What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquid that contain volatile aroma compounds found in the seeds, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants. These compounds are organic molecules and change state quickly -- from a solid or liquid to a gas -- at room temperature, according to essential oils distributor doTERRA.

Essential oils are potent and the scents quickly move through the air. This makes them useful for aromatherapy, which is a process that uses essential oils to improve psychological or physical well-being. Aromatherapy is a popular form of alternative medicine for improving your general health, with some claiming that essential oils affect your mood, kill airborne germs and help insomnia. However, there is no scientific evidence linking the practice to warding off or curing disease or sickness.

Different essential oils have different effects on your mood, with some acting as relaxation agents and some as invigorating stimulants. One of the most common methods for using oils is to diffuse them in your home, filling the room with your desired aroma. Here are some of the most popular essential oils for use in your home, and the effects they can have on your mood:

Essential Oils For Relaxation

Cinnamon Oil

  • Promotes relaxation

Sweet and warm cinnamon is one of the world's oldest essential oils -- Egyptians recorded their use of cinnamon in the medical text Ebers Papyrus from approximately 1550 B.C. Today, cinnamon has a calming quality, which makes it a great essential oil for relaxation. Because the spice promotes a coziness, it's a great oil to use in your bedroom.


Jasmine Oil

  • Promotes optimism

Jasmine is known for its relaxing properties. According to UpNature, this essential oil can lessen feelings of depression and promote optimism. Due to its use of promoting relaxation and calming stresses, Jasmine is best used in rooms you spend the most time, such as your bedroom or living room


Lavender Oil

  • Promotes sleep

Lavender is known as "the calming oil," because it quells anxiety, soothes stress and promotes relaxation. Lavender is a popular essential oil to use in the bedroom because of its calming qualities and its popular use as a sleep aid.

Lemongrass Oil

  • Promotes relaxation

Lemongrass has a wide array of uses including teas, cleaning products, medicines, seasonings, and curries. As an essential oil, lemongrass produces a mild and sweet lemony aroma that is more subdued than the strong, zesty lemon oil. Also unlike the invigorating lemon oil, lemongrass relieves anxiety and promotes relaxation, making it useful for rooms including the bedroom and living room.

Thanthima Lim/Shutterstock

Tea Tree Oil

  • Reduces anxiety

Tea tree oil is one of the most popular and versatile essential oils. This oil works well with other oils to calm nerves and reduce anxiety, but it is known primarily for its medicinal uses, including is supposed acne, rash and, dandruff-fighting properties. Many people believe tea tree oil can also fight infections, according to UpNature.


Essential Oils For Invigoration

Eucalyptus Oil

  • Stimulates the mind

Not everyone will be a fan of eucalyptus oil. The aroma has a freshening quality, but it is strong -- as in, used in Vicks VapoRub strong. When diffused, it quickly makes the room light, airy and have a strong fresh vibe that stimulates your mind and wakes you up, according to Reader's Digest. It's perfect to use in rooms that you want to make sure feel clean, such as the bathroom or kitchen.


Lemon Oil

  • Acts as an antidepressant

Lemon essential oils are light, zesty and promote a fresh and clean feeling similar to eucalyptus. It's one of the most popular essential oils and has been linked to promoting anti-stress and antidepressant moods, and lemon oil is also a powerful antibacterial. Lemon is most commonly used in the kitchen, but can also be used in the bathroom or living room.

Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

Orange Oil

  • Promotes optimism

Orange essential oils is similar to lemon -- fresh, zesty, light and citrusy. The oil "Orange essential oil is an emotionally uplifting oil," Maat van Uitert, essential oil expert and founder of FrugalChicken, told Reader's Digest. "The major chemical constituent is limonene, which has been shown to reduce anxiety, lower heart rate, and ease stress." Because of its cheerful, uplifting impact on moods, orange is a great oil to use throughout your home, particularly in the living room.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Peppermint Oil

  • Stimulates the mind

This invigorating oil instantly makes you feel clean and refreshed. Peppermint is also believed to make you more motivated and its strong scent acts as a natural stimulant. Peppermint oil is best diffused in spaces of productivity, whether it be in your workspace or just when you're tidying up a particular room.

Catalina M/Shutterstock

Rosemary Oil

  • Promotes focus

When rosemary is inhaled, your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and mood all increase, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. When used as an essential oil, rosemary stimulates the body and give you a creative boost. It's recommended that you diffuse rosemary into a study or other workplace to give you a pick-me-up and help strengthen your focus, according to Reader's Digest.

Catalina M/Shutterstock

How Do You Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils can be applied to your skin through bath bombs, compresses, massages and other forms of skin care. However, one of the simplest and most common methods of aromatherapy is ariel diffusion. Ariel diffusion relies on the aroma of the oil, which, depending on the oil, can be invigorating or calming.

There are a few ways you can diffuse essential oils into your home. You can mix a few drops of oils in a spray bottle with water and mist your room or use a diffuser (either a fan diffuser, a mist diffuser, a tea light diffuser or a plug-in) to spread the scent.

What Diffuser Is Right For You?

Fan Diffuser

These diffusers from Thrive Market are easy to use and don't require a candle or heat to disperse the essential oil aroma. Simply drip a few drops of oil onto a disposable pad inside the fan and the cool air will blow it throughout the room. However, the fan diffusers aren't for everyone -- they dispense the aroma in strong bursts instead of over a period of time, and they can be noisy.

Mist Diffuser

To use a mist diffuser, add water and 1-5 drops of essential oil at the base and turn on. The diffuser, like this one from Target, will heat the water and diffuse the aroma into the room through the top in a soft mist. This is a popular method of diffusing because the small amount of oil goes a long way and can fill even large rooms with a potent aroma.

Plug-In Diffuser

Simply plug in the scent and charger unit into an outlet and it will quietly fill the room. This is a popular method because it's low maintenance, inexpensive and the oils can be easily moved from room to room with no hassle. When the oil is gone, just attach another scent to the base and plug it back in. Get both the scent bulb and the base from Pier 1 Imports.

Tea Light Diffuser

Tea light diffusers are used by adding a few drops of the preferred essential oil to the water that rests at the top of a ceramic container. The liquid is then heated by a tea light at the base of the container, diffusing the scent throughout the room. This is a simple, inexpensive method (you can get one from Amazon for cheap) and also completely silent as they dispense the aroma.

Easy, Expert Upgrades For The Things That Bother You The Most About Your Home Easy, Expert Upgrades For The Things That Bother You The Most About Your Home
We Tried Goli's New Ashwagandha Gummies We Tried Goli's New Ashwagandha Gummies
Is Capital One Shopping Too Good to Be True? Is Capital One Shopping Too Good to Be True?