ClickI have been slow to blog. When we started the website; there were few visitors and a lot of work to do. Over the last several months we have met many people at Farm Markets, Festivals and through our website. I wanted to start with this simple question, I am new to essential oils and don’t know where to start. What do you suggest? Great question.
I remember when we started. We bought a rather large and costly starter kit, with a host of essential oils and a diffuser. Every online “diffuser blend” I found had one or two essential oils I didn’t own, so we bought more. Well, today, here is the advice I offer. What are you looking to achieve with essential oils? Most times, the answer is “I don’t know, I have heard a lot about them.” So, lets begin there. Essential oils offer a host of therapeutic benefits; such as, relaxation, stress reduction and improved sleep. They can have a beneficial effect with pain, headaches, respiratory symptoms. Essential oils also have a great effect on the immune system and response to colds and flu; and well, they just smell good.
Let’s start with some basic target areas that I wanted to experience. Certainly, I could use a little stress reduction and improved sleep. Well, how would I use an essential oil? Ahh, now we are on to another question and a really good place to start. Smelling or inhalation of essential oils is a key way the body responds to the therapeutic effect of the essential oils. I won’t go into olfactory senses, the limbic system, or respiratory physiology today. Let’s keep it simple. I generally think of four ways to “smell” or use essential oils. My favorite is with a diffuser that will disperse the essential oil into the air. Most ultrasonic diffusers are room sized or 200-300 sq feet of living space. They range from $10 - $150. I would avoid super cheap diffusers and there’s no need to pay a high price unless you are looking for a beautiful piece of teak or bamboo. Most diffusers will not last a lifetime. In fact, in many cases a year or two is a good lifespan. Some tips include using distilled water, wiping between uses, and other methods to extend their life. You can find a good diffuser for around $30. Next, I like using a “roller Ball”. What? Well, just like it sounds… a little glass bottle with a roller application. I dilute my essential oil or blend in fractionated coconut oil and almost wear it like a cologne. I like a vetiver, lavender and rose geranium blend that really grounds me during my day. A 5% blend or less is a nice dilution for roller applications. Special considerations should be observed with children. Third, is palm inhalation. A drop of two on the palms, cup your hands… and a few nice deep breaths. Very nice, simple inhalation. I like this method with peppermint for headaches and eucalyptus for respiratory support. Fourth… but wait… there’s more… a little spritz or mist on a pillow, necklace, or bracelet and you can have the our “go to” aroma close by and on the go. So, this might be the first question, how could I use or apply my essential oils after purchase. I am a believer in the diffuser and the ability to inspire these botanical essences. Hmm… inspire-oils.
Well, let’s get back to sleep and stress reduction. I think the best way to begin today is to buy a few basic oils and basic blends. Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils in the world. Always start there. We don’t need to have 20 different bottles and not know what they are. Start with 5 basic oils and maybe a few blends. If you go the diffuser route, try a few drops (5-10) in your diffuser at bedtime and see if you sleep better. I went into making crazy blends, buying more than I needed. You might also try to purchase a “relax” blend. It seems like every company has a relax blend. This is a creation by the company that mixes several oils to create a blend. You don’t need to buy 5 different oils that will last a year or more, buy a nice priced relaxation blend. Next, let’s think about stress reduction …… simple… same as sleep… lavender and “relax” blends are a great place to start. Here you can advance to what you like. Maybe a little citrus like orange or lemon is appealing to you and can cause a stress reduction. Stress can be a long conversation but lavender is a great place to start. Make sure you get 100% PURE ESSENTIAL OILS, there are some chemical additives to essential oils in stores, on the internet and amazon. You want to be careful. Buy 100 pure essential oils and stay away from “fragrance oils”. Contrary to some belief, there are more than 2 companies that are responsible and reputable companies in the essential oil space. I would advise you to not buy cheap lavender, a nice Bulgarian lavender is wonderful; and a Fine French Providence is delightful. In detail, Lavandula angustifolia is most commonly available. It is primarily grown in Europe and may be named true lavender, Bulgarian lavender, English lavender, high altitude lavender, Himalayan lavender, lavender Kashmir, lavender maillette, or any of several other names. The biggest difference among these various L. angustifolia varieties is where the lavender is grown. You should also be very careful in not paying too much for essential oils. There is no need to pay multi-level marketing prices unless you really like that distribution method. It serves a purpose for some.
Hello, wake up call….. well the opposite of sleep and stress is clarity and uplifting. A great office blend can also be from our citrus friends, like lemon and orange. These are great to have in your starter kit and are quite inexpensive. I like a citrus blend for my mid-day office space. I also like to add a little peppermint for another level of “pop”. Nice. Easy. Affordable. KISS – Keep it Simple, Silly. You also might want to add a blend here for focus and mental clarity. Some of these blends will add rosemary or tulsi that can enhance memory and focus. Again, a nice blend can add extra benefits without purchasing extra essential oils and keeping on a budget.
I think the next obvious choice for a starter kit is immune support and cold response. I have found essential oils to be very supportive in response to the common cold and to help boost the immune system. I have used an essential oil for response to cold sores that is incredible. I have used them when it feels the cold is coming or sniffles are in the air…. What better way to support this than a diffuser and creating an environment of protection. Tea Tree is an essential oil that should be in your starter kit and home pharmacy. It is a great antimicrobial. Eucalyptus is another respiratory oil that is a “go to” in the home pharmacy. Now you can create a blend of tea tree, eucalyptus, lemon and lavender that has a powerful response to cold and flu season. All of these have specific antimicrobial and respiratory responses that will support you through that time of year. I also love conifers or evergreen oils like Spruces and Firs. They are great respiratory oils as well. I like the smell of a fresh walk in the mountains. We find spice blends like clove and cinnamon added with eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary effective for immune protection. An awesome folklore store to Wikipedia is “four thieves vinegar”, a neat story about botanical pharmacology and immune support during the plague. This is a folklore story and long before essential oils were formally distilled, but a fun read.
Well, I could go on, but its time to close down our discussion. For me a nice Starter kit would include a $30 diffuser, Essential oils of Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint and Tea Tree essential oils. I would add to this some specialty blends to meet my desired goals. I like sleep, relaxation, mental clarity and immunity blends. Something like this might cost you $130-$300. I would suggest you can find very good essential oils and a nice diffuser closer to the $130 range. And you certainly can find a nice kit under $100 if you are just looking for single essential oils and a diffuser.
Have fun, relax and take a deep breath. Inspire oils.
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