Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils which are made from flowers and plants to heal and promote wellness. Its’ uses have grown and expanded tremendously for thousands of years! Some of the well known benefits that it can provide are boosting the immune system, relieving muscle pain, and correcting insomnia. It is also a wonderful way to relieve stress!
For beginners, here are five essential oils that are extremely complementary for health and well-being that can be kept around the house:
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia: Great for relieving stress, helping sleep problems, and easing painful menstrual cramps.
Grapefruit Citrus paradisi: Extremely energizing and mood uplifting!
Peppermint Mentha piperita: Wonderful for uplifting and rejuvenating the body, reducing headaches, and calming nausea.
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis: Stimulates hair growth, boosts mental activity, and reduces pain.
Cedarwood Juniperus Virginiana: Improves skin issues like acne and psoriasis, and helps relieve congestion.
Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile: Uplifts mood, is anti-depression, helps with insomnia, and has an excellent soothing and calming quality that helps with nerves, anger, and sadness. It is especially effective for children.
Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata: Helps balance hormones, promotes healthy skin and hair, lifts mood while having a calming effect, and our personal favorite!
These essential oils can be purchased online or at a health food store such as Whole Foods. We recommend buying in person if you don’t know what you like yet, because you can test out the different scents before you buy them. Buying an essential oil diffuser can be one way to incorporate these into your everyday life, and some can be found that are low cost and work great! One that works very well and is compact in size yet still gets the job done is the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser that can be purchased on amazon for $19.95!
Although diffusers can be quick and easy ways to disperse essential oils into the air, you can also incorporate essential oils into your everyday life by using them whenever you would use a commercial cleanser or air freshener without investing in any aromatherapy equipment.
The following are some quick and easy suggestions that do not require any sort of equipment and can be used with your favorite essential oils:
- Use 2-3 drops on the filter pad of your vacuum cleaner to leave a refreshing aroma around your home as you do housework!
- Add 2-3 drops to the edge of the toilet roll before placing it on the toilet roll holder
- Place a few drops on cotton balls and distribute them in drawers, wardrobes, closets, and cupboards. You are guaranteed a good night’s rest if you place the cotton balls into your pillowcases. It will also help keep moths and insects out of any linen drawers!
- Pour directly on cotton balls and leave them in any room to use as a room freshener. It is especially great for freshening up a room that is stale with cigarette smoke or pet odors!
- Sprinkle a few drops on potpourri to revive the original fragrance.
- Sprinkle a few drops in and around drains, into the trash bin, compost bucket, toilet bowl, and even in the dishwasher!
- Add a few drops to the washing machine or dryer when doing laundry. For dryers, add the oil to a dry cloth and place in into the dryer along with the wet laundry.
- Add a drop of Lavender L. angustifolia to the water that you add to your steam iron.
You can literally use essential oils in every single room in your house! The kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, laundry, and even your garden!
Another great product that incorporates essential oils that we highly recommend if you ever need a pick-me-up throughout your day is Rosewater.
Rosewater can be purchased in most health food stores or online. Find one that sprays or mists and try a spritz of it on your face. It smells incredible and feels just as good! The benefits of rosewater are its ability to minimizes pores, balance your skin’s pH levels, control oil and leave your face simply looking lovely! Radha Organic Rose Water Toner is a 100% USDA organic product that you can find on amazon for only $12.95!
One of our favorite household products to make using aromatherapy is the air freshener!
One great reason for making your own is substituting store bought air freshener which contains chemicals that really irritate our systems. Below are just some of the ingredients in commercial air freshener that are of concern:
Acetaldehyde: A known carcinogen (cancer causing) that has reproductive and developmental effects, an immune system toxin, and an irritant to the skin, eyes, and lungs.
Fragrance: An umbrella term that can contain up to 400 harmful ingredients, most of which have a long list of health concerns from depression to headaches to skin irritations, and more.
Propylene Glycol: Another known carcinogen, propylene glycol is toxic to the immune system, is linked to allergies, accumulates in the body and irritates the skin, eyes, and lungs.
1,3-Dichloro-2-propanol: A cancer causing toxin.
Limonene: An allergen, immune system toxin, and an irritant to the eyes, skin, and lungs.
Methyl pyrrolidone: A reproductive system toxin linked to birth defects, allergies, immune system toxicity, and skin, eyes, and lung irritation.
Alcohol, denatured: In this form it is linked to cancer, birth defects, organ system toxicity, and skin, eyes, and lung irritation.
Butylphenyl methylpropional: An allergen, irritant, and immune system toxin.
Ethyl acetate: This is a neurotoxin which is also linked to developmental and reproductive issues.
Benzaldehyde: Also a neurotoxin that causes skin, lung, and eye irritation.
It is hard to believe that all of these harmful ingredients are used in such a common household item that most people have in the home! This is why we recommend making your own.
The great news is that it is extremely simple to replace with an all natural version that is easy to make, cost effective, and really works well in neutralizing and deodorizing smells!
Here is a basic recipe. You can play around with which essential oil combinations you’d like to use based on what scents you like most. We have also included some of our favorite recipes!
What you’ll need:
-A dark tinted spray bottle (preferably glass tinted blue or brown). This will keep it as fresh as possible!
-½ C. Water
-½ C. Rubbing alcohol
-Essential oils of your choice
Combine ½ a cup of water with ½ a cup of alcohol. Then add 15-25 drops (depending how strong you want the scent to be) of the essential oils (either a combination of several or just one you really like) and voila! You have an all natural air freshener!
Make sure to shake the mixture every time before you spray. You’ll be amazed at just how wonderful it smells and how effective it can really be!
Some of our favorite recipes for the essential oil combinations are:
Lavender, Geranium, and Grapefruit for a floral and fresh scent!
Lavender, Lemon, and Rosemary for an uplifting and energizing scent!
Tea Tree Oil, Lemon, and Eucalyptus for a powerful deodorizing scent!
There are many other household products that can be replaced with natural ones, so do your research and find out what is really in your home and how you can make it greener for your health and the health of those around you!