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Can You Buy Essential Oils With Ebt? A Detailed Guide

Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus have many therapeutic uses. But can these aromatic plant extracts be purchased with SNAP EBT benefits? 

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Pure essential oils generally cannot be purchased with SNAP EBT benefits as they are considered non-food specialty items.

In this article, we’ll cover EBT eligibility rules, details on why essential oils don’t qualify, how to use your EBT benefits for other health items, and recipes you can make with EBT-eligible ingredients to reap the advantages of essential oils on a budget.

This comprehensive 2000-word guide will explain everything you need to know about buying essential oils with your EBT card.

EBT Eligibility Rules and Approved Product Categories

EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfer, is a system that allows eligible individuals and families to purchase food and other essential items using government assistance.

While EBT is primarily used for purchasing groceries, there are certain guidelines and restrictions when it comes to buying essential oils.

EBT Eligibility Rules

To be eligible for EBT benefits, individuals and families must meet certain income and resource requirements set by the government. These requirements vary from state to state, so it’s important to check with your local Department of Social Services to determine your eligibility.

It’s worth noting that EBT benefits are intended to help low-income individuals and families meet their basic needs, such as food and household essentials. While essential oils can provide various benefits, they are not considered a necessity by the government and, therefore, may not be covered by EBT.

Can You Buy Essential Oils With Ebt

Approved Product Categories

EBT benefits can typically be used to purchase food items that are meant for human consumption. This includes fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, grains, water, and non-alcoholic beverages.

However, there are restrictions on certain items such as hot foods, prepared meals, alcohol, tobacco, and non-food items.

When it comes to essential oils, they are generally not included in the approved product categories for EBT. This is because essential oils are considered non-food items and are often used for therapeutic purposes rather than for consumption.

Therefore, it is unlikely that you would be able to purchase essential oils using EBT benefits.

If you are interested in purchasing essential oils, it is recommended to explore other payment options such as cash, credit/debit card, or other forms of assistance that may be available to you.

For more information on eligible EBT products and guidelines, you can visit the official website of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Why Essential Oils Do Not Qualify for SNAP EBT

While the SNAP program provides much-needed support for those in need, it does have specific guidelines on what can be purchased using the benefits. Unfortunately, essential oils do not qualify for SNAP EBT benefits.

Essential Oils

What Qualifies for SNAP EBT?

The SNAP program aims to provide nutritious food and basic essentials to those who need it most.

SNAP EBT benefits can be used to purchase a wide range of food items, including fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, bread, cereals, and more. Non-food items that can be purchased with SNAP EBT benefits include baby formula, household cleaning products, and personal hygiene items.

Why Essential Oils Are Excluded

Essential oils, while often used for their aromatic and therapeutic properties, are not considered essential for meeting basic nutritional needs. SNAP EBT benefits are primarily intended for purchasing food items that provide sustenance and nourishment.

Essential oils are not classified as food items and are therefore excluded from the list of eligible products.

It’s important to note that the eligibility criteria for SNAP EBT benefits are determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and may vary slightly from state to state. However, the exclusion of essential oils from SNAP benefits is consistent across the country.

Alternative Ways to Purchase Essential Oils

While SNAP EBT benefits cannot be used to purchase essential oils, there are other ways to obtain them if you are interested in using them for their various benefits. Essential oils can be found at health food stores, wellness centers, and online retailers.

It’s important to do thorough research and ensure that you are purchasing high-quality oils from reputable sources.

Additionally, some health insurance plans or employer wellness programs may cover the cost of essential oils as part of their alternative medicine or wellness benefits. Exploring these options can provide access to essential oils without relying on SNAP EBT benefits.

It’s important to keep in mind that essential oils should be used responsibly and in accordance with proper guidelines. If you have any medical conditions or concerns, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils.

Other Programs for Health and Wellness Expenses

While it is not possible to use EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards to purchase essential oils, there are other health and wellness expenses that may be covered under different programs.

EBT cards are primarily used for purchasing food items, such as fruits, vegetables, and other groceries. However, there are alternative ways to use government assistance for various health-related expenses.


Medicaid is a federal and state program that provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families. Depending on your state’s guidelines, Medicaid may cover a range of health and wellness expenses, including doctor visits, prescription medications, and even some alternative therapies.

It’s important to check with your local Medicaid office to determine what services are covered and how to access them.

Community Health Centers

Community health centers are another resource for accessing affordable healthcare services. These centers provide a wide range of services, including primary care, preventive care, mental health services, and more.

Many community health centers offer a sliding fee scale based on income, making healthcare more accessible for individuals and families who are struggling financially.

Non-Profit Organizations

There are also non-profit organizations that provide assistance with health and wellness expenses. These organizations may offer financial aid or discounted services for medical treatments, prescription medications, and other healthcare needs.

Researching and reaching out to these organizations can help you find support for your health-related expenses.

It’s important to explore all available resources in your community when seeking assistance with health and wellness expenses. While EBT cannot be used for essential oils, there are other programs and organizations that can help you access the care and support you need.

assistance with health and wellness

Making DIY Essential Oil Blends with EBT Products

Many people are interested in using essential oils for their therapeutic benefits, but they may be wondering if it’s possible to purchase them using their EBT card. The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program is designed to help low-income individuals and families access nutritious food and other essential items.

While the program primarily covers groceries, there are some exceptions when it comes to purchasing essential oils.

EBT Eligible Essential Oils

Although not all essential oils are eligible for purchase using EBT, there are some exceptions. Certain essential oils that are considered to have therapeutic benefits and are used for medicinal purposes may be allowed to be purchased with an EBT card.

It’s important to note that the eligibility of specific essential oils may vary depending on the state and the specific guidelines of the EBT program.

Using EBT for DIY Essential Oil Blends

If you’re interested in making your own essential oil blends, you can still utilize your EBT benefits to purchase the necessary ingredients.

While you may not be able to buy pre-made essential oil blends with your EBT card, you can purchase individual essential oils and carrier oils, such as coconut oil or almond oil, which are often used as a base for diluting essential oils.

By purchasing individual essential oils, you have the freedom to create your own unique blends tailored to your needs. Whether you’re looking to create a relaxing blend for bedtime or an invigorating blend to boost your mood, the possibilities are endless.

Just make sure to follow proper dilution guidelines and safety precautions when using essential oils.

Recipes to Get Essential Oil Benefits Using EBT Ingredients

Essential oils have become increasingly popular due to their various benefits and uses. However, purchasing essential oils can sometimes be costly, especially for individuals who rely on government assistance programs like the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system.

The good news is that there are still ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils using ingredients that can be purchased with EBT. Here are some recipes that you can try:

1. DIY Room Spray with Citrus Fruits

Creating your own room spray is a great way to freshen up your living space and enjoy the uplifting scents of citrus fruits.

Simply mix water, a small amount of rubbing alcohol, and the zest or peels of your favorite citrus fruits, such as oranges or lemons. Shake the mixture well and transfer it to a spray bottle.

This natural room spray will not only make your home smell amazing, but it can also help boost your mood and energy levels.

citrus fruits

2. Relaxing Bath Salt Blend with Epsom Salt

A relaxing bath is the perfect way to unwind after a long day.

To create a soothing bath salt blend, combine Epsom salt, a few drops of lavender essential oil, and dried lavender buds. The Epsom salt helps to relax muscles and relieve tension, while the lavender essential oil promotes relaxation and tranquility.

This DIY bath salt blend is a budget-friendly option that can be easily made with EBT-approved ingredients.

3. Homemade Facial Cleanser with Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it an excellent ingredient for a homemade facial cleanser.

Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a gentle liquid cleanser that can be purchased with EBT, such as a mild baby wash or a natural soap.

This DIY facial cleanser can help cleanse and clarify the skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

4. Invigorating Room Diffuser with Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is renowned for its invigorating and refreshing scent.

To create a room diffuser, you will need a small glass jar, reed sticks, and a carrier oil such as almond oil or fractionated coconut oil.

Add a few drops of peppermint oil to the carrier oil, place the reed sticks in the jar, and let them soak up the mixture. The fragrance will gradually disperse throughout the room, providing a delightful aroma and a boost of energy.

Remember that essential oils should be used with caution and diluted properly before use. It is important to consult reliable sources and educational websites like AromaWeb for more detailed information on essential oils and their safe usage.

Give these recipes a try and discover the wonders of natural aromatherapy in your everyday life!


While EBT cards cannot be used to buy bottled essential oils directly, you can still find affordable ways to incorporate the advantages of essential oils into your wellness routine.

By using EBT-approved ingredients and following simple DIY recipes, you can still enjoy the benefits of essential oils without breaking the bank.

Hopefully, this guide has provided clarity on which health and wellness products are eligible for SNAP purchases.

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