Essential Oils for Mental and Physical Well Being
Essential oils have become the hip thing to do and are touted left and right as miracle cures for everything. While there are good sources for information, there is also a lot of misinformation floating around. I am not here to talk about who is right and who is wrong. I want to share a bit of my journey into using essential oils and hydrosols and some safety measures surrounding the use of both.
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and can only speak based on the information I have gathered from trusted sources; if you have any concerns, please, consult your doctor. This information is intended for educational purposes only.
I have been scouring different corners of the internet and literature to gather as much information as possible about essential oils. One thing is for certain, there are many different opinions in the aromatherapy community about safe use of essential oils. I prefer to stay on the side of caution and therefore never use my oils neat (straight from the bottle, undiluted in a carrier oil) when applying topically. I always dilute them. (Please, read through this page to find more in depth information about oils and their safe dilution proportions).
Also, there is absolutely No Way I would ingest essential oils in a glass of water. Think back to your chemistry class, do oil and water mix? The answer is, NO. Thus you can’t dilute oil in a glass of water. You can be causing damage to your internal organs by drinking undiluted essential oils.
Another thing that few people talk about is using oils around children and pets. Both children and pets are more sensitive to smell than adults. When diffusing around them, start with less than what the recipe calls for and work from there; use their reaction as a guide.
And since we’re on the topic of pets. Essential oils can be extremely toxic to cats due to metabolic differences and are therefore not recommended to be used around them. Diffuse with great caution or not at all in the areas where the cat is present. If you choose to diffuse and your cat may be around, open a window and try to encourage the cat to not be in the same room as the diffuser. NEVER Ever Ever apply oil to a cat topically!!!!! You can poison and kill your cat. Dogs are less sensitive and are more similar to children in this regard. You need to use child strength dilution for them, if applied topically. Please, read this article before you embark on any essential oil use with your pet.
If you’d like a great place to learn more about essential oils and a wonderful company to buy from, look no further than www.naturesgift.com. (Not an affiliate link. I just believe in supporting small businesses with years of experience over large MLM companies). Marge is the owner of the company and has been an aromatherapist for many years. She has a great blog on her website. Happy reading!
If you can’t use Essential Oils, use Hydrosols
The one thing that I found that is safe to use and can fill in during times you cannot use oils is hydrosols. Hydrosols (floral waters, hydroflorates, flower waters or distillates) are a by-product of steam distillation of the plants for essential oils. The ones that are sold by reputable companies come from a distillation process that is done by steaming a plant in order to create a hydrosol. Hydrosols are not as widely available as essential oils but you can still acquire some of the most popular from either www.naturesgift.com or www.mountainroseherbs.com (not an affiliate link). They are wonderful for the whole family and are safe for babies and cats. You can spray them, use internally or externally. They’re also cheaper than essential oils.
My favorite E.O.’s and Hydrosols
Now that I have gone over some basic safety information I would like to share how I use oils and hydrosols to help support my emotional and physical well-being.
Lavender (E.O.) – One of the oils that I use the most and find the most versatile. I admit it took me a while to get used to the smell (I associate lavender with foot cream) but now that I have, I find it incredibly useful for relaxation. I use a few drops in my son’s diffuser to help him go to sleep or put a drop on a plush toy that I put into bed next to him. He calms down within minutes and falls asleep. I smell it straight from the bottle if I’m feeling restless or put it in a few drops of carrier oil *(I use sweet almond or jojoba)* and rub it on my temples and inhale from the palms of my hands.
Peppermint (E.O.) – is another oil that I commonly use. I use it to achieve the opposite effect of lavender. I inhale it when I need a pick me up. It is not as strong as coffee but if you are pressed for time and your lids are closing, a few whiffs of peppermint will bring some pep back in your step and help with your concentration. It is also very helpful for headaches and migraines. I used it in conjunction with other oils to apply to my temples and my forehead when a migraine strikes.
Lemon (E.O.) – is a great all around oil. It smells fantastic and is so versatile. You can use it as a great mood lifter. The smell is so bright and makes you feel like you’re inhaling sunshine. It also has so many uses around the house, you can clean with it, combat cellulite, help clear up acne, and the list goes on.
Lavandin (Hydrosol) – has the same uses as lavender essential oil. It’s a great relaxant and can be sprayed around the room, taken internally or sprayed on a piece of fabric to enjoy the smell. I was cautious about using any oils around my baby before he turned 6 months old, so I tried hydrosols instead. I started with the Lavandin hydrosol to spray on his bedding to help him dose off. It was great and he loved it.
Roman Chamomile (Hydrosol) – by far my favorite hydrosol. I am in love with the smell. It smells like honey and taste quite sweet when diluted in water. I dilute a few sprays in a glass of water if my anxiety strikes and drink the deliciously sweet water. I feel much calmer after it. It’s a great addition to skincare, especially oily skin. But one of the best uses for it that saves everyone’s sanity is for a teething baby. You should never ever use essential oils on baby’s gums but you can put a hydrosol on them. Roman Chamomile is the hydrosol for the job. You can put it undiluted 3 times a day. I add it on top of my son’s toothpaste and brush with it twice a day. It’s a lifesaver if you don’t want to give Tylenol and as freaked out about homeopathic remedies as I am after all the articles about them.
Neroli (Orange Blossom) (Hydrosol) – an amazing smelling hydrosol. It smells like honey and vanilla. This incredibly sweet smelling hydrosol is great for combating anxiety. You can spray it like perfume, inhale and let the calming begin. I enjoy wearing it like perfume but the smell does disappear quickly. It’s also another great hydrosol to spray on oily skin.
This list of oils and hydrosols is by no means inclusive but is meant to give you a few oils to choose from that can help with yours and your child’s emotional well being. I hope you will buy the oils from a reputable seller and enjoy them responsibly.
Mood Lifting Diffuser Blend
4 drops of Peppermint
3 drops of Lavender
3 drops of lemon
And some *diffusers* that I use and love.