Easy Essential Oil Substitutes: Rosemary, Eucalyptus & More

Neal Tucker

5 min read Lifestyle

Easy Essential Oil Substitutes: Rosemary, Eucalyptus & More


For lovers of essential oils, whether brand new to the EO world or a lifelong believer, there’s one thing that can really put a hamper in your day: a missing ingredient. No matter what fresh herbs or essential oil brands that you use, the issue nearly every essential oil enthusiast will come up against from time to time is simply not having the right pure essential oils for a particular recipe.

For that reason, every now and then, you’ll likely need to make use of some easy essential oil substitutes. Whether it’s for rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil, sage essential oil, lavender essential oil, or another of your favorites, you can pretty much always find a great, high quality substitute for your favorite recipe.

Naturally, there are so many great essential oil recipes available. Whether your goal is to add some extra assistant with your skin care routine, healthy digestion, respiratory health, or even hair loss, there’s most likely an essential oil combination that can help.

One problem, however, is that easy substitutes can be spread out all over the place. With that in mind, our focus here will be to help you create excellent substitutes for essential oils that you may not have on hand right away to create similar effects with your recipe.

Sometimes, you simply run out of a key EO ingredient. Now, when that happens, you can turn to this page and find out exactly what you need to know to get back to your EO recipe with a great substitution, without skipping a step or missing a beat — no matter what the recipe calls for!



What Essential Oil Can I Use Instead of the Original?

The question that pops up time and time again from essential oil lovers has to do with replacements and substitutes.

Which essential oils can be replaced for roman chamomile? What essential oil can I substitute for cinnamon bark? How do I find the best essential oil replacements for black pepper? Does a great substitute exist for rose otto or rose oil?

All of these questions essentially (pun intended!) boil down to one thing: effective EO substitutes. If you substitute one essential oil for another, you want to be confident that it’s going to be just as effective as the original ingredient — or at least close to it.

So, when searching for any particular essential oil ingredient as a replacement or substitute, remember that efficacy is the most important aspect. In other words, “Will a replacement essential oil work as well as the original?”

Naturally, the answer to that question will vary widely. It will depend heavily on the following (along with an example of each):

Which essential oils you’re using (ex. rosemary, eucalyptus, clary sage, etc.)
The essential oil recipe (ex. a skin tonic)
Your recipe’s intended purpose or result (ex. softer, brighter skin)

Whether or not the substitute(s) you have in mind will work as well is based in part on these factors. It may also depend on other more subtle nuances, which can take personal experimentation to find out for sure, such as finding a similar aroma.



How to Substitute Essential Oils

If you’re making an essential oil replacement, you might wonder if there’s something special you need to do to make the substitute oils work like the original ingredients. Truth be told, there’s really only one question you need to answer to find out for sure. You simply need to know the intended effect of your recipe. There are two primary options:

  • Healing (therapy or therapeutic benefit)
  • Scent (aroma or aromatic benefit)

In other words, you can just ask, “Is my essential oil recipe intended for healing or scent?” Once you have the answer, you know what type of essential oil substitute you need.

The reason for this is actually fairly straightforward. Let’s look at two examples that call for rosemary essential oils.

First, let’s say your essential oil recipe is an aromatic blend that calls for rosemary essential oil because it has the right scent. If you don’t have rosemary, then your best option for a replacement essential oil will need to have a similar smell, as opposed to particular therapy purposes. These are called aromatic substitutes.

Now, if your recipe calls for rosemary due to its therapeutic effect instead, then you will need to find a substitute essential oil with the same effect, instead of needing a certain scent. These are called therapeutic substitutes.

Once you know what the essential oil ingredient is needed for in your recipe, you can go about finding the best replacement for it and know that you’re making a good choice. A good substitute in either case will achieve very similar results as the original ingredient called for by the EO recipe.



Essential Oil Aromatic Substitutes

The goal here is to achieve similar results by replacing one aromatic essential oil for another in an aromatherapy EO recipe.

For instance, you might need jasmine for your aromatherapy routine, but you’re all out. In that case, you could easily substitute in ylang ylang instead for a great addition to your recipe.



Easy Essential Oil Substitutes for Every Recipe

As you can see, there’s an easy essential oil substitute for just about every recipe under the sun. The biggest issue that comes up for most essential oil lovers is simply not having the right one on hand from time to time. Luckily, there’s almost always an excellent substitute oil that works as a great replacement.

Whether you’re looking for therapeutic essential oil substitutes for your skincare routine, as a digestive aid, or something else entirely, you can usually find an amazing replacement. Of course, the same goes for aromatic substitutes. The vast majority of aromatic blends can be substituted with other essential oils and smell just as delightful and pleasant.

Given the world of uses available and their track record from ancient times, with just a few drops of essential oil, you can be on your way to better health and a better smelling home or workspace in no time.  (And SLEEP365® offers a variety of pillows, mattresses, and more to make that space extra cozy, too.)

The only question left is… Which healthy benefit or sweet aroma will you start with?








Neal Tucker

Neal Tucker is a writer living in Los Angeles. Learn more about him at nealtuckercopy.com.

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