Must-Have Essential Oils for Your Family

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Last week, we talked about what essential oils are and a bit about how to use them. Now I’d like to introduce you to three oils that are must-haves around our house: Lavender, Peppermint, and On Guard.

Just a reminder: I’m not a doctor or herbalist, and this information should not be considered medical advice. Do your own research and use good judgement!


We have several lavender plants in our front yard garden. They attract bees and smell heavenly as they bloom all spring and summer.

Lavender is indispensable in a house with a clumsy adult (that’s me) and two little kids. We are always getting bumps and owies, and lavender helps with those. Its aroma is relaxing and it helps soothe the mind after a hard day at work or school.

Supports healthy immune system
Soothes minor skin irritations

Toddlers and kids: 5 drops mixed with 2T of carrier oil
Adults: 10+ drops mixed with 2T of carrier oil
I use a roller ball bottle to prevent spills.

Rub on temples before bed to soothe and relax
Gently dot on bumps and bruises
Add to homemade foaming soap
Diffuse in baby’s room at naptime (we use this diffuser)
Dab full-strength on pimples to dry them up (use full strength on adults only)
Use in homemade insect repellent


Peppermint gives a little bit of icy zip to every application. It’s stimulating and can be used to help with alertness and stamina. Don’t use it right before bedtime!

Good for digestion

Not recommended for toddlers.
Kids: 5 drops mixed with 2T of carrier oil
Adults: 10+ drops mixed with 2T of carrier oil

Rub on the soles of the feet to help reduce fever
Rub on tummy to ease stomachache
Rub on temples and back of neck to ease headache
Add to lotion for an invigorating foot massage
Put a few drops in the toilet before you [ahem] make a deposit. The oil spreads across the surface of the water and seals the smell away!

On Guard

Essential oils have been used for centuries! The story behind this oil blend is that grave robbers in the 1400s created a blend of herbs and oils to protect themselves from the plague as they were robbing its victims. (Classy, huh?) When they were caught, they divulged the recipe to receive a lesser sentence.

Supports healthy immune function
Cleanses the air
Beneficial to the respiratory system

Toddlers: 3 drops mixed with 2T of carrier oil
Kids: 6 drops mixed with 2T of carrier oil
Adults: 12+ drops mixed with 2T of carrier oil

Rub on soles of feet at morning and night for an immune system boost
Support respiratory function by rubbing on nose or chest
Diffuse in a common room to support the whole family’s immune systems (we use this diffuser)
Mix 30 drops with ½ cup water in a spray bottle. Shake and spray on doorknobs, light switches, etc–any surface that needs cleansing

I use many, many more oils than this–but these are definitely my three favorites.

How do you use essential oils? Share with us in the comments!

Must-Have Essential Oils For Your Family:

Hi, Im Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here!

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8 thoughts on -Must-Have Essential Oils for Your Family-

  1. Avatar photo
    Liz Mackinlay

    You mention that you used diluted lavendar oil for your daughter’s contact dermatitis. What did you dilute it with and did you put a carrier oil with it – if so, in what percentage of each?

      1. Avatar photo
        Liz Mackinlay

        Hi Pam

        Sorry to sound a bit dumb, but was the sweet almond oil your dilution? How much of that and how much of the lavender? What do you mean by use olive oil in a ‘pinch’?

        1. Not at all! Sweet almond oil is a great “base” or “carrier” oil because it isn’t too thick and doesn’t have any smell. If you don’t have sweet almond oil, you can use olive oil, but the smell will mix with the lavender and it might smell a little funny. Most of the time, you don’t want to use the oil straight from the bottle because it’s so concentrated.

          Since she is so young, I used one drop of lavender in one teaspoon of oil. I mixed it up ahead of time and just dabbed a bit on her face after washing it.

  2. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this post!!

    Last month I had a bad reaction to an antibiotic, and it’s making me rethink all the chemicals/unnatural ways we treat EVERYTHING! So I’m trying to learn all I can about essential oils!

    I am really liking Garlic as a natural antiseptic. It’s definitely one oil I want to research more and keep on hand!

  3. Another must-have for us is tea tree oil, as an antiseptic. I also use lavender to stop the burn of a sunburn and peppermint oil to make my own mouthwash (3-4 drops to 750 mL of water).