About three years ago, I was at a blogging party (I can't remember the name of it now. I'm a bad blogger.) and in the swag bag was some essential oils from doTerra. It was peppermint, lemon and lavender. As much as I liked them and enjoyed smelling them, I was kind of at a loss as to how to use them. Whenever I would try to look up information on-line I found it overwhelming and often contradictory. My friend had told me that peppermint helps with chest congestion so I started using that with my girls (they loved it) but that was the extent.
Fast forward a couple of years and I'm in charge of Teacher Appreciate Week at Lolly's school. There were a few people that helped, but there wasn't exactly a line of people begging to help. The week before the BIG WEEK I started getting migraines. Everyone is different, but when I get a migraine I go completely blind in one eye and get sparkles in the other eye. Obviously, this is not conducive to taking care of small children. Or doing anything PTA related.
This is probably where I should confess a great annoyance...it drives me crazy when I see people going on and on and on about a migraine on Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you have a real migraine you're either locked in a dark room or praising the porcelain goddess, but you are definitely not staring at a bright computer screen for hours on end. Rant....over.
Anywho....the prescription medication I had been given always made me feel really sick. I still had a terrible headache and I would be shaky and weak for the rest of the day. Not as bad a a migraine, but still not great. Desperate for help, I asked my friend (I call her my voodoo guru) if she had any tips for migraines. Her tip....PEPPERMINT OIL! The oil that had been sitting in my medicine cabinet waiting to be used for two years? Yes, that peppermint oil. She said that it works best if you put it on as soon as you start getting the migraine.
So, the very next day when I got yet another migraine (once you get one you're more likely to get another and another....very annoying) I put that peppermint oil on the back of my neck as soon as it started. And miracle of all miracles, I could see again within 5-10 minutes. And my headache actually went away. Plus! I didn't feel sick the rest of the day. I felt great!
Now I know it may sound dramatic to say that peppermint oil changed my life. And it is. But to anyone who has had to deal with migraines, such a simple and safe treatment that works so well really does change that part of your life. Now, obviously it's not going to work for everyone because nothing ever does, but I recommend it to everyone who mentions migraines. Plus, even if it doesn't work for you, it won't hurt you. And you'll smell like a candy cane. Bonus!
A few months ago I decided to finally take the plunge and take an essential oils class through our community education program. It was so much fun and helpful! I learned a lot (I won't bore you with all the info now) and thought it would be good to share a few of my favorites with you.
First of all, the peppermint oil for migraines. But I've talked about that long enough.
Next up is lemon oil in laundry. We all have those loads of laundry that seem to always smell a little funky no matter what you do. Last week I put some lemon essential oil (5-10 drops) in the washer with a load like that. And POOF! The smell was gone. It didn't smell lemony afterwards but the "life smell" was definitely gone. There was even pit sniffage to verify if it really worked and it worked! So simple and non-toxic. A beautiful combination.
Another one of my essential oil projects was car fresheners. I just got a small glass spray bottle (1-2 oz) and filled it with distilled water and a few drops whatever oil we picked and put it in the car. That way it can be used whenever we want to and I don't have to worry about what I'm spraying on the upholstery in order to smell good. And in case you were wondering, CG has lemon-lime in his car and I have lemongrass in the van. It also works well for in the home. Just spray it and enjoy the smell!
As we all know, my girls are girly girls. And girly girls love their girly things. First of all we made some perfume using almond oil (any oil would work) and the girls each got to pick their own perfume scent. Then I filled a roller ball bottle with some oil and a few drops of their oil and VOILA! Customized perfume.
We've also made customized lotion by adding a favorite oil to some all natural shea butter lotion. The girls love getting to choose their scent for lotion and perfume. They actually love the oils in general so we have a lot of fun with it. I've also made some lotion for muscle pains, etc. and have loved using that. And forcing it on other people to use. I'm sure they love having me do that.
Remember when we talked about making your own foamy soap? Well, not only can you make the soap but you can also add an essential oil. I use a protective blend (doTerra's On Guard) but you can really use any oil that you want, depending on the benefit you're looking for.
I also love adding essential oils to my water. I keep a container of water in the fridge (so it's super cold) and add whatever oils sound good at the time. It's super yummy and it makes drinking lots of water so much easier. It's also yummy added to juices and smoothies. Just make sure that you use oils that are safe to ingest.
My next project....homemade lip balm. And cleaners. Wish me luck!