnamon, Everlasting, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Ravensara, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree  (These boost or calm the immune system depending on the body’s needs.

Inflammation and Swelling:  Chamomile, Cypress, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, Peppermint, Rose, Juniper, Petitgrain, Ylang Ylang

Insomnia: Chamomile, Basil, Citronella, Clary Sage, Juniper, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Neroli, Orange, Ravensara, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Mandarin, Petitgrain, Tangerine

Memory: Basil, Bergamot, Cinnamon, Juniper, Rosemary, Thyme, Ylang Ylang

Nausea: Basil, Chamomile, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Rose, Peppermint, Dill, Sandalwood

PMS: Clary Sage, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Jasmine, Juniper, Neroli, Orange, Pine, Ravensara, Rose, Sandalwood, Tarragon

Refreshing: Cypress, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Peppermint, Ravensara, Tangerine, Mandarin, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang

Relaxing: Angelica*, Chamomile, Citronella, Geranium, Jasmine, Basil, Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosewood, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang.

Sensual: Anise, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Jasmine, Lemon, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang

Stress: Angelica, Basil, Cypress, Cedarwood, Everlasting, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Tarragon, Mandarin, Petitgrain, Chamomile, Patchouli, Palmarosa, Pine Needles, Neroli, Tangerine, Rose Jasmine, Ylang Ylang

Essential Oils for Pregnancy

Pregnancy: Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Mandarin, Petitgrain, Tangerine, Lavender

Labor and Delivery: Geranium, Lavender, Jasmine, Neroli, Rose, Ylang Ylang

Postpartum: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Fennel, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Patchouli, Ravensara, Rose

Stretch Marks / Scars: Lavender, Rosemary, Rosewood, Patchouli, Chamomile. Also use Wheat Germ Oil and Vitamin E.

A word about carrier oils:

NEVER apply essential oils directly to skin.  For aroma therapeutic benefits use a diffuser or for application on the skin use a carrier oil.  A few of my favorites are calendula, almond, jojoba and olive.

Grapeseed, Olive, Macadamia, and Avocado Oils are also a good way to go.

Argan and Tamanu oils are good choices but quite pricey.

Sunflower and Safflower oil must be organic and cold pressed.

Castor oil (should be sustainably sourced and high quality) can be used for very oily skin.

Wheat germ oil mixed with Vitamin E is a great carrier base for stretch marks and scarring.  Calendula is great for this too.

Rosehip oil is pricey but very high in Vitamin C.  It is not, in my opinion, neutral smelling though.   I use it diluted with calendula oil, 4 parts calendula to 1 part rosehip oil and my favorite essential oils.

22 replies
  1. Ella
    Ella says:

    Awesome article – very informative! There are so many benefits to using essential oils, I am surprised the majority of people aren’t more informed. I use products containing oils daily on my hair & skin. Essential oils really work wonders and I would never go back to using a cream! My favorite product I use is “Defend” (it’s a blend of argan oil and essential oils – found at purelementnaturals.com). It has saved my skin this winter! I have been really impressed with how much tighter and hydrated my skin has been this year.

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I love using argan oil in my mixes too. Right now I am even adding a touch of sesame and some brahmi oil and either lemon or lavender oil along with my hair oil prescribed by my ayurvedic doctor and some calendula and almond mixed in.

  2. freebird
    freebird says:

    How about Aloe vera Gel or Oil?I Havnt seen it being recited alot in your routines and also recommendations why is that ?

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      First, aloe oil really isn’t really something I use. For no particular reason, just that I have found oils that I love and don’t feel the need to look for new or better, especially in the winter when I need more warming grounding oils. Second, aloe gel is something we keep in our home for burns, rashes, and for use in smoothies as a tonic and it might be something we post on in the future however, at this point, there are only so many days in the week and so many hours in a day that we just haven’t really felt moved to include a post on the benefits of aloe in the winter. We use it more in the summer so expect a post closer to the late spring on the benefits of using it internally.

  3. Mina
    Mina says:

    Hi there
    I do have long silky hairs,But I have sever hair fall and also its thining .Im using zinc plus but it doesnt work out.also its split in the end n have gone so fragile doesnt have elasticity….would appreciate your suggestion.Whats the root cause…

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      The root cause is something, more than likely, dietary but I would have to pinpoint the ROOT cause in a health history and probably a consultation. I would suggest that you oil your hair first and foremost. That will strengthen the hair follicles (and make sure you add a little castor oil to the mix which is beautiful for falling hair). You said you take zinc. Zinc is not very absorbable in tablet form. You must, to supplement, get angstrom-sized liquid zinc for it to do anything for you. It’s better to eat food sources of zinc.

  4. Clueless
    Clueless says:

    This may be a silly question, but I’ve been reading about the benefits of essential oils for months. However, I cannot figure out how to use them correctly. Specifically, for endometriosis and migraines. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Endometriosis should technically be treated internally by eradicating PUFAs and clearing estrogen dominance, thyroid and blood sugar handling issues. Treating the pain by soaking a towel in hot water with a little essential oil of your choice (same goes for migraines and for me, eucalyptus and oregano seem to be the best ones). For migraines, I use a carrier oil (usually refined coconut oil these days) with several drops of essential oils and put into a roller tube. I then roll it on my temples, forehead, and back of the neck.

  5. Taler
    Taler says:

    Hi I was wondering if it is safe to mix peppermint, lavender, tea tree, sage, clary sage, ylang ylang, jojoba, thyme, cedarwood, grapefruit and rosemary essential oils altogether to put in my hair?

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      In my opinion that’s entirely too many oils to be mixed aromatherapeutically. Safe? Maybe, but way overwhelming.

  6. Ming
    Ming says:

    Hello. I’m currently using a blend of coconut oil, castor oil, rosemary & lavender essential oils for my hair and scalp. I have thick & fairly dry hair. Could I also add ylang-ylang EO to the mix ? Thank you.

      • Ming
        Ming says:

        Thank you for your reply ! 🙂 I thought it’d be too many things at once. I massage the lot into my scalp & hair once a week. Currently, I mix half a teaspoon each of coconut oil & castor oil and then add 1 drop each of rosemary EO & lavender high alpine EO. Should I add 1 drop of ylang-ylang EO too or a stronger dosage? Thank you.

  7. Maria
    Maria says:

    I have extremely dry scalp and hair and I have been suffering from it appears to be an eczema on both sides of my scalp. I have been using a mix of rosemary, tea tree and lavender oils deluted in jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. It seems it helps right after I use it but if I stop, it gets bad again. Do you think this is a right mix of oils for me and how often and for how long I have to use them for better and longer lasting results? I really prefer to try to treat it naturally instead of using medicated shampoos and ointments.
    Thank you very much!

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Dry scalp is indicative of something going on internally. What is your diet like? How is your digestion? Are your hormones balanced? What are your other symptoms? Correct the root and the blend of oils becomes much easier.

      • Maria
        Maria says:

        Thank you for the response! I really appreciate it!
        I am trying to keep my diet as healthy as I can. Lots of vegitables and fruits, nuts, grains, lean meat, no sweets. I dont have problems with my digestion. The hormonal balance though could be something that has to do with it. I havent checked if my hormons are all well balanced but I am 44 so I think they may start playing tricks on me. The other thing I can think of is I dont drink enough water, even if I try, I am always far bellow the reccomended quantity.
        Thank you again and God bless!

  8. Sara
    Sara says:

    I was reading a lot of info about castro oil making hair grow!? I’m freaked that it will make my already whiskery chin get more?! Apparently men use it to make their beards grow!

  9. Val
    Val says:

    I just read that no oils can be used if you have an estrogen dominance as all oils have phytoestrogens and will make things worse. The only exception were citrus oils, I was very upset as I love using my essential oils every day. what are your thoughts? thanks!

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      EVERYTHING can be taken to the extremes and you will never ever avoid ALL phytoestrogens, and the beauty of it is, you don’t have to. Phytoestrogens, in small amounts, don’t bind to the estrogen receptors which is when estrogen, in high amounts becomes reactive.


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