A few words of disclosure before I officially disclose my many imperfections and unique (strange) obsessions. I am not a doctor nor an expert on essential oils. Rather, I am just a regular old mom. I am simply delving into this world of essential oils and learning as I go!
A Journey to Essential Oils
When I met my husband, on our first date, he asked what my favorite foods were. I replied, “Strawberries and French Fries.” That was pretty much what I lived on back in my college days. Strawberries, French Fries, and bagels. Well, and copious amounts of caffeine, of course.
In college, I worked two jobs while putting myself through school full-time. I did not eat right or exercise…unless you count carrying trays of food or running across campus when I was late for class. Sleep? What was that? I had less of four hours per day (or night) to even contemplate sleep. Only, I was so hopped up on espresso that it was virtually impossible to even lay down.
But I was young! I could go twenty hours a day every day fueled by caffeine and French Fries and I had nary a care in the world! The only person I had to take care of was myself. Well, perhaps I was not exactly “taking care” but I did survive.
Changed by Cancer
My journey towards a healthy lifestyle was not overnight. Even after college, my husband and I were so broke that we called nachos “dinner” and actually looked forward to when popcorn chicken would be back at KFC. I literally just cringed. But then, my husband and I tried to find creative ways to eat well and healthfully on a budget. I developed a pretty spectacular palate and my body thanked me for the effort.
But then…I got cancer. I was actually perfectly healthy, but I felt “off” It started with breaking out in hives every day. Extensive allergy testing showed that I was not allergic to anything enough to cause the welts appearing randomly all over my body. I started researching natural cleaners, laundry detergents, and beauty products and found essential oils. Lavender was the first and it helped soothe my skin, but of course, I had no idea that I actually had cancer.
My hubby and I had been trying to get pregnant for years already, on and off. We wanted to go back “on” and I went to regular annual exam with my OB/GYN. My results did not just come back as “abnormal”, they came back as full-blown cancer.
I left the handiwork to my fabulous doctors (whom removed the tumor in two surgeries). However, as I am not one to sit around and let others do the work for me, I tried to control what I could. I made sure I was eating right and exercising. Anything with “parabens” or “toxins” I wanted out of my house and my life.The doctors deserve the credit, but I don’t think my changes hurt my situation.
After the miraculous occurred and I finally became pregnant, I was obsessed with absolutely everything I put into and on my body. There was so little that I could control throughout my pregnancy while on bed rest. I could not exercise, but I could ensure that every morsel of food that went into my body would support the health of my baby.
I was a bit neurotic about it if we are all being honest. However, I had never before given so much thought to the effects of food on the body, both positive and negative. Lots of fruits and veggies for me! No mercury-containing fish or under cooked eggs! On the rare occasion I was able to dine out, I am sure I drove the poor chefs to madness with my orders.
As much as I probably drove my husband and everyone around me to madness, I learned a lot. I began thinking about the importance of treating your body right, pregnant or not.
My consideration into what I put into my body continued in full force after my daughter was born. My body was still producing the nutrition necessary to support my daughter’s health. She began having an upset tummy, pretty much every day. Her gas was terrible and she was screaming in pain. So, I cut out all dairy. Did you know that dairy is pretty much in everything? It was harder than I thought, but her tummy thanked me.
Along with the upset tummy and gas during this time, her diaper situation was not pretty. It takes a long time for dairy to work it’s way out of your system and until that happened, we were enduring quite a few of poo-explosions. She developed an awful diaper rash as a result. I tried all of your usual diaper rash creams, but she just was not experiencing any relief.
Then, I tried coconut oil. I wish I would have known to apply coconut oil before that awful first meconium poop as a newborn! Applying coconut oil definitely helped to prevent the rash from getting worse, but it still would not completely disappear. So, I diluted a few drops of lavender essential oil with the coconut oil and voila! Smooth as…well, a baby’s bottom!
The 5 Most Essential (and Amazing) Essential Oils
*This section contains affiliate links to Amazon, as well as information about Young Living Essential Oils, for whom I am a distributor. All opinions are 100% my own and I only recommend products that I have personally used and love. For more information, please see my disclosures page.
After I experienced the amazingness of essential oils firsthand, I was sold. Since that experience, I have continued learning and experimenting. Again, I am not an expert, but I have discovered that there are a few oils that I will never go without again.
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is my absolute favorite. It was love at first smell, honestly. Lavender has a floral smell, but it is not overly sweet or perfumey. To me, it smells light and clean. I actually like wearing it as a perfume, since I am not really a “perfume” person. It can be worn “neat”, which means you can apply it directly to the skin, but I like to dilute it in a carrier oil like coconut oil. This way, I extend the life of the oil and reap the benefits of the moisturization from the oil.
This oil can also be diffused and blends really nicely with so many other oils. I like to diffuse this oil at night and rub it on the bottom of my daughter and I’s feet. While I have yet to find a definitive resolution for what I call my “momsomnia” (by inability to sleep coupled with a list of mom worries), lavender certainly makes me feel a lot more relaxed.
While I am wearing or diffusing lavender, I just feel more calm and less anxious. I fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Even if I do not get a full eight hours, I feel more rested and at peace. From my reading (book suggestions below, the benefits of lavender are seemingly endless!
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
After discovering my love of lavender, I gave peppermint essential oil a try. This oil is another versatile oil that can be used in many different ways. If you are using this oil topically, you want to dilute it 50:50 with the carrier oil of your choice. I like coconut oil or jojoba oil.
Years ago, I was in a car accident that left me with a literal pain in the neck. I am not a fan of taking medications, even Tylenol, but this pain in the neck is a real pain in the neck…figuratively and literally! After mixing a few drops of peppermint essential oil with jojoba oil, I give myself a neck rub. Then, I lay in a Neck and Shoulder Relaxer for about 20-30 minutes.
The peppermint essential oil provides a wonderful cooling sensation without that awful medicinal smell. I wish I could have had this oil while I was tossing my cookies with morning sickness, too! Peppermint is known to have a cooling effect on agitated tummies, too!
3. Frankinsense Essential Oil
This oil has been around for thousands of years and for good reason. It has been used for all kinds of purposes and that is why I love it. It has a great earthy, woody scent and blends so well with so many other oils. I like blending this one with jojoba oil because it makes my skin feel look and feel amazing.
When I diffuse this oil during the day, I feel grounded and less stressed. At night, I love diffusing this with lavender for a peaceful night’s rest. I even created my own concotion for my pain in the neck using both Frankincense and Peppermint. What is great about this blend is that I get the cooling sensation of the peppermint coupled with the calming feelings from the Frankinsense.
4. Lemon Essential Oil
I started using lemon essential oil when I started trying to eliminate harsh household cleaners from my home. If you have not already tried the fantastic cleaning hacks using white vinegar and Dawn dish soap, you are really missing out! Your shower and tub have never looked so clean and sparkly!
The drawback, however, of the vinegar/dish soap concotion is that the vinegar smell…well, it smells like vinegar! I started adding a few drops of lemon oil to the concotion and I was able to get my house clean and make it smell great at the same time! Then, I discovered the Thieves cleaner by Young Living and that took my love of cleaning to a whole new level! Thieves contains lemon essential oil, but I will have to save this fabulousness for another post!
5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
In the Young Living line, eucalyptus is one of the main components of the R.C. blend. I know you are conjuring up the smell of cough drops right now, but eucalyptus essential oil smells way better, I promise! It does have that slightly medicinal smell, but also slightly woody.
Inhale and breathe easier! This oil is fabulous for a case of the sneezes. My hubby was outside recently doing yard work and after six hours of inhaling dust and leaves, he could not stop sneezing. I diffused a few drops of R.C. with a few drops of lemon and voila! Clear nasal passages! This oil is also great for getting rid of bacteria and boosting the immune system! As we move into the colder months, this is an oil I cannot live without.
Young Living Oils
All of the above oils are featured in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit. I have used oils from other companies and have nothing negative to say. It just made sense to me to grab all of my favorite oils in one fabulous kit and then continue to save! Plus, several of their unique blends are included in the kit, but that is for another post…
If you have any questions about the oils I have mentioned or about Young Living, please feel free to contact me. During the weekend of October 13-15, my Vegas mom friends and I are throwing an online party and donating proceeds from commissions generated to the Las Vegas Victims Fund. So, if you are interested in trying one of these amazing oils, know that the proceeds will go to a great cause!
For More Information about Essential Oils
I am still at the beginning of my essential oils journey and have quite a bit to learn. These are two of the books I have read so far and I have about ten more on my list!
Essential Oils for Beginners
The Essential Oils Book
What is your favorite essential oil? Is there an essential oil that you can’t live without or are dying to try? Please comment and share below!