Superb herbs! 28 uses for herbal essential oils

essential oil herb tags in teacups with botanicals

What’s bright, fresh, and green all over? You guessed it—herbs! We’ve taken those botanicals and turned them into herbal essential oils, so you can enjoy their benefits directly from the bottle.

Many of the herbaceous oils on this list have been used throughout history, thanks to their refreshing scents and the ability to do everything from clear out musty smells to cool sun-kissed skin.

Ready to get your greens on? Let’s grow!

Basil essential oil

Also found in: Aroma Siez™ essential oil blend, M-Grain™ essential oil blend, Raindrop Technique® Essential Oil Collection
Fun fact: The basil plant is sometimes referred to as St. Joseph’s Wort, great basil, European basil, French basil, common basil, or sweet basil.
What sets it apart: Basil essential oil has a fragrance that’s equal parts crisp, floral, and spicy.

How to use Basil essential oil

  • Diffuse with Cypress and Lemon for a fresh-cut grass smell reminiscent of summer days spent turning cartwheels in the front yard.
  • Take your homemade pasta sauce or lasagna from basic to basically awesome with a drop of Basil Vitality™.
  • Wake up your senses before you walk out the door with a drop of Basil oil in your shampoo first thing in the morning.
Basil essential oil

Fennel essential oil

Also found in: Dragon Time™ essential oil blend, DiGize™ essential oil blend, Essentialzyme™
Fun fact: The fennel plant has been used for a broad range of purposes dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians.
What sets it apart: Fans of black licorice will love the anise-like smell of Fennel essential oil.

How to use Fennel essential oil

  • Take your toner up a notch! Combine 5 drops of Fennel with 2 ounces of witch hazel. Your skin—and your senses—will thank you.
  • Spice things up around the house by diffusing Fennel with Cinnamon Bark and Clove.
  • Funnel all of Fennel’s cleansing benefits into one easy application by adding a drop or two to a gentle facial cleanser.
Fennel essential oil

Lemongrass essential oil

Also found in: Thieves® Foaming Hand Soap, Purification® essential oil blend
Fun fact: Don’t let the “lemon” in “lemongrass” fool you—the plant is actually an herb!
What sets it apart: Lemongrass essential oil has a bright, fruity, floral scent that makes you feel like you’re taking a leisurely stroll through a lemon orchard.

How to use Lemongrass essential oil

  • Fight funky odors in your closet or gym bag by placing 3–5 drops of Lemongrass oil on a cotton ball or cotton pad.
  • Liven up your green smoothie with a drop of Lemongrass Vitality™.
  • Discover a whole new level of fresh when you add a few drops to your DIY Thieves cleaner.
  • Bring the outdoors in by diffusing Lemongrass with woodsy essential oils.
Lemongrass essential oil

Marjoram essential oil

Also found in: Ortho Ease® Massage Oil, R.C.™ essential oil blend
Fun fact: Marjoram and oregano are both mint-family herbs but have very different smells and flavors.
What sets it apart: Marjoram essential oil has a sweeter, more floral scent than some of the other herbal essential oils on this list.

How to use Marjoram essential oil

  • Make your linens next level with an uplifting DIY linen spray made with Marjoram, Cedarwood, and Ylang Ylang.
  • Settle down with some bedtime meditation. Make a chest rub with Marjoram, Eucalyptus Radiata, and a small amount of carrier oil and take deep breaths in and out.
  • Make your shoes smell heel-a good with the help of Marjoram and our DIY shoe odor eliminator powder.
Marjoram essential oil

Oregano essential oil

Also found in: Ortho Sport® Massage Oil, Cool Azul® essential oil blend
Fun fact: The name comes from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy or delight). It’s no surprise the ancient Greeks and Romans associated the oregano plant with happiness!
What sets it apart: Oregano essential oil is a multitasker, but our favorite way to use it? Diffuse it! When diffused, Oregano oil freshens the air with its spicy scent.

How to use Oregano essential oil

  • Lower-body workout got your legs feeling like noodles? Add a few drops of Oregano to our V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex for a soothing post-leg day massage.
  • Go full-on air freshening by diffusing Oregano with another invigorating scent like Kunzea. You can also pair it with Tea Tree for an added boost of brightness.
  • Slice things up by mixing a drop of Oregano Vitality™ in your homemade pizza dough.
Oregano essential oil

Peppermint essential oil

Also found in: PanAway® essential oil blend, Peppermint-Cedarwood bar soap, Raven™ essential oil blend
Fun fact: Peppermint’s constituents—menthol, menthone, and more—cause it to leave a cooling sensation on the skin!
What sets it apart: As one of our top 10 best-selling products, Peppermint essential oil has as many uses as the sky has stars.

How to use Peppermint essential oil

  • When head tension hits, reach for the soothing, cooling sensation of a DIY roll-on.
  • Hooked on classics? Diffuse Peppermint oil with Lemon and Lavender. When you’re ready to mix it up, substitute Spearmint for a different take on “minty-fresh fragrance.”
  • Say “aloe” to a refreshing way to wrap up your day filled with fun and sun. Just add a drop of Peppermint to aloe vera gel and gently massage over skin.
Peppermint essential oil

Rosemary essential oil

Also found in: Morning Start™ Bar Soap, Clarity™ essential oil blend, JuvaFlex® essential oil blend
Fun fact: The botanical (also part of the mint family!) is native to the Mediterranean. The plant has blue or purple flowers and can grow up to six feet tall.
What sets it apart: Rosemary’s fresh, clean scent has earned it a top spot in some of the best blends for eliminating odors—looking at you, Thieves.

How to use Rosemary essential oil

  • Create DIY exfoliating scrub with ½ cup each of olive oil and sea salt, plus 5 drops Rosemary and 5 drops Stress Away™.
  • Dry hair got you down? Turn things around with a hydrating hair mask! Combine 2 drops Rosemary, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon honey. Apply to hair and leave in for 2–3 minutes. Wash and style as usual.
  • Feelin’ your day could use a bit more sunshine? Diffuse Rosemary with the bright, citrusy, oh-so-happy scents of Grapefruit and Lime.
Rosemary essential oil

Sage essential oil

Also found in: Dragon Time™ Bath and Shower Gel, Prenolone® Plus Body Cream
Fun fact: While most people use sage solely in the kitchen, it’s also often used in gardens as a decorative plant.
What sets it apart: One word: scent. Sage essential oil has a strong, spicy aroma that’s a master at clearing the air.

How to use Sage essential oil

  • Homework time a little less productive than you’d like? Try diffusing Sage oil with Spearmint and Bergamot for a more focus-friendly environment.
  • Make it a truly herbalicious holiday meal by adding a drop or two of Sage Vitality™ to your family’s favorite stuffing recipe.
  • Dilute with V-6™ and rub on the bottoms of feet when your tootsies are tuckered out.

YL tip: If you’re a fan of Sage, you should give Clary Sage a try! Learn all about the benefits Sage’s EO cousin has to offer.

Sage essential oil

Thyme essential oil

Also found in: Longevity™ Vitality™, CitraGuard™ Deodorant, Insect Repellent
Fun fact: Medieval knights wore sprigs of thyme on their armor for courage. If only they knew about the essential oil!
What sets it apart: While you wouldn’t want to rub thyme leaves all over your face, skin-loving Thyme essential oil is another matter.

How to use Thyme essential oil

  • If your complexion could use a little extra cleansing, we’ve got a clean-slate treatment for you! After washing with your favorite cleanser, dilute 1 drop of Thyme with 4 drops of liquid coconut oil and apply to skin with a cotton ball.
  • Don’t leave home without it—at least if you’re headed for an outdoor adventure! You can dilute Thyme oil with aloe and rub into arms and legs to soothe skin irritations.
  • Does the aroma from last night’s dinner still linger? Diffuse Thyme with other herbal essential oils on this list and let the strong, clean scent get rid of those stale leftovers.
Thyme essential oil


Feeling herby? So are we! We are giving away some of our favorite herbal essential oils (Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme!) to six lucky winners! Simply enter your email in the form on this page and comment on this post for your opportunity to win! What are some of your favorite herbal essential oils?

Giveaway rules:
• To enter, fill out the form on this page and comment on this post.
• Contest ends at 9 a.m., MT, on Wednesday, May 20.
• Six winners will be chosen at random and emailed accordingly.
• Click here for official rules.

Herbal essential oils aren’t the only EOs blooming in the YL garden! Check out the bouquet of benefits floral essential oils offer and our a-peeling list of uses for those sunny citrus oils.

Which herbal oil do you use most often?

Tell us in the comments!

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