What are Essential Oils?
I will never forget my introduction to the magical world of essential oils. It was early May and I was suffering from an irritating cough that was keeping me up at night and showing no signs of going away. My husband was concerned (I think mostly because I kept waking him up with my hacking) and urging me to go in for an X-ray but I felt certain that it was irritation in my throat rather than anything in my chest. I went to a voice lesson pretty sure that I would not be able to sing at all without fits of coughing. But something was different. My teacher Lorna had a little diffuser on the counter puffing out a great smelling mist. After just a few minutes my throat felt more open then it had in weeks and I could sing! I asked what it was and she told me there were a few drops of essential oils inside. She let me borrow the diffuser and the oil and after a night or two my problem disappeared.
A few days later it got really interesting. My son Connor was home from his first year of college and I heard him coughing during the night. I took the diffuser into his room, set it up and rubbed a few drops of the oil blend on the bottoms of his feet. The next morning he came downstairs and said “I don’t know what that was but I need my own.” There had been more than one occasion during the previous school year when Connor had called me in frustration late at night from Chicago wondering how he could stop coughing fits. No fun for him or me to have him 2000 miles away and no way to help. That summer I set him up with a diffuser and oils, he used it every day in his dorm room and never got sick the next fall! He came home for the holidays, didn’t have his diffuser and got sick within days. We were hooked.
In the time since that May I have learned more about oils and tried them for a variety of issues. I fell in love with lavender for its calming properties, improved sleep, burn relief and even as a non-stimulating decongestant. I never knew that peppermint is amazing for upset stomachs, increased energy, as a decongestant, combined with lavender for headache relief: the list goes on and on. I bought a kit and a guidebook and started educating myself about essential oil options each time an issue came up for me, a family member or a friend. The great results kept pouring in.
We have a family lake house in Northern Minnesota that we visit every summer. It is amazing-except for the bug bites. Mosquitos are one thing, itchy and irritating but nothing like the vacation ruining horse fly bites on the feet that can make you miserable for days. I got one that summer and tried all the usual family remedies- Benadryl, ice bath, ammonia and I was still in pain. I looked at my oil guide and it suggested Frankincense so I put a drop on my bite. In 20 minutes the swelling, pain and itching had subsided and it never bothered me again. I started offering it to my nieces and nephews who were plagued by bites and they had similar results. The only problem was that after all the years of suffering they wondered why I never told them about it before!
The more I used essential oils the more I fell in love. Although they were new to me, I learned that they have been used throughout time and there are many biblical references to them as well. Quick, easy solutions to so many problems without the synthetic chemicals and side effects. And did I mention that many of them smell amazing?? I was sharing with everyone I came in contact with. I wanted to learn more and more so trained in aromatherapy and part of my mission has become educating people and making these “magical solutions” available to everyone.