I touched a bit on essential oils in a post last week on Vitacost. I am not an expert on essential oils by any means but do have a few I use on a regular basis and love. I found an article last year in Mother Earth Magazine (a great magazine by the way!) that listed the top 10 essential oils for your apothecary. I started my research there and built upon those. I don’t use all 10 and added a few along the way.
Here are the ones our family uses and what we use them for:
Lavender: Lavender is antiviral, antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory. We use lavender a few different ways. One, I use it in our home made detergent along with castile soap, washing soda and baking soda. Not only does it smell wonderful the antibacterial properties are an added bonus. I make a very large batch of this at a time so I do have to use a lot of oil. I also place a few drops on the inside of the toilet paper rolls, keeps the bathroom smelling nice. Lavender is also great as a massage oil for muscle aches. My husband has back problems and lavender is very soothing for back pain. Another great way to use it is to place a few drops behind your ears when you feel stressed or anxious or even have a hard time sleeping.
Peppermint: Peppermint can be used for digestive purposes, it clears sinuses and can be used as a stimulant. When we feel stuffed up from allergies a strong smell of peppermint really helps to clear up your nasal passages. I also place a few small drops on the back of my neck when I am tired. We had a few months where our son did not sleep at night. Not only were we tired but we were stressed too. I would put lavender behind my ears each morning and a few drops of peppermint on the back of my neck and really noticed a difference during the day, luckily, he sleeps now! I have also read that spiders hate peppermint and that by mixing a few drops with some water in a spray bottle and spraying around the corners of your garage will keep them away!! Worth a try.
Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is great as a decongestant and it also holds antiviral properties. We use a humidifier in our son’s room every night and when he is healthy we also put Tea Tree oil in it (I’ll get to the tea tree oil soon) When he is sick with a cold or teething we omit the tea tree and always do a lot of eucalyptus. We also mix eucalyptus with coconut oil and put it on his chest just like vicks, but without added chemicals! Really clears him up when he is stuffy!
Tea Tree Oil: Tee tree oil can be used as an antibacterial and an anti fungal. Like I said above, we use it every night in the humidifier. I also clean with it by diluting it with water and using it to mop the floors and also to wipe down the kitchen and bath. We also use tea tree oil for mild acne problems or cuts and small rashes but only on us, not on the baby.
Oregano Oil: I LOVE oregano oil, granted we use it for one purpose and one purpose only it is a wonder oil! This stuff isn’t cheap, it will run about $20-$25 a bottle but a few drops rubbed onto the bottom of our son’s feet before bed and it is almost like he was never sick in the morning. Now he does smell like a pizza but it’s a small price to pay! We don’t dilute the oregano oil, just place it directly on his feet and place socks on. This can be used for adults too!
Chamomile Oil: I have not tried this one yet but have been meaning to. It can be used as an anti-inflammatory as well as a relaxant and I’ve heard it does wonders for menstrual cramps.
I plan to slowly add more and more oils to our list but really like to learn as much as I can about a few at a time. There are some great companies out there such as DoTerra that will guide you and even have custom blends, I personally just like to play around with them on my own but check them out!
Please share your favorites with me, or uses for the ones I have listed!!