June 6, 2011
With seven rambunctious kids, I have to have good home natural wellness tools. I’d go crazy if I didn’t. Essential oils have given me effective and nurturing ways to help my family.
I finished a master herbalist degree a couple summers and have been studying essential oils. I still use herbs for various health issues, but I have found essential oils to be much more effective than regular herbs.
They are superbly potent. So, even though my husband is an ER physician, I end up treating the majority of our health challenges at home. It’s satisfying and empowering to do so.
I’m going to tell you about some essential oils that I use regularly. These oils have changed my life and they can change yours too. Once you know a few basics, essential oils are easy to use and extremely effective for many health issues.
The most important thing about essential oils is making sure you’re getting a truly quality product. The FDA only requires 10% inclusion of actual oil for any company to claim that it’s 100% pure oil. The adage, “You get what you pay for” is true in this case. So find a brand you really trust, especially if you’re ingesting it.
Store products use synthetic, chemical copies of the natural compounds found in essential oils. These unnatural duplicates are designed to produce a specific effect, but they don’t communicate with the body to strengthen and heal the way natural compounds do. Essential oils are safer then synthetics and they help all body processes to work more efficiently.
3 Basic Ways to Use Essential Oils
1.) Smell Them (Aromatic) – Just take off the lid and inhale straight out of the bottle, or put a few drops in a bowl of boiling water to diffuse them into the air, or use a diffuser which is more efficient at spreading the oil molecules through the air. This can change the mood and purify the air in a room.
2.) Apply Them Topically – Gently rub on skin at problem area or apply to bottoms of feet. The feet have large pores and many nerve endings, so the oils are immediately absorbed into the blood stream and circulated throughout the entire body. Some oils are so strong that they need to be diluted with a “carrier” oil (water doesn’t work for diluting oils). Olive oil or other cold-pressed vegetable oils are excellent, but can be a bit heavy or greasy. I prefer fractionated coconut oil, which absorbs quickly and helps the essential oils penetrate better. Essential oils are wonderful for use in massage. Avoid getting the oils close to eyes.
3.) Ingest Them Internally – Essential oils can be added in small amounts to drinking water or put in an empty capsule as a dietary supplement. This is an excellent way to cleanse the body of pathogens and sick bugs. Just make sure you use high quality oils and know which ones are safe.
Peppermint oil is very cooling, but invigorating. Apply topically torelieve feelings of tension and/or tightness. It is great to use during the summer in hot weather. I like to put some in a spray bottle of water and use on my arms and neck after working out or being in the heat. It cools my whole body.
Peppermint is also excellent for digestive issues. I dilute several drops with carrier oil and rub on my stomach for gas, or discomfort. Keep a bottle open by you when studying for increased recall power. I’ve used it while driving to stay awake on long trips.
Melaleuca is commonly called tea tree oil is well known and studied for helping get rid of moldy yuck. I combine it with lavender for cuts and scrapes. There are multiple studies about it’s practical properties for healthy skin support.
Drip straight on cold sores, skin issues, blemishes and other problem areas. I’ve used a cotton swab to spread diluted melaleuca around the inside of the mouths of my babies to get rid of white patches. I’ve also added 5 or 6 drops to pint douches of water for yeast infections.
Lemon is the essential oil I use the most because I drink it all day long. I put 8-10 drops in my water bottles (1 qt) usually with a few drops of wild orange and a dash of stevia (a natural herbal sweetener) to sweeten it.
Lemon can also be used in a spray bottle for cleaning and disinfecting anything around the house (about 5 drops per cup of water). It’s mood enhancing and 1-2 drops in a tsp of honey is effective for sore throats.
Lavender is the calming oil. I rub a couple drops on my children’s feet or back of neck at bedtime or when they’re hurt to calm them down. It works well on bug bites, stings and burns (make sure your oil is pure or it will make the burn worse).
Pure lavender oil can be applied neat, which means straight on the skin. If you make a habit of using lavender with your children at bedtime, it can be a great tool for calming them while traveling. I apply 1 drop to a tissue for calming at anxious moments and to kids’ pillows in new sleeping places. This gives kids a feeling of comfort away from home and also helps disinfect bedding.
Eucalyptus Radiata oil has traditionally been used for respiratory issues and to help open airways. For children, dilute 5 drops with 5 drops carrier oil and rub on chest and neck to clear breathing or diffuse 3 drops at a time.
There are respiratory blends that work more effectively than single oils. These combinations of oils open, strengthen and fight sick bugs in the sinuses and bronchioles. I’ve seen this blend used with great success for asthma and other breathing problems.
There are blends for muscle relief and healing, digestive health, boosting immunity and even balancing hormones. I’ve used these practical healing tools in my home in so many different ways!
We don’t always have to go to specialists to find answers to our health challenges. We can learn simple tools to be more self-reliant in our homes. Essential oils can help us be happier and healthier.
Have you used essential oils as home remedies or in other ways? If so, what are some of the ways you’ve used the oils?