Unconventional Uses for Essential Oils

Updated on March 21, 2019
Lauren Flauding profile image

Lauren studied International Cultural Studies at BYU-Hawaii and went on to study nutrition. Macaroni and cheese is her weakness.

Although essential oils are of ancient origin, in the last decade, these oils have come to the forefront of consumerism. Whether they’re sold through direct marketing organizations or in local grocery and department stores, essential oils have become a common household product. Most of us are aware of the myriad of medical and holistic uses for essential oils, but here are a few less conventional ways to use up those products.

Weight Loss

Smelling or inhaling certain essential oils has been proven to suppress appetites and amplify energy, which is especially helpful when you’re trying to shed a few pounds. Grapefruit, ginger, lemon, sandalwood, frankincense, orange, and rosemary essential oils can all be inhaled directly or diffused in the air to aid with weight loss.

Drinking a few drops of food-grade essential oils that are approved for consumption can help with metabolism and digestion. These often include fennel, lemon, orange, peppermint, ginger, or grapefruit oil, which can be diluted properly and mixed into your water to give your health a boost. While many of these oils are safe to swallow in small amounts, use caution whenever you are introducing a new oil into your system. For more details on employing essential oils for weight loss, take a look at this article.


A number of essential oils are beneficial for your teeth, gums and breath. For example, clove oil is antibacterial, helping to clear your mouth of unwanted germs; cinnamon oil combats inflammation and viruses, helping to keep your gums healthy, and peppermint oil has a strong and refreshing flavor that promotes nice-smelling breath. For a natural toothpaste free of potentially harmful chemicals, try the following recipe adapted from this Dr. Axe article.

  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 10 drops of clove oil
  • 10 drops of cinnamon oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree oil

Combine all ingredients in a small jar or container and mix well. To use, place a pea-sized amount of paste on your toothbrush. You do not need to add water to the paste or brush. Do not swallow. While all of the oils in this recipe are safe to ingest in small doses, the baking soda is not.

Insect Repellent

Some essential oils are quite effective at keeping your skin and space bug-free. You can apply diluted arborvitae, cedarwood, or geranium to your skin or diffuse it in the air to deter pesky bugs. Leaving cotton doused with a bit of cedarwood in your closet will keep moths away.

Face Wash

If you’re looking to improve your complexion, there are various essential oils that contain elements to help your skin. Diluted rosemary, tea tree, and lavender oil can aid in clearing up acne. Myrrh, patchouli, geranium, and frankincense oil have anti-aging properties. Rose oil is moisturizing, and lavender oil can help to even out your complexion and reduce scarring and redness.

Note: Before applying any oils to your skin (especially your face), test them out on an inconspicuous area like your wrist to make sure you don’t have any negative reactions.


Unsightly or uncomfortable warts can really hinder your day-to-day. Some essential oils have the ability to combat the virus that causes warts. Try mixing a couple of drops of oregano, lemongrass, clove, cypress, frankincense, or tea tree oil with a bit of vinegar and coconut oil. Dip a cotton ball in the mixture, and press it to your wart, securing it with a bandaid and leaving it on for an hour or two. Repeat as needed.


Body odor is caused when your sweat mixes with the bacteria on your skin, so if you can eliminate the bacteria, the odor will decrease. Essential oils like coriander, Roman chamomile, lavender, and sage can effectively kill offending bacteria on your skin. Cypress is rumored to prevent perspiration, making it a great oil to have for those who happen to sweat a lot. Furthermore, the pleasant fragrance of essential oils such as sandalwood, citronella, myrtle, and tea tree oil can combat body odor.

Consider this easy recipe for a deodorant spray.

  • 4 ounces of witch hazel or distilled water
  • 5 drops of cypress oil
  • 5 drops of lavender oil
  • 5 drops of sage oil
  • 5 drops of sandalwood oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before every use.

Love Potion

Looking for a little help attracting that special someone? Luckily, there are several essential oils that contain aphrodisiac qualities, including ylang-ylang, clary sage, jasmine, and rose oil. Apply a few drops in a carrier oil to your skin or diffuse into the air when you want that extra, romantic edge.


While a lot of these are no brainers, many people may not immediately think to use these essential oils in their baking and cooking. Furthermore, when used in their food-grade oil form and diluted properly, these spices and flavors are often stronger. Basil, black pepper, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon bark, clove, coriander, oregano, and rosemary oils will amp up your baking prowess.


Using essential oils to clean is actually pretty common, but they can be incredibly handy and effective around the house. Use thyme, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary or lavender oil to disinfect surfaces. Lemon and wild orange oil are great for cutting through tough grease. Furthermore, there is a wealth of oils you can employ as air fresheners.

Precautions and Possible Side Effects

As with any home remedy, be wary when introducing new substances into your body and home. The following are possible side effects for some of the oils mentioned in this article:

  • Clary Sage: If you are pregnant, you should avoid using clary sage oil, as it may induce labor.
  • Cinnamon: This oil may irritate the skin especially for those with seasonal allergies.
  • Peppermint: Do not use peppermint oil on infants or small children. It could cause serious breathing problems.
  • Eucalyptus: If you have asthma, avoid this oil as it might bring on asthma attacks.

Hopefully you now have a full arsenal of ideas for how to use your essential oils. What are your favorite unconventional uses for essential oils? Comment below!

Where Do You Get Your Essential Oils?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Lauren Flauding


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