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Welcome to Laurel and Iron - a lifestyle blog documenting my life and adventures in New England and beyond.

Top 5: Essential Oils

Top 5: Essential Oils

Essential oils are everywhere. They’re shoved in our faces by eager Multi-Level-Marketing schemers. Diffuser “recipes” are scattered across Pinterest. They even made an appearance in the FabFitFun 2018 Winter box*.

So, what’s with all the hype? Have we been Goop’d?

Maybe...but maybe not. The popularity of essential oils is certainly on the rise as of late but these precious plant essences can actually  be traced back hundreds of years. In the 12th century, chemist, botinist, and physician Ibn al-Baitar made the first known reference to the production and use of essential oils in his work, Compendium on Simple Medicaments and Foods.


Unfortunately, modern medicine hasn’t quite caught up on this age-old tradition. The lack of randomized controlled studies testing the claims of essential oils and comparing them to Western medical standards of care hold essential oils back from finding a place in our medicine cabinets. As a pharmacist, I’m all about the primary literature, baby.

I’m not here to claim that essential oils will cure your cooties and I certainly don’t recommend that you ingest them (do your research, talk to your doctor, listen to your body). BUT, I do think they can totally enhance your life in some totally awesome ways.

Put simply...essential oils bring me joy and peace and calming. Sit back, switch on your diffuser, and relax. We’re about to dive into my Top 5 essential oils.


Peppermint. Oh, goodness my friends. I do love all things peppermint. If Starbucks made peppermint syrup a permanent menu option, I’d probably just about die and go to Heaven. As long as Heaven has a Starbucks. So, it wasn’t all that surprising as sat down to write that this is the absolute first oil that I thought of. Herbal with a side of refreshing coolness.

Although it sounds strange, I love this oil paired with lavender and lime. The unexpected combo is all things bright and fresh. Diffuse when you’re feeling gloomy for an instant boost.


Eucalyptus. If you want to turn your crappy apartment bathroom into a luxury oasis, you might want to check out eucalyptus. And perhaps a good contractor because oils can only do so much.

All joking aside - this crisp, pleasantly medicinal scent will remind you of your favorite spa.  I like to pair it with lavender and tea tree before bed. It’s an amazing combo to fall asleep to.


Bergamot. This member of the citrus family looks like a cross between a lime and Boston Terrier’s brain on a branch. Bergamot, the fruit, won’t win any awards for its beauty but it’s fragrance is an absolute delight. This sharp, uplifting citrus scent is something special. Like fresh lemons and limes mixed together and served with a side of fresh parsley. Try this one in diffused on its own or use it to make all-natural cleaners.


Tea Tree. A absolute power house oil. It is a powerful cleaning agent, antiseptic, and antifungal agent. Dilute with water for an DIY toner to combat oily, acne-prone skin. Dilute with water and isopropyl alcohol for a non-toxic yoga mat cleaner. Or just diffuse. Tea tree is an oil every aromatherapy nerd should have in their arsenal.


Clary Sage. Once a popular fragrance ingredient, this clean, herbally oil is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and anxyolitic properties. Mix with carrier oil and massage on the lower abdomen for cramp relief or diffuse when you need a moment to just bliss out.

Although I’ve tried many brands of essential oils, my absolute favorite are from Eden’s Garden*. If you’re new to oils, I highly recommend checking them out. More affordable than the mult-level marketing brands but amazing quality.

Have you tried essential oils? What’s your favorite oil and how do you use it?

FTC: This post contains some referral links, denoted with a *. If you shop using these links, I may earn referral reward. This content is not sponsored. I purchased these products with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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