>> Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I have been using essential oils to green my home and medicine cabinet for about 12 years. My Grandmother actually introduced me to them! She was using them to lessen her chronic back pain. It worked for her so I became curious about them.
Essential oils have been used throughout time dating back to 4500 BC, in fact they are mentioned often in the Bible. From perfumes and aromatherapy to cooking and medicinal purposes, essential oils have been a vital part of everyday life for centuries. They were mankind’s first medicine.
Often referred to as “nature’s living energy” or the very essence of a plant, essential oils are aromatic liquids derived from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. Essential oils help defend plants from insects, environmental conditions, and disease. There are over 70,000 different kinds of molecules in plant oils, many of which mimic the molecules used by our bodies for support, maintenance, and regeneration. Almost all essential oils have antiseptic properties and are able to fight infection and destroy bacteria, fungi, yeast, parasites, and/or viruses.
Many essential oils also reduce aches and pain, soothe inflammations and spasms, stimulate the immune system and insulin and hormone production, affect blood circulation, dissolve mucus and open nasal passages, or aid digestion -- just to mention a few of their amazing properties. Aromatherapy can also have a considerable influence on our emotions. Since your mind strongly influences your health and is itself a powerful healing tool, it makes aromatherapy's potential even more exciting.
Today, I am going to talk about 9 Essential Oils that can be used daily to replace harsh chemicals in your homes and medicine cabinets.
Offering a clean, refreshing, and purifying citrus scent, lemon oil is revitalizing and uplifting. Lemon contains 68_ percent d- limonene, a powerful antioxidant, has cleansing properties, and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune function.
I use it to help remove grease stains, for cooking and baking, making lemonade, washing veggies and fruits, and to make my own furniture polish.
One of the most versatile essential oils, lavender has a sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is calming and soothing. One study showed that lavender added to bath water reduced negative thoughts about the future.
I always carry it in my purse for the children’s boo-boos because it is antiseptic, does not sting, stops bleeding, and helps prevent bruises. I also use it for burns and sunburns. I put it in the kid's bath water to calm them in the evenings. I used it in a spray bottle with water as my wipe spray since it is antiseptic and soothing to the skin. I also diffuse it to minimize seasonal reactions to pollen and dust mites. I also put some on cotton balls in my closets to repel moths. So versatile and useful!
Peppermint is one of the oldest and most highly-regarded herbs for soothing digestion. Research shows the inhalation of peppermint oil helps trigger a sense of fullness after meals, enhances your sense of taste and smell, and improves concentration and mental activity. Applied topically, peppermint oil leaves a soothing, cooling sensation that can alleviate bodily discomfort.
I put 1 or 2 drops in water to soothe my digestion when I need it and it really helps. I rub a drop on my temples to take away my headaches or fever. It is great for reducing motion sickness/nausea and for soothing sore muscles. It is also a great natural insect repellent and a drop makes ticks crawl out of your skin! Also so useful!!
A blend- contains citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, lavandin, Melaleuca alternifolia, and myrtle.
Formulated for diffusing to cleanse and sanitize the air and neutralize mildew, cigarette smoke, and other disagreeable odors. Purification can also be used directly on the skin to cleanse and soothe insect bites, cuts, and scrapes.
I use it to take the itch out of mosquito bites. I also put it in a spray bottle with water and peppermint oil as my natural bug repellent. I spray that same mixture on my dog beds to remove the smells and keep fleas away.
A blend- contains clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon, and Eucalyptus radiata.
Based on the historical account of four thieves in France who protected themselves with clove, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims, and they were able to survive the plague. This proprietary blend was university tested for its cleansing abilities and found to be highly effective 99.6% against airborne bacteria. I use it in a spray bottle with water as multi-purpose cleaner. I diffuse it when someone is sick to keep the germs from spreading. I also use it to disinfect my carpets, mattress and anything else that is hard to wash! I also gargle with it in water for sore throats and dab onto sores in my mouth.
A blend- contains wintergreen, clove, peppermint, and helichrysum.
The wintergreen is known to help ease muscle and joint discomfort and provide a comforting warm sensation. The helichrysum is studied for its support to the circulatory system and for cell regeneration. Very healing oil.
This is the oil my grandmother uses for her back pain. I use it on my neck and shoulder muscles when those get out of wack!
Frankincense (You may be familiar with this from the Bible. It was a gift brought to Jesus by the Three Wise Men.)
Frankincense is also a valued for its skin-healing properties, including DNA repair from sun damage and support of respiratory function. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-tumoral.
I use a drop in my face lotion and on blemishes.
Peace & Calming
A blend- contains tangerine, ylang ylang, blue tansy, orange, and patchouli.
Peace & Calming promotes relaxation and a deep sense of peace, helping to calm tensions and uplift spirits. Studies have shown inhalation of patchouli caused a 40% decrease in relative sympathetic activity which is responsible for flight or flight response in the body and orange oil use resulted in a lower level of anxiety, a more positve mood, and a higher level of calmness than the control group.
I use it for traumatic events, when I can’t sleep, naptime, and when stressed. It was invaluable during both my natural home births. It is also great for calming my dog Dutchess when there are thunder storms.
A blend- contains spruce, blue tansy, rosewood, and frankincense.
Valor helps to increase feelings of strength, courage, and self-esteem. It has also been found to help the body self-correct its balance and alignment.
(comforting bath, foot massage, for alignment and to help hold adjustment)
I hope you found this information useful. I know that I enjoy having natural solutions at my fingertips to everyday challenges my family faces.
One quick note. Not all essential oils are equal. Essential oils must be pure
for optimum results so I suggest using therapeutic grade oils. In order to achieve therapeutic-grade classification, each essential oil must achieve the designation naturally, without excess manipulation and refinement, and meet specific criteria in four key areas: Plants, Preparation, Purity, and Potency. Gas chromatography testing is used to ensure optimum levels are naturally occurring compounds are present in all therapeutic grade oils. I use Young Living essential oils. I have used them for 12 years now and I love them.
You may also like to read Go Green and Save Money Tips.