I am always helping my clients figure out ways to use natural and non-toxic alternatives to chemical-laden products, whether it’s cosmetics/body care, cleaning products, or even pain relievers or other pills people commonly pop on a daily basis. The toxins in these products build up in fatty tissue, and over time, they contribute to estrogen dominance, weight gain, infertility, liver congestion, and endocrine disruption.
A main reason I am so excited about using essential oils therapeutically is that they have hundreds of uses and can be used as non-toxic replacements for the conventional products in your life. No need to pop pills for insomnia or allergies–there are oils for that. No need to spray toxic junk on your counters to clean them–there are oils for that. No need to use chemical-filled lotions or deodorants– there are oils for that too! Essential oils basically the oils of the plant from which it was extracted, so they capture the healing properties of that plant.
Here are all the ways I use my essential oils every single day. Note that you cannot take any essential oil internally; you must make sure they are therapeutic grade! And please consult with an expert.
I start my day with a glass of water and several drops of lemon oil. The limonene compounds are high in antioxidants and also help to detox the liver. It’s refreshing and uplifting, too! To clean counters, I’ll add several drops of lemon essential oil to a spray bottle to disinfect. You can also use a few drops of lemon to remove sticky residue, like gum.
Once I get to work, I’ll diffuse a single oil or a blend, depending on my mood. Most recently it was Dragon Time, a blend of fennel, clary sage, marjoram, lavender, blue yarrow, and jasmine, and is said to relive PMS symptoms and menstrual discomfort. I also like to diffuse peppermint, which aids focus.
Then I start my oil pulling with coconut oil, and I add a couple drops of thieves oil in with the coconut oil to improve dental health. It really helps! Thieves oil is amazing. I also take a drop or 2 of thieves for immune health. It’s a blend of antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-infectious essential oils: Clove, lemon, cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and rosemary. You can diffuse it to kill mold or airborne bacteria, so it’s really useful if someone around you is sick (though if they start to come down with something, give them some thieves oil stat!). I have also added thieves oil to water in a spray bottle to kind mold and mildew around the house and freshen the inside of my car.
I’ll add a few drops of peppermint to my water throughout the day too. Peppermint is said to suppress cravings and appetite, and it improves digestion. Added bonus: it makes your breath minty fresh! It works wonders for indigestion, heartburn, or bloating. You can also rub it on your temples, and it gets rid of headaches immediately. I almost never get headaches, but I did have a tension headache recently, and I used the peppermint oil. It worked instantly.
I love the Purification blend: Citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, Melaleuca, lavandin, and myrtle. I rub a couple drops on my armpits for deodorant. It works great! Also has the added benefit of repelling bugs, so no more toxic DEET bug spray. And no more toxic deodorant. You can use it to soothe bug bites, for bruising, or for skin blemishes. Rub a few drops on your dog’s collar for an instant flea collar!
I am often sore from working out or from holding tension in my neck, and PanAway is great for that. It a blend of Wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint. It soothes soreness immediately and has a cooling sensation. It’s great for arthritis pain, inflammation, and bruising.
Lavender is a classic fave and probably the oil I use the most. I LOVE it in my epsom salt detox baths. Recently I made homemade bath salts for gifts and added several drops of lavender to those. I inhale it directly from the bottle for relaxation during the day and because I love it so much. You can add a few drops to a spray bottle with spring water and use as a linen spray for sweet dreams. It’s also great on skin for burns, eczema, dermatitis, dry/chapped skin, rashes, sunburn, or cold sores. I also add a few drops to a load of laundry.
Frankincense is another heavy rotation for me. I add several drops to the homemade whipped coconut oil body butter I make. It encourages skin regeneration and prevents wrinkles. Great to heal scars too, and I’ve heard it gets rid of warts. I use several drops on my face at night to keep my skin looking dewy. I also use it in my yogurt face mask. Frankincense has an earthy, rich, almost balsamic scent. It has calming properties that can increase spirituality and inner strength, making it great to rub on your temples during meditation or yoga. I rub it on my wrists and inhale before journaling.
There are countless ways you can use these oils. I don’t have allergies, but you can combine lavender, peppermint, and lemon for seasonal allergy relief. It has powerful antihistamine properties. From cleaning to cosmetics to anxiety, insomnia, inflammation and pain relief, you can harness the power of essential oils for health.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.