Fast Facts About the Essential Oil Craze That's Sweeping the Planet

You can't scroll through a Facebook or Instagram feed without seeing those tiny bottles. And everywhere you look (or smell), someone has a diffuser in the corner of a room (or store, or yoga studio), filling the air with pleasant-smelling aromas. We are being bombarded with an essential oil craze. But that's not a bad thing.

I can enjoy a nice lavender eye pillow like any other stressed-out person trying to fall asleep, but I never delved into the world of essential oils. I didn't even know anything about them. But during a particularly anxiety-ridden couple of months, I knew that I needed a way to calm down and relax that didn't involve a nightly bottle of wine or a bottle of Xanax. (Nothing wrong with those options though! Take 'em if you got 'em!)

I reached out to a friend who diffuses all sorts of essential oil combinations in her home. She and her family try to live balanced, calm, happy lives amidst the chaos. She recommended I try some lavender essential oil in times of stress. I succumbed and bought my very own bottle. I threw it in my bedside drawer, only to forget about it until one night when my racing thoughts prevented me from falling asleep. I put a couple of drops of the sweet-smelling oil into my hands and rubbed it into my scalp and temples. I don't remember anything after that, because I quickly fell asleep.

In an attempt to learn more about what these non-toxic oils can do, I have scoured the Internet for information. If you are interested in learning more than what I have here, I found the websites Dr. Axe and Organic Facts to be very helpful. Here are 12 of the most commonly used essential oils, and how they can help you:

Bergamot Orange —- This oil is extracted from the rind of the orange. It can give you clear, healthy skin, and its scent is also calming and soothing. Since it can cause skin sensitivity, you have to be careful not to overuse it.

Clove — -High in manganese, clove is often used to treat PMS. It can also help with anemia and osteoporosis. Clove essential oil helps acne, improves blood circulation, boosts energy, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can get the maximum benefits if you mix it with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and use it topically.

Eucalyptus —This has antiseptic qualities and helps heal wounds, burns, cuts, and insect bites and stings. It can help to treat respiratory problems like a runny nose, cough, or cold. It also helps with mental exhaustion and muscle pain. Add the oil to a bath or vapor.

Frankincense — The Wise Men were onto something. This oil helps relieve stress and anxiety, is an anti-inflammatory, and boosts energy. Its earthy, uplifting scent can be inhaled through vapor or added to a carrier oil without a scent (like jojoba oil). It also has antisceptic qualities, so frankincense can help eliminate odor when diffused.

Ginger — If you've ever enjoyed ginger tea, then you already know what a ginger essential oil could do for you. It helps with nausea and motion sickness and digestive issues. It also boosts the immune system and helps relieve headaches and migraines.

Lavender  — As I have experienced first-hand, this improves sleep, relieves headaches, and reduces stress. It can also help with acne and general skin complexion, and improve eczema and psoriasis. Use it in a massage, a bath, or simply inhale it.

Lemon — This oil helps with stomach issues like indigestion, heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach. You can just add a few drops to your water and drink it. It can act as an insect repellent (especially if mixed with peppermint or eucalyptus oil). Unsurprisingly, lemon essential oil has cleansing properties, nd can be added to a vinegar solution to clean your house without toxins.

Lemongrass —- If you have muscle pain and body aches (including headaches and stomach aches), lemongrass essential oil can relieve your discomfort. It also acts as an insect repellent, and when taken internally can help with digestion.  It can be added to anything from tea to soap.

Mandarin — This oil prevents infection, helps with blood circulation, alleviates stress and anxiety, and helps with stomach disorders, like ulcers. How's that for an all-in-one?

Patchouli — Some people don't like the smell of patchouli, but it is excellent for relieving depression and as a diuretic. It is also an anti-inflammatory and a bug repellent.

Peppermint — If you've ever eaten a mint or chewed gum because you've had an upset stomach, you know that this oil helps with digestive problems and stomach aches. It can also relieve headaches, improve mental focus, boost energy, and relieve tight muscles.

Rosemary — Finally, this beautiful oil helps with digestion and skin care. It can also increase concentration when inhaled, relieve stress, and boost the immune system.