13 Important Essential Oil Properties

2019-01-18T18:34:50+00:00 By |

1. Analgesic


Acts to relieve pain.

Essential Oils
Chamomile, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, juniper, lavender, sweet marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood, thyme, tea tree, frankincense

2. Antibacterial


Agent used to disinfect surfaces and eliminate potentially harmful bacteria.

Essential Oils
Geranium, lavender, lemon, oregano, tea tree. Plus: bergamot, cassia, clove bud, marjoram, sweet, niaouli, palmarosa, patchouli, peppermint, pine, ravensara, sandalwood, thyme

3. Antidepressant


Used to prevent or alleviate depression.

Essential Oils
German and roman chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, jasmine absolute, lavender lemon, melissa, neroli, patchouli rose absolute, spruce, vetiver, ylang ylang

4. Anti-inflammatory


The property of a substance that reduces inflammation or swelling.

Essential Oils
Basil, beragmot, eucalyptus, clary sage, coriander, roman chamomile, cinnamon, clove, fennel, ginger, geranium,  juniper, jasmine absolute, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, melissa, sweet orange, oregano, patchouli, peppermint, rose  absolute, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme,  wintergreen,  ylang ylang

5. Antiviral


Medication that reduces the ability of virus to multiply and suppresses its ability to replicate.

Essential Oils
Bergamot, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemongrass, melissa, neroli, rose, rosemary, tea tree, thyme

6. Aphrodisiac


A substance that increases libido, sexual response, and intimacy.

Essential Oils
Clary sage, neroli, patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang ylang

Rose, jasmine

7. Astringent


A substance used that causes the contraction of skin cells and other body tissues.

Essential Oils
Cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, geranium, sandalwood, juniper, lemon, myrrh, patchouli, sandalwood

8. Digestive


Facilitation of the intestinal tract, reduction of gas.

Essential Oils
Anise, basil, fennel, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, mandarin, neroli, orange, roman chamomile, peppermint, rosemary, sweet marjoram, tangerine

9. Diuretic


Causing increased passing of urine.

Essential Oils
Cedarwood, caraway, cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, grapefruit, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, mandarin, patchouli, rosemary, pine

10. Expectorant


Promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, mostly used to treat coughs.

Essential Oils
Eucalyptus, cedarwood, ginger, lavender, peppermint, tea tree

11. Sedative


Promotes calm, or induces sleep

Essential Oils
Bergamot, clary sage, cedarwood, frankincense, helichrysum, lavender, neroli, patchouli, ylang ylang

12. Stimulant


Raises levels of physiological or nervous activity (in the body or any biological system.

Essential Oils
Basil, bergamot, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, lemon, sweet orange, peppermint, rosemary

13. Vulnerary


A substance used to heal wounds and sores.

Essential Oils
Bergamot, chamomile, clove, frankincense, lemon, geranium, helichrysum, lavender, myrrh, peppermint, tea tree


It’s important to note that all essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil prior to topical application. We are told lavender and tea tree can be used “neat,” meaning without a carrier oil.
Long-term use of using essential oils neat can cause dermatitis and/or sensitivity. Always be wise when using essential oils. It is highly advisable that all essential oils be used according to appropriate dilution guidelines.

General Dilution:

Safe dilution is 5% (5% essential oil in 95% carrier)  that is about 30 drops of an essential oil in a 1 ounce bottle of carrier oil.

For full body massage:

15 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil.

For children or the elderly:

6-7 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil.

For babies:

Drop that even more or avoid essential oils totally


Some essential oils, such as clove, cinnamon bark and lemongrass and other citrus oils are more likely to cause skin reactions than others (not everyone has a reaction). It is very important to follow instructions on the bottle, and is crucial to the safe practice of aromatherapy.


  • Do not take any essential oils internally.
  • Do not use essential oils undiluted on skin.
  • Test diluted essential oils on skin area before general use.
  • Use photosensitizing essential oils cautiously (i.e. lemon, lime, grapefruit).
  • Consult with a health practitioner before use if pregnant, nursing or suffering from any
  • medical condition, or taking medication.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children.
  • Do not use essential oils internally.
  • Less is more – don’t overuse essential oils.

References (3)

– Aromatherapy Thymes Special Issue, Spring 2015
– Keville, K. Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide to the Healing Art,
The Crossing press, USA, (1995).
– Mojay G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Henry Holt and Company Inc.,
England, (1996).

Aromatherapy Thymes magazine at barnesandnoble.com


About the Author:

Patricia Brooks is the founder and editor of Aromatherapy Thymes magazine, a popular e-periodical. Patricia’s passion for aromatherapy led her to launch aromatherapythymes.com in the late '90s as a resource website for consumers interested in essential oils. When response to the website was overwhelming, the magazine was a natural progression. Patricia’s unique approach to aromatherapy integrates scientific information with holistic principles, making it the perfect blend of essential oil knowledge for both the curious novice and the seasoned aromatherapy enthusiast. As an advocate and champion for small farmers and local essential oil distributors, Patricia has participated in panel discussions and workshops on essential oil safety at Whole Foods markets and other organizations in the Los Angeles area. Prior to launching Aromatherapy Thymes, Patricia worked for the renowned music producer Quincy Jones at Quincy Jones Entertainment and Qwest Records.

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