Thursday, April 19, 2012

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

My first homesteading projects include making some all-natural household products.  In the research I've done so far, I've found that some of these homemade products actually work better than their store-bought counterparts. And who would have thought that the main ingredients are things that are probably in your home right now? The basic items for many of these recipes include baking soda, cornstarch, and vinegar. All of these are natural and cheap!

One of the other main ingredients in almost all of these homemade items are essential oils. I've never used these aromatic oils before, but they add all-natural scent to everything from household cleaners to toothpaste. I found a good source at mothernature.com, and have ordered several of the most commonly used oils to add to my products.

What I hadn't considered about the essential oils is that they are also used for aromatherapy.  Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being. This is an added benefit! My daughter has a lot of trouble with congestion, so I researched which oils would combat that.  I'm anxious to receive my order, and give these a try.

I thought I would share which essential oils I ordered, and what healing properties they carry. Most of these suggest adding a few drops to your favorite lotion, massage oil, or aromatherapy diffuser.

Peppermint
  • a very potent fresh, minty aroma that produces a cooling and refreshing sensation. 
  • used for inflammation, nausea, indigestion, fevers, flatulence, headaches, migraine, liver problems, arthritis
  • vitalizing, refreshing, clears negative energy, increases alertness, stimulating, and cooling
Tea Tree
  • can be used by the drop directly on the skin which helps cleanse and purify
  • used for immune support as well as relief from colds, flu, skin infections, cold sores, warts, acne, burns, athletes foot, thrush candida, fungal infections, viral infections, bacterial infections, inflammation, shock, hysteria, and glandular fever
Lavender

  • used to relax, soothe, restore and balance the body and mind
  • may also be beneficial for skin conditions such as burns, rashes and psoriasis; headaches and fevers; insomnia, PMS, stress, scarring, inflammation, and infection
Lime
  • cleanses, purifies, and renews the spirit and mind
  • used for acne, asthma, colds, dull skin, flu, varicose veins

Citronella

  • a familiar component of bug-repelling sprays
  • astringent and cleansing citronella is also useful for oily, blemished skin and large pores. It can be irritating, so be sure to dilute properly.
  • works as an insecticide, deodorant, tonic, stimulant, diuretic, emmenagogue, antiseptic, and reduces fever
Lemon
  • uplifting, energizing, refreshing
  • used for sore throat, nervous conditions, blood pressure, digestive problems, gallstones, debility, fever, anxiety, as a tonic, astringent, and antiseptic
  • useful as a laxative, for diarrhea, tones the liver, used for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, throat infections, hypertension, tones the heart, lowers blood sugar, helps arthritis, acne, broken capillaries, varicose veins, clears the head and helps combat depression and combats fever
Orange
  • maintains a wholesome, positively charged atmosphere
  • used for depression, anxiety, constipation, nervous conditions, muscular spasm, as a tonic, sedative, antiseptic, diuretic, for palpitations, bronchitis, flu, improves immunity, promotes the production of collagen and increases the circulation of lymphatic fluids.

Eucalyptus
  • purifies the atmosphere and clears negative energy
  • helps sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis, skin infections, ulcers, sores, rheumatism, aches, pains, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, cystitis, nephritis, cleanses the blood, lowers sugar levels, improves circulation, respiratory problems, reduces fever and relieves headaches.

Camphor
  • is an antibacterial, antifungal, disinfectant, insecticide, and deodorant
  • used for nasal and chest congestion, muscle pain, cramps, spasms, joint pain, gout, circulatory system disorders
  • must be diluted before use.  Also, you must take care that you do not inhale its vapors directly as it can be toxic and fatal in some extreme cases.

And to think I was buying these just for the scent! I'm definitely going to research more of these essential oils to find more that might benefit us. And I'll be sure to share what I learn.


Sources: aromaweb.com, , mothernature.com, aromatherapies.net, aromatherapypoint.com

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