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July 7th, 2014

Using Essential Oils

by Shanna, 3 Comments »

We got into using essential oils last year, right around the time that the degrees of separation between you and someone you knew selling oils were shrinking at a shocking rate. We were already familiar with oregano oil and how it is a natural antibiotic of sorts; it has long been our household go-to anytime either of us feels even the slightest cold or infection coming on. And I think we may have owned peppermint oil already for some experiment Tim was attempting. But last year was when the ever-widening world of other oils opened up to us, and today it’s kind of crazy because everybody’s talking about them. In fact, essential oils are so big right now that it’s rare that you don’t know someone talking about them, either offering to host a party at your house or telling you how much lavender oil will change the way you sleep. There’s a good reason for this: word-of-mouth spreads so much faster when the thing you’re talking about actually works.

Different brands of essential oils

Smelling Versus Rubbing Versus Drinking
There are three ways people talk about using essential oils: smelling (i.e., deeply inhaling the essential oil from an open bottle), rubbing (i.e., rubbing a few drops into your skin, sometimes with a carrier oil like jojoba or almond) and drinking (i.e., placing a few drops in water or another beverage and consuming it). We have seen benefits from all three.

  • Smelling Essential Oils: Surprisingly, smelling essential oils can be one of the most powerful ways to use them. What your body inhales has a direct effect on its health, which is crazy for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is how many chemicals and toxins most of us are inhaling every day. Sometimes we like to take a few big breaths of lavender oil, holding the open bottle near our face. It’s very calming and truly amazing how it can affect you. We also have a diffuser in our bedroom that runs while we’re sleeping at night, letting us take in essential oils even while our bodies are resting.
  • Rubbing Essential Oils: The thing to keep in mind with essential oils is they are crazy powerful. Think of the difference between ground garlic and a clove of garlic; while they both have the same properties, the ground garlic has a much higher concentration ounce to ounce. The same is true of essential oils, only to a much higher degree, and this is why they should be treated with respect. You can burn your skin with oregano oil or clove oil (I know!). So this is why most people recommend using a carrier oil when you’re using a specific essential oil on its own. (Note: if you are buying a blend from one of the essential oil companies nowadays, they are likely already in a carrier oil in order to be safer; check with the company to find out recommended uses.) Also! Included in the idea of rubbing essential oils is taking baths with essential oils. Again, you want to be careful here and not use oils known to be harsh to the skin. Personally I have found good results with 5 to 10 drops of lavender oil in an Epsom salt bath.
  • Drinking Essential Oils: The last way to use essential oils is diluted in liquid. Remember though that essential oils are a hundred times stronger than the original herb or food, so ingesting them should be done with care. If you’re using distilled water, the oils will disperse into the water but it will take a little time; if you’re using regular water, the oils will pool and separate from the water so you can burn your mouth when they hit your tongue. Again, this is person- and oil-dependent, so check with your provider and test your own body to see what works and what doesn’t. When in doubt, you can always dilute oil in oil or fat, so you could drop a little oil in a glass of milk, for example, where it will be able to disperse. Start small! Essential oils are powerful! (Do I sound like a broken record yet?) One of our friends dropped 10 to 15 drops of lemon oil in a drink aaaaand then he was up all night vomiting. Start with one drop. More is not necessarily better.

Oils We Like
There are many companies you can buy essential oils from. We have tried all the big ones and are currently loyal supporters of our local farmer’s essential oil supply as well as Mountain Rose Herbals. We have consistently seen Mountain Rose’s quality to be impressive—and its prices are great, too. If you want to order online, we can’t say enough good things about them. Here are the oils we use most often:

  • Frankincense: For neck tension or any kind of muscle aches, we place a few drops of frankincense in a carrier oil and rub it directly on our skin.
  • Peppermint: The go-to for headaches. When you’re feeling one coming on, a drop or two of peppermint oil rubbed on your temples can be wildly soothing.
  • Lavender: It really does relax your body and help you sleep. Rub it on the soles of your feet or on your wrists or even on your pillow before bed.
  • Oregano: Still our favorite for killing any beginning head cold or possible infection. 1 drop per hour in a safe beverage knocks just about anything out. Again though, do this with care.

We’re also experimenting with basil, lemon, orange, myrrh, patchouli and others.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

Carrier Oils We Like
As for the oils we are using to dilute our essential oils, we mostly stick to almond oil and jojoba oil. These are not essential oils, they’re not super concentrated and potentially dangerous, and you don’t have to worry about using them liberally on your skin. I’ve been using jojoba oil with a few drops of essential oil (different each day) as deodorant for the last few months and loving it.

If you’ve been looking for a natural, powerful way to combat various discomforts and health issues, look into essential oils! Learn more about them and purchase from Mountain Rose Herbals here.

disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. all opinions expressed are our own.