I used to think essential oils were just hocus pocus. My mom has been using them to treat all kinds of ailments since before they were "in" so I never really understood why they were so important. Whenever I felt sick as a teenager, she would rub some on my feet, whenever it was flu season she would diffuse and whenever I had a headache she would anoint my head with something to ease the tension. I used to think it was kind of silly but I also kind of liked it, because, you know, it showed she cared about me. I honestly figured any relief that I experienced was just due to placebo effect.
Now that I'm a mom, I totally empathize with her. Trying to do the right thing by my family, especially using oils to prevent and help treat aches, pains and tension is something that I picked up from her. My mom always tries to do things the most natural way first, and as I am getting older I can see why. There are so many toxins and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our medicines, cleaning supplies and daily-used products - it's nice to be able to swap out some of the harmful ones with something more natural and botanically-based. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you gotta use bleach to get a clean bathroom! But sometimes a little peppermint oil on the temples can be just as effective as taking Tylenol in order to overcome a headache.
I don't think essential oils are a cure-all for everything. But I do think they are an awesome tool that can be used alongside traditional approaches. I especially love how applicable they are in zillions of ways - especially in preventing sickness and treating pain. I am not an oil salesperson (although I admit I've fallen in love with Doterra so much that the thought has crossed my mind!), but I wanted to share some of the ways I've been incorporating oils into my daily routine over the past year.
I love diffusing essential oils and I usually diffuse in several rooms of the house everyday. I have this kind of diffuser in all the bedrooms of our house (including Stevie's office!) and this one in our kitchen/living room. During the day I like to diffuse citrus-y oils, because they give me energy and clarity of mind. With two boys to take care of and this blog to keep up with, I am often switching gears throughout the day, and I love diffusing "Wild Orange" and "Balance" together to keep myself focused. At night I love diffusing "Serenity" to promote restful sleep, especially in the boys' rooms.
My newest favorite diffuser recipe:
Intention: (don't laugh - I named it!)
- 2 drops Lavender
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang
- 2 drops Bergamot
- 2 drops Rosemary
- 2 drops Peppermint
- 2 drops Wild Orange
Since having a c-section and some wicked stretch marks, I've been using a spray concoction to (hopefully) lighten up my marked bod. These oils are especially helpful in healing and restoring skin - I followed this recipe from my friend Savannah (you should follow her @MamaTribe account if you're into oil DIYs!) and I modified it a bit to my liking. To make, fill up a 2 oz. glass spray bottle (I got mine here on Amazon), add the oils listed below, then top off the rest of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil (basically this is just coconut oil that stays in a liquid state). I spray this on my belly and c-section incision every time I get out of the shower, then rub it in.
Smooth Skin Spray:
- 20 drops Helyscrism
- 25 drops Frankinscense
- 25 drops Lavender
- 15 drops Wild Orange
- 15 drops Grapefruit
- 15 drops Cedarwood
- 7 drops Geranium
Another way I use oils everyday is by making my own little rollerballs. I name them all different things and I make sure that each one is diluted enough to use on Everett, too. (I need to make another one for his toddler self called "Chill, child".) He loves when I roll a mix of Lavender + Frankinscense on his feet before he goes to bed at night to promote restful sleep (just make sure to put on socks, so you don't have oily sheets!) Here is an easy guide for safely diluting oils to use on children.
I have lots of these rollerballs that I use on a daily basis, but my favorite one is for anxiety*. If I need to calm down, I roll this one on the back of my neck, behind my ears, and on my wrists. I do it a few times a day, and make sure to take a few deep breaths and breathe the oil in, as well. When I am regularly doing this, I am much more balanced and at peace. Which I'll admit, has been very, very necessary this past year :)
- 25 drops Bergamot
- 10 Clary Sage
- 15 Ylang Ylang
- 15 Lavender
- 10 Frankinscense
- 10 Cedarwood
*I never use this rollerball on my children, since it is not diluted enough for them.
I have loved using my oils over the past year (and believe me, I've had many moments with my mom where I admit she was doing the "cool" thing with oils before it was cool ;) If you're interested in more oil uses and recipes, I have tons of them and am happy to share! Please let me know in the comments if this type of post is interesting to you and if you'd like to hear more! I would be glad to put together a little series focusing on the way our family uses essential oils.
P.S. - Here is a great post about using EO's in the home, courtesy of my friend Savannah!