HEALTH & FITNESS
The vast number of essential oils on the market these days is straight overwhelming. And it’s important to remember that even if you’re not the meditating, yoga-practicing, bath-loving type, you still can find uses for these amazing smelling bottles of joy. Below I’ve listed the most versatile oils if you’re looking to dip your toes in and see what this oil stuff is all about, and bonus, they can be found just about anywhere.
This has to be one of my favorites because it smells so good and it works so hard! Tea tree oil is antifungal and antimicrobial, which makes it an all-purpose cleaning agent. I’m willing to bet you don’t have anything else at home that can clean your house and your body. For example--remember those lice treatments back in elementary school that fried your hair like an egg? My mom did some research and ended up keeping a bottle of tea tree oil in our bathroom and we started sprinkling it in with our shampoo. It kills lice and relieves dandruff naturally, plus - your hair won’t frizz up or lose its shine.
You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil into your mop bucket, use it to clean your grimy shower curtain, make a homemade yoga mat disinfectant, or even make your own toner to relieve acne. Please note: Tea tree oil should be diluted prior to use on the face or it may dry your skin out. My favorite combo? I love mixing it with witch hazel. Tea tree is a do-it-all oil, if you’re looking for an all-purpose oil, look no further.
You may have heard that peppermint oil works well on sore muscles. That’s why it is often called the perfect oil for athletes. Put a couple drops in a hot bath 24 hours post workout and soak the tension away. For sore, tired feet, add a few drops to a foot bath for a stress-melting pedicure.
Peppermint naturally contains menthol, which makes it great for relieving colds or sore throats. Did you know you can make your own all-natural vapor rub out of coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oils? From relieving sore muscles to soothing sore throats, peppermint is the perfect winter essential oil.
If you live somewhere hot and humid, you probably have a bottle of bug spray in your house containing DEET, this stuff can be like acid to your skin. I once had a bottle of DEET spray bust in my suitcase, and it melted my earbuds. It was about that time that I realized something had to change. I found that eucalyptus can be used to make your own all-natural insect repellent.
There are also many other gentle oils that insects such as mosquitoes are naturally repelled by. Eucalyptus and citronella are the best and also smell fantastic. Your skin will love you, and plus, you won’t have to hold your breath when you spray that nasty bug spray. In addition to the above uses, eucalyptus can be used for cold and sore throat relief.
Other Assorted Oils for Home and Self-Care
What’s wonderful about essential oils is their naturally beautiful scents, so you can take your pick of whatever scent you like for whichever purpose you wish.
Here are a few more of my favorites for general aromatherapy:
Lavender: Soothes emotions and anxiety. Use it in your bath or during meditation, dab some on your yoga mat, or make a room spray to calm your mind before bed.
Ylang ylang: A sensual oil, diffuse or spray some in the bedroom!
Rosemary: Aids in mental clarity. Use a cotton ball to rub on your temples for concentration while studying, at work, or meditation.
Citrus oils: Such as grapefruit, orange, and lemon are refreshing and energizing. Use them for an energy boost at work or before exercising.
Of course, there are many essential oils and blends that would take us an entire book to discuss (in fact, there are books on this very topic, if you’re really interested). The handful listed here are perfect for making a home aromatherapy starter kit. See here for where to buy pure, quality, essential oils.
Please keep in mind that some oils may be harmful during pregnancy and for those with allergies or sensitive skin. In addition, several oils increase your sensitivity to UV rays. See here for a list of precautions to take when using oils.