"People could close their eyes to greatness, to horrors, to beauty, and their ears to melodies or deceiving words. But they could not escape scent. For scent was a brother of breath. Together with breath it entered human beings, who could not defend themselves against it, not if they wanted to live. And scent entered into their very core, went directly to their hearts, and decided for good and all between affection and contempt, disgust and lust, love and hate. He who ruled scent ruled the hearts of men."~ Patrick Suskind (from "Perfume")
Some essential oils are really handy to have around the home or with you when traveling. I use these five essential oils often and I never travel without them. They can be easily used for a variety of ailments:
**Remember essential oils can be very strong. Many essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil before use. If using them "neat" be sure to test a small area of skin first. Read more about essential oils and aromatherapy here.
There are many different types of chamomile oil you can find. I suggest using "roman chamomile". Chamomile is helpful for many reasons but it is particularly useful for insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping put a few drops in your palms, rub them together, and inhale and exhale deeply into your cupped hands. The medicinal properties will travel into your body and help to calm the body and mind. You can do this repeatedly throughout the night if needed.
Tea tree is antiviral, antibiotic, anti-fungal, and an antiseptic! It is incredibly powerful yet it is non-toxic for humans. You can use it "neat" (except on very sensitive skin) on sunburns, bites, fungal infections, and all sorts of infected areas. Keep it in your first aid kit or in the kitchen for those emergency situations.
Lavender is another one of those oils that everyone should have around home. It is antibiotic and antiseptic and it is unmatched in its healing capabilities for burns and scrapes. It prevents scarring and stimulates the immune system. In addition, it is very calming and has been shown to alleviate depression and shock. Lavender is a wonderful oil to add to beauty products like creams and lotions for its effect on the skin and its pleasing scent.
Peppermint essential oil is a great oil to keep in your purse or your desk drawer for help with digestion. You can take a few drops in your mouth (just be sure you have real essential oil and be careful to not drip too much or get it on your lips because it will burn for a second!). This will help with an upset stomach, nausea, flatulence, and bad breath. You can also use peppermint for clear thinking and headaches -- just breath it in and watch as you feel refreshed and lighter.
There are many varieties of eucalyptus and many uses for the oil of eucalyptus. But probably its best known use is for any kind of respiratory condition. When inhaled it helps to clear the air passages quickly making it a go to remedy for coughs and colds. For this purpose look for the varieties "eucalyptus radiata" and "eucalyptus ravensara". They can also be used by asthmatics looking to decrease their use of inhalers. To use dilute with a carrier oil and apply on the throat and upper chest, breath in through cupped hands, and/or add to a steam bath.
I hope this helps to give you some ideas about how to use essential oils around the house! Tell me about your use of essential oils below in the comments :)