Have you gotten on the essential oil bandwagon? Essential oils are made by extracting oils from different parts of plants, flowers, leaves, roots and bark among other things. It takes a large quantity to make a small amount of oil. That’s why they can be so expensive.
While essential oils have been around for thousands of years, they seem to be increasingly popular among people seeking a more natural approach to health and wellness. I love using them in a diffuser in our bedroom. My favorite oils are lavender and eucalyptus. Just a few drops mixed with water in the diffuser and our bedroom is quickly filled with amazing scents that promote restful sleep. If you don’t have a diffuser, just put a few drops of oil on your pillows.
There are so many uses for essential oils and many can even be ingested. Of course you should consult your doctor since many essential oils are super powerful and all are highly concentrated. If you have looked in to them, you might be surprised to see how expensive they can be. Many are synthetic, so you should look for 100 percent organic, pure essential oils.
Did you know many essential oils are said to boost your immune system and fight infections? These oils include oregano, myrrh, ginger, lemon, eucalyptus, frankincense, peppermint and cinnamon. Health advocates often advise you use a carrier oil, such as coconut oil to mix the oils before applying them to your skin. You can easily make homemade body butter by combining coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E oil, jojoba oil and several drops of your favorite essential oil.
Essential oil advocates say ginger and peppermint oils can aid and improve digestion. They also say oils such as lavender, frankincense, tea tree, rosemary and clary sage can be used on your skin and hair — again, use a carrier oil as they are too strong to use alone.
You can also use essential oils in place of household cleaners to reduce toxicity in your home. Try mixing grapefruit, lemon, orange, lemongrass, tea tree, peppermint or eucalyptus oils with water in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner. You can also put a few drops of oil on cotton balls and place them in clothes drawers, the closet or even the bottom of the trash can to achieve a natural, pleasant scent.
Do you have aches and pains from a tough workout or from arthritis? Try adding Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the bathtub and watch your aches dissipate.
Summer will be here soon and that means mosquito season will be in full swing. To make a natural mosquito repellent, try mixing one drop each of lemongrass, citronella and eucalyptus oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil — rub it on your arms and legs to keep mosquitos at bay.
If you are new to the world of essential oils, do some research. There is plenty of information online and our libraries also have a great selection of books on the subject.
You are sure to find other ways to use these powerful oils to improve your health and overall wellness.
Email me and let me know if you already use essential oils and let me know which ones are your favorites and how you use them!
South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.