I have never really been one to be super "clean" if that makes sense. I drink diet soda on the regular. I eat processed foods. I always have. I take medicine, I have tried so many different diet pills and bogus diet drinks, powders, etc. that my body is probably just so out of whack.
The thought or idea of being a little more clean with my body has always been appealing to me, but it just seems so overwhelming- all of the food to eat and not to eat, what to do, what not to do.
For some reason though, over the last few months I have been super intrigued by essential oils. I felt like something like that would be an easy step in the direction of treating my body a little better.
A couple of months ago, it was like the stars aligned when one of my favorite bloggers Molly of Still Being Molly posted about essential oils. At the time, she had been using them for a few months and finally was ready to share her experience with her readers. You can check out her full post here. It was so helpful for me because I had so many questions!
First, let me tell you that this is just my personal experience using the oils. I am not an expert-not even close, I am not a doctor, I am not a nurse. I am just someone who has been using essential oils on the regular for the last few months in the hopes of living a healthier lifestyle.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are just that- the oil that is extracted from a plant. The oil is extracted through steam distillation and/or cold pressing. The oil is the plant in it's purest form, and is the most beneficial.
Why do I use them?
If I am being honest, one of the main reasons I wanted to start using them was because of the headaches I get. Like clockwork, I get a headache just about every day. It sucks, it's awful. They aren't migraine, but more tension. Not bad enough to put me in bed, but certainly enough to put a hinder on my day and make me want to do nothing but lay in bed. I had tried physical therapy, I had tried prescription medicine, but nothing seemed to work consistently. Plus, I didn't really take the medicine that frequently, mainly because I didn't want to have to rely on medication all the time. I wanted to give an alternative, more natural method a try.
I also just wanted to rid my body of anything gross. I know I am not the best eater. I know what I put into my body has to leave pretty nasty stuff behind, so I wanted to just be cleaner and more natural.
What oils I use.
I personally use Young Living Essential Oils. I signed up for the Premium Starter Kit-it is worth every penny. I settled on Young Living because I just felt the most comfortable with their oils based on the research that I did and also after chatting with Molly (she also has an amazing facebook page that is a great resource for anything and everything). Plus, almost all of their oils can be ingested. No matter what oils you use, it is SO IMPORTANT that you make sure they are able to be ingested.
First, I will share with you a breakdown of some of their everyday oils, and what they are used for. I will also share with you the oils I have used so far, for what, and their benefits.
How do I use them?
There are a TON of uses for each of these oils as well as a ton of other oils that I don't even own yet (although I would love to own them all!). These are just currently the oils that I own and use on a regular, as well as what I have been using them for and some of their more popular uses. I have found that pinterest is a great resource for oils and their uses.
Peppermint: This is by far my favorite! I use this just about every day. I put it in my home diffuser just to refresh the air, but I use it for headaches. Any time I feel a headache coming on, I apply a drop on my temples and on my forehead. Since I have started using oils in November I have only had to breakdown and take headache medicine one time. ONE.TIME. I used to have to take medicine several times a week. Peppermint is also great for a fever reducer, freshen breath, upset stomachs and even teething problems
Pan Away: You could consider this the pain reliever. I use this for general aches and pains, if my back is sore, or even if I have a headache. This is good to use with what is called a carrier oil (I use coconut oil as my carrier oil). Mixing the two makes a great rub.
Stress Away: I use this in combination with peppermint a lot when I get headaches. I also use this on days where I feel particularly stressed and just feel like I need to calm down a bit. My bottle of stress away is a roll on, so I typically roll it on my wrists.
Lemon: Love, love, love lemon! This is one of my favorites to diffuse. There is just something about lemon that is so refreshing. I like putting a drop or two in my water- so tasty. You can also cook with it, and even use it to make a homemade house cleaner.
Lavender: This oil gets a good bit of use as well. I have used this on curling iron burns to soothe, I mix it with coconut oil for diaper cream, and it smells great in the diffuser. I also like to rub it on the bottom of my feet at bedtime (and my girls too) to aid in sleep.
Purification: Any time we have been somewhere that I think was basically a petre dish of germs, I drop some of this in the diffuser (along with thieves) to purify the air. This also makes amazing bug repellent and also disinfects cuts and scrapes.
Thieves: This stuff is AMAZING. I feel like I sound like a broken record, but I use this a lot. My husband felt a sore throat coming on, and on top of that his brother (who he works with) was out sick on Friday throwing up. To combat the sore throat and possibly prevent the flu, he has been placing a drop of Thieves under his tongue a few times a day for the past two days. He feels great, and no sore throat! Ella woke up yesterday with a cough that sounded potentially awful- I mixed some thieves with coconut oil and rubbed some on her feet- no cough since!
The story behind the thieves oil, which Molly share in her blog post as well, is so awesome:
During the time of the black plague, there were thieves who were robbing the graves of the plague victims. Even though these thieves were robbing the graves of the plague victims they weren't getting sick OR dying-they weren't catching the plague. When they were finally caught, they were asked how they were able to keep from getting sick. These thieves were actually spice traders by day and were using a blend of natural essential oils to prevent themselves from getting ill, which is how the thieves essential oil came about!
Thieves has been proven to kill about 99% of airborne bacteria-because of that, it is one of my most diffused oils.
Deep Relief: I feel like this is Pan Away but amplified. I purchased this in a roll on, so I use this in combo with my headache remedies, or a day where I may not have a headache, just some tension in my neck and shoulders. I roll this on and usually feel relief within a few minutes.
Joy: I use this one in the diffuser a good bit. It's supposed to lift your spirits and has a really nice smelling. It's also known to decrease stress and bring you....joy!
Frankincense: While it isn't one of my favorite smelling oils, it does have some great uses. When I use it in the diffuser I usually combine it with other oils. This has a lot of healing properties to it like blemishes/wrinkles, warts, asthma relief, eczema, and it has even been linked to fighting cancer.
Peace and Calming: This is a really soothing oil. The smell isn't one of my favorites, but I just diffuse it with something like Joy and the smell doesn't bother me as much. This is a good oil to use in conjunction with lavender in the evening to wind down.
Valor: This is supposed to be a big help for snoring. I haven't tried it for that because my husband and I don't snore, but in my research I have read that a lot. This can also be used to make a pain relieving muscle rub (mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil).
En-R-Gee: This is great at just revitalizing you and making you more alert. It is great at boosting your energy. I have only ever used this in the diffuser and topically. I will say that I do not like the smell of this at all, but I just deal with it because I like the effects of using it. It pairs well with lemon-it helps increase your energy level and lifts your spirits!
Grapefruit: Besides smelling delicious this tastes great with water. It also aids in weightloss, cellulite, fluid retention, and it can help with kidney issues as well.
How do I use them?
There are a few different ways that you can use oils-topically, inhalation, ingesting and diffusing.
Topically- I use a lot of the oils neat (meaning by themselves) because I don't have super sensitive skin. Topically is just simply rubbing/dabbing the oil right on your skin.
The pictures below of the flex points on our feet is a great reference. Just one more way you can use the oils topically.
Inhalation- this is literally just that- inhaling the scent of the oil. This works well for things like headaches, sinus problems, stuffy noses. Rubbing some oil in your hands and sort of cupping your hands around your nose works well.
Ingesting- First things first, you need to make sure whatever oils you are using are safe to be be used internally. I am only using Young Living which I know are safe to be ingested. There are several different ways you can ingest the oils- tea, water, cooking, taking the oil neat in your mouth (like my husband was doing with thieves), or even in capsules.
Diffusing- this helps purify and clean the air. Not only do they make your house smell great, but you also get the benefits of the oils.
Headache combo: Peppermint on my temples and forehead, Pan Away and/or Deep Relief on the back of my neck/shoulders, and Stress Away on my wrists. It works wonders and like I said before, I have only had to take headache medicine one time since I started using the oils!
Weightloss combo: I have only been doing this particular thing for a couple of days. I am by no means expecting to lose a lot from this alone, but the overall benefits are great. I combined peppermint, lemon, grapefruit and coconut oil in vegetable capsules to create my own "pills" to take on a daily basis. I posted a picture to instagram sharing this- I plan on keeping everyone posted on the longer term results of using these capsules. It is also really beneficial for your metabolism to add some grapefruit and lemon to your water on a daily basis. Super, super excited about this particular combination!
Sunscreen: Of course this really isn't need as much now as it is over the summer months, but carrot seed oil can be combined with coconut oil for homemade sunscreen with about a 35-45 SPF. This is something I cannot wait to use on the regular.
Icy Hot: Combining pan away, valor, peppermint and coconut oil is a great rub for sore muscles.
Face cream: Frankincense and coconut oil are a great combination, simply because of all of the great effects that frank provides.
I could really go on and on and on about all of the tiny specifics of each of the oils and why they are so amazing. It is amazing how quickly they have become a part of my daily life. I am slowly trying to get my husband to jump on the oil wagon with me. It's taking some time, but I am hearing "do you have an oil for this?" more and more from my husband! Over the last few months, our household has been relatively medication free. I think a lot of that can be attributed to the oils-using them to prevent illnesses, bugs and other issues and to just maintain health!
It is an investment, but one that is SO worth it. Not that I need to justify to myself or my husband the cost of "transitioning" into using oils more frequently, but here is a really great breakdown on overall costs of using oils vs over the counter:
Have I overwhelmed you enough? Confused you enough? I know it can seem overwhelming at first. I was REALLY overwhelmed when I first started using them, but I literally just took it one oil at a time.
The first thing I did when I got my oils was research what oils were best for headaches because that was my main priority. From that point on, I would just look up the oil and it's use as needed. That seemed to work the best for me!
If you have any questions at all just let me know. Like I said, I am not even close to being an expert, and the intention of this post isn't to tell you that you should be using oils and nothing else! I just simply love this new path I have taken, and I have gotten a lot of questions over the last few weeks about oils!