Curious about Essential oils for health and wellness? There is a lot to know about Essential Oil Safety. Essential oils not only smell wonderful, they are also highly concentrated, naturally occurring aromatic plant oils that help the plants to survive against bugs and disease. Essential oils can be derived from just about any part of a plant including bark, citrus rinds, berries, flowers, leaves, nuts, roots, resin or sap, seeds, and stems.
These lovely but volatile plant extracts (essential oils) contain naturally occurring anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Due to their germ-busting properties, essential oils have been used for health and wellness dating back to ancient Egypt and beyond. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to affect or alter a person’s mood as well as their overall health and wellness.
You may have experienced the calming effect of using essential oils in a diffuser or in your bath. But did you know that essential oils have medicinal uses as well?
Essential Oils for Health and Wellness
Each essential oil has different properties that are useful for various types of health and wellness. Most essential oils contain antimicrobial properties including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal or a combination of them.
It’s important to buy organic essential oils to ensure that there are no pesticides or other chemical residues in your oils. Essential oils should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year. They will last longer (up to two years) if stored in the fridge.
The Legend of Thieves Oil
History says in the 14th century when the plague was ravaging Europe, a band of thieves was stealing from the sick and dying without ever becoming sick with the plague.
When the thieves were finally caught, they were asked to explain how they had warded off the plague, in exchange for their lives. Their secret: rags soaked in a blend of essential oils were wrapped to cover their noses and mouths. Any viruses and bacteria that came in contact with the essential-oil-soaked rags were killed on contact, and so the thieves never breathed in pathogens.
The Thieves Oil recipe has been passed down through history and this blend of anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal essential oils is still used to keep us healthy today. There are several different “Thieves Oil” blends commercially available and most include some of these key ingredients.
The principle theory of how this blend may work is that microscopic particles of inhaled essential oils land in the mucosal lining of the nasal cavity, killing pathogens on contact as they are breathed in. There is ongoing scientific research as to the effectiveness of essential oils for health and wellness, as different oils contain different amounts of antibacterial, antiviral, or antifungal properties.
Keep Viruses Away With Thieves Oil
Thieves Oil is very easy to make if you prefer to make your own instead of buying a ready-made brand. I use a few drops in the palm of my hand as a hand sanitizer after I’ve been to the store, used an ATM, or pumped gas. Rub your palms together to clean your hands. Then deeply inhale the scent of the oils for a refreshing pick-me-up. As mentioned above, breathing in the essential oils may help balance your immune system by coating your mucosa with microscopic drops of oil that can kill bacteria and viruses in your nose, sinuses, and lungs on contact.
Thieves Oil Recipe
This deliciously fragrant recipe for Thieves Oil is modified from MoutainRoseHerbs. Most of these essential oils are available in my Neil’s Yard Remedies online store, others are available at Mountain Rose Herbs. Don’t worry if you can’t find a couple of the essential oils, it will still work using the majority of them.
20 drops organic Clove Bud essential oil
35 drops organic Lemon essential oil
15 drops organic Cinnamon Bark essential oil
10 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
10 drops organic Raventsara essential oil
10 drops organic Frankincense essential oil
10 drops organic Myrrh essential oil
8oz of Aloe Gel [Aubrey Organics Aloe Gel has the perfect consistency for hand sanitizer.]
2 TBSP of Witch Hazel or Rubbing Alcohol*
*While the essential oils used in this recipe have anti-microbial and anti-viral germ-busting properties, some people prefer to use rubbing alcohol instead of witch hazel. Rubbing alcohol is very drying to the hands so be sure to use a good hand lotion if you use rubbing alcohol in your carrier base.
Mix your carrier base in a glass jar, and add the drops of essential oil. Pour into 2-oz or larger spritzer bottles.
It is important to note that most essential oils should not be used directly on the skin, as they can be quite strong and some people can have skin reactions to them. They are best used mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil, or in a carrier base of aloe gel mixed with witch hazel.
COVID-19 Update on Hand Sanitizer
To ensure your hand sanitizer is 60% alcohol, use the following proportions:
1 TBSP Aloe Gel
3 TBSP Rubbing Alcohol
10 drops of Tea Tree oil or any other combination of the above-listed oils (5 drops for using on children)
This will make 2oz. of hand sanitizer. You can double, triple, etc the proportions to make more.
There is too much information on essential oils to cover everything here, but you can learn more about Essential Oil Safety here.
**Please be extremely careful with essential oils if you have cats or kittens. A cat’s liver doesn’t have the same enzymes as other mammals, and can not metabolize essential oils. Some essential oils like tea tree and eucalyptus can be extremely toxic to cats. Here’s a great article with more info on Essential Oil Safety & Cats.**
Please leave a comment to let us know your favorite wellness use of essential oils?