A few years ago I was introduced to essential oils by a friend of mine. Being a typical girl, I loved smelling the various fragrances and, as I’m sure most of you can relate, many of the scents triggered specific memories or feelings. Lavender has long been known to have a calming effect and is great for helping you relax. Citrus scents are great revitalizers- which is why it’s associated with summer scents/flavors! Eucalyptus (which is my absolute favorite) is great for that “clean feeling” and is often used to treat headaches, colds, and sinus congestion amongst other things. In homeopathic medicine as well as other non-western medical practices, aromatherapy is a well known and utilized tool. If you don’t believe me just think back to your childhood. If your mom was anything like mine, as soon as a cold started she would slather my chest with Vick’s Vapor Rub. What’s in that amazing little jar? Camphor, Eucalyptus oil, and menthol (amongst a few other things as well!).
One of my favorite things to do with my oils is to take a 4 oz spray bottle and fill it with water along with 25-30 drops of my favorite oil. Right now my spray bottle has lavender in it and I’ve sprayed it over the bed sheets/blankets for a calming feeling at night.
Another fun trick I have used is to take warm water with a few drops of oil and oak a few washcloths, ring them out, and put them in individual baggies. When I come home from the gym and need a quick pick me up, I can grab one from the refrigerator where I store them and hold it to my face for a few minutes and take some slow deep breaths. It works like a champ- between the cold and the aroma it’s heaven! (And in case you’re wondering- I use my orange citrus oil most of the time for the towels!)
I know a lot of people like to add the oils to the bathtub, but I’ve never had much luck with simply putting drops in the water. Oil doesn’t dilute in the water. Umm it’s oil. My best solution is to take Epsom salt and add a few drops of my favorite essential oil (usually 1cup salt to 20-25 drops of oil). I’ve been known to make 2 cups at a time and then store them in an airtight container. Mason jars work great for this! Then add 1/2 cup to the water (or more if you’re so inclined) and enjoy a nice warm bath for 20 minutes! It’s a great way to end your day! You can use epsom salts, sea salts, etc, but remember the larger the salt is, the longer it takes to dissolve. Plus, you have to stand on them to get in the tub and then sit on them. Do you want to sit on pebbles during a bath?!?! I think not!
There are a ton of different websites to learn about the benefits of different oils. I tend to use Aura Cacia most often. Their website is great and there’s an app for your smartphone as well! They even have an essential oil directory to help you get started!