I started using essentials oils a few years ago when I wanted to make my own household cleaners that would be safe yet effective, especially around my children. While I still turn to Mrs. Meyers (love the Honeysuckle one) and Saint Olio products when I don’t have the time, I do prefer to mix my own because I take great satisfaction from creating them and besides, they smell pretty amazing! In the years since, I’ve realized there are a plethora of ways that essential oils can be used whether it’s for aromatherapy, natural beauty care, or for medicinal purposes. But, before I get to all that, I thought I should clear up a misconception: essentials oils aren’t, in fact, oils because they lack fatty acids. Instead, they’re taken from plants and this explains why some are so expensive…it may take a lot of plants to extract just a small amount of oil.
I’ve been using these five oils on repeat but there are so many more I’d like to try out, specifically oregano oil (which helps to combat colds and the flu), grapefruit (as a household cleaner), and rose oil (wouldn’t a few drops in the bath be pure heaven?). I’d also like to invest in this diffuser which can act as a room air freshener or a purifier/humidifier with just a few drops of your favorite oil. So, let me share with you how I use my current oils and some additional suggestions on how to put them to good use.
- Tea Tree Oil: I primarily use this as a natural disinfectant. Mixed with eucalyptus oil, vinegar and warm water, it effectively cleans my bathroom safely and eliminates any shower curtain scum. I also have been dabbing it on any blemishes with a cotton swab (beware…one drop is enough. It has a strong scent). Plus, it works really well for my boys’ sneakers…I put a few drops of tea tree oil and lemon oil in their stinky shoes and voila, the smell is gone! It can also be used to treat lice, eczema (combine it with coconut oil and lavender oil), and to treat cuts and wounds.
- Eucalyptus Oil: I usually use eucalyptus oil as a cleaner mixed with tea tree oil but I also love putting a few drops of it into a cool mist humidifier when I’m fighting off a cold or several drops into steaming water and inhaling it to clear out my sinuses. I put a few drops into my soap (love this one and I get these dispensers) or into the clothes dryer filter to freshen it up and sanitize it. It can also be used to treat cuts and wounds, treat dandruff and remove spots from clothing.
- Lemon Oil: This is my favorite oil because it smells sooo good! I absolutely love it as a household cleaner, laundry freshener, and it’s what I use to remove stickers off the wall and furniture (boys will be boys). It’s also wonderful added to castile soap for hand soap in the bathroom. Additionally, it can be used to promote weight loss…add two drops into your water three times a day to promote metabolism, it can lift your spirits (add it to a diffuser to make your house smell great) or mix it with coconut oil and spread it on your neck to ward off a cold.
- Lavender Oil: When I was pregnant with my son, Michael, I was obsessed with all things lavender…soap, shampoo, lotions. For some reason, I was particularly drawn to this scent at that time. But, my love of lavender still hasn’t waned. I use it to make this incredible smelling linen spray, treat bug bites, burns, and eczema. And, of course, lavender’s calming qualities are well known. Simply rub a few drops in the palm of your hand and inhale to achieve a relaxed feeling and combat stress and anxiety.
- Peppermint Oil: When I was young, my mother used to put a few drops of peppermint oil into water whenever I had an upset stomach. And to this day, I keep a bottle in our cabinet for that very same reason. It also helps to relieve muscle pain, sinusitis, hunger pangs, allergies, and poison ivy. Plus, it acts as a natural energizer so take a few whiffs on a long car trip, before you exercise or study for that big exam to give you a much needed boost.
*For more ideas on how to use these essential oils and to discover the benefits of so many more, read all about it here.