I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while now, I’ve mentioned Essential Oils in other posts, but haven’t devoted any space to them.
*Disclaimer* I am not an expert, I’ve used a select few for over 20 years and have read about them quite a bit over that time. Next, these are highly concentrated Phyto-chemicals, Phyto= plant derived, and as such, need to be used with Caution! They can and will irritate your skin especially on sensitive skin. DO NOT USE On: Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women, Children under 12 years, Broken Skin of any kind and DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY!! This information is for informational purposes only, consult a licensed medical professional if you have any health issues and use only under the supervision of a qualified Aromatherapist.
OK, that should take care of of CMA- Covering My A$$.
First, for those who’ve not heard about Essential Oils, some brief and broadly generalized information. What essential oils are are chemicals extracted various plant parts and used, primarily, in the practice of Aromatherapy. The oils are extracted from the part of the plant that use historically used, like Rose Essential Oil from the petals, Basil from the leaves, Allspice from the berries…. I think you get the picture. They are, at the most basic, what makes that plant smell like that plant. Essential Oils are highly concentrated, you only need a few drops for any usage. Due to that, some of them can cause severe irritation and some, primarily the citrus oils will cause Photosensivity meaning you’ll sunburn really fast. OK, again, I could write this entire post on warnings and it will only result in scaring you away from essential oils and that isn’t my goal or even really accurate. Essential oils are used in Aromatherapy which leads most people to dismiss them as only being “Smell Therapy” and just a bunch of New Age Mumbo-Jumbo. That isn’t entirely accurate, the strongest memories we form as we grow are formed when there are other sensory inputs present at the time. Cookies baking and happiness, Cigarette smoke and, maybe, sadness, etc… Smelling these aromas later in life will trigger these feelings and chances are you may not even remember why. That being said, some smells just make you feel happy/calm/alert or whatever. You see it every time you walk down the perfume aisle. Lavender is being sold in grocery stores now due to its ability to calm the body and mind to help relax you for sleep.
Lavender is one I use a lot, not only for its stress relieving properties, but because it also helps soothe inflamed skin. I use it with oils that may cause irritation, like Tea Tree Oil. In all my First Aid Kits I have a teeny little bottle, it holds about a 1/4 teaspoon at most, in it I’ve mixed about 30 drops of Lavender E.O. and 20 drops of Tea Tree E.O. Normally, you are warned about using them “Neat”, meaning undiluted by a “Carrier Oil”, like Sweet Almond, Grapeseed, or even good ole Olive Oil. However, in my life, I find that Tea Tree works better neat. What is Tea Tree good for? I’ve used it for over 20 years and had outstanding results dealing with: bee stings (except when I was stung 6 times and had an allergic reaction); infected cuts, scrapes, hang nails; zits; athlete’s foot; killing mold and mildew; and anything I want to be “germ free”. It works well for all of that. I’ve talked to people who use it in their shampoo to treat lice in their kid’s hair and dandruff in adult’s hair. The Lavender is there to help off set any possible irritation. All though, I have a good friend who used to breath fire when she was younger. One night she was careless and the fluid dribbled down her chin and on to her chest. The result was, she was burned and put Lavender on it. She states that it took the pain out of the burn and when she went to the doctor a couple days later, just to make sure everything was really OK, he bawled her out for waiting so long to come in. He wouldn’t believe the burns were only a couple days old, he thought she’d waited a couple weeks! I can say, it does help a sunburn.
Tea Tree E.O. is excellent for cleaning, just add about 10 drops to a spray bottle, add a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, add 16 oz of distilled water and get busy! With that kind of soap you don’t need a lot or you’ll leave a residue and will have to rinse and rinse. You can play with the amount of soap, some dirty may need more, but don’t use more than 12 drops of the Tea Tree.
Eucalyptus is another oil that has multiple uses. First, it works like a dream to clear a stuffy nose, it’s one of the ingredients in those “Vapor Rubs”. I use to to knock out sinus infections, even one that I was on a second course of antibiotics for and they weren’t doing any better then the first. I’ve mixed it with Tea Tree to kill Black Mold and use them both in a dilution to kill the mold in my shower.
My next go to is Peppermint. Corvette owners recommend filling little cups with cotton balls, soaking the cotton balls with Peppermint E.O. and placing a couple in their cars before storing them for the winter. The intense smell keeps mice from making their winter homes in the cars and chewing up wires and interiors. It does work, but you have to replace the cotton balls a couple times and air the car out for an afternoon before you can get in it without your eyes watering.
A recent discovery is Copiaba E.O. and one of the only places I could find it is: Eden’s Garden. The article I read about it showed Young Living, but Eden’s Garden has it at a much better price. Friends who used to swear by the other brand say Eden’s Garden is the same quality. They may have switched….. The Copiaba has proved to be really effective at bringing down inflammation and relieving pain in general.
There are hundreds of websites devoted to this subject, as always, take a close look at the author’s qualifications. Any company that makes essential oils will have the information of their uses on their website. There are also hundreds of books on the subject, too. Do your own research, find what you’ll need and pick up a couple bottles. Eden’s Garden sell little 15ml bottles, that’s about a 1/4 ounce. It’s enough to get an idea about the oil and to use it, but not so much that you’re going to be out half your paycheck and be stuck with a lot of leftover oil you’ll never use again. Just sitting there…..reminding you of the wasted money…..looking reproachful and hurt by your rejection…..maybe leaking and stinking up the room. 🙂