Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How We Use Essential Oils in Our Household

Last fall, Kerry from My Wise Mom, started talking more about essentials oils. I had heard of them but really had no idea what they were or what they did. When she offered an in-person workshop, I RSVP'ed right away. I was intrigued and so interested in learning more.


Hearing all of the presenter's stories didn't have me "drinking the kool-aid" but it did definitely have me so interested in trying them out myself and learning even more. I ordered the Premium Starter Kit that included the Everyday Essential Oils (9 oils + 1 bonus oil), a diffuser and much more!

I wanted to share a glimpse into how we are using them in our household, but first let's answer one basic question:

What are essential oils?
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you have ever enjoyed the gift of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of fresh cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination. 

Essential oils are non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue. (source)

How we use the Everyday Essential Collection

1. Purification

Diffuse- takes odor out of the air, cleans and purifies the air when sicknesses have invaded the household and family members.

Topical- Put a small drop on your finger or Q-tip and rub on acne or blemishes. It can also be used to calm bug bites.

2. Lavender

Diffuse- Diffusing lavender not only makes your house smell nice, but it's really calming and helps to unwind after a long day.

Topical- This is a really gentle oil that even kids can tolerate directly on the skin. Lavender can help with relaxation and calming. Kaydin likes to have a drop on her pillow at night. I've even used this on Ciara, our dog, when she was itching a lot. My parents have a dog that suffers from skin allergies. This helped her a little bit, also.

When I was in the Dominican I used a little lavender oil to help calm my sunburn. Tim recently burned himself on his motorcycle exhaust so I dadded on a drop to calm the burn.

Aromatic- Breathing in lavender oil produces the same effect as diffusing, just more concentrated. :)

3. Lemon

Diffuse- Lemon is also a good oil to use to eliminate odors and clean the air.

Ingestion- Add a drop or two to your water to ward off sicknesses

Aromatic- I love the smell of lemon oil (orange too!) and it's a good energizer to take a big smell of it. Just rub a drop or two on your hands, cup them around your nose and inhale! Smells so good!

4. Peppermint

Topical- I absolutely love rubbing this on sore muscles. It was really really helpful when I was going though back and leg pain this winter. It really helps to take the painful edge off and feels like Icy Hot. It's also a good option for indigestion or upset stomach. Rub some on the tummy and it will help to calm it down and work out those knots. For kids though, peppermint can be pretty powerful and create a burning feeling. This is a good one to mix with a carrier oil (olive or coconut). Just add a drop or two of carrier oil to the peppermint and rub into the skin.

Aromatic- Taking a deep breath of peppermint oil really helps to clear up the sinuses. Just don't do it too much at night as it's an energizer, too!

5. Joy 

Topical- I rub a drop or two of this on my neck in the morning sometimes. More than once I've found myself just so smiley and alert in my office. It takes me a minute to realize why but then I remember I rubbed on a little Joy! :)

Aromatic- This is a great oil to inhale when you are feeling stressed or cranky.

6. Peace & Calming

Diffuse- We ran out of this oil first! It's a great one to diffuse at night to relax, calm, and bring on a sleepy feeling. I diffused this three nights in a row right after we got them and on the third night I was sleepy and turning my TV and lights off at 9:37 to go to bed. I did the same thing the night before. I thought to myself, geez, why am I so tired the last couple nights?? {Lightbulb!} The oils!

Both Kaydin and Tim are a big fan of this one, too. I bought Tim a diffuser and Peace and Calming oil for Valentine's Day this year and he loves it!

Topical- You can rub on the feet or tummy for the same effects as diffusing. I've heard stories of parents rubbing this on their hyperactive children and they see a great improvement both at home and at school.

7. Frankincense

Topical- This winter I was having lots of back and leg pain due to a pinched sciatic nerve because of an inflamed piriformis muscle. One day it was so bad I was home from work pretty much unable to walk or stand for more than 30 seconds. I rubbed Frankincense followed by peppermint on my hip and down the outside of my thigh every half an hour to an hour or so and when it came time to get Kaydin from school I was walking again!

8. Thieves

Diffuse- Diffuse Thieves to kill of those germy bugs during the winter or anytime a family member is feeling under the weather.

Topical- I rubbed this on Kaydin's an my feet all winter when we felt a cold coming on. I also rubbed it on my throat when I could feel a sore throat or swollen glands coming.

Aromatic- Kaydin has a terracotta pendant that she wears sometimes to school. I put a drop or two of Thieves on it to help combat all those germs that get transferred around from kid to kid while at school.

9. Valor

Topical- Valor is a good oil for sore, swollen muscles. It acts as an anti-inflammatory. Valor is also said to help calm nervousness and bring on confidence.

Aromatic- I gave a friend of mine at work my bottle of Valor to smell and inhale before giving a big presentation on campus. She did great! I guess it worked ;)

10. Pan Away

Topical- This is a great one to use for sore muscles, too. Although, I do prefer peppermint over Pan Away, it still does the job!

Since learning about and using the basic oils in our house for a few months, I've started ordering more and adding to the collection. It's been fun to dive in more and learn about all the ways they can help in our everyday lives and not have to turn to over-the-counter drugs all the time. All the uses for them is so fascinating!

If you are interested in learning more about these oils email me or reach out and let me know! Over time I'll be creating some more posts on this subject. Let me know what you'd like to know!

Do you use essential oils in your home?