Essential Oils – My Experience
When we moved to the Stoney Creek Farm 12 Years ago, I have to admit, we had not heard anything about essential oils except for use in candles or potpourri. Now, it appears that most Americans have heard about them and a huge following of people are using oils for natural medicinal and alternative therapy uses such as:
- Cold and Flu symptoms
- Skin Rashes
- Relaxation and Sleep
- Hormone Balance
- Improving Digestion
- Pest Control
- Managing Pain, and much more….
I want to say, up front, that I do not want to use this post to solicit business for any particular type of essential oil brand. I just want to share with you what we have discovered over the past 5 years about essential oils, the specific ones we have tried that have been beneficial, and why. I am also not a doctor, nor do I have any special training in oils…just sharing my experience with them. Also, I have multiple friends and family who sell different brands and do not want to get in “hot water” with any of them…love them all!
So I’ll start off by saying …I HATE taking medication! That is probably the number one reason I started looking into essential oils as an alternative to traditional medicine. Some drugs are necessary, but I avoid any that I absolutely don’t have to take. Ibuprofen is one that I like to avoid because too much of it, is so hard on the liver. Unfortunately, I have sinus issues whenever the weather changes and headaches behind my eyes are a regular occurrence. I had a friend suggest that I rub Peppermint Oil on three spots on the back of my neck to get rid of my headache…and it worked. I didn’t need an energy drink either…it wakes you up! It lasted about 3 hours and then I would repeat. Knowing that it’s a natural alternative and loving the smell, hooked me for life! This oil is also great to help prevent coughing…just put a drop on your finger and rub on the back of your tongue.
Homemade Peppermint Oil
I have a good friend whose granddaughter had a horrible diaper rash for months that just wouldn’t go away and the poor child was miserable. She had starting using oils and asked her consultant for some help. The consultant told her to try using one drop of Frankincense Oil mixed with a carrier oil (like almond or coconut oil) on the diaper rash for a few days. To her surprise, the diaper rash cleared up in 3 days! I have used Frankincense Oil for rashes and to help a wound heal after it has initially healed (not on an open wound) and have had wonderful results.
Every decade of life has its benefits and challenges. My 50’s hot flashes and sleepless nights for a more than a few years. I refused to take synthetic hormones and finally gave in to taking Tylenol PM when I went several nights without sleep in a row. As I mentioned, I HATE taking medication, so I tried using Lavender Oil, which helped me to relax and fall asleep…but not stay asleep. I absolutely love the smell of lavender, so its easy for me to use as a natural perfume and it relieves itchy insect bites.
Homemade Lavender Oil
Since the sleep problem was still an issue, I sought the advice of Registered Nurse who used and sold Essential Oils who suggested I try Clary Sage Oil, which might help with the hormone balance and help me sleep. The first night I tried Clary Sage Oil drops on bottom of my big toes and feet, I slept all night. Now this was not a perfect situation, because there are always other variables affecting sleep, but this oil helped me sleep much better for years until this season of my life changed…thank goodness!
Since we are serious gardeners, I invariably get lots of cuts and non-life-threatening wounds throughout the season. My number one “go to” antiseptic is Melaleuca Oil which helps to speed the healing process in lightning quick time (at least in my estimation). This oil is also call Tea Tree Oil and many people use it to treat Cold Sores, acne, congestion and respiratory tract infections, and fungal infections among other things. An entire all-natural household products company (called co-incidentally, Melaleuca) is based off this oil…it must be pretty powerful!
There are a lot of Oil Blends on the market which target certain health issues. The blends contain multiple oils blended with a particular concentration. One blend that our family has really enjoyed and helps us survive the allergy season in Spring and Fall contains Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, and Lemon. We use it in a diffuser (combines the oil in a mist into the air) to relieve our congestion and other symptoms.
One of these days I want to learn how to make my own oils and tinctures from these wonderful plants. My friend, local TV celebrity and Herbal Author, Cindy Shapton, has classes on the process of making oils and tinctures from herbs and flowers at her farm in Fernvale, TN. If you have this same urge to learn how to make your own…check out her website www.cindyshapton.com. I might just see you at her next class!
Cindy Shapton (left) on Talk of the Town TV Show