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Essential oils are so named for a very good reason: they can provide essential nutrients, protective properties and healing abilities for our daily lives. Inside every oil tincture exists generations upon generations of knowledge about homeopathic care and natural nutrition. However, like any remedy, essential oil use should be done with care and caution. Click here for a handy-guide to safe essential oil use and read on for the best oils to use in your home.

Each herb, spice, flower, bark, leaf or root that is made into oil offers its own list of possibilities when it comes to maintaing or improving your health. Some offer antibacterial or anti-fungal properties; others, pain relief or digestive support. All oils offer multiple remedies within one little glass bottle. So where do you start? Surely it’s not realistic (or necessary) to purchase every kind of essential oil out there. Surely, there’s a few essential essential oils you get started with…right? Right.

In this article, we’ll list the top five common essential oils no healthy home should be without. But first, here are a few general tips when it comes to purchasing and using oils.

Tips for Using Essential Oils

  • Always buy organic, pure oils from reputable vendors.
  • Never directly apply an oil or consume an oil without it first being diluted. You can dilute oils with carrier oils like almond, olive, coconut, avocado or more. Otherwise, the oils can irritate your skin because they are so concentrated.
  • Less is more. You don’t need half a bottle of oil to make a great spa night—just a few drops will do.
  • Never store oils in direct light or heat.
  • Colored oils (orange, cinnamon, etc.) can impart a slight color. Avoid spraying these directly on light fabrics or applying too much to skin.

Use Oils for Health-Related Purposes in These Forms

  •  In a spray—mix the oil with a carrier (oil, alcohol, baking soda) and water
  •  In a lotion—shake a few drops into your favorite lotion for a restorative massage or daily moisturizing routine with extra healing power
  • In a bath—shake just a few drops into the warm bath water
  • In a burner—scent your whole home by heating the oils

5 Common Essential Oils to Help Change Your Health Today

1. Lavender — The Most Popular of Them All

Let’s face it: our society as a whole is stressed. There are more than enough problems in the world to keep someone worrying all night long. That’s where lavender comes in. Feeling overwhelmed? Stop everything and jump into a lavender bath right now: use five or so of drops lavender oil, 1/4 cup epsom salts, hot water, candles, rest.

According to Oils and Plants, lavender has been used for:

  • Treating coughs, colds and flus
  • Inducing sleep
  • Relieving muscular pain
  • Easing menstrual pains
  • Treating acne

2. Peppermint — Not Just for Schnapps

This isn’t the first time we’ve praised peppermint oil’s abilities; it probably won’t be the last, either. This oil is an integral part of holistic health at home. It has a strong, awakening scent with amazing capabilities! One favorite way to use it is as an invigorating, air-cleansing home freshener.

According to Aromatherapy Bible, an essential information source for budding oilists, peppermint can be used for:

  • Digestive purposes
  • Relieving minor tooth aches
  • Awakening the mind
  • Decongesting system
  • Providing antibacterial properties

3. Lemon — The Natural Cleaner of it All

This oil really does it all—cleanses, uplifts, purifies, brightens, freshens, you name it—lemon oil can do it. Use it in your cleaning products for a safe antibacterial option. Toss some drops into your bath for an awakening experience like no other. Try it in a burner to leave your home truly refreshed and clean.

Lemons have been described as being able to:

  • Detoxify the system
  • Counteract with acidity of the body
  • Clear away acne
  • Provide a natural antibacterial supplement

4. Ginger — Warm up to Good Health

This warming root provides countless healing properties, including the ability to drastically ease nausea and digestive upset, as well as cramping. On a deeper level, ginger is great for breaking up congestion and easing one into the colder seasons. Regular use can prevent common colds and flus.

Ginger contains the following properties:

  • Digestive aid
  • Pain reliever
  • Natural antiseptic
  • Cough reliever
  • Circulation improver

5. Patchouli — The Perfect Tonic

Patchouli’s earthy scent won its way into our hearts primarily as a air-deodorizer in the 60-70s. However, its capabilities extend far beyond scenting. In fact, this is perhaps the most essential essential oil on this list because it can do so much with so little.

Oils and Plants state that patchouli can:

  • Fight inflammation
  • Aid digestion
  • Improve skin conditions with regular use
  • Calm burns and speed up healing
  • Help fight anxiety

Healing at home doesn’t need to cost hundred of dollars or involve dozens of different bottles or this and that. With just these five common essential oils, you can start living a healthier life today! Remember to always read the labels of your oils to ensure quality and always use with safety in mind. These oils should be handled with the same caution and care as any other medicinal remedy.

Lead image source: ilovebutter/ Flickr