Essential oils are, well, essential in our house. As many of you probably already know, we try to eliminate as many toxins and chemicals as possible from our house. Our cleaners are non-toxic and all-natural, often made up of vinegar and essential oils, and essential oil diffusers in our home smelling good while promoting healthy immune systems too. Essential oils are used in our homemade personal care products, such as shampoos, hair pomade, bug repellants, sunscreen, body butters and lotion bars. With regard to medications, we try to avoid using traditional medications as much as possible, opting instead for homeopathic remedies when possible. We find that when faced with minor illnesses, injuries, skin conditions, etc., natural remedies are able to help and heal almost anything! Additionally we use oils for issues related to sleep, digestion, regulation, and mood.
It is important to note a few important elements to look for when purchasing essential oils. Not all essential oils are created equal, and the quality of your essential oils cannot only impact its effectiveness, but can in some cases be detrimental to your health. When purchasing essential oils you want to look for oils that have or are:
- botanical name, and country of origin, and often a chemotype (i.e. Ocimum basilcum is a basil chemotype)
- distillation or expiration date
- organic practices and grown in their natural environment
- not too inexpensive (in this case you usually pay for what you get)
We use Young Living essential oils because we love their Seed to Seal guarantee, the fact that they open up their farms to anyone to come visit and see the process, the integrity of their product and their beliefs, the fact that they donate to relief funds and have their own foundation, and because of their wide variety of blends and products.
In addition, when using essential oils topically you want to make sure you choose a good carrier oil to mix with the essential oils. Dilution with the carrier oils can actually increase the effectiveness of the essential oil by increasing the area of absorption and reducing chances of sensitivity. Carrier oils that we use include:
My 3 Essential Essential Oils
In our house, because of our constantly varied needs as a family of four, we always try to keep our essential oils on hand: when we travel, when we’re home, in various rooms, etc. We rotate through about a dozen favorites that seem to work for everything that comes our way. However, just like with anything, we have our staples, our go-tos, our oils that never steer us wrong! Here are my 3 Essential Essential Oils:
- Lavender. Even the word “lavender” immediately conjures relaxing images and aromatic therapy in my mind. I love the scent and will often diffuse this oil to calm my monkey mind, to relax my worries, and sometimes just for no reason at all. This is also my go-to for adding a gentle fragrance to my homemade personal care products such as body butters and shampoos. Another reason I love lavender so much is because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. We use it to help heal bug bites and stings, and even minor cuts or burns. Lavender oil is also my go-to with the kids, as I will often add a few drops to their baths, or rub onto their bellies or wrists to help them feel calm and relaxed.
- Peppermint. Peppermint is another scent that I love, and will often use in the diffuser or in candles that I make due to its invigorating and clean scent. But even more than that, we love to use peppermint oil to help relieve headaches, sunburns, and even sore muscles. Peppermint also helps soothe digestive issues. We use it in teas, and sometimes even rub it on our bellies or wrists to quiet discomfort.
- Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil has been proven effective in numerous ways, from healing fungus to healing wounds to promoting healthy hair and scalp. It is antimicrobial, anti fungal, and antibacterial, making it a powerful healer and cleaner. We use tea tree oil in many of our cleaners, on minor skin cuts and bug bites, on athletes foot, in our shampoos, on rashes or warts, and in insect repellents.
As I said these are just three of my favorite essential oils that we use daily in our house, and later I will be posting about many more! What are your essential essential oils?
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