10 Genius Ways to Use Essential Oils During the Holidays
1. Bake a Holiday Treat
For a delicious way to use essential oils during the holidays, add nutmeg or clove oil to your favorite waffle or bread recipe. Just make sure you check the potency, quantity, and quality of the oil, says Nada Milosavljevic, M.D., J.D., founder of Sage Tonic. "There are some essential oils that you should never ingest, and it's important to consult your physician to factor in your personal health history." Typically, the tiny, toothpick-swirl amount you need to flavor a recipe won't be an issue. (Before you try anything: Here's Your Complete Guide to Using Essential Oils)
Nutmeg Oil ($20; amazon.com)
Clove Oil ($23, amazon.com)
2. Then Heal Your Baking Burn
Another reason to keep essential oils in your kitchen is to heal that inevitable oven burn. "Essential oils have been used to treat burns for 90 years," says Dr. Milosavljevic. A French chemist discovered the healing properties of lavender in 1928 and it has been used ever since for its pain-relieving properties, ability to reduce inflammation, and antimicrobial properties, she says. (Here's more on the legit benefits of essential oils.)
Try it: Aetos Organic Lavender Oil ($18; amazon.com)
3. Aid Digestion
You ate too much of the cheese plate. We've all been there. Instead of hibernating horizontally in stretchy pants, fill a capsule with two drops each of ginger and peppermint oil. Ginger is one of the oldest spices used for medicinal purposes and can be an effective and cost-conscious treatment for nausea and gastrointestinal issues, says Dr. Milosavljevic. (FYI: Ginger has even more benefits.) Researchers are still trying to understand exactly how peppermint oil aids in relieving stomach pain, but you can thank one of its ingredients—menthol—for its cooling, relaxing effects on the smooth intestinal muscles in your gut, says Dr. Milosavljevic.
Young Living Pill Capsules: ($18, amazon.com)
Ginger Essential Oil: ($20, amazon.com)
Peppermint Essential Oil: ($18, amazon.com)
4. Kick a Cold
Super Woman Rx
. An easy way to do that: with a diffuser. (Related: Bestselling Essential Oil Diffusers, According to Thousands of Five-Star Amazon Reviews)
Diffusing tea tree oil can provide quick relief for congestion or colds, according to a research review in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. While your diffuser is running, get a double dose by combining a couple drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil (like jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, or wheat germ) and applying it to pulse points like temples, wrist, or neck, where it can be readily absorbed into the bloodstream, says Dr. Milosavljevic.
Try it: Tea Tree Essential Oil ($10, amazon.com)
5. Boost Your Energy
You've been bouncing from work to holiday parties, and last-minute shopping still needs to get done. Give yourself a boost of energy by diffusing grapefruit oil, known for its mood-lifting effect and countering fatigue, says Dr. Milosavljevic. "The Japanese have been known to diffuse citrus oils through the ventilation systems of their offices because of its ability to increase attention and concentration," says Dr. Milosavljevic. "For personal use, you may want to consider a diffuser in your office." (P.S. There are nine things you can do for your body at work that might be better than buying a standing desk.)
Try it: Grapefruit Essential Oil ($37, amazon.com)
6. Cure a Hangover
Had one too many eggnogs or spiked hot chocolates last night? Put a blend of rosemary, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils in warm bath water. Inhaling the vapors can help with nausea and relaxation, says Dr. Taz. Then, use grapefruit (as mentioned above) to restore your energy. (BTW: People Are Hanging Eucalyptus In Their Showers for This Surprising Reason)
Rosemary Essential Oil ($17, amazon.com)
Eucalyptus Essential Oil ($12, amazon.com)
Peppermint Essential Oil ($15, amazon.com)
7. Stay Hydrated
8. Get a Good Night's Sleep
With fewer hours of daylight during the holidays, you'll need help from essential oils to maintain normal sleep patterns, says Dr. Milosavljevic. "Lavender is one of the safest and most widely used essential oils in aromatherapy," she says. It's been known to reduce anxiety and emotional stress and help you get some shut-eye. In one study, subjects who inhaled lavender oil at night increased their percentage of deep or slow-wave sleep. Next time you're traveling without your diffuser, slip one of Sage Tonic's essential oil towelettes under your pillowcase.
Try it: Sage Tonic Essential Oils Towelette ($14, amazon.com)
9. Spread Holiday Cheer
Throwing a holiday party? Keep up the energy and make sure guests have a good time by diffusing rosemary. In one study in the International Journal of Neuroscience, participants who inhaled rosemary or lavender were more content than those surrounded by no scent—but those who inhaled rosemary were more alert than everyone.
Try it: Rosemary Essential Oil ($19, amazon.com)
10. Fight Jet Lag
Essential oils like lemongrass, rosemary, and peppermint can all help fight symptoms of jet lag. Dr. Taz's personal favorite is peppermint for its uplifting benefits. "Try putting a few drops of oil on your wrists and rub them together. Bring your wrists to your nose and take a deep breath in. It is amazing how quickly this trick works," says Dr. Taz.
Try it: Peppermint Essential Oil ($15, amazon.com)