I will preface this by saying that I am, by no means, an essential oil guru. I also DO NOT sell essential oils. But I do have a bit of knowledge about them, including some favorite oils that I use on a regular basis. So I’m going to share those with you and how we use them in our home. This is also not a sponsored post, all opinions are 100% my own.
I had an aunt who was a bonafide hippie, and a mom who didn’t tread too far behind her. They were ahead of their game when it came to wellness, my aunt swearing by eating clean and organic 25+ years ago and my mom spending a large portion of the 90s and early 2000s crafting handmade soaps made from the best ingredients, including essential oils. I was exposed to them at a young age, but didn’t really take to them much until recent years. I’m not sure all of the specifics and terms, but I have a full understanding of just how beneficial they can be, when used properly. I’m not here to give you medical advice and would caution you to try stuff like this at your own risk, but I do want to share how we use them in our household and for our family. Add to the disclaimers that I do not believe, like some, that oils are a cure all for many ailments. We have several allergies in our home, disease that we battle, etc, where modern medicine is used and has to be used in order to maintain health, despite advice from many to utilize oils. I just wanted to put that out there because I want to be transparent in my thoughts and objective in my information. For a brief history, our two youngest have severe food allergies and our daughter has severe asthma. I have a history of several allergies as well, and my husband and I both have struggle with lifelong asthma as well. It’s complicated, but I try my best to consider natural options for our family and I’m a firm believer that alternative treatments, as well as diet and supplements, can make a huge difference for health and wellbeing. I only put all of this here because whenever I talk about our issues, I get a lot of messages of good intentions touting the use of oils for afflictions such as these, but I have to approach them carefully because while I believe in alternative methods, I also know that medication can save my children’s life. My daughter alone has been hospitalized 4 times in the last two years, due to asthma and anaphylaxis, both of which MUST be treated with drugs. We aren’t talking just nasal congestion and sneezing here, but I do add in oil diffusing for any added benefits I can get!
So aromatherapy…I couldn’t explain it better, so I literally just copied this excerpt from aromatherapy.com:
Little is known about the history of aromatherapy, or where it originated specifically, but the Egyptians are credited with developing one of the first distillation machines to extract oils from certain plants — cedarwood, clove, cinnamon, to name a few — which were used to embalm the dead. The practice of using infused aromatic oils as a mood enhancer, however, is thought to have roots in China.
The Greeks also played a role in the history of aromatherapy. Megallus, a Greek perfumer, developed a fragrance he called megaleion, which consisted of myrrh. The “father of medicine” Hippocrates is said to have
practiced aromatherapy (before it was dubbed so) for healing purposes. Greek mythology claims the gods were gifted with the knowledge of perfume and fragrance.
The actual term “aromatherapy” first originated in 1937 when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse invented the word after a burn incident spurred his curiosity about the healing power of essential oils. On the heels of Gattefosse’s “discovery” that lavender oil helped to cure his burn, French surgeon Jean Valnet used essential oils to help heal soldiers’ wounds in World War II, proving the medical benefits of aromatherapy.
And yeah, it all made more sense than what I could put into words. Aromas can be healing, simple as that. Essential oils can be used topically (diluted with carrier oils) or ingested for internal benefits (but I’d urge you to consult a legit herbalist or aromatherapy expert to go that route. Functional medicine doctors are a great resource as well). My favorite way to use them is diffused into the air. A little goes a long way and they really do help you to feel refreshed and energized. Smell is a powerful sense. For those that are new to essential oils, click here for a great guide to the basics from Dr. Axe.
I have tried oils from both Young Living and DoTerra, two of the most popular out there. There always seems to be some debate about which is better, more pure, etc, but I’ve found both to be good options. But my honest opinion is that they are way too expensive. I find Young Living to be more unique, just based on the blends they offer, but the prices are way too high for me. I’ve considered joining, just for the discount, but I’ve found some other options I really love.
The essential oils we use most in our home are:
- Lavender (read some lavender oil benefits here)
- Young Living RC Blend (read about RC blend here)
- Tea Tree Oil (read some tea tree oil benefits here)
- Peppermint Oil (read some peppermint oil benefits here)
- Lucky’s Market Apothecary Head Relief Blend
- A grapefruit and peppermint blend (read some grapefruit oil benefits here)
- Lemon Oil (read some lemon oil benefits here)
Lavender Essential Oil is an all-around versatile essential oil, known for it’s calming abilities. I won’t go into great detail about it because you can find tons of info online, but we use it so often! I diffuse it, dilute with oil and put on my kids’ feet at night, or in their bath water before bedtime. I’ve also found that it’s AMAZING for bug bites! We react quite severely to insect bites, but I find that diluted with a carrier oil and applied to bug bites, it immediately cuts itch and redness! I’ve also used it on burns and cuts. I have the DoTerra brand Lavender oil, but when I run out, I’ll be purchasing the NOW Foods brand Lavender Essential Oil.
The YL RC Blend is awesome! I actually won this in a giveaway on facebook and have yet to repurchase, mostly because I found a similar blend locally, but I’ll get to that in a minute…this blend smells SO good! It’s a blend of Spruce, Cypress, and three types of Eucalyptus oils. I actually keep the empty bottle in my shower because I can still get the effects of it when just inhaling, but it doesn’t have enough oil inside to diffuse anymore.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is said to be antibacterial and antifungal, as well as many other uses. I’ve actually been using in my shampoo to help with scalp eczema and dermatitis, especially since I’ve dealt with hair loss since having kids and those two things can contribute to it. I actually do notice a huge difference in my scalp. My hair isn’t growing back at crazy rates or anything, but it’s cut down the itching and sores so much! ( I know, that’s totally gross, but I’ve dealt with this type of scalp pain for years). I love fresh, yet medicinal, scent too! I have the NOW Foods brand Tea Tree Essential Oil.
Peppermint Essential Oil has a ton of uses too, but I use it mostly for it’s respiratory benefits. But be careful with this one and consult an expert or other websites on this subject, because as I mentioned before, I’m no expert, but I did learn you have to be careful with peppermint oil when used with children and especially children with asthma! It’s really powerful, but so refreshing! I diffuse it a lot! Especially mixed with lavender. I have the DoTerra brand Peppermint oil, but again, when I run out, I’ll be buying the NOW Foods brand Peppermint Essential Oil. Also, this is the only oil I’ve taken internally with liquids to ease stomach discomfort and it really works! Read up on using oils internally though, as some can have legit side effects.
This Head Relief blend you see pictures has become a favorite! We have an AWESOME mew supermarket nearby called Lucky’s Market and they carry a ton of natural and organic products. We love it for safe food and product options for our allergy kids and we love that they make it a point to carry Michigan produce, brands, etc. I don’t get there often enough, but it’s an hour away. They have their own brand of essential oils called Lucky’s Apothecary. They have lots of blends, are high-quality and very affordable! I’ve sort of ‘replaced’ my YL RC Blend with this because it contains the Eucalyptus that I love so much about the RC Blend, but is much more economical, based on price! It also has Basil, Rosemary, Lavender and Citrus in it. I diffuse this frequently as well and it has such a fresh scent! Clears congestion as well. I’d link it up, but it’s only available in-store. I’ll be buying more from them soon!
I have an off brand grapefruit-peppermint blend, but I only diffuse it since I’m not sure the source of the oil and wouldn’t want to apply topically without that information, but I love Grapefruit and it’s such a happy aroma!
Lemon Essential Oil is great for cleaning because of its cleansing properties and for eliminating odors with its fresh and happy scent! It helps cleanse the body as well, helps with coughing, digestion and lots of other things! I have it in an “allergy” roller mixed with lavender and peppermint that I use for nasal congestion and its so soothing! I just swipe it onto my temples, neck, chest and under my nose for relief during allergy flare-ups or illness.
I’ve highlighted 4 brands here…Young Living, DoTerra, NOW Foods and Lucky’s Apothecary and there’s many more on the market. The best advice I can give is just to do your research and be sure that they’re claims of pure oils are backed up. Like I said before, I don’t sell Young Living, DoTerra or any other brands such as these, and while I think they are great options, I’m also a little put off by their marketing tactics. I think there’s plenty of other options that are more affordable and just as good. They both claim to be “100% therapeutic grade,” which is a bit misleading. It’s widely known that there is no great power of essential oils out there certifying or labeling or even regulating essential oils. There’s purity standards, proper ways of distilling, but there is no “therapeutic grade” standard out there. It’s something these companies use to label their own products with in a means to entice people to buy theirs. Do I think they’re pure oils? Yes. But I don’t think they’re the “be all, end all” of oils. My two favorite brands currently are the NOW Foods brands and the Lucky’s Apothecary brands. Both extremely high-quality, great prices and selection and I can get them locally. You can even read all about the distilling process, labeling and purity standards on NOW Food’s website here. It’s a lot of interesting, science-y stuff that I don’t quite grasp, but they go into the purification process and talk more about “therapeutic grade.” Check out the photo below for size reference of the bottles as well.
Each company has multiple size options to choose from, but these are the sizes that I have, 5mL for Young LIving, 15mL for DoTerra and the 1 oz bottles from NOW Foods and Lucky’s Apothecary.
You can find a selection of items I love on my Amazon storefront, including the NOW Foods Nature’s Shield blend, which is comparable to the YL Thieves blend at a fraction of the price. I’ve yet to try it, but it’s next on my list! As far as carrier oils go, I used fractionated coconut oil, avocado oil and jojoba oil. We stay away from almond oil due to nut allergies. I linked up a variety pack in my Amazon shop! I use an InnoGear diffuser that I love and is very affordable (view here), but there’s a larger one I may end up purchasing to use elsewhere in my house by Vida that is super affordable too (view here)! I also have a Pinterest board (view here) full of recipes and blends for diffusing and for use topically via roller or other means.
I love essential oils for so many uses and I’ve found incorporating them into our lives is so simple. I truly hope you enjoyed this post! It was a lot of info to gather and write out, but I wanted to share the information in hopes to provide education for others and in a bit of a non-biased way from someone who does not and has no intention of selling oils. Any questions, feel free to ask…happy oil-ing!
*this post contains affiliate links