We’ve all been there — that moment of bliss as we dived into the world of essential oils and addressed our first health catastrophe with something that supposedly has no medicinal benefit whatsoever. Using essential oils worked so poorly for us the first time that we decided to spend more of our money on more of what doesn’t work.
The problem, is that even in our own like-minded circles we are overwhelmed with options and that desperate need to have every single essential oil known to man on hand. After all, there are 200 million things that could happen to our kids, so we need at least 67 oils on lock so we’re even remotely equipped to address them. Having less than all of 500 oils could spell drama, coma, or life-in-peril.
If we’re being honest, we also get excited by the pretty bottles and lovely smells, caught up in the marketing and options, and succumb to the belief that each oil is limited to one purpose. While it’s true that essential oils have different chemical properties, it’s straight up false that you can’t get your game on with a few. Confining one oil to one issue is like believing you can only walk with one pair of shoes. It’s also not practical, affordable, or feasible for our budgets.
So what do you do if you’re on a limited budget, want to have a few on hand that you can use for almost anything, and don’t want to get overwhelmed by too much too soon? It’s simple.
Choose Two Essential Oils (and Use Them for Pretty Much Everything)
I’m not new to the world of essential oils. I’m trained in aromatherapy and have an arsenal of oils that would impress even my crunchiest friends. But I have to be honest, ninety percent of my stash is entirely un-opened. Why? Because there are two oils I use for pretty much everything.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil has been used for thousands of years for all things gut – like gas, heartburn, indigestion, bad breath and colic, but there’s some legit science that shows it might be beneficial for other things too like: fever, IBS, bloating, constipation, stomach aches, reflux, muscle aches, itchy skin, oral health, headaches, pain, and inflammation.
How to Use It
There are many different ways you can use peppermint oil and people go back and forth on how to do this and at what age you can use it. I personally don’t subscribe to the “under age 6” restriction, but quality, dilution, and how you use it are super important.
Peppermint oil contains chemical properties that could be irritating to the skin, so don’t ingest it and make sure it’s always diluted with a carrier oil. A little goes a long way, so we’re talking 1 drop of peppermint to 6-9 drops of carrier oil for a kid.
For a chest rub, add 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil to a teaspoon of raw coconut oil. For an oral rinse, add 1-3 drops to water, swish and spit. To use it in a bath for the common cold, add a few drops of peppermint to a lukewarm bath.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender never gets the respect it deserves. It’s a “common” essential oil that’s relatively inexpensive and can be found just about anywhere. If you have your blinders on … then it does absolutely nothing whatsoever and you should keep on walking. If you want the facts, then there are over 500 studies on lavender showing its potential effectiveness for anxiety, stress, pain, PMS, postpartum depression, infections, cuts, sleep issues, and hyperactivity.
There’s a reason Europe uses lavender for anxiety and sleep disorders instead of your standard pharma med … because it doesn’t work of course. (Here’s a link to the package insert if you’d like to brush up on your German and here’s the closest American version of Silexan/Lasea.)
HOW TO USE It
There are at least a million ways you can use lavender essential oil. You can diffuse it, wear it, place a few drops on the bottom of the feet, spray it on your stink, or apply it directly to the area in question. Although the FDA has given lavender the GRAS designation (Generally Regarded as Safe for Internal Consumption), most EO enthusiasts don’t recommend ingesting it.
If you’re using a high quality, top-drawer oil, dilution isn’t required but I dilute all of the oils I use for my kids with a carrier oil to minimize the risk of skin irritation. Like all other oils, a little goes a long way so don’t drown whatever it is you have in anything.
If You Want to Get Crazy
If you want to get crazy with essential oils, I’m not going to stop you. But if you want to have a few on hand that will save you in a pinch or get the job done when you’re literally about to lose it, just choose two … or make sure peppermint and lavender are two of the hundreds of oils you have on hand when you need a little woo.
(I have a disclaimer. You should read it. I’m not claiming essential oils do anything. In fact, they do not work at all … but they sure smell good and I use them all the time — for pretty much everything.)