Monday, January 19, 2015

Essential Oils and Home Use

I have taken the plunge into the world of quality essential oils.  Back in 2007 I made the switch to cleaning with more "natural" products:  baking soda, vinegar, essential oils, etc.  You can read my post on it How I Learned To Clean My House, Part I  and How I Learned to Clean My House, Part II.

Seven years later, I'm still cleaning with vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.  The only thing that didn't work/hasn't worked for me was the homemade toilet bowl cleaner, and I strongly suspect it's due to the calcium and mineral content in our well water.  I can cope with buying store bought for that.

Recently I have taken the next step in DIY cleaning products and bought therapeutic grade essential oils.  I have been researching several brands, which due to new FDA regulations it seems I can't even mention here. 

I've talked to two separate essential oil representatives from one company (one who I liked, one who I didn't), I've talked to a soap maker, and fellow yogis at yoga workshops.  I received a free 5ml bottle of  Basil at the  Minneapolis YogaFit Mind Body Conference last June, and because I'm not one to waste, I've been using it.

So why the upgrade?  Because I want to start using oils on more than my kitchen floor and in my bathroom.  If I'm going to be squirting stuff on my counters or cutting boards, and putting oils on myself (or my Husband) and breathing them in, I want to make sure they don't have the chemicals I'm trying to avoid in conventional store bought products.   

These are my observations to date:
Basil - This was my introduction to essential oils.  I massaged it on my skin to lessen stress. 

Melaleuca (Tea Tree) - I still use this one for cleaning.  I add numerous drops to my homemade soft scrub as a cleansing agent (be sure to let mixture sit on surface for a couple minutes to do it's thing!).  I also keep a squirt bottle of water and oil as a natural bathroom air freshener spray.  For, you know, "those" moments.  No chemical air freshener concoction in my bathroom - phew! 

Lavender - Ditto Tea Tree above.  I used this in my first DIY diffuser with a vase of water and rattan sticks, but it wasn't the best system and eventually, my sticks got moldy.  Bleh.  With my Petal Diffuser I can freshen any room with tap water and a couple drops of lavender.  Not that I'm saying my puppies can be, ah, fragrant... (skunks, anyone?)

And lavender may promote a more restful sleep - something I could use more of! 

Lemon - reading the literature on quality lemon oil, it sounds like this is perhaps one of the most versatile of the single blend oils.  I'm embarrassed to say, I haven't even scratched the surface with what I can use this one for.  So far I've used it to wash the kitchen floor as a purifying agent, de-greaser, and deodorizer.  I did NOT get the usual "ugh, lemon pledge!" reaction.  My kitchen smelled bright and spring-like!  Yay!  (I won't tell you about the grossness I pulled out from under my fridge in my spurt of spring cleaning, but even there got a good cleansing.)   I look forward to to using this one more.

Respiratory Blend - this oil I've been putting in my bedside diffuser (the one I bought).  First time I put in too many drops by accident and it was a bit overwhelming.  But the combination of humidity and the blend has become a nighttime favorite.  I'm waiting to see if this helps the Husband sinus's which do suffer during the dry winter months.  This blend is also touted as providing more restful sleep, which is something I need, as I mentioned above. 

Protective Blend -  my chosen company's blend of orange, cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, and rosemary.  Mmm!  Yummy!  I use this one on my hands as a purifying agent and on my feet especially after any gym visit.  Currently I'm trying it mixed with a bit of water for gym use, but I'm thinking I'm going to go "straight" when this mixture is finished.   I have a little bottle I carry with me that I can shake a few drops out for a quick "purify".  My palms smell sooo good!  This will come with me for any airline travel this year.

I'm still experimenting with Frankincense, Oregano, Peppermint, and Muscle Rub and Digestive Blend (both blends).  I'm not a fan of Peppermint, but everyone seems to rave about how fantastic it is.  Digestive Blend could be handy for traveling, especially to Mexico.  Muscle Rub is like a popular stinky goo  - it provides a cooling, comforting massage.  I know it was a hot seller at the YogaFit Conference.  Lol and duh!  I should be using this one after TRX and Kettlebells on Fridays!  Need to toss it into the gym bag, I bet this would be awesome after a sauna. 

I'm super excited about this new step and direction.  With a handful of single oils and a couple of blends, I can see so much application in household application and my personal wellness.

**And, I'll stick in the disclaimer - These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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