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The Essentials of Essential Oils

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I am in love with all things DIY with essential oils. There are some amazingly easy things you can make with them that are so good for you and so cheap! But I’m not going to lie, if you are a scent addict like me and want multiple scent combinations or effects, the cost can really add up. But starting small and adding a few oils at a time is reasonable. The start up costs may seem a lot at the time but you can make a year or two worth of products from one bottle of Castile soap. I especially like buying when oils are on sale, not a regular thing but it happens.

Using oils in your home products will help you be physically healthier and reduce the air pollution of unnatural scents in your house. Using regular air fresheners, plug ins, sprays, and candles with artificial scents can seriously affect your air quality in the house. And now that so many people are spending more time inside their houses, clean air is even more important. Think about it, this air goes inside your lungs which then circulates  all through your body. If you have chemicals inside the air from scents and cleaning products your body then has to work hard the clean them out. And it’s already working overtime with everything In our food and water supply nowadays. Toxic overload affects your physical and mental health and weight. And every little bit of clean living you can do helps.

You can use essential oils for their properties or scent. I like to use them on my skin—face and body and also in the air for eliminating odors to uplift or calm. There are also antiviral and antibacterial properties for household surfaces and skin. Using oils for scents really makes me happy, maybe because of the uplifting properties of the oils or just because I love the scent combinations. My students used to LOVE the Citrus combination hand sanitizer spray I made for class and also the diffuser scents I used for a calming and more focused atmosphere in class. I used them for both scent and effect. I would maintain the same diffuser combination for a whole unit and my test scores went up because scent can be tied back to memory and also being able to focus better was advantageous. I could really tell the difference between when I was diffusing or not. I would be thinking to myself “What is going on with this class?” And then I’d notice that the diffuser had run dry for some reason.

Essential oils should be used respectfully and sparingly. They are super concentrated and a drop of oil has the properties of MANY of the same dried or fresh flowers or herbs. Think of them like using medicine because of their potency. Keep away from children and pets until you know if they are safe for them. You can google which’s for the types of oils to avoid using for pets or children. Also be aware of using them during pregnancy. There are several essential oils to avoid while pregnant.

Be aware of things that can degrade the effectiveness of essential oils: air, water, sunlight and heat. So keep the bottles of oils tightly capped and away from heat and light. You can tell a brand of oils is not very good if they are not in tinted bottles—blue or brown are the common colors. Stay away from plastic. Using glass bottles and stainless steel rollers for the roller part is important. The plastic will break down into the products you make. There is some plastic I can’t seem to get away from like the spray mechanisms, but I avoid as much as I can.

And if you make your own products, buying colored bottles are a great idea. I’ve learned to buy smaller spray bottles so that I can use them up more quickly and make them more often because I use water to make a lot of them. Water won’t immediately degrade them, but I want to use them up within weeks or a month. I think the properties, like antiseptic, etc., start degrading before the scent does. But I’m not sure about that and a google search on how fast water degrades the oils doesn’t bring up a clear answer. Anyway, after months of being away from my house (we are retired and go to Florida—I’m old lol) the hand soap and room sprays smell wrong so I dump them out and start again.

In hand soap the oils will mix in because of the soap, but when I make room sprays with just water, the oils and water stay separate until shaken a bit before using. I’ve read and others have told me that mixing in a little vodka will keep the oils mixed together with room sprays.

One thing to keep in mind is that when most of the normal scents we smell are artificial, you could be thrown off by the natural scent of essential oils and think that the oils aren’t pure when they are. Some people prefer the scent of oils that are mixed with artificial extracts so that they smell like what they are used to. And the properties of the adulterated oils won’t be the same or as healthy.

There is a whole huge thing about where to buy your oils for purity. I buy my oils from Rocky Mountain Oils or at Siahus.com. I trust Siahus the most for purity. They have Native American management or owners (I’m not sure which), and a complete respect for nature and the oil extraction process.

I hope this helps a bit with understanding the use of essential oils. will have another post showing some simple recipes for easy things you can make.

Remember that every little thing you do to be healthier helps! Just start small and do more when you want to, but don’t stress yourself out.

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