Essential Oils for health

[I drafted this a week ago, and didn’t get around to posting it until today.]

Earlier this week my mother sent me a link to a guest post that my sister wrote for a blog called Foods4BetterHealth and I realized that I better get on it and write something too. The article is called “Essential Oils 101: Why They’re Making a Comeback” and opens like this:

Essential oils have been a part of my life for at least eight years. My mother was using them and so whenever I felt a sore throat coming on, a stomach ache, or any kind of ache—if I burned myself in the kitchen, cut myself with a knife, or just needed to focus on a project—my mother would pull out the appropriate essential oil. Lately, they have become more mainstream as people are tired of having adverse reactions to synthetic drugs, tired of putting chemicals into their bodies, and are learning about and experiencing the benefits of essential oils. The beauty of essential oils is that they can help equip the body so that it can do what it was designed to do: heal itself naturally.

I occasionally recall to people that when I was a child I’d line up and get my ears and throat checked by my grandfather, a doctor, and as an adult I’ve lined up (sometimes with my sister and nieces) for essential oils dispensed by his daughter, my mom.

I remember how safe and comforted I felt when my grandfather turned on his ear scope (it was like a flashlight!) and gently rested it in my ear. Sometimes he’d come over with his black doctor’s bag, and sometimes he’d take me into his home office to check my ears and throat. And my mother’s own collection, lined up on a wooden rack similar to the one depicted below, like soldiers ready to fight, has brought me comfort too. Got a sore throat? Here, have some Thieves (use this link to buy). Chest congested? Try some R.C. blend or a few drops of various single oils combined. Menstrual cramps? Lavender, sweet marjoram and others will help with that. Lavender and peppermint work on headaches.

Young Living Oils

Not my mother’s dispensary. Hers is upright.

I’m telling you, no matter how old I get – and I’m nearing 40 – sometimes I still want my “mommy”.

Recently my sister started researching essential oils more on her own and began her own “dispensary” of Young Living Essential Oils. She resurrected some blog space (I helped with some edits and design feedback). Her tag line, “I am passionate about health and wellness, healthy eating and healthy living.”, may as well be mine. As I’ve written on my About page, interest in wellness runs in the family. You can buy YL Essential Oils through her.

After reading the her guest post I returned to her blog, which I hadn’t looked at in awhile, and saw how amazing it looks and how great the content is. She’s now the essential oil expert.

Reading material

You might know about drinking lemon water first thing in the morning, but did you know that you can use lemon oil in water without the potential negative effects on your teeth? Read Lemon Oil As A Morning Detox. (Note: I drafted this post on Wednesday and on Thursday morning I enjoyed a big glass of water with lemon oil.)

In Donna Karan on Young Living read why Karan’s husband went from not believing in yoga, Reiki and the like, to accepting them and finding pain relief for his cancer (the cancer killed him anyway, but some forms of cancer does that regardless of treatment methods used). Read how she’s been trying to revolutionize healthcare in the U.S. for the last several years. In a quote taken from an interview, Karan talks about using the Young Living Thieves line. Thieves is an antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-infectious essential oil blend that they make into a variety of products such as mouthwash, household cleaner, wipes and hand soap. The base oil blend itself is recommended for when you have a sore throat or feel a virus coming on. I’m a long time fan. It doesn’t always work to make me feel better when I’m sick – and it tastes terrible –  but the Thieves foaming hand soap is one of my favourite products ever. One of the product pages on Young Living’s website recommends a few drops of Thieves essential oil blend in your dishwater or dishwasher to thoroughly clean dishes and eliminate odour. It also recommends diffusing Thieves essential oil blend for 15–30 minutes in your home or office to help eliminate airborne bacteria. I wonder if spritzing a Thieves household cleaner solution into my compost bin would help with the odours caused by decaying matter.

Learn how to use essential oils as your First Aid kit (medicine cabinet makeover!) and 3 key essential oils to have in your home (great tip about peppermint!)

And, my sister being way more of a cook than I am, her blog is full of recipes.


How I’ve used essential oils and suggestions for you:

1. Essential oils in the kitchen (cooking, baking, etc.)

  • A drop or two of peppermint essential oil in hot chocolate or brownies, in place of peppermint extract. Young Living’s oils are all food grade, so you could experiment with flavours and make your own fancy-pants coffee drink at a fraction of the price you’d pay in a coffee shop. I generally don’t like chocolate mint but peppermint oil in brownies is kinda brilliant.
  • Other oils that that you can use in food or drink prep – some of which could replace extracts – include citrus fruit oils such as grapefruit, orange and tangerine, and herb oils such as dill, coriander, celery seed, fennel, marjoram, clove, sage, tarragon, nutmeg and rosemary. Of course you won’t want to eat patchouli. (I can’t stand the smell of patchouli. It makes me nauseous.)

2. Natural water flavouring

  • A drop or two to flavour water: I’ve used lemongrass, lemon and mint. All natural. Take that, Mio.

3. Toothpaste

  • I made this once after taking Meghan’s Natural Body Care workshop (sign up for her online Edible Body Care workshop). I don’t recall the exact ingredients but I think they included vegetable glycerine and baking soda. Or you could buy a natural brand such as Green Beaver, which is what I use, because I like my toothpaste natural and fluoride free. Some home made things are fun to make once to experience it and to say you’ve done it.

4. Home made deodorant

  • DIY deodorant. I use it more in the summer. Lemongrass and lavender (choose 1) are good.

5. Eye cream

  • Around the time of my recent birthday  I made a home made eye cream. The ingredients: Coconut oil, vitamin E oil, lavender essential oil.

6. Perfume

  • Sometimes I wear lemongrass oil to remind me of St. Lucia and tropical breezes. [~So I could link to it, I spent waaay too much time trying to find a post about my St. Lucia trip in Meghan’s blog after noticing that I never ended up writing about it here. In the post I linked to there are some photos of me. In some of those, I’m wearing a skort, which I bought from my sister’s clothing company.]

7. Insect repellent

  • Young Living makes a Citronella oil, which you often see in the form of candles and torches. Different oils work on different insects. For example, studies have shown that peppermint and thyme disrupt the larval cycle of mosquitoes. Before I left for St. Lucia my mother gave me a bunch of oils and scrawled a list of “recipes” of a piece of paper that I still have somewhere. I used lemongrass as a repellent along with others. I can’t say I didn’t get bitten, but I got fewer than I otherwise might have. Mosquitoes love me. Ditto for all the camping I did last year. I honestly don’t think that one thing is guaranteed to work against all insects all the time, but I 99% of the time I refuse to use DEET (and when I do I feel guilty – but itch-free).

8. Other hygiene

  • Lemon oil blended with aloe gel to make hand sanitizer without the alcohol smell.
  • For years I’ve been using tea tree oil for fungal infections such as athletes foot. Tea tree oil is found in many dandruff remedies too. For some reason, tea tree is way more mainstream than the others. The same could be said about oil of oregano. Lots of people know that oregano oil is good to take while sick – or to prevent getting sick – but don’t know the benefits of, say, frankincense.

Another helpful essential oil application that my mom taught me: When my nose is stuffed up I put a drop or two of peppermint and eucalyptus oils on my palm, rub my palms together, and breathe in. I have tiny bottles of oils that were dispensed out to me. It’s like using Vicks VapoRub, but without the petroleum and turpentine.

I’ve read that adding a couple of drops of lavender oil to a brand new bottle of mascara will prevent bacteria from growing in the tube and it helps your lashes grow.

So, wellness, home or beauty, check out uses for essential oils, and read the Food Loving Mommy blog for great recipes and essential oil information and purchasing.

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  1. Sometimes I still want my “mommy”. - Andrea the Gastronaut - January 18, 2015

    […] was part of a blog post about my sister’s essential oils […]

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