A few short years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at a post like this. Essential oils? Yeah, right, nooo thanks. I kick myself now when I think back to the many times I turned down my own mother who kept happily using her own oils and waiting for me to come around. Essential oils have become more and more common recently. If you don’t already use oils in your home you might be wondering, what’s the hype? Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past few years!
First, what are essential oils?
This could be an entire blog post itself, but to keep it simple, they’re plants. Each different essential oil bottle contains the benefits of that plant concentrated into a small, easy to use, bottle.
What exactly can they be used for?
Another short answer, pretty much anything. A longer answer…In my home, we have replaced almost every over-the-counter we used to use. I use them for laundry, all of our cleaning needs, and in place of air freshers. We use them every day to strengthen our immune systems. Any toddler ailment you can dream up, teething, diaper rashes, tummy troubles, there’s an oil for that. Hormone balancing, stress management, post-workout relief, I could go on and on.
And now, some of my favorite myths and realities. These are comments my dear friends make to me often
Myth: Yours are expensive, I can get the same oils for cheaper on Amazon
Fact: I used to think this too when I first started using essential oils. Cheaper, straight to my door, sounded like the ol’ Amazon dream. After learning more and using different brands, I realized that not all oils are created equal.
Depending on the product, most essential oils and products containing them are not regulated by the FDA. This means that doing your own research is important. Trust in an individual company is important. Young Living is the brand I’ve chosen for my family, but I did my own research, and it took time and trial and error to make that decision.
My go-to rule is, if it’s $4 there’s a reason. Best-case scenario, it’s just less concentrated and you really got what you paid for. I’ve used tablespoons of oils purchased on Amazon for the same DIY that takes only drops now. Worst-case, there could be synthetic fragrances or other ingredients you don’t want in that bottle, remember they’re not strictly regulated.
Myth: They’re not safe for children
Fact: I began using them on my son in the first week of his life. Using the right dilution techniques, most are safe for babies and children. You can dilute each essential oil with your choice of a carrier oil, almond, coconut, avocado, even olive oil. I would also suggest using them on your child’s feet, one at a time to start, and monitor closely. If you want to be extra cautious, you can apply the oils to yourself and hold your baby or child so they are near the oils.
Myth: Essential oils vs. conventional medicine
Fact: Using essential oils is not all or nothing. I know friends who use lavender and nothing else, I know families who use exclusively essential oils and their own homemade remedies. I, personally, fall somewhere in between. We love our essential oils AND my son still sees a pediatrician. I try to think preventatively AND we still take antibiotics when necessary. Essential oils and western medicine can coexist, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
So, WHY use an essential oil over a trusted household brand?
I started to care when I got pregnant with my first son. I was told to steer clear of so many products. Like any first time parent, I became curious (paranoid) and began actually reading the labels on the hundreds of products in my home. Turns out, they’re not all so great. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of rules and regulations surrounding ingredients in the United States and instead rely on the honesty and integrity of each company/product. Over the past 3 years, I looked into the ingredients that were in my home and that prompted me to throw out almost every name brand product that I had been buying. Lotions, creams, make-ups, over the counters, perfumes, hair products, cleaning products, TRASH BAGS of items, could all be replaced with the essential oils I was already using.
If you’re intrigued
I suggest doing your own research. Attend a local class. Grab a few products from under your bathroom or kitchen sink and look up the ingredients. Reach out to that friend that you know who uses essential oils, I promise we’re not scary!
Do you already use essential oils? Which is your favorite?
Disclaimer, this post is my opinion only and is not meant to viewed as medical advice.