Enjoying essential oils every day can make home health care an absolute joy. The three essential oils listed here are both powerful and versatile. Print these out and keep ’em handy. If you’re looking to begin a collection of these oils, consider these three true “essentials” for first aid, to treat flu and cold, and to create a peaceful atmosphere in your home. Use these fast and easy remedies for inexpensive, all-natural treatments that “do no harm” and really WORK!
#1: Tea Tree
The essential oil of the Malaleuca Tree, tea tree oil is a potent antimicrobial, fungicide, antiviral, expectorant and sudorific (makes you sweat). It also repels insects, stimulates the nervous system, and hastens wound healing.
Tea tree should not be swallowed, but can be used as a gargle or rinse.
To freshen breath, add one drop of tea tree oil to an ounce of water. Swish, gargle and spit.
To ease laryngitis, add a little salt to a cup of warm water and 5+ drops of the essential oil. Gargle 2-3 times/day. For a sore throat, add fewer drops, 2-3, to the same amount of water and gargle. Do not swallow.
To soothe dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or dry skin, apply undiluted spot treatments to the affected area. You can also dilute in a rich carrier oil such as sweet almond, grapeseed or jojoba oil and use as a massage oil. For acne breakouts, use undiluted as a spot treatment.
To treat canker sores, cold sores (herpes 1) or mouth ulcers, apply undiluted tea tree essential oil using a cotton swap.
Dress abrasions and minor cuts, to keep them clean, accelerate healing and reduce scarring. Wash the wound and either apply undiluted, or douse a cotton ball with a few drops, press to the wound and apply a bandage.
To relieve aches and pains, dissolve Epsom salts into a hot bath and add 10-15 drops of tea tree. This would also be nice blended with lavender and a base note EO. A tea tree massage oil will also help to relieve muscle aches associated with rheumatism. Use more of the EO for greater pain relief.
For asthma, bronchitis and coughs, add a few drops of the tea tree essential oil to a few cups of water in a pot or pan. Heat it to steaming. Drape a towel or cloth over your head and over the steam bath. Inhale until the steam dissipates.
Lavender essential oil is one of the most powerful and perhaps the most versatile essences used today. It’s antispasmodic and pacifying, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. There’s more! It’s considered antidepressant, soothing both to the body and emotions, analgesic and expectorant. Here are some of the most common uses for everyday needs.
Lavender will also soothe burns. After flushing with cold water, apply undiluted lavender EO directly to the burn.
Dress wounds such as cuts and scrapes with lavender instead of rubbing alcohol. If you like, create a blend of equal parts lavender and tea tree oil diluted in olive oil. This will be powerfully antibacterial, antifungal and purifying, will help to prevent infection, accelerate healing, prevent scarring and reduce pain.
Relieve stress, deepen sleep, and calm infants or hyperactive children (and adults, too!). Diffuse in your bedroom and near your baby’s crib at night or during naptime. You might also dilute a few drops into water “to-taste,” and store in a spray bottle. Spritz the pillows and comforter at bedtime. This can be a lovely skin mist to calm irritated, suntanned or sunburned skin, or to provide balancing, gentle hydration.
To calm nervousness or anxiety, simply inhale the aroma from the essential oil, put a few dabs on your wrist or just under your nose, or diffuse. If you’ve got a high pressure moment coming up, it’s helpful to carry a bottle of lavender or dilute in a carrier such as jojoba, and wear it as a perfume oil.
Enhance recovery from any ailment by applying lavender “neat” (undiluted) to the soles of the feet for absorption into the bloodstream to. Try it the next time you have cold, flu, fever, or an upset stomach. You can also put a few drops either neat or diluted in carrier oil, and rub on the chest or tummy to calm the nervous system and ease symptoms.
For nausea, diffuse or vaporize. Add 6-8 drops in about ½ cup to 1 cup of water, depending on your own taste. Pour into the top dish of an oil burner and heat using a tea light, or gently heat in a pot until it produces steam. Inhale the vapor.
To heal dandruff, blend 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil with olive or other nourishing oil. Warm the oil and massage into scalp. Let it soak for an hour, and then shampoo. You can also add several drops to your shampoo.
Freshen your laundry. Add a few drops (to taste) as the wash fills with water. I like to add it during the second cycle. Lavender’s gentle fragrance will permeate the entire load without causing skin irritation like those synthetic, often harsh perfumed detergents and softeners.
Like tea tree and lavender, peppermint essential oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Unlike the previous two, it can burn the skin and should be diluted in water or carrier oil before applied to the skin.
Peppermint EO is also analgesic and decongestant. It can assist digestion, soothe an upset tummy, sharpen mental focus and alertness, and even repel insects!
To either calm or stimulate (balance) your digestive system, add a drop of peppermint essential oil to your cup of tea. To relieve or prevent flatulence, indigestion, or after a heavy meal, add to sweet almond or grapeseed oil and rub gently into the tummy.
To curb appetite, inhale several times per day.
To relieve motion sickness or nausea, place a drop on the tip of your tongue, on the soles of the feet, or on the wrists, diluted either in a little water or a carrier oil.
To soothe a headache, gently rub or spot treat the diluted oil into the temples, over the sinuses, between the brows, and on the back of the neck. Or, blend 2:1 lavender to peppermint and diffuse gently into the room.
To help relieve congestion and cough, add 5+ drops to a pan of water and heat until steaming. Turn off heat. Cover your head with a towel and drape around the steam, inhaling until the steam dissipates.
To awaken, energize, enhance focus and concentration, increase alertness, and even to reduce fatigue during a workout, inhale peppermint essential oil; add several drops to massage oil and massage into the neck and shoulders, and place a little drop just under your nose.