Essential oils are aromatic compounds derived from plants. They are not actually “oils,” persay; as they have no fat content. They have a watery texture and smell very intensely of the plant they are distilled from. Essential oils, though an ancient practice, have become increasingly popular in recent years as natural remedies to everyday health and household chores.
The methods for how to use essential oils include:
- Applying it topically
- Dispersing it through a diffuser
- Ingesting it orally
- Adding it in drops to household concoctions
The list of all possible uses for essential oils is virtually endless. Essential oils can be created from merely any plant you can imagine. Thus, the possibilities are exponentially more than we would have the time to experience on any given day. However, there are some simple uses for essential oils that are affordable and practical for daily use.
Most essential oil bottles contain warnings regarding ingesting these powerful mixtures. Consider those precautions and keep aware that essential oils are very concentrated compounds. In small amounts, most essential oils have many health benefits when ingested, and this is often recommended by naturopaths and holistic practitioners. If you are unsure about a given essential oil and how it can be used safely, there is plenty of literature online that can steer you in the right direction.
Keep in mind, some of these oil choices can be interchanged for oils that you prefer the scent and aroma of.
Here are a few ideas of essential oils uses:
Lavender Essential Oil for Laund
A soothing and calming flower, lavender makes any load of laundry more pleasant smelling. Disperse 5 drops of lavender essential oil into the washer as the water is running to give your clothing and linens a calming aroma.
You can also use lavender essential oil in the dryer by:
- Apply approximately 5-10 drops of oil onto a wash cloth or clean cloth-diaper square
- Toss it into the dryer with your damp clothes and dry as usual
- The clothes will be mildly scented, refreshed and dry at the end of the cycle
Lemon is a another great, fresh scented essential oil to use for this purpose.
Check here how to shrink your pores with essential oils
Lemon Essential Oil as an All-Purpose Cleaner
Lemon essential oil contains high levels of antioxidants, making it an excellent option for skin care or internal detoxification. It also is able to combat tough, grimey, or greasy stains and residue on countertops and some furniture fabrics.
To make your own homemade, all-purpose cleaner, combine:
- 1 part white vinegar
- 2 parts water
- Approximately 10 drops of lemon essential oil per quart of mixture. You can add more or less to increase its effectiveness and intensity
This mixture works well on toilet bowls, shower stalls, sink bowls, grout, countertops and metal fixtures.
Grapefruit Essential Oil for Vacuuming
Vacuuming can often leave behind an unpleasant, musky, dirty scent behind. You can neutralize this smell and add some zest to the air by using a homemade concoction of your own to sprinkle onto the carpet before vacuuming. All you’ll need is grapefruit essential oil and baking soda.
- Fill a bowl with about 1/2 cup of baking soda per room you’re vacuuming
- Add 5-10 drops of grapefruit essential oil to the baking soda
- Use a fork to stir the two components together, making sure to break up the clumps
- Sprinkle the powdery mixture as evenly as possible over the area you will vacuum
You’ll be left with a fresh, uplifting, zesty aroma that certainly beats the stale scent that’s normally left behind.
Peppermint Essential Oil in Baking
Mint and chocolate go together like peas and carrots. The flavor profiles of the two compliment each other well, especially when both ingredients are high quality and pure.
Adding peppermint essential oil to your next batch of brownies, chocolate cookies or cake is a great way to easily add big flavor to your desserts. Approximately 2 drops of oil per batch (assuming it serves about 12 people) is sufficient to add noticeable mint flavor. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised by the subtlety and decadence of this minty taste.
Citronella Essential Oil for Insect Repellent
There are virtually no limits for using essential oils. Funny enough, you can defend against nature with nature. Citronella essential oil is an effective all-natural insect repellent. Citronella candles and bug spray that you find readily available in your local store contain a synthetic or highly processed form of citronella.
Citronella essential oil in its pure form is the most effective and is the cleanest option for skin application. There are no health risks in using this oil as a form of insect repellent–the same does not go for the questionable chemicals in commercial bug sprays.
There is no concern for getting a bit into your mouth (accidently), which makes this concoction perfect for use around your children. To take advantage of these citronella benefits, simply:
- Add 7-8 drops of essential oil per 1 cup of water
- Shake and store in a spray bottle for easy application
This mist can even be used on pets!
Thyme Essential Oil for Menstrual Cramps
Thyme essential oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making it a viable option for women who suffer from cramps related to their menstrual cycle. Recent studies suggest that thyme essential oil is just as effective, if not more effective, than taking ibuprofen to relieve this pain. Since using essential oils is all natural with no side effects, this method is definitely worth a try for those who actively combat cramps every month.
To relieve cramps, consume this mixture at the onset of the first cramps:
- Combine 20 drops of thyme essential oil to a small glass of water
- Continue taking another dose after 30 minutes if you still experience major discomfort
This method is a holistic, natural, alternative remedy to taking medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen when deaing with period pains. Experiment with your thyme oil dosage and adjust it so that you experience relief. As the aforementioned advice suggests, look to worthy online literature if you’re unsure of how much essential oil is too much for your specific use.
This is just one of many essential oils uses for thyme. You can use its anti-inflammation properties to help alleviate a mutlitude of discomforts like headaches and digestive issues. In addition, it and can even protect wounds from infections, due to its anti-septic properties.
Learning how to use essential oils might be overwhelming and intimidating at first. However, after you make a few mixtures of your own, you’ll gain confidence in using them and will be eager to continue. Essential oils uses are expansive and can provide you with endless amounts of remedies and possibilities for your household and daily routine. Best of all, these methods, uses and remedies are all natural.