To make essential oils at home, follow these key steps:
- Choose your favourite scent.
- Purchase the root product.
- Place them in a bowl with a non-fragrant base oil – such as rapeseed.
- Using a mallet, tap them gently to bruise.
- Airtight-seal the bowl and leave for 24 hours.
- Strain the oil that has been released.
Scented candles, scented sprays, potpourri, incense… the number of home fragrance products available today is staggering. Instead of purchasing new products all the time, why not consider making your own fresheners with DIY essential oils? Here’s everything you need to know about essential oils and their uses.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are oils that have been obtained from a plant but distilled down to their purest form. They have such a strong scent because there’s nothing else in the oil to dilute it down, and you only need to use a few drops of essential oils to get a pleasant fragrance.
List of essential oils
Not sure what are the essential oils out there? Here’s a go-to list of some of the most common:
- Ylang Ylang
- Tea tree
Always use good quality essential oils, especially if you are planning to apply them to your skin. Discontinue use if you notice any reactions and seek medical advice if necessary.
Essential oils: benefits you need to know
What are essentials oils used for? There are lots of different benefits of essential oils, and different people get different benefits depending on the type of oil they use. It’s partly a trial and error process of working out what’s going to be best for you but some of the reported benefits include:
- Improve mood and set a positive atmosphere: by inhaling essential oils, your brain may signal certain emotions that can leave you feeling energised, optimistic, or hopeful. These oils can also be added to a hot bath or a diffuser to create a positive atmosphere in the home. Jasmine, orange and vanilla essential oils are great options for this.
- Ease fatigue, stress, and insomnia: you can apply the oils throughout the body – such as the neck, the elbows or behind the ears – to reduce symptoms during the night. Lavender essential oil has been shown to be highly effective.
- Reducing pain and inflammation: certain oils can have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and – when applied to the skin – reduce irritation, pain and inflammation. Some examples are peppermint and tea tree essential oils.
How to use essential oils at home
There are lots of different things you can do with essential oils at home but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Add them to beauty products. Layer different essential oils to create a unique scent, almost like a custom perfume.
- Combine with a base oil and use in massages. Perfect for a romantic night in.
- Use in a home diffuser. Just a few drops of oil can create an atmospheric scent and steam.
- Use on your bedding to help you drift off easily. Try our other bedding tips - like washing pillows - to get a good night's sleep.
- Add a few drops to a bowl of hot water to clean surfaces in the home. With some oils, you can also inhale the vapours from the water to help clear airways when you have a cold.
Making essential oils at home: DIY essential oils
Inspired by all the different uses of essential oils? Here's how to make essential oils at home:
- Get the root product from which the oil is derived – e.g. lavender flowers, orange peel, or rose petals.
- Bruise them with a mallet. You don't want to crush them, just bruise them gently to help release their oil.
- Place them in a bowl with a non-fragrant base oil – e.g. rapeseed. You want roughly 1/4 cup of root product and 1/2 cup of oil.
- Make an airtight seal over the bowl. Leave for 24 hours or longer.
- Strain the oil to remove the base product and test. If it’s strong enough, you’re good to go. If it’s not, repeat again with fresh flowers or spices until you get the desired result.
Try out a few different ones today and see what a difference they can make!