I’ve never used essential oils, and I have to admit that lately, I’ve been wondering why that is. They seem totally up my alley: they smell good, they’re fairly cheap, and they have a lot of different uses. Yes, uses for essential oils go beyond sitting on the shelf in your bathroom collecting dust.
Ok, maybe it’s just me who lets things collect dust in their bathroom. Still, when I started actually looking into what you can use essential oils for, my mind was blown. Essential oils can be used for relaxation, to treat skin problems, fighting off colds and to increase alertness.
I love Western medicine as much as the next gal, but you’ve got to admit: sometimes you don’t want or need to simply pop another pill. Sometimes there is a simpler, more natural fix to what ails you. In fact, some doctors are using essential oils to help treat drug-resistant illnesses.
Whether it’s stress or a physical illness, I just don’t believe that the answer can always be found scribbled on a prescription pad. Or at least not at first. If you deal with clinical anxiety, maybe you should seek medical treatment. If you’re just having a bad day, you probably don’t need to pop a Xanax.
Enter essential oils! Here are the top three ways I found to use these plant producers. These are especially great if you’re a noob like me.
Lavender, frankincense, and chamomile can all be used to help you relax. Smelling lavender can reduce stress hormones in people. Put a dash on your wrist and give a sniff when you feel stress levels rising. Chamomile can be ingested, so to de-stress, make yourself a cup of tea before bed. You can drop a bit of frankincense in your bath to help destress.
2- Improve your skin
As someone who had bad skin all throughout high school and college, I am still addicted to ways to improving my skin. Luckily, calendula and tea tree oil are there for me. Both can be used on your skin. Tea tree is good for treating acne and fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Calendula is good for fading acne scars and is particularly good for sensitive skin.
3- Perk Yourself Up
I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, but I don’t always want as strong a jolt to my system in the afternoon. Peppermint and grapefruit essential oils can help perk you up. A few sniffs when you’re feeling low key can deliver a burst of energy to carry you through that afternoon slump.
Essential oils can be found at health food stores for between $4-$10 in most cases. Pick up a few different scents to reap different benefits. You can also pop some into your favorite homemade face mask or body scrub to get it smelling good. They’re an easy way to benefit from nature’s gifts.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.