I promised that I would update you on Essential Oils once I got my feet wet, so here it is. I am having so much fun! They are my new favorite go to item for treating minor symptoms. Of course, I must make the disclaimer that I am not a doctor or health care provider and essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. I am just a mom with lots of health issues and am looking for alternatives to treat symptoms without adding more toxins to my already-burdened body. I am definitely not anti-medicine either. Like I stated in a previous post, I just prefer to start with finding natural remedies to treat symptoms before moving on to prescription medications or costly testing and medical treatment.
Essential Oils are “that aromatic, volatile liquid that is within many shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds and that it usually extracted through steam distillation.” (Essential Oils Pocket Reference, Life Science Publishing) Because of the extraction process, one drop of an essential oil is highly concentrated. A little goes a long way. High quality oils can be used directly on the skin, internally or diffused into the air depending on which oil is being used. I bought the pocket reference and utilize handouts that other distributors have provided in order to navigate this new world that is Essential Oils. Yesterday my husband found a great app (Healthier Thymes) that also gave a basic reference for finding the right oil for the right need. Just learning which oil to use was my first hurdle and I am gaining more confidence every day.
My first use of an essential oil was about a year ago when Sophia (age 2) got an ear infection. She hadn’t slept and was really miserable, but I couldn’t pinpoint any symptoms and took her to the chiropractor. We have a great family chiropractor that I will tell you all about in another post. Anyway, he adjusted her, checked her ears, nose and throat and listened to her lungs. She had an ear infection and I was surprised–although the not sleeping for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch should have been my first clue. Next he handed me a small sample of Lemon essential oil and told me to put it behind her ear (never use them in ears) on the lymph gland. I was skeptical, but figured I could follow up with our general doc for antibiotics if necessary. She slept through the night that night and never had an issue again. I used the oil for about 3 days on her and then put the rest up in the cabinet.
It would be a year later before I would try them again. In December when I returned from my retreat, Benjamin had an ear infection, fever, runny nose and cough. He was miserable. I took him in to a medical doc and we did 10 days of antibiotics. As soon as the antibiotics were done, he was sick again. This time I took him to the chiropractor. Double ear infections was the verdict. I put Lemon oil behind the ears again and he was fine by the next day. Now I took notice and decided that maybe I should look into them a little more. I ordered a starter kit of 11 oils and the reference book and I began to dabble. Here are the successes that I have had:
Lavender has helped calm me at bedtime, relieves the head congestion from allergies and helps my dry eyes.
Lemon behind my ears has helped reduce the inflamed lymph gland behind my right ear that is almost always inflamed and tender.
I use Nutmeg on my adrenals for support, but do not have a way to measure if it is helpful or not. I just ran out, so I guess I will find out how significant or insignificant it is.
Frankincense relieved the pain of my ruptured ovarian cyst in thirty minutes. I now use it twice a day to help balance my hormones and support my endocrine system.
My husband was snoring every night. I put Valor on the back of his neck and he stopped snoring. On the nights that he forgets to use it, he snores.
My best result is the use of Peace and Calming. When it came in the mail I was in the midst of a severe allergy attack with constant sneezing, and irritation and itching in my face and head. I put 5 drops in the diffuser and within minutes my allergies calmed down and I felt significant relief. I use it to relieve allergies and have avoided the chronic sinus infections that I have been prone to for the last twenty years. This has been a great substitute for the OTC allergy medications which can build up toxins in your liver.
Several kids had a stomach bug with fever this week. Nutmeg on the back of the neck reduced the fever within half an hour. Peppermint mixed with a carrier oil and rubbed on their bellies relieved the nausea.
Again, these were my experiences. But, I am convinced enough to build up a basic supply in my medicine cabinet and replace the OTC medications that are just as costly, but come with more side effects and contraindications. Essential oils can also be used in recipes for inexpensive household cleaners, soaps, and shampoo. It is really getting back to the basics of the gifts God has given us in this beautiful world He created.
St. Hildegard of Bingen was a Benedictine herbalist in the early 12th century. I happened to watch a movie about her while on retreat. It is called “Vision” and is currently available on Netflix ™. Watching this movie made me realize how dependent on herbal medicine humans have been since the beginning of time. In fact, there are over 200 references to essential oils in the Bible. We have simply replaced herbal medicine with chemical ones. In doing so, I wonder if we have only succeeded in creating more expensive medications that end up causing more ailments than they treat. I won’t argue that modern medicine and drugs are not helpful, however. Many lives have been saved by the advances. I am just proposing that we go to chemical medications to treat minor ailments oftentimes before their use is necessary, skipping over the process of home remedies as a first attempt to treat symptoms. We do so out of fear and ignorance. At least that is my experience. Fear kept me from trying home remedies in the beginning and I was ignorant that other options even existed. Now, I realize that it doesn’t hurt to try the home remedies and I can always go to medications and a higher level of treatment should the need arise. The more I use home remedies, the more confidence and understanding I gain. I thank God for the freedom to learn, for His wonderful Creation, and for our excellent health care options.