A few friends have told me recently that, much as they love their essential oils, they never use them. I like to enjoy my favourite oils at every given opportunity! So I’ve jotted down 30 ideas to inspire my friends to use their favourites more often. Hope they inspire you too.
- Vacuum cleaning. Pop a few drops of your chosen oil on the filter of your vacuum cleaner (the one where the warm air blows out) and you’ll scent the home while you clean.
- Washing up. Add a few drops of something refreshing to your warm washing up water (Keep Grapefruit, Neroli or Lemon oils by the kitchen sink). It will freshen up the kitchen after cooking too.
- Pre-bath body oil. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to 30ml of base oil (sweet almond oil or similar) and apply to your body before sinking into a warm bath. Don’t slip! The warmth will encourage the nourishing oils to sink into your skin as you relax. My favourites are Rose, Jasmine or Rose Geranium.
- Mountain Breeze Spray. I can’t find the original source for this wonderful spray blend but it’s a great spray for freshening up a room, relieving nausea or sickness and is amazing if you feel hungover! Make up a spray mist bottle and keep it in the bathroom cabinet. 3 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Peppermint and 1 drop of Clary Sage in 100ml water.
- Spider deterrent. Add some peppermint oil to water and spray around skirting boards, doorways, window frames etc. With any luck the spiders will choose someone else’s house!
- Car diffuser. You can buy a car diffuser that plugs in to your cigarette lighter or you can put a drop of oil on a cotton wool ball and secrete it near a hot air vent. Try one drop of Rosemary oil to keep you alert on long journeys.
- Travel cleaner. You know that ‘icky’ feeling you get when you’re staying away from home and the bathroom or kitchen seems… well, ‘icky’? Try taking some oils with you to wipe over the surfaces and freshen things up a bit. I like Sweet Marjoram or Lemon Eucalyptus. Tea Tree, Lemon, or Lavender would also be good as they have antibacterial properties.
- Anxiety attacks. We all know that scents can trigger memories, right? So why not make use of that? If you’re prone to anxiety then keep some of your favourite calming oil in your handbag. Use it when you meditate or soak in a relaxing bath to create a strong association with peace and relaxation – then it’ll really help to calm you if you have an anxiety attack. Clever eh? Try Chamomile German, Sandalwood or Frankincense.
- Carpet cleaner. Mix a few drops of your chosen oil into a tub of bicarbonate of soda. Sprinkle the bicarb over the carpets and leave for a few hours or overnight. Vacuum. The bicarb absorbs bad smells. The oil scents your home with nicer ones! (Good for car carpets and upholstery too)
- Bites and stings. Lavender. Need I say more?! It is one of the few oils that can be used directly on the skin without dilution so pop a bottle in your handbag. We try it on everything, and it often helps!
- Burns. This is a controversial one. Never put any oil on a serious burn. For serious burns follow first aid common sense and use cold water to draw the heat out from the skin. Having said that, I have personally found that for more insignificant burns (the kind you get while cooking and try to ignore!) a little dab of Lavender is very effective in taking the *sting* away. Try it on unbroken skin – at your own discretion!
- Mouse deterrent. Mice hate Peppermint too! Drop it on cotton wool balls and leave it where you suspect they may be. With any luck they’ll pack their bags and move… next-door maybe?
- Radiator diffuser. Chuck out those horrible artificially scented room fragrancers! Instead, put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton wool ball and pop it behind your radiator. Easy.
- Insomnia. The classic oils for insomnia are Chamomile Roman, Lavender, Sandalwood, Clary Sage…perhaps blended with a little Neroli? I also love Benzoin, Rose and Jasmine. It’s an individual choice though. Try relaxing with different oils in a hot bath before bed. If they relax you (you’re looking for that lovely soporific effect!), you could also put a few drops on a tissue and tuck it under your pillow. Sleep tight!
- Nit deterrent! If there are little people in your life who are exposed to nits try putting a few drops of tea tree oil in the family shampoo. It won’t get rid of them if you’ve already got them. But it’s a very effective deterrent as they REALLY don’t like it!
- Bath. This is the obvious one I suppose. But it’s a great time to practice mixing your oils. Top, middle and base notes – have a play!
- Kitchen surfaces. If you like to avoid using harsh chemicals and antibacterial products then essential oils are for you! Many have gentle antibacterial properties and leave behind a great fresh smell. Use a few drops in a bowl of warm water and a good eco cloth to wipe down the surfaces. Try Lemon, Tea tree, Melissa, or anything else that takes your fancy!
- Festive scents. Clove, cinnamon and orange are my favourite Christmas scents. Drop some on a tissue and seal inside a plastic bag with some pine cones. Leave somewhere warm for 2-3 hrs. Then use the scented pine cones in your Christmas decorations!
- Ant deterrent. Guess what? Ants hate Peppermint too! You know what to do!
- Perfume. Every found yourself choking in someone else’s perfume cloud? There are some strange scents out there right?! If you’re going for a more subtle effect on a night out then try adding a drop of one of your favourite essential oils to some base oil (sweet almond oil or similar) and apply it sparingly to your neck, chest and arms. It will make your skin look healthy and glowing too. Try Jasmine, Rose, Ylang Ylang… or any of your favourite blends.
- The Child Calmer! Babies and children respond quickly to essential oils and other remedies, so use sparingly and refer to your book for safety measures. The classic soother for most little ones is Chamomile Roman. Have it around at their most chilled times – before bed, in the bath, at naptime. That way you’ll create a lovely association and you can use it to help soothe them if they are unwell or very upset.
- Meditation. If you meditate, practice yoga or enjoy any other calming rituals then consider using an essential oil to enhance your practice. Certain oils are useful in raising vibration and helping us to ‘tune in’. Try Frankincense, Patchouli, or Sandalwood and use an oil burner to diffuse them into your practice space.
- Period pains. A warm bath with Clary Sage is heaven, but if life’s not going to allow you to climb in to a bath and switch off for a few hours then try 1 drop of Clary Sage in 30ml base oil and massage into your tummy.
- Studying. If you’re studying then using oils like Rosemary, Peppermint, Lemon or Vetivert will really help to promote clarity and alertness. Plus, you can pop some on a tissue and take it into the exam with you to jog your memory.
- Furniture polish. Olive oil with a few drops of lemon essential oil. A great nourishing polish for wood with a good scent too.
- Greenfly spray. Again, if you want to avoid using chemicals this is a great one. Simply put a few drops of Peppermint, Lavender or Cedarwood into a spray bottle with some water and give them a good soaking. They REALLY don’t like it *cue evil snigger*!
- Tics and pets. Now, you have to be very careful with this one as you don’t want to get Thyme oil directly on the skin (and definitely not near eyes or mucus membranes). However we have used it with great success on our cats when they have come home with a tic. Use a cotton wool bud and smear some Thyme oil onto the tic (without getting it on the pet’s skin or letting them rub at it). The tic will simply shrivel up and drop off! So would I if someone put Thyme oil on my back – ouch!
- Insect repellent. Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavender and Mint are the classic oils for repelling insects, but be aware that you need to find the right repellant for where you are. We found that Lavender worked better against the sandflies in New Zealand, but we always use Citronella when camping in the UK. Experiment, depending on where you are going.
- Bathroom cleaner. A few drops of Lemon-eucalyptus or Tea Tree can do wonders to freshen up a bathroom. Use a few drops in the toilet or with your eco cleaning cloths.
- Wash the floors. You know how the house feels different once you’ve cleaned the floors? This is a great quick fix for lifting that mucky heavy feeling from a building. Wash the floors with your eco mop and pop a few drops of essential oil in the water. Try something refreshing like Lemon, Peppermint or Bergamot. Otherwise try whatever you feel drawn to. You get the idea… be creative!
So I hope that has inspired you to get your favourite essential oils out of the cupboard and really enjoy them! I’ve not been precise about amounts or measurements because they will vary for different oils. Just make sure you have your book (Recommend: Aromatherapy for Home Use by Christine Westwood £1.99) around and always check you are using them safely and appropriately* – but otherwise be creative! Try different things and maybe even have a go at blending different oils together.
We are delighted to say that we can now sell you essential oils through www.pureremedies.co.uk!
*Most oils need to be diluted and some are not appropriate for use on the skin at all. Some oils are not suitable for children, babies, pregnant women or people with epilepsy. Please double check using a reliable book (as recommended) before use.
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at www.freedigitalphotos.net