Essential oils are certainly gaining popularity. I’m thrilled about that because I love to see people reaching for more natural remedies before they jump to conventional products. Conventional medicine and products certainly have their place and I am thankful for them, but I like to take the approach that they are there when truly needed and not for every cold, sniffle, cough, or bug bite.
Maybe you are new to essential oils or maybe you have never heard of them at all. Hang on to your hats, friends. You’re about to get a crash course.
What is an essential oil?
From the Plant Therapy website:
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Some important information that you should know about an essential oil is the botanical name, chemotype (if applicable), origin of plant (this can drastically change the chemical constituents percentages) and extraction method.
I was introduced to essential oils a year ago and dabbled with them in my homemade cleaning products. I now use them for all sorts of things from homemade toothpaste to bug spray to headache relief. They are effective, yet powerful, and as with any natural remedy, you should always do your research. Essential oils are powerful, concentrated substances. Below are some basic things to consider when using essential oils safely.
Using Essential Oils Safely
- Dilute dilute dilute:
Because essential oils are powerful and concentrated, they should almost always be diluted with a carrier oil. To ensure safety, always use the lowest dilution possible, that will still give you results. When using with small children, dilution should be .25-.5%. For children over six, 1% dilution is acceptable. Visit this page for more information on dilution and a handy chart.
- Know what oils are safe for kids:
Not all essential oils are safe to use on children. For example, while peppermint and eucalyptus are great oils for colds and congestion, they are generally not considered safe for children, and not ones that I feel comfortable using with my kids since I take a more conservative approach. Aren’t sure about a certain oil? Here is a great chart of oils that are safe for children, broken down into uses.
- Methods of Use:
There are many ways to use essential oils. You can apply them topically in a massage or on the area affected. For example, I often apply peppermint oil to my temples and back of the neck when I feel a headache coming on. Inhalation is also a very quick and effective way to use essential oils. It’s especially beneficial for respiratory issues. Diffusing essential oils is a gentle and effective tool to use on a daily basis. Plant Therapy carries a wide selection of great diffusers to use in the home.
- Use when you need them, and not just willy nilly:
I’ve heard of people slathering many different essential oils throughout the day for all sorts of things, even preventative measures. While yes, it is a good idea to use certain oils when in high germ areas to prevent illness, using oils “willy nilly” in every single product for every single thing, ingesting, etc. on a daily basis is not a good idea. They are more effective when used as needed and in the smallest dose needed.
- Never take internally, unless under the care of a trained professional:
I’ve ready many testimonies of people guzzling essential oils in their water on a daily basis and even giving it to their children. This is not safe practice. Every certified aromatherapist I have read cautions against this, unless in extreme cases under the care of a certified professional.
My Favorite Beginner Oils
The first oils I ever tried were tea tree oil and a germ fighting blend. After that I got into citrus oils for cleaning, and then I ordered several more. For beginners just starting out, I recommend these oils because of their versatility. I have listed several ways I use these oils in my own home. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
- Lavender: Great for skin issues, promotes sleep, anti-inflammatory, great for cuts and scrapes, treats bug bites
- Lemon: cleaning, toothpaste, colds, brightens dull skin
- Peppermint: toothpaste, headache relief, soothes painful achy muscles, repels insects
- Tea Tree: cleaning, fever blisters, fungal treatment, wound care, acne
- Eucalyptus: coughs and colds, arthritis, insect repellant
- Orange: cleaning, toothpaste
Plant Therapy: My Favorite Brand
There are many different quality oils on the market today. If anyone tries to tell you that only one or two brands are of quality, they are misinformed. Yes, it’s true, some oils are junk, but for the most part there are lots of good brands. I’ve tried several different brands of essential oils, but I continue to go back to Plant Therapy for many reasons.
Quality Oils: Plant Therapy oils are 100% pure, undiluted, and of the highest quality. The oils are purchased from the top suppliers around the world. I can speak from experience that they work.
Affordable: The thing I love most about the oils is that they are affordable. One of their missions is to make essential oils affordable and attainable in every home. There is no middle man and they negotiate for the best price from top suppliers without sacrificing quality. I truly appreciate not having to spend $40-50 on a single bottle of essential oil.
Certified Aromatherapists on Staff: I admire this so much about Plant Therapy. Instead of selling you oils and leaving you hanging not knowing what to do with them, they have TWO certified aromatherapists on staff available for customer support and to answer any questions about the oils. These certified aromatherapists also help write a blog on the Plant Therapy website to continue to educate their customers. These are not just lay people, they are trained professionals in their field. I find that invaluable and comforting when it comes to safety concerns associated with oils, as well as knowing what oil will work for a specific situation. Simply contact them with any questions that you may have.
A Company that Gives: This is just the icing on the cake. Even while keeping their products affordable for the every day person, they also give a tremendous amount of money to help provide clean water and services around the world. They work with Africa Heartwood Project to provide basic needs for those who need it the most, as well as donating to many U.S charities and individual families in need. They are a small company with a heart, and I love the fact that by supporting them, I am also helping to support those in need all around the world.
Because I love them so much, and I know you will too, I have partnered with Plant Therapy to bring you a fantastic giveaway for my favorite beginner essential oils. Yay! How generous of them! One lucky winner will receive a set of my favorite beginner organic oils: Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree. You can view the set in their shop here. Simply enter by using the rafflecopter below.
What if you want to try some right now? Fantastic! They are so affordable, I highly recommend trying a few of their oils to see if you like them. Mrs. Frugal Pants here hardly ever recommends her frugal audience to buy products. I’m more of a save money kind of girl, but when I have a good deal for you, I love to pass it on.
Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Plant Therapy. The opinions and photos are my own. I only endorse companies and products I 100% love, believe in, and support my mission. I feel privileged to be able to share these great companies with my readers to make an impact in the real food and natural health world.