Essential oils have grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Therapeutic-grade oils do more than smell great – they can play a part in healing and promoting health and well-being. Read on to discover 9 ways you could help to boost your home's health and mood.
Editor's note: Prior to usage, please consult with your health care practitioner regarding oils that you or your family will be ingesting or applying topically. Read all ingredients to ensure no one in your family is allergic, and try a patch test before administering full doses to the skin.
Peppermint oil is cooling and may help to relieve pain and soothe digestion. Since this therapeutic-grade oil is powerful and may cause skin irritation, it should be mixed with a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include sweet almond, apricot kernel oil, grapeseed, jojoba, avocado, coconut or olive.
Mix 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil with a carrier oil and apply 1 to 2 drops directly to the area in pain. When using for headaches, gently massage into the temples and sinuses, avoiding the eyes. For stomachaches, apply 1 to 2 drops on belly and smooth into skin.
Lemon oil can act as an antiviral and antiseptic – and it's known to taste great. Add 1 to 2 drops of oil to your family's water bottles and the funk may be significantly decreased. This is a particularly good trick for kids' school water bottles. The taste and power of those few drops will last a few bottle fillings. Grapefruit oil also works well.
Purification is a home medicine cabinet staple for essential oil users – it is applied topically to cuts and "owies." It can help with small injuries like skinned knees and paper cuts, as well as on bigger injuries like deep cuts. The oil is a blend made up of citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, melaleuca, lavandin and myrtle and is considered to have antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and sanitizing properties.
Peppermint oil can help cool a fever. Stir 1 to 2 drops into warm water and sip, or mix a few drops with a carrier oil and apply to feet. Considered to be clarifying and stimulating, the smell is also soothing.
A good night's sleep is important for everyone. Unfortunately, many people have bouts of less-than-perfect sleep. Oils that are known to help promote sweet dreams are lavender and Peace & Calming, which is an oil blend of tangerine, ylang ylang, orange, patchouli and blue tansy. For nervousness and anxiety, try Valor, a blend of spruce, rosewood, blue tansy and frankincense. Rub 1 to 2 drops on chest or pillow, or use an oil diffuser.
During the winter months when colds are easily passed around, take extra immunity-strengthening measures. A regular application of Thieves oil blend may give your family the extra edge. A blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata and rosemary cineol, Thieves is considered antiviral and antibacterial, and can help protect the body from the onset of colds or flu. Simply apply 1 to 2 drops to the bottom of feet.
Lavender oil is often used to soothe skin issues, from sunburns to bee stings. Applied directly to the affected area, it may bring some quick relief while helping heal wounds faster. Panaway is also a notable pain reducer.
Try RC and eucalyptus to soothe respiratory issues, including seasonal allergies. RC is a blend of eucalyptus, myrtle, peppermint, tsuga, cypress, pine, marjoram and lavender. To breathe with ease, massage onto the chest, place a few drops on the pillow at night or place in a room diffuser.
Taking a bath is a great way to unwind. Add 1 to 2 drops of your favorite soothing oil and let the aromatherapeutic qualities take hold. This can also be a great way to calm wound-up kids at bedtime – just add 2 to 3 drops of lavender or Peace & Calming right in the tub.