Oil Curious? 5 Easy Ways to Get Started With Essential Oils
Unless you’ve been living in a cave you’ve probably heard about essential oils. They have always been around but in recent years a few large direct sales companies have really brought their benefits to the attention of a lot of people who would otherwise be in the dark. Essential oils have a myriad of uses from physical and mental health to just plain smelling awesome. Because of these benefits and they are natural (as long as they are pure oils), they get my stamp of approval. #EFCApproved #worthit
Here’s an excerpt from my book Happy Now! 53 Ways to Be Happier Today covering the link between aromas and happiness:
Each one of us has scents that are specific to us and take us back to happy memories. You know what yours are, I’m sure! There’s a good reason for this. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the emotional center in our brain. That’s why scents take us back to specific memories in a way that other senses just can’t compete with. To give yourself a boost of joy, try a bio-hack and bring those scents into your life on purpose.
There are also certain smells that in general evoke a sense of happiness and contentment no matter what your other scent triggers are. For a happiness supplement, try bringing these aromas into your home or work space:
Pine. Maybe it’s this scent’s connection to Christmas, to a clean house, or to being in the woods, but the smell of pine in general makes people feel less anxious. The pine-looking herb rosemary also has scent benefits in addition to making your food taste good. This woody herb scent has been shown to amplify brain power and improve memory!
Flowers! Specifically, jasmine and lavender. Lavender has long been valued for use as a relaxation and sleep aid. Jasmine has the honor of helping to banish depressive thoughts. Researchers using jasmine oil found that it relieved depression and lifted the moods of test subjects.
Citrus. The bright smells of citrus should be on your menu! Lemon scent specifically is a stress reducer and leaves us with more positive impressions. Lemon and orange are both scents that boost energy and alertness. A little citrus in your water is a great way to hydrate and get happy!
Keep these scents in mind when it’s time to freshen up your home or work space, or when choosing a perfume. I prefer using essential oils over room sprays, which are often loaded with toxic chemicals. Keep your happy scents natural!
It took me a while to get on board, but when I did I became an oil junkie. Now I am always diffusing, blending, experimenting and learning new ways to use my stash. Now that I’ve found a source of pure essential oils much less expensive than my old brand I feel even more free to oil away at all kinds of things!
Oils can be confusing and intimidating when you first get started. Don’t be afraid! Here are five of my favorite ways to use oils that are also super easy.
- Body Wash. Combine equal parts honey, unscented pure castile soap and olive oil with the essential oil of your choice (about 45 drops per combined cup of the other ingredients). I typically add lavender but ylang ylang is also another favorite of mine for this purpose. Pour the mixture in a pump bottle and shake well before using. Many thanks to Mommypotamus for this one!
- Foaming hand soap. This one couldn’t be easier. Simply add unscented pure castile soap about 1/5 of the way up the bottle, add your choice of essential oils (I like 15-20 drops of a protective blend or lavender for this one, but really the sky’s the limit for oil choices) then fill up the bottle with water. Add your foaming pump, swirl the bottle a bit and you are all set. You can even make cute mini foaming soap bottles for travel or gifts!
- Reed diffusers. These are great for small spaces like bathrooms. Use ¼ cup of a carrier oil (I usually use safflower but almond oil can also be used), a scant teaspoon of a high proof alcohol like Everclear and 30-40 drops of your favored essential oil and add the blend to a decorative bottle. I’ll use an anti-stress blend, lemon, bergamot and patchouli here but the field is wide open here to whatever you want. Add some reeds and just turn them over regularly to refresh the scent. Thanks to Nature’s Nurture for this idea.
- Body Spray. I was intimidated about this at first but it’s actually quite easy. Combine one ounce of filtered water, ½ teaspoon of vegetable glycerin and about 60 drops of your desired essential oil. Thanks so much to The Tasty Alternative for this inspiration!
- Make an all-purpose roller bottle with Melaleuca (tea tree oil). It’s amazing all the uses this king of oils has. Melaleuca is a natural antiseptic which helps to reduce infection, is soothing to minor wounds, irritations, and insect bites, is a non-caustic and gentle solvent (it will take that nasty band-aid gunk right off your skin with no irritation) and it smells great! A roller bottle of this oil is a staple in my handbag and first aid kit. Typically Melaleuca does not need to be diluted, but for especially sensitive skin dilution may be a good idea. Just get yourself a set of roller bottles, fill (dilute if you need to), cap and you are prepared for the cuts, scrapes, and bug bites that life often brings.
BONUS: One of the easiest ways of all is to add a few drops to your bath water. My favorites for relaxation are lavender or ylang ylang. For reflection and meditation I reach for Frankincense. Rejuvenation and energy? Try ginger! I love it. When I need to generate ideas I will often diffuse Frankincense and add ginger to the bath water. So refreshing and inspiring!
There are a number of companies who produce high quality essential oils. There are also a lot of inferior and synthetic oils out there that are cheap but also low-quality and can be irritating to skin that are of questionable therapeutic value. You will spend more for good oils, but they don’t have to cost a fortune to be pure oils with no synthetics or fillers. I’m happy to discuss this further with anyone who wants more info!
I hope this inspires you to class up your day with some pure essential oils. This is one life-enhancing addition I can confidently recommend to anyone!
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