I was at work the other day and a customer made a cute comment in ignorance. He was sharing his ailment with me, and I suggested a few essential oils to him. His response was, "Essential oils, as if one oil is more essential than another." I laughed and then realized that he is surely not the only person uneducated about essential oils, and I believe it bears sharing.
So an essential oil refers to a plant oil or essence that has been extracted through distillation. These oils have many benefits from aromatherapy to cleaning to healing. They are extremely potent. There are 80+ of them. They all work in unique ways. Almost all of them need to be blended with what's called a carrier oil. Carrier oils include: organic unrefined coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, hempseed oil, and even olive oil. If you do not blend them, some will give a burning sensation to the skin.
If you need more than a couple drops to use on a frequent basis you can do that too.
Depending on what your need is you can also mix them with water or witch hazel. You want to store them in a dark glass bottle. Essential oils can eat through plastic and they are sensitive to sunlight. You can purchase dark glass spray bottles.
In all honesty I still consider myself to be a novice in essential oils. I'm continuing to learn a great deal. I look forward to getting a certificate in aromatherapy. I hope to start study for that program in the summer. As a mom I believe no home should be without the following essential oils: lavender, peppermint, four thieves, and tea tree oil. I'm also a huge fan of lemongrass, eucalyptus, rose, rosemary, and citrus essential oils. You can make or purchase oil blends as well. They are wonderful to apply to our feet specifically. The feet are a gateway to the bloodstream. Feet soak up everything.
Essential Oil Uses
Lavender: Everyone needs this wonderful oil. Apply on skin with carrier oil for relaxation, great for massage. Mixing about 12 drops in a 2oz spray bottle with water makes a great linen or room spray. It has wonderful antibacterial properties, so mix 1-2 drops with 1 tbsp of organic, unrefined coconut oil for diaper rash, or any bacterial rash. Make more and store in a dark glass jar. I also just found out it helps remove permanent marker from certain surfaces. Use 2-4 drops in baby's bath at night to promote sleep. Rub on baby's or adults feet with carrier oil to aid in fighting yeast infections.
Peppermint: I love this one. Use 1 drop of this and one drop of eucalyptus with a 2 tsp of coconut oil for a chest rub during a cold. Rub directly on temples as well as inhale if dealing with a headache. Can place a drop directly on hands, rub together, then bring hands up to nose and breath deeply. Also aids in fever reducing, rub 1-2 drops with coconut oil all over chest, back, upper arms, under arms, and feet every hour until fever is reduced. Place 3-4 drops in humidifier tank during a cold. Alternate or blend with eucalyptus in the tank too. Do not use while pregnant or breast feeding, can reduce milk supply.
Four Thieves: This is actually a fantastic blend of lemon, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, and eucalyptus. During the times of the plagues this band of thieves managed to not get ill while pillaging because they rubbed themselves down in this blend of oils. There are recipes online to make your own blend or you can buy it already mixed. I think the pre-made blend is cheaper if you don't have the other oils. DO use a carrier with this blend! It burns otherwise. Great to rub on feet as a regular practice for immune strength. I do this right after a shower. Great flu defense tactic. Can do the same to rub under the arms, smells lovely, great oil for natural deodorant mix. When someone is ill, wet a wash cloth, place a few drops on the wash cloth, and put the back on the neck or over the shoulder for inhalation. Great to dilute in witch hazel or water for a natural Lysol alternative.
Tea Tree Oil: This oil is from the melaleuca tree in Australia. I sing its praises often! Can combine in a bath with lavender for baby with diaper rash or anyone with a vaginal yeast infection. Has super antibacterial qualities. Ants do not like this. So during the summer time I put a few drops by by door entrances and windows. It really helps to keep them away. Its much safer inhaling this than ant repellants. I use this in combination with vinegar and water to clean the outside of my toilet and bathroom counters. I use it inside my toilet, sink, and bath tub with baking soda, and Castile soap to clean them. It doesn't take much.
For my counters I spray them with the vinegar and water I keep in a plastic spray bottle, then I drop two drops on the counter and wipe it down with a rag. I do something similar to the outside of the toilet. If you have another dark glass spray bottle you can surely add about 5-10 drops to some witch hazel or water/vinegar and clean that way. I just ran out of dark spray bottles. Super for kitchen counters too, especially after using raw meat on the counter!
In order to clean my toilet, sink, and tub I really don't measure anything. I buy a large bag of Arm and Hammer that lasts for a while. I keep a small plastic container in all of my bathrooms with the baking soda and a scoop. To clean I sprinkle some in each basin. I give one good squirt of Castile soap, any brand is fine, I have Dr. Bronners right now. Then I do a drop or two of tea tree oil. I wet the mix a little bit and scrub them down with the appropriate brush. I use the same brush to clean the sink and the tub. I find this to be an effective, economical, and much safer way to clean without harsh chemicals.
I use lemongrass to scent my homemade laundry detergent. It's also a good aid to balance thyroid issues. You can use a carrier oil and apply it daily 3-4 times. I've also heard its a good fever reducer, but I haven't tried it yet.
Currently my linen spray is filtered water and rose essential oil. I also use it to maker my facial cleanser. It's a blend of rose water, aloe vera gel, rose essential, and grapefruit seed extract. If you want measurements ask me for them below. Rose is a great astringent. I keep it in a glass jar under my sink so light can't get to it.
I make my own daytime facial moisturizer with rosemary essential oil. It's great for the skin over all, especially for healing scars. I use a blend of hempseed oil, neem oil, and rosemary. I keep this in a four ounce cobalt blue glass bottle in my refrigerator. It has to stay in the fridge because of the hemp oil. So when I take out my breakfast, I take out my moisturizer too. This combo has been great for my skin. Again if you want measurements let me know.
I use cocoa absolute essential oil for my homemade lip balm. It gives it a great chocolate scent. I like using lemon, white grapefruit, or sweet orange oils in bath salts. Citrus scents are uplifting and give energy. I'll often inhale them if I'm tired during the day.
I use lemon essential oil with my raw honey mask. Lemon is very purifying. My BFF has food grade lemon essential oil and she drops some in her water. Since I brought it up, yes there are I guess you could say different levels of essential oil. You always need to make sure they are 100% pure. It should say on the bottle or call the company. Those are great for topical use. Some oils are beneficial internally. Those should be certified food grade. Let me share something with you, I can't recommend it, but there are certain oils I use that aren't certified, but I feel comfortable ingesting. One of those is peppermint. I use 100% pure peppermint essential oil from a line of essential oils the health food store I work at has made just for us to make my tooth soap. Do your own research. Do what makes you comfortable. I hope you find this information useful and you fall in love with essential oils too!