Thursday, April 7, 2016

Essential Oils

I recently found a large selection of essentials oils on sale at Walgreens. Some of them appealed to me so I bought eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender oils. I vaguely remembered that essential oils could help with relaxation and I have been under a great deal of stress lately. One of my friends had told me that she rubbed a little on her wrists and sniffed them occasionally when she needed to relax.
I wasn’t sure how to use them so I researched them. To be beneficial, the oils must enter the body through your skin, nose, or mouth. They should be used cautiously on children and animals. They should be diluted with unscented oils, milk, or honey.
For massage, dilute one drop of essential oil into sweet almond oil or other non-scented oil and rub into skin, sore muscles, or aching joints. For the bath, dilute 2-12 drops into 1 teaspoon of milk, honey, or oil. Make your own bath salts by combining 1 cup sea salt, 1 cup Epsom Salts, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and 15 drops of essential oil.
For inhalation. You can sniff the oil directly from the bottle or from drops on a cotton ball or handkerchief. Add 10 drops to a steam bath and cover your head and breathe steam for 5-10 minutes. Apply lavender oil to your pillowcase to induce sleep.
Drinking essential oils is not recommended. They are very concentrated and could be toxic. It is better to buy them in a commercial tea form.
Eucalyptus is good for sinus congestion. It dilates blood vessels which allows more oxygen to penetrate the lungs. I have used it with great success in steam baths for my nose and by sniffing it from the bottle. It also is supposed to stimulate mental activity. (Cure for mental fog perhaps?)
Peppermint oil has a cool and calming effect, improves mental focus, and boosts energy. Sniffing peppermint or chewing peppermint gum gives me a little boost when I am feeling sleepy or hangry (hungry/angry) in the afternoon.
Lavender oil is a relaxant, bug repellant, skin soother, and will induce sleep. I have used lavender bath salts for a long time and am now sniffing it from the bottle when I need to relax. It really helps. I recently read about the old fashioned practice of using a dream mask to help sleep and am looking for one or the instructions to make one. It is a small rectangular pillow made from herbs including lavender that you place over your eyes when you sleep. I really need some good dreams.
I’m not sure if  Tea Tree OIl is considered an essential oil but I have been using it for several years. I have it in a cream and liquid soap and although it really works for me , the smell is not very appealing. My husband does not like the scent on me. Tea tree oil is good for any kind of skin infection or irritation. It also helps with sinus congestion. I discovered it last summer when I was having so many sinus problems. I swab a little tea tree oil in my nose after using my Neti pot before bed and it really seems to help me breathe better. I have also used it to clear stuffed up ears. I add a few drops to about ½ cup of hot water and bent my ear over the cup. The steam helped my ears drain.
I also bought some sweet almond oil to use as a conditioner for my hair and nails. I had been looking for it for quite some time.
I am not fond of drinking herbal teas. I do like a passionflower tea that my daughter-in law make from fresh passionflower leaves. It is delicious and helps with digestion. I also use a chamomile and peppermint tea mixture to rinse my hair once a week. It makes my hair very shiny.

I love these aromatic essential oils and will trying many more in the future.

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