A while back, I mentioned that I had signed up to be a distributor with Young Living Essential Oils. This was not a decision that I entered into lightly. In fact, if you had told me two years ago that I would eschew synthetic drugs one day in favour of those "new-age, hokey" essential oils, I may have looked at you like you had an apple tree sprouting out your ears.
So why the change in heart? Well, I find that in so many ways, I am like Thomas the Doubter--I need to experience something and see it and touch it to believe it. In other words, I actually tried them.
The first oil I used was peppermint. My friend Dawn gave it to me when I was pregnant with Noah. Since that pregnancy began when Jude was only six months old, my body had not had sufficient time to recover, my liver began to get overloaded, and I suffered from nearly a cold a month (7 in all), as well as the flu and food poisoning, having to be hospitalized to be re-hydrated for the last two. Of course, when you are pregnant, you are not allowed to take drugs. I hadn't much cared to take them if I could help it even before that, but I would occasionally take an antihistamine to clear my sinuses at night so I could go to sleep. (I cannot fall asleep while breathing through my mouth. I have tried and failed many times.)
After a few months of misery, trying to sleep in the recliner, among other things, Dawn gave me the peppermint oil. Oh, gift from God! I would rub a few drops on my chest before bed, and if it was really bad, on my sinuses, too, and within ten minutes my head was clear and I was able to go to sleep like a baby. (In my case, my baby was sleeping pretty good, so that's actually saying something!)
After reading The Maker's Diet, I began to realize that there could be a wide range of applications for essential oils. It made sense to me--one of my favourite book series' as a kid was set in "prehistoric" times. What fascinated me the most was the author's obvious knowledge of plant properties, and how her characters used them for everything from easing an upset stomach, to anesthetic, to birth control. It was this series that awakened an interest in me in all things botanical. (If I had decided to pursue science instead of the arts for post-secondary education, I would have become a botanist.)
Of course, there was still that part of me that thought that a good chunk of the hoopla surrounding aromatherapy was just that, and that the oils could be of no real benefit besides mood alteration, if that.
Before I say anything else, I must tell you that the FDA has decreed that only a drug can "cure, prevent, or treat a disease." (This is ridiculous, but it's their decree.) As a distributor bound by contract to Young Living, who is under the legislation of the the United States Government, I am not allowed to make any claims that these oils can do any of these things, either. As soon as you say something natural can prevent disease, the FDA says it must be classified as a drug, be regulated, and likely have the price jacked way up since Big Pharma will then be able to patent it and take over its manufacture and distribution. (I'm surprised the FDA hasn't tried to regulate oranges because they can prevent and treat scurvy. Oh, wait. They are trying that right now.) This is why it is so difficult to find information on the practical applications of essential oils. I am, however, allowed to tell you how I've used them, and what the results have been.
I hope that reading this helps you to see that they may have a benefit for you and your family, as well. But buyer beware! Many oils on the market today are no more than perfume-grade oils, and are not suited for topical or internal use. Read your packaging wisely. If you become as frustrated as I was in trying to find high-quality essential oils locally, let me know, and I will assist you in receiving Young Living Essential Oils, right to your doorstep.
- besides what was already mentioned, to ease indigestion, take internally or rub a drop on the stomach
- Rub diluted with a little vegetable oil on children's feet when congested to help clear sinuses (this oil is too strong for the sensitive skin on other parts of their bodies)
- A drop or two in a water bottle to sip on to ease a sore throat—wonderful for singers!
- Rub a few drops on neck and shoulders throughout the day, as needed, for a natural energy boost without caffeine. Also leaves a refreshed, cooling feeling during hot, sticky weather.
- most flexible, well-researched and “first” essential oil (Kind of a “wonder oil.”)
- Put a few drops in a spritzer with water and mist linens to combat dust mites and help provide a relaxing sleep
- Rub directly on the feet of children to help them settle, or diluted with oil on babies’ feet to calm them when fussy.
- Apply to a burn or scrape to help it heal without a scar. (I’ve heard it can also be used to help reduce old scar tissue, but haven’t tried that one yet.)
- Apply to plantar’s warts over a drop of fresh aloe vera gel and cover with duct tape to get rid of them.
- Rub on palms and inhale several times to help calm nerves when children are driving me crazy!
Thieves Blend (Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus radiata, and Rosemary):
- So named after 15th-century thieves who protected themselves from the Black Plague while robbing bodies by rubbing themselves with a similar blend.
- Tested at Weber State University for its potent antimicrobial properties.
- 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria.
- Highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-infectious and help to protect the body against such illnesses as flus, colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, etc.
- Gary Young (founder of Young Living) also diffused for 24 hours to kill black mold.
- I keep some in a spritzer bottle with water to clean everything from my toilets, mirrors, kitchen and bathroom countertops, table, chairs, windows, carpet (spot-clean), whatever. It’s amazing!
- For children, diffuse into the air when they start to get sick to help their bodies overcome the attacking illness. Either that, or rub some diluted with pure vegetable oil on their feet.
- For myself, I take some in a glass of water if I feel a sore throat coming on, or if I have to stay up late several nights in a row so my body is getting a little run-down.
- Purify and give a refreshing flavour to water (mask chlorine taste in restaurants)
- Help boost liver function
- Natural solvent: Use it to clean adhesives off of things
- Natural disinfectant: Cleaned the disgustingly dirty high-chair tray in a restaurant with lemon oil and a baby wipe!
Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree):
- Wonderful, non-stinging way to cleanse a cut—good for children.
- Apply a drop morning and night to a blemish to dry up zits.
- I’ve also heard this is good for bug bites. (It also has insect-repelling properties.)
- Used to painlessly get rid of plantar’s warts in a few weeks—a drop of aloe gel, plus a drop of oil, then cover with a band-aid or duct tape. (Switched to lavender when I ran out of Tea Tree.)
- Natural disinfectant—can be used instead of Thieves for disinfecting surfaces and cuts.
- Help ease back-ache
- Used a drop of Thieves on a cotton swab to help alleviate a sore gum for Jabin when teething (Clove oil is actually one of the active ingredients in Orajel!)
- Used on a twisted ankle that was still aching after twelve hours—applied Pan-Away twice, about an hour apart, and ache disappeared.
- Used on fingers and hand that were cramping and sore from over-use (felt like tendons were cramping.)
- Looking forward to trying it for menstrual cramps!
- After being “gently” rear-ended, used it topically to help relieve aching muscles in my back, shoulders and neck, as well as help rejuvenate my mood. (Also used Pan-Away on back where it was put out and sore).
- Used to cleanse children’s cuts and scrapes.
- Used to help cleanse odours from the house when a mouse died and started rotting in the crawlspace.
- Help to regulate mood and cramps during PMS day.
- Use steam inhalation to clear sinuses and respiratory tract, and boost immune function.
I am continually finding new uses for the oils. While I may not have time to post everything I use them for, in the few short months I have used them on a full-time basis, they have already proved to be of more benefit than I can describe. I would encourage you to look at ways that you can work with your body's immune system, by harnessing the natural properties of plants, instead of inundating yourself and your family with more toxins that your body must flush out.
Have a great Sunday, friends.