Essential Oils – Specific Recommendations

Posted by on Feb 20, 2011 | 2 comments


Why this is my brand of choice:

~  First and foremost, they offer therapeutic grade oils which are not easy to come by.

To be therapeutic, the oils must not have any traces of pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals. They must be extracted by steam distillation (not by solvents). It must contain 25-38% linalool and 25-24% linalyl acetate and less than .05% camphor (there are levels for a dozen other components that I won’t go into here). True therapeutic grade oils do not contain synthetic ingredients nor can they be diluted. They must be exactly as they were harvested and distilled, without any further tampering with the chemistry.

Some oils are labeled “aromatherapy grade.”  According to Shirley and Len Price in their book, Aromatherapy for Professionals, the term applies to a massage oil that usually contains no more than 2 percent essential oil in a carrier, vegetable oil base.  This of course means that they are [extremely] diluted, and will not contain any therapeutic value.

Also interesting to note, the same species of plant grown in different countries under different soil and altitude conditions will produce oils which differ in their chemical makeup and therapeutic properties.

In a nutshell…. If a perfume is all you’re looking for, any brand of essential oil will do.  However, if you’re interested in the therapeutic benefits described on this page, be sure you’re using therapeutic grade oils.

Personally, I really love the consistency and integrity of Young Living oils.  Please feel free to comment if there’s a particular brand of oils you’ve found to be high quality and effective.

If you prefer to skip over the details, there’s a quick summary of the oils if you scroll down to the bottom of this page.


For information on the basics (What is an essential oil?…etc….) click HERE


How to purchase the Young Living oils recommended on this page:

~  The single oils (as opposed to oil blends) can be purchased from any reputable supplier, as long as you’re certain they’re therapuetic grade.

~  The oil blends listed below are available only through Young Living (though of course, you can mix together single oils to make your own blends).

~  If you’d like to give the Young Living oils a try, call customer service at 1-800-371-2928 .  You can either purchase as a retail customer (prices are more expensive), or become a member by purchasing the “start living enrollment kit” for $40 which entitles you to wholesale prices.  Either way, you’ll be required to give a referral number – 1126501.  This simply identifies the referring member (me)  =)

~  With your enrollment package, you’ll receive a $40 coupon toward any Young Living diffuser and 1 bottle each of the two most versatile oils (lavender & peppermint).  So if you’re planning to buy a diffuser, enrollment is free, plus you get the 2 free oils which is nice bonus.

~  No obligation to buy anything else, ever.


There are roughly 300 essential oils in use, but most homes can get all they need from a handful of core products. I will highlight the most versatile oils, along with my favorite ways to use them. Lavender and peppermint happen to have the most uses of all.



LAVENDER – A few drops of pure lavender oil dabbed on a burn is an unbelievably effective cure (the skin returns to normal within days – no blister, no scar). You can go back to the same little bottle if you have a headache — just one drop rubbed on the temples will bring relief. Have a big speech to make, or a job interview you’re nervous about? Bring the bottle (or a tissue with its scent) with you, and open it up for a few deep inhales before you begin.  To reduce scar tissue, massage on or around affected areas.  Massage into the bottoms of the feet or the back of your neck for a calming effect.  Relieve dry, chapped, irritated, or sunburned skin by rubbing on affected area.  Rub a drop on your hands and smooth over pillow (or diffuse) to help get a good night’s sleep.  Diffuse for relief of seasonal allergies, and dust mite sensitivities.  Because lavender is a natural deterrent of moths (among other insects) it can be put on a cotton ball and placed in the closet to keep them away.  Here are some of the other many uses for lavender:  anxiety, depression, irritability, mental fatigue, panic attacks, stress, oily skin, bruises, stretch marks, wrinkles, scar tissue, eczema, ear ache, cold sore, hay fever, bee sting/bug bites, motion sickness, sleep problems, chicken pox, hypertension, vertigo, whooping-cough, flatulance.

PEPPERMINT – Indigestion?  Gas?  Diarrhea?  Nausea?  Motions sickness?  Rub 4-6 drops together in your hands and rub over stomach area.  Place a drop or 2 on tongue & inhale directly to both relieve congestion from a cold and improve alertness & concentration.  You can also add a drop to herbal tea to aid in digestion and relieve heartburn or add one drop to plain water to help cool off on a hot day.  Inhale to reduce mental or physical fatigueboost moodimprove memory recall, and curb appetite. Place a drop on tongue to freshen breath.  Rub 1 drop on the temples, forehead, over the sinuses (avoid eye area), and on the back of the neck to help soothe a headache or head pressure.  Peppermint is anti-inflammatory, kills parasites, and aids healing when applied to poison ivy and poison oak rash.  To deter mice, ants or cockroaches, place 2 drops of oil on a cotton ball and place along the path or point of entry.  Remove ticks by applying oil on a cotton swab & swabbing tick (wait for it to unhedge its head and remove).  To kill aphids, add 4-5 drops to 4 oz of water & spray plants.

LEMON – One drop will purify a glass of tap water (I keep this in my purse – comes in handy at restaurants). Lemon oil is also a great source of d-limonene – a powerful antioxidant. I also use a drop or 2 to remove stubborn glues after peeling off a price tag or sticker from an item. Usually works with crayon, gum, and grease spots as well. I also add a few drops of lemon (combined with “purification”) in a spray bottle (with pure water) and use as a room spray (really nice in the bathroom). Lemon reduces lymphatic congestion, and rubbed into cellulite, it will help improve circulation and eliminate waste from the cells. Also helps to deter insects. Keep in mind, lemon (and other citrus oils) should not be applied topically to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight within 72 hours [don’t apply to the face].

FRANKINCENSE – Frankincense is great for the skin.  Apply 1-2 drops to the face and neck daily to help repair sun damage, renew healthy-looking skin, reduce scarring, and to minimize oil production and breakouts (also great for stretch marks).  Inhale & place on the back of the neck for depression.  Great used for a foot bath to relieve sore feet.  Rub on the chest for coughs and chronic lung conditions.  Rub 3 drops on each breast daily for healthy breast tissue.  Use daily for Alzheimer patients (its high concentration of sesquiterpenes stimulate the limbic system of the brain where the center of memory and emotions are located).  Can be used to remove ticks in the same way described for peppermint oil.  Also useful for insecurity, grief, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, headache, allergies, asthma, herpes, immune system stimulation, cancer, and brain damage from head injuries.


As mentioned, the single oils outlined above are available from many manufacturers, but before purchasing, be sure they’re therapeutic grade (as described above).  The oil blends listed below are unique to young -living.



THEIVES This is a blend of highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-infectious essential oils (clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus radiata).  The thieves blend was created from research of a group of 15th century thieves who rubbed oils on themselves to avoid contracting the plague while they robbed the bodies of the dead and dying.  When apprehended, they disclosed the formula of herbs, spices, and oils they used to protect themselves in exchange for more lenient punishment.  Studies conducted at Weber State University during 1997 demonstrated its killing power against various airborne microorganisms (killed between 90 and 99.96 of microorganisms tested within 12 minutes of diffusing the oil).  This is heavy-duty stuff – an amazing air purifier – and highly recommended to boost immunity – for both preventing illness, and speeding up recovery.  We like using this on the bottoms of our feet (one drop, undiluted).  This is best applied either right before bed, or before you leave the house for the day.  It’s also great in the diffuser (or on cotton balls around the house) to keep the air clear of air-born pathogens (especially during cold/flu season).  For a sore throat, add 2-3 drops into a small amount of water, gargle & swallow.

PEACE & CALMING – This blend contains tangerine, ylang ylang, blue tansy, orange, and patchouli and is my absolute #1 favorite essential oil. Diffuse in a room to calm “over excited” children or overworked/stressed adults. Rub 1-2 drops on bottom of feet & on shoulders before bedtime for a restful night’s sleep.  For a fussy baby, use 1-2 drops in a warm bath or on the bottoms of feet.  Add to bath water for your own relaxing soak.  Add to carrier oil for a soothing massage.  The kids love this blend too, especially at bed time.

PURIFICATION – This blend contains citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, lavandin, melaleuca alternifolia, and myrtle, and is an excellent oil for cleaning/purifying the air, as well as neutralizing foul/stale odors.  This oil is especially “essential” if you live in any of the following conditions:  someone in your household smokes, you live in a high traffic area (lots of exhaust fumes), live near a farm (or neighbors) that spray pesticides, you recently remodeled or put down new wall to wall carpet & the house has that “new” [chemical] smell, the kid’s play room has that “plastic-y”smell from too many plastic toys, just want to neutralize the stinky smells of the kitchen garbage, poopy diapers, etc….  In addition, one drop applied to an insect bite/sting will cleanse it and soothe itching (also good for blisters).  It’s also known to help clear pimples (apply 1 drop to blemishes).  Use this oil (and/or thieves) on a flight to prevent illness associated with recirculated/stale air (just open bottle & inhale now & then or diffuse).  Also, because this blend contains citronella, combining several drops with water in a spray bottle will repel insects (can spray into a room, onto clothing, bedding, pet bed, …etc).

PANAWAY – Great blend for any type of pain relief.  Apply topically on an injured area to reduce inflammation and bruising. Apply to sore muscles after exercising. Rub a drop on temples, forehead and back of neck to relieve a headache. Mix with carrier oil and massage on location for growing pains. Rub 1-2 drops on arthritic hands to lessen pain.  Add 3-4 drops onto a hot towel and place over the abdomen to ease cramps and bloating.  Rub 2-3 drops at the base of the spine to reduce sciatic pain.  Also great for a foot massage.  My husband can vouch for the pain reliving effect of this blend, although we prefer to use the roll-on version called “DEEP RELIEF” which is extremely convenient to use.  Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, PanAway may need to be diluted with a carrier oil before applying, whereas Deep Relief roll-on is already diluted & ready to use.

~  R.C. – This is an excellent blend to diffuse if someone feels a cold coming on.  It’s comprised of 10 essential oils that effectively support the respiratory system, including 3 types of eucalyptus as well as peppermint.  It will really help to open up the nasal passages, combat lung infections, relieve allergy symptoms, sore throats, bronchitis, colds…etc.  While we have R.C. going in the diffuser, we also use “BREATHE AGAIN” which is the roll-on version of R.C.  This can be applied directly to the throat (neck area), chest, and under the nostrils to help break up mucus and relieve symptoms.  I love it because the kids can (& do) grab it & apply themselves as needed.  Alternately, R.C. can be applied topically, but it needs to be diluted at a 1:1 ratio with a carrier oil.

~  TRANQUIL ROLL ON – The kids absolutely love using this at bed time.  Soooo relaxing.  It’s a combination of lavender, cedarwood, and roman chamomile.  Again, it’s something they can grab themselves & apply.  This is right up there in our top 3 products.

~  SACRED MOUNTAIN – I just love this (we all do).  It’s a combination of spruce, idaho balsam fir, cedarwood, and ylang ylang, and as the name suggests, it’s like taking a walk through the woods.  Very refreshing and grounding.

~  THIEVES ANTISEPTIC SPRAY (in photo at the top of this page) – This stuff is amazing.  It kills germs dead.  It can be sprayed on things like door knobs/public toilets, open cuts/wounds to prevent infection, and believe it or not – can be sprayed directly into the mouth when a sore throat is coming on (the kids often report quick relief – sometimes immediate – when used this way). When we were in & out of the hospital visiting a sick family member last year, we used it to spray the bottoms of our shoes after leaving the hospital.  Also, after taking the trash out, spraying some of this into the can before I put a new bag in is amazing at neutralizing foul odors (much easier than washing the can! – especially in the winter when we can’t just take the can outside to hose off).  I like that it’s small enough to keep in my (tiny) purse.  My husband travels a lot and never leaves home without it.

~  THIEVES HOUSEHOLD CLEANER – I use this in my dishwasherwashing machine, kitchen counters and bathrooms.  It is awesome – A completely non-toxic cleaner that kills germs like there’s no tomorrow.  It can even get rid of the dreaded black mold.  It’s super-concentrated so only a tiny amount is needed.  I use about a half a cap worth for the dishwasher (this is probably about 1 teaspoon, or perhaps less).  For the washing machine I use a bit more.  It’s hard to know exactly, as I just eyeball it, but it’s probably somewhere between 1 & 2 tablespoons.  For the counters & bathroom, I use it in a spray bottle at a 30:1 ratio (30 parts water 1 part cleaning solution).  Really great stuff.

Also worth mentioning, the thieves hand sanitizer, throat lozenges, mouthwash, toothpaste & floss are all great products as well.  I’ve got to stop somewhere though or I’ll be typing forever…..!


A SUMMARY on how you can use the above listed oils:

(There are numerous other oils that can be used for any of the following purposes – and then some -but to keep it simple, I’m limiting it to the oils mentioned on this page with just a few exceptions.)

To Purify the Air:

~  Thieves
~  Purification
~  R.C.

(Keep in mind, almost any therapeutic grade essential oil has antiseptic qualities and will purify the air to some extent, but these three are the most potent, with the widest range of benefits.)

For Stress & Relaxation:

~  Peace & Calming
~  Stress Away Roll-on
~  Tranquil Roll-on
~  Lavender

For Aches & Pains:

~  Deep Relieve Roll On
~  PanAway
~  Peppermint

To Improve Sleep:

~  Tranquil Roll On
~  Peace & Calming

For Colds, Flu, Sinus Problems (& Asthma):

~  R.C. – (diffuse)
~  Breathe Again Roll-On – (topically on neck, chest, and under nostrils)
~  Thieves – (diffuse and/or gargle with)
~  Thieves antiseptic spray (spray directly into throat)
~  Purification (diffuse)

To Deter Insects & Rodents:

~  Peppermint
~  Purification
~  Lavender

For Depression:

~  Frankincense
~  Lavender
~  Peppermint

For Digestion:

~  Peppermint
~  Ginger

For Nausea:

~  Peppermint
~  Lavender
~  Ginger

For Wounds/Scrapes/Cuts:

~  Thieves Antiseptic Spray
~  Lavender
~  Purification

For Healthy, Youthful Skin:

~ Frankincense
~ Lavender
~ Sandalwood

For Mental Clarity/Energy:

~  Peppermint
~  Brain Power
~  Clarity
~  Citrus Fresh



There are several different diffusers to choose from.  These are the three I like and use in my home.

~  ARIA diffuser

~  HOME diffuser

~  TRAVEL diffuser

For more information on diffusers –


There is much more info I’d like to share on this topic, but for now, this seems like a lot to absorb (both figuratively, and literally!).

One last thing I should mention though….  Aside from the hundreds of therapeutic uses for the oils, they are just plain fun =)

If you have questions, feel free to email me, or better yet, leave a comment here on this page, as others might have the same question. Of course, if you have any info you’d like to share on essential oils, comments are always welcome.


There is an enormous body of research documenting the therapeutic benefits of essential oils:

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Aqel MB. “Relaxant effect of the volatile oil of Rosmarinus officinalis on tracheal smooth muscle.” J Ethnopharmacol. 1991;33(1-2):57-62.

Aruna, K. and V.M. Sivaramakrishnan. “Anticarcinogenic Effects of the Essential Oils from Cumin, Poppy and Basil.” Food Chem Toxicol. 1992;30(11):953-56.

Azizan A, et al. “Mutagenicity and antimutagenicity testing of six chemicals associated with the pungent properties of specific spices as revealed by the Ames Salmonella/microsomal assay.” Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 1995;28(2):248-58.

Bassett IB, et al. “A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne.” Med J Aust. 1990;153(8):455-8.

Benencia F, et al. “Antiviral activity of sandalwood oil against herpes simplex viruses-1 and -2.” Phytomedicine. 1999;6(2):119-23

Bernardis LL, et al. “The lateral hypothalamic area revisited: ingestive behavior.” Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 20(2):189-287 (1996).

Bilgrami KS, et al. “Inhibition of aflatoxin production & growth of Aspergillus flavus by eugenol & onion & garlic extracts.” Indian J Med Res. 1992;96:171-5.

Bradshaw RH, et al. “Effects of lavender straw on stress and travel sickness in pigs.” J Altern Complement Med. 1998;4(3):271-5.

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Buchbauer G, et al. “Aromatherapy: evidence for sedative effects of the essential oil of lavender after inhalation.” Z Naturforsch [C]. 1991;46(11-12):1067-72.

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Concha JM, et al. 1998 William J. Stickel Bronze Award. “Antifungal activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea-tree) oil against various pathogenic organisms.” J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1998;88(10): 489-92

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Diego MA, et al. “Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations.” Int J Neurosci. 1998 Dec;96(3-4):217-24.

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Elson CE, et al. “Impact of lemongrass oil, an essential oil, on serum cholesterol.” Lipids. 1989;24(8):677-9.

Fang, H.J., et al. “Studies on the chemical components and anti-tumour action of the volatile oils from Pelargonium graveoleus.” Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao. 1989;24(5):366-71.

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Gattefosse, René-Maurice. Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy. Saffron Walden, UK: C.W. Daniel & Co., 1993.

Gobel H, et al. “Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters.” Cephalalgia. 1994; 14(3):228-34.

Guillemain J, et al. “Neurodepressive effects of the essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia Mill.” Ann Pharm Fr. 1989;47(6):337-43.

Gumbel D., “Principles of Holistic Therapy with Herbal Essences”, Haug International, Brussels, Belgium (1993)

Hammer KA, et al. “In vitro susceptibilities of lactobacilli and organisms associated with bacterial vaginosis to Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil.” Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1999;43(1):196.

Hammer KA, et al. “Susceptibility of transient and commensal skin flora to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil).” Am J Infect Control. 1996;24(3):186-9.

Hasan HA, et al. “Inhibitory effect of spice oils on lipase and mycotoxin production.” Zentralbl Mikrobiol. 1993;148(8):543-8.

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Juergens UR, et al. “The anti-inflammatory activity of L-menthol compared to mint oil in human monocytes in vitro: a novel perspective for its therapeutic use in inflammatory diseases.” Eur J Med Res. 1998; 3(12):539-45.

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Naidu KA. “Eugenolan — an inhibitor of lipoxygenase-dependent lipid peroxidation.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1995;53(5):381-3.

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Nenoff P, et al. “Antifungal activity of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) against pathogenic fungi in vitro.” Skin Pharmacol. 1996;9(6):388-94.

Nikolaevskii VV, et al. “Effect of essential oils on the course of experimental atherosclerosis.” Pat ol Fiziol Eksp Ter. 1990; (5):52-3.

Nishijima H, et al. “Mechanisms mediating the vasorelaxing action of eugenol, a pungent oil, on rabbit arterial tissue.” Jpn J Pharmacol. 1999 Mar;79(3):327-34.

Panizzi L, et al. “Composition and antimicrobial properties of essential oils of four Mediterranean Lamiaceae.” J Ethnopharmacol. 1993;39(3):167-70.

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Reddy AC, et al. “Effect of curcumin and eugenol on iron-induced hepatic toxicity in rats.” Toxicology 1996;107(1):39-45.

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