Probably one of the most popular and all-round essential oils, the scent of lavender oil can actually slow down the nervous system to promote relaxation. How does this help your energy levels you might ask? Well, since lavender oil can lead to calming down the body and mind, it not only helps in increasing concentration and focus but also improves mood. Lavender essential oil is also excellent for reducing stress and calming agitation which can leave you with a generous amount of extra energy. A well known sleep enhancer, lavender oil works especially well for insomniacs - and a better night's sleep is sure to make you feel fresh the next morning!
As the vaporized microscopic particles come into contact with the soft and moist tissue inside your nose and sinuses their beneficial properties enter directly into your bloodstream and get dispersed throughout your body. At the same time they travel up the olfactory nerve (the one that operates your sense of smell) to the limbic region of your brain where you process feelings and emotions. This is also an important area of the brain involved in memory. Smell and memory are processed through the same part of the brain; that’s why when you smell cookies baking in the oven you may have flashbacks of childhood.
56. Baldwin DS, Anderson IM, Nutt DJ, Allgulander C, Bandelow B, den Boer JA, et al. Evidence-based pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: a revision of the 2005 guidelines from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. J Psychopharmacol. 2014; 28 5: 403- 39. DOI: 10.1177/0269881114525674. PubMed PMID: 24713617. [PubMed]
To answer your questions I have to answer #2 first. Jena is right – there are a limited number of distilleries, D. Gary Young owns 1/3 of them. The products distilled to make EOs are like the contents of tea – they can be distilled multiple times but each time you do so the product you get is progressively weaker. Companies like doTERRA and Young Living only take the 1st distillation which is the strongest and most pure. They label their product therapeutic grade and 100% pure because they have run it through a mass spectrometer and have calculated the constituents in each bottle. Young Living actually refuses to sell any bottle of EO that does not meet their requirements for purity. Less expensive companies use the 2nd, 3rd, and even 5th and 6th distillation. They also dilute their products before marketing them. So it is important to know about the company you are buying from and what distillation they use. Not all distillations are equal.

Also, if you drink it, you should only use a glass or stainless steel container. Glass is highly preferred over the two and the easiest for cleaning out of the previous EO. The smell/taste of an EO tends to “linger” a bit. This is usually a good thing I would think in say aromatherapy but in this case not so much…unless of course you prefer to use the same EO each time.
There are many ways you can use essential oils for their calming, relaxing, and sedating effect. You can make an essential oil blend using a carrier oil and massage the stress-relief essential oil on your temples. You could also add a combination of anti-anxiety oils to your diffuser. Or, you could ease your tension away by relaxing in a warm bath that has a few drops of essential oils added.

Crunchy Betty, I have a question. I am new and learning about using essential oils and loving it, but having a problem with the scents not lasting as a perfume on my body. I mean not lasting even an hour. I am using essential oils purchased at one of the reputable companies that you recommend above. I am using a base of Jojoba and then blending other essential oils to make a scent. What am I doing wrong?
Bath: Avoid dripping your essential oil directly into the bath water; you always want to mix it first with a natural emulsifier like honey, milk, a carrier oil, or even sea salt. Doing this will help emulsify and disperse the essential oils into the water. If you don’t do this, the oils will simply sit on the surface of the water and come into direct contact with your skin, possibly causing burns and dermal toxicity.
Lemon is a versatile essential oil used to promote and cleanse the body and the digestive tract, encourages a positive mood, and for relief from the symptoms of a cough or a cold. Used topically, this oil is a forceful cleansing agent. Used internally, Lemon supports respiratory functions, relief from seasonal coughs and colds, and promotes healthy digestion. Used aromatically, this essential oil fills the air will an invigorating, fresh, citrus scent that is uplifting and encourages a positive mood.
The 4-ounce bottle of Eucalyptus essential oil from NOW Foods is a bargain when you compare its price to what you’d pay for a much smaller bottle from a different company. But the 100% pure and natural oil comes from steam-distilled leaves and branches of the Eucalyptus Globulus tree. There are no shortcuts in the manufacturing process or fillers in the bottle.
Bath: Avoid dripping your essential oil directly into the bath water; you always want to mix it first with a natural emulsifier like honey, milk, a carrier oil, or even sea salt. Doing this will help emulsify and disperse the essential oils into the water. If you don’t do this, the oils will simply sit on the surface of the water and come into direct contact with your skin, possibly causing burns and dermal toxicity.
How do you know which are the best essential oil brands? After all, this is an industry that isn’t regulated by the FDA. Oil quality can vary based on the distillation process. It also matters if the manufacturer dilutes the pure plant oil with bases or additives. But many of the most popular companies do rigorous testing to prove their oils’ purity.
Available trials support the short-term efficacy of the standardized lavender oil extract SLO in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including subsyndromal anxiety disorder (anxiety not otherwise specified), GAD, restlessness and agitation with disturbed sleep, and Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder. Many treatment guidelines in anxiety disorders predate the publication of most of the randomized controlled trials featured in the Table. The British Association for Psychopharmacology (2014) and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2011) guidelines for GAD acknowledge evidence for SLO based on the single trial they examined54; however, sufficient data to make a definitive recommendation for use were not available at that time.7,56
ESPECIALLY since I had bought a natural “cat spray” a year or so ago that (by the smell of it) is just full of mostly lavender essential oil. It’s marketed as “all-natural and organic” and I got it ’cause sometimes my big cat sneaks out of the house and then comes back smelling all funky. I’ve used it on him twice, but I’ve put it far, far away until I figure this out.

This prized essential oil is frequently called the king of oils. Frankincense has been used in religious ceremonies since biblical times. Used topically, this oil soothes and rejuvenates the skin and helps to decrease the appearance of imperfections. Used internally, Frankincense supports cellular and digestive performance. Used aromatically, this essential oil promotes relaxation and overall emotional wellness.
Chronic stress and anxiety can keep our bodies in a constant state of tension, causing our muscles to feel like a rubber band stretched to its bounds, ready to break apart at any second. Excess cortisol from stress also shuts down our digestive and reproductive systems, because who wants to eat or have babies when our world is at risk? In cave-man times, this made perfect sense, but in today’s world, we often stand in our own way by allowing stress to take dominion. Therapeutic massage can be the perfect way to relieve the effects of chronic stress, especially when paired with the healing power of essential oils. 

For stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiousness are frequent obstacles to sound, restful sleep. People who experience stress and anxiety symptoms often have trouble falling asleep and sleep restlessly throughout the night, leaving them tired and fatigued the next day. There’s a body of research indicating that aromatherapy using essential oils can help to relieve stress and anxiety symptoms, which may help improve sleep indirectly.
Frankincense has been called "the holy grail of essential oils" because it has some pretty astounding health benefits, both mentally and physically. Studies have found that it's capable of inducing timely apoptosis, meaning that it can prevent and potentially kill cancerous cells. It also has anti-inflammatory and skin-healing effects, so it's a staple in skin-care. When it comes to mood benefits, one study even reported that it was able to reduce pain and prompt relaxation in women during labor.
Essential oils are in fact NOT oils at all, they’ve simply acquired that name because they do not mix with water, just like regular oils. They are a vital liquid present inside living plants — a natural solution of various complex chemical constituents. Scientifically, essential oils are concentrated aromatic volatile plant compounds (‘volatile’ meaning they can change state or evaporate very easily). They are mostly derived from the flowers, leaves, stems and fruits of plants, while some are extracted from the bark and even the sap of trees.
Thank you for all this info. While a patient in the hospital, I would sprinkle a mix of lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils in my pillow. It helped with my headaches and allowed me to relax. The nurses kept coming into my room just to inhale the wonderful scents. They took such great care of me that, after I was discharged, i went home and made 50 bottles of the same mixtures in cobalt blue bottles with roller balls. They loved them so much! They use them at home and at work. Being a nurse myself, I understand what they go through on a daily bases and how much these oils will benefit them. Even one of my doctors took several bottles I’ve made to give to patients!
Crunchy Betty, I have a question. I am new and learning about using essential oils and loving it, but having a problem with the scents not lasting as a perfume on my body. I mean not lasting even an hour. I am using essential oils purchased at one of the reputable companies that you recommend above. I am using a base of Jojoba and then blending other essential oils to make a scent. What am I doing wrong?

What you could do is use one of the safer mint essential oils as a flavoring. I have a great recipe for peppermint brownies and just made homemade ranch with Basil EO. If you have a highly tested pure oil than the therapeutic benefits are really great for using certain ones as flavoring in food or water. Always use a very pure oil that says safe for internal use on the bottle and that is on the FDA’s GRAS list. Peppermint is a great one to replace Wintergreen but Spearmint would also really work and has a more gentle effect in regard to its therapeutic properties.
I’m still a beginner but I know that for many essential oils, you need what is called a carrier oil. These carrier oils mixed with the essential oil are what make it safe for skin. I suggest looking into getting the book ( aromatherapy for beginners) if you are serious about it. I’m still reading it but it has a tone of info, meanings, recipes and helpful terms of understanding. Also, it has a handy section in the back about resources online and in books to learn more and to find your essential oils. Good luck. 😀
Three of the studies50,51,53 compared SLO 80 mg daily to placebo. One study53 (n = 318) included patients with Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder and measured both anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder is a World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases (ICD) diagnosis pertaining to patients suffering from anxiety with autonomic features and depressive symptoms of equal intensity without anxious or depressive symptoms being predominant. SLO was found to be efficacious in reducing HAMA scores (Table) as well as Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale Scores. Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale scores decreased from 22.0 at baseline to 12.8 ± 8.7 with SLO, compared with 22.1 ± 6.1 to 16.0 ± 9.8 with placebo, which corresponded with a mean difference of 3.53 (95% confidence interval: 1.36, 4.14; P < .001) in favor of SLO. The other two studies50,51 evaluated the effect of SLO on HAMA along with sleep by measuring the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) at baseline and scheduled visits in patients with subsyndromal anxiety disorder, and anxiety and restlessness with disturbed sleep. Subsyndromal anxiety disorder includes patients with pronounced anxiety or phobic avoidance who do not meet criteria for a more specific anxiety disorder. It is a World Health Organization ICD diagnosis, although it was paralleled in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, as anxiety not otherwise specified. Restlessness and agitation with disturbed sleep is an ICD-10 diagnosis falling under an umbrella of disorders involving signs and symptoms associated with a negative emotional state that is not well defined. It is often used when signs and symptoms do not conform to traditional anxiety diagnoses. Patients treated with SLO compared with placebo for subsyndromal anxiety disorder (n = 216) had significant overall improvements in HAMA (Table) and PSQI scores (P = .002), with perceived sleep latency (P = .034), sleep duration (P = .001), and sleep quality (P = .003) most improved.51 In patients with anxiety-related restlessness and disturbed sleep (n = 170), there was no significant improvement in PSQI scores observed (P = .091), despite significant reductions in HAMA scores (Table).50 Baseline PSQI scores were similar in patients between the two studies; thus, it appears that observed benefits on sleep were limited to patients with subsyndromal anxiety disorder. Although further studies are required to fully characterize SLO's effect on sleep architecture in different patient populations, PSQI and HAMA scores along with reported adverse effects suggest that SLO has an anxiolytic effect while lacking sedative or hypnotic properties.
I bought frontier brand cinnamon flavoring at a health food store. Is this cinnamon considered an essential oil? It says to use a few drops in baking cookies, cakes and other recipes, or 2 Tbsp. in a quart in a quart of simmering water with cloves and cinnamon sticks for relaxation. I have been using 1/4tsp. to 1/2tsp and sometimes more several times a day on cereals, tea and other foods thinking it might help control my blood sugar which was edging up in the pre-diabetes range. Is it safe to be consuming this much (organic sunflower oil and cinnamon oil are the 2 ingredients listed on bottle) in this manner? 

Most common essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil, patchouli, and eucalyptus are distilled. Raw plant material, consisting of the flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or peel, is put into an alembic (distillation apparatus) over water. As the water is heated, the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the volatile compounds. The vapors flow through a coil, where they condense back to liquid, which is then collected in the receiving vessel.
When inhaled, the medicinal compounds in the oils are absorbed by the lungs and transported to the bloodstream in much the same way that oxygen is. Thanks to the power of the heart, essential oils can circulate the entire body in minutes. Upon entering the bloodstream, the compounds interact with blood cells and body tissues to produce very beneficial results, such as removing toxins like nitric oxide from the blood, reducing tumor sizes, even positively affecting the mood.

I have yet to come across a YL distributor who is a qualified aromatherapist. Not saying they don’t exist, I just haven’t met one and I check at every trade fair I visit. Possible that the reason you got vague answers from them is because they are preaching the company line that they have been taught without actually knowing/understanding the answer? 

Hi Crunchy Betty, I love your blog and recently bought a whole bunch of carrier oils along with Lavender 40/42 essential oil . I didn’t realise this wasn’t the same as Lavender essential oil and used it (diluted with jojoba oil) on my face – the next morning I had tiny bumps all over my face which were red and very itchy, with slight swelling! Do you know what the difference between these two different oils are, and if the 40/42 is more dangerous to use than the other?  
If you are looking to shop local, go for it. There are many small-business owners who run amazing apothecaries that craft unique blends or products at a fair price. Some of my favorite include Stillpoint Aromatics in Sedona, Arizona; Enfleurage and New York Institute of Aromatherapy—both in NYC; and Eden Botanicals located in Petaluma, California. If you do some research, you may find reputable aromatherapy schools or shops in your area and find that you like some suppliers more than others for certain oils.
I, too, bought my EOs from piping rock and have had no issues (I have extremely sensitive skin due to being a natural red head). I have not had any reactions and am 100% satisfied with the quality of these oils (I do plan on doing the “test” above). But I was unable to justify paying 100’s of dollars on the “essential” EOs and got them all for about $40 from piping rock. I also use coconut oil for a carrier and recommend EVERYONE to do the same! Coconut oil is “miracle oil” in my book!!
Immediately after receiving my oils, I posted my review on here and it was very negative. I spoke about how the bottles leaked and the oils smelled metallic and, in general, gave a really negative review. I have since visited my local health food store and purchased their versions of some of the oils offered here. Now is where I apologize. I didn't realize the quality oils kis had compared to others. Their eucalyptus and peppermint are the best I found so far! To be fair, the bottles do tend to leak so store them upright. And, I still cannot stand their lavender (which is the bottle that leaked on the rest and tinted my view.) All in all, these are very fine oils and I will be ordering again. Now, if they only sold bigger bottles...
Not all essential oils are created equally, nor does more expensive necessarily mean “better.” There are certain brands I will use in a less therapeutic fashion (like for cleaning), because they’re far less expensive than their counterparts. When you see a wide fluctuation in price between, say, lavender essential oils, you can bet that the far less expensive one is likely lower in quality.
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I have friends who have had great results using Young Living oils for anxiety and insomnia. I agree with you, too, something from nature rather than something from the lab is going to be actually healing rather than masking symptoms– I ONLY use Young Living. When I have anxiety, I often use a beautiful blend called Joy. It sort of depends on where the anxiety comes from though, so I use a variety of oils depending on what’s going on. Sandalwood is great for old fear and terror coming up– better out than in! For insomnia, lavender on the pillow, on the feet, diffussed; RutaVela is a blend of rue, valerian and lavender and is great great great. Peace and Calming, Stress Away… So many wonderful options. I am happy to help, contact me or use my Young Living #1112524.

Thanks for the info. What does it mean exactly when they say an essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy? Does that mean that if my wife is pregnant I also can’t use those oils because she might smell it and be negatively effected? What can and can’t you do with the ‘avoid during pregnancy’ oils while your spouse is pregnant? Thanks a lot, Jim
I happily only use Young Living Essential Oils! Not that there aren’t other ethical companies that produce a superior product that produces amazing therapeutic results, I am sure there are– for me, my alignment is with YL. I completely trust the oils the I put in and on my body, undiluted a lot of the time, by the way. 🙂 Also, the direct marketing/business plan is an awesome one, sound, powerful and effective. Do some research, check ’em out, see what works for you. Good luck!
This is non-sense. Essential Oils are regularly used in cuisine around the world, particularly Asia. There is an FDA approved list for GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) essential oils, provided that they are pure and without any carrier oil or impurities – and have been produced without solvents. You don’t need a trained health care practitioner to consult with – and “aromatherapist” hardly qualifies as a health care practitioner anyways. Please tell me what an aromatherapy course teaches regarding digestion and internal biology in relation to essential oils? Stop spreading fear about the use of essential oils for food and beverage preparation.

This KidSafe essential oil is the perfect alternative for children who are unable to use Lavender. Sweet Slumber KidSafe essential oil will prep your kids for a great night sleep and help rejuvenate their bodies. While this oil is designed to be safe for kids, it can also be the perfect addition to any adults bedtime routine. The Sweet Slumber essential oil will support full body relaxation for a peaceful nights rest. The main ingredient of Ho Wood, linalool, is popular for its calming and softening abilities. Combined with its other ingredients of Cedarwood, Orange Sweet, and Chamomile Roman, you will be able to feel your worries and stress melt away to tackle and peaceful and satisfying slumber. The other ingredient, Vetiver, is known for its woody aroma that will help alleviate the mind of worries. The combination of this oils ingredients will give you and your kids the nights rest you all deserve.
I have done the smell test with my oils along with some friends oils and what I found was that it was a HUGE difference in smell. I would smell my NOW oil or my Aura Cacia oil and I would feel like they smelled good and like they should, then I would smell my doTerra oils and feel the same way… the wierd part is that when I smelled the other oil again I could smell that it was a little off. The other oil smelled either a little stale, watered down, almost rancid, or in the case of lavender almost like another species of plant (this can happen from being grown in a different area of the world with different soil constituents). By far doTerra won my personal smell test from all the oil companies, however I do have two others that I personally would use for therapeutic purposes and not be afraid of either external or internal use (only the oils from the GRAS EO list for internal use of course).
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Lavender oil has also been proven through studies to pass into the bloodstream when it is inhaled or applied topically. This leads to an easy remedy for sleep problems, pain, and cognition. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine shows that patients suffering from insomnia experienced up to 60% improvement in their sleep quality when using lavender.

There has been more open discussion than ever in the health and wellness community about emotional issues like depression and anxiety. Talking about this difficult topic is an enormous step forward on the road to supporting those in need. Questions a Registered Aromatherapists (RA) may be asked is: How does aromatherapy work with sadness and nerves? And Can essential oils REALLY help?


This is non-sense. Essential Oils are regularly used in cuisine around the world, particularly Asia. There is an FDA approved list for GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) essential oils, provided that they are pure and without any carrier oil or impurities – and have been produced without solvents. You don’t need a trained health care practitioner to consult with – and “aromatherapist” hardly qualifies as a health care practitioner anyways. Please tell me what an aromatherapy course teaches regarding digestion and internal biology in relation to essential oils? Stop spreading fear about the use of essential oils for food and beverage preparation.
The only types of essential oils that should EVER be used are THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils. Otherwise, all the benefits of the essential oils are lost to the SYNTHETIC PETROCHEMICALS that are in MOST essential oils (even the ones you get at the health food store… I wont name brands)There are only two name brands that I know of that sell therapeutic grade essential oils.(there could be more) Those brands are Young Living ( Which I highly recommend) and Doterra. More expensive does mean better. Young Living does not sell any of its oils to any other company. There are only a handful of distilleries in the world that’s why most E.O’s are poor imitators. They are not all getting the oils from the same place. They are made in a lab instead.

Natural oils can also be used to treat headaches too – and this is because they work to tackle one of the main sources of these types of issues (often muscle tightness as a result of stress or exertion). In fact, these liquids have often proven to be better than painkillers for many individuals suffering with a range of headaches – in both those who suffer sporadically, and chronically.
DoTerra and Young Living are both Multi Level Marketing companies, making the oils more expensive. All pure essential oils are therapeutic. Young Living tried to copyright the term to set them apart. DoTerra is run by people who left Young Living. These two companies, as well as many others, get their oils from the same suppliers. They make their own blends, but there are some standard blends that are very similar from company to company. Ingesting oils is not necessary because they are so easily absorbed through the skin. I get my oils from a smaller company who uses the same suppliers and I get a lot more for my money!
Anyone who’s smelled fresh cookies baking in the oven knows that scents have a strong influence on how we feel. When we smell something, our olfactory nerve sends signals directory to our limbic system and amygdala, the parts of our brain responsible for our memory or mood. That’s why certain scents can instantly make us feel brighter, or recall a favorite memory.

The essential oil should be labeled with the common name and its Latin one. Remember the example above about chamomile? “The presence of the Latin name of the plant on the label is an added assurance of what you are getting,” says Dr. Burke. There may be few standards for essential oil quality but there are standards set by the Federal Trade Commission about what a company can put on a label. “If you put ‘chamomile’ on the label, you can sell either German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobillis). If you put ‘matricaria chamomilla’ on the label, you must be selling exactly that,” says Dr. Burke.

The essential oils industry is not regulated by the FDA, making comparison shopping quite difficult. Some essential oil brands use certain terminologies, others use different names for the same thing. A huge question lately is whether or not you can safely ingest essential oils. Some brands advertise internal use of essential oils, and others advise against it. I recommend to spend some time and get to know an essential oils brand first before you get their products through your door and trust them with the well-being of yourself and your family.
I think Lavender and Frankincense are powerhouse oils that have so many uses! For me when emotional issues come up I ‘m finding the Worry Free Synergy, Self Esteem Synergy and Brain Aid Synergy and most anything citrusy are my go to oils. I do find for me most of the time I don’t love Bergamot it has a pungent sour type smell for me which is amusing as most say it is sweet and lovely. I would absolutely love to smell the Neroli single but haven’t yet.
Apply to the body directly. Some people find it soothing to apply essential oils to pressure points, like the wrists or behind the ears, or use oils to give themselves a light self-massage. (Massage for–or from–your bed partners work great, too!) Essential oils in undiluted form are highly concentrated and intense, and can irritate your skin. DO NOT APPLY undiluted essential oil to your skin. If you’re planning to use essential oils topically on your body, be sure you’re buying an already diluted oil—a mixture of the fragrant essential oil of your choice and a carrier oil (often a vegetable oil).
I have purchased from Edens Garden a number of times. I really enjoy your products. Before making a decision, I sent a number of inquiries to them about their oils. They are very good a sending back information to help you make your decision. From everything I have learned: They are 100% pure. They have cut out the middle man so they can lower the price and they have quick service. I have purchased the same thing from a couple different places and find I like the Edens Garden best. (I can afford these, not some of the other brands, too) I personally haven’t found any discrepancies.
This blend of eight oils earned the Amazon’s Choice designation after garnering over 3,800 glowing reviews. It’s a smart choice for insomniacs who want to address all the possible causes of their tossing and turning, like anxiety that keeps them up and pain that wakes them up. The bottle contains sleepy time standbys like chamomile and lavender, but other oils like clary sage, sweet marjoram, and sandalwood round out the mix for an earthier vibe.

Not all essential oils are created equally, nor does more expensive necessarily mean “better.” There are certain brands I will use in a less therapeutic fashion (like for cleaning), because they’re far less expensive than their counterparts. When you see a wide fluctuation in price between, say, lavender essential oils, you can bet that the far less expensive one is likely lower in quality.

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