Along my journey of becoming more healthy, sustainable, non-toxic, and happier, it’s only natural that I would bump into essential oils. I used to think they were only for hippies to rub on themselves in lieu of deodorant or for chemists to putter with.
Oh man, was I wrong…
I think my very first essential oil I ever got was tea tree. For acne. That was a looooooong time ago in my adolescent years when I would have tried anything to cure my woes! Can you relate?
Fast forward 17 or so years, I’m dating myself here, I know; and I find myself on a very different path, but thankfully one that has still included essential oils.
Of the 5 senses, the one that is most heightened for me has always been scent, so I am an easy target for an essential oil obsession, and the more I learn about them collectively and individually, the more I love them. They are useful in so many different applications, and with endless varieties and combinations available, it’s hard not to buy a new one every week! How very un-frugal of me, you might say, but I can justify my purchases by the number of ways each oil is used. 🙂
Be forewarned though, essential oils can be powerful and potent little potions, so don’t fumble blindly into the world of EO like I did… do some research. Luckily, I did some for you, and found a great resource for beginners. Today, because Sweet Baby really wants to play, the dog really needs a bath, and, I should probably shower before DH gets home, I am going to let Lea over at Nourishing Treasures give you Essential Oil 101. Not only does she provide an excellent resource for learning about EO, but she also made a pdf file so her research can easily be printed as a quick reference! She is embarking on some great work right now of 3rd-party purity testing (in a lab with a chemist and a Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectroscope) of various oils, and I can’t wait to see what is found! They will test some of my favorite brands, so I hope the results are favorable. (That’s the thing about EO, they are often adulterated and it extremely hard to know what you’re getting–even from your most trusted sources).
Even if you are well-versed in oils, or are just starting out, here are a few tips I have collected over the years of EASY things I love to do with essential oils:
- As part of your facial cleansing ritual, wet a wash cloth with the hottest water you can stand, and apply 1 drop of your favorite oil to the cloth. I usually use lavender to soothe, but also enjoy lemon balm for extra tense days, or peppermint for a pick-me-up. Rose geranium is also a favorite of mine. I love anything rose, and if I was rich I would buy pure rose essential oil… but I’m not rich, so… bummer.
- Drop a few drops of your favorite oil onto the cardboard tube of your toilet paper. I love this, and the scent is diffused every time you use the roll, but in my experience, the scent wears off quickly. The tissue as the end of the roll has a lovely scent though, and I recommend doing this before your significant other uses the bathroom, especially if you are one of those fortunate household like ours that only has one bathroom. (I’m not complaining though. Our various trips in other parts of the world have given me a deep respect for my bathroom, and I am happy to have it!)
- Alternatively, a few drops of EO on a cotton ball hidden in inconspicuous places around the bathroom will scent it as well. This method may also be used for cupboards, drawers, and any place else you might need/want a refreshing scent.
- Drop a few drops of essential oil onto the filter of your vacuum. My vacuum has a removable hepa filter, and I before I vacuum I drop a few drops onto it and lovely aroma fills my house. Not the aroma of dog. (If you have a dog and own a vacuum, you know what I’m talking about)! If you don’t have a filter, but have a bag or canister on your vacuum, drop a few drops onto a cotton ball and toss it in. Do this at your own risk. I’m sure it is not recommended by the manufacturer, and for me personally, I don’t care. I would just like to be clear that I am in no way advocating that you break your own vacuum. 🙂
- Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove and include a few drops of EO for an easy diffuser. I do this a lot in the winter because the added humidity in the air inside the house makes us all feel better.
- Place a few drops onto your dog’s collar. Particularly flea repelling oils such as tea tree or cedar.
- Place a few drops of EO onto a small piece of cloth and toss in your dryer as dryer sheet instead of those nasty, chemical-laden pieces of garbage.
- A few drops of EO added to the hot wax of a tea light makes an easy scented candle.
- A few drops of EO added to your bath water makes for a soothing respite from the day. Just be sure to lock the door.
- Using EO is as simple as adding it to a cotton ball and keeping it near by to sniff. Therapeutic uses often help with stress, anxiety, nausea, energy levels, even labor pains. I personally relied heavily on the the scent of lemon balm, (or melissa), to help me through the anxious early days, (OK, who am I kidding– weeks), of new-Motherhood.
What are some of your favorite oils? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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