• Dr. Hailey Axberg

5 Essential Oils & Practical Ways to Use Them

Chances are that if you dapple at all with holistic health, you've probably given essential oils a try. Personally, I've been using essential oils for just over five years. At first I utilized cheap oils from Amazon and Walgreens for convenience and to save a quick buck. But about a year or so into integrating oils into my routine, I began to learn about the concerns regarding regulation, safety and quality of essential oils.

From that point forward, I committed to only investing in quality essential oils. My personal brand of choice is Young Living, but I'm sure other quality brands exist as well. As always, I recommend doing your own research and choosing a brand that you feel comfortable using (you should never blindly trust a stranger on the internet, even with the title of "doctor" before their name!)

Much like the beauty, self-care, and food industries- the essential oil industry is not well-regulated in the U.S. This allows some companies to sell heavily diluted and synthetic "essential oils" with unlisted ingredients... yikes!!! This doesn't mean that all essential oils are bad though. It simply means that one must practice mindfulness as an essential oil consumer. Again, quality is everything. The same could be said for supplements, food, rest, healthcare, etc... but that's a different topic for a different day!

The reality is that quality essential oils are a great tool to have in your health and wellness tool belt. From supporting the immune system to replacing toxic cleaners and candles, essential oils as a whole have a diverse list of uses and benefits (as well as contraindications and precautions to take into consideration). Today we'll be discussing 5 common essential oils and practical ways to use these little bottles of concentrated plant juice.

#1) Lemon

Lemon is one of the best essential oils you could get started with. One little bottle of pure lemon essential oil can be used for cleaning, emotional support, and even immune system support. Lemon- as well as citrus essential oils in general- tend to be some of the cheapest and most diverse oils. They're all good for promoting a happy, uplifting atmosphere but beyond that each oil also has it's own set of different and specific uses.

I regularly use lemon essential oil as a degreaser (along with thieves household cleaner) and I utilize it to get sticky residue off of surfaces. Due to it's photosensitivity (which is a good precaution to take into consideration when using any citrus oil), it can be used to lighten the color of your hair while you're spending time in the sun in the summer. I also typically add it to my respiratory support blend that varies each time I make it based on which oils I have on hand. Here's a common recipe that I use to support myself when I could use a little extra respiratory support. In a 10 ml glass roller bottle, add:

- 10 drops lemon

- 10 drops lavender

- 10 drops eucalyptus

- 10 drops frankincense

Fill the rest of the rollerball bottle with carrier oil of choice. I prefer fractionated coconut oil or grapeseed oil.

#2) Peppermint

Peppermint is the first essential oil I ever used. I started out using it by diluting it with carrier oil and rubbing on my chest and over the back of my neck during workouts. It would help to keep me cool and would make my breath feel cool as well- a sensation I really liked, especially during the second half off a workout when I'd be sweaty and red in the face!

Peppermint has been known for centuries to support the digestive tract and I can personally attest to its powerful effects. I use peppermint when I'm feeling nauseous or have an upset tummy. This past summer we had a very long road trip and my stomach was not happy for a good portion of it. I put a drop or two of ginger and peppermint essential oil in my navel area and rubbed digize blend and peppermint over my belly. It brought me the relief I needed to get through and survive the 22 hour straight drive across the country.

Peppermint is also one of my favorite essential oils to diffuse. Did you know that conventional candles sold in the US are laden with chemicals that alter the way your body functions? Uh, no thank you! Diffusing quality essential oils is a great swap when ditching toxic candles. Just over four years I ago I began diffusing when I ordered a premium starter kit with 12 essential oils (5 of them being the ones listed in this blog today) and a diffuser. I've attached the link to get one if you're ready to make the switch now too! I now have a diffuser in every room in my home and even in our chiropractic office... you can frequently catch me diffusing peppermint! Here are some of my favorite peppermint diffuser blends.

- So Fresh & So Clean: 4 peppermint + 4 lavender + 4 lemon (pro tip: this is also a great blend for seasonal support in the sniffly and sneezy springtime!)

- Peppermint Patty: 6 peppermint + 6 stress away

- Vanilla Mint: 6 drops peppermint + 6 drops vanilla (or a squirt or two of clear Mexican vanilla!)

- Energy Boost: 4 peppermint + 4 bergamot + 4 lemongrass

#3) Lavender

Lavender is a fan favorite... and for good reason! Lavender is well-known for being a good tool for calming emotions and supporting a good night's rest. When I first began using lavender oil I would rub it on my chest and neck before bed. I would also put a few drops in my palms so I could do a scent tent and take deep, slow breaths with my eyes closed before bed. To this day I still find it such an effective way to calm my mind before bed. More recently I've been adding it to my DIY nighttime roller blend or using Young Living's pre-made tranquility blend before bed.

Another fun lavender DIY is to make a pillow spray. Simply order small glass bottles from your store of choice and add sleep support oils to it. You could do it with just lavender or you could add other oils to it. Some other great sleep support oils are frankincense, cedarwood, vetiver and roman chamomile. I would add anywhere from 20-30 drops of oil to the spray bottle and add a splash or two of vodka or witch hazel. Fill the rest with distilled water, shake, and spray on your pillow before bedtime. It's a dreamy way to set the tone for a relaxing night of rest!

#4) Thieves

Thieves is a blend of cinnamon, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lemon. You can purchase a bottle of the essential oil blend and make your own DIY recipes with it or you can check out Young Living's thieves line- true health and wellness products for the home. Thieves is a powerhouse blend of oils that's well-known for being supportive to one's immune system. In the winter months, I use this oil daily. I roll it on the bottoms of my feet and along my spine (diluted and in a rollerball, of course!). I do the same thing (but more frequently) when I'm feeling under the weather.

- Bathroom Cleaner: In a 16 oz glass spray bottle add 1 capful of thieves household cleaner, 2 tbsp of castile soup, 6 oz of peroxide, 10 drops of lavender oil, and 10 drops of lemongrass oil. Fill the rest with distilled water. Shake before use.

- Glass, Window, and Mirror Cleaner: In a 16 oz glass spray bottle add 1 capful of thieves household cleaner, 1 tsp of white vinegar, and 15 drops of lemon oil. Fill the rest with distilled water. Shake before use.

- Room Freshener Spray: In a 16 oz glass spray bottle add 1 capful of thieves household cleaner and 30 drops of purification, citrus fresh, or a combination of lemon and lavender oil. Fill the rest with distilled water. Shake before use.

- Clean Floors: To replace toxic Swiffer mops, you can purchase this affordable O'Cedar mop. I've added the Amazon link to make it easy, but I personally bought mine in person at Target. Add a capful or two of thieves household cleaner concentrate to the reservoir, add 20-40 drops of essential oil (I recommend pine, citrus fresh, or orange), and fill the rest with distilled water. Shake before putting reservoir back into the mop.

#5) Frankincense

If you know me or have been following me on Instagram for any period of time, chances are that you probably know of my love for frankincense oil. I always say that if I were stuck on a deserted island, frankincense would be one of the ten things I would bring with me... I love essential oils in general, but I am really passionate about using them for emotional support. Frankincense is a crutch for me when it comes to this. Frankincense is one of the highest frequency essential oils, coming in third place behind Idaho blue spruce and rose (which is #1). High frequency essential oils are known for being supportive to both emotional and spiritual health. Believe it or not, frankincense has actually been used as a holy anointing oil for a very, very long time!

In addition to it's spiritual and emotional functions, frankincense is also well-known for being a really potent skin support oil. Frankincense reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and can also help to heal skin that's gotten a little too toasty in the sun. Each time I make my face serum, I add frankincense (I always have it on hand because I refuse to run out of it!)

You can make my face serum with just 2 starter kit oils- frankincense and lavender. But if you've been an oiler for a while and have a good collection going, there's a slew of other oils you could also add such as geranium, cedarwood, rose, and blue tansy. Simply add a total of roughly 15-30 drops of essential oil to a 2 oz tincture bottle. Add a splash of vitamin E oil and fill the rest of the bottle with jojoba oil.

Essential oils are a fun, creative, and effective way to begin "ditching and switching" the not-so-healthy products in your life for healthier ones. As always, practice safety and do your research. Empower yourself with knowledge and make decisions that feel right for you and for your family!

If you are local to the Flathead Valley or surrounding areas and you're looking for a holistic-minded healthcare professional to help you "ditch" the unhealthy habits and products in your life and "switch" to a more informed and empowered approach towards health and wellness, give us a call! We'd love to guide you along your journey.

*Disclaimer: Neither this blog post nor this website are intended to treat or diagnose any health or medical condition. It is merely offered as a general educational tool rather than individualized healthcare advice. It's always important to consult your own doctors when making important decisions about your health.

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