Your guide to 8 of the most therapeutic essential oils and what they do for you

Anyone who knows me will know that without any real medical education, I fancy myself a doctor. Ever since I self-diagnosed my appendicitis days before it happened a few years ago, I’ve been doling out helpful advice like, “ah yes, it looks infected” and “you should definitely go to Emerg” on the reg. But my faux occupation turned from doctor to witch doctor when Saje Natural Wellness launched in Toronto last year, giving me access to all sorts of new herbal cures. The Vancouver-based company boasts wellness through the use of essential oils, which as a serious fan, I can get behind. Since using the brand’s Peppermint Halo, I’ve seriously cut back on my use of painkillers (peppermint is a natural remedy for headaches). What’s more, its lavender-filled sleep mask has almost helped cure my once-chronic insomnia. But since I don’t want to lay any of my bogus advice on you, I spoke with Saje co-founder Kate Ross LeBlanc to understand the actual benefits of the various essences used in Saje’s magical products. Here, she breaks down the uses and benefits of 8 essential oils.


Uses: stress, tension, muscle ache, joint paint, headache, dry skin

“Chamomile is one essential oil that isn’t talked about as much [as others].” Most commonly known to relieve stress and calm the body, chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties—a plus for those who suffer from irritated skin conditions.

Chamomile Comfort Skin Calming Moisture Cream ($40,


Uses: muscle spasms, stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, flatulence, joint paint, arthritis

“Fennel is a plant that looks a little like dill,” explains Ross LeBlanc. Antiseptic and soothing, fennel oil (which has a sweet taste to it) is also antispasmodic, meaning it helps relax involuntary muscle spasms. This makes it a go-to for digestive system issues such as stomach aches, flatulence, bloating and even nausea. “It’s quite a beautiful and versatile essential oil.”

Little Feel Better Bag ($37,


Uses: pain, headache, indigestion, concentration

“Peppermint is a stimulating ingredient,” says Kate Ross LeBlanc, co-founder of Saje Natural Wellness. “It gets things moving and brings blood to the surface, creating that hot and cold feeling.” In addition to its cooling properties, peppermint is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It works wonders on muscle and headaches, as well as fevers and indigestion.

Peppermint Halo Headache Remedy ($27,

Black pepper

Uses: muscle aches, sprains, joint pain, digestive issues

“Black pepper is good for pain, chills and colds,” says Ross LeBlanc. “We use it in very small amounts—it’s very concentrated as you might imagine.” The oil’s warming properties are also known to soothe muscle aches, rheumatic pain and stiffness. Akin to fennel, black pepper is also antispasmodic and can help alleviate symptoms of digestive track issues.

Eater’s Digest Organic Loose Leaf Remetea ($17,


Uses: Stress, restlessness, inflammatory skin conditions

Most commonly known as an olfactive ingredient, this essential oil exudes a fragrance that induces a calming feeling, which may help relieve stress and restlessness. “Because it has that beautiful note to it, it’s often associated with perfume. For the actual body, it stimulates cell growth and is good for dry skin,” says Ross LeBlanc, adding that it’s great in treating stretch marks, scars and aging skin.

Neroli 20% Essential Oil ($17,


Uses: stress, inflammation, acne, insect bites, mild burns

According to Ross LeBlanc, lavender is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps stabilize and regulate the body. “If you’re feeling stressed and keyed up and not breathing [right], lavender has a relaxing effect. If you’re feeling very tired and run down, it has the ability to pick you up. It really is an amazing essential oil in that way because it adapts to what the body needs.” Lavender also has a healing quality, which makes it an ideal essential oil for treating insect bites, mild burns and acne.

Lavender Relaxing Mist ($15,


Uses: acne, wounds, cuts, burns, bruises

A key player in skincare, and a perennial in the garden, geranium is used as an astringent and antiseptic. “It’s helpful in the treatment of bruises, acne, burns and eczema, and that’s why it’s featured in our Healing Hands lotion,” says Ross LeBlanc.

Healing Hands Soothing Hand Lotion ($13,


Uses: cold and flu, sore throat, cough, respiratory issues

“If you stand back and look at a eucalyptus tree it almost looks like a lung, and that’s exactly what eucalyptus does—it helps to improve breathing,” says Ross LeBlanc, of the tree synonymous with Aussies and koala bears. “It helps open up the airways and gets the circulation flowing to relieve pain.” Packed with healing and antiseptic traits, eucalyptus can also be used to treat sore throats, coughs, colds and flus.

Chest Cold Soothing Balm ($20,

—Captions by D’Loraine Miranda