I’m not a newbie when it comes to essential oils. In fact, oils are really one of the first ways I learned about creating a lower toxin home. If you know my story, then you may remember that I originally jumped into Young Living Essential Oils. Since then I’ve learned a lot and changed a lot of my views around essential oils and how I use them. I’ve also made a change to trust Plant Therapy Essential Oils.
I’m a completely open book when it comes to how I’ve changed many things in my home, including the use of essential oils. At first I was embarrassed to share the fact that I changed my opinion, wondering if everyone would think I’m untrustworthy. But when I thought about it, I realized that we are all human. It would be really strange if we never changed our opinions or moved forward.
In fact, some of the things I used early on in my adulthood I steer my families away from and have forbidden in my own home. So, wouldn’t it be something if I had decided I wasn’t able to change my opinions and learn more. I teach my kids to keep an open mind and an open heart to new ideas, and changing my opinion based on facts and research is really along the same lines.
I actually don’t think everyone NEEDS to use essential oils. I just choose them for my own home and my own lifestyle. What I love about creating a healthy home is that we can each do it in our own way. There’s no 100% definitive way to create a healthy home environment. In fact, a healthy home is completely relative to each of us and our own needs.
So, here I am ready to share with you some of the changes I made in my home with essential oils. And if you’ve been with me from the beginning, you’ll see the natural progression of changes that happened here at my Healthy House on the Block.
WHY I CHOOSE TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS AT HOME
Like I mentioned before, I don’t think essential oils are a MUST for a healthy house. I think they are a wonderful thing to add as a bonus to my space, but by no means do think they are necessary to create a healthy home environment.
Some families are so sensitive to fragrance, even natural fragrance from essential oils, that they just can’t use them in their own home. I get that. I completely understand that oils are not for everyone.
When I gave up scented candles and air fresheners, I really wanted something to add some scents to the air in my home. I love scents and they are something that helps me feel grounded and uplifted when used in the right way. These positive feelings are definitely a part of health and wellness for me and my family.
Essential oils are plant derived and really are a much better alternative to synthetic fragrances, which are often created with man-made chemicals. In general, these man-made chemicals cause irritation (STUDY) as well as long term health effects such as endocrine disruption.
We also use essential oils at home to support our immune systems. I don’t think essential oils are necessarily a cure, but I do think that they have a positive impact on the body’s ability to do the job of fighting viruses and bacteria. (STUDY).
Essential oils are from plants, which have all sorts of healing properties to them ranging from skin repair to reducing inflammation (STUDY). And while I do think you still need to be careful with the usage of natural products, I think that it’s a much better alternative when it comes to healing our bodies.
Essential oils have also been found to have antimicrobial properties that I like to use instead of harsh cleaning chemicals in my home. (STUDY) I’ve found them to be extremely effective in purifying the air and cleaning areas like my bathroom.
WHAT MADE ME GO WITH PLANT THERAPY FOR ESSENTIAL OILS
One of the BIGGEST reasons I chose Plant Therapy was because of their third party testing and their USDA Organic Certification. This means their oils are free from pesticides and they are free from GMOs.
Another reason I fell in love with Plant Therapy Oil is that they are super transparent. They provide in-depth information on the chemical makeup in each oil that they sell. You can find this information right on their website. I love that you don’t even need to seek this information out. Instead, it’s readily available, even though it’s tested by an independent third party.
These were the first reasons I decided Plant Therapy was an excellent fit for my family. But as I used them more, I also found that the pricing was MUCH more economical than some other companies. In other words, I didn’t need to sell oils to afford essential oils. They also have several sizes of bottles that you can order, which is perfect because there are some oils we use almost daily and others that I use here and there. Each bottle is priced accordingly.
Plant Therapy also has a wonderful kids’ line. One of the big things I learned into my journey is that not all oils are safe for kids to be around and there can be SERIOUS health implications that come along with improper use of oils. I love that Plant Therapy has taken into account kids’ health and has made pre-diluted formulas that are safe for babies and kids. They even have a dilution guide right on their website that you can print out and use at home. I recommend ALL essential oils be diluted in some way. You have to remember that pure essential oils are extremely concentrated and can cause damage to skin when used without diluting them.
FAVORITE OILS AND HOW I USE THEM
Organic Germ Fighter: This is my top purchase from Plant Therapy. I use Germ Fighter in a roller with Frankincense and Copaiba diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil. My kids and I apply this roller along our spines everyday for support to our immune systems. I also diffuse Germ Fighter A LOT in the fall and winter — it is the scent of the season and supports health and wellness too.
Organic Tea Tree: Tea Tree Oil is a great addition to cleaning and disinfecting. I add a few drops of tea tree oil to Bon Ami to clean my toilets. It not only leaves the sparkling clean, but it gives it a clean scent. I have found by adding this, the toilet stays clean longer too. Tea tree also gets added to some castile soap to disinfect makeup brushes every so often.
Organic Lavender: Lavender is used in so many places around our house. We diffuse lavender in the evenings to help everyone wind down. We also use lavender on our dryer balls to give the laundry at least a little bit of scent. And in the summer, we add a few drops of lavender to aloe vera in a spray bottle to treat any sunburns.
Organic Lemon: We buy lemon in the largest quantity at our house. I love the way it smells, but it’s also SO useful. I reuse a lot of jars, but it can be a big pain to get the stickers and adhesive residue off of the jars. Enter lemon essential oil. Just let the oil sit on the jar for a minute or two and then watch the adhesive rub off. Wash the jar afterwards and you’re good to go. Lemon works for ALL the sticky stains and gunk you need to remove.
Citrus Burst: This blend gets added to a lot of our diffuser blends, but I also use it on a cotton ball or cloth to stick underneath the garbage can in the kitchen. It helps cover up the smell of garbage, but isn’t too overpowering. I also love Citrus Burst in a diffuser blend because it’s got such an uplifting feel and it really gets us going in the mornings.
In addition to these I have some of my favorites that I use to diffuse at home for all sorts of reasons.
Head to my Healthy House Diffuser Recipe page for all sorts of ideas
SAFETY & USAGE
First, I recommend that ALL essential oils be diluted with a carrier oil. There was a time when I applied them and consumed them “neat”, or without any carrier oil though. Again, I followed the lead of bloggers and other IG accounts a bit blindly. After seeing skin irritation with myself and my daughters I decided THAT route of using essential oils was no longer for me.
I do still apply some essential oils topically, but I ALWAYS use a carrier oil. And if I’m using it with my kids I use only a few drops of the essential oil mixed in.
I also recommend that you do some research on WHICH essential oils are safe to use with kids. Their bodies are not as developed as adult bodies and what small amount we use can quickly affect their systems. I recommend doing research before using ANY oil with kids, or you can keep a resource book like Essential Oil Safety on hand.
Another safety point when it comes to essential oils is to know and understand that some oils are photosensitive — meaning they should not be used in sunlight. UV light reacts with certain oils and can cause a reaction on the skin. It’s very important to know which oils this is before you use them topically and head out into the sun.
Be aware of “hot oils” while you’re using essential oils of any kind as well. Some oils have a warming sensation (cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, oregano and thyme are some popular ones). Oftentimes you can be left with a hot sensation if it’s applied directly to the skin. Sometimes a rash can develop due to these oils as well. Hot oils can still affect the skin when they are mixed with a carrier oil, however, the severity will be less.
Some individuals who are sensitive or allergic to various plants, should be extra careful when it comes to using essential oils – diffusing or applying topically. Those with allergies should know that there is cross-sensitivity possible as essential oils come from plants that can be similar to plants that cause allergic reactions. For example if you’re allergic to ragweed, you may also experience an allergic reaction when chamomile essential oil is used.