Two of the most important jobs I have as a mother are to help keep my family healthy and safe both physically and mentally. I try to stay updated on the latest brain research to support my tantruming toddler and all his big emotions. When it comes to my sons in elementary school, it is endless practice of safely crossing the street on their bikes. I make sure we have the right car seats, the right helmets, a variety of picture books on mindfulness. A mother’s plate, when it comes to taking care of her family, is never empty.
One of the ways I try to combat germs, aches and pains, and mood fluctuations more naturally and safely in our home is to utilize essential oils. I have been using them for the past couple of years. I’m not an expert and am still a beginner in my knowledge of essential oils and their varied benefits. However, I wanted to share a few things that may help you bring them into your home.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are potent compounds inside the roots, seeds, flowers, and bark of plants. Each has unique scents and properties that can help our bodies and minds. For centuries, they’ve been used across the globe to heal. They are deeply rooted in religious, healthcare, food, and cultural practices. Using essential oils combines historical traditions with a natural alternative to synthetic chemicals that are found in beauty, cleaning, and medicinal products.
Essential oils can come purely, a single oil bottled by itself, or be blended. Blends contain a mixture of essential oils placed together to create a harmonizing compound. Although I do have some pure oils in my house like eucalyptus that I love to diffuse or lavender to add some calming elements to a bath, I personally prefer to use blends.
Blends caught my eye when I was looking for essential oils that were safe and helpful for children. I researched and found some blends to help with sleeping, focus, and to lift moods. Sign me up! Additionally, I am attracted to the scents of blends more than one essential oil by itself.
There are many ways to use essential oils through smell, on your skin, or by ingesting them. When it comes to breathing in essential oils, you can spray as a perfume, put a few drops in your hand or at the foot of a hot shower to inhale, or you can use a diffuser.
I love diffusing essential oils. An essential oils diffuser breaks down the molecules and disperses them into the air. My family has a diffuser in every bedroom and one in our entryway. If my boys are having trouble calming down for the night, I diffuse a few drops of a calm or sleep blend. During a hectic day of online learning, we diffuse one of my favorite blends called ‘liquid sunshine’ to bring some extra smiles and energy. When I need peace after a long day, I diffuse smells in my bedroom that make me feel like I’m walking into a spa. The possibilities, uses, and combinations are endless. Plus, diffusers can be a beautiful statement piece of art in your home.
One of the best ways to get the benefits of essential oils, no matter where you are, is to use them topically on your skin. You can put a few drops into a warm bath or a favorite lotion or moisturizer. I, however, prefer to use a roller. Some rollers can be bought ready to apply on your skin or you can make your own. To do this, mix an essential oil or a blend with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Rollers are easy to carry with you and can be so helpful in targeting certain parts of the skin that can benefit from essential oils such as the neck, temples, wrists, abdomen, or the bottoms of your feet.
A few examples of using roll ons:
- When applying certain oils, like peppermint to your temples if you have a headache, essential oils can help reduce or alleviate symptoms, aches, or pains.
- I use a ‘focus’ blend made of several oils inducing pink grapefruit, lavender, and atlas cedarwood to put on my sons’ wrists in the carline on the way to school. Now we are using that roll on as we learn remotely.
- This ‘pocket pharmacy kit’ gets used on repeat in our house especially during the colder months. It has blends to roll on to help certain aches, pains, and illness symptoms like an upset stomach or congestion.
- Roll-ons to help calm nerves or help with sleep make great gifts especially during this pandemic. We could all use a little more zen and relaxation with all that we are balancing.
Before using an essential oil or blend, please make sure to read labels and instructions. It can be very dangerous to apply or ingest many pure undiluted essential oils. Some sensitive areas to avoid are the skin near or in your ears and eyes as well as broken or injured skin. In addition, if you have pets, please do your research as some essential oils can be dangerous for them. It is also recommended not to use essential oils of any kind on babies younger than three months old. Finally, make sure to learn about dilution ratios and safe carrier oils to use on children. Essential oils can provide so many positive benefits, but just like with any medicine, beauty, or cleaning product, it’s important we use them correctly.
Overall, the addition of essential oils into my home has brought tremendous benefits. Whether used to aid in cleaning, ingredients in beauty products, or diffused in bedrooms, these oils have helped me keep my family safe and healthy. In my experience, I am unsure if essential oils have ever cured any aliment in my family. However, I feel confident they have been preventative and have also helped make symptoms feel better. I see it each time my son falls asleep a little easier, or car sickness stays at bay. I hope this provides you with great information to start using essential oils with your family today!