So the truth is, I love natural health care not for what it can prevent, or heal, but how it can help you get through the bumps, bruises, pain, and sickness that are bound to pop up from time to time. Now I know it seems most people into natural health care promote it as a preventative miracle to the flu, infections, disease, etc. And don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE proponent of health food, vitamins, herbs, essential oils, etc. But for me, how can you REALLY know if you were getting a cold, and you took something and it "knocked it" (a term I hear a lot in the natural world) or if you just had a little scratchy throat and then would have felt better the next day without your magic potion? Do I think natural remides help your body fight off illness? Absolutely. But I get tired of all the claims. "Oh I was about to get sick and then I took this and then I didn't get sick at all! It's so amazing!" Well, how do you know you were about to get sick? Or, "I got sick and this helped fight it off or I would have had the cold a lot longer!" Again, my cynical self repeats..."how do you know? Maybe this cold was only going to last a week anyway! Or how about "this oil prevented me getting stretch marks!" Really? How do you know you were going to have any in the first place! And like I said, I do believe natural things can help, I just have a problem when people are trying to get others interested in products with these claims, cause it is kind of a turn off to me because there is no way to prove if it is true or not, it is all in the person's mind. And I know it is a turn off to others too. They hear what they consider outrageous claims, and it makes them doubt there is any validity to using a natural product at all, cause it is so obvious that some of the claims are full of air. But show me something that will help my congested head from the cold NOW... that's something I'd be interested in! Or show me something that will help the stretch marks I already have....that would be awesome! Now don't get me wrong, I do think prevention is the best medicine, I just get tired of the unprovable claims flying around. I want to see it actually do something, or help heal something that is already wrong, THEN I might believe it can help me prevent something.
So... all that being said, I want to share a few things about essential oils today, using them, and what I love about them.
FIRST: I want to have a word of warning here. With the rising popularity in using essential oils, but unfortunately (in my opinion) not the necessary education being given to those using essential oils, there is this hype that goes around with essential oils that turns a lot of people off and frankly can be harmful. For example, an essential oil with antibacterial properties may or may not have enough of those properties when diluted in water, oil, or whatever else to kill bacteria in your home, on a cut, or anywhere else. Just because you find a recipe in a book, online, or wherever for an "antibacterial salve" or "great natural cleaning product", does not mean it actually does that. Straight oils are very powerful, and I am not arguing with that, but unless someone has analyzed the cleaning formula, or antibacterial salve recipe to see if it actually kills most germs IN THAT FORM, it really doesn't matter if there are tons of studies on the oils in it that show they can kill germs, when the form changes so can the properties.... so be a little cautious. Also there are so many super charged viruses, and germs from these days from all the antibacterial lotion use, and antibiotic use that even a very potent oil may be powerless. And that is just one example of things to look out for. Just because a single oil has a certain property, that does not mean diluted it still will be strong enough to do what you were told, or hoping it would. But because no one is testing most of the recipes stuff like this gets promoted and people assume it works like they want it to. That being said I do think diluted oils can work wonderfully. But be careful if you are using them to kill bacteria and other germs if the formula you are using has not been tested in a lab. You could wind up with salmonella, or some other illness if you are placing your confidence in something that is not actually sanitizing your home. It can just give you a false sense of confidence that can be dangerous. Another example would be treating an ear infection, and not taking your kid to the doctor when you should because "this blend of oils will kill everything I'm sure it will work." I'm not saying it won't, but please don't hurt yourself, your family or kids because you were told an oil would do something. And I know that may seem extreme to some of you, but I know people who have done exactly that. Refused to get medical care because they were sure something else was "healing" them but it just took time. But the truth was it wasn't working at all... and there were very sad consequences. And my life is forever changed because of those choices. So be reasonable please!
So, that word of caution being said, here is why I love essential oils and why I use them. Not for the "mental uplifting" or "clarity" or even really the health benefits although they may well do those all things. 75% of the time I use essential oils it is for immediate relief from pain or discomfort. And the reason this excites me so much is because you don't have to speculate if it is helping or not over months of use, you know right away if it worked or not!
So here are some of my favorite uses for essential oils. Bug bites, sunburns, sore throats, blisters, tooth pain, ear aches, injuries, stomach pain, and back pain. And of course I use them for other things, but those are the most common. And this is where it gets exciting to me. Because what really makes me happy is when something natural can help with things that I know are GOING to happen. Cause we all know bad things happen. We are going to get hurt, going to get the flu, going to have a teething baby, etc. etc. etc. So when that happens having something that actually helps the discomfort is AMAZING! Especially with babies and kids, cause so many medicines are not safe to use at that age, so options are limited! And yes, the fact is clove oil has antiviral, antibacterial properties. But I don't know if it kills an ear infection or not. Hudsen and my little sis both have had multiple ear infections and have only each been on antibiotics once, so I tend to believe it does help kill the infection, but the truth is I can't prove that. But what I do know is it stoppes a screaming baby in their tracks, and by doing so stops a frantic mommy in her tracks too! I don't know if my mixture of tummy oils heals something in the digestive tract or "restores the mucose lining to the stomach", but I do know it soothes colicky babies like a charm. Almost instantly. Not after months of use. Just a few drops and most of the time within minutes they are much clamer. You don't need to use it every day. I use my oils mostly as a first aid kit. Yes, I use oils almost every day, but the part that excites me and I talk about is the first aid type stuff, cause I see instant results, and that is something I can feel good about sharing with others.
My reason for writing this blog is for those of you that have been turned off to essential oils, or herbs or other natural products because of all the hype that surrounds them. So from me, an avid natural remedy lover to you... I am truly sorry for all the outrageous claims that are supposed to make you "believe" but often wind up doing the exact opposite.
Perhaps you could come to love essential oils and herbs like I have. Maybe you could love grabbing a bottle of lavender because it works better for bug bites than a lotion from the drugstore. Maybe you could love clove because it will numb things like none other, and that is really handy sometimes! Maybe you could love essential oils not because of the outrageous health benefits, or amazing healing stories, or because they will "keep you well", but because they make your life easier by helping deal with the bumps and pains that we all have to live with.
So this is what I will be focusing more on in my blogs. Not all the properties of each oil, and what they are supposed to do, there are lots of books written on those subjects. But what I use them for, what I have found actually works, my recipes for ear oil, bug bites, etc. So if you are skeptical, please keep reading my blog posts. And if you want to just try one oil and see what all the fuss is about, come into the store and talk to me. I promise I won't tell you why oils will cure all your problems. Cause heaven knows I have lots of issues I haven't even cured in myself! But having something help me through is so valuable to me!
My next blog will be about my favorite 7 oils, so be sure to check that one out if you are interested!