Twenty Useful Aromatherapy Oils

Aromatherapy  - Twenty Useful Aromatherapy Oils    

Information drawn from Complete Well-being: a guide to symptoms and cures – Dr. Caroline Shreeve 

All the essential oils listed below are among the most widely used and readily available.  Essential oils should not be applied to the skin undiluted or taken internally unless specifically prescribed by a medically qualified adviser.


Peppermint is a refreshing, clean-scented oil.  Beneficial for the digestive and respiratory systems.  It is also reviving and can help cure fatigue, headache and migraine. Use diluted in a carrier oil for bathing or massage Use undiluted for diffusing.


This balancing, healing oil is good for any form of inflammatory skin condition, and for indigestion and flatulence.  Aromatherapists also use Yarrow essential oil for its tonic, restorative and psychologically strengthening effects. 


In a steam inhalation, eucalyptus is an excellent remedy for catarrh, sinusitis and throat infections. Diluted in a carrier oil it can be dabbed on the skin as an insect repellent and to treat head lice. 


Also known as olibanum, this deeply scented, resinous oil makes a good inhalation for asthma as it calms the feeling of panic that goes with the attack, as well as soothing the mucous membranes. It is well used in natural skincare products as a beauty treatment for older skins. 


This oil has a lovely minty-rosy scent and is widely used in natural skin care.  It treats a range of problems from acne, bruises and cellulitis to menopausal problems, PMS and nervous tension.  It is also a good mosquito repellent when diluted in a carrier oil and applied to the skin. 


Ginger is a warming and drying oil, so is good for conditions involving phlegm and catarrh and an unsettled digestive system. It can be used in massage for arthritis and muscle aches and pains. It is also helpful for any form of nausea. 


This luxurious oil is a perfect skin balancer.  A few drops of diluted essential oil in bath water can counteract stress, fatigue and the effects of PMS, and calm dry skin as well as ease aches and pains, leaving you feel uplifted and relaxed. 


A gentle, cheering oil, this is a tonic for the digestion and good for restoring appetite after illness. This essential oil can have a reviving and strengthening effect on the mood and is often liked by children. 


This invigorating oil revives flagging energy. Used in massage it will soothe tired, stiff muscles and menstrual pain. Inhalation helps to clear the head and cure headaches. 


Refreshing and cleansing, juniper treats water retention and can be helpful for cystitis. Aromatherapists use it for gout and rheumatism and a juniper bath has a reviving tonic effect. This oil should not be used during pregnancy. 


This essential oil is made from the blossom of the orange tree. Used in perfumery this oil is soothing and uplifting. It is useful for anxiety, emotional problems and PMS.  It is also good for dyspepsia of nervous origin and is used in natural skincare. 


One of the most widely used and versatile of all the essential oils.  Lavender is healing and refreshing.  It soothes sunburn, aids the healing of burns and other skin injuries and is used to treat eczema, fungal infections and irritated, flaking scalp. This essential oil can be used neat on the skin, however, should be diluted for children. 

Clary Sage 

Many people find this a most uplifting scent that relieves anxiety and tension. The oil is good for itchy scalp, inflamed skin and muscular aches and pains. 


Antiseptic and refreshing, lemon oil can help to treat infectious diseases, especially feverish colds. It is good for circulation and can also be helpful for migraine.  Lemon oil can be used as an inhalation to help people suffering from nosebleeds. In skin care it is a tonic for oily skins. 

Roman Chamomile 

An ultra-soothing, warming and calming oil for eczema, skin rashes and insect bites, as well as joint and muscle pain, indigestion and all kinds of headache or migraine. Can be used for children 


Cheering and mind-clearing, grapefruit oil is used mainly as a mental and physical tonic.  It is said to counteract jet lag and travel tiredness generally. It stimulates the digestive and lymphatic systems and is good for oily skin. 


Richly floral and feminine in scent, rose oil is good for female ailments.  It can help all kinds of menstrual irregularity and relieves anxiety and stress. Rose water is a great skin tonic. 


Relaxing and comforting, sandalwood oil is used to treat dry coughs, and dry skin conditions such as eczema. It can also be helpful in cases of cystitis and diarrhoea. 

Tea Tree 

Strongly antiseptic and antifungal, this is one of the most useful oils and, like lavender, can be used undiluted. Treats cold sores, athletes foot, boils and infected wounds. 


Has a balancing influence on emotional disturbances and a sedative effect. It is beneficial for all kinds of skin in beauty treatments.