I have been a fan of essential oils since I was a teenager. I like to think of essential oils “high concentrated plant essence” for remembrance. This post is my all-in-one exclusive sharing my knowledge about the goodness of essential oils. Once you start diving into how to guides or just going to a local store that carries essential oils, you will find how many have high anti-fungal, antibacterial and antivirus properties. Probably why EO is increasingly popular in household cleaning regimens. Oils that are best for cleaning are: Lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary. I will share more including how-to and recipes throughout this post.
The difference between essential oils and fragrance oils
I must quickly add that fragrance oils are NOT essential oils. I do not want any confusion. If you see a product and it also says “fragrance” or “perfume” it is NOT natural, it is synthetic. Essential oils are all natural, grown organically using different parts of the plant and CANNOT be patented. Essential oils is extracted from plants through methods such as, steam and water distillation, expression and solvent extraction. Essential oils have therapeutic properties and once absorbed into the skin, quickly provides benefits to the body. For instance, my soaps, body butter and upcoming bath products offered in the shop are vegan, all natural with no animal by-products and scented with therapeutic grade essential oils.
Fragrance oils are protected by the FDA. This means that the ingredients used do not have to be listed completely. Fragrance oils are mixed with chemicals, resins, various oils, alcohol and other carcinogenic chemicals. Even though fragrance oils lack the benefits found in essential oils, they are very inexpensive and can be created to mimic any particular scent. Many fragrance oils irritate the skin, cause allergic reactions and can irritate those with sinus concerns and asthma. With all the convenience of scents in popular brand products, fragrance oils still contain chemicals that when absorbed through the skin is not recognized by body. It's imperative to know what is being applied to our skin (our largest organ). Absorption through the skin begins quickly yet continues for hours.
Essential oils and Carrier oils
Essential oils just like fragrance oils are absorbed into the skin. The grand difference is that essential oils penetrate and work their way through the body providing therapeutic benefits. When using essential oils remember to combine it with a carrier oil. Carrier oils serve two purposes: to dilute the essential oil to be applied topically and to carry the essential oil into the skin safely.
A few carrier oils:
Most essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin. I strongly recommend that you dilute your essential oil before use. Essential oils are highly concentrated, therefore carrier oils come in handy. When you purchase your essential oil ask for the Material Safety Data Sheet. This covers how to properly handle the oil, how to store it and so forth.
You may have an unfortunate reaction by trying the essential oil directly on skin. There are only a few oils that are safe to use undiluted (sparingly) such as lavender, German chamomile, tea tree, sandalwood and I think there is another one I can’t recall just yet.
Here's a few examples on how to use the carrier and essential oil
1 teaspoon of carrier oil + 1-3 drops of essential oil works well when massaging into the bottoms of the feet.
1 -2 drops on a tissue or in boiling water for inhalation.
8 drops of EO in warm bath water
1 tablespoon of carrier oil + 10 drops of essential oil works well when massaging the back, arms and legs.
Organic lotion and butters also makes a good carrier for massaging sore joints and muscles. Avoid lotions made with petroleum based oils and synthetic fragrance. 3-5 drops of essential oils to per teaspoon of lotion. When using lotion for your carrier make sure it is organic. Butters provide a moisturizing base when you desire the essential oil to absorb more slowly. A few popular butters are shea butter, cocoa butter, and kombo butter work well with essential oils.
Another general rule of thumb is:
1% dilution for elderly ( 1 teaspoon of carrier oil + 1 drop EO)
2% dilution for adults (1 teaspoon of carrier oil + 2 drops EO)
3% dilution for specific issues and remedies (1 teaspoon of carrier oil + 3 drops of EO)
Lavender Linen Spray
What you will need:
8 ounce glass bottle with spray top
6 ounces of distilled water
20 drops of lavender Essential Oil
Mix well. Shake before each use. Spray on linen. Lavender helps promote restful nights.
Re-usuable Dryer Sheets
What you will need:
1/2 cup of white vinegar
4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
4 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil (or another E0 of your choice)
Step One: Cut your cloths into smaller squares.
Step Two: In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and EO
Step Three: Place cotton cloths inside your seal-able container
Step Four: Slowly pour mixture over cloths until they are damp. DO NOT drench the cloths for the cloths will absorb the mixture naturally.
Step Five: When ready to dry your laundry, squeeze excess mixture back into the container and toss into dryer. Return back to jar when finished drying.
Vinegar is a natural softener and essential oils provide a chemical free fragrance to your laundry. Money saved!
Another eco-friendly and money savvy laundry tip:
Make your own fabric softener. How awesome is that?! Three quick money saving recipes that is chemical free!
Anti-bacterial Fabric Softener
Take a 1-gallon bottle of white vinegar and add 30 drops of essential oil. Shake well. Use 1/4 cup per wash. In larger loads use 1/2 cup.
Things to remember: