Essential Oils for Everyday Use

Image Source: http://newwayhealthcare.com.au/essential-oils/

Image Source: http://newwayhealthcare.com.au/essential-oils/

I use essential oils daily for nearly to a year now. Before that, like many people, I only knew essential oils as those fragrance oils that produce the nice smell from candle light burners – that’s all.  A friend of mine introduced me to the Young Living Essential Oils earlier this year; I have since learned a fair bit about the use of essential oils and continued to be amazed by the diverse uses and healing properties of these wonderful oils.

What are essential oils?

Pure essential oils are derived from true plants. This is what I like about them. They are completely natural, unlike perfumes or fragrance oils which are artificially created in chemical labs. Most essential oils are distilled from leaves, stems, barks, roots, and other parts of the plants [1]. Other essential oils, especially the citrus oils, are cold pressed from their peels at low temperature to preserve its aroma and its chemical make-up [2].

Essential oils are highly concentrated. They are about 75-100 times more concentrated than dried herbs [3]. It was estimated that it takes 3000 lemons to make one kilogram of lemon essential oils [4]. This explains why a small drop of an essential oil can emit such as strong aroma and works like a potent herb. In fact, essential oils are used as medicine by ancient Egyptians as early as 4500 BC and they are treasured more than gold [5]. Recent scientific researches also produce numerous proofs that many essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. [10]

Image Source: http://blog.electrodry.com.au/index.php/11/04/2012/the-healing-power-of-lavender/

Image Source: http://blog.electrodry.com.au/index.php/11/04/2012/the-healing-power-of-lavender/

My pick of essential oils for daily use

Well, so much for the general introduction of essential oils. What are some of their specific uses? After learning about essential oils, I have been looking for ways to use them in my everyday life to replace the all prevalence household chemical products and medicine. In this blog post, I will introduce three wonderful essential oils, Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon, and my own experiences in using them.

Lavender

Image Source: http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oils/Lavender

Image Source: http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oils/Lavender

Of all the essential oils, I use lavender the most.  Not only because I like the scent of lavender but also because it has helped me so much in reducing the itchiness and allergic reaction on my skin when I suffered from Eczema a couple of months back (See my previous posting, “Recovering from Eczema”). I have recovered from the Eczema but my skin has become highly sensitive these days. I developed rashes easily due to contact with dirt, heat, sweat, or insect bites.  Lavender essential oil is my natural antihistamine. Here is how I use it to alleviate my skin conditions:

  • Apply topically on the rashes.
  • Put one drop on my thumb and hold it on the rook of my mouth for 1 minute – this is a very effective way to reduce the itchiness
  • If the rashes develop further, I will a capsule of Lavender essential oil (5-10 drops) every 1-2 hours until the symptom subsides.

In fact, lavender essential oil is very effective in healing all sorts of skin injuries – you can use it on cuts, burns, bruises, insect bites, etc. On numerous occasions, I have seen the effectiveness of lavender essential oil works on cuts and burns. For small cuts, it stops the bleeding almost instantly and the wound will heal within a day or two with no scar. My wife once applied lavender essential oil for her dad’s maid when she cut herself on the finger accidentally in the kitchen. The maid was utterly amazed with how quick the oil helped to heal the wound. Since then, the maid always looks for Lavender essential oil whenever she has any minor injuries.

I also like lavender essential oil for its calming and relaxing properties. When I feel stress and bodily tension, I find rubbing lavender essential oil on my neck and chest, as well as inhaling it through my cupping hands on my nose, very relaxing. I also like to diffuse it at night in my bedroom. Its soothing aroma is a great help for me to get a good night’s sleep after a long day.

Lavender essential oil is definitely “THE” oil for me if I can only pick one as my favorite. I don’t leave home without it.

Peppermint

Image Source: http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oils/Peppermint

Image Source: http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oils/Peppermint

If you like peppermint tea, you will love this oil. A drop of peppermint essential oil in a cup of hot water has a stronger aroma than that of a cup made from a tea bag. This is how I make my peppermint tea these days. I can make it anywhere, anytime – especially convenient when I travel. It is a great help in soothing digestion. When having stomach bloating, gently massage a drop of peppermint essential oil on the stomach will help to release the “wind” within.

Peppermint essential oil is also a good oil to use when having flu, sinuses, and fever. Here are a few ways to use peppermint essential oil to relieve the symptoms:

  • Rub a few drops of peppermint essential oil onto the nose, temples and neck to help in relieving sinuses.
  • Put a few drops of peppermint essential oil into a tub of hot water. Cover the head with a towel over the tub and inhale the peppermint steam. This hot water inhale is effective in clearing serious congestion.
  • Gently massage the bottom of the foot with 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil every half hour and will help to relief high fever.

I tried all of them when I had a flu and fever a while back. I managed to recover in a couple of days’ time without having to take any medication.

When I am tired or feeling drowsy, I use peppermint essential oil on my head and neck to keep me alert and feel fresh. I have friends who uses peppermint essential oil often to relief their headache and migraine. There are so many uses of peppermint essential oil and I am still learning.  You can find many good suggestions online [7] [8].

Lemon essential oil

Image Source: http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oils/Lemon

Image Source: http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oils/Lemon

I used to add freshly squeezed lemon juice into a large glass of warm drinking water to drink first thing in the morning (See my previous post on “Drink plenty of plain water to keep our body healthy”). Not anymore. Nowadays, I have replaced the fresh lemon with lemon essential oil. I put 5 drops of lemon essential oil in everyone 1 liter of water. Lemon essential oil is more concentrated. It saves me the hassle of having to stock up with fresh lemon.

Drinking lemon essential oil in warm water first thing in the morning has many benefits. Firstly, it helps to cleanse the digestive tract and induce bowel movement. We need a healthy bowel to maintain our overall good health. Secondly, the lemon essential oil contains 68% of the d-lemonene. D-lemonene is a strong antioxidant, it protects the body from the harmful effects of free radicals by annihilate them from the body [4]. Thirdly, lemon essential oil produces acid-binding effect in the body. It helps to reduce acidity of the body and balance the pH of the body. It can also induce weight loss [9]. In addition, adding lemon essential oil also greatly improves the taste of the water.

Lemon essential oil is also a good oil to diffuse. Its strong citrus scent is very refreshing and uplifting. This is one of the essential oils that we diffuse regularly to help to balance the emotion of my father-in-law who is suffering from depression. He was able to sleep better at night and demonstrated visible improvement in his mood after using the lemon essential oil.

Summary

In summary, I use lavender essential oil to replace my household first aid medications such as Burner and Detol. It is also my antihistamine. I use peppermint essential oil to make my tea, and help me to keep my mind fresh. Lemon essential oil provides me with my daily antioxidant dosage; it also helps to cleanse my digestive tract.  These three oils are those that that I will recommend to anyone who are new to essential oils for everyday use.

Reference:

[1] “What are Essential Oils?”,  http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/whatare.asp

[2] “How to Cold Press Essential Oils”, http://www.ehow.com/how_5913785_cold-press-essential-oils.html

[3] “How concentrated are essential oils?”, http://www.labofflowers.com/answersbook6.html

[4] “Lemon Therapeutic Grade™ Essential Oil”, http://aromatherapyliving.com/lemon_essential_oil.html

[5] “Historical Use of Essential Oils”, http://www.youngliving.com/en_AU/wellness/about-essential-oils/history.html

[6] “Essential Oil Benefits: Natural Antihistamine Power of Lavender”, http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/essential-oil-benefits-natural-antihistamine-power-of-lavender

[7] “Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil”, http://stayhealthyandwell.com/peppermint-essential-oil/

[8] “The Many Uses of Peppermint Essential Oil”, http://younglivingoillady.com/home/peppermint-essential-oil-uses/

[9] “Lemon Essential Oil”, http://younglivingsingapore.com/2012/07/lemon-essential-oil/

[10] “Medicinal Uses of Essential Oils”, http://www.livestrong.com/article/69293-medicinal-uses-essential-oils/

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