Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Crazy Cat Lady Of Essential Oils

When I talk to people who have neven used essential oils about trying them out, I often get a response that goes something along the line of "oh no, will I turn into the "crazy cat lady of essential oils?"

When I first began really using oils a lot, there was an older lady in our community that was known as just that.  "The crazy oil lady."  You could always smell her coming from a long way off as she was sure to be wearing whatever newest mixture of oils she was sure would "cure" whatever her ailment happened to be at the moment.  Her purse looked like a walking apothecary, and you could guarantee in anyone was unfortunate enough to make a comment about having anything from an upset stomach, a bit of tension in their shoulders or even high blood pressure, regardless of weather she was invited to or not, out would come the oils and she would be dabbing them on the unsuspecting victims before they even realized what was happening!  Her stories of how they cured her nephew of his autism, or her grandfather's hemorrhoids were also sure to pop up at random awkward times, and cause reactions ranging from chuckles of skepticism and disbelief, to sheer horror.

While there is nothing wrong with being a "crazy oil lady" some people tend to believe that once you start using oils, you are doomed to a life of the exaggerated, pushy, and slightly annoying "oil crazies!"  You may start out just trying Lavender for that bug bite, and then the next thing you know you are carrying around 20 bottles of oil in your purse and applying them to strangers as they walk down the street!  Nor will you suddenly sprout bushels of armpit hair, or turn into a conspiracy theorist that avoids doctors and tradition medicine at all costs because you are convinced they are all trying to poison you!
Have no fear!  There are lots of people that have found wonderful benefits from using only one or two essential oils and never feel the need to fill their medicine cabinet with rows of oils, or apply them their friends or random passerby's.  You can use essential oils and still hold tightly on to your status as a "normal" person.  You don't need to spend hours of research or hundreds of dollars to enjoy the benefits of using essential oils.  Of course as you know, I tend to be a bit more on the side of the "crazy oil lady" as rows of essential oils line my shelves, and books and research papers are some of my favorite past times!  But for most people this holds little to no interest.  But that does not need to hold you back from experiencing some of the wonderful benefits of using essential oils.  So in this blog post I want to share with you 5 "non crazy" ways to use essential oils for every day issues.  Don't worry, buying oils is not contagious, unlike potato chips you CAN just have one.  You can in fact enjoy the perks of using one or two and keep your status as a sane "normal" human being.  (It's far too late for me to be called "normal" but you don't need to succumb to my fate.  :-)

1.  Laundry.
Having laundry that smells clean and fresh without using fabric softener can be tricky sometimes. With our well water, even when clothes are removed immediately from the washer and put in the dryer, they still always wind up coming out with just the faintest "sour" smell, which drives me nuts.  What to do?  Add 5 or 10 drops of tea tree oil to your wash load.  If it is for a load of dirty work clothes or diapers add more, if it is just a normal load add less.  This will help remove smells and leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.  Don't worry, they won't come out smelling like Tea Tree oil, that washes away, but it will leave them nice and crisp and fresh.  (can clothes smell crisp?  Hmm... well you get my drift.)  And you also don't have to worry about the "oil" staining your clothes, as essential oils aren't actually oils at all, so they will leave no residue. You can also use lemon, orange, peppermint, or other oils to help your laundry smell fresh, but tea tree and orange have an extra "kick" when it comes to knocking out bad odors.

2.  Burns.
If you are anything like me once in a while a hot pan gets away from you and before you know it a nasty blister has popped up from one little slip of the hot mit, and there is nothing quite like the pain of a nasty burn!  Keep some Lavender handy to slap on it right away.  You will be amazed at how much it helps take the sting out of a fresh burn.  And while aloe is very helpful for helping burns heal it doesn't have anywhere near the ability to help with the pain that Lavender does.  Tea Tree can also work great on burns too, but Lavender is the first choice.

3.  Ear Infections.
There is just something about ear pain that can drive a person to madness.  Whether it is an adult battling an ear infection, or swimmers ear, or a little infant that has ear pain from teething.  Tylenol doesn't ever seem to ever be able to quite kick it for me, or my kiddo.  But clove oil will! Mix a few drops of clove oil in a little olive oil and drop it directly into the ear till the ear canal is filled.  Let it sit for a few minutes until the numbing action of the clove kicks in.  If you don't feel a difference, add more clove oil to the mixture and try again.  I have never had this not work to significantly reduce the pain and allow me or my kiddo to sleep.  Even at a few months old Hudsen and my little sister both would learn to lay still when I put oil in their ear because they knew relief was coming!  While I'm not claiming it cures ear infections, it most certainly does help with the pain!

4.  Headaches.
Almost everyone has a headache from time to time, and peppermint is wonderful at relieving tension, and increasing circulation, both of which can be very helpful when dealing with headaches, both tension and migraine.  Mix a few drops of peppermint with a few drops of carrier oil, and apply to the back of your neck and shoulders.  Applying some to your forehead and temples can be very helpful too, but be sure to keep it out of your eyes as it can sting!  For more persistant headaches, you can mix 5-10 drops of straight peppermint oil to a handful of shampoo, and after running your head under hot water, apply the shampoo to your scalp and let it set for a few minutes.  Then rinse in hot water.  This allows the peppermint to penetrate your skalp.  The "cooling" effect of the peppermint oil can bring a lot of relief.

5. Bug Repellent.
Most of you have probably seen the citronella candles that are available in the outdoor sections of most department stores and grocery stores.  Did you know that they contain essential oils?  Citronella oil is the most popular of the bug repellant oils, but lemongrass is a close second.  To repel bugs using citronella essential oil, you can add a few drops to any jar candle you already have and burn it outdoors in the area you wish to keep free of those of pesky mosquitoes   Or you can apply the oil to your clothes, or mix it with a carrier oil and apply it directly to your skin, or your kids to help keep the bites to a minimum!

So there you have it!  A few simple "un-crazy" ways to use essential oils.  And while there will always be us overly zealous types, you don't have to join in the craziness to be able to use essentials oil to help with every day issues.

For more information and educational material on using essential oils and natural skin care recipes and tutorials visit me at:

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