I love a good smell. Baby heads, the scent of jasmine coming up in my yard, lilies… These conjure up happy memories for me.
And it’s no secret that I have a history with essential oils. Remember those yummy kid-safe cleaners I used to sell?
I’m picky about good smells.
But can I admit to spending a long time befuddled by the idea that you can use essential oils for health purposes? I even read a book that had CHEMISTRY in it to try and grasp WHY people claimed X oil would heal X ailment.
I didn’t exactly understand the book, but I read it.
I read all the arguments about whether or not its safe to ingest essential oils and what constitutes “therapeutic grade” or high quality oils. I read about the great divide between the two companies that claim to sell these therapeutic grade oils. But I couldn’t be convinced one way or the other until I tried for myself.
I dabbled my toe in the water when Finn was born. I knew I would struggle with maintaining my milk supply and I was willing to try anything. So in addition to my Goat’s Rue herbal tincture, I purchased a bottle of Fennel oil. I took it every day in a teaspoon of honey.
And clearly, Finn and I did just fine.
It was another year before I bit the bullet and decided to add several oils to our family medicine kit. I chose Doterra brand. Mostly because they smell fantastic.
So let’s start there. I’ve smelled essential oils for years and thought I was buying pretty good quality stuff. And then I opened a bottle of Doterra…
To compare, I took my decent quality Lemon oil that I use in my cleaning supplies. I sniffed it and then the Doterra Lemon. The first was like dirt compared to the sweet essence of lemon that came out of that Doterra bottle.
The same is true for every other oil I’ve compared. I’ve got a huge bottle of “decent” tea tree oil sitting in my bathroom that I used regularly. I can’t stand to even open it now, the smell nauseates me. Instead, I prefer Doterra’s version, which is cleaner, much more “plant-ish.”
But Doterra oils are kinda pricey, I admit. So they needed to actually work before I would admit to any of you here on the blog that I use them.
I’ve been trying them out for four months now. I haven’t got it all figured out. But I know that I’m still buying them, I use them every day, and I love them.
1 – They don’t do any harm. I’ve got a book that I can look up any ailment and hunt down an oil to try it on. There aren’t any side effects, no adverse reactions to worry about. If it works, great. But if it doesn’t…
2 – My kids like to have me try.
There are two parts to this. First, so many times as mamas, our kids just want us to DO SOMETHING about their ailment. These oils are a safe option. I don’t have to worry about overdosing them or giving them medicine for something that doesn’t need medicine.
Second, there’s something in a mama’s touch that is medicinal. Applying these oils gives me a moment to look my children in the eye and touch them.
They really like that.
Matter of fact, they ASK for oils before anything else.
3 – I have actually strengthened my relationship with my kids with essential oils.
I learned how to do Aromatouch technique, which is an orderly way to apply a certain set of oils that boosts the immune system and makes a person feel really, really good. I figured out I can lay my kids across my lap to do it, no massage table required.
I rub yummy smells on their back and they talk to me. Magic.
My kids fight over whose turn it is to get their back rubbed. When I’m feeling disconnected from a child or I think they need a little extra attention, this is the tactic I use. It’s a great way to minister to anybody you love and it’s super easy to learn.
4 – Essential oils work. Sometimes they work better than others, but here are my favorite oils (so far):
OnGuard – I diffuse this when we’re all gathered in a room or have company coming. It’s an immune booster and germ killer. And it smells like Christmas.
PastTense – This is an anti-headache medicine that I carry with me at all times. Works like a charm on tension headaches.
Melaleuca – (or tea tree oil) I use this one the most. It’s very helpful in clearing up infection. I’ve taken care of my own ear infections this way and several of the kids. Rather than diluting it in oil, I just put a drop on my finger and swirl it around inside the ear. The other week when I had a bad infection, rubbing melaleuca directly on my lymphnodes was especially soothing and helpful. It also works well in a vinegar bath to clear up diaper rash or yeast infections… There’s an entire blog post worth of uses for this oil. Just trust me. It’s good.
DigestZen – I’ve got one child who often complains of an upset tummy. I haven’t figured out the source of her discomfort yet, but a little of this rubbed around her belly and she’s happy once again. I use it regularly for myself and find it’s just as soothing as a cup of ginger mint tea but so much faster.
Balance – Rub it on your wrists when you think you’re gonna lose your mind. You won’t.
Wild Orange – Sweet mercy, this one just smells yummy. If my kids give me that difficult-to-diagnose “I just don’t feel good,” I’ll rub this on their feet to perk them up. It’s one of their favorites.
AromaTouch – I use this for my big migraines that start down in my neck. Andrew tried it once and it worked right away on him, too. This one smells like beach in a bottle to me.
Peppermint – Works great for nausea.
Breathe – With our recent colds, I would rub this right into my lymphnodes and I’d be able to breathe for a bit. I also diffused it in a bedroom just before sleepy time to make breathing easier.
There’s still a lot I don’t know or understand. And I haven’t quite got the knack of applying oils enough times to shorten the flu or end all allergies. Currently, I would say that the oils are safe way to manage all the symptoms we have even if they can’t cure what ails us.
But I’ve seen the oils work well enough that I’m willing to keep trying for cures in the future. I’ll keep you posted.
Do you HAVE to buy Doterra brand oils? Nope. You don’t. I do think they’re the best available and worth the expense, but I don’t think other brands are ineffective.
One word of caution: unless you absolutely trust the source of your oils, you’ll need to dilute the oils before using them on your kids. Just add coconut oil when applying to the skin. This will dilute the effectiveness some, but it will guarantee they don’t get a rash from sub-par oils. (A perk of Doterra is that I don’t usually have to dilute them so my kids are getting a stronger more effective dose.)
And Mamas? We need to touch our kids more. I can still remember exactly how it felt to have my mother’s cool hand on my forehead or rubbing my back when I was sick. I’ll bet you can remember, too. Using essential oils on my kids has reminded me how important it is to actually lay hands on my children throughout the day and give them that soothing touch that only Mommy can.
Even if Doterra isn’t in your budget, get you some decent essential oils and some coconut oil and spend some time rubbing your babies’ feet. It will be time well spent and something you’ll both remember for always.
And you’ll smell fantastic, too.
*Affiliate Alert* I signed up with Doterra to get the wholesale prices and then happily discovered they were worth sharing with all of you. I’m glad to talk about them all day but I’m not out to sell anybody anything and nobody is paying me to write this so no need to feel awkward. Also: I wish you were all at my house so you could smell the yummy oils…