What Are the Benefits of Essential Oils?
1. The primary and most significant advantage of essential oils is that they are 100% natural and, if used per expert guidance, they do not pose any threat to your health or the environment. They are eco-friendly alternatives to several chemical products and usually do not have any side effects. Essential oils are distilled from roots, leaves, stems and flowers of various indigenous and exotic plants.
2. Essential oils are easy to use as all you need to do is open the bottle and pour few drops as per your necessity. The traditional way of using herbs required a long process of washing them, obtaining its extracts by various methods and they could only be stored for a week or two. Essential oils possess the goodness of the herb without all the extra messy baggage.
3. Uses of essential oils in the home include its ability to serve as a multi-purpose ingredient with natural aromatic compounds that offer a wide variety of properties. Because of their versatile nature, different essential oils can be used for healing, cooking and cleaning. You can also use essential oil combinations for home fragrance and for the purpose of aromatherapy.
What Are the Different Applications of Essential Oils for Home & Personal Care?
While essential oils have a variety of benefits to go for, before you start using any essential oils, please note that essential oils are highly concentrated forms, and hence any application happens in diluted form only. The dilution ratios vary depending on the kind of application. Topical applications are heavily diluted (1-2% essential oil, or less, in a carrier oil) whereas home applications are moderately diluted (5-10% essential oil, or less, in a suitable medium). Go by the recommendation of a reputed expert or your doctor for the actual dosage. Each kind of essential oil also has its own cautions and possible side effects, which must be considered when using them. Internal consumption of all essential oils should happen under the recommendation of your doctor only. Use of essential oils is generally not recommended for children, pets, when expecting or lactating, or if under medical care or distress.
1. For Household Purposes
1. Essential oils are the natural and non-toxic alternatives to chemical-containing synthetic cleaning products. They can be blended with other natural ingredients and utilised in many cleaning applications. Many essential oils possess antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties and hence, can be used to clean your floor, kitchen counters and other household surfaces. You can mix in 8 to 10 drops of lemon, lavender, sweet orange or eucalyptus essential oil with half a cup of diluted liquid castile soap and use it to wipe non-porous surfaces. This will ensure you have spotless and sterile floors, safe for infants or pets.
2. Essential oils act as excellent fabric freshener and can get rid of unpleasant odour from your laundry. It is a natural way to add a fresh aroma to your clothing and disinfect them. You can simply add 4-6 drops of your favourite essential oil to the washer during the wash cycle and your laundry will be free from any musty odour. In order to create a homemade liquid laundry detergent with the goodness of essential oils, you will need ¼ cup of borax, ¼ cup of washing soda, ¼ cup unscented soap (grated), 4 cups of hot water, 20 drops lavender essential oil and 20 drops lemon essential oil. Blend all the ingredients together and use the mixture to wash your dirty laundry.
3. The use of essential oils for cleansing the home utilizes their effectiveness in naturally disinfecting your house and getting rid of pests and bugs. You can spray a mixture of white vinegar and oregano, lemon, eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil around the corners of your house to prevent the growth of infection-causing bacteria and fungi. You can also use essential oil-soaked cotton balls and place them in the areas of your house that do not receive proper sunlight to keep your house smelling fresh and hygienic.
4. Essential oils for house purpose can also be used as a dish and dishwasher cleanser. You can add a few drops of lemon or tea tree essential oil to your regular dishwashing liquid to boost its effectiveness and ensure that no heavy cooking smell is left behind. Sprinkling several drops of the essential oil in the dishwasher before running a load will not only make the dishes sparkling clean, but will cut soap and mineral deposits on the interior of your dishwasher as well. Discover more about natural and safe ways to clean, utensils.
5. You can apply essential oils to dust and clean your furniture and carpets. To get rid of stale carpet odours, add 10 drops of any essential oil to 200 grams of baking soda or corn-starch. Stir it well and sprinkle onto your carpets and leave to infuse for a few hours. Similarly, combine 2 teaspoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of lemongrass essential oil, ¼ cup of vinegar and 1 ¾ cup of filtered water together. Spray this mixture onto your furniture to clean them naturally instead of using an aerosol spray.
2. For Using as A Diffuser
1. The therapeutic properties of essential oils give you the experience of aromatherapy in the confines of your home. You can opt for various types of diffusers like lamp rings, candle burners or water vapour diffusion to purify the air and create a pleasantly fragrant environment. You can use a single essential oil or a blend of several essential oils to customise an essence as per your desire.
2. You can use a home essential oil diffuser to achieve restful sleep if you are suffering from insomnia or have irregular sleeping patterns. The relaxing fragrance of lavender, roman chamomile, spikenard, neroli, mandarin or sweet marjoram will help to induce sleep in you if you diffuse them in your bedroom for 15 minutes before bedtime.
3. Diffusing essential oils of thyme, eucalyptus, rosemary, manuka or ravintsara will provide you relief from colds and flu while cinnamon and clove essential oils are excellent for preventing them. The bitter-sweet spicy scent will purify the air around you and help you to breathe.
4. Plug-in essential oil diffusers can be used in the bathroom to keep the air fresh and aromatic throughout the day. Instead of investing in commercial air-fresheners that contain synthetic fragrances, fill your bathroom up with the goodness of essential oils such as pine, fir, lavender, lemon or grapefruit.
5. The fragrance of certain essential oils like peppermint, basil, lemon and rosemary encourages you to clarify your mind, calm your senses and uplift your mood. Diffusing a blend of geranium and lavender essential oils or frankincense and orange essential oils will help you to get relief from stress and anxiety.
3. For Topical Use
1. Liquid handwashes and soaps contain various chemicals that can irritate your skin and make it dry and rough. Switch to homemade hand cleaning products that contain essential oils and will cleanse your hands without stripping off its natural moisture. Take 2 tablespoons of unscented liquid castile soap, 10 drops of essential oils (eucalyptus, lemongrass, grapefruit, lavender or ylang-ylang) and half a cup of distilled water. Mix these together and your natural hand soap is ready to use.
2. You can use a blend of essential oils to help in arthritis, joint pain, muscle sprain and inflammation. Prepare an essential oil concoction by combining eight drops of lavender oil, four drops each of juniper, lemon, and marjoram, five drops of black pepper oil and two drops of peppermint oil, and then diluting it in 4-5 tablespoons of your favourite carrier oil. Gently massage areas of your body with this blend twice a day whenever you feel pain or swelling.
3. There are several essential oils home remedies to soothe irritated skin and relieve skin infections like athlete’s foot and eczema. Diluting 2 to 3 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil and rubbing it on the affected areas of your skin will help you to deal with the pain and irritation. The flaky skin that is often the after effect of chickenpox, can be helped with the help of diluted essential oils.
4. Neroli essential oil is excellent when it comes to getting rid of stretch marks that often develop on certain areas of the body such as breasts, hips, stomach, thighs and upper arms. Dilute the essential oil by adding in your choice of carrier oil. Apply it topically to your stretch marks and massage into the skin and with continuous use, you will notice that the marks have faded away over time.
5. Certain essential oils can provide a cooling effect that is helpful in treating sunburn and soothe your red-hot skin after it has been exposed to excessive heat or sunrays. Add 5 to 6 drops of tea tree oil, lavender, geranium, peppermint or chamomile essential oil to a tablespoon of fresh aloe vera gel and apply it on your skin. This will help to calm your skin and heal the damaged skin cells.
4. For Health Issues
1. Black pepper, cardamom, copaiba, fennel, lemon, myrrh, oregano, peppermint, rosemary and thyme essential oils are excellent for supporting the health of the respiratory system. Add a few drops of any of the oils to hot water and inhale the steam. This will help to clear your breathing and provide relief from a blocked nasal passage, especially during seasonal changes, cold and flu.
2. Essential oils can help to calm down your nervous system and relieve random headaches and migraines. Along with getting good sleep, consuming vital nutrients, and regular exercise, you can use essential oils of cilantro, clary sage, copaiba, lavender and petitgrain to maintain a healthy lifestyle amidst all the stress and anxiety that can lead to several health disorders.
3. Maintaining a healthy digestive system ensures that there is no problem of indigestion or any occasional upset stomach. Essential oils of myrrh, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and spearmint have the power to combat such digestive disorders and help your body with the process of eliminating waste and absorbing and using the nutrients needed.
4. Essential oil of cinnamon is particularly effective in offering the much-needed relief from the pain of cramps during menstruation. It helps to stimulate normal menstruation in women with irregular cycles and also keeps the warning sign of PMS away.
5. Essential oils of peppermint, grapefruit, cinnamon and fennel are said to aid in the process of weight loss. These oils can help your body to break down sugar, reduce fatty cells and make sure you stay fuller for a longer period of time.
5. For Beauty
1. Argan oil, avocado oil and castor oil can deeply condition your dry hair because they are rich in hair-moisturizing vitamins and fatty acids. As essential oils are free from chemicals, they are a great alternative for commercial hair products that contain synthetic preservatives and toxic substances.
2. You can add a few drops of essential oil to any homemade face mask or mix it with your daily night cream to make your skin appear healthy, clear and radiant. Essential oils of frankincense, lavender, melaleuca, Melissa and sandalwood can be used without diluting whereas bergamot, black pepper, eucalyptus, ginger and peppermint are sensitive essential oils that need to be diluted before applying on your skin.
3. Essential oils of geranium, patchouli, and frankincense contain anti-ageing properties that can help to tighten loose skin and prevent wrinkles and fine lines. It can also maintain the oil balance of your skin, promote skin cell turnover and heal skin disorders like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
4. You can create a homemade deodorant using essential oils as per your preference. Store-bought body sprays and perfumes contain alcohol and other synthetic fragrances that can damage your skin. Mix coconut oil with beeswax and add your choice of essential oils to make your own deodorant. In case you want to opt for something floral, go for clary sage, chamomile, geranium, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, rose, and ylang-ylang.
5. Detoxifying and exfoliating your skin a must in order to achieve a natural youthful skin. While carrot seed oil contains beta-carotene and vitamin A that encourages cell growth, sweet almond essential oil offers a simple and non-irritating way to eradicate dead skin cells. These essential oils also help to even out skin tone and lighten dark spots and acne scars.
Some Quick DIY Essential Oils Recipes
1. DIY Essential Oil Floor Cleaner
- Grated castile soap: ¼ cup
- White vinegar: ¼ cup
- Choice of essential oil (preferably lemon): 25-30 drops
- Hot water: 1 gallon
- Mix vinegar with the castile soap and add essential oil to it
- Take a bucket filled with hot water
- Add in the homemade floor cleaner and stir well
- Using a mop, clean your floor with the solution
2. Homemade Essential Oil Lip Balm
- Coconut oil or a blend of base oils: 4 tablespoons
- Beeswax: 2 tablespoons
- Shea Butter: 3 teaspoons
- Vitamin E Oil: 5 to 6 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 5 drops
- Lavender or rosemary essential oil: 3 drops
- Pour one inch of water in a saucepan and let it boil
- Place a cup on the boiling water to create a double boiler
- Fill the cup with the base oil, beeswax and shea butter and wait for them to melt
- Put the heat to medium and stir occasionally
- Remove from flame and add the essential oils and the vitamin E oil
- Mix everything well and quickly transfer the blend to one or more glass containers
- Let it cool and your homemade essential oil lip balm is ready to use
3. Homemade Essential Oil Sunburn Soother
- Pure aloe vera gel: 2 tablespoons
- Witch hazel: 1/2 cup
- Peppermint essential oil: 10-12 drops
- Lavender or rosemary essential oil: 10-12 drops
- Mix the ingredients and stir everything together
- Transfer the mixture in a spray bottle
- Shake well and liberally apply it over your skin after sun exposure
- Make sure to avoid spraying around the eyes, as it will cause irritation
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