The Essentials (Oils, That Is)

Who would’ve thought an oil diffuser from Costco would be such a lifesaver?

For years now, I have known about essential oils. How to effectively use them is another matter. Anybody can grab a random oil off the shelf, smell it, and pretend it does something beneficial.

Aromatherapy, first off, is not just a passing trend. Essential oils have been used for centuries for many purposes, not only in aromatherapy, but in beauty, cleaning, and medicine. In their most natural forms, the particles in essential oils isolate the antioxidants and nutrients found in plants to specifically target concerns.

These days, with how “trendy” it is to say you have an essential oil diffuser, we overlook that with knowledge about essential oils, they can become much more than just a nice scent in the air. Isn’t that what candles are for, anyways?

There are a lot of different products and ideas online about how to go about dabbling in essential oils. As with anything, know who to trust. Do your research. Essential oils have a rich history, going back to ancient Jewish and Egyptian civilizations. This isn’t a concept coming out of thin air, but a holistic tradition that has great potential for us today.

Not all brands toting essential oils are made equal. Before you start forking money over for a collection of oils, make sure that the oils are coming from a reputable source. It’s best to find ones considered “therapeutic grade,” meeting the highest standards. If there is a brand that’s especially inexpensive, chances are that those little bottles are filled with a bunch of filler ingredients and artificial scents. The two brands I trust and hear the most about are Young Living and Doterra, so that’d be a great place to start.

Some great starter oils that serve multiple purposes are lavender, lemon, and peppermint. These three are definitely the most popular because they each seem to cover all the bases you might need to begin. From there, I would recommend looking into the benefits and usual uses for the many different essential oils out there and decide for yourself what would be the most beneficial for you. We don’t all need every name on the shelf if it’ll just end up cluttering our space.

But if you want to take advantage, the many ways you can add essential oils into your daily routine and life seem to be endless. Heck, a list from Dr. Axe has a whopping 101 uses, from baking, to cleaning off soap scum, to gifts, to reducing anxiety and more. Again, make sure you do the research because many oils need a carrier oil (a gentle, neutral oil like olive or coconut) to dilute it so it’s not too strong for topical purposes. With all of the possibilities at our disposal, why are we all not just automatically going to essential oils?

We’ve become so accustomed to conventional products, it’s weird to think of not using a Clorox spray in the bathroom, or expensive bottles of perfume, or going straight to the medicine cabinet when we are in pain. We know these things serve our intended purpose, they’re easy to get a hold of, so why not? Except that you’re paying for a brand name chock-full of fillers and chemicals that cause more harm than good in the long run.

I wish I could say that I am one of those people who swear by essential oils and know exactly how to put them to work, but I honestly don’t. Sure, I run my oil diffuser and love to have certain combinations when I’m in certain moods, but beyond that, my oils are not my go-to for everything. They sit in their little travel pouches in the cupboard and come out when I’m picking through whatever sounds nice to smell at the moment. I would love to learn more and apply that knowledge into how I approach my health and life.

You don’t have to give up your go-to remedies and products cold turkey, but I challenge you (myself included) to become more mindful of these tasks and needs we come across and see what options we actually have. Do we really need a bunch of pills when we could even have a slither of relief, or prevent ailments altogether, if we used essential oils more often? Who knows. With all the hype around being “natural” and “organic” these days, our resources are plentiful and the motivation to lead a more holistic life is easier now more than ever.

Do you use essential oils on a regular basis? If so, how do you use them? I would love to have some more ideas to incorporate my collection into my life.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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