You have probably seen people posting on social media about essential oils a lot these days, because it seems like a hot new trend. It’s not a trend, however. Essential oils have actually been around for a very long time.

When I was trying to conceive, I started to evaluate the products I was using both in terms of personal care and around the house. I learned about sulfates, parabens and phthalates in commonly used beauty products and wound up switching to natural beauty and health care items. I also turned to “green” household cleaners and pitched the toxic chemicals.

So naturally, as friends started promoting essential oils online, I was intrigued. I had only ever used lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree oil previously. All of which I had purchased either at Walgreens or Whole Foods. I didn’t know anything about oil quality, sourcing, or distilling  processes back then. I just bought what was cheap.

When I first purchased those oils, I did so for specific purposes. I figured I could use a few drops of lavender in the bath tub to help me relax; steam eucalyptus to help clear my airways during cold and flu season; and apply tea tree oil to my skin for a few cosmetic issues I was having.

But that was really the extent of my essential oil use at the time. Because I didn’t really know anything more about them.

When I was 12 weeks pregnant and had just shared the news with my family on Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle’s house, I came down with a massive headache. I couldn’t take Advil since I was pregnant, so I just figured I’d suffer through it.

My cousin, however, had been using DoTerra for several years and asked if I wanted to try essential oils to provide some relief. I was a little unsure if they were safe to use while pregnant, but also wanted to kick the headache. I figured a little wouldn’t hurt.

She used a rollerball called Past Tense to apply a bit of oil to my temples and the back of my neck. Then I laid down for a bit.

Within 20 minutes, my headache was gone. It was then when I realized there must really be something to this oil stuff.

Since that product had worked so well, I wanted a rollerball of my own. I wound up buying one from a wellness consultant I met at a holiday open house with local vendors. And bought a few other oils from her to try as well.

One was for digestive support; another for purifying the house. I was just starting to dip my toes in the water.

Several months later, I hosted an online oil class, to learn more about DoTerra and how to use essential oils effectively. It was very educational, because I honestly hadn’t realized there were so many different uses. I didn’t even have a diffuser at the time, since I wasn’t sure I’d use oils regularly. So, I bought a small one on sale at Whole Foods to get started.

When DoTerra had a week of Buy One, Get One Free promotions last February, I decided to take advantage. I became a wholesale member for $35, which is similar to buying a Costco membership. It means you can shop for oils at a discounted (wholesale) rate. Plus, you can earn points towards free oils. Memberships renew annually at $25, but come with a free Peppermint. Seemed like a decent deal to me.

I bought each of the BOGOs on sale that week. To help build my collection. And did it again when they offered a second week of BOGOs in November. One daily special even came with a free diffuser. Which was sweet, since it was like a $45 value.

Since then, I’ve bought a third diffuser and several more oils. While I’m certainly no expert (so you should not consider this professional advice), I feel like I have learned how to use them effectively over the past year or so.

So, what do I do with them, you are probably wondering?

essential oils
Here are my favorite oils and how I’ve incorporated them into my daily routine:

1. To help me (and my kiddo) sleep. You’ve probably already heard this one. There are several oils that can help you relax, unwind and prepare for sleep. My favorites oils for sleep are Serenity, Lavender, Balance, Cypress, and Breathe. I place a few drops in a diffuser in the bedroom just before bedtime. My diffuser is set to shut off after 2 hours, and usually, I’m sleeping pretty soundly by the time that happens. I also have a rollerball of fractionated coconut oil with a drop or two of Serenity, that I rub on my son’s feet to help him sleep during times when sleep seems to be an issue in our house.

2. To help open my airways. I was diagnosed with asthma at age 32. It’s mild and well-controlled for now, thank goodness. However, I have to take meds daily to ensure it stays that way. When I have trouble breathing or suffer from exercise- or dust-induced asthma attacks, I use Breathe to help support my lung function and re-open my airways. Breathe not only comes in oil form for diffusing, but also in stick form that I rub on my chest. It also comes in lozenges that you can suck on to safely ingest the oil.

3. To help control my mood. I keep a rollerball of Cheer on my desk at work and rub it on my wrists every morning when I get to work. I love the scent and it works well as a natural perfume, but also helps to elevate my mood and ensure that I stay positive during stressful days. Does it really work? Who knows. I haven’t really went off on anybody at work. So probably. My husband has a rollerball of Peace that he uses regularly in the same fashion and for similar purposes as well.

4. To help build our immunities. When cold and flu season rolls around, On Guard gets diffused on a regular basis in our house. The moment I hear someone coughing, that oil gets put on rotation. When my mom got sick last winter, she even ingested it and said she thought it helped. So, I’ve taken a drop internally every now and then when I start to feel like I’m getting sick. We also have On Guard soap in a dispenser in the bathroom.  And I take a lozenge or two when I have a cough or sore throat as well.

5. To clean the house. I put about 15 drops of Purify in a water bottle and spray it on the countertops to help disinfect when cleaning the kitchen and also use a few drops of Lemon oil to clean our diffusers. To do so, I put just a small amount of water in each along with several drops of Lemon.  Then let them run for about 10 minutes and wipe them out. This smells a lot better and probably cleans just as well as vinegar.

6. To aid in digestion. A drop of DigestZen in my water when I have an upset tummy, or ate too much and have indigestion, works wonders. Seriously. This was the first oil I ever ingested and while I was super nervous about it, I felt better within 10 minutes. This is one of the reasons why I use DoTerra. Because of the purity and quality of the oil, if it has “Dietary Supplement” facts on the back of the bottle, it’s actually safe to ingest. A little goes a long way when ingesting, though. So, just 1 drop is all it takes.

7. For pain relief. As mentioned in the story above, Past Tense works great for headaches and tension relief. It only comes in rollerball form. Which actually works well for me, since I keep this one in my purse. Deep Blue also works as a pain reliever, especially for sore muscles. This is like DoTerra’s version of IcyHot. I actually use the lotion form of this particular oil much more than the oil itself.

8. To keep the house smelling good. Oils just smell good. The oil blends DoTerra sells all smell amazing.  Aside from those already mentioned, I really enjoy Citrus Bliss. I like to make my own as well. Lavender, Lemon and Lemongrass work really well together. And somehow Lime, Tangerine and Spearmint do too, making a refreshing and bright combination. I think that’s part of the fun of it. Mix and match and make them your own to see what you like best.

9. To make my water taste better. I really don’t drink enough water. Partially because it’s kinda boring. Essential oils can help jazz it up though. Any of the citrus oils work really well in water. Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Wild Orange. Just a drop or two will do depending on the size of the bottle. It tastes refreshing and delicious. And they each have their own health benefits in taking them internally as well.

I haven’t really tried cooking with oils yet, but that’s probably next on the list. I did use Lemon in a smoothie once and it was delightful. And I’ve been wanting to check out recipes for making a Cardamom Spice Latte with oils as well.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas on how to incorporate essential oils into your daily routine. Again, I’m no expert here, so be sure to do your own research on essential oil safety, particularly around kids and pets. For example, I don’t diffuse Peppermint or Eucalyptus around the kiddo, because evidently both can have adverse effects on young children.

I would also never give my child oils to ingest until he is much much older. Mainly because tiny bodies handle things differently than larger ones do. He does enjoy diffusing essential oils though. He asks for “smell goods” in his diffuser at bed time. And gladly sticks out his feet for a little “magic potion” on nights when we need the Serenity rollerball to help him sleep.

Do you use essential oils? If so, I’d love to hear how! I’m always looking for new ideas to get the most use out of our oils.

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