Call the Witch Doctor!
Essential oils are a very natural and effective way to prevent and treat common maladies that plague our families. There are many different oil blends made by companies all over the nation. My experience has mainly been with Young Living and doTerra so the oils made by these entities will be the ones I discuss today. Later on, I will happily share some of the oil blends these companies produce and the uses and benefits of each.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is a jack-of-all-trades type of essential oil. It has so many uses that it should be the first oil you purchase. Not only does it have a delicious scent, it also functions in many different capacities to provide comfort and relief to your family and you.
Stress and Anxiety
Applying a few drops of lavender oil to the bottoms of the feet or adding a few drops to a warm bath has proven time and time again to alleviate the ever-pressing stressors of day-to-day life. Since lavender can be applied neat (an undiluted topical application), it is a convenient, quick and easy oil to use daily.
Insomnia is a terrible dilemma that many of us face at some point or another in our lives. Diffusing a few drops of oil at night on your bedside table can really help you relax enough to fall into the blessed euphoria that is sleep. If you have not yet purchased a diffuser, you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a cotton ball and place that on your bedside table instead.
Healing Insect Bites
While this is more pertinent in the summer months, pesky insect bites can be an annoyance, especially to little ones with sensitive skin. Luckily, lavender oil is the perfect remedy! Applying 1 drop neat directly to the insect bite can relieve itchiness, redness and swelling.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is slightly stronger than lavender oil. Because of this, I would suggest that you dilute peppermint oil before applying it directly to skin, especially with children. It has a strong odor and can sometimes leave the skin feeling irritated without proper dilution.
Because of the refreshing, cooling effect peppermint provides, it is an ideal solution to muscle aches and pains. Diluting a few drops in coconut or almond oil and rubbing this tincture into your sore muscles can work as well as any OTC muscle relief cream without all the added ingredients and preservatives. Remember, even if we are not ingesting chemicals directly through our mouths, they are absorbed into the skin. Many, if not all, of these OTC creams include ingredients that are from the paraben family, even if paraben is not listed as an ingredient. (There will be more to come on this particular subject in the future.)
Any type of stomach upset can be relieved with a few drops of peppermint oil. This works by relaxing the muscles of your intestine. Simply apply diluted peppermint oil to the abdomen area or apply one drop of peppermint oil sublingually (underneath the tongue) for instant relief of indigestion, nausea or bloating. For IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), try adding 1 drop of peppermint oil to a glass of water and drink before meals.
Using peppermint alone or blended with another oil (like lemon!) can give allergy relief to those that have to tolerate irksome airborne allergies. This diluted blend can be used to ease the airway should it come under attack, especially during the springtime when microscopic allergenic particles seem to be at their worst.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is the strongest of these three basic oils. Oils that come from any acidic fruit, like lemon, can cause irritation of the skin and a burning sensation if not properly diluted. I remember the first time I used orange oil in a bath. I added WAY too much oil to the bath without diluting it in another fat-soluble liquid first and boy did my skin burn! I tried showering and even that did not stop the burn. Eventually, I remembered from Intro to Chem that I had to draw the oil out with another fat-soluble solution so I applied almond oil to my skin and finally experienced relief. Needless to say, I will never use a citrusy oil again without proceeding with caution!
Soften Rough Skin
You can don your new open-toed wedges in style this summer after implementing this little trick. Apply diluted lemon oil to the rough skin on elbows and knees and particularly the bottom of the feet regularly. Soon enough, those corns and callouses will be a thing of the past. Your aching feet will thank you and you’ll get the added benefit of them smelling like freshly-baked lemon bars.
Those of us that are around children, especially during colder months, know the discontent that any upper respiratory infection can cause. Now we have the sweet relief of lemon essential oil! Add some lemon oil to your diffuser or a humidifier to ease the symptoms that come along with colds, coughs and other respiratory mayhem.
Banish Cold Sores
Some of us know the embarrassment and pain that come along with the occasional cold sore. The panic that sets in when you feel that first tingle causes anxiety that inevitably makes the cold sore even worse. Apply a few drops of diluted lemon oil at the first sign of the impending blister. If you catch it early enough, you could stop the cold sore in its tracks and reverse the symptoms before the blister even erupts.
Hopefully you have learned a little about the benefits of these “starter” oils. Collecting these three is an easy way to start your essential oil collection and doing so is an effective step on the path to a more naturopathic life!
San Antonio, TX
Whole Body, Whole Mind, Whole Life