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My first introduction with essential oils happened late at night on a university campus. A friend sat next to me on a park bench in the dark where I complained to him of constant headaches. He was quick to respond with a tiny bottle of a strong smelling oil. It was peppermint essential oil.
…and I thought he was crazy.
But, then again, nothing had worked for me yet, so I decided to give it a try. Since then, I’ve been an advocate for essential oils and I use them multiple times a day. I can’t imagine getting through a day without them!
Every essential oil is different. From the properties that an oil has, to the smell, and to common uses, you’ll find a wide array of oils to choose from. The oils in an essential oil starter kit are typically the most versatile oils, making it easier for you to use them. A word of caution though, because oils are strong and extremely potent you will want a carrier oil to dilute them before applying them externally. While there are several carrier oils you can use (learn all about different carrier oils in this detailed post), coconut oil and olive oil are excellent choices to dilute the essential oils, and these two oils actually work to assist absorption, making them ideal in essential oil use. Always test a small amount of each new essential oil before using over large surfaces of your body.
Whether you would like to use essential oils for aromatherapy, cleaning your home, or as massage oil, here are the top 5 must haves for your essential oil starter kit.
1. Tea Tree
Tea tree essential oil is derived from the Melaluca Alternifolia tree, and has many helpful properties, such as being antibacterial and antiseptic. Typically, tea tree oil is used as a cleanser, whether in homemade hand sanitizer, DIY antibacterial hand soap, or in laundry soap. I love to diffuse tea tree oil for aromatherapy when I’m feeling under the weather, especially in the winter months. Tea tree is essential in a starter kit since it is so very versatile in its use. Some people have even used tea tree to repel insects (DIY bug spray recipe, or grab Scratch Mommy Founder Jess’s Pronounce Skincare Bug Spray)!1
Purchase certified organic, certified fair trade, steam distilled tea tree essential oil here.
Lavender oil is most popularly known most for its calming effect, with the dried flowers making their way into craft potpourri sacks (and even homemade herbal bath teas). But this power packed essential oil has a variety of properties including anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antimicrobial, and analgesic. While I love to throw several drops of lavender into my nightly bath, I leave a bottle next to my stove for inevitable burns from the amount of cooking I do. I also love having lavender on hand for allergy season!2 Here on Scratch Mommy we have a plethora of DIY recipes featuring lavender essential oil.
Purchase certified organic, certified fair trade, steam distilled lavender essential oil here.
Lemon oil is a citrus oil, and as such, has a lovely uplifting smell, but can be used for more than just aromatherapy. Lemon essential oil has astringent and antiseptic properties, and is also a cleanser and detoxifier. I love using lemon essential oil in my homemade surface cleansers, or adding a few drops to my laundry. Lemon essential oil can also be used for immune support and as a face wash.3
Purchase certified organic, cold pressed lemon essential oil here.
It takes thousands of roses to create rose essential oil, making it incredibly expensive and rare in pure form, but rose absolute is a close second and just as potent. And rose absolute essential oil is even more versatile than lavender! It is antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, an astringent, and nervine. If I was on a remote island with the choice of only one oil, I would choose Rose/Rose Absolute. I have used it mostly as an uplifting oil, but I’ve found it to be incredibly potent in my emotional processing. Rose oil has also been used for digestive health.4
Purchase certified organic, steam distilled rose essential oil here.
Purchase solvent extracted rose absolute here.
**Better yet, purchase Scratch Mommy Founder Jess’s handcrafted Rose Water Spray in her Pronounce Skincare shop!
Helichrysum essential oil is versatile as any of the above in terms of its antibacterial, antifungal, and antinflammatory. I was just recently introduced to helichrysum, but since that introduction it is a staple in my collection for painful injuries. Helichrysum has also been suggested for use in skin inflammation such as rashes, and as a digestive aid.5
Purchase certified organic, steam distilled helichrysum essential oil here.