There are many things to learn about oils that it can be overwhelming. To ease into this exciting topic, I will start with my journey and how I use essential oils. I will also share some basic recipes. My intention is to inspire people to explore a healthy way of living.
Essential Oil Lifehacks
I was first introduced to oils in high school when my mom replaced her vitamin E oil supply with Lavender oil. Instead of lathering up in vitamin E oil, we used lavender oil and it was fantastic! This stuff was our “official” burn treatment. The anti-inflammatory properties of the lavender plant, hands down, was better than our prior remedy! This stuff was like a miracle drug; it prevented our burns from blistering and healed them quickly. We also used the oil on scratches, cuts, road rash, etc. to help the healing process. Lavender oil is a staple in our home, and I think that it should be in everyone’s kitchen cupboard and first aid kit.
Scent is one of our most powerful senses and this one does the trick! Among lavender’s healing properties mentioned above, it is known for its calming aroma. Additionally, it can help reduce anxiety and can also help relax before bedtime.
One of my favorite ways to use lemon oil is to put a drop or two in my water or club soda or in my garbage disposal. Lemon oil is an excellent degreaser and cleaner. I also use it to remove tree sap and sticky residue leftover from price tags/stickers. How about that sticky oily residue around your oven on the kitchen cabinets? Just put a few drops of lemon oil on a rag or paper towel and it cleans it right up and without any effort! I also use lemon oil to clean my (Traeger) BBQ. I use inexpensive oils for the BBQ and save my high-end oils for use on my skin, to digest or diffuse.
Personally, I would rather use lemon oil to remove annoying sticky/greasy residue in lieu of harsh chemicals that are absorbed through the skin.
Natural Bug Spray
It was not until my 30’s when I was reintroduced to oils on a camping trip. One of the ladies brought her own spray bottle of “natural” bug spray. It smelled great, and it worked! It did not have the dreaded “Deet” smell commonly found in-store brands. I was hooked! Of course, she did not follow a recipe but gave me a general idea of what to use and I set out to make my own. I finally concocted my own special recipe and people love it so much, I sell it as a hobby and to inspire wellness. The bug spray works, and it flies off the shelves due to its great scent and natural ability to repel pesky insects! One of my customers loves it so much she uses it for perfume! Ha!
HOW TO USE OILS
There are many ways to use essential oils, most commonly they are applied directly to the skin. Be mindful, some oils are “hot” and can burn your skin if you do not use a carrier oil to dilute the oil.
Many folks are not educated on the appropriate application or dilution ratios of essential oils. You must be very careful with children & pets. And because oils are not regulated by the FDA, I strongly recommend you follow the dilution ratio at the end of this article to ensure your safety.
NEAT or diluted with a carrier oil
Dilute with a carrier oil (I use fractionated coconut oil from Amazon) and rub onto your body wherever you feel called to do so. I like to apply to my wrists and the bottom of my feet because feet are very porous, and the oil gets into your bloodstream quicker there. If you have a cold, apply to your chest and neck or forehead for sinus issues.
You can ingest some oils, but please do your research prior and make sure the oils are safe for ingesting. Not all brands are using the same standards, so know your vendor and make sure they use pesticide-free plants. This is important for your safety.
If you are still using store bought air fresheners, candles (anything with artificial scents and chemicals) I encourage you to consider enhancing the air quality of your home by diffusing natural essential oils into the air instead. Keep in mind, not all diffusers are created equal. Some are fantastic, others ho-hum. Essentially you want a diffuser that has an ultrasonic motor and high output of particles per the million. This will ensure your oils are maximized to disburse throughout your home.
Rub a couple of drops of your favorite oil into your hands and inhale deeply. This experience is very comforting, grounding, and centering.
Add distilled water to a spray bottle and add your favorite oil(s) to make your own room/linen spray.
Add 5-8 drops of your favorite oil to your bath.
Oils are very potent, I find that because the industry is not regulated, people often overuse their oils, and this terrifies me. I urge you to be careful and mindful when using oils and again see the dilution ratio chart at the end of this article.
Dilute, dilute, dilute when using oils on kiddos!
Do research before using oils on or around your pets. Some oils can be toxic to pets, just as plants can be.
BEFORE YOU PURCHASE ANY ESSENTIAL OIL remember, not all oils are made using the same standards and you usually get what you pay for. I feel like a broken record, but please do your research and know if the vendor is pesticide-free, how the vendor dilutes the oils, and if the vendor uses chemicals. Finally, your vendor should be able to produce a laboratory test to prove the potency and validity of the oil.
Sunburn gel: 4 oz Organic Aloe Vera Gel, 10 drops of Helichrysum (stinky but works amazing for sunburns!) 10 drops of Lavender (Keep in the refrigerator)
Bug bite relief: 10 ml Roll-on Bottle (Amazon), 4 drops lavender, 3 drops chamomile 3 drops tea tree, fill rest of the bottle with your carrier oil of choice.
Hand Cleaner: 2 oz bottle, 60% or 99% rubbing alcohol, 40% organic Aloe Vera Gel, 10 drops of essential oil of your choice
Bug Spray: 4 oz spray bottle of distilled water with room for oils. Blend oils until you get a scent you enjoy. Use any of the following: peppermint, lemon, lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, roman chamomile, rosemary, basil, tea tree (melaleuca)
Throat rub: 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop eucalyptus, a small amount of carrier oil, rub on chest and throat
Skincare: I add a drop of Frankincense to my daily moisturizer routine in the morning and evening and 1 drop of Tea Tree oil at night (can be drying so I use it once per day)
I love essential oils, they make my heart so happy! I hope I inspired you to bring this ancient plant-based medicine into your life and home. Always do your research and trust your instincts – follow what you are drawn to and trust yourself that you are being guided to what you need most.
1% or less for children, infants, pregnancy, face creams
1.5% for subtle aromatherapy, frail/elderly, face creams/oils
2.5% holistic aromatherapy, general massage work, stronger skincare
5% treatment massage, wound healing
10% acute physical symptom relief