Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Essential Oils & How I Use Them

 I've talked a little bit about essential oils here before but I'd like to share which ones I use, how I use them where I get them and why I love them.

I've been slowly trying to collect a good range of essential oils to have in our "medicine drawer". And my goal is to only have a few medicines and mostly oils or at least a 50/50 ratio. I've noticed in some of my research that there are about 5 oils that work of most stuff. Then of course there are some oils that are a bit more specific on what they help with.

In my opinion if you were going to start using essential oils and can't lay out the cash for every oil that's out there these are the 5 I'd get first.
Tea Tree (melaleuca)

These 5 cover a range of conditions either using them singly or in a combination.
Here's an overview of each of the 5.

Lavender- relaxing, eases breathing, fights infection, disinfectant, heals bruises, heals cuts, heals bites, digestion, immunity, blood circulation, helps with insomnia

Eucalyptus- aids breathing, soothes headaches, kills fleas, disinfectant, healing wounds, muscle pain, mental exhaustion, diabetes, fever

Peppermint- eases upset stomach, eases headaches, eases breathing, relieves pain, relieves inflammation, repels bugs, soothes itchy skin, immunity, treating UTI's, treating IBS

Tea Tree- anti-bacterial, soothes bug bites, rashes, blisters, burns, cold sores, coughs, fights colds and the flu, anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-viral

Lemon- disinfectant, soothes bug bites, soothes sore throats, stress, insomnia, asthma, weight loss, fever, stomach issues, immunity

Now I'll tell you what I've used these oils for.

Lavender- I've used it for healing wounds instead of the over the counter ointments and sprays. I do feel like it heals faster than the store stuff and it smells better. I've also used it for ear infections. One evening Trey was complaining that his ear hurt (he'd been having some drainage) so I took a cotton ball and put some drops of lavender oil on a piece that would fit just inside his ear. Then swabbed around his ear with the oil. Next morning he didn't complain a bit about his ear. I've had a couple of ear infections myself and I swab around my ear several times a day. And David loves the smell of it and it's so relaxing to smell.

Eucalyptus- we mainly use it to help us when we have chest congestion or have a hard time breathing. We sometimes put a few drops in the reservoir of our humidifier and we will swab our chests with a few drops so we can inhale it. We use it like you would vapor rub but with out the greasy junk!

Peppermint- we use this for headaches, by putting a drop or two on the area that hurts. It works pretty well. We also use it for helping to breathe along with the eucalyptus oil. And I've used it many times for an upset stomach. I have a sensitive stomach and sometimes before bed it decides to revolt. I've put a few drops on my stomach and rub them in. It works really well for me at calming and preventing vomiting (sorry tmi!). And peppermint smells good too!

Tea Tree- this is one of my newer oils and so I haven't used it quite as much as the others. I have used it in my homemade general purpose cleaner. Since it's anti-bacterial it's a great oil to use for cleaning. And the other thing I've used it for is to soothe bug bites. Just rub a drop or two into the bite. This is one I need to learn more about to use more.

Lemon- I LOVE the smell of lemon, so I use it in my cleaning products as well. We've also used it for sore throats by rubbing a drop or two on your throat or swallowing a couple drops in a glass of water.

I think that these five are a good "first aid kit" starter set. They are so versatile and work on all the most frequent ailments. They are also pretty affordable. I've bought my oils from several places. I started getting them at Akins Health Food Store, in OK. They were a bit expensive but they were local. Then I started getting them at Amazon. I can get all of the above at a great price and in a bulk size (2oz, 4oz). Which I couldn't do at Akins. And most of them qualified for free shipping with Amazon. And I've also bought them at Sunflower Market which is new to OK. They had a good selection of the brand I like (Now Foods) at 1oz sizes (the smallest size I like to get) and a few larger sizes in Lavender, Eucalyptus and Peppermint. The prices were a bit more than Amazon but for some of the less popular oils I couldn't get free shipping so the prices ended up being comparable in the end. The prices were way more for the larger sizes compared to Amazon. So I'll still get my bulk sizes through Amazon and the less popular ones at Sunflower Market.

Some of these oils are supposed to be helpful for colds and the flu, either in preventing, or soothing. I'm not hoping to have either of these for my family this season but if something does come up I'll be turning to my oils first to see how they work.

Here's some of the other oils I have and what I've used them for or what I plan on using them for.

Orange- love to put this in my laundry soap and other cleaning products and just on a cotton ball in a room to make it smell fresher.

Geranium- I just bought this. I've heard it's good for stopping bleeding. So this should be a good first aid kit oil. It also aids in the appearance of scars, it's an stringent, diuretic and deodorant.

Rosemary- I just bought this. It reduces inflammation and boosts immunity and relieves aches. And it repels bugs. It's good for hair care including balding, dry scalp and greying.

Lime- I've only used this as one part in my homemade bug repellent. It's good for viral infections such as colds, flu, mumps, measles. And internal infections such as urinary, stomach and throat. It's anti-viral and a good disinfectant.  It helps to reduce a fever by ridding the body of the infection that the fever is fighting.

Citronella- I've only used this as one part in my homemade bug repellent. It kills and repels bugs. Mostly mosquito's and fleas. It's a diuretic, deodorant, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-bacterial, anti-septic.

Clove- I just bought this. I plan on using this mainly for dental issues including tooth aches even with babies teething. It's also good for headaches, respiratory problems, nausea and ear aches. Boosts immune system, skin care, indigestion, diabetes.

Marjoram, Oregano and Frankincense are on my list to pick up next. And any others that I research and see how cool it is! I do need to do more research on some of the ones I have so I can take full advantage of them.

That's my stash so far. Something that I noticed in researching these oils is that most of them have the same properties. Most of them are anti-bacterial, helps with inflammation, pain relieving etc. It's amazing what these oils can do. I never realized how much plants can do for us, and this is just the oil side of them, they do great things in herb form as well! I love that God gave us these plants to help us with most minor ailments. I love that I can give my family and myself something that is not only not bad for me but can be good for me.

There are a few ways in which to use oils. Topical, Internal & Aromatic. Not all oils can be used internally so make sure you research the oils to see how it's best used. Some oils need to be diluted for topical use so be sure and check on that too, especially on children who are more sensitive. When I use lemon oil on Trey for a sore throat I have to dilute it because he complains that it hurts if I don't.

Here are a couple of sites that I've found really helpful in researching oils.
Organic Facts -This site was helpful in looking up an oil and seeing what it's good for.
There's An Oil For That -This site was helpful in looking up an ailment and seeing what oils are needed and how to use them.
Finding My Niche -This site was helpful in telling how to use oils.

This is just part of the info I found in my research. If you are considering using these oils you should do your own research as well. I am not a professional just someone passing on some research I've found. Some people can be sensitive to some oils so be aware.

Do you use essential oils? If so which ones? Are you looking for an oil to help with something? Do you want more info on additional oils?

Comments make me Happy!


  1. Thanks Marissa! This is great info!! I'll have to check into the cloves for teething!

  2. I found you via your comment on Keeper of the Home just now. I've been using essential oils for at least a decade now. Clove bud is one of my favorites for dealing with infection such as earache, toothache, abscess teeth, etc., since it helps in healing as well as in numbing the pain. I recently used it for my sore toe -- great for ingrown toenails. (Hoping to blog about this soon!) Use it neat (undiluted) for some applications but for others -- particularly for teething babies -- dilute it. It is a very strong oil. (I would dilute most oils for children, and some oils such as peppermint should be avoided for very young children.


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