I first saw essential oils years ago when I became interested in organic foods and started shopping at our local co-op grocery store. They had an entire section of these mysterious little potions, but I steered clear simply because I had no idea what they did.
A while later I started hearing about companies like Young Living and doTERRA all over the place. Regular people were using these oils for all kinds of things. I did a little research and decided that I would love to try some oils to clean and scent my home. I was still really skeptical of the medicinal uses and even incorporating them into my beauty routine. I had already been making my own cleaners for a while with things like vinegar and lemons, so oils seemed like a fun way to make those even better.
I looked into ordering starter kits from these companies, but I had major sticker shock. I am definitely NOT saying that they aren’t good products. From what I have read, they are great companies selling quality products to happy consumers. Eventually I may still invest in those, but I just wasn’t willing to sink that much cash into a hobby I might not stick with for long.
To experiment with oils, my mom found me this diffuser on amazon for $35 and this set of oils for $25. The total investment was right around $60 and has been worth every penny! I did some research on this oil company and some others that retail for a similar price, and there are some good ones out there for anywhere from 1\4 to 1\2 the price of some of the big name oils. Again, nothing against those companies, but these are a great way to test the waters without forking over a small fortune. This particular kit comes with a perfect mix of oils for the beginner, especially if you are mostly interested in cleaning and scenting your home like I was.
These are some simple and successful ways I have been using oils as a newbie.
1. Floor Cleaner – I replaced traditional (often toxic) floor cleaners with a simple mix of warm water and a few drops of lemongrass oil. I use just water and oil for my wood floors and add a tablespoon of vinegar for my tile.
2. Fabric Refresher – I shared a simple tutorial for making homemade “Febreze” here.
3. Air Freshener – I have been diffusing lemongrass oil in the morning to wake up, peppermint after lunch to help with that dreaded afternoon slump and lavender at night to help us sleep. (I did read that pregnant women should only diffuse diluted oils for 10 minutes at a time. That is plenty of time to scent an entire area. Be sure to research oil safety like I did before using them.)
4. Laundry – We have sensitive skin, so I only use free and clear products with no scent. I have been adding a couple of drops of lavender oil to our sheets and towels, and they smell amazing without the worry of skin irritation.
5. Bathroom Cleaner – I have been mixing my own countertop spray and bathroom cleaners for a while, but I used to only use vinegar, water, baking soda and sometimes fresh lemon juice or lemon peels. Now I can customize the scent and add antibacterial action to those cleaners with oils.
Now that I have done a fair amount of research and have learned to always read what is recommended by a certified aromatherapy specialist and not just salespeople, I am feeling a lot more comfortable and less skeptical about using oils in my home and for my family.
I have even stepped out of my “only for smelling good” box a little bit this week and used the oils to help soothe the TERRIBLE cold that I am battling. Again, I did plenty of research before I inhaled anything since I am pregnant and also have a toddler in my home. After doing so, I tried diffusing a few drops of peppermint oil mixed with eucalyptus oil for 10 minutes every few hours. It has been working wonders for my sore throat and head congestion.
Have you jumped on the essential oils bandwagon? What do you think about it all?