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Essential Oils & How We Use Them

Essential Oils & How We Use Them

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

First things first: I do NOT sell oils.  I do NOT get kickbacks or free products from promoting oils.  I simply have found them useful and thought you might too!  With that said…

My first encounter with essential oils came when I was pregnant with my first child and was suffering from awful symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).  If you’re not familiar with what that is, consider yourself lucky!  I tried the typical over the counter pain relievers, I tried the “exercises” Google told me was good for correcting the condition (yeah, ouch!), I talked with my doctor about it and was basically told, “there’s not much that can be done for it…it will go away after baby arrives”.  So, I turned again to Google and found an article that claimed that a Young Living (YL) essential oil blend called “Panaway” when used with another essential oil, Frankincense, should provide some relief (the Panaway being an analgesic pain reliever and the Frankincense acting as an anti-inflammatory).  I was skeptical, but I tried it.  Oh.my.word, did it work.  I couldn’t believe how well it worked…I’m talking literally within minutes there was relief and it would last for days!  I got to the point where I was only needing to use it a couple of times a week (if that) for the remainder of my pregnancy, which was just amazing.  I continued to suffer from the condition for about six months after baby and I continued to find relief with the oils.  I was hooked.  So here’s what I know now about essential oils and how we use them today: 

About essential oil companies:  We use YL or Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO) products, with just one exception and I’ll get to that later.  RMO tends to be a bit less expensive than YL since RMO is not a multi-level-marketing company with individuals selling their products; you buy directly from the company.  If you know someone who sells YL or there's a local business in your area that offers them and you’d like to support them, by all means do!  But if you’re on a budget, you’ll probably want to look at RMO.  Both companies responsibly source, test, and quality control their products which you can read all about here and here…and that is important to me.  I’m sure doTERRA offers an equivilant level of quality control as well, but I have no experience with using their oils.

About application of essential oils: I’ve pre-mixed most of the blends that we use regularly in a carrier oil in roller ball bottles and I keep them in the fridge in this zipper bag for easy access.  I use fractionated coconut oil as a carrier, but you can also use olive oil.  Not all oils need to be kept in the fridge (mostly the citrus ones do), but I figure it doesn’t hurt since refrigeration should, in theory, extend their shelf life.  In lieu of the roller ball bottle, you can also put a bit of carrier oil in a small glass bowl and mix in a few drops of each oil.  I’ve placed saran wrap over the top of any leftover mixture and kept it in the fridge to use later in the day or even the next day and it still works fine.

How we use them:

Pain Relief-We still stick with the Panaway/Frankincense combo but now I actually use RMO’s “Relieve Me” in place of the Panaway (it’s made with the same oils).  I use this for SPD, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, and knee pain.  My husband uses it for neck, shoulder, and back pain as well.  I’ve also given it to my father-in law for his back pain and to my mother for her severe tendinitis in her shoulders, elbows, and wrists.  It has worked for ALL of us.  Simply massage into the affected area. 

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Headaches/Migraines-For this, I use a combination of RMO’s “Migraine Support”, Peppermint, and Lavender.  Apply to the back of the neck, behind the ears, and temples.

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Sleep support-Lavender, on the bottom of the feet then cover with socks.  You can also diffuse this into the air in your bedrooms (and kids’ rooms too!).

Earaches-A combination of Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, and Frankincense.  Apply to the inside of the ear and around/behind the ear.  Do NOT place in the actual ear canal.

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Bug bites-Lemon, Peppermint, and Lavender; apply directly to the bite area to relieve itching and make that bite mark GO AWAY super fast.

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Bug spray-RMO’s “Bug Away”, mixed with water in a glass spray bottle.

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Gum recession-this is a new one for me.  After being told that my gums were receding, I did some research on what oils could be used to help.  Then, I found this Happy Gums Clay Toothpaste that had all that good stuff already in it.  I also am using the Happy Gums Drops mixed with water as a mouthwash.  The taste is way different than your usual toothpaste/mouthwash so it takes some getting used to.  And the jury’s still out on the effectiveness of these since I haven't been back to the dentist yet.  These are the only essential oil products that we use that are not YL or RMO and I decided to try them because it was cheaper to buy them this way than it would have been for me to buy all of the individual oils and make my own.

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You’ve probably noticed that most of the combinations that we use utilize the same basic stock of oils.  Isn’t that amazing??  I personally prefer to buy pure oils (just one ingredient, not diluted) and make my own blends to help with a multitude of different ailments rather than buying all pre-made blends that are only good for one thing.  Makes sense, right?

What’s next on my “to-try” list?  Vetiver and Jasmine for stress and anxiety relief.  I’ve been meaning to try it for forever and, honestly, just haven’t done so because the Jasmine is a bit pricey.  I will get to it though!

Three notes about using essential oils:

1) There are certain oils that are NOT to be used on kids…Eucalyptus for kids under age 10, for example.

2) Ingest essential oils at your own risk.  There are so many different claims from the oil companies, from “experts” in the field, from bloggers who know a whole lot more about oils than I do…and they all come to different conclusions on whether ingesting oils is safe. 

3) Dilution is important; “neat” application (not diluting) is controversial.  Skin reactions, allergies, and desensitization are all possible with applying undiluted oils, but still, the larger oil companies insist that it can be done with THEIR oils.  Here is a handy chart that I keep for reference when diluting my oils (I usually go with a 5% dilution for adults and 1% for kids):

Image source: mommypotamus.com

Image source: mommypotamus.com

Bottom line is, our family LOVES essential oils…my collection is growing more and more every month it seems!  However, we do use them responsibly and with caution. I research the heck out of any oil or blend that I am thinking about using on my kids (know what's in the blends and research each of the individual oils!).  We do not ingest them (I have done so in the past and my gut just kept telling me not to do it...both literally and physically!).  We always dilute them.   This is how I feel comfortable using oils with my family, but I am a pretty conservative person by nature.  Please do your own research and do what works best for you and your family!

So tell me, how does your family use essential oils?  I’m always looking for new ways to improve the wellbeing of our family and kick some of those over the counter medicines to the curb.  Tell me your stories and best formulas please! 😊

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