In my quest to find relief from my chronic pain and illnesses, something that was recommended time and time again to me was essential oils. I can tell you that essential oils are great, and although it doesn’t provide long-lasting relief from my pain, there are uses for them that I have felt a great benefit from and I’d like to impart some of the ways they have helped me onto you.
One that was recommended to me was the Digest Zen from Doterra. This was one that, admittedly, took me by surprise. I have had stomach issues my whole life. Along with my headache, I experience nausea from time to time, and (sorry if this is TMI), bloating and bowel movement issues. A friend recommended the roll-on formula and it is FANTASTIC. When I’m having bad nausea, I take a whiff of this and it totally calms the nauseous feeling. When I have an upset stomach or uncomfortable bloating, I roll this on my stomach and I was surprised how much relief that it brought me. It’s a little pricey (as some of the good brands are). For this one, it runs about 27$ off Amazon but I can’t recommend this one enough. Some of my friends who are really into essential oil therapy lovingly refer to themselves as “oil snobs” and they have told me that they totally notice a difference in the effectiveness of the oil based on the brand. Young Living and DoTerra seem to be the brands that are of the highest quality and if you have the schmoney to spend I would recommend them as well.
Part of the reason these oils from the more exclusive brands are more potent has to do with the distilling process they go through. A lot of more accessible essential oils are distilled using alcohol which apparently dilutes the oil, making it less effective and you won’t gain as much benefit from them. These brands use a different kind of distilling process which ensures that you are getting the most bang for your buck and the most benefit. I will link a page from doTerra that better explains this here. I would recommend a starter kit if you’re interested in trying the more expensive brands or a less expensive starter kit if you also want to try it out without totally committing to the hefty price tag. Otherwise, I would just make sure to look at the ingredients on the bottle, or in the description to make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol, is “therapeutic grade” and is organic.
Essential oils are very potent. If you are planning to use your oils for topical use make extra sure they are “therapeutic grade”. This means that they can be applied topically. Some essential oils are made strictly for aromatherapy use and should NOT be applied to your skin. I will also mention Jojoba oil a few times in this article and it’s important to note that with essential oils you should dilute them when applying them topically. If you do not it can cause skin irritation among other things. Jojoba oil is widely regarded as a great “carrier oil” which means that you will still get the benefits of the essential oil without causing the irritation. Jojoba oil is the closest oil that resembles the oil your skin produces naturally, the oil combination will soak into your skin without causing irritation or clog pores. When I have really dry skin I will put plain ol’ jojoba oil on at night and I found it’s a great moisturizer just on its own.
If you don’t know what a diffuser is, it’s basically an aesthetic humidifier you put water and essential oils in so that it can diffuse (duh) the scent into the room. I love the one I have, and if you are interested in getting into aromatherapy I would highly recommend one. They also make great night lights lol.
An essential oil that I use almost on the daily is tea tree oil. Tea Tree oil is known for its many purifying uses. One of them is that it can be used as an antiseptic. When I’m having breakouts and blemishes on my skin, I use a drop tea tree oil and a drop or 2 Jojoba oil and pat it onto the blemish. It works almost like magic and the next morning my blemish is instantly less red, the unsightly zit has dried up quite a bit and in a couple of days, it’s gone. Some medications that I’ve used to treat my pain have the effect of breaking me out. Amazingly this technique has really saved my skin without changing my skin’s entire mantle. If you’re interested in seeing a video about skin care I would recommend this video by Stephanie Nicole. She’s knowledgeable about skincare and I do try a lot of her recommendations (if and when I can afford them lol). Whenever I can try a more natural solution to skincare, I’m always down.
Tea tree oil is also great as a cleaning agent for around your home. I dilute 10-15 drops in a spray bottle with water. When I need to mop or clean other surfaces around my home without the use of harsh cleaning agents (I have dogs, so this is important to me), I spray this down and it really cuts through the dirt and makes the task so much easier plus my house smells like a spa afterward. I also prepare a mixture of lavender, and lemongrass into a small spray bottle to spray on my yoga matt after my practice to disinfect and clean off my matt, especially after a public practice. You don’t want to take the yoga studio bacteria or smell home with you.
Rosemary essential oil is absolutely wonderful for your hair and I even use it when I cook some meals here and there. I prepare a mixture of Rosemary, Lavender, Tea Tree, Vitamin E, diluted in Jojoba oil, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil and use this as a leave-in oil treatment for my hair. I would recommend leaving it on for at least an hour but if your hair is damaged I would recommend sleeping in it. This mixture has saved my hair from the brink of destruction many times. I used to constantly change the color of my hair, as I really love the fashion colors this resulted in my hair being bleached many, many times which left it damaged. This oil treatment is wonderful, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Lunar Tides is a great cruelty-free, vegan hair dye brand (find them here on Etsy) and I love the quality and ethics of their dyes. I know this article is about essential oils but hey if you’re interested here ya go.
I’ve mentioned it already a few times in this article but lavender is wonderful for so many things. It’s known widely as a stress-relieving, peace-inducing oil and if you go to your local health food store you will find it in droves. I love lavender and its scent is very relaxing. Something I do nightly is put a few drops (I’m quite heavy handed so this is an underestimate) into my diffuser along with Eucalyptus. I also use it in my hair treatment and beard oil concoction for my fiancé, my weekly body scrubs and from time to time I dilute a few drops with Jojoba oil to place on my temples, behind my ears and on the back of my neck to help relax me when I’m having especially bad pain. I also find that a combination of lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus with jojoba oil is great for motion sickness. I place a couple drops behind my ears and it does help me quite a bit.
Eucalyptus is another oil I use a lot. I put a few drops while taking a shower to inhale when I’m sick or if I’m having an especially hard pain day. It’s very potent and I find it to be relaxing and cleansing. I also put this in my diffuser nightly, and when either myself or my fiancé is sick I go IN adding drops to my diffuser. It’s great for helping to clear the sinus’. When I’m having pain I like to put lavender, and peppermint in the diffuser, I find really relaxing.
Speaking of peppermint essential oil, I found this was extremely helpful in training my puppy not to chew on clothing or other objects because he HATED it. A friend recommended to us that we should try a drop in his water or food to help his breath and low and behold he hated it so much he would go out of his way to avoid what had the oil in it. Which was a blessing because we finally found something he didn’t like. Up until that point, we could not find a good deterrent. So hey, if you’re in the market for something like that this might work! lol.
One thing I’m not going to do is suggest the use of essential oils as some type of miracle cure. I love essential oils, they help relieve some of my symptoms and I find using them incredibly relaxing. But, I have had people try to sell me on it as a cure and as a substitute for medication. I will never advise using anything as a substitute for medication. Even though I have had horrible experiences with doctors and medications, I will always advise getting professional medical help for your illnesses whether it’s a physical or a mental manifestation. There is so much more awareness of mental illnesses, but still today I know people who try to sell me on the “holistic” route as a substitute. This is not helpful. While I use and practice many holistic remedies myself and find them helpful they don’t cure mental illness. Often the people who recommend these remedies to me do not experience a mental illness. I believe this comes down to a lack of understanding of mental illness and how it is treated with medication. When they recommend these things and try to imply that somehow I’m wrong for taking medication for it, not only is it extremely hurtful it makes me feel invalidated and that I’m not being taken seriously. Again, I use essential oils, I have cut out a lot of foods that antagonize my pain or anxiety. For example, I try not to eat processed sugar or foods and drinks that are high in sugar because I have noticed that I get irritable, anxious and makes my pain worse. Lifestyle choices are extremely important when it comes to treating any illness. However, you wouldn’t tell a diabetic person to for-go insulin for some kind of magical root, so please don’t tell me to substitute my medication for a holistic remedy. I know it comes from a good place. Thank you for caring. Just please remember that the best intentions are not always taken the way you intend them. Just be mindful of the advice that you’re giving to people and educate yourself on the issues this person is plagued by.
Thanks for visiting the Negative Space!
Love and Light as Always.
*I have included some affiliate links to some of the products I listed. This means I make a small commission off of your purchase. Don’t worry it won’t cost you any extra schmoney 🙂 it just helps ya girl out*