Useful Household Essential Oils
When discussing essential oils, it is important not to confuse them with "scents". Many things are scented, but they are rarely scented with essential oils. Rather, they are usually scented with chemicals, which can be very harmful to our bodies, our pets and the environment. These scents come from a lab and the ingredients don't resemble anything from nature, despite the fact that they are described as smelling like "lavender" or "rose" or whatever.
Essential oils are made from plants. No ifs, ands or buts about it. They are always made from plants and nothing else. No chemicals are ever added to create an essential oil. This makes them much safer to use in your home. However, you do need to know how to use them, what they are good for and which ones to use for what purposes.
Most essential oils come undiluted, in no base oil. I highly recommend you don't put the essential oil directly on your skin, especially on a regular basis. It can be put in a base oil, like apricot, jojoba, or even olive oil for use directly on the skin or as a bath oil. Or for baths, it can be put in baking soda or Epsom salts and then distributed through your bath water.
It's not necessary to have hundreds of essential oils in our homes. I keep four on hand all the time--lavender, tea tree, garlic and peppermint. And occasionally I like to bring in frankincense and clove because they are both very useful. The other four will do the trick for most anything, though, as far as basic household uses.
Peppermint--repels insects in and around home or on skin, soothes sores muscles, opens sinus passages (good for steam baths)
Lavender--repels insects and spiders in and around home or on skin, relieves headaches, eases muscular tension, eases stress, aids sleep, calms children
Tea Tree--anti-bacterial/ antifungal/ anti-viral properties (works great in a cleaning spray to kill germs or in salves), repels insects, healing cuts, soothing rashes
Garlic--anti-bacterial/antifungal/antiviral properties--excellent directly on a newly "tingling" cold sore or minor injury or cut, good in salves, repels insects and other vermin, boosts the immune system
If you would like to make a quick bug barrier for your home for the spring, you can mix castile soap (about 1-2 cups) with 15-20 drops of peppermint oil, 10 drops lavender (if you have it) and maybe even toss in a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of cloves (or a few drops of cinnamon or clove oil). Put in a squeeze bottle, shake and squeeze a line around the outside perimeter of your home, focusing on windows and doors at ground level. It's not necessary to over every inch. Even when the rain washes this away, it washes into the soil, causing no harm and maintaining a scent that bugs don't like to cross.
An indoor spray barrier you can use on your body as well:
16 oz. bottle of witch hazel, 15 drops lavender, 10 drops peppermint, 5 drops tea tree oil. Put in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on body before going outside and in corners of home as well as around doors and windows. Repeat about once a week or so.
Hello! My name is Angie Webster. I am enthusiastic about sharing Reiki, herbalism, flower essences, and reflexology, I have studied and practiced herbalism for over 30 years, over time adding other healing practices, such as Bach flower essences, crystals, reflexology and aromatherapy. I am a Reiki Master Teacher and a freelance writer. You can see my writing at https://naturalholisticlife.wordpress.com/and on www.reikirays.com as well as, Elephant Journal and Be You Media, among others. I am the author of Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing and other books, which can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other locations.