Essential oils have been in use for thousands of years for health and cosmetic benefits by many groups of people, and are actually still in use today. Though the earliest recorded use was about 1200 AD, it is generally believed that they have been around for much longer.
Used for everything from cosmetics to everyday health, essential oils have passed the test of time and are more popular now than ever before.
If you’re someone who’s always looking for new and innovative ways to improve your family life, as well as your household environment, buy a few oils as they will give you the perfect mix of effectiveness, creativity and variability.
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What are essential oils?
Essential oils are natural oils that come from flowers and plants that are known for their signature scents. The oils are extracted from the stems, leaves, bark, fruit, and seeds of various plants, usually through a process called steam distillation.
Interestingly enough, essential oils aren’t like most oils in a traditional sense; most oils contain fatty acids and essential oils do not. They contain a highly concentrated amount of plant compounds that contain phytochemicals, which are chemicals that occur naturally in plants.
Essential oils are now a household product, but what are they good for?
Each essential oil has its own variety of uses and benefits depending upon the oil and the way in which it is utilized.
One of the most popular, straightforward uses is using oils as an air freshener through the use of a diffuser but here are some of the more creative or unexpected uses of a few different essential oils:
1. Orange Essential Oil
Orange oil is great for disinfecting wounds.
Cuts, scrapes, and scabs are a frequent occurrence in most households with young children. If you have kids that love to get dirty outside, the combination of cuts and dirt may worry you a bit.
Orange oil can help to ease your nerves due to it being a great anti-bacterial that can actually help to speed up the process of healing. Orange oil is super easy to use too; just put a drop onto a cut or scrape after the bleeding stops and cover it all up with a bandage!
This works for mouth ulcers and bitten lips as well. Simply apply a dab of orange oil directly onto the sore spot to help keep it clean and to aid the healing process.
Don’t let them go out in the sun after applying this oil though! Citrus essential oils are photosensitive so they could end up making things worse.
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
As a busy lady, I often find myself consuming A LOT of caffeine. When I start to get tired of my regular espresso, and the jitters that come with it, I turn to my favorite instant pick-me-up, peppermint oil. Peppermint oil instantly activates your nervous system and keeps your brain awake and alert.
Peppermint oil is also great for soothing nausea. In one study, it even worked for patients after coming out of cardiac surgery. Take a sniff of this oil and reduce or remove the discomfort in minutes.
3. Vetiver Essential Oil
To help the kids focus a little more easily on homework, which can sometimes invite lots of extra distractions, allow them to inhale a bottle of vetiver essential oil.
This is one of the lesser known oils but it’s incredibly effective at boosting concentration and focus, and was even found to help children with ADHD in class.
If you have problems with focusing as well, you can do the same.
4. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is THE go-to for nasal congestion, whether it’s the common cold or seasonal allergies. Inhaling a little bit of the eucalyptus scent can counteract the stuffiness by opening up your nasal airways.
This oil is also well respected in Brazilian folk medicine for its ability to relieve physical pain when massaged into inflamed areas.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been used as a natural insecticide for ages and its because it really works. Dilute some with water in your spray bottle and give your kids and yourself a spray down.
If you forget to use it before you get some bites, you can always come back and use it for relief from the itchy and painful spots.
Tea tree oil is also a very good home remedy for athlete’s foot due to its antifungal properties. To use, apply a 25% tea tree oil solution to the affected area(s) twice daily.
6. Lavender Essential Oil
I couldn’t leave out what is thought by many to be the most versatile essential oil in the world.
One of the most common uses of lavender essential oil is stress relief. Countless studies have shown that lavender oil is an excellent home remedy for individuals dealing with high stress levels. Moms with younger children can especially benefit from this because those years are some of the most enjoyable but stressful years in your life.
To benefit in this sense, simply diffuse a few drops of lavender oil when you feel stressed out. Diffusing may also cause you to feel sleepy due to the sedative properties contained in the source plant, lavender.
Another use for lavender oil is the relief of physical pain. Combining a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier such as olive oil and massaging into the problem area can quickly soothe muscle and joint pain.
Would any of these oils help to improve your home and family life? Let us know in the comments!