Confessions of an Addict!
I've got another confession to make, and…….. if you’re like me now you’re sing a Foo Fighters song, but randomly bursting into song is not what I’m confessing, well not this stage anyway.
My confession is that I use essential oils – yep I’m one of “THOSE” people! – instigate eye roll now!
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying these little vials of extracted plant goodness can cure all ailments from syphilis to fractures. I’m saying that these guys have some really good properties and there’s is place and use for them in every life.
My introduction with aromatic compounds was when I was a child, I remember mum use to place eucalyptus oil on a hankie (a clean one I’m assuming) and placing it in our pillow case when our noses were stuffy or doing the same with lavender oil when we couldn’t sleep. Not to mention her enthusiastic use of Tea Tree oil as a major disinfectant and topical agent around the house.
As I got older I felt the need to branch out on my own and try new experiences. My first dabble was with the cheap and nasty oils from the El-Cheap-O shop. Sure, they smelt good and they were cheap, and I realise now too cheap, making it best not to think about what other contaminates and chemical cocktails may have also been lurking in them!
When I purchased my own house and I made the choice to clean as naturally as possible meaning essential oils made a resurgence into my world. Enter Eucalyptus and Tea Tree for cleaning just like mum use to– ohhhh, isn’t that sweet!
My studies through naturopathy & herbalism meant I would often looked for things that would not only help give me a mental boost but also meant I got to experiment with concoctions and potions I had read about. This helped me expand my oils parameters to include Rosemary for memory boosting and peppermint to help with alertness. I would diffuse this combo in my study area and let the aromas float into my brain and work their magic or dab a little on my wrist to help me during my exams – did it work? Well I passed so you be the judge 😉.
Today, honestly not a day goes by where I’m not using at least one oil!
My favourite oils include:
Lavender - an oldie but a goldie. I have so many bottles of this bad boy around my house I may have a substance abuse problem! Lavender is well known for its relaxing and anti-anxiety properties, and its ability to help promote soothing restful sleep (so mum was right – who knew!). I often will pop this one I the diffuser or use it to pimp up the washing adding it to the my @That Red House Soap berries or use on the dryer balls too – this helps fill the house with a pleasant and soothing aroma. Lavender is also a staple in our camping kits as it soothing action also helps clams the skin meaning popping a drop on insect bites and stings takes the itchy away – almost immediately!
Lemon - Mmmm Lemonney. Lemon has to be my next over used oil because well let’s face it, it smells so good! This little guy also gets sprinkled on the soapberries (not the same time as lavender its one or the other) or sprinkled on the duster when dusting cobwebs away to help deter the little spidery critters from coming back – oh add helps boost that extra lemony smell around the house. As an added bonus lemon oil also helps to boost mood – winning. Mixing vinegar, water and add few drops of Lemon oil provides an all round cleaner that not only smells good, is also good for the environment and is cheap and simple to make. One final fun fact about this guy, he makes removing sticky labels of jars and bottles a piece of cake! Just dab a little oil on to a cloth and rub over the area and voila! Label be gone!
Peppermint - minty. This dude is not called upon as frequently but still gets his fair run. As mentioned it is not uncommon to find this one’s aroma in the air if I feel that my concentrations slipping – what’s over there? Oh, shiny! Wait, no, back to what we’re talking about. Peppermint is great for upset tummies to help soothe and works great on the kids. I use a few drops in a carrier oil (any kind you have in the kitchen is fine – coconut oil, avocado oi, olive oil etc). This same technique can be used for headaches too although apply to back of the neck or temples. Caution though the menthol in this dude can irritate the eyes so please be careful.
Eucalyptus - Kolas love it so it has to be good! This is a great all rounder. Adding a few drops of this to your cleaning spray makes a killer bathroom cleaner (no seriously kills the germs), while adding a few drops to your water and vinegar floor mopping solution helps keep your place spick and span as well as smelling that way too! Don’t forget that if your all stuffed up in the nose this guy can be added to a tissue or a hankie and sniffed as desired to clear those passages, or to go completely old school vaporise some in a bowl of hot water covering your head with a towel, just be careful as some of the volatile compounds can irritate the eyes.
Tea Tree - like eucalyptus only different. The purifying qualities and anti-bacterial properties of this Aussie native leaves us in no doubt as to why he’s a fave. Great for skin irritations and infections although apply undiluted to the skin can cause even more irritation and even possible chemical type burns so please use a carrier oil, Vitamin E oil is a great choice here due to its healing effects on the skin (but that’s another post for another day). Tea Tree or Melaleuca as it’s also know can even be added to your cleaning solutions and used in much the same way as his buddy eucalyptus. I love the smell of this guy but find less is often more especially when cleaning with him 😊.
While I wouldn’t say I have an expansive knowledge of oils and their uses I will say I am still open to experimentation and my oils collection is growing and now includes
Frankincense - love it, Oregano Oil – Super Bug Killer and Grapefruit which mixes very nicely in a cocktail, but that’s maybe for another post too😉.
Experiment, play, have fun with oils, their aromatic compounds alone can do amazing things for us in just our mood alone.
Allison is a qualified Naturopathy and Nutritional & Western Herbal Medicine. As the founder of Fundamental Wellbeing she specialises in gut health and stress related conditions. Allison possesses as strong passion for all things health and wellness, she understands that balance is essential to life, looking for real world solutions to help client’s reach their health goals.