I was first introduced to essential oils when I worked in the spa industry. I learned about the benefits of several oils and incorporated them into my work often. If a client was stressed or had troubled sleeping, I would always recommend an essential oil added to their massage. Since I had access to oils, on occasion I would try smelling one to help release my headaches. When I was past my due date with Sloane, I spent most of the work day smelling lavender because it is believed to help bring on labor. Unfortunately, I never had any good results until about 6 months ago.
As a part of my effort to lead a cleaner and greener life, I started using essential oils again. This time I used them to clean my home and added them to scentless candles so that my family wasn’t breathing in whatever chemicals are in candles to make them smell so good. Since I was having better luck using oils I wanted to research more ways to use them.
Essential oils are a great way to easily make the cross-over to a cleaner, non-toxic lifestyle. Since they are 100% natural you always know what you’re working with and don’t have to worry about any unwanted chemicals being added to your products.
More on essential oils…
-More often than not essential oils must be blended in a carrier oil or diluted before coming into contact with skin to prevent irritations and burns. An oil will be labeled as NEAT if it is safe to use directly on the skin.
-When choosing a carrier oil look for an oil that is cold pressed. The type (coconut, almond, sesame, olive, etc.) of oil you use is up to you but consider what will fit best with your lifestyle. For example, coconut oil will need to be melted to make it a liquid requiring more time when blending your oil for use.
-Many essential oils have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which make them great for cleaning.
-Because essential oils are natural, most people with sensitivities to fragrance will not have a reaction like they do to synthetic scents.
-Essential oils must be stored properly as they will eat through plastic and will turn rancid if exposed to too much heat and light.
-Use caution and always consult your doctor before using essential oils on babies, young children or pregnant women.
To get you started with essential oils, begin with lavender, lemon and peppermint. This starter trio will give the most benefit to most households with both cleaning and health care. Many oils cost about $10- $15 depending on oil and brand so starting with three oils will help you to get started without having to dish out a ton of money.
Starter trio uses…
-Soak dish sponges overnight in a bowl of water and 5-7 drops of lemon to kill germs.
-To deodorize carpets, fill a empty and clean cheese shaker 3 quarters full with baking soda and add 5-10 drops of lavender or lemon. You can do a combination of both oils if you prefer.
-Keep spiders, ants, beetles, plant lice and mice away by adding 3-5 drops of peppermint to a cotton ball and placing at points of entry or buy filling a spray bottle with purified water and adding 4-5 drops of peppermint to the water. Spray at points of entry.
-For polishing furniture, add a couple drops of lemon to a carrier oil and use on a rag. (Test a small hidden spot on furniture first.)
-Add 2-3 drops when washing towels to freshen.
-Soak cutting boards in water with a couple drops of lemon to clean and disinfect.
-Add a few drops of lavender to a cotton ball and place in closets and drawers to keep moths away.
-To soothe bug bites, add 1-2 drops to a carrier oil and apply to bite.
-For a sleep aid, add 3-5 drops of lavender to bath water or place 1-2 drops on pillow.
-For pain relief, use either lavender or peppermint mixed with a carrier oil and massage affected area.
-For sore and achy feet, add 2-4 drops to a foot bath.
-Apply 1-2 drops on skin or in a carrier oil of lavender to help acne, eczema, minor burns or ringworm.
-For headaches apply 1-2 drops of either lavender or peppermint to temples, forehead, back of neck or behind ears.
-To help soothe sunburn, add 1 drop peppermint and 3 drops lavender to purified water in a spray bottle and spray on affected area.
-Add 1-3 drops of peppermint can be added to melted wax of a candle (never while lit) for improved alertness.
You can purchase essential oils online or in many natural health food stores like Wholefoods.
Do you plan on trying essential oils? Let me know what you think by commenting below.