Can you substitute essential oils? This is a question we often hear. Although many essential oils share key benefits, no two oils are exactly the same, it is possible to take advantage of the benefits of essential oils with overlapping benefits.
Many different essential oils share key similarities. Should you find yourself in a situation where your “go-to” oil is not readily available, be adventurous and try substituting different oils for your regular essential oil or blend. If you take the opportunity to try something different, you may find a new “favorite” oil with a different aroma.
As you know, essential oils can have multiple uses. What follows are some of the more popular essential oils and blends with their main substitute based upon usage and benefits.
Lavender Substitute Essential Oils
Perhaps Lavender’s the most important qualities are its calming and relaxing properties. Lavender is also a favorite for reducing the appearance of skin imperfections.
For Sleep and Calming, substitute Petitgrain. When it comes to assisting with sleep, Lavender is the most common go-to oil. For an easy substitute, try Petitgrain, which possesses a soothing and calming aroma with a less floral scent. (The nickname for Petitgrain is the “manly” Lavender.) Petitgrain is similar to Lavender in that it can help calm the nervous system and ease feelings of tension. Other oils that can have a calming effect on the body include Bergamot, Clary Sage, and Roman Chamomile.
Other Lavender uses and substitutions:
- For Skin imperfections, substitute Rose or Sandalwood essential oil for Lavender.
- For Hair and Scalp, substitute Melaleuca or Roman Chamomile for Lavender.
Peppermint Substitute Essential Oils
Peppermint essential oil is energizing. For centuries it has been used to soothe digestive difficulties and freshen breath. You can ingest Peppermint essential oil to promote healthy respiratory function and clear breathing. Peppermint is also a natural bug repellant!
For Digestion and Aroma, substitute Spearmint. This essential oil has a milder aroma, is less sensitizing than Peppermint for delicate skin, and possesses digestive benefits when used internally.
Other Peppermint uses and substitutions:
- For Energizing, substitute Fennel or Dill for Peppermint.
- For a Bug Repellant, substitute Arborvitae, Lemongrass, or Geranium for Peppermint.
Lemon Substitute Essential Oils
Lemon essential oil offers a variety of benefits and substitutions might seem like a no-brainer, but citrus oils are pretty interchangeable.
For Invigorating and Cleansing, though each citrus varies in some way (for example, Bergamot has calming properties), all citrus essential oils will help uplift a mood and cleansing the body equally. Citrus oils aside from Lemon include Bergamot, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Lime, and Tangerine. If you are looking for the wonderful aroma of citrus, Citrus Bliss is an incredible blend to try for an emotional uplift.
Frankincense Substitute Essential Oils
Frankincense essential oil helps supports healthy cellular function. It is also a powerful astringent, which helps protect the skin. When it comes to the emotional and physical benefits of essential oils, few are better than Frankincense.
For Restoring, substitute Helichrysum. Both Frankincense and Helichrysum are great for your skin and helpful for blemishes. Massage the oils into the skin for soothing relief. Both oils support the digestive, immune, nervous, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. Also, both Frankincense and Helichrysum support liver health and cellular function.
Other Frankincense uses and substitutions:
- For Urinary tract function, substitute Juniper Berry for Frankincense.
- For Skin Blemishes, substitute Arborvitae, Basil, Coriander, Cypress, Fennel, Helichrysum, Immortelle, Jasmine, Juniper Berry, Lime, Melaleuca, Melissa, Patchouli, or Wintergreen for Frankincense.
Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Substitute Essential Oils
Renowned for its cleansing and rejuvenating effect on the skin, Melaleuca Essential Oil (Tea Tree) holds over 92 different compounds and is a most versatile essential oil. Not everyone may realize that Melaleuca promotes a healthy immune function and protects against environmental and seasonal threats.
For Skin, substitute Geranium. For skincare Geranium is the oil to add to your moisturizer! It has a soothing effect on the skin and helps to keep it looking healthy. Geranium is also highly useful for your hair, adding it to your shampoo or conditioner gives hair a healthy, vibrant glow.
Other Melaleuca uses and substitutions:
- For Environmental Threats, substitute Arborvitae, doTERRA Breathe®, Clove, or Coriander for Melaleuca.
- To Purify and Cleanse the Air, substitute Purify, Eucalyptus, or Juiper Berry for Melaleuca.
doTERRA Breathe Substitute Essential Oils
doTERRA Breathe Essential Oil Blend is popular for diffusing when there is a need to maintain feelings of clear airways and easy breathing.
For feelings of clear airways substitute Eucalyptus or Cardamom. Both Eucalyptus and Cardamom are good options when you need an alternative. Eucalyptus has an invigorating vapor when diffusing and when applying topically to the chest. Cardamom helps maintain respiratory health and can be taken internally.
Other doTERRA Breathe uses and substitutions:
- For Seasonal threats, substitute Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca, TriEase® Softgels, or Arborvitae for Breathe.
DigestZen Substitute Essential Oils
DigestZen essential oil blend is called doTERRA’s “Tummy Tamer” because of its ability to aid in digestion. When it comes to occasional stomach discomfort and maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract, DigestZen is the blend to use.
For Digestion, substitute Ginger. When it comes to single essential oils, Ginger is perfect for stomach discomfort and a healthy gastrointestinal tract, too. Put simply, Ginger on its own may support healthy digestion, and may also help to relieve bloating, gas, and occasional indigestion.
Other DigestZen uses and substitutions:
doTERRA On Guard Substitute Essential Oils
On Guard Protective Blend is one of doTERRA’s most popular essential oil blends because it is so versatile and helps defend the immune system.
For the Immune System, substitute Melaleuca, Oregano, and Thyme. All have strong benefits to the immune system when taken internally. However, for On Guard, there are almost endless substitutions you can make. Other oils that also support the immune system include Basil, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cassia, Cilantro, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Coriander, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, Juniper Berry, Lime, Marjoram, Melissa, Myrrh, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine, Vetiver, and Wild Orange.
As with all essential oils and blends, be aware of possible skin sensitivity. Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with the eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician before using any essential oil.