As a child, I never struggled with allergies. I had a few minor food allergies, but seasonal allergies weren’t a big deal. Fast forward to adulthood and every spring was spent sniffly, sneezing and miserable. I tried all of the over the counter stuff and had varying results. Either my symptoms were completely untouched, moderately changed or the allergy symptoms would be taken care of but I was left with a severe case of medicine head. But I still battled every headache, stomachache, bout with allergies or cramps with something from the drug store. Then my kids came along and the thought of pushing medicines into their bodies sometimes left me feeling unsettled. I want it to be clear – I am NOT AGAINST MODERN MEDICINE. We use pain reliever sometimes and Benadryl and other medications. And I vaccinate. I just wanted to consider ALL of my options.
In talking with a friend who is a loyal essential oils user, I decided to do what I do – hit Google and research the ins and outs, pros and cons of essential oils. As is true with most topics Googled, there was a TON of information to sift through.Still skeptical, I decided to bite the bullet and order a sampling of oils from a reputable oils distributor who sells pure oils that are safe to be taken internally.
I first tackled seasonal allergies with a Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint regimen I’d seen repeatedly in my search results. A drop of each in 4 oz of water daily. A crazy thing happened. It actually worked. So, then I tried some headache remedies. And then, some stomach remedies.
After finding relief from these minor inconveniences, I felt as if my money had been well spent. So, I did what anyone would do, I spent more money. I went a little out of control and bought lots of oils. Most I bought because I’d find recipes and think to myself “I don’t have that one ingredient, so I MUST buy it.” I soon realized I needed to dial it back – especially if I was going to keep my husband on board with this new lifestyle. Luckily, the internet came through again. There are many oils who solve the same problems and substitution charts are available online.
Two-ish years later (this is our third spring using oils), I’m a believer. As my skin care products ran out, I began replacing them with DIY recipes I found on Pinterest. As my home cleaning products ran out, I began replacing them with recipes I found on Pinterest. When I cringed at the idea of spraying my toddler with chemical laden bug repellent, guess where I turned?
There are precautions to take when using oils. They are potent – highly concentrated. Most come in 15 mL bottles and since you use a drop or 2 at a time, the bottles last a while. The reputable companies who sell them provide instructions for use. There are some that shouldn’t be taken internally, but are fine for use in lotions, diffusers and other products.
I make no scientifically proven medical claims about oils. Just from this mama’s point of view, they’ve been a great addition to our household. In the past, the introduction of a stomach bug into our house would result in 4 sick kids and probably 2 sick parents. We’ve been able to ward off 2 rounds of stomach virus in the past month alone after exposure – even with one of my kids getting it before we knew we’d been exposed.
I’m becoming increasingly discouraged by the news of all of the lasting side effects of some medications. I am still a reasonable person, though. I know that medications are sometimes necessary and life saving. I don’t recommend anyone stop taking medications prescribed by a doctor. I also don’t advise becoming an essential oils user to treat illness without a physician’s knowledge if you’re taking prescription medications. I do, however, wish to avoid them when at all possible. I still have headaches sometimes that I take pain reliever for. And when I have muscle aches, I’m sure oils would help, but unfortunately, there’s not a masseur in the bottle!
If you’re considering dipping your toes in, my advice to you is to start small. Don’t make the same mistake I did and go nuts. I don’t have any oils that I don’t use, but some purchases could have definitely been avoided. To get you started, check out this post on preparing your essential oils starter kit.
If you have any questions for this amateur oils lover, feel free to comment below!