This short list is based on affordability and range of use. The number of different conditions you can attend to with this relatively small number of oils is vast. Essential oils are powerful and concentrated and must be used with care. They need to be diluted to the potency found in the live plant, as a general rule, about 2% of essential oil to a carrier oil, or 15 drops to 1 ounce, respectively.
Having just a few means easy storage and an ability to maintain a supply for daily use. I keep these six in a little first aid travel case in my purse (not in the car, heat will ruin the therapeutic quality of the oils).
You can start with 5 ml (about 1 teaspoon) of each, maybe even just 3 ml for the resin and blue chamomile to see how much you use them at first, as they are more costly.
- Lavender – the premier oil for burns of all kinds: sun, fire, chemical. For skin, an excellent cytophylactic (cell-regenerating),and can be applied neat safely.
- Tea tree – anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-fungal. Dries out cold sores and eruptions, great for cleaning products. Wear on your scarf on airplanes to clean the air you breathe in.
- Peppermint – excellent for an irritable bowel and to stop migraines, I love the pick-me-up brightness of this oil that is so good at getting circulation moving.
- A resin – this can be Frankincense, Myrrh, Benzoin … all are great wound healers and cough quellers, great for steams when you are on the verge of a cold.
- Blue chamomile – this is a blue oil, containing the the chemical constituent Azulene, which is an anti-inflammatory. I love the profound aroma – not as pleasant as some of the perfume oils but a deep, deep grassiness. Great for tendonitis, varicose veins, bruising. This is one of the more expensive oils, but it covers a lot of issues.
- A citrus – this can be Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, even Neroli or Petit-grain … so many choices. Lemon is bright and will enhance productivity by 50% while decreasing error by 50%! Almost all citruses cause photosensitivity, bergamot especially so be careful if you add any of these to a facial steam – you could do it at night.
Round out this list with oils for specific needs, like Clove if you have toothaches or Birch/Wintergreen if you have musculoskeletal pain, or Fennel for digestion. I love having some divine smelling ones on hand like Jasmine or Ylang, and Patchouli mixes well and harmonizes with everything in a blend. Eucalyptus is awesome for steams when you are on the verge of a cold, or on an airplane for cleaning the air.
There are lots of choices for adding, but the above six are a sensible and solid start.