By guest blogger, Ashley Lipman
You’ve probably heard about the numerous benefits of essential oils. Essential oils are plant-derived, volatile aromatic compounds that can improve our lives in numerous ways. However, this “new” trend is far from being new. History tells us of people using essential oils for thousands of years. Perhaps the Egyptians are the most famous for their use of these oils, but they’re not the only society that benefited from them. In fact, it is a fair statement that most civilizations incorporated essential oils in one way or another.
Modern society leans heavily on western medicine and pharmaceutical solutions to cure health issues. However, this decision brings with it a host of side effects and, can even lead to other illnesses. Today, the world is facing prescription addictions like never before seen, while drug overdose leads to thousands of deaths each year. This may be the reason why many people are looking to the past in search of more natural cures.
Incorporating essential oils into your life
You may be surprised how easy it is to add essential oils to your daily routine. The most time-consuming part of getting started is purchasing high-quality essential oils. However, you can easily buy essential oils online.
There are simple ways you can use essential oils every day to benefit every member of the family, including your pets. However, there are a few warnings to be aware of first:
- Do not use essential oils on babies under 6-months old. There are some oils you can use to help small children with sleeping, colds, and various other things. However, you will administer them via a diffuser rather than applying directly to the skin or allowing them to be ingested.
- Many essential oils are in foods we enjoy and add beautiful scents to products we use. However, essential oils are a strong, concentrated form derived from plants; do not underestimate their strength. Most essential oils will need to be diluted with a carrier oil before applying directly to the skin. Also, take caution with potential allergic reactions.
8 Ways to Use Essential Oils
There are three ways to use essential oils. First, you can apply essential oils topically to the skin, making sure the oil is diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Second, you can place drops of oil in a diffuser to be inhaled as you breathe in the air. Finally, you can ingest certain oils which can be mixed with water, juice, coffee, tea, or even dropped on the tongue. You will only use a drop or two in most cases. Be sure to follow the recommended guidelines or seek professional advice as to the specific uses for each oil.
1. Increase energy and focus
Let’s face it, caffeine may help get you moving, but it can make you nervous and jittery. Here are three essential oils that will increase your energy and sharpen your focus, making them perfect for a busy or stressful day. They are:
Tip: citrus belongs in this group as well. You can add 2-3 drops of each in a glass of orange juice to start your day.
2. Driving in morning traffic
You can use portable diffusers that attach to your car vent and charger at most major department stores. Calmly drive through rush-hour traffic by inhaling the scents of Frankincense, pine, or lavender. Did the baby keep you up last night? Wake up with Peppermint, eucalyptus, and citrus oils.
3. Stress headache or migraine?
In a small (amber) bottle, mix a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add 2 drops each of lavender, peppermint, and rosemary. Just opening the bottle and smelling it will help fight off a headache. You can rub a bit on your neck or the folds of your arms so you can continually smell your oils without exposing others to the scents.
4. Cuts, scrapes, acne, inflammation
Dab the area with tea tree oil which is a natural antiseptic and antifungal.
5. Head Lice
If you have school-aged children, add a couple of drops of tea tree (melaleuca) oil (which has insecticidal properties) to their shampoo to kill bugs. NOTE: Consult with your physician first, before using on children, pregnant women or anyone with a skin sensitivity.
6. House, home, and unwanted pests
Repel fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and spiders from your home by spraying entryways to the home and flooring with a mixture of water with tea tree oil, cedar, and citronella.
If your dog gets car sick, place one drop of peppermint oil on his or her tongue before putting your dog in the car. As always, check with your veterinarian first.
Essential oils can improve the mood. If you are new to essential oils, try adding 2 drops of Bergamot to the drink of your choice. The following oils are just a few that are used for massage . These oils produce heat, but not too much. Hint, cinnamon oil is too hot (even diluted) for sensitive areas. Use a base carrier of extra light olive oil and add 10 percent or less any of the following (together or separate). Pay special attention to the thighs and lower stomach of the female.
- Black pepper essential oil
Finally, here are some essential oils known to enhance your immune system. A healthy person is a happy person. These include (but are not limited to:)
Once you’ve discovered the world of essential oils, you’ll wonder why you didn’t incorporate the power of plants sooner. Do your research and as always, use with care and caution and if in doubt, check with your physician.