Aside from the diet you feed your mind and body, I can’t think of a more natural and potent therapy to promote your health and wellness than essential oils. They have been used medicinally for thousands of years. They are safe and can be used for a variety of conditions, symptoms, and health complaints such as; fighting colds, improving sleep, calming the mind, reducing inflammation, supporting the immune system, enhancing digestion, and detoxifying your home. You can inhale the oils, apply them topically, add them to your bath, or even ingest them via a capsule or by adding them to your food.
One of my favorite uses for essential oils is in the home so I can eliminate the harsh chemicals and toxins found in everyday products. For example, you can make your own cleaning products and room deodorizers by adding a few drops of lavender, lemon, or tea tree oil to baking soda or water. You can freshen your laundry (dryer sheets are notoriously toxic) by spritzing wet laundry with a mixture of water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Alternatively, you can add 10-12 drops to a wool sock and put it in the dryer with your laundry. Personal body products are another way to incorporate the therapeutic powers of essential oils – make your own deodorant with some coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and a few drops of rose, orange, or lavender. The perfect body scrub can be achieved with coconut oil, organic cane sugar, and an invigorating essential oil like lemon or peppermint. A facial scrub can be made with a little aluminum free baking soda, a dollop of raw honey and a few drops of skin loving oils like lavender, frankincense, and geranium. Tea tree oil is an awesome spot treatment for blemishes and less toxic than commercial products. You can use cinnamon leaf oil, lemon eucalyptus, citronella oil, peppermint oil, or catnip oil as a natural insect repellent; what a wonderful choice for your family to help protect them from the toxic nature of DEET and other chemical repellents. Use a diffuser with grapefruit, lemongrass, or thieves to cleanse the air in your home and get rid of odors.
To support sleep try putting a few drops of chamomile, lavender, bergamot, or rose on a cotton ball and dab it over your pillow. Are you feeling stressed? Use 10 drops of lavender, rose, orange or ylang ylang mixed with 1 cup of Epsom salts in the bath to calm and ground yourself. Studies show that simply smelling the oils of rose and orange can trigger the brain to relax.
For pain, stiff muscles, or inflammation add a few drops of eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, or tea tree to a bit of coconut or almond oil and massage in to the affected area. You can also use the oils in a compress (5 drops oil per 4 oz. of water – soak a cloth and apply for bruises, aches and pains). If you are feeling nauseous you can use a drop or two ofmint, ginger, orange, fennel, or lavender in a cup of warm (not hot) tea to help calm the stomach and digestive tract. If you need to be alert and focused try smelling peppermint, cinnamon, clove, or citrus to boost your energy and heighten your cognition.
Another great way to use essential oils for physical health is to apply it on acupressure points. Google vita-flex foot charts or hand charts and learn where to massage the oils for the best therapeutic benefit.
Remember a little goes a long way and be sure to use only pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. Exercise caution when using with children, just like you would with any commercially purchased products. It’s also important to note that many essential oils can be irritating to the skin so, it’s important to use them with a carrier oil (coconut oil or almond oil) when using topically. Most importantly, have fun! Experiment and share your knowledge with others so they can also benefit from these amazing and powerful substances.