As an aromatherapist I’m currently in possession of around 50 different essential oils.  It’s great for me to have such a large choice at my fingertips and gives me endless combinations to cover a variety of needs.  But what if you are just starting out with aromatherapy and still learning how to use the oils?  You certainly don’t want to be spending a fortune on a huge collection of oils when just a few will do for your own personal use.  Here’s my list of 5 of the “most essential” essential oils, all are pretty versatile and none will break the bank.  Don’t forget that with just 5 oils you will get numerous combinations.

Mandarin (citrus reticulata) is sweet, soothing and gently uplifting.  Known for its calming effect on the digestive system it is also gentle enough to be used with children and during pregnancy.  A playful oil, mandarin gives a sense of happy relaxation.

Ginger (zingiber officinalis) is warming and stimulating and works well with digestive and respiratory health.  Working to unlock tense and tight muscles, it also motivates and pushes us forward when we are lacking direction or slow in taking action.

Cypress (cupressus sempervirens) is cleansing, strengthening and calming.  It is a circulatory tonic and is often used in skincare for its astringent and antiseptic properties.  It brings us serenity in times of chaos, helping us to manage change and transition.

Lavandula angustifolia, sometimes called true lavender, has many uses in aromatherapy

Lavandula angustifolia, sometimes called true lavender, has many uses in aromatherapy

Geranium (pelargonium graveolens) is a regulating and balancing oil and the plant itself sits somewhere between a herb and a flower.  Excellent for skincare and menstrual problems, geranium regulates the nervous system and helps us to bring our life back into balance.

Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) can be both sedative and stimulating in action depending on our needs.  A powerful sedative when calming the mind or treating sore, and tired muscles, lavender can also bring spiritual energy and a sense of revival.

As with all essential oils care must be taken, especially if you have a pre-existing condition, are on medication or are pregnant.  If in doubt always ask a trained aromatherapist.

What about you?  Do you have any essential oils you wouldn’t be without?  I’d love to know your favourites!



Liz · November 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I’m newer to this — what’s your suggestion on where to place oils? On your wrist? In a small, open container in a space nearby?

    elizabethmilligan · November 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Liz, thanks for your question. I am planning some posts about how to use the oils so will talk more about this soon. In brief though you should never use undiluted oils on the skin as they can burn. Oils should always be diluted – this could be in a carrier oil (vegetable based oil like almond), a water solution (for spritzing), or alcohol (for perfume). If you want to have the smell of the oils in your room then you could simply place a couple of drops on a tissue in the waste basket, or you could add a couple of drops to water for use in an oil burner, or more simply in a dish placed over a radiator or on a hot windowsill. Two or three drops should be all you need.
    I hope this gives you a better idea. Future posts will explain in more detail…

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