A Morning Pick Me Up – 2 Essential Oils


We have been having some rough mornings in our house lately.  Greg has started a new job and is in some intensive training, so he has had a lot of time away from us.  The kids have done okay – but we have had some pretty rocky moments.  Sometimes, it meant just letting one of them yell out his/her frustration, sometimes it has meant giving a big hug, and sometimes it has just meant that mommy has held her breath until the bus arrived to take them to school.

Seriously.

I was talking to my mom yesterday, and we’d had a particularly rough morning.  She asked me if I had used any oils – and I said I hadn’t, but I would be diffusing some in the house as the kids came home and did not have anything rigorous planned for our evening.  It didn’t help that I had been awake since before 4:00 a.m. and was feeling sluggish and tired. She reminded me of a trick that is a GREAT pick me up – especially if you feel like your morning has run over you like a train.  As we continued to talk, I grabbed my oils and did exactly as she suggested and within a few minutes, I was feeling much less raggedy and a lot more ready to tackle my day.

All you need are 2 essential oils:  Peppermint and Orange.  I happened to have a couple of different bottles of peppermint, but I grabbed my Rocky Mountain Peppermint oil and my doTerra Wild Orange.  I let 1 Peppermint oil drop into my palm, followed by 2 Wild Orange drops – rubbed my hands together and inhaled for about 5 seconds.

I grabbed my coconut oil and put several drops in my  hands and continued to rub the oils onto my wrists and up my forearms.  I stopped to inhale the oils again and I could feel the fog beginning to lift!  My mood softened and my focus sharpened – exactly what I needed!

Remember – my opinions and statements made on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA.  Products and information shared here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition or disease.  Always consult with your physician if you have a medical condition or disease.  I am not a medical professional, but I do like to share what I have found to work for myself and my family.

This is an idea combination for a nasal inhaler.  A nasal inhaler can be put together, labeled and kept in a pocket or purse to use whenever needed.  I have used these nasal inhalers before and have always been pleased with the results! {Amazon affiliate link – if your purchase through my links, I get to earn a small commission so I can keep buying my essential oils!)

Peppermint can be a very strong essential oil.  It is important to use caution with this oil because if you get it anywhere near your eye, it will definitely burn.  Yeah, I do know firsthand.  It can also be too strong for babies and young children, so if you want to use it, keep it away from their little faces.  ALWAYS do your research and know your family’s needs and the appropriate precautions to take.  (You can consult Using EOs Safely if you aren’t sure, because Lea Harris is a certified aromatherapist and has great wisdom where this is concerned.)  Taking precautions when using essential oils is strongly encouraged – a little goes a LONG way!

I have used both Sweet orange and Wild orange from different companies, and have loved them all.  You can purchase different varieties based on the type of orange and source – and there will be small nuances in scent and usage.  It really depends on you and what you like.  You should note that some varieties of orange are Phototoxic – meaning if used and then exposed to sunlight, you can have an adverse reaction – so knowing what you purchase is important.

(Here is a lengthy but informative article about Safety from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy where essential oils are concerned!)

If you try this little trick with Peppermint and Orange – let me know what you think!  (I have tried it with peppermint and  lemon before but it just didn’t have the same “kick” for me that the Peppermint and orange had.)

Diluting Essential Oils for Safety

With all the talk of essential oils – and my recent flurry of posts about using them – it is REALLY important to understand just how strong essential oils are when they remain undiluted.  Essential Oils are oftentimes part of the plant’s natural defense system.  In production of essential oils for consumers, the oils are extracted from the plants in a variety of ways, and become concentrated in the process.  These concentrated substances contain chemical compounds with a huge range of benefits, including antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and other healing actions.  BECAUSE THEY ARE SO CONCENTRATED, it is necessary to dilute them according to their chemical makeup in order to obtain the best benefit without causing harm.

Would you use bleach – undiluted – ever?  

When I began using oils, I NEVER diluted them because I didn’t know ANYTHING about dilution.  IN my case, I am very thankful that I began with Lavender as it is not one of the “hot” oils which can cause burning and tingling, and even lead to permanent damage if used incorrectly.  Few oils can be applied “neat” – or undiluted – and for even the most gentle of oils dilution is recommended.  Also of note, it IS quite possible to be allergic to an essential oil because of a related allergy to the source plant.  “Natural” does not rule out allergies.

When it comes to blending and diluting essential oils, there are certain aspects of it that I really need to refer to more experts to get my information.  I can read and study books and website, but I don’t have a certification in aromatherapy or a degree in biology or natural sciences, so I continue to look for direction from those who have taken their education to another level.  Lea Harris, one of my primary resources, is clinically certified in aromatherapy.  She has learned about the scientific makeup of essential oils, the constituents contained within the oils, and how and why they can be used for specific complaints.

One of her quotes is

We dilute essential oils before applying to the skin to minimize adverse reactions

and systemic toxicity

I like that she is completely passionate about the benefits of essential oils, and realistic about allergies and adverse reactions, and always takes a cautionary stance when discussing dilution rates.  I find her to be both encouraging to essential oil users and very keen on providing excellent, accurate information about the use of essential oils, hydrosols, tinctures, and other herb-related products.

What to dilute with?

There are several carrier oils which I have tried and some work best in different applications.  The mildest (in  my opinion) has been Sweet Almond oil and I love to use it on my kids.  It has little to no scent and is quickly absorbed.  Fractionated Coconut oil is probably my most commonly used oil, but I even like to dilute this half and half with sweet almond whenever I can.  I have also tried this Hemp Seed Oil.  This was a surprising oil, but I bought it for specific application – joint pain – as it has its own intrinsic properties that help relieve joint discomfort (it is green-tinged and quite greasy, but lovely to use in my joint/inflammation blends).  I am currently using Argan oil from Grove Collaborative for a night-time facial application and am LOVING IT!!!

When Curly had pneumonia in December last year, we tried a few oils, but I kept skirting around eucalyptus.  Eucalyptus is a very strong oil, and I have held off on using it regularly, despite its renowned respiratory effects.  When Curly was so sick, I decided to venture into using some Eucalyptus with Lavender and Sweet Orange, dropped into some epsom salts and used in a steam shower to help with her breathing.  After the first use, Curly said she felt so much better and she finally slept – HARD – for the first time in days.  I have to say that she had been using an antibiotic, nebulizer breathing treatments and some OTC decongestants for several days already which did give her some relief.  But it wasn’t until I used the oil blend WITH eucalyptus that SHE said she felt so much better, and we used it as a chest rub in coconut oil as well and she was really happy about it!

FYI – some essential oils should NOT be used for children.  Ever. We know there are medications children should never take.  And we should be very cautious in just slathering oils on our kids just because we read about it somewhere on Facebook.  {Remember when aspirin was okay to give to kids?  I remember taking that orange flavored tab as a kid – but NOW it is taboo because studies have shown a link between using aspirin and developing other health issues.}

If you want safe guidelines for diluting essential oils for yourself and your family, I HIGHLY recommend visiting Lea Harris’ site Using Essential Oils Safely (www.usingeossafely.com).  The  nice thing is – she has done the math and calculated proper dosing information, and provides a lot of information about blending oils as well.  One thing she touches on regularly is creating “Master Blends” of oils that can then be diluted for application in rollerballs.  I haven’t done this yet, but for a few of my go-to oils, I might need to do so!!!

Do you have a favorite carrier oil that you use to dilute your oils with?  Do you have any questions about essential oils or diluting them for application?

Which Essential Oils Should I Buy?

Which essential oils should I buy?” is probably the #1 question I have seen across the board where Essential Oils are concerned.  The popularity of EO’s can be seen in the growth of companies like doTerra and Young Living, as well as on Amazon.com, afternoon talk shows and self-proclaimed “experts” on the web and Facebook.

You will find all kinds of people recommending one or two brands over all others.  Generally, this is based on personal use.  Sometimes, it is based on the fact that the recommendation (and later purchase) will generate sales income.

With the market becoming more and more saturated with new brands and labels, and because EO’s are NOT really regulated by anyone, it becomes more and more important to find reliable sources for your essential oils.

Safety has become an issue because children have been injured due to ingestion or incorrect usage of a “natural alternative” essential oil.

Quality can be an issue because anyone can bottle a product and call it an essential oil.  Some companies have undergone testing to determine if the oils in the bottles are actually the oils as printed on the bottle labels.  Sometimes an essential oil is pre-diluted but not labeled as such.  Sometimes the oil indicated, such as fir, could be one of a variety of subspecies (white fir, douglas fir, balsam fir, etc.) and knowing a scientific name can help you determine which oil might be best for your use as different varieties can have very different properties.

This does not mean you should not consider incorporating essential oil use in your personal regimen!  It just means that you should do your own research before jumping on the bandwagon that is essential oils and investing hundreds of dollars before learning about the ins and outs of safe, responsible use.

Ask me how I know this…

The truth is, the more I read about essential oils, the more I respect their use.  The more I learn about the benefits of using essential oils, the more I rely on them to deal with chronic joint pain, to help tame my anxiety, and to even help my kids move through difficult moments at home.

But safety has to be my primary concern!!!  

It is why, when you read about essential oils on a blog, you will 99% of the time read a disclaimer such as

I am not a medical professional.  I cannot diagnose or prescribe treatment for a medical condition.  Blah blah blah blah.

 

I know that I have not answered my own question about Which Essential Oils Should I Buy, yet have I?

That’s because there is no one single answer to this question.

The truth is, there are some very reputable brands and labels which produce high quality oils.  They have established a reputation for producing consistent oils and blends of oils.  The highest priced oil does not always mean you will get the highest quality.  Neither does the lowest price mean you are getting the lowest quality.  (Price CAN tell you something, but it isn’t the only factor to go on).

You can talk to other people about their oil use.  You can read reviews on essential oil websites and blogs.  You can talk to an aromatherapist.  You can read books on herbs and aromatherapy.  The more effort you put into learning about essential oils, the more confident you can become about using them safely.

Essential Oils have not had the time for the research and studies that antibiotics have had, so it is up to us – the consumer – to arm ourselves with the facts and information we need to be safe and wise while using essential oils.

I have used a number of brands of essential oils over the past 5 years.  I have read many reviews and references and even testing results (because I’m a nerd like that!)  Currently, these are my top sources for purchasing essential oils for my home and family (I am not an affiliate for any of these sources):

Eden’s Garden

Rocky Mountain Oils

Plant Therapy

doTerra (both through my mom and my friend Shelly – if you are interested in purchasing doTerra, leave me a comment)

These aren’t the only “good” oils out there.  I am not saying you should never use any other brand, I have just determined that these particular brands work best for our budget and my family.

How do you decide on which oil brand to buy?

 

Essential Oils Education

Please read the disclaimer at the top of the right hand sidebar as I am not a medical professional and will not provide medical advice or diagnosis.

One of the things I have really invested time and money in over the past couple of years is Essential Oils.  I know they are all the rage, but I also think it is very important to do a lot of research and learn as much as you can before you jump into using them.  As a consumer, that should be said for anything, really.  Essential Oils Education is an important part of using them safely and to their best benefit!

I have friends who are sales reps for various EO companies.  I am a member of several facebook groups devoted to essential oils – uses, recipes, education, and more.  I have been reading about and studying herbs since I was in college.  I could share family stories about using “home remedies” for a variety of things, nutritional supplements for treating various conditions, and have some experience using herbs personally to deal with nervous system and emotional issues.

I myself will be the first person to recommend Red Raspberry Leaf tea to an expectant mom in her 2nd & 3rd trimester because I have personally experienced the benefits of its regular use (and will probably write a post about that soon).

I do like to find natural alternatives to things that may be prescribed commonly, HOWEVER, I do not avoid medical diagnosis, treatment, or direction altogether.  I think that medical technology is awesome, truth be told, and I like to find a balance between learning about natural alternatives and relying on medical study and education.

I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  I DO NOT HAVE A MEDICAL LICENSE OF ANY SORT.  I have no formal training in either diagnosing medical/mental health conditions, and cannot advise anyone on what to do for “X, Y, or Z” when it comes to health.  I will not state that essential oils will cure such-and-such a disease or disorder.

I DO NOT SELL ESSENTIAL OILS, NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS, OR MEMBERSHIPS TO ANYTHING OF ANY KIND.

I AM NOT A CERTIFIED ANYTHING – not an aromatherapist, not a nurse practitioner, not anything.  (Certifiable, you ask?  possibly, but that’s a post for another time…)

What I can do is share what I have learned.  I can share what remedies I’ve discovered, and how I’ve used a variety of alternative, natural remedies to reduce symptoms for a variety of issues.  I can recommend resources for your own personal education and administration of alternative remedies, and it will be one of the things I focus on in writing more here at my blog.

There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet and in bookstores about essential oils and how to use them.  There is advice on all ends of the spectrum, and for all sorts of conditions, diseases, and disorders.

My goal is to help you wade through all of that to find the information that is pertinent to you and that will benefit you most in your own desire to rely on natural alternatives when you see fit to do so.  I do some reading, some research, some studying for my own personal enjoyment and have found some sources that I feel are both reliable and accurate.

I will tell you that I am doing my own research into taking my education in aromatherapy and/or herbal use to a higher level, but am still in the investigative stages at this point.  But it is something I am extremely interested in, and a certification would lend both opportunity and authority…

What I’d like to know is if you have any questions about Essential Oils?  

Feel free to leave your questions in the comments, and I will respond to you personally and consider writing a post in response to the questions I’m asked.  I can do the legwork and search for answers and share what I find here in future posts.