Essential Oils

Centuries ago, oils were used as medicine for healing.  Today, they are used in difussers, added to salts for a bath, and massage therapy among other things. The first time I was thoroughly introduced to essential oils was during a continuing education course.  The hygienist that spoke had taken classes on essential oils and their use in medicine. Particularly, to be used along side today's modern medicine.

I was intrigued at the idea and decided to purchase a few and see for myself.  The first thing I did was to place the oil into a diffuser.  My family enjoyed the aromas of lavendar, especially after a long day of school or work.  Lavendar oil is also beneficial to apply to burns to ease the pain and reduce scaring.  I have found more benefits of essential oil.

During my husband's chemotherapy, he was told to apply a lot of lotion to his hands and feet. One of the many side effects was large, painful sores that would develop. This could be particularly debilitating since he was an electrical lineman.  Along with the lotion, he applied frankincense essential oil to his hands.  He never broke out in those painful sores on either his hands or feet. Of course, saying  prayers helped too.

The most sought after oil in this house is the peppermint oil.  One of my children suffers with migraines. She has since she was five years old.  Once when she had the beginning stages of a migraine, I placed a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil on the nape of her neck and gently massaged the area in upward strokes toward her head.  It helped...a lot, according to her. Now, whenever she has the start of a headache, she immediately goes for the peppermint essential oil.  If she applies it soon enough, then she can avoid over-the-counter medications. She says the oil doesn't take it completely away, but it's tolerable.  Recently, my mother-in-law had a very bad headache.  I asked her if she would like to try the oil.  Because her presciption medication wasn't working, she said she would try it.

She told me just prior to applying the oil, she would need to lay down and try to sleep it off. I applied the oil, as I always did before, to the nape of the neck and massaged it in upward strokes towards the head.  She thanked me and I thought she was going to get up to go lay down, but we sat at the kitchen table for over an hour and had a wonderful conversation. I asked her how she was doing.  She told me she felt so much better that she didn't need to go lay down. The next day, she called her friends and told them about the peppermint oil!

Beware, not all oil is the same. There is no governing body that oversees the essentail oil industry and there is no seal of approval. Generally, those that are USDA-certified organic oils are best.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing essential oils:

  • The latin name is listed in the product description.  If the label says peppermint essential oil, it could contain filler ingredients.
  • The company tests their products (GC/MS) This oil passed a purity test.
  • The company's oils offer different prices.  So a lemon oil should be much cheaper than rose oil, because it is far easier to extract oil from a lemon than from a flower.
  • The oil comes in an amber or dark blue glass bottle to protect it from oxidation.

There are a lot of oils to choose from. In future posts, I will relay more information and stories.  Feel free to share your stories too.

Health-bite: learn the benefits of essentail oils