Too bad valerian smells like stinky feet, because it really does the trick when it comes to getting a good nights rest. Valerian has been used in many different ways for centuries to reduce stress, tension and instill a sense of peace and tranquility. You’ll definitely want to mask this scent with a blend. While it is pricey, and a bit of an acquired smell, this is definitely one of the most effective essential oils for insomnia.
What most don’t know is that even the labeled 100% pure are not always what they seem and it’s not the companies fault it’s just not available for the regular oil trader. For example, a Sandalwood tree can only produce the oil after the tree has reached it’s 30 year maturity, and since this is such a necessity to India it is only “doled” out to the consumer as a partially pure oil. India has no regulations about the purity they are distributing, so unless you are paying almost $30 an oz. it’s most likely not truly pure, this is the same for absolutes. Absolutes are 100% pure, and they are most expensive and usually very thick.
Weird question- how can you switch from mix to mix in the same diffuser without having crossover? Is cleaning it out very complicated? And how to inhibit mold growth in the cold air diffuser- is it just a bonus that the EOs are anti bacterial/biotic/fungal or do you have to add some other ingredient? (I did read the article, I just didn’t see it, but it’s almost 1 am, so that may be why, lol)
In fact, the benefits of diffusing essential oils into the air are one of the main reasons I’m loving these essential oil recipes. When you apply heat to essential oils, many studies show it can actually denature many of the most important chemicals and compounds, so you are essentially just diffusing the oils for scent, and not for the beneficial aspects.

Thank you so much for all this awesome information regarding oils and their uses as well as how to blend. Since I starting using oils, I cannot imagine my life now without them. I have been on antidepressants on and off for a big part of my life. Now with my oils, I no longer need them. Anyway, thanks again, I use your page as one of my biggest “go to” resources for my oil questions. Have a great day!
This is the point where the actual essential oils are needed, and as I’m sure you’re well aware, essential oils vary in price depending on the company you purchase your oils from. Some people prefer big MLM companies with higher priced oils, others prefer family-owned suppliers with mid-range prices, and some prefer well-known small businesses with lower priced essential oils. I say, to each his own. Just do your research and know how to choose high-quality essential oils before you purchase any.
I use Cinnamon Bark from Spark Naturals. I’m sure you could use either one, that is just the one I use. Also, make sure to get a good quality oil since diffusing the oil gets the particles and benefits into the air in your home and air you breathe. I also love to change up what I diffuse throughout the day! You can either use more than one diffuser so that you can let it run until the water/oil is gone, or just try not filling it all the way and using less oil so it can run for a shorter amount of time. That way, you’re not dumping out anything to change what oils you use. I usually let my diffusers run until what I have in the “tank” is gone and then I change what blend I’m using 🙂
Hi Meagan, I’m somewhat new to the EO world. I would like to make two blends as a gift (along with a diffuser) for my cousin who was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I’d like one to be healing (I was thinking orange, lemongrass, thyme and frankincense). The other I’d like for her nausea (which I’d like to encorporate ginger and lemon). Do you have any advice?
CITRUS. Similar to sandalwood, this is a group of scents that can be stimulating or sleep-promoting, depending on your individual reaction and the type of citrus oil used. Bergamot, a type of orange, has been shown to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality. Lemon oil has demonstrated anxiety and depression-relieving effects in research. Citrus may help some people fall asleep more easily, while others may find these fresh, bright scents are relaxing, but not sleep-promoting. If citrus scents are stimulating to you, don’t use them before bed—but do consider using them during the day, to help you feel both refreshed and relaxed.
Too bad valerian smells like stinky feet, because it really does the trick when it comes to getting a good nights rest. Valerian has been used in many different ways for centuries to reduce stress, tension and instill a sense of peace and tranquility. You’ll definitely want to mask this scent with a blend. While it is pricey, and a bit of an acquired smell, this is definitely one of the most effective essential oils for insomnia.
Weird question- how can you switch from mix to mix in the same diffuser without having crossover? Is cleaning it out very complicated? And how to inhibit mold growth in the cold air diffuser- is it just a bonus that the EOs are anti bacterial/biotic/fungal or do you have to add some other ingredient? (I did read the article, I just didn’t see it, but it’s almost 1 am, so that may be why, lol)
Valerian essential oil – If you know anything about herbs, you likely already know just how effective valerian is at helping with sleep. This stinky-feet smelling herb can be taken at night to fall asleep at night, but you can also use the sedative properties in the essential oil to get to sleep at night. I only ever put just a couple drops in a blend because otherwise, the stinky feet smell will come out!
Thank you so much for this information, and the links you have provided. I’m new to this whole world of oils and thoroughly confused. One of my 9 year old sons has ADHD, Autism, severe anxiety and phobias, and a severe peanut allergy. On top of all of that he has a higher heart rate due to the anxiety and phobias setting everything else off, and cannot take any medications to help calm him down. He goes to therapy and social skills twice a week and has TSS workers at home and at school, but he still suffers and I needed to find something to help him without modern medicines in the mix. As it turns out, his therapy center is directly next door to a place called Penn Herb Company, so we ventured in to inquire about alternatives. He took a big sniff when we went in and I could see him relax. They helped me get a small stash of relaxing oils and make him a “calm down potion.” It worked every time I tried it on him before full meltdown. I am now on a mission to help him and the whole family get better without chemical medicines, but cannot spend hours in a store or classroom, or even at my computer (I have 4 boys, 2 of them not school aged yet and I stay at home to raise them) so sites like yours are now my lifeblood. Everyone else seems to have a grand opinion on a brand of oil and says the others are no good. It is so hard to decipher some of this stuff. It is awesome to have someone give the truth about different brands, and their claims. All the best to you, and thank you so much again from the bottom of this Mama’s overflowing heart!!!!

Essential oils can act by triggering the central nervous system and circulatory system to promote sleep in the body. To test these effects, an increasing amount of scientific studies have been conducted to evaluate their effectiveness on humans. The following are considered the best essential oils for sleep due to their sedative, calming or stress-reducing properties.
From my understanding, the total number of oils is not the safety concern, it’s the total amount of EOs used (the final dilution) that matters. While there are various dilution guidelines, these are the most recent recommendations from aromatherapists I respect. Products that cover large portions of your body and sit on the skin for long periods of time (like lotions) need to be diluted more (1-2% depending on the strength of the EOs used). Products that don’t sit on the skin for long (like body washes) can be diluted less (around 5-10%, again depending on the strength of the oils used). Products that cover larger portions of skin (salve with EOs) should be more diluted (2-3%) compared to products that cover smaller portions of skin (roller bottle spot applications) which can be less diluted (5%). Age and health will also be a factor in dilution amounts. Children and the elderly need their EOs to be diluted more as their livers are slower at metabolizing EO chemicals than a healthy teenager or adult liver. Dilution also depends on the strength of the oil. For example, cinnamon bark requires more dilution than cinnamon leaf. Does this make sense? A lot of EO books (like this one) give recommendations and guidelines for this sort of thing.

VANILLA. The sweet scent of vanilla is appealing to many people, and it has a long history of use for relaxation and stress relief. Vanilla can have sedative effects on the body. It can reduce hyperactivity and restlessness, quiet the nervous system, and lower blood pressure. It also appears to help relieve anxiety and depression, with a combining both relaxation and an uplift in mood. If the smell of cookies baking relaxes and soothes you, vanilla might be a scent to try for sleep—without the calories!
During the day I use my Lampe Bergers…and buying their fuel has become an expense I feel is impractical. So, I’ve been trying to make some myself, using 91% isopropyl alcohol and a blend of essential oils. I really haven’t had any problems, other than the scents I’ve made are just not very strong. Could it be that my oils are not good enough for this purpose? I’ve done some testing of different brands by putting just a drop of oil onto a piece of paper and allowing it to dry. The Majestic Pure dries almost completely, without leaving much of a mark on the paper, while other brands dry leaving an oily mark. Is it possible that the Majestic Pure has alcohol in it?
As far as the testing goes… I don’t know much about it other than I think she did opt for more expensive and more accurate testing the 2nd and 3rd time she had oils tested. I’m not sure on that though. All I know is that her tests got a lot of attention… much of which brought about changes from some of the bigger EO companies so she must have done something right.
I’m happy to say that the decision to create signature scents for my products (along with updating my branding and taking new photos) completely changed my business. I was invited to some pretty prestigious Etsy teams, my products were featured on Etsy’s front page over and over again, sales were coming in daily, I had repeat customers who were not only buying my products for themselves but as gifts too, and I had wholesale accounts and blog features… all because I made some simple, small changes to my products.
[…] If you can make your cramped studio apartment feel more like a spa, why wouldn’t you? While some scents may help promote relaxation and sleep, other essential oils can help you start your day feeling more energized.  Try diffusing citrus, peppermint, rosemary, or eucalyptus oils to help you wake up in the morning. Or if you want to get a little crazy, try mixing it up with an essential oil recipe like one of these. […]

Sleep is something that everyone needs, and no one gets enough of. I know from personal experience how sleep can affect everything from mental clarity and sanity to your pain levels and immune system strength. In my last sleep post, I gave you my favorite Sleepytime tea & tincture recipe, in this post we're going to learn about using aromatherapy to help you and your family sleep better. With so many great essential oils for sleep, I have put together my recipe for my favorite sleepytime essential oil blend that I like to call, Good Night Sleep Tight! This calming essential oil blend is good for more than just sleep, I even use this to control my Restless Leg Syndrome! 

I really enjoy Lea’s website too! One thing I recently learned about the 3rd party testing she had done though, was it may not be very reliable. She chose a chemist in France who used outdated testing equipment simply because it was the cheapest. And although I greatly appreciate her knowledge, she gets very defensive and on the verge of rude at times in the comments. I also know she doesn’t appreciate learning that isn’t taught by a certified aroma therapist.
Sure Dorie. So after you’ve got your essential oil blend, you can diffuse it at home to get it into the air or you can just open the bottle and sniff it from time to time. That’s two great ways to use EOs safely… assuming the oils are appropriate for your son’s age. For school, the best bet is to dilute the EO blend in a carrier oil (like jojoba oil) and put it in a 1 oz. glass bottle with a roller top. That way it’s easy to apply. Simply rub a little bit on the insides of the wrist, behind the ears, the temple area, or the neck and you should be able to absorb it into the skin slowly as well as smell it for a bit. Hope that helps!! Let me know if you have any other questions!
You might also want to ensure that your diffuser looks great in your home by pairing it with items that mesh well in color and texture. Or you may want your beautiful diffuser to stand alone as a centerpiece. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll find that it doesn’t take much to ensure get the most out of your diffusers. Now… some essential oil diffuser recipes!
Keep in mind that everyone’s biochemistry is different and what works for me may not work for you. It is critical for you to follow your intuition and listen to your body. Essentially, any oil that helps calm the mind and body will help reduce sleep disturbances. Same with other anti-stress techniques like prayer, meditation, Tai Chi, exercise and well-balanced nutrition. When you find something that “works,” stick with it and then try to switch things up periodically.

As you’re using essential oils, pay attention to how you feel. Scent is a highly individual experience. Each of us react to smells differently. The right scents for your relaxation and sleep are the ones that make you feel relaxed and sleepy! You may need to experiment with different oils before you find the right one for your nightly routine. If a scent makes you feel alert and awake, it is NOT the right one for sleep. But you can use it in the morning to help get you rolling into your day.
Thanks for your info Meaghan. It was very helpful. I have to say that I love, love essential oils. I did so much research and have used them for years. More than a year ago I decided to give Young Living a try after much research and even though I have tried other companies I have to say that I absolutely love Young Living. I know there are other great companies out there because I have used them. However Young Living is absolutely a wonderful company and their oils are amazing. I totally trust them and I have had such success with them health wise. I am a member of their Blue Spruce Club and everything I ever want to know about how to use essential oils is there. I love Thieves, YLs blend. It is amazing for everything. I still use other oils but YL is my favourite!
Hi – My family and I have been using essential oils for 10 years. We are 100% believers in their healing powers. I turned essential oils into a business about 4 years ago, due to my first hand knowledge of their amazing properties. To address some of the diffuser comments and questions above, you do not need a nebulizing diffuser to enjoy the benefits of oils. Ultrasonic diffusers that use water do an excellent job of transporting oils in the air. And, though nebulizers provide an intense essential oil experience, they take a lot of oil to run and they run through that oil quickly. Now, if you’re water source is compromised, this can degrade the oil. We have, however, made a push to provide all types of diffuser options to our customers. If you don’t like plastic diffusers, we have ceramic. If you don’t want ceramic, we have glass. If you don’t want ultrasonic with water, we have nebulizing diffusers. If anyone has any questions, please reach out. We’ve been using oils daily, for a long time. Happy to answer any question or address concerns the best I can. Thanks
Hi Meagan, I’m somewhat new to the EO world. I would like to make two blends as a gift (along with a diffuser) for my cousin who was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I’d like one to be healing (I was thinking orange, lemongrass, thyme and frankincense). The other I’d like for her nausea (which I’d like to encorporate ginger and lemon). Do you have any advice?

Essential oil blends are diluted differently depending upon a persons age and the use you have for it. For example, an infant would need a 1% dilution where an older child would do fine with a 2.5% dilution. Adults are usually around a 5% dilution. These dilutions would be for massage oils or therapeutic uses. For cleaning or air fresheners, you may use the 5% dilution or stronger… it just depends on where it’s being used and how.

In a study of cancer patients published in 2016, researchers found 64% reported improved sleep using “aromasticks” that included frankincense. One of the reasons frankincense essential oil may be so useful for helping sleep is its studied benefits for pain. A 2004 study published in Thailand reported oil of frankincense as one of the oils found to reduce both pain and anxiety in women in childbirth.
Using Leslie’s list as an example, several of the oils on her list are known to be phototoxic, but since she’s not applying her blend to her skin in any way, she doesn’t have to worry about that so much. Instead, she’s more concerned with some of the oils being irritating the the mucous membranes as she will be diffusing this recipe so she decides to diffuse her blend for short periods of time only to minimize this possibility.
Glad to hear you’re finding the info helpful. I’ve never heard of the Majestic Pure brand before so I can’t comment on how strong it is. I always look for EOs from brands I know and trust that are high-quality, pure oils. If you can’t smell your blend well once it’s added to your alcohol, it could be that your dilution rate is off. I’m not sure. If you’re looking for a good company with a lot of oil choices, be sure to check out Edens Garden essential oils. They offer pure EOs, and they carry a ton of scents!
To me, blend #1 sounds amazing! I imagine it to be fresh and sweet smelling with a touch of spice to ground it. Blend #2 feels like spring to me because it’s a pure floral blend. I can’t imagine preferring this blend over blend #1 because I tend to not like heavy floral scents, but you never know. Blend #3 sounds interesting, but I can’t say for sure what I think about it because I’m not familiar with angelica essential oil. The peppermint and pine sound like a great combination, but I’d have to test this to see what I thought of them alongside the angelica.

I use them in my water all the time…I only add oils to water in a glass container and I always shake the container before I take a drink and that way the oils momentarily mix and I am not getting a gulp of the oil floating on the top. That also happened to me when I first tried adding the drops of oil to my water. But now it does not happen any more because I am just in the habit of mixing right before I take a drink. Hope this is helpful.
The other brands, while cheap, seem really watered down and have very “off” aromas. It worries me to use them because I suspect there are some solvents or chemicals used. They do not claim therapeutic grade. One bottle of Rocky Mountain’s immune boosting blend only lasted me a week when diffusing it, but a bottle of doTERRA’s comparable blend, OnGuard, lasted me several months. The difference in price can seem dramatic, but when you have to use 10 drops of one oil to get the same effects of 1 drop of another… they even out.

I have done extensive research on essential oils. NO oil should ever be injested. There are only a few food grade oils that can be injested. There is no such thing a therapeutic grade oil. Do more research. Many companies claim 100% pure and that may be, it’s the process that makes them unpure. If you want the real thing you must only buy USDA ORGANIC. The process is guaranteed minimal. No machinery so you not getting metals in your oil which is harmful to us. I hope this helps.


Back in the early days of Growing Up Herbal, I made herbal skincare products for children and sold them on Etsy. Those days were full of hurdles… learning about setting up shop, getting comfortable marketing my business, and refining my product line. Business was slow, and I felt like I’d never get ahead and have a successful shop. Sales trickled in sporadically. Customers would make small purchases, but they rarely came back to buy again. My products were never featured anywhere, and traffic to my shop was pitiful.
Thank you SO MUCH for your information in regards to the so called “therapeutic Essential Oils” I long suspected there was no such thing and it is a Marketing ploy for these two companies in question as well, I have been personally challenged by doTERRA consultants because my Essential oils are much cheaper than theirs, but I purchase Pure essential oils, bottle and resell, I have had no complaints in 17 years, your information has helped me feel much more secure in what I am doing?Kind regards Linda
I am enjoying learning about essential oils and am appreciating them so much! Thank you for this article. I do have a question for you … How do I choose and use a diffuser? I am currently using my old scentsy burner – water with a few drops of essential oil – as a diffuser, but it evaporates so quickly and the scent is so light. I’m guessing I need a diffuser, but there are so many, I don’t know what to buy. What do you suggest for longer lasting air diffusion? Thank you!
You might also want to ensure that your diffuser looks great in your home by pairing it with items that mesh well in color and texture. Or you may want your beautiful diffuser to stand alone as a centerpiece. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll find that it doesn’t take much to ensure get the most out of your diffusers. Now… some essential oil diffuser recipes!
If you’re reading this and live in an area that would be considered “modern” or “industrial,” there’s a 70% chance that you don’t get the sleep that you need every night. In America alone, an estimated 50 – 70 million people suffer from sleep disorders or sleep deprivation and we literally have an epidemic on our hands! What if I told you that using the best essential oils for sleep could help reverse this trend?
Sleep is something that everyone needs, and no one gets enough of. I know from personal experience how sleep can affect everything from mental clarity and sanity to your pain levels and immune system strength. In my last sleep post, I gave you my favorite Sleepytime tea & tincture recipe, in this post we're going to learn about using aromatherapy to help you and your family sleep better. With so many great essential oils for sleep, I have put together my recipe for my favorite sleepytime essential oil blend that I like to call, Good Night Sleep Tight! This calming essential oil blend is good for more than just sleep, I even use this to control my Restless Leg Syndrome! 
So again, I don’t know how to figure out the ratios except that the first ingredient is supposed to be the largest and they work their way down to less and less. You definitely could follow this as a guide and try blending small amounts of oil until you find a combination you like and seems to be effective on him. If it were me, I’d try to work through the process to come up with a good blend. I also have a post coming out in February that walks you through exactly how I blend oils. Maybe that will help you out some. Stay tuned, and thanks for your comment Tania!
I’m so so sorry Diana, but I’m definitely not a perfumist. That blend sounds awesome… like something I’d definitely wear, but I’m no help. This article is a basis how to on how to blend… I don’t know enough about the smells of individual oils to be able to tell you what you’re missing and how much of each oil to use. You’ll just have to experiment and see or consult with someone who makes essential oil perfumes. Thanks!

Hi, Jesslyn. Essential oils do have shelf-lives as do base oils (also known as carrier oils). The shelf-life will vary based on each oil so you’ll want to research each oil in your DIY blend to find that information as well as any carrier oil you add your EO blend into. When stored properly, most EOs and EO blends diluted in carrier oils will last 1-2 years. Hope that helps!
For users who have trouble staying asleep, add 3 drops of chamomile essential oil and 2 drops of cedarwood essential oil to diffuser before you go to sleep. These essential oils for deep sleep will help your body relax throughout the night. Several high-quality diffusers have automatic timers, allowing the machine to run automatically as you fall asleep.
Once you’ve got your base and middle note oils smelling the way you want them, you’ll add in one drop of your top note oil, swirl and smell your blend again, and see what you think. From there, you keep adding oils one drop at a time until you get the a scent you like. Like I said, this blending ratio is a mix between beginner and intermediate blending because you’re only working with three essential oils, but you’re relying on your senses and intuition to guide you.
Smelling Salts – This is just another way to keep a sniffer around with you on-the-go. In a 10 ml (1/3 oz.) glass bottle, add 30 drops of the essential oil blend and fill the remainder of the bottle with either fine or coarse sea salt. Waft the bottle under your nose while taking deep inhalations whenever you feel are needing to shut your mind off and fall asleep.
Joan Marie, each brand of essential oils are different. For example, I used a cough drop recipe from Dr. Eric Z with my doTERRA and Young Living Oils, I needed less. If I had known half of the amount may have worked, I wouldn’t have wasted so many precious drops of oil. I even tried the recipe over and it still turned to syrup only. Also for babies, you can only use maybe 1-3 drops per Tablespoon carrier oil and more essential oils for adults.
I hear what you’re saying Scott, and I’m not disagreeing with you. I don’t know a whole lot about the process, but I do know that bigger companies follow harvesting, storage, and extracting guidelines that not all home distillers follow. I also know that bigger companies have their oils routinely tested by 3rd party labs to check them for certain things. Again, not all home distillers do that. I’m sure that’s why people trust bigger EO companies, but if I were making and selling my own oils from home, I’d be sure I did those things and shouted it from the rooftops so people would know my oils were top notch. Thanks for sharing your process!
You can definitley combine both, Elizabeth. The ratio is totally your choice depending on what helps you. One thing you could do would be to make two separate personal inhalers (one with rosemary and one with lavender) and take a few deep breaths of the rosemary as needed, then, if you start feeling too anxious, start using the lavender one to calm you a bit. Maybe try it BEFORE you take a test… like during a study session, to see if it helps or not. Best of luck in your studies… I remember a lot of late nights getting ready for those big tests!
You might be surprised to read the name of Sweet Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis) in this list of essential oils for sleep, as most citrus oils have uplifting and energizing effects. You are right, they do! Citrus oils are very happy and bright oils, yet in the application for sleep, sweet orange helps relieve stress and brings balance to the mood, mind and body. It has a very pleasant aroma that appeals to a lot of people, and is able to generate calmness in situations of tension. I wouldn’t use sweet orange essential oil on its own for getting to sleep, but I would definitely add it to a sleep blend to help tie the blend together.
Essential oil diffuser blends work in diffusers of any size, you will just have to adjust how many drops of oil you put into your water tank if you have a larger diffuser with a bigger reservoir. The diffuser blends I mix are made for 150-200 ml sized diffusers. You’ll find a chart below that helps you figure out how many drops to put into your diffuser. Most diffusers also come with a water cup that lets you accurately fill the desired amount of water into your unit.
I’m glad you liked the article Jennie. I’m no expert when it comes to aromatherapy so I’d definitely search some other aromatherapy blogs like LearningAboutEOs.com and the Aromahead Blog for arthritis blends, but I think I’d make a cayenne salve like the one here and then add essential oils that contain menthol like peppermint or wintergreen to it.
Thanks so much Michelle. As far as getting EO recipes… I’m not aware of any NEW books out by any well-known aromatherapists, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t. I’m not an aromatherapist so I’m not in that circle too much. I get a lot of recipes from Vintage Remedies (Jessie Hawkins is an aromatherapist) and Aromahead (an aromatherapy school) as well as older books by respected aromatherapists and companies that sell quality essential oils. I know Plant Therapy, Eden Gardens, and Mountain Rose Herbs shares recipes from time to time. Good luck!!

Lavender is said to ease tension and induce relaxation. In studies done by Britain’s University of Southampton, they found that participants who diffused lavender oil at night ranked their sleep an average of 20% better than the placebo group. Newer research done by Wesleyan University confirms these findings. When combined with roman chamomile it delivers a knock-out punch for insomnia.
I have some laser burns on my face that I’m trying to get rid of (the “professional” used the wrong laser, and now I have reddish brown nickel sized burns on my face). I’ve researched and found that Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Neroli, and a few others are good for scars, burns, etc and they all blend well together. My question is can I blend them all (since they each have a unique power, if you will) and how much do I use of each?
Tracey Black, founder and CEO of Don’t Mess with Mama, started blogging to share her family’s gluten-free and natural living journey. At DontMesswithMama.com, she shares how simple it can be to live a more natural lifestyle. Here you’ll find gluten-free recipes, green cleaning tips, DIY and homemade tutorials, minimalism tips and so much more! Tracey is also the author of the books Natural Beauty Made Simple, Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple and Gluten-Free Recipes Your Family Will Love.
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