There’s an OIL for that!
Recently I’ve had quite a few people express their interest in learning more about the uses of essential oils. Ask and you shall receive. There are so many uses, and it will be hard to cover them all, but I’ll start off with the basics, branch off, and of course if there are any questions or comments, just ask below and I’ll do my best to answer them all!
Whether you have a headache, a toothache, can’t sleep, or are just plain tired, there is an oil for that!
How do I pick an oil? I get asked that question all the time. There are quite a few options, so depending on what pulls you in, the one thing I’ll say is I would not recommend buying an oil from the drugstore, or the supermarket. You want to find an oil that is pure and doesn’t have fillers added into it. While some don’t believe in ingesting oils, I’ll typically look up oils I know are ingestible like “lemon” or “peppermint”, and if the company doesn’t allow for 1-4 drops to be diluted in a small glass of water, then I won’t buy from that company. That’s become my measurement. Yours could be different.
Here is a list of ways to determine if the company is right for you, listed on DoTerra’s site
Plant quality: Does the company use high-quality plants to produce their essential oils? Are chemicals and pesticides used in plant care?
Production practices: Does the company have safety procedures in place to guard against contamination during the production process? Are oils adulterated or are synthetic fillers added to cut costs?
Testing methods: Does the company test each batch of essential oil? Is impartial, third-party testing used? Are test results available to the public?
Storage and handling: Are the oils carefully processed, packaged, and stored to avoid chemical alterations caused by exposure to heat or light? (Amber bottles are typically the best option for essential oil storage.)
Once you’ve found your brand, don’t forget carrier oils. A good essential oil will be potent and it can cause irritation if used straight on the skin. Diluting it is the way to go. A good rule of thumb is 1 drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
Here is a list of carrier oils that I use and recommend:
Coconut Oil – Fractionated Coconut oil is liquid at room temperature and a great option for a carrier oil. If you are making something that calls for a thicker oil, then regular coconut oil will be solid at room temperature and you can use that. Coconut oil is full of naturally present antioxidants and is anti fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It also has deep moisturizing properties, which makes it great for any dry skin.
Sweet Almond Oil – A great option since it’s rich in Vitamin E and a natural antioxidant. It nourishes the skin, regenerates cell growth, and keeps moisture inside, in addition to protecting from the sun, due to it’s antioxidant properties. It also relieves inflammation and soothes irritated skin.
Jojoba Oil – This oil is the closest to our natural oil secretions, which makes it a great moisturizing oil. It is an anti-fungal oil that works well with other oils that are anti-fungal in nature as well.
Olive Oil – Unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is the top choice when buying this oil. This oil helps to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL), while touting many anti-inflammatory properties.
Castor Oil – New research shows that castor oil can increase a type of white blood cell in the body, which helps to kill bacteria, viruses, fungus and even cancer cells. Castor oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory which makes it great for healing skin infections, and treating topical fungal infections and sunburns. It also works great in fighting acne.
Rosehip Oil – Extremely high in Vitamins A and E making it an excellent choice for skin products. These vitamins help to restore elasticity and improve collagen production.
Oils and their uses
There are so many oils, so I will start with the most popular ones. If you ask anyone what the three must haves are, they will almost always say Lemon, Peppermint and Lavender. Those three will be the focus of this article. Also just a reminder since I look for oils that are ingestible, there might be some recommendations for internally taking the oil, but if yours does not say on the side of the bottle that it is, do not ingest the oil. Always read first!
Lemon oil has all the following amazing properties. It is antiseptic, diuretic, antioxidant, antibacterial, detoxification, disinfectant, mucolytic, astringent and a degreaser. If you have kidney & gallstone issues, you can apply with a carrier oil over the area of discomfort, or take a few drops in water or inside a capsule to break up the stones. For PH & lymphatic cleansing it is recommended to take in a glass of water or apply to ears and ankles to cleanse and balance PH. Drink in a glass of water or capsule, along with massaging into legs and bottoms of feet for edema & water retention. For heartburn & reflux mix with ginger oil in a capsule or glass of water. During cold and flu season, congestion & mucus is common; dilute and rub on chest or diffuse. Runny nose & allergies calls for 2-4 drops with lavender and peppermint in a glass or capsule, in addition to applying over bridge of nose. For gout, rheumatism & arthritis, take in a glass of water. If you are looking to detox your kidney or liver, take in a glass of water, or apply to bottoms of feet. For varicose veins, apply diluted with cypress oil. If you’re having a hard time with concentration inhale lemon, and for added help mix with rosemary. For emotional balance, use aromatically and topically to get from mindless to energized. If you would like to make your own degreaser & furniture polish, use 10-15 drops mixed with water in a glass spray bottle.
Peppermint oil is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic, warming, invigorating, cooling, expectorant, vasoconstrictor, and stimulating. A pretty great list of top properties. One of the best uses, I’ve found for peppermint oil, is for Headaches & Migraines – apply to temples, above ears and back of neck. For bad breath & hangover, gargle with a drop in water. Applying to chest, back or bottoms of feet can help with asthma & sinusitis. For mothers with decreased milk supply, apply diluted to breasts, take in a capsule or in water. If you happen to lose your sense of smell, inhale or apply diluted over the bridge of nose. If you experience gastritis & digestive discomfort, take in a capsule, in water, or apply over abdomen. Inhaling or applying under nose or to back of neck can help with alertness & energy. Fever & hot flashes can be helped by applying on back of neck, spine or bottoms of feet for a cooling effect. Recently gotten a burn, or sunburn? Apply neat or diluted to burned skin. Memory issues & autism, apply on back of neck, spine or bottoms of feet. If you’re experiencing cravings, inhale, apply under nose, or take a drop on tongue before or in between meals to suppress appetite. Applying directly to stiff, tense or exhausted muscles, even before a workout can help with muscle stiffness & tension. If allergies or hives show up in your day, take in a capsule, in water, or apply under nose or to bottoms of feet. If you’ve been exposed to gamma radiation, take in a capsule or a drop with water for antioxidant support. If emotional balance is your goal, then use aromatically and topically to feel invigorated.
It took awhile for this oil to grow on me, while most love it instantly. Lavender has a long list of healing properties; it’s sedative, astringent, antihistamine, cytophylactic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, analgesic, hypotensive, nervine, relaxing, soothing, antibacterial, regenerative, and cardiotonic. If you, like many others experience sleep issues, apply under nose, to bottoms of feet or diffuse to promote better sleep. In addition if you experience stress, anxiety & teeth grinding, apply over heart, on back of neck or inhale from cupped hands. For sunburns, burns & scars, apply to area to soothe, heal and reduce scarring. If you suffer from allergies & hay fever, take in a capsule or under tongue with lemon and peppermint, or simply rub in palms and inhale. Massaging diluted along spine, abdomen or bottoms of feet to calm a colic & upset baby. Applying on cuts, wounds & blisters will cleanse, heal & limit or avoid scarring. Lavender acts as a natural antihistamine when applied to bug bites & hives. If you suffer from nosebleeds & pink eye, apply across bridge of nose or around eye. Using on pulse points and over heart of taking in a capsule can help with high blood pressure. For migraines & headaches inhale and apply to temples and back of neck. If you’re feeling unbalanced, use aromatically to go from unheard to expressed, thereby maintaining emotional balance.
The root of the matter
In the past, our ancestors healed many of their ailments with natural methods, using herbs and flowers, amongst other things. It’s nice to see us returning to those methods. I’m not discounting western medicine. There is a time and a place for it. However variety is the spice of life, so mix it up. Instead of running to pop a pill for a headache, first try an oil. Using the oils regularly can even help before the onset of any pain; they can be preventative too. It’s safe to say that we will all be a lot healthier if our first line of defense is a natural method of healing, rather than synthetic.