It’s safe to say that all of us have suffered from an annoying cold, painful headache, sleepless night, low energy, or even anxiety. And how many times do you just “deal with it”, drink more coffee, or pop a pill? That was all me all the way up through my 20s. But now I look to more natural healing alternatives and instead of just pushing through the pain or popping a pill, I have my go-to Essential Oils I use for a plethora of fixes.
I’ll share tips in speeding up recovery from the sniffles (or helping prevent getting sick to begin with), helping you relax into a deep sleep, and many more benefits (including how to get rid of unwanted pests). I’ll also share my top essential oils used for a boost in energy that will perk you up during an athletic event, or simply rejuvenate you during the day! And the best part–they’re all natural! Also, find out if the brand of essential oil really matters.
Essential oil safety
Before I dive into the amazing world of essential oils, please be aware that, although essential oils are natural, some people or pets may have an allergy or sensitivity to oils, so you want to be very cautious when using them and do your research on essential oil safety. Also, some people. especially children and babies, are highly sensitive to the effects of essential oils, so please be sure to review safety guides in relation to essential oil uses in special populations. (For example, peppermint oil is one that warns against usage in babies.)
When using oils, it’s advised to “dilute” the very concentrated essential oils with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or fractionated coconut oil (which is liquid at room temperature). Using essential oils straight from the bottle in their concentrated state is not advised. For example, it takes 75 lemons to make one small 15 mL bottle of Lemon essential oil. So always dilute-still beneficial AND safe.
I always have a DIY roller bottle with my favorite essential oil concoction on hand so I have them ready whenever I need a quick remedy. When searching for a roller bottle, it’s important to get a amber or blue shade bottle (not a clear glass bottle), since many essential oils can be damaged by sunlight.
Peppermint Essential Oil
I can go on and on why I love peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil is my #1 favorite and most used essential oil that I use topically (on my skin) for headaches, nausea, stomach aches, muscle soreness after workouts or mild inflammation, and even to boost my energy levels. Plus, it smells great.
A little bit of peppermint oil can go a long way. I typically add 10 drops of Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil to a 10 ml roller bottle full of carrier oil (fill the bottle almost to the top with a carrier oil, saving a bit of space for the essential oil at the top). I also use Peppermint Oil for:
- Using a roller bottle, rub some diluted peppermint oil on the temples (away from the eyes and be sure not to touch your eyes after application–it burns!). Gently massage into skin.
- Apply to the the neck right at the hairline. Gently massage into skin.
- Inhale (3 deep breathes) for additional headache relief. (Ensure you do not have a respiratory or other similar sensitivity.)
- Repeat every 2 hours.
- Rub diluted peppermint oil directly to sore area (be sure not to rub on an open wound). Gently massage it in. I use this all the time on my neck, back, legs, etc.
- Deeply inhale (2-3 deep breaths). (Ensure you do not have a respiratory or other similar sensitivity.)
- Add 3 or 4 drops to an essential oil diffuser.
Side note–I tried using this method during a recent triathlon event. Between swimming and running, I took two big inhales of peppermint oil straight from the bottle and it was like a light bulb of energy woke me up. I will never know if it truly made the difference, but I did get my best record time during that particular event!
- Deter mice from coming around by putting a drop or two of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and leaving the cotton ball in the corner of a room, drawer, etc. This is huge if you own an RV or camper. After every camping trip, we religiously place cotton balls that have a drop or two of peppermint oil on them in nooks and crannies around the camper (under cabinets, in a random drawers, in the underneath storage bins, etc. It seriously take 3-5 minutes total and can save your camper from hundreds of dollars (or more!) in damage that mice can create.
- Ward away spiders, mosquitoes, moths, and other bugs with peppermint oil. Either add a drop or two on a cotton ball, or put a few drops of Peppermint Oil and Lavender Oil in a spray bottle filled with water. Spray around the area where you want to get rid of or prevent bugs (this has worked for us when we’ve been camping in tents or just sitting outside).
- Inhale (2-3 deep breaths).
- Apply diluted essential oil to abdomen and gently rub in.
I wish I knew of this trick when I was pregnant with both kiddos. I was nauseous and throwing up around the clock for 22 weeks–I would have tried almost anything!
Oregano Vitality essential oil
Young Living has a “vitality” line, which means the oils with “vitality” in the name are digestible/edible. Most oils are not, however, so please be sure to do your research. I’m not going to lie, Oregano vitality essential oil is STRONG. I would not make a roller ball with Oregano Vitality because the areas of the body I use this oil on are usually contaminated with a virus or other issue that I don’t want to use the same applicator more than one time. I use it for the following purposes:
- Health/cold prevention: Anytime prior to boarding a flight or if someone in my house is sick, I fend off minor cold-like symptoms by dropping 1 drop of Oregano Vitality Essential Oil into a cup of water (don’t forget to mix). Remember when I said Oregano is strong? Try this remedy and you’ll believe me–it sort of temporarily stings your lips if the oil touches them, so I try to swallow all the water in a few straight gulps and wash it down fast. Even better, if you use a straw, you are able to skip the whole stinging lip sensation. My daughter really doesn’t like to use this oil, but so far it has worked for us whenever we try to stave off a cold.
- Warts: I can’t stand when my kids get warts, so as soon as I see one, I immediately treat it with natural home remedies. It takes a bit of patience, but after a week or two it really has worked for us. Warning-do not put undiluted oregano oil directly on your skin…it will burn your skin and hurt (I’ve done it!). Instead, make a little concoction of approximately 2 Tbsp carrier oil (or apple cider vinegar) and apply it directly to your wart with a q-tip (don’t double dip!). Or, dip a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it face down with a band-aid over the top overnight when you sleep. It really does wonders after doing this just the first night. Repeat each night until it’s gone.
- Pasta sauce: Again, Oregano Vitality oil is STRONG. But can also be very tasty when added to an Italian Dish. When I make homemade pasta sauce (it’s really not that hard–stay tuned for my recipe!), I add just one drop of Oregano Vitality Essential Oil and it tastes amazing!
Lavender essential oil
- Laundry: Add a drop of Lavender oil onto a sock or towel when you place in the dryer (don’t add to a shirt or some other article of clothing, as it can stain). The heat in the drying process will make the whole load smell amazing!
- Sleep aide: This is another oil I always have on hand in a roller bottle. I add about 10 drops of Lavender oil to a roller bottle mostly full of carrier oil (remember to add the carrier oil to bottle first, leaving a little space at the top for your oil). I apply it at bedtime to the bottom of my feet and my kids’ feet and I really can tell a difference in how we all sleep! I also add approximately 3 drops of Lavender oil to a diffuser and enjoy a restful night of Zs. Or, if you’re into making your own lotion, I add 10 or so drops of Lavender oil to my homemade lotion and apply all over my body.
- Anxiety buster: Lavender has calming properties, so diffusing it or applying it (diluted) can have calming effects. I’ve known some people that carry the bottle with them and take 2 deep breaths before facing a stressful situation. Worth a try!
Lemon Vitality essential Oil
Refreshing and healthy, Lemon Vitality Essential Oil is another edible oil made by Young Living. I use this delicious oil for:
- My Electrolyte Recipe-just one drop in my water adds a delicious and refreshing natural taste, plus it’s full of immunity boosting and antioxidant glory!
- Recipes: Anytime you need lemon or lemon zest, add a drop of Lemon Vitality Essential Oil instead! Think Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Chicken recipes, Lemon Custard, Margaritas! The options are endless!
Lime vitality oil
Another amazing edible essential oil is Lime Vitality. I use this for:
- Drinks-Margaritas! Mojitos! Yum and refreshing. A single drop in a drink goes a long way and is delicious. Ditch the artificial flavoring of most mix-ins!
- Food-Add a drop or two of Lime Vitality to Mexican dishes, rice casseroles, and more. Check out my Healthy Keto Tortilla Chips Recipe and my Quick and Easy Keto Tortilla Chip Recipe for a way to make keto chips with a lime twist!
Thieves Essential OIl
This oil is most popular in my house during the Winter season, when colds and other nasty viruses are rampant. I love Thieves Essential Oil for:
- Cold-like symptoms: Do you run to the local store and grab an over the counter medication when you or one of your kids gets sick? i.e. NyQuil, Tylenol, or some other med? I was guilty of doing that to myself, but once I had kids, I thought “there’s gotta be a better way”. If someone is sick in your house or all your kids’ friends are sick and you’re trying to make it out unscathed…try Thieves Essential Oil. I always have Thieves on hand in a roller ball. 10 drops Thieves in a 10 ml roller bottle full of carrier oil (remember to add the carrier oil to bottle first, leaving a little space at the top for your oil). Rub this on the soles of your feet, on the back of your neck, directly to any swollen lymph nodes on your neck, on your spine, and even on your feet. Seriously–this stuff has been a miracle worker for helping my sick kids (and me) get healthier faster, or keeping my healthy kids from getting sick. You can also add 2 drops of Thieves to a diffuser and your house will smell awesome, plus you’ll send immunity boosting particles through your house.
- Household Cleaner: Thieves is great to use as a cleaning agent. In a spray bottle, I use approximately 10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil and 5 drops Lemon oil, 5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil, along with a few cups (or whatever the small spray bottle will hold) of water. I sometimes even add a splash of Vinegar.
Tea Tree oil
Tea tree oil has cleansing properties and I don’t mind the smell (although it is a bit medicinal smelling). I use it in the following ways:
- Household Cleaner: I add a few drops of Tea Tree Essential oil to my household cleaning concoction (see recipe under the Thieves Essential Oil section above).
- Zits: I make my own face cream, and add just a few drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil to it to ward of zits or other complexion issues. It seems to work for me thus far! Warning-don’t get it too close to your eyes–it will burn!
- Cold-like symptoms: Tea tree is another one that I will add in my “anti-cold” remedies. I will usually add a drop or two to the carrier oil or other lotion I’ve made if one of us are sick. Remember–don’t apply close to your eyes or rub your eyes after applying–it will burn.
Do Essential Oil brands really matter?
I absolutely believe brand matters. Is there only one brand that is good? I don’t think so. Like anything else, do your research! I love (and sell) Young Living brand oils and have had good luck with them. They are an ethical company that touts being Seed to Seal (natural), and they also give back to communities. No synthetics, no additives, no chemicals, etc. Many essential oils out there aren’t even true oils from plants. They can have artificial fragrance added or processed with chemicals, etc (even if they brag that they’re 100% natural). So just be safe, don’t believe the packaging.