Essential oils have become a fan-favorite in the wellness space—and it’s not hard to understand why. The fragrant oils are said to be great for everything from promoting sleep and relaxation to boosting energy and concentration.(And even if you don’t go in for that stuff, you have to admit—they smell pretty great.)
“Essential oils often inspire the slight nudge you need to relax, reset, energize and reconnect,” says nutritional energy practitioner Serena Poon. “They [can be] a wonderful value add to your self-care routine and can add a little luxury to otherwise mundane daily experiences.”
There are tons of different ways to use essential oils, including—you guessed it—cooking with them. Some essential oils aren’t safe to ingest, so don’t try to snack on all your favorite scents. But some of them—like thyme essential oil—are safe to use as flavoring in your go-to dishes. Zongle’s Thyme Essential Oil is crafted entirely from distilled thyme leaves, and it promises to be safe to ingest. (But as always, you should double-check with your primary care provider before trying a new dietary supplement.)
Price at time of publish: $26.95
Scent: Thyme | Size: 1 fl. oz
One of the primary benefits of essential oils is that they smell great, so start by finding a scent you love. “The main criteria is that you feel soothed, supported, or elevated by the essential oil,” says Poon. This may take a little trial and error, so be patient and keep experimenting.
You can use essential oils to set the mood during your workday, your workouts, your bedtime routine, and everything in between. So consider what you want to smell during those moments. You can do a little research about the purported benefits of certain essential oils, or you can keep your focus on the scents. Then, start experimenting with a few essential oils, and stock up on the ones you love having in your routine.
“Make sure that you are choosing a high-quality oil,” says Poon. She recommends culinary-grade essential oils for food and drinks and therapeutic-grade essential oils for everything else. And remember, it is possible to be allergic to essential oils. So start by testing a small dab of a given oil, and see how you react to it. “Hives, trouble breathing, [or] itchy or red skin could be indications of an allergy,” says Poon.