Essential oils are the rage when it comes to natural remedies. They have immense healing properties from pain relief to digestion and cold remedies. They are also replacing pharmaceuticals, household cleaners, and other toxic chemicals.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils come from plants or trees- depending on the specific plant, the bark, flower, leaf or seed is extracted and distilled, typically by steaming.
Where to buy?
It is essential to purchase your oils from a reputable buyer. You must buy quality oil concentrates and not perfumes or faux chemical mixes. Here is a list of reputable companies and more about their products.
Starting Your Collection-
I would suggest buying several of the ones listed below to start your collection:
Lavender has a sweet, floral scent. It is a very versatile oil that can aid in relaxation and sleep, relieves stress and anxiety, is great for hair care, and helps in the treatment of respiratory disorders. Lavender is resourceful and I would recommend it to any beginner.
For a great relaxation blend, mix lavender with one or a few of the following: Geranium, Mandarin, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Jasmine, Orange, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Sandalwood
Along with lavender, peppermint is one of the most versatile essential oils; it has an amplitude of oral and topical uses. It relieves stomach aches and helps with digestion, helps clear your respiratory tract, boosts energy, relieves headaches, anti-itch properties (I love mixing it with lavender + a carrier oil, it’s so soothing), and also helps freshen breath and reduces cavities. Here is a great DIY toothpaste recipe.
Whenever I’m feeling sluggish or the oncoming of a headache, I like to mix peppermint, lemon, rosemary, and/or bergamot.
Clove Oil is most commonly used as an antiseptic and for ailments of the mouth and throat; gargling diluted clove oil helps ease throat pain and eliminates bad breath. It’s warm aroma also increases blood circulation, boosts the immune system, and is a great insect repellent. I would definitely have this on deck throughout the winter months.
The minty, sweet, clean smell of eucalyptus aids in cold and flu symptoms, has antimicrobial properties (makes an excellent household cleaner), relieves pain, removes odors, and helps to treat wounds — I love DIY eucalyptus salves for bug-bights and small wounds.
The next time you are sick, mix a few drops of Eucalyptus +Peppermint +Rosemary Essential+ 2 ounces of Jojoba Oil (or any carrier oil really). Rub this mixture onto your sinuses and affected areas.
Some typical uses of tea tree oil are for the treatment of bacterial infections, fungal infections, acne, hair care, and as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions. I love mixing coconut oil and tea tree oil – it can be used as a local antiseptic, hair mask (just make sure to wash your hair thoroughly) and for the relief of inflamed skin.
Lemon EO smells amazing and has several benefits: natural disinfectant, mood-enhancer and energizer, teeth whiter, hand-cleaner and degreaser, and remedy for tarnished silver
Ditch the chemicals and make a natural disinfectant: add 40 drops lemon oil + 25 drops tea tree oil+ 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a 16-oz spray bottle and fill with water.
Rosemary is commonly used to flavor foods, it also improves gallbladder function and detoxes your liver. Rosemary oil also improves memory and helps you become more alert — I would suggest diffusing it while you work and study.
How To Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are potent concentrates. You must dilute them in one way or another, here are some suggestions:
Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffusers: Diffusers are easy to use for aromatherapy (if you don’t have one, here is a list of popular ones). You simply put water and several drops of your oils, and voila! It will diffuse your oils for a few hours.
Diffuser Jewelry: The Jewelry is either made with lava rock or absorbing pads. Simply apply a drop or two and the oil will diffuse throughout the day. I make essential oil diffuser jewelry on etsy- I create them with re-usable lava rock; you can look natural, yet glam and get health benefits from it!
Baths: add several drops your oils to a hot bath (optional: add Epsom salt) I suggest to use soothing oils like eucalyptus, lavender, jasmine, and sandalwood; this aromatherapy bath will help circulatory, muscular, respiratory, and sleep problems, as well as relax and calm anxiety.
Topical: the typical rule of thumb is 2% dilution or about 12 drops per 1 ounce of a carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, argan, or almond oil). This will aid in relaxation and to alleviate body soreness. I love to use oils when giving/receiving massages! Just steer away from the face and injured or broken skin.
Caution: Keep out of the reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use of essential oils.