Ok, so I imagine you are one of two camps when it comes to essential oils: 1. The Eye-Rolling Skeptic or 2. The All-Natural Oil Lover. But the truth is I think most of us fall somewhere in the middle — at least I do. I don’t shun all Western medicine in favor of all-natural remedies, but I also think trying out all-natural or homeopathic treatments before medication can be beneficial. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not an oils expert. I’m just a mom who used to roll my eyes at things like essential oils and baltic amber teething necklaces — until I got desperate and tried them myself and realized “these things might actually work.”
I first started trying essential oils when I was very pregnant with my second baby. I was due any day and of course both I and my oldest son were sick. Back then he was in preschool and he was ALWAYS coming home with something. I was a bit nervous to have his little petrie dish hands around the new baby. A friend (who sells oils) told me about Thieves Oil and gave me a sample. I ordered a diffuser on Amazon and starting diffusing the crap out of Thieves. And I saw very noticeable improvements in both the frequency and duration of the illnesses in our home.
Then after Calvin was born he started having eczema flare-ups and another friend (who also sells oils for different company and she’s a great resource if you’re looking for a consultant) sent me a lot of literature on using oils to help with eczema, as well as many other issues. She also sent some samples and I ended up buying a starter kit. I was already diffusing oils but at this point I started making rollers (a breathe roller for when the kids were congested or an immunity roller for when they were sick or something was going around at school). Then I moved on to making my own diaper rash treatment incorporating essential oils. And my own eczema treatment that worked better than any of those expensive creams. Pretty soon, I was using them in some way or another just about every day.
Now let me tell you that I am by no means a crunchy mom. I have nothing against crunchy moms, I’m just not one myself. I like my regular deodorant that works and sometimes I like to eat crap or drink a coke. I let my kids eat stuff that isn’t organic. I use disposable diapers. I try to keep an all-natural home as much as possible but I often cave to convenience or lower cost things. I’m telling you this not so you’ll send me a bunch of messages about how I should cloth diaper or what dangerous things are in my beauty products but so you’ll know that if I can use oils and love them, anyone can. Because I was a skeptic, but now I’m an avid-user.
A little more background: I still use antibiotics or take an anti-inflammatory when necessary. I vaccinate my kids and I get a flu shot (every year since I was 18 and I haven’t had the flu once that I can recall). Those things are personal choices and things to discuss with a trusted doctor and decide for yourself. I have my own feelings on the subject but that’s not why I’m here or what this post is about. I do try to help a fever with oils first, and try an all-natural remedy before taking a prescription antibiotic if possible. I believe these things can go hand in hand, rather than thinking you can only believe in using one or the other. I think moms need as many helpful tools in her arsenal as possible. So here are the main ways I use essential oils in our home:
When someone in the family is coming down with something, I immediately start diffusing essential oils to help build up our immune systems. I’ve tried Thieves (there’s a much more affordable and highly reviewed version here as well but I’ve never tried it), OnGuard, and Defender. I prefer Thieves to OnGuard. I think I notice better results with Thieves over OnGuard and I like the smell of Thieves more (I’m not a rep for either of those companies — this is just based on my own experience). I only have had the occasion to use Defender once and I liked it as well, but I’ve never really had to put it to the test yet (I probably just jinxed myself).
I diffuse 5-7 drops of whatever immunity boosting blend I have on hand in the living room and at night in the bedrooms until everyone is well (I use the low end for little ones and a little more in my bedroom). I also make roller bottles with the oil and fractionated coconut oil and roll along the spine and on the bottoms of feet. I even starting rolling it on Charlie’s feet before I put his socks on in the morning and sent him to preschool.
Note: I’m not really teaching you how to make the rollers (although you can follow the instructions that I shared here for a different type if you aren’t familiar — and this is an old post from a couple of years ago, so I’ve changed some of the products I use a bit) because I feel like you can find this all over the internet these days. And at the bottom of the post I’ll share sources for everything you see in the photos and all of the supplies you’ll need for diffusing and making your own rollers, etc. and why I choose the oils that I do.
Perking Up and Calming Down
Diffusing oils is a great way to both start and end the day. I like to diffuse Happy Joy in the morning to get everyone in good moods. If I’m working from home I sometimes need Energy Boost instead of that afternoon cup of coffee. And Peace and Quiet or Tranquility (or both!) in the evening during dinner gets everyone calmed down. I also like to diffuse Sleepy in our bedrooms to help with, well, sleep. I also sometimes use a Sleepy roller (made the same way as I linked to above but with relaxing oils) and roll on the bottoms of feet before bed.
Teething Pain, Colds, Aches & Fevers
Besides immunity boosting, I use oils to help fight cold symptoms or naturally bring down a low fever. For colds, I like to ease stuffiness and congestion and promote respiratory health with mix of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lemon, and Lavender oils. You can diffuse the mixture, roll it on the bottoms of feet, or inhale it under the nose from a cotton ball or washcloth. To help treat a fever I dilute peppermint oil in a carrier oil and roll on the bottoms of feet and back of the neck. I like to roll a blend of lavender and tea tree (melaleuca) oils behind the ear, on the jawline, and neck and massage in a downward motion to help earaches. For a teething baby, I swear by this if you are looking to buy something already made (both Calvin and Quincy love it and instantly calm down after I rub it into their gums) but you could make your own teething oil using Clove, Peppermint, and Chamomile oils (it smells so good too!) and apply it directly to gums or roll along jawline. (I was also a skeptic but now user of amber teething necklaces (we use this one) — even my super skeptical husband is now a believer.)
Fighting Environmental Allergies
We don’t have terrible environmental allergies in my house but there are certain times of year here in LA where we do suffer. Diffusing Lemon, Peppermint, and Lavender oils together really helps. I also make a spray bottle of the blend with water and use it to spray pillows, mattresses, etc. after I wash to help with dust mite allergies (which my son has).
That basically covers how I use essential oils to help our immune systems, boost our energy or mood, calm us down when needed, and to get restful sleep. I also use EOs for a bunch of other things that I will share in future posts, so stay tuned.
Anxiety & Depression
I have struggled with postpartum depression and quite a lot of anxiety (with several anxiety attacks) since becoming a mother. I’ve tried talk therapy, medication, exercise, rest, and essential oils, among other things, and found those to be the most helpful. I do believe in medication for severe anxiety and postpartum depression (and am still taking medication myself) but when I feel my anxiety increasing or a dip in my mood, or when I find that my oldest seems anxious (he is showing signs of inheriting yet another trait from his mother) then I’ll diffuse Tranquility or Happy Joy. Or if I want to go with single oils and blend myself in a roller or diffuser I sometimes choose Lavender, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense, or a combination. Or sometimes I’ll put a few drops of some of them into epsom salt and put them in a nice bath.
What Oils I Choose and Why
Without getting into a bunch of rumor or negative claims about any essential oil companies (it exists and can be found with a simple google search if you are interested) let me just say that there are a few things about a couple of essential oil brands that give me pause. I have tried and used some of their oils, however. But then I discovered Simply Earth, and I gave them a try and haven’t looked back. I love that their oils are 100% pure, farmed ethically and responsibly, distilled properly, 3rd party tested to ensure purity, and packaged and stored properly. Also, their oils are reasonably priced for the quality (much more afforable than those other brands I was talking about). The oils work great, smell great, and are packaged beautifully. And the company donates 13% of profits to fight human trafficking, which I think is fantastic and I am always happy to support with a purchase. I’m saying this only because I know I’m going to be asked what oils I use or why I choose these over other popular brands. I think you need to try oils out and do your research and choose what works best for you and what you feel good about. This is a company I feel good about. They also have a wonderful subscription box service that I love for discovering new uses and recipes for using essential oils, plus the value of what is in the box itself is much higher than the monthly subscription. I’m actually giving one away in my Mother’s Day Treat Yo Self Giveaway here if you’d like to enter!
For a good reference on diluting essential oils safely, go here.
As always, please consult your physician if you have any health issues and try this at your own risk. This post should not be used to diagnose a medical condition, or replace your health care provider. However, I do hope to inspire you to become healthier, more self-sufficient, and more aware of alternative options. I hope to aid you in your own personal research and study.
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