You’ve probably heard about essential oils, but you may not have taken the leap and tried any for yourself. I know when I first heard about essential oils, I had no idea why anyone would use one. Now that I’ve been using them for about five years, I wish I had started years ago.

To put it simply, an essential oil is a natural oil that is distilled from a plant. It has all of the same characteristics and benefits of the plant itself. Unlike fragrance oils which are man-made, essential oils contain real plant oils rather than chemicals.

Just like you might drink a cup of chamomile tea to relax, you can use chamomile essential oil to help you relax. Hundreds of different essential oils can be used for health, fragrance, cleaning, crafting and more. When you’re just beginning, I find that these helpful essential oils are the best place to start. They’re relatively affordable and easy to find.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has both medicinal and household uses. Tea tree is
antibiotic, anti-fungal, and antiviral. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle containing a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Then use this spray to clean in the kitchen and the bathroom to kill germs, mold, and mildew. You can also add a few drops to your shampoo bottle if you kids in school and want to keep lice at bay.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of my favorite essential oils and is used for both beauty and restfulness. Just add a few drops of lavender essential oil to Epsom salts for a relaxing bath. Or, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a spray bottle of water and spritz on your sheets for a relaxing way to drift off to sleep.

Grapefruit Oil (or another citrus)

Many citrus essential oils have the same properties. My preference is grapefruit oil, but you can also use lemongrass, lemon or orange if you prefer. Grapefruit oils promote mental clarity and awakeness. I use it on those days when I’m feeling unable to concentrate but have work I need to get done. I just put a few drops in a diffuser and set it on my desk. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put a few drops on a cotton ball instead.

Eucalyptus Oil

If you suffer from sinus congestion, allergies, or asthma, eucalyptus oil is an essential oil you’ll want to keep on hand. Eucalyptus oil relieves congestion. I put a few drops on a sponge and place it on the bottom of a hot shower, the essential oils fill the bathroom with the steam and help me breathe.

Citronella Oil

I hate bugs, but I spend a lot of time outside gardening and exercising. For some reason, I attract bugs more than anyone else in my family. I add a few drops of citronella essential oil to my favorite unscented body lotion before I go outside. Bugs hate citronella, and they leave me alone.

Now that I’ve shared a few helpful essential oils for beginners, which one will you try first?