oils. essentially.

Essential oils are all the rage these days, and I'm by no means breaking ground by sharing my experience. I know this. In fact, I've waited so long (I started using them five years ago) because I wanted to avoid the cliché, band wagon, topic that everyone and her cousin are blogging about. Oils. or oilz, for the real fan girls.

While I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel, and nor do I want to be a broken record, I felt like it was time to share my side of the essential oils world, because like everyone and her cousin, I've got thoughts. I've been using essential oils for five years, and I've tried about ten different brands. I use a few oils consistently (almost daily), but I have a much larger collection of 15 oils that I've added to slowly, over time. I think it's also important to note that I do not sell essential oils, and I'm not affiliated with any essential oil company. I've got nothing to gain by recommending certain oils over others. I'm also not looking to discount any of your, possibly contrary experiences with essential oils. If you swear by a certain brand, or oil, that I'm not a fan of, that's ok with me! I hope it's ok with you. I'm also not an expert or a health care professional. I'm just someone who has used essential oils for half a decade, and I'm happy to share my experiences and answer the most commonly asked questions I get. So here we go!

Do they work?
Honestly, most of the time. I find oils work really well for many of the things they are supposed to do, but they aren't as strong as conventional medicine. Lavender is supposed to suppress fevers. I've had that be the case with a very low grade fever, but never with a moderate to high fever. I reach for peppermint oil and drink extra water when I have a headache. 90% of the time, that's effective. The other 10% of the time, after 20 minutes of applying an oil, if I have no relief I pop an Advil. I prefer natural methods, but I'm also a fan of modern medicine, if it's needed. During pregnancy, I get the worst muscle spasms in my calves, and nothing brought relief. Putting cypress oil on my legs before bed cured them! I never had the cramps again, until I forgot to put the oil on my legs one night, and sure enough the spasms were back that night.

Where do you buy your oils?
I have oils from all over. I have received DoTerra and Young Living oils as gifts, I've bought oils from distilleries in France, I've tried local health store's in-house brands, I've bought NOW and Aura Cacia online. At this point in my life, I buy as much as I possibly can online because it's so much easier! I love well.ca for the free-shipping, and I know Doterra and Young Living charge for shipping. If you bought your oils on Amazon (I never have), you'd also enjoy free shipping.

Which brand do you prefer?
For me, it comes down to cost. I want to use a large variety of oils, and I want to use them frequently. For me, that means buying the more affordable brands NOW and Aura Cacia. That's not to say that I believe they're the best oils on the market, but it what works for our family and within our budget.

I look at essential oils the way I look at groceries. Ideally, I'd buy all local, all organic food, all the time. But when the budget doesn't allow, and I buy produce that's from another continent, grown with the help of pesticides, I'm still eating really profitable food. An organic apple from a local orchard is the best. A conventional apple from another country is still a great source of nutrients. Bottom line, I think apples are good for us and I think essential oils are good for us, but there are of course better options than others. For our family, it's not a high enough priority that we're willing to pay the 4-5 times greater price for the best of the best. But we still love oils, and so we buy the more affordable, non-organic, non-locally sources options.

Which oils do you use the most frequently?
Peppermint + Lavender. I love these oils!

  • Head ache relief (1 drop on your lower neck or temples)
  • Topical pain relief (1-2 drops on site, helps with lower back pain, abdomen cramps, growing pains in legs)
  • Sinus relief (1 drop with or without carrier oil, on your sinuses or in your nose. avoid your eyes!)
  • Mood booster/energizer (put a drop in your palms, rub them together, and breath in!, diffuse, or add to water bottle and mist)
  • Scent (this is also one of the freshest smells, so I like to add it to all my homemade cleaning supplies, or just sprinkle around the house) 
  • Digestion (rub a drop on your tummy after over eating - I do this more often that I care to admit!)

  • Chillllllll factor (every.single.night I put this on my pillow and the kid's pillows. the smell relaxes us all!, also add 1-2 drops into the kid's bath)
  • Cuts, scrapes, burns (This oil can clean wounds, reduce swelling/itching of insect bites, kill bacteria, sooth irritated skin, stop bleeding, decrease pain, with just a drop on the affected area. Keep this oil handy in your backpack/diaper bag)
  • Scent (my favourite scent of them all! I add it to my homemade deodorant - do I have official hippie status now!?)

Carrier oils?
Most of the oils I use, I use with a carrier oil. A carrier oil is another oil that dilutes an essential oil, to make it easier to spread on your body (and less potent). Olive oil or coconut oil are popular. I never use essential oils on my kids without carrier oils. If I'm putting peppermint on my temples for a headache or on my face for sinus relief, I don't use a carrier oil - but be careful to avoid your eyes, this is strong!!

I would really like to use an oil diffuser but they are pricey, so I haven't taken the plunge yet. Also, most diffusers would only work for one large room, so I'd need one for the kid's room, one for the living/dining, one for the kitchen, and one for our room. And we live in a tiny condo! If and when I do go for it, I have my eye on this beautiful diffuser. I also love this one and this one!

Ingesting oils?
Some people use essential oils in cooking/baking. I do not. I understand wanting to add some orange or mint flavor to whatever you're cooking, but that's a very expensive way to do it! I use natural essential oils found in the rind of citrus (i.e. lemon zest) instead. It's important to note that not all essential oils are food grade, so if you want to ingest your oils, make sure they are.

How do you know so much about oils?
It's been five years, so I've learned a lot! Trial and error, talking with friends who use oils, and google, blessssssssssssssed google! There are also a ton of books out there on the topic! I've heard good things about this book, but there are so many that I'm sure are great! I like following the Oil Collective and Five Chicks Wellness on instagram for ideas, too.

You can buy blends of oils from all the major companies, and usually they're more expensive that single oils. Most of these blends can be easily made at home, and in the portion you want. Here are my favorites:

"Thieves" / "On Guard" 
This blend is known to kill germs and bacteria and to support the immune system. People put this oil in cleaning supplies and a few drops on your feet (under socks!) if you're getting sick or are sick

8 drops Clove Bud essential oil
7 drops Lemon essential oil
4 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
2 drops  Rosemary essential oil

Vicks / "Breathe"
This blend is amazing when you're congested or have a painful cough. Rub on the back, chest, feet, neck, or sinuses. Remember to dilute with a carrier oil for kids!

4 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
4 drops Peppermint essential oil
2 drops  Rosemary essential oil
2 drops Lavender essential oil
If you use essential oils, what are your favorites, and why? I'd love to hear!

1 comment:

  1. Just a comment to let you know if you want to purchase a diffuser. I got the third one from your list as a birthday gift. I really like it an use it in our kitchen/the main room in our house. But it comes with a super cheasy color light on top : (. You can take it off tough, but doing it again I would choose the second one from your list.