Essential oils are life. No, really, they are. I’m a big believer in natural and holistic medicine versus traditional western medicine, and essential oils play a huge role in my regular care routine. I use them for pain, stress, insomnia and so much more, but recently I’ve learned to love them all over again for travel. We already talked about how getting an oil diffuser necklace can help you calm your nerves on your next flight, but which ones should you carry with you? You don’t want to pack on extra pounds in your luggage, so picking the most essential (pun-intended) oils will help you travel light. Below are the six oils I think will serve nearly any purpose you’ll have on the plane, when traveling, or even when you’re hanging out back at your home base.
1. Peppermint Oil
Did you ever have a teacher tell you to suck on a peppermint before a big exam? That’s because peppermint is excellent at improving focus. It’s also known to relieve tension headaches, and it is my personal favorite oil for this exact reason. Just massage a few drops of the oil on your temples to help mitigate the symptoms of your pain. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint’s active ingredient, menthol, has been known to thin mucus and loosen phlegm, making it a perfect sidekick for alleviating the symptoms of a cold or flu. It also has a soothing effect when applied topically to the skin, which can come in handy if all that traveling irritates your skin.
2. Lavender or Sandalwood Oil
It’s no secret that lavender oil is excellent at promoting relaxation and melting away your stress, but it can also promote deep restful sleep when used in aromatherapy. The compounds in lavender make it naturally antifungal, which means it is great to have on hand to ward off any on the road fungal infections, and can also be used to combat the symptoms of eczema and acne. Another essential oil that exhibits similar properties is sandalwood oil. This oil has been known to have strong antiviral and antiseptic properties, and is often touted as being one of the best first aid oils for travellers to carry around. Sandalwood also has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for anyone suffering from regular muscle spasms or nerve pain, or anyone who might experience regular skin and joint inflammation.
3. Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon is one of my favorite smells in the entire universe, mostly because it reminds me of snickerdoodles and chai. But, it’s also pretty great to walk around with a little dab of cinnamon oil behind your ears and neck instead of a chemically-laden perfume. Aside from the smell benefits, cinnamon oil used in a diffuser or ingested orally can be beneficial in boosting heart health, controlling blood sugar and improving insulin resistance, fighting parasites, soothing a sore throat, and acting as a natural deodorizer for your person or your personal belongings more prone to icky smells (think: running shoes).
4. Clove Oil
If you hate bees and other buzzing, whizzing insects, you are going to love clove oil. Bees, wasps and even flies tend to hate the smell of cloves and will do anything they can to stay away from them. If insects aren’t your concern but you have been suffering from tooth pain, good news! Cloves have long been an ayurvedic remedy for gum disease and toothache. The oil also has tons of antioxidants which when absorbed via diffused molecules in the air can help fight off free radicals. For me, just like cinnamon oil, clove oil naturally makes me feel a little less homesick because it reminds me of the chai my dad used to make for me growing up. It smells amazing, and it will definitely help you with nerves if lavender isn’t one of your favorite scents.
5. Lemon Oil
Most commercial cleaning products are jam-packed with lemon or orange as scent boosters, and it isn’t just because they are aromatically pleasing. Citrus based oils act as nature’s natural disinfectants and help keep the things around you squeaky clean. Aside from giving the toilet seat a quick once over with a little lemon oil and a rag, this oil can be amazing as a natural boost to your travel detergent. It’s also great for skin (especially for those who have been looking for a natural astringent that really works!) and can help you get stronger, healthier hair. Internally, lemon oil can help alleviate the symptoms of nausea and can work to help you get rid of your cramps and indigestion. It’s a natural immune booster, too!
6. Eucalyptus or Tea Tree
There are two types of people in this world. Those who love eucalyptus and those who swear by tea tree. Whichever group you fall into, having one of these two oils in your travel kit will be an excellent decision. If you’re prone to colds and flus, eucalyptus might be a better solution for you than tea tree. It’s known to help open up your airways, reduce mucus, and fight off the microorganisms that attack your body when you’re sick. It is also perfect for those who regularly suffer from sinuses, and work wonders as a natural wound cleanser. On the other hand, tea tree oil is just as potent and has been making waves in the beauty world due to its natural acne-fighting power. But, more than surface level solutions, tea tree goes deeper to help you ward off cold sores, fight congestion and respiratory infections, get rid of fungal infections, ease irritation from psoriasis and other skin conditions like insect bites and sunburns, and relieve your earache. Overall, these two oils are perfect as all-in-one first aid and wellness solutions, and you’ll be glad you kept one (or both) of them with you.
Essential Oils Are All About You!
At the end of the day, any of the above six oils (okay, maybe eight – I couldn’t pick!) will be great additions to your travel wellness case. If you’re new to the essential oil game, I suggest starting with eucalyptus, peppermint, and clove for a compact, works-for-everything kit. But, of course, building your essential kit is all about picking the oils that will work best for you, so take some time to consider how you’ll be using the oils in your travels!