The Very Best Essential Oils In Australia


Whether you use them in a diffuser or dilute them with a carrier oil, essential oils are thought to have a variety of health benefits, from skincare to stress relief. They also have a long history — stretching from 4500 B.C. to the era of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Egyptians at this time cultivated plants and harvested their essential oils which they used in the embalming and mummification processes.

Around 400 to 500 B.C., soldiers carried myrrh essential oils to counter infections on the battlefields of Greece. And even Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, maintained that “a perfumed bath and a scented massage every day is the way to good health.”

However, although essential oils are said to offer natural remedies for many ailments, research to determine their effectiveness is somewhat limited, particularly in terms of human trials. Regardless, many swear by their health benefits, so here is a guide to some of the best essential oils in Australia.

What to look for when buying essential oils

According to Salvatore Battaglia, who holds qualifications in herbal medicine, natural therapies, aromatherapy and acupuncture, many companies selling essential oils market themselves as having the best quality essential oils and claim to be authorities on their medicinal use. But this is not often the case.

He stresses the importance of buying essential oils that are botanically pure. This means the provider knows the botanical name of the plant, the part of the plant used, the country of origin and the extraction process. According to Salvatore, the only way to confirm this is to ensure the oils you buy are Australian Certified Organic.

The other thing worth mentioning is that essential oils are toxic if ingested and some can cause skin irritations if undiluted. Hence, it is recommended you consult with your natural therapist and/or GP before using them if you are unsure if they are safe for you. Poisoning is particularly prevalent in children, with a 2019 study citing that essential oil exposure is frequent and increasing by more than five per cent each year, with 63 per cent of cases in children under 15 years of age. So take care of how you use and store them!

The most popular essential oils

Essential oils are typically sold as “single oils” (the oil from the plant it was derived from and nothing else) and blended oils (a mixture of two or more types of oils). In this article, we’ve focused on single oils and their potential health benefits, which will give you guidance on a single oil or a blend that’s right for you.

Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

Cedarwood Essential Oil

The woody, balsamic scent of this oil has a grounding, soothing and harmonising effect and is beneficial for those who feel tense, anxious and fatigued. Salvatore Battaglia also lists other health benefits from external sources on his website. It is said to encourage lymphatic drainage and stimulate the breakdown of accumulated fats. Because it is mildly diuretic, it may be used to treat cellulite and oedema. It may also be beneficial for treating hay fever, coughs, urinary tract infections, dandruff and acne.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

The refreshing, sweet citrus scent of bergamot oil helps regain self-confidence and uplift the spirit. Some research suggests that several compounds in bergamot oil have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, bergamot oil may be an effective spot treatment for acne in people who do not have sensitive skin. Anecdotal evidence also indicates that bergamot oil may also help soothe an irritated scalp.

Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Black pepper oil is distilled from the berries of Piper nigrum. The warm, spicy scent of black pepper strengthens and invigorates and promotes focus and confidence. It is also said to ease pain caused by arthritis and rheumatism, relieve sore muscles when applied topically, and when used in massage, aid circulation.

Blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum)

Blue tansy is an annual yellow-flowered Mediterranean plant that grows in northern Morocco. Blue tansy oil is a relative newcomer to aromatherapy pharmacopeia. However, research cited by Salvatore Battaglia suggests that it is recommended for hypertension, is a strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic, may be used for the treatment of inflammatory and respiratory conditions and can help to promote emotional stability.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamom Essential Oil

Cardamom is a perennial herb native to tropical Asia and now cultivated in Sri Lanka, India, Guatemala and El Salvador. Research cited by Salvatore Battaglia suggests that cardamon essential oil is recommended for treating digestive complaints, chronic bronchitis and for individuals suffering from exhaustion, depression and poor concentration. It can also prevent the formation of intestinal gas and alleviate painful diarrhoea.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chamomile oil is derived from the flowers of the chamomile plant. There are two main types of chamomile — German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita or Chamomilla recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis).

Over the centuries (and as some modern research suggests), it can be helpful for digestive upsets, wound healing, anxiety relief, skin conditions, pain relief, and to promote sleep (most often aided by its applications in herbal teas).

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)

Cinnamon oil is derived from the dried bark or shoots of the Cinnamomum verum tree and the Cinnamomum cassia tree. The warm, rich, spicy scent of cinnamon is invigorating, energising, strengthening, comforting and warming. Some research suggests that cinnamon oil has antibacterial properties that can disinfect and support oral health.

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)

Clary sage is a biennial or perennial herb that is cultivated in central Europe, Russia, England, Morocco and the USA. Research cited by Salvatore Battaglia suggests that clary sage oil is beneficial for treating stress, anxiety, depression and nervous tension. It can also help reduce dandruff, excessive sweating, asthma and several reproductive issues, including relieving menstrual cramps, treating PMS and managing menopause.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

Clove oil is an essential oil that is derived from clove trees. The clove tree, known as Syzygium aromaticum, is native to Southeast Asia. Some studies have cited that clove oil can be used as an antimicrobial to help stop the growth of some types of fungi and bacteria. It can also help relieve digestive upsets and oral and muscle pain, and relieve respiratory conditions like asthma.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus)

Originally native to Australia, eucalyptus trees are used for their medicinal properties. Their healing power comes from eucalyptus oil, which is made from the tree’s oval-shaped leaves. Eucalyptus oil has been used for many years to relieve coughing and help clear chest mucus. Other benefits include keeping insects (like mozzies) away and disinfecting wounds. Some studies have also cited that eucalyptus oil can control blood sugar, soothe cold sores and ease joint pain.

Jasmine (Jasminum)

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine oil is an essential oil derived from the white flowers of the common jasmine plant known as Jasminun officinale. The flower is believed to originate from Iran. The rich floral scent of jasmine is sensual, euphoric, welcoming, joyful and assertive. Studies have cited that jasmine oil can be used as an antidepressant, antiseptic, and aphrodisiac, and help ease some of the symptoms of menopause.

Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender oil is an essential oil derived from the lavender plant, Lavandula. The fresh floral scent of lavender is harmonising and calming and promotes healing and compassion. Some of its other proposed benefits include helping with acne, soothing dry skin and reducing fine facial lines. It also has anti-inflammatory abilities and wound-healing properties and can be used as an insect repellent. Lavender is also renowned as one of the essential herbs for sleep.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)

Lemongrass oil is produced from two distinctly different species of tree that are native to India and Sri Lanka. Research cited by Salvatore Battaglia suggests that lemongrass oil has a wide variety of aromatherapy uses. It can treat dandruff, is recommended for a broad range of fungal infections, is a stimulant for the digestive system, and can relieve muscular pain and arthritis.

Orange (Citrus × sinensis)

Sweet oranges all belong to the species Citrus sinensis, being the main citrus tree grown in most of the citrus- producing countries. According to studies cited by Salvatore Battaglia, orange essential oil can assist with a range of conditions affecting the body’s systems. These include settling the digestive system, alleviating swollen tissue connected to the lymphatic system, and calming and soothing the nervous system. It can also be used to soothe dry, irritated or acne-prone skin, harmonise feelings and awaken creativity.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)

Patchouli oil is an essential oil derived from the leaves of the patchouli plant (Pogostemon cablin), a type of aromatic herb. Studies have shown a wide variety of uses for patchouli oil. They include treating skin conditions, easing colds and headaches, assisting with oily hair and dandruff, and being used as an insecticide, anti-fungal or antibacterial agent. It can also enhance feelings of relaxation to help ease stress or anxiety.

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)

Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. Peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant, Mentha x piperita. Research has uncovered a range of apparent benefits of peppermint oil. They include reducing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), reducing abdominal pain due to gastrointestinal illnesses, reducing nausea and soothing itchy skin.

Pine (Pinus)

Pine Essential Oil

Pine oil is an essential oil obtained from a variety of species of pine tree, particularly Pinus sylvestris. Studies have shown that pine essential oil may have anti-inflammatory effects, such as easing skin conditions like acne and alleviating pain from arthritis. Inhaling it is also said to have some “clearing” effects in terms of the common cold and it is widely used to create an uplifting and invigorating atmosphere when used in a vaporiser.

Rose (Rosa)

The two major species of rose used for essential oil production are Rosa x damascena Mill and Rosa x centifolia L. Studies cited by Salvatore Battaglia cite that rose oil may be valuable for treating gynaecological problems, including those relating to menstruation and menstrual cramps. Rose oil also has excellent emollient, softening and hydrating properties, and, accompanied by its stimulating and antiseptic qualities, makes it ideal for all skin types, especially for mature, dry or sensitive skin.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves and a woody aroma, and it is one of the most popular aromatic and medicinal plants worldwide. Some studies have shown that rosemary oil may combat certain types of hair loss. It is also known in folk medicine as a pain reliever, and preliminary studies support pain relief benefits. Rosemary oil may also be used to repel insects such as ticks and mosquitoes and reduce cortisol levels in terms of relieving stress.

Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Sage (Salvia sclarea) is a flowering herb that is native to the Mediterranean Basin. The essential oil that’s extracted from the leaves and buds of the plant. Clary sage oil has been purported in some studies to have antibacterial properties and reduce stress. It may also alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause and relieve menstrual cramps.

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Sandalwood essential oil comes from the wood and roots of Santalum album, or the East Indian sandalwood tree, and it is said to be one of the most valuable trees in the world. Some studies cite that sandalwood oil has anti-inflammatory properties in terms of decreasing inflammation in some skin disorders. It is also said to help with wound healing and promote skin cell growth.

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales. It has been used as a traditional medicine by Aboriginal people for centuries. Tea tree oil can have a range of health benefits, according to some studies. They include speeding up the wound healing process, alleviating the symptoms of nail fungal infections and some skin conditions, reducing the severity of dandruff, and helping combat skin inflammation related to insect bites.

Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang ylang is a yellow, star-shaped flower that grows on the Cananga tree (Cananga odorata). This tropical species is native to countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, such as India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and parts of Australia. Some studies have cited that ylang ylang oil has some proven health benefits, including reducing anxiety, boosting mood, lowering blood pressure, stimulating oil production in the skin and on the scalp, and having antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.