My Top Ten Essential Oils

Some of my favorite medicinal treasures.












Since I am allergic to almost all antibiotics, I’ve had to do some research…and find an alternative. If you are not already acquainted with essential oils, this is a quick and easy primer. I decided to share it with photos of my own collection of essential oils. These have been invaluable to our family over many years. If used correctly, they can be very effective and safe. We have only had to resort to antibiotics once… ~ Jacqueline


The Top 10 Essential Oils.

The wise use of these 10 essential oils provides a fantastic natural alternative to common ailments we see at home. Here we will have a brief look at ten essential oils which may comprise the ‘basic home care kit’. While by no means exhaustive, this list will go a long way to providing effective (and often pleasant!) treatments for you and your family for things like cuts and scrapes, burns, digestive troubles, stress-related conditions and more.

For use topically and by inhalation only, not orally.

100% pure tea tree essential oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil – Perhaps the most commonly used natural antiseptic, Tea Tree oil is often used in place of iodine or anti-bacterial ointment for cuts and scrapes. To enhance its healing effect, a blend can be used with an equal part of Lavender essential oil for pain relief for the little ones. The antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral effects of Tea Tree are broad-reaching – other common ailments which can be supported through its use include nail fungus, Candida infection, acne and many more. A little research will lead you to the healing protocol best suited to your needs.

100% pure lavender essential oil


Lavender Essential Oil – As important and useful as Tea Tree, Lavender oil has been named the ‘medicine chest in a bottle’. Lavender’s calming and healing properties act on both a physiological and psychological level. Lavender is considered to speed wound healing and reduce scarring, and is the first choice in cases of minor burns. The oil is also pleasantly calming, and can be used to reduce stress in a variety of situations – a commonly used technique is to apply Lavender oil to the soles of the feet of patients recovering from almost any ailment to bring calm and comfort during a stressful time. Lavender has been noted as ‘better than benzo-diazepines’ for supporting sleep – use in a diffuser in your bedroom, or simply sprinkle a few drops on the bedding before retiring to enjoy this effect.


Effectively calming

Chamomile Essential Oil – Well known for its gentle sedative effects, chamomile has been used in herbalism since antiquity. Chamomile essential oil works particularly well for bringing children back down to earth when the household gets a little (or a lot!) hectic. Massaging a small amount into the feet or belly works wonders; on infants, instead use a 1% dilution of Vanilla essential oil in Hazelnut oil for the same effect. Chamomile can also be inhaled from the bottle or tissue.

Best breath freshener around




Peppermint Essential Oil – Peppermint is often employed for tummy troubles and for motion sickness. A drop in a cup of warm water is excellent for those who can tolerate its potent taste; a drop in a teaspoon of honey is effective for younger ones. Spearmint should be used instead for children under three years. Peppermint is also an excellent mental stimulant, bringing clarity and alertness (though it should not be used in cases of epilepsy due to its potency). Peppermint can be inhaled from a tissue or diffuser (with care taken not to touch the sensitive skin under the nose) – it is the oil of choice for use in car diffusers to keep the driver alert and to clear the stuffy air. Peppermint is also an effective mosquito repellent, and can be added in small amounts to neutral skin creams or suntan lotions for this effect.

Eucalyptus and Lemon essential oils

Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Eucalyptus is often used for respiratory conditions, clearing congestion with coughs and colds – it can be inhaled from a diffuser or from a steaming bowl of water. Eucalyptus oil can cool the body in Summer (use very diluted in water in a spray bottle – be sure to avoid the eyes when dousing yourself). Diffusing Eucalyptus oil in your home or office can effectively disinfect the air, which is particularly useful for folks with weakened immune systems. For the natural health enthusiast, it’s broad range of actions should be investigated further.


Cinnamon Essential Oil -Cinnamon oil is distilled from the bark of a tropical evergreen tree native to Sri Lanka. The oil is a light brown liquid with a sweet, warm-spicy, dry powerful aroma. Cinnamon essential oil is considered a warming remedy, stimulating digestion and circulation, while supporting the immune system and relieving aches and pains.

100% pure cinnamon essential oil – always use a carrier oil

Cinnamon essential oil is highly anti-microbial and anti-bacterial for a great diversity of infectious bacteria. Studies have shown the strength of cinnamon bark oil to eliminate many forms of pathogenic organisms. Cinnamon essential oil has traditionally been used for fast relief of infections of the bladder and the digestive tract, as well as enzymatic deficiency in the gut.




Helichrysum Italicum Essential Oil – This is the wonder oil for sports injuries and bruises of all kinds. Its effects are recounted time and time again by active sports and fitness enthusiasts sustaining injuries of all kinds. Highly regarded in the aromatherapy literature, Helichrysum Italicum can be applied directly to any impact-related injury to dramatically reduce healing time. Only a small amount is needed for each application, and can be used sparingly if cost is an issue – Helichrysum Italicum oil can be diluted to 10% in a carrier for regular application to chronic injuries, aches and pains. It can provide similar healing action to damaged skin, particularly when blended to three percent dilution in Rosehip Seed and Hazelnut oils.

Do not use thyme for children


Thyme Essential Oil – Thyme is a potent antiviral, antibiotic, and antiseptic oil. There are many types of Thyme, with only the linalool chemotype appropriate for use with children. Thyme can be a first line of defense in cases of flu or sinus infections, being inhaled regularly from a diffuser. Alternatively, for sinusitis, a drop can be placed on a small square of tissue paper, with the paper then rolled so that the drop is in the inside. The paper can then be placed in the nostril to the oil can slowly be ‘diffused’ into the sinus cavity. Further research can help you find particular uses for this wonderful oil.

100% pure lemon essential oil



Lemon Essential Oil – Say good-by to chemical cleaners and deodorizers. Just dilute Lemon essential oil in distilled  water (2-10 drops per ounce, depending on the strength desired) and use as you would other cleaners for your kitchen counter tops. Lemon has a very uplifting aroma in addition to its gentle yet effective antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown increased test scores by students where Lemon was diffused during study. The uses for Lemon essential oil are extensive – a little research will help you incorporate this lovely, inexpensive essential oil into your life.


Clove Essential Oil – The power of Clove essential oil is noted upon the first sensing of the aroma – it is quite strong, sharp and earthy. Clove oil has been found to be the strongest anti-oxidant of any essential oil, and is a component of ‘longevity’ formulas. It is also an extremely potent antibacterial, effective against a broader range of microbes than any other oil except perhaps Oregano – Clove oil has even been employed to sterilize surgical instruments. Clove also has analgesic properties, and can be used to temporarily reduce the pain of toothache. Clove oil (or ground cloves) is also a component of Dr. Hulda Clark’s anti-parasite protocol, helping eliminate parasites from one’s digestive system. This is a very powerful oil which should be diluted to 1% or less for topical application.

Never get directly on skin or in eyes

This rounds out a wonderful beginning ‘home care kit’ for the natural health, wellness and fitness enthusiasts. These oils can offer a wonderful introduction to the world of aromatherapy, particularly due to their obviously practical uses. There are a great many more varieties of oils, with a corresponding number of healing properties for both the body and the mind. As always with essential oils, their potent nature demands a certain amount of respect with their use – start slowly in any case, and consult a knowledgeable practitioner if you have any questions about their application. Most of all, enjoy the experience of including these healing liquids in your life and have fun!

The author, Erica Allen,  is a natural health practitioner in Boulder, Colorado.  October, 2008. For more information on this topic, go to

Recipe for topical use only:

2-3 drops of lavender and tea tree essential oil

1 drop of cinnamon, cloves, and thyme

1 tablespoon of coconut oil as a carrier oil

Mix oils and carrier in a small bowl with fingertips, making sure the oils are well mixed (cloves and cinnamon can sting a bit if not mixed in well). Apply to chest, inside of upper arms,  or inside of upper thighs in a circular motion until absorbed. The skin is very absorptive and will transport the oils to where they are needed.


rosemary and lemon essential oils

Personal note– If I had to choose an 11th essential oil, it would be Rosemary for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. The benefits of rosemary essential oil in treating respiratory problems are unmatched. The scent of the oil gives relief from throat congestion. The oil is used in treating respiratory allergies, cold, sore throat and flu. Since rosemary oil is antiseptic it is effective for respiratory infections as well. The oil is antispasmodic and is used in bronchial asthma.
Rosemary essential oil is an excellent brain and nerve tonic. It increases concentration and helps in studying efficiently. It stimulates mental activity and is a good remedy for depression, mental fatigue and forgetfulness. Inhaling rosemary oil lifts your spirits immediately.
The ability of rosemary essential oil to relieve pain has resulted in its extensive usage in headaches, muscle pains, sore muscles, rheumatism and even arthritis. Massaging the part which is in pain with rosemary essential oil give relief from the pain.

*I would never use an essential oil that I had not studied in detail first. Never take by mouth.  While essential oils should not be a substitute for professional medical care, they can be successfully employed for many minor complaints, and as adjuncts to other therapies.

Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use.

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~ Jacqueline

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21 Responses to My Top Ten Essential Oils

  1. I would love to start using essential oils. Thank you for this review of your top ten, it was very helpful! I could almost smell them as I read! Do you know anything about incense? I’m guessing a health food store would be the best place to buy some? I really love the idea of a yummy smelling home, but I wouldn’t want to burn anything toxic. Because of Andrew’s sensitivities to strong smells we have never been able to have candles or anything strong smelling.

  2. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.

    The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in
    Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon. Many thanks

    • Jacqueline says:

      Dear Cathryn,
      Thank you so much for letting us know about the glitch in Internet Explorer. I wonder how long it has been that way…
      We will look into it :)
      Many blessings!

  3. Pingback: Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide «

  4. Pingback: 10 Essential Oils to Have on Hand

  5. Matthias says:

    Thank you for this excellent article. Could you please give me a list of what your topical recipe here is for. I’m an avid outdoorsman and mostly use plants I can find on location. I’ve been looking for recipes to bring with me some homemade balm or ointment like your that could be kind of an all around way to cure a lot of problems I could encounter in the woods for longer period of time. ( I teach survival and spend sometimes weeks away from civilization to train, I usually carry not much more than my knife a poncho and my water bottle and of course a very minimal first aid kit.

    Thanks in advance!

    Best regards,


    • Jacqueline says:

      The uses for the recipe of topical oils is pretty broad. It could be used for any systemic bacterial infection, but if it is primarily respiratory, I would add eucalyptus. It was our main antibiotic when the children would start to get a cold or the beginning of the flu. If we caught it early enough, it would often stop it or decrease its duration or intensity. It is excellent for wounds and scrapes, bug bites, and inflamed skin.
      If unable to clean your hands in a wilderness situation, one drop of the mixture could be used with a splash of water to disinfect hands. Inhaling it is a rapid way to get it into the bloodstream to fight something you would pick up on a closed airplane ventilation system. With Rosemary added, it is very close to the Thieves which would be able to fight spread of a plague-like situation:
      I hope that helps :) Stay safe!

      • Matthias says:

        Helps a lot! thanks for the time spent on it! I will check that “thieves” thing. The only translation I know for the word is probably very far from the aromatherapy one! I’m going to check the right away! Thanks a lot!


      • Matthias says:

        oh, last question, this mixture can be directly applied to a wound or around a wound?

        I think this is the closest all around balm recipe I’ve found since I’ve been provided with the “Warrior’s Balm” mixture in indonesia for martial aart classes… Back then, they did use some kind of mix of EO with wax and coconut oil that was used for light bleeding wounds, bruises, scrapes, pain in joints and so on… it was so effective but they never told me the content…

        Thanks a lot!


        • Jacqueline says:

          Hi, Matt :)
          I have applied the oils in a coconut oil base to an open wound before; that isn’t the usual, most common way, though I wouldn’t hesitate in a jungle setting, etc.. It is all-round help when absorbed by the thinner skin any of these areas: chest, back, belly, inside the upper arm, armpit and bottoms of feet. I can’t remember is I gave you this link to thieves mixture:
          I hope that helps you! God’s blessings!

  6. Teresa says:

    I really enjoyed your article on essential oils and the recipe . I am really interested in essential oils for green cleaning and natural health,but I am so confused by all the brands of essential os out there,after much research , I am still confused which brand to use? ? I’ve bed told that young living and do terra are supposed to be the best ,because they ” alone ” are therapudic grade ,which explains why they are so expensive?? So how do you decide which brand to use ?

    • Jacqueline says:

      Multi-level companies spend a huge portion of their much higher prices on advertising. I believe much of what they say is a stretch in the truth. Any company stating that (whether or not they are an MLM) is not being truthful. Here is a website that tells what you are asking about grades:
      Here is a comment that I found that was also a good way to explain your question (sorry, it is rather long, but of interest):
      “I met some people from doterra and liked their oils. I am a trained aromatherapist, and worked as one for 10 years. I liked the idea of the blended oils, because I feel many people buy the single oils and then really don’t know what to do with them.
      Anyway I started to buy them and telling other people about them. One of my major concerns was the internal injestion of essential oils. Although they take E.O.s in Europe, they are given by practionioners who are educated about their various properties, and therefore understand the complexity of the oils, but also the individual reactions one might have to them. I did mention this to an American doterra person when someone came for a seminar in April, and was fobbed off with an excuse.
      I went to a seminar on Friday with Dr David K Hill, who was demonstrating his Aromatouch technique. I learnt the Aromatherapy massage as created by Marguerite Maury in the 1970′s, as my Aromatherapy tutor was one of her students in London. There was nothing signicantly different, apart from the oils that were to be used at every stage. One of the blends called Deep Blue ( which does seems to work) contains Wintergreen Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, and Osmanthus.The other oil to be used was On Guard which contains Wintergreen, Clove Bud, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary. one of the questions asked was” is it safe to be used on a pregnant women?” Dr Hill answered “yes’, and said he would even use these oils in the first trimester. Now I know I may be a little bit rusty, but aren’t oils such as Wintergreen Camphor, Blue Tansy, Osmanthus, Clove Cinnamon,Peppermint, and Rosemary all contraindicated in pregnancy? That statement made me feel uncomfortable.
      Someone in the audience then asked him about his connected to YL. He was clearly thrown by the question, and said in the end that he wanted to move onto other toipcs but that he had left the company, because he did not like what they were doing. He also told a few stories concerning patients of his that had cancer, including a man called John that was given two weeks to live, and how he had felt so sad that as a doctor John would have been one of his first patients that would die. Until someone in the audience mention that ‘John’ was also the man in his book that miraculously recovered. This seemed to jog Dr. Hill’s memory, and he said yes that the man had no signs of cancer and was cured. Ummm….
      There was another story too, accompanied by tears, how his own son was diagnosed with Leukemia, and he had cured him by using essential oils. By this stage I was ready to walk out.
      I researched and found the verdict as has been mentioned above in Casewatch,
      which leads me to believe that Dr. Hill was involved in a situation that nearly killed someone. I also found that, although we were lead to belive that Dr. Hill was a general medical practitioner, he is or was a chriopractor.

      I feel very sad that many people are being duped by people who are exploiting the wants of good people to make this world a better place. However, I am afraid that there may be some people who have not been educated in the safe practice and application of E.O’s, which may lead to someone getting ill, or worse still losing a baby. This in turn just leads to the belief that aromatherapy is hocus pocus which is detrimental to the profession as a whole. It is a shame that people who are affiliated with the correct authorities and who are making headway with scientific based research in the main stream may be damaged in the long term but those who are out to make a buck.
      If the product is good, That’s fine, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

      I am totally concerned by people teaching something that can harm people, children, or unborn babes!
      I hope that helps…I’d rather buy and be an affiliate of a company that doesn’t make outrageous claims and where greed can’t be a motive as in an MLM. Mountain Rose Herbs is my choice and in my opinion and my experience, are a great value.

  7. Jen says:

    Thank you for this post. You have listed oils I had not thought of, such as Clove, or heard of, such as Helichrysum Italicum. I am making a survivalist list of what essential oils are necessary to always have on hand.
    I love your heart behind your work. I too work from home and had my first baby a few years ago at age 41. I love being a mommy! What a wonderful surprise and blessing she is! God bless you. Keep up the excellent work.

  8. Kellie Charleston says:

    Hi! I am looking for a recipe similar to the YL Purification blend that uses lemongrass, rosemary, melaleuca, myrtle, citronella, and lavadin that I can make myself. YL is so pricey for their blends. Thank you.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Kellie, I just was asked a similar question 2 minutes ago, and shared my post on Thieves blend which I use regularly for cleaning our home’s air of mold and bacteria: I like Thieve’s a bit better for air purification, but they both are pretty amazing.

      This is how i would blend it, but I am not a certified aromatherapist:

      25 drops citronella
      20 dr lemongrass
      15 dr rosemary
      15 dr melaleuca
      12 dr lavandin
      5 dr myrtle

      This can be a guide, but I’d experiment as all are safe. Hope this helps!
      Blessings :)

  9. Sarah F says:

    I came across your blog this evening in my attempts to learn about essential oils. I noticed that some of the oils in your pictures are Aura Casia and Now brand, and also that you officially recommend Mountain Rose Herbs. I have been so conflicted in the information I have been given in regards to brands. Our budget is exceptionally tight right now, so the last thing I want to do is invest in oils that are not pure enough to “work”. But its almost as bad to be paying far more than necessary. So I guess my specific question would be, have you found Aura Casia and Now brand essential oils to be effective for your needs? Because if they have, that’s good enough for me. There are several oils that I plan to buy from MRH, but some are just so much cheaper from these other brands. I just worry as I keep reading “you get what you pay for.” Thank you so much for any guidance you can give me.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Hi, Sarah! I understand your concerns and also where you’re coming form as far as cost vs. value. I do use a lot of oils (for cleaning, prevention, and applied for acute sickness). For over 20 years our only *antibiotic* has been a mix of EOs..and they have worked for us, except for once. Back then I wasn’t terribly discriminating, but the Lord helped me obviously. We didn’t know about YL or MRH back then!

      To answer your specific question, yes, I think NOW and Aura Cacia are good companies, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use their products if it comes down to being able to afford them.

      I have used many different brands and have seen some differences (Aura Cacia, NOW, Young Living (I bought the starter kit) and MRH. I feel I am getting a quicker response from Mountain Rose Herbs, so in the last 2 years I mainly use Mountain Rose Herbs..(and will seek to use up the remaining EOs from other companies). I also have looked at MRH as a company, and though not a Christian company, they are people highly committed to the environment…it is almost *sacred* to them and so I get the sense they work hard to make the best available product from the best natural sources for a reasonable price. I must say I do not care for multilevel sales.

      There are many lesser quality companies that I will avoid, and that is a paying attention to a check in my spirit from the Lord.

      As for making the Thieves blend with MRH – MRH works just as well if not better (to me) than YL b/c of the the lower cost making it a better value (we have had to diffuse a lot with the mold issue). MRH is my favorite and am using it to kill mold in our bedroom…we can sleep there again and believe it IS killing it! So glad to be back in our BR!

      Also, if you are a new Mama with little ones, this is for you:

      I hope that helps some. I wish you the very best in your journey for health. Blessings!

  10. Beth Baker says:

    I’m just getting started with essential oils. I have a friend who is a distributor with Young Living oils. To make this brief, their claim is that essentially their oils are the best, the purist, etc. My problem is that they are also very pricey and I’ve got limited funds. I’ve seen “Now” brand and take many of their supplements….and I see them on your site. Can and/or will you share with me your thoughts on different brands? I want the best I can buy as I want to be sure it’s not just about smelling pretty but also being pure and strong enough to do the work. If Young Living is the best out there then I guess I’ll have to find a way. But if you’ve found other brands to be comparable in quality, I would love to know.

    Thanks….Beth Baker

    • Jacqueline says:

      Yes, Beth, I DO find the brands I use (as you see in the photos) to be very effective and therapeutic. And cost effective! 😀 Glad you asked!

  11. Beth Baker says:

    Oh my….just read the posts above mine and saw the very information I was asking about. Sorry….should have done that first. Ok, so I’m going to look for the Mountain Rose Herbs brand.

    Thank you!

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