I recently asked the followers on my Natural Family Living Facebook page for some insight into what essential oils they use and what they use them for? I wanted to see what some common uses were and if any creative and new-to-me ideas popped up. I was so impressed with the range of answers that I have decided to share the info here. There are so many every day, practical uses for essentials oils it blows my mind! The power of plants indeed!
My question was “What’s the last essential oil you used? What did you use it for?”
Some of the answers…
Peppermint for headache
Lavender for homemade baby wipes
Rosemary for homemade dish soap
Lavender for a stuffed nose / head cold
Melaleuca in the nostrils to prevent a cold
Sweet orange mixed in baking soda to freshen carpets
Lavender to help mom and child sleep
Tea tree for cleaning
Lavender for a cooking burn
Lavender for seasonal allergies
Clove oil for a toothache
Roman chamomile for relaxation
Tea tree oil for acne
Eucalyptus for cleaning
Peppermint for homemade toothpaste
Lemon to fill a diffuser
Oregano oil to combat a cold
Geranium in the steam room at the gym
Peppermint for lotion and scenting sheets
Eucalyptus for clearing sinuses
Lavender for teething
Eucalyptus in the bath for aches and pains
Rosemary and tea tree for an all purpose spray cleaner
Rosemary and black pepper for muscle aches
Clove oil with vinegar mopping the floor
Thieves for a cold sore and to freshen breathe
Rose hip seed in moisturizer for an anti- aging omega boost
Peppermint in my homemade all purpose cleaner
Patchouli for the wash
Thieves oil on the feet before bed to combat a fever
Lavender to relax in the tub
Lemon for cleaning
Thieves and eucalyptus for a chest cold
Lavender for homemade body butter
Eucalyptus and coconut oil on feet at night to helping with coughing
Teat tree in the cloth diaper bin
Wild orange in the diffuser for calming
Orange to keep the cat off the bed
Peppermint and tea tree to soak cloth diapers in after a rinse, but before the wash
Peppermint for nausea
Lavender in the dryer, instead of using dryer sheets
Thieves for disinfecting after illness
Tea tree for athletes foot
Orange oil to make hand soap
Peppermint and eucalyptus in a rock fountain to freshen air
Orange for homemade cleaning supplies
Tamanu for skin rash/eczema
Tea tree oil to prevent bed bugs
What oils have you used lately???
To purchase essential oils try Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon. For information I recommend The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. I got this book when I was 20ish years old. Loved it then and love it now.
I created this recipe shortly before I started the Whole30, which I did all last month. Blogging about delicious grain free bread that I cannot have on the program (due to the coconut sugar) was not on the menu so alas I bring it to you now. The Whole30 was a huge success by the way and I find that staying strict paleo has gotten much easier and after the 30 days I decided I didn’t need dairy anymore so I am now dairy free (except for ghee) and truly paleo, not just primal. I am also feeling awesome and ready to have some of this delicious bread!
The whole family, kids included, LOVE the taste and it has lots of healthy stuff in it. Back in November I would often make a loaf in the early afternoon so that it would be cooling by the time the kids got home. It makes a perfect after school snack or le goûter. Delish!
Paleo Banana Zucchini Bread
1 3/4 cups almond flour or almond meal
4 pastured eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup shredded zucchini
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (mini preferred)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all wet ingredients together first and then add in the dry ingredients, mixing well. Pour into a loaf pan greased well with coconut oil and cook for 75 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean (aside from melty chocolate ). Let cool before slicing and serving but it tastes best when still slightly warm. Enjoy!!
See also: Pumpkin Soufflé and Sweet Potato Soufflé
We have been eating sweet potatoes regularly of late and often times when I make up a batch of mashed sweet potatoes I have extra on hand to use in other recipes later in the week. Sometimes we reheat them on a griddle for breakfast or we make sweet potato pancakes with coconut flour and goat cheese. Yesterday though I decided to add some leftover mashed sweet potatoes to some grain free banana bread and see how it turned out. The results were quite delicious and the addition of sweet potato helped to cut down on the “graininess” from the coconut flour.
I think this is going to become a regular treat in our house from now on and perhaps even replace my pre-workout Larabars, since I am trying to reduce processed foods and needless packaging. The texture is very dense and soft and it has a bit of sweetness but not nearly as much as conventional banana bread. My kiddos all love it, with the exception of my youngest, who hates coconut. I feel good giving this to them for breakfast for some good brain food.
Sweet Potato Banana Bread With Coconut Flour
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup mashed sweet potatoes
3 very ripe bananas
4 pastured eggs
6 T grassfed butter or coconut oil (melted)
2 T ground flax seeds
1/4 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 T raw honey
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 T vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix wet and dry ingredients together in separate bowls. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet and mix together well. Pour into a well greased or parchment paper lined loaf pan. Cook for one hour and 20 minutes. Allow to cool and serve slathered with grassfed butter. Yum!
Scented Baths – Essential oils can be added to baths for pure relaxation purposes or to help with some sort of ailment like muscle soreness (pine, lavender) or congestion (peppermint, tea tree).
Mood Perfume – Scents have long been known to have great effects on mood. If you have an old roll on deodorant bottle try adding some jojoba or sweet almond oil to it along with your favorite essential oil. Roll on when you need a boost plus you get bonus points for in home recycling.
- Romantic – rosewood, bergamot, patchouli
- Uplifting – geranium, holy basil, melissa
- Stimulating- coriander, neroli, geranium, ginger
- Calming – frankincense, clary sage, angelica
Soothing Skin – After a sunburn it can really help with pain and healing to take a long, cold shower and then moisturize with coconut oil and 1% Roman chammomile, jasmine, lavender, neroli, or rosewood. Acne can be soothed with a cotton ball and tea tree oil. Skin all over your body can be moisturized with an essential oils/coconut oil mix.
Cleaning Products - Essential oils have potent antimicrobial properties along with their clean, natural aromas. They deodorize, purify, and sanitize…safely. Try using lemon, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary by adding to baking soda, vinegar, or castile soap.
To make the scented scrub (top) just add a few drops essential oil to baking soda and then sprinkle over the surface of the area you want to clean. This can also be sprinkled over top of carpet and then vacuumed up to deodorize your home.
To make the lemon spray just add 5-6 drops lemon oil to white vinegar and clean your kitchens and bathrooms. They get squeaky clean and they smell like lemons!
Foot Scrubs – Got rough feet? Make a foot scrub with cornmeal or ground oats, Epsom salts, and either peppermint or ylang ylang oils. Scrub and enjoy smooth tootsies.
Compresses – Using hot or cold compresses is basic first aid. The addition of essential oils can be beneficial for fevers, sprains, bruises, and bug bites.
Steam Inhalation – Use a bowl of steaming hot water and a towel or take a hot shower. Either way, adding essential oils can help with all sorts of ailments via inhalation…colds, sore throats, skin conditions, and coughing.
The essential oils above from DoTERRA. This was my first time using this brand and I have been very happy with the quality. :)
Read also: 12 Amazing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
I am very much in favor of supplementation. This is because I belive that our food system is so broken and our soil conditions are so lacking that food cannot provide us with all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals we need for health. To close the gap I take various supplements such as fish oils, magnesium, Vitamin D3, and Milk Thistle. I have some on hand that I am trying out (Moringa) and some that I only need occasionally, like Echinacea. This leaves me with a bit of waste problem. I have many brown glass bottles and some plastic bottles that had supplements in them that are now empty. I decided to compile a list of things you might do to reuse/recycle them.
Freecycle – You would be amazed how your trash might be just what someone else needs. Animal shelters might use them for pet medication, churches might want them for mission trip meds, and crafters might have use of them too. Make an offer…
Fishing Supplies – My oldest son is an avid fisherman and we use bottles for small things like hooks, lures, and weights. That way mom doesn’t end up getting a fish hook in her flip -flop when she walks in the garage.
Seed Containers – Paper seed envelopes can be a giant pain in the back side. You open them for your first planting and then you might end up loosing half them by the next year. Putting them in a bottle makes storing them much easier and you can tape the label from the envelope on the underside of the jar or the top of the cap.
Coin Holder – If you or your children collect coins then jars and bottles are perfect for storing them. No need for a piggy bank!
Organization – You can use them to organize desk items… paper clips, pencils , rubberbands, tacks, earbuds, beads for crafts, etc
Mini Vases – If they are larger jars (think fish oils) line them up on a windowsill with small, pretty flowers to brighten up the room! You can even paint them or wrap yarn around them first to make them pretty. As an alternative you can hang brackets on the wall and hang the bottles on those.
Get Gorgeous – Use to decant olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil which can then be used for hands, face or in the bath because who wants a big jar of coconut oil or olive oil in their bathroom?? Also handy for carrying in your purse.
Let There Be Light – If the opening is large enough, you can put a tealight in them. Get your kids to decorate the outside with colored tissue paper.
Go Herbal – Dark bottles are great for storing bulk herbs for cooking and medicinal use.
Travel On – Instead of buying travel sized shampoo to meet TSA requirements put some of your regular shampoo or conditioner in one of these small bottles.
Do you have any more ideas to add? Share!