The Most Popular Essential Oils

I’ve recently updated this blog because it’s been four years since I wrote it, and have since become a Certified Aromatherapist.  Needless to say, my writing style has changed and so has my knowledge of essential oils!

Everyone wants to know which essential oils are the most popular – I’m often asked, “which oils should I have at all times?”  This is a tough question because everyone has different needs, right?

Below I’ll list out a few of my all time favs, and provide uses for each.  If you have these in your home at all times, you will most likely use them consistently.

The oils I’m referring to are: Frankincense, Peppermint, Lemon and Lavender.


Frankincense does have some wonderful health benefits, and this is only a miniscule list.  Scientists are still discovering all of the benefits of frankincense, so stay tuned!:

1.  Helps build and maintain a healthy immune system.
2.  Promotes cellular health.
3.  Reduces the appearance of blemishes and rejuvenates skin.
4.  Supports healthy immune system function.
5. Promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction and overall wellness.


1.  Promotes healthy respiration function and clear breathing.
2.  Alleviates occasional stomach upset.
3.  Frequently used in homemade toothpaste for oral health and fresh breath, and homemade deodorant for fresh feeling.
4.  Keeps away spiders!
5.  Cooling of body temperature, like in a 90+ degree summer day!


Stinky Laundry.  Lemon essential oil takes out ALL odor when you forget and leave your load of laundry in the washer way too long.  Just a few drops added to your detergent.

Remove Sap/Stickiness. Whether the sap is on your carpet, clothes or seeped into your skin, lemon oil is excellent for removing pine gum and tree sap.

Removes Grease. You just fixed your bike. Your hands are black and greasy. Soap alone won’t remove the grease, but lemon oil mixed with your soap will.  Lemon oil is a great de-greaser!

Disinfect.  You can add lemon oil to a spray bottle of water and attack what may be living in your range hood, on your tables, countertops and other surfaces. For some extra chemical-free firepower, a little vinegar is a traditional favorite.

Bathroom Cleaning.  Go gas mask free and clean with lemon oil.  Just a small amount of lemon oil will go a long way in removing hard water build up.

Nourish Leather.  Use a lemon oil on a soaked cloth to preserve them, and prevent leather from splitting.

Silver Tarnish Removal.  A lemon oil treated cloth is a great remedy for the early stages of tarnish on silver or other metals. You may not eat on silver every day, but bracelets, earrings, necklaces often need some love.

Furniture Luster. Bring your furniture back to life with lemon oil! Just add a few drops of lemon oil to olive oil for a non-toxic furniture polish. Lemon oil leaves a beautiful shine, prevents fine wood finishes from drying out, and replaces lost moisture in antique woods as it penetrates worn finishes.

Stainless Steel De-Smudger. You don’t need to hunt down that “single use” stainless steel cleaner anymore. Multi-use lemon oil is great for cleaning stainless steel appliances.

Clean Granite/Porous Stone. What is living in the pores of your natural stone counters or floors? Lemon oil cleans deeply, seeps into stone and leaves you with a “real fresh lemons” aroma, rather than that fake lemon chemical smell.

Energize your Brush.  If your toothbrush seems a bit tired, add a drop of lemon and peppermint oils to chase away that run-down feeling.

Mold/Stink.  Moldy kid’s sneakers, a baby’s blowout, potty training … it all adds up to an less than desirable aroma.  Diffuse or spray lemon oil and neutralize odors at their source.

Scuffs/Gunk.  Got a scuff mark that just won’t go away? Lemon oil lifts scuff marks.

Mildew & Musty Things.  Things get stored away. Things get old. Things don’t see the light of day.  Chase away that “old smell” and inject new energy with a good lemon oil wipe down.

Disinfect Cutting Board.  Cutting boards can harbor bacteria in your kitchen.

Aphid Invasion.  Aphids are those pesky little bugs that dine on your roses and other plants.  Lemon oil (or peppermint) with water in a garden spray bottle are a natural pesticide that kills aphids and their larvae on contact, but leave your plants looking lovely.

Spot-Free Dishes.  Add a few drops of lemon oil to your dishwasher soap container with each load.

Refresh Stinky Washcloths. When your kitchen washcloths smell foul and could use a boost, add lemon oil to your detergent, soak overnight, wash, dry and your kitchen will smell so much better.

Wake up.  If you have a hard time waking up, place a drop of peppermint oil between your palms and breathe in deeply a few times.  Rejuvenating!

Desserts. There are an infinite number of ways lemon oil can add a bit of freshness to your sugary savors: lemon frosting, lemon meringue, sour cream lemon pie, lemon cakes, lemon tart glaze, lemon squares, lemon cookies, lemonade.

Dinner.  With lemon oil, there are countless ways to make the bland zippy, or the blah peppy:  Roasted salmon & asparagus with lemon oil, Linguine & shrimp with lemon oil, Lemon oil drizzled over vegetables (especially broccoli),  Lemon garlic shrimp  … or to add a fresh kick to an already great salad.

Preserve Fruit.  Use lemon oil in a spray to keep your cut fruit fresh until serving.

Nervousness.  When combined with lavender oil and diffused into a room, you’ll find you feel less nervous and your mood uplifted.

Moodiness.  Chase away the moody blues (not the band), with a bit of blah-reducing lemon oil.  Diffuse it or apply topically.

Hard Skin.  Next time you notice hard, crusty skin on your feet, (e.g. corns, calluses or bunions) regularly add a few drops of lemon oil for softer skin.

Brighter Complexion.  Lemon oil can help remove dead skin cells and exfoliate.  For a homemade exfoliant, add 4-5 drops to a small amount of oatmeal and water for a homemade scrub.


Soothe Skin.  As long as the skin is not broken or raw, lavender can be used to bring soothing comfort to irritated skin.

Massage.  Lavender oil can be used to bring relaxation during massage.

Calming Nerves.  Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil and rub onto bottoms of feet or on pulse points.  Also either diffuse with an essential oil diffuser or rub onto palms and breathe deeply.

Bedtime & Kids.  Rub a few drops of oil on the soles of the little one’s feet, diluted in a carrier oil.  Also touch the under-side of their nose so they can smell it and develop a calming routine with a familiar smell.  It’s a great routine and provides peaceful memories for little ones as they grow older.

Bedtime & Adults.  Many adults suffer from not being able to relax enough at bedtime in order to sleep through the night.  Diffusing lavender in the bedroom can help promote calm, restful nights.  Also rub a drop onto each big toe.

Insect Repellant.  Lavender oil is a unique insect repellant that is safe, effective and has no side effects.  Before reaching for the next can of over-the-counter bug spray, try essential lavender oil.

Insects & Moth Repellant.  Place a few drops on a cotton ball for closets and linen drawers to ward off insects and moths.

Fabric Deodorizer.  Place a few drops on cloth or laundry drier sheet to freshen laundry scent and naturally deodorize.

Child’s Pillow.  Place a few drops on your child’s stuffed animal or pillow to help comfort them at night.

Romance and Social Settings.  Diffuse the lavender oil to set the mood for a nice romantic evening or for a relaxed social event.

Day Spa.  Lavender is a nice oil for diffusing, cleaning the air, and bringing balance to any atmosphere.  Diffusing it in a certain area of your day-spa can really bring a sense of balance and tranquility.

Infused Tea.  Use lavender in a cup of hot tea can help as a nice wind-down drink after dinner or with a decaffeinated tea before bed.  It can also be used with a nice Chamomile tea or “Sleepy time” tea before bed or when trying to relax.

Breads & Cooking.  Experiment with lavender oil (digestible kind) in your fruit breads and other dishes. It can provide a wonderful complexity and aromatics to some of your favorite dishes.  Try adding a drop or 2 to a few bites before adding it to a complete recipe to be sure you like it first.  There is a delicious lavender & lemon pound cake on Pinterest.

Relaxing Bath.  Try adding several drops to a warm, relaxing bath, while playing some soft music and lighting some nice candles.  A little extra time on those days when you really need a break after work or from the kids can really bring you back to a sense of normalcy.

Studying.  Inhale some drops of lavender before and during a test, and during study, to help an older student feel relaxed.

Presentations.  Put a drop or two of lavender under the nasal passages to promote a calm before a presentation before peers, colleagues or before a big job interview.

Bath Salts.  Mix with pure bath salts or epsom salts and wrap up to use later.  They make great (and cheap!) gifts.

Feminine Issues.  Using very warm compresses, apply lavender oil around the abdomen while inhaling the diffuse vapors to help calm and relax.

Improve Concentration.  Because of its ability to support the mood, reduce nervousness/restlessness, and help calm the nerves, lavender has been reported by many to help improve the ability to concentrate and focus.

Deodorants.  Lavender oil is great in homemade deodorants.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, and contain fillers and/or contaminants.  I use oils from a company that gives full disclosure pertaining to each plant’s country of origin, testing and third-party testing, to guarantee absolute purity.   100% pure essential oils will provide higher therapeutic benefits.

Karen Kornichuk
Certified Aromatherapist
and Member of the National Association
for Holistic Aromatherapy




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