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How to use Essential Oils in your home
(+ Self-care Tips from a Licensed Massage Therapist)
“Happy Homemaking” month continues with a post about how to use essential oils, which I am a big fan of! Whether for personal use, or use on clients in my massage practice I have used them quite often. I was introduced to essential oils over 20 years ago as a young child when my Mom decided to start using them. We grew up using the popular brand, Young Living, which I still favor to this day. I never met anyone with a dangerous reaction to these, or any other brands for that matter, but please be careful when using essential oils. Read all labels for instructions first. Most need to be mixed with a carrier oil in order to be applied to skin. Either way it is always a good idea to spot test a very small area before applying essential oils and carrier oils.
Popular carrier oils I would suggest:
This past month I completed a Massage Therapy focused Aromatherapy course. It was mostly refresher info for me since I already had so much experience using essential oils. If you are questioning the benefits of essential oils I would recommend looking up their history. So many positive stories have been recorded from the start!
Brand vs Brand
Since becoming a LMT I have gained experience using more brands than Young Living. At my current place of employment I have been working more and more with doTerra. DoTerra seems to have great oils and blends similar to Young Living’s. Plant Therapy is a new favorite especially because they offer a “Kid Safe” line of oils. They are also more affordable than the more popular brands, and usually offer FREE SHIPPING. If you are new to essential oils I would recommend doing some research to figure out what brand would be best for you to try. They all offer different products, and at different prices. There are many disagreements between essential oil users as to which are more “pure” or “safe” to use. I honestly never had a problem with any brand I have tried. I always had the positive results I was going for, whether using for the home or for myself.
Use of Essential Oils in the Home
There are many ways to use essential oils in the home. With all the accessories available nowadays using them either at home or on the go is super easy! I really like this case I recently ordered from Plant Therapy. They even have a sale section of their site which you might find some helpful accessories like this in!
An easy way I use Essential oils most often in my home is to diffuse them with an electronic diffuser. It helps purify/freshen the air while also keeping me healthy. Here are a few ways you might consider to use them for a healthier home environment:
Lemon and Tea Tree are popular for cleaning blends. Here is a recipe for an all-purpose cleaner with lemon.
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon natural dish soap
30 drops lemon essential oil
20 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a quart-sized spray bottle. Shake to combine. Spray and wipe on counters, cabinets, sinks, toilets, and anywhere else.
Other home-made cleaning products:
Disinfectant: Peppermint and Tea Tree together form a safe, fresh smelling disinfectant.
Deodorizer: Deodorize Your Fridge with Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamont, or Lemongrass after cleaning or add to baking soda box you usually leave in the fridge for extra freshness.
Carpet Refresher: Refresh Carpets with Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, or Peppermint oil added to baking soda. Sprinkle mixture into carpet, let sit for at least 15 minutes, then vacuum up.
Insect repellent for the home:
Deter Flying Insects with Peppermint, Lavender, Citronella, Lemongrass, or Rosemary oil around windows and doors.
For crafts and decor:
Liven Up Silk Flowers with a matching floral essential oil. Mix oil with water in a small spray bottle, shake well, and apply to flowers. Refresh as needed.
Lightly spray a mix of water and a few drops of preferred oil on pillows, blankets, couches, curtains, or anything else that needs a freshening up.
Air freshener for your car:
Air Condition-Air Freshen by clipping a cotton ball in front of an air vent, and adding a few drops of your favorite oil.
Home fragrance/odor killer:
Transform a Candle by adding a few drops of essential oil to the hot melted wax near the wick after the candle has been burning for a few minutes.
Essential Oils for Self-Care
If you are just starting out with essential oils, don’t worry about going crazy and buying up 50 different kinds right away! For someone who has used them a long time, and even in my massage practice I never usually keep around more than just a few. 2 favorites I always have on hand are peppermint and lavender.
How and Where to apply
Please do not be afraid to try essential oils! Aromatherapy has definitely been one of my favorite methods of alternative medicine which has proven itself to me time and again to have amazing benefits. Much cheaper than buying pills all the time for every little form of sickness! Between using essential oils, getting my monthly massage, and eating a healthy enough diet, I am proud to say I have not been sick (not even a head-cold!) in over a YEAR! I usually leave my diffuser in my bedroom, and whenever I feel something start I run it overnight with a few drops of peppermint oil.
Important to note:
If using directly on skin, where to apply essential oil may depend on the condition being treated and oil being used. Some may be applied directly on the affected area, on soles of feet, wrists, neck, chest, forehead, and/or other areas. When purchasing oils to use on myself, I prefer roll-ons. These seem more convenient and less messy than the regular little droplet bottles. Roll-ons might be best to go with if using on wiggly children. I especially like them for taking on the go since I find they do not leak as easily. I like to keep a few new, empty clear glass roll-on bottles on hand for making my own blends.
A neat accessory you might look into that would also be less messy, and does not directly contact skin as much would be a diffuser necklace or bracelet. The bracelet I am wearing in the photo below was actually home-made by someone. You can also search for diffuser jewelry online.
Shoe/foot odor: Infuse Your Shoes with Geranium, Basil, or Lavender oil to keep foot odor at bay. I always have oils in my massage room to apply on stinky feet if needed!
Energy/Alertness: Stay Alert while driving or studying by inhaling the scent of any combination of Lavender, Sage, Frankincense, Lemon, Peppermint, Lemongrass, and/or Basil oils. Citrus oils are my favorite for energy. I find grapefruit is the most pleasant. You might want to also try Orange.
Headaches/Migraines: Peppermint is good to use for headaches and migraines. It can also help those with sinuse problems by opening up the passage ways with it’s strong scent.
Nausau/stomach pain: Peppermint is also excellent for this. If I am feeling either, I quickly put just a small drop under my nose.
Bug Bites: Lavender has been my go-to for bug bites for years! This is probably my favorite tip I have told people! I have seen mosquito bites literally disappear overnight by applying lavender to the bite just before bed! It almost always instantly stops any itching. This past weekend I had what we thought was a spider bite that swelled a HUGE area on my leg. I applied Lavender right away (actually that roll-on you see up in my main photo). Not only did it not itch since, but by day 2 the big, red area was nearly gone.
Sleep problems: Lavender is probably best-known for being very relaxing. You can try sprinkling or lightly spraying Chamomile and Lavender oils onto your pillow for help getting rest.
Arthritis relief: Apply a mixture of Wintergreen, Clove, Peppermint and Helichrysum oil (also known as the “panaway” blend by young living) topically to the areas around the affected joints. But, don’t forget to mix it with a carrier oil first (1 drop of essential oil with 4 drops of carrier oil). That helps with reducing inflammation and pain, and cools the skin as well.
If you use essential oils, what are your favorite oils and uses?
Thanks for reading!
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