5 must have essential oils | How to use them throughout your day
Entering the world of essential oils can come across somewhat intimidating. The hundreds of existing oils have hundreds of uses and the list seems to continue growing. Recently, I’ve wanted to incorporate using more essential oils in my life. I’m trying to make the move from commercial products to homemade natural products, but when researching oils I really did not know where to begin. I have narrowed down a list of 5 essential oils that I think one should have in their home at all times. Think of this as the essential oil guide for beginners! We will continue to add to this list together, but for now let’s focus on the following:
Lavender oil has long been used for its antimicrobial and antidepressant properties, making it great for healing wounds and calming the nervous system.
Good for: topical use - can help treat acne, skin rashes and relieves itchy insect bites. It’s relaxing element can help induce sleep, reduce anxiety and alleviate stress.
Side effects: Lavender is safe for internal and external use. It is safe to use around children, but said to have a possible effect when used excessively on boys before they reach puberty. To be safe, avoid internal consumption when pregnant.
Fun fact: We most commonly think of lavender as being purple or blue, but there are strains that are pink and yellow.
Daily use: Apply after shaving to relieve the redness and burning caused by razor burn.
Lemon oil is widely used as an ingredient in cleaning solutions due to its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It has an uplifting and energising scent, and when diffused, is said to reduce anxiety.
Good for: best for homemade cleaners. If dropped in water and gargled, it can eliminate bad breath.
Side effects: some people may have a reaction when applied topically. DO NOT put lemon oil on your skin before entering the sun, it will cause a quick burn and painful irritation. I would also avoid ingestion on this one, although it may be safe, its uses are more effective when used on your environment.
Fun fact: During the European Renaissance, women used lemon to add colour to their lips. Thank goodness for modern day lipstick because this was likely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.
Daily use: Of course it is amazing for cleaning and eliminating odor, but you can also use it to remove sticky things such as gum, temporary tattoos, old stickers on bottle or jars and even tree sap.
Eucalyptus oil is well-known for its antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Good for: suppressing coughs and reducing asthma. When applied topically, it can help relieve sore muscles and joints.
Side effects: For this one, I would stick to diffusing. If you want to apply topically, be sure to dilute. DO NOT ingest it, and be especially wary of topical use for children. Avoid ingesting when pregnant.
Fun fact: Eucalyptus wood is commonly used to make didgeridoo, an Australian wind instrument. If you’ve never heard of a didgeridoo, please look it up. This makes sense because most eucalyptus trees only grow in Australia.
Daily use: Eucalyptus has a naturally low SPF, so add it to your homemade sunscreen to add protection and a great scent.
Tea tree oil can fight bacteria, viruses and fungi, is anti-inflammatory and has wound healing properties.
Good for: Stimulating the immune system to help fight infection. It can also benefit many skin conditions including eczema, cold sores and athlete’s foot.
Side effects: DO NOT ingest tea tree oil, and when used topically make sure to dilute.
Fun fact: great for the hair and scalp, has the ability to get rid of dandruff and can potentially stop and reverse hair loss.
Daily use: When mixed with other natural ingredients, its antimicrobial properties make for a great deodorant.
Peppermint oil is best known for its antimicrobial properties and can reduce pain and nausea when applied topically.
Good for: Serves as a decongestant and cough suppressant, and when ingested, can aid digestion and reduce intestinal gas.
Side effects: Consult your doctor if you would like to use peppermint internally.
Fun fact: The best time to collect and harvest peppermint is on a sunny day, right as the flowering begins, this is when the menthol is at its peak
Daily use: Rub across your temples, forehead and chest to relieve minor headaches and even migraines
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