Let us continue with our Essential Oil exploration, shall we?
Last post I talked about more of the background story of oils and the industry and what to look out for when purchasing. Now on to the fun part. How to use the oils!
I will begin by saying that there are many, many claims out there about how the oils can benefit you, from helping you fall asleep at night to curing cancer.
I do believe that plants are very powerful and healing creatures. I do believe that if they were combined with western medicine on a regular basis, the results would be astounding. More and more research is being done in this area, which is awesome, but we aren't there yet.
I think that essential oils have an incredible potential to significantly heal major conditions, but they can't be used like popping a pill like aspirin (although aspirin came from wintergreen). They need to be a complement to an overall healthy lifestyle and other healing therapies.
There are books and books and blogs and blogs written about oils and how to use them, but let me offer some quick and simple fun facts and uses to get your started.
Oils are pretty darn safe. It's hard to have any major negative effects when using them, but things could get a little uncomfortable.
First of all, make sure you are using high quality oils. I've used some low quality ones that have literally burned my skin. Follow my tips in my last newsletter on finding high quality oils. High quality and low quality oils cannot be used in the same way.
I have had no problems using Young Living oil directly on my skin or ingesting it, but when in doubt, use a carrier oil.
A carrier oil is anything that can dilute the intensity of the essential oil. I use coconut oil or olive oil.
If you accidentally apply too much peppermint oil, for example, DO NOT USE WATER to wash it off. Water intensifies the properties of the oils. Apply more carrier oil to chill it out.
And test a little bit of the oil on your skin before applying it everywhere, just to make sure you are not super sensitive to it.
There are three main ways of using the oils. Applying topically, ingesting it, or inhaling it in.
Your skin is a huge and glorious organ that absorbs and filters everything around you. For superficial issues, like blemishes, burns, fevers, muscle pain, etc. This would be the best method.
Lavender works great for most things, but in particular skin issues like blemishes and burns. I apply it to my skin regularly and have great results.
A good rule of thumb is to just apply it where it hurts. Have a headache? Apply peppermint to where the headache is. Have a stomach ache? Apply peppermint to the abdomen.
You can also apply it to the bottoms of your feet. Your feet can easily absorb things and send it to the rest of your body.
And remember to have a carrier oil handy for safe and pleasant applications.
This is the least common application that I use and recommend, but I do ingest certain oils daily. I love putting citrus oils like lemon, lime, or grapefruit in my water. It helps with digestion and tastes great! And it's a lot more practical and concentrated than slicing up the fresh fruit.
You can also cook with certain oils, like cinnamon and oregano. I haven't played around too much with that, but a little goes a very long way.
Breathing in the oils is said to be the most affective way of getting the oil into your system. It doesn't have to work through the same barriers as the other methods.
The best way is through using a diffuser. You can find a bunch of different kinds online, but just make sure you aren't using a humidifier. The oils can ruin those devices.
We diffuse lavender or cedar wood at night at our household because it helps us fall asleep, but it also seems to help with the mister's allergies.
Diffusing peppermint around the house can help energize a room and serve as a nice pick me up.
You can also put the oil on a cotton ball or handkerchief and inhale that way throughout the day. Putting lavender on a blanket or stuffed animal can help calm the little ones, as well.
I also add oils to my bath. To relax my muscles, I put epsom salts in a mason jar and add 10 drops of lavender and 8 drops of peppermint. Then I mix it all up to coat the salt with the oil. This will distribute the oils in the tub. If you just add oil directly in the bath, it will just pool up together in one spot in the tub.
You might have noticed that I keep using lavender and peppermint as examples. I'm doing this for two reasons. 1) They are solid examples and 2) These two oils can seriously be used for anything. When in doubt, use peppermint or lavender.
I have been all over the place with different oils. I've had quite the experimental phase with common and uncommon oils, and I keep coming back to the basics. On a daily basis I use lavender, peppermint, lemon, cedar wood, and Thieves (a blend of oils that is good for warding off sickness and germs).
Lavender I use for blemishes, diffusing at night, and healing up a recent burn.
Peppermint I use for freshening up my breath in water, ingesting for stomach pains, topically for nausea, and diffusing for a fresh house.
Lemon I use daily in my water and spot treatment on clothing stains.
Cedar wood I use on my face for wrinkles and diffuse at night because I love how it smells.
Thieves I use in pretty much everything. It's in my toothpaste. I put it in my tea when I'm sick. I take it in pill form when I feel a cold coming on. I diffuse it in the air to cleanse the house.
There are many other wonderful oils and uses, but I wanted to keep this post as simple as possible on where to start. The world of essential oils can be very overwhelming. But start with these few oils and applications and see how you like it!
And feel free to write me back any questions or share with me how you like to use the oils. I always love learning new ways!
Until next week,
Take good care.
This post is taken from my new weekly newsletter I send out every Sunday called Self Care Sundays. I will post the content on the blog a week later, but you can be the first to read it every Sunday, and I send it right to you! Sign up on the homepage or at the bottom of the page.