So.....Do I Use Essential Oils?
The most visited posts on this blog are my essential oil posts. In one I cover The Role Of Essential Oils in the Natural Medicine Cabinet and in the other, A Basic Look at Sustainability, Essential Oils, and How MLMs Play a Role.
My business, Raven & Oak Herbals, is 100% essential oil free (with the exception of using Melaleuca alternifolia, Tea tree, essential oil to sanitize tins).
Its not a far jump for people to assume that I am against essential oils and don't use them in my home.
But that just isn't true.
In our home, essential oils are use for a few things. I will cover them each briefly.
1) Sinuses and Respiratory Aids
I grew up with chronic sinus infections. While diet plays a huge role in them, they just kept coming even after we cleaned up our diet. Using Lavender, Tea tree, and Eucalyptus essential oils in a steam really helped be defeat sinus infections and I haven't gotten one in years. I do use Neti pots when feeling congested and will add either Yarrow tincture or Echinacea tincture if I feel like its not going away but the steams are what stopped them from reoccuring 5 years ago.
I tried using herbs in steams but dried herbs don't pack the same punch as fresh in sinus steams and I needed the potency of essential oils in this case.
In the same way, we use Fir and Pine essential oils (along with Lavender) in a chest rub for the girls when they have respiratory junk. This is IN CONJUNCTION with herbal remedies such as sage tea, Bronchaid tincture formula (from Teeter Creek Herbs), and ACV baths.
While I use flower essences daily to support emotional health, essential oils work well for creating a good atmosphere. I will use Mandarin, Lavender, and Chamomile roman in the diffuser (a blend I called Inner Peace) to maintain a well balanced mood in the home. These essential oils are safe for young children and I use the Plant Therapy diffuser on the 15 minute on-30 minute off setting to get the most out of the essential oils while understanding the role of olfactory receptors and how our nervous system can still process the essential oils even when we don't smell them.
I DON'T diffuse when I have people coming over because scent carries memories and I would hate for someone to have a negative emotional response to an essential oil. Additionally, people can be very sensitive to these potent preparations so I opt not to diffuse out of respect for them.
3) Spirituality and Meditation
Just like how we use them for mood, essential oils can help up in focus, relaxation, and resonating with a higher function/power.
Personally, I work on my chakras. This energetic system has helped me overcome so many issues that even though I was skeptic at first...I was overcome with spontaneous laughter during a root chakra session and was sold.
A lot of the essential oils use for spirituality are expensive and rare so synergies are a good option. I recently purchased the Chakra Synergy Set from Plant Therapy to help with my meditation and am amazed at how my body reacted with laughter at each one (having struggled with depression most of my life, that is a huge thing for me). Before writing this, I made my rollers with each blend and feel incredibly calm despite my children constantly arguing over someone hogging a new toy (rocker board from Sarah's Silks, purchased on Amazon).
While I'm on this topic...essential oils were not in the Bible. The process to make essential oils had not been invented yet. Infused oils were the way they were used. I am not saying this to discourage Christians from using essential oils but trying to correct a myth. It doesn't matter if you want to use them as the herb is mentioned in the Bible, but the Bible should not be a selling point. It is a sacred text.
Safety while using essential oils
All essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil. ALL. Lavender can be used neat on occasion for first aid uses but if you are using them consistently, be safe and use a carrier. Essential oils like fatty acids to when in combination actually work better for us AND are safer. Win-win situation.
If you have children, ensure you are using essential oils safe for them. I like Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child by Valerie Ann Worwood. Using EOs Safely by Lea Harris is a great website with lots of safety information. Additionally, ask your children's permission before using essential oils on them.
Yes, I am bringing this up again because its important. Essential oils are not to be used for everything. They don't contain all the constituents of a plant and are extremely concentrated and potent. They have caused plenty of injuries due to unsafe use.
This is not a brand thing either. This is just an essential oil thing. They takes pounds of plant matter for a relatively small amount of essential oil. Because of this, they should only be used for a relatively small amount of things. See how that works?
Read the post listed at the beginning on this one to read more about the sustainability issue surrounding essential oils.
When you use an essential oil, use it with intention. Use it with gratitude. Use it knowing how much plant matter went into making that bottle. Don't use it carelessly. The plants deserve more than that. You deserve more than that.