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April 28, 2016
Laurentine Ten Bosch, Filmaker (Food Matters & Hungry for Change)
From oral health, to cleaning products and even the common flu, essential oils have a wide range of uses. Rid your home of chemical-laden household products with our 9 favorite essential oils.
The great relaxer, lavender oil is used to help aid peaceful sleep and is great for headaches. Lavender is also very helpful for skin rashes and is an effective disinfectant for burns and cuts. You can add lavender and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (aluminum free) to your washing for a fresh scent too! With its beautiful smell, lavender is a beautiful oil to keep in your home.
Clove has been used for centuries to help alleviate pain associated with dental cavities. An affordable remedy for toothache, clove contains eugenol. Eugenol is a strong antiseptic and anesthetic to reduce pain and kill germs.
Clove is also useful as a mold remover. Add 10 drops to 100 ml of water, spray directly onto mold, and leave for at least one hour before wiping off. Voila!
Lemon contains the naturally occurring active constituent knows as limonene. Lemon can be used as a natural cleaning agent in your home, as well as being added to coconut oil and used as a chemical-free toothpaste replacement.
To make a spray for cleaning windows, kitchen benches and bathrooms, add 10 drops to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. You can also add lemon to your washing along with 1 teaspoon of aluminum-free baking soda (bicarbonate of soda, or sodium bicarbonate) to make an affordable washing powder.
A soothing smell that has an instant calming effect on the mind. Peppermint is great for giving a fresh smell to your cleaning. It can also be used in cooking for a great taste. Just like lemon, peppermint oil can also be added to coconut oil for oil pulling – resulting in a wonderfully fresh finish too.
Peppermint also makes a great natural tummy soother, as it’s high in menthol, calming stomach aches, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Derived from a plant native to Australia with the constituent eucalyptol, this oil is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibacterial, and decongestant.
Eucalyptus can also be used for bites, wound healing (dilute in warm water and then clean the wound), and added to vaporizers for coughs and respiratory disorders. Applied directly onto warts, eucalyptus can help remove them naturally. Eucalyptus is also great as a mouthwash. Simply add a few drops into half a cup of warm water and rinse.
Tea tree oil
Or melaleuca oil, is an essential oil that is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia. This oil has many benefits, from being great for skin disorders and skin rashes, herpes and acne, to now being studied for cancer. Tea tree oil can be diluted and used to treat fungal infections such as ringworm, as a douche for vaginal thrush, and as a mouthwash for oral thrush. Dr Weil suggests to “make a 10 percent solution (about one and a half tablespoons of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water). Discontinue if you find that this treatment causes irritation.”
Tea tree oil is also used for insect bites and is great added to the bath if your child has had any bites, as it will help to reduce the itch. You can even add it to shampoo to kill head lice.
Additionally, tea tree oil is used for otitis media (ear aches) and also for respiratory disorders. It can be added to vaporizers, or you can add a few drops in a bowl of boiling water and place your head over it, draping a towel over your head to trap the steam air.
The ultimate antibacterial, oregano is fantastic for oral health, containing the active components carvacrol, thymol, terpenes, and rosmarinic acid. Oregano helps by killing off bad bacterial. Add a few drops of oil of oregano to warmed coconut oil and swirl in the mouth for up to 20 minutes upon rising.
Oregano is also considered nature’s natural antibiotic and antihistamine, and aids in the reduction of allergies. Furthermore, oregano is loaded with antioxidants, helping to reduce oxidative damage; and is also great for ridding the body of intestinal parasites.
This centuries-old essential oil has a well-known influence on the limbic system of the brain, thus supporting the nervous system. Added to a vaporizer, frankincense is great as a natural relaxer and helps to reduce anxiety and stress. Frankincense is also a natural pain reliever and can be added to a bath. Soaking in the tub for a while helps to maximize absorption.
Used for conditions associated with an overactive nervous system such as anxiety and stress, chamomile is great to help calm the mind and increase sleep quality. Chamomile is great for tummy aches in children and can even be rubbed on the gums for teething (diluted 3 drops in about 20 ml of water first).
PLEASE NOTE: Chamomile is a member of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family, such as ragweed, echinacea, dandelions, arnica, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, feverfew, calendula, or asters and hazardous to asthmatics. So if you have asthma, it’s best to skip this one.
Essential oils are truly one of the most amazing gifts from nature! Which ones are your must-haves?