In the last few years, I've discovered the marvelous uses of essential oils in our home and in my personal life. I was first introduced to them when I started making and using homemade soaps. I discovered how lovely, pure, and natural these plant fragrances could be. I began (and continue) to prefer these natural scents over anything manufactured and imitation. (In fact, I just can't tolerate artificial perfumes these days; they make me almost sick to my stomach!)
I began to see that there was more to them than just a pretty scent. As I became familiar with them and studied in depth, I began to see how beneficial they could be not just in perfuming my soap and making things smell nice, but also to aid in the health and well being of myself and family (With all of the things I've shared in this series, I started to become more and more open minded to new ideas and methods of healing. Can you tell?). I began to understand that these oils, used anciently as the first medicines and frequently mentioned in the Bible, are the "life blood" or essence of a plant. The volatile oils distilled and concentrated into a liquid so potent, each drop endowed with a myriad of constituents for therapeutic, health giving benefits, not to mention the gift of sensory pleasure for man.
There are whole books written on essential oils. I won't go into all the scientific mumbo-jumbo (you can do that on your own), but my purpose today is to share how I use them in my home; some of my own personal experiences with these oils.
There are many sources, brands, and companies that produce and market essential oils. I've just about tried everything out there. The biggest factor in helping me choose a brand was knowing that I would need, or try to obtain, oils that were certified pure and therapeutic grade. There are a lot of oils out there that don't meet this criteria or standard. I'm not here to market a certain oil, but I've been happy purchasing Do Terra essential oils and here's why:
The company is local to me and I can pick up the oils without paying shipping. They meet the high quality that I discussed. I like the fact that they offer so many blends, whereas I don't need to buy lots different bottles of individual oils. I've seen them work wonders. I respect the leadership and philosophy of the company; the president is an acquaintance of mine and lives in my neighborhood. And he's a good man. They are a multi level company, however, (I'm not a big fan of these. I'm not into marketing and making a profit from selling.), which allows me to pay wholesale (for a yearly fee) and earn free product at the same time. After all is said and done, I think whatever source you buy from should be one that works for you.
Now, let's talk about how we use them.
A while ago, I blogged a post on some of the Homemade Cleaners I make. (I see that it is posted on Pinterest and is getting to be pretty popular. Gee, whiz.)
The oils make a nice addition to a spray bottle filled with distilled water; whether it's at the ironing table or sprayed on clothing, or bed linens. If Lucy (our dog) has done her business on the rug, or if the car smells stinky, I might choose to spray or spritz on a blend called Purify (Lemon, Lime, Pine, Citronella, Melaleuca, Cilantro). It not only smells "clean and fresh", but is a great deodorizer and disinfectant.
I like to use a few drops in the dish water or sprinkled on the dish cloth. Lemon oil sprinkled in the dishwasher before starting it helps the dishes sparkle and does a fine job at cutting the soap and mineral buildup- a problem with my dishwasher.
Another idea is to sprinkle on a bit of the oils onto a damp rag and tossing it into a drier.
On the web:
~ Christopher Websites a variety of links to An Herbal Legacy (a treasure trove of helpful and interesting articles for those interested in natural healing and herbs), Herbal Legacy Newsletter, A Healthier You radio re-broadcasts, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop
~ LearningHerbs.com is another wonderful website full of free stuff, including an e-book, e-course, videos, virtual herb walk, resources, etc.
~Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to get information, order teas and organic herbs, plus links to conferences and informative You Tube how-to videos.
~ an e-book that I recently downloaded and have found to be very exciting in taking on herbs in a hands -on fun, project-crafty kind of way is blogger Michele Augur's (of Frugal Granola) Herbal Nurturing: A Family Healing and Learning Guide
Dr. Mom's Healthy Living by Sandra K. Livingston M.H.
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn M.D.
Herbal Home Health Care by Dr. John R. Christopher
Every Woman's Herbal by Dr. John R. Christopher and Cathy Gileadi
Herbs to the Rescue: An Herbal First Aid Handbook by Kurt King M.H.
Today's Herbal Health: An Essential Reference Guide by Loise Tenney M.H.