Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Tried and True: How Essential Oils have changed my life

I've done a lot of these opinionated posts lately, haven't I? I'll get back to what's going on in life soon.
But right now, I just have to share a little bit of great stuff that's helped make my life easier.

I have to start by saying I HATE health fads. I can't stand hearing the words "they did a study" when it comes to the stuff we take into or do with our bodies. All it does is confuse and frustrate me. Lots of protein, or less protein? Lots of grains or less grains? Sugar is the enemy? Eat organic or else you're poisoning your family, you terrible person?
I'm not a organi-maniac, I'm not a vegan, I'm not a paleo, and I'm not a sugar-free-or-else dieter. I'm not a homeopath either.

I believe that if you have a cold and it's terrible and Day-quil works for you, then take it. If your kid has a fever and you can't get it to break, give them the medicine they need to bring it down. And if you want to have an epidural when having a baby, for goodness sake, GET THE EPIDURAL. And ignore the judgmental hogwash that's circling our heads because, quote, "they did a study....."

Having said that, I do believe that it's good to use and eat as natural as we can, if our pocket books and sanity allow it (we just can't afford organic food right now). Here's something simple that I've tried and that works wonders for me:

Essential Oils. (I use the doTerra brand only because I know they are 100% pure and I can trust them)

First, let me list off a few ailments that just two basic essential oils have helped me get through without the use of medications:

Impetigo (skin infection)
Braxton-Hicks contractions
Morning Sickness/Nausea

Migraines: I've had five during this pregnancy. Four of them were within a few weeks of each other. The first one was on Christmas Eve. Yeah. FUN!  >:(
I've got a history of migraine headaches. Luckily, I'd consider mine to be fairly moderate. They don't last more than a few hours.
My usual remedy: score 2 excedrin migraine and a pepsi, then go to bed till it passes. This would sometimes work, sometimes not at all. But since I'm pregnant, I can't take excedrin and I don't drink caffeine. Great... now what?

Alternative Remedy:  Lavender essential oil on my temples and an ice pack on my neck. Then BED. And you know what? Every time I've done this for migraine relief, I have felt little pain. Some residual soreness after the storm passed, but other than that, not much. Call it a miracle if you want (and I do) but I'm going to keep doing this remedy even after I have the baby because it works WAY better than excedrin and pepsi.

Impetigo: This is the gross one so forgive me. But it's very common among children. For those who don't know, impetigo is a staph infection on the skin. (It's not MRSA). I'm pretty prone to getting these nasty little infections and I have been all my life. I usually get it on my chin or just below my nose. It's disgusting. And did I mention incredibly contagious once it breaks out? You can google a picture of it if you're so inclined.
My usual remedy: Both oral and topical anti-biotics as soon as possible. The infection will pop out in a cluster of pustules, crust over, scab over, and the scab will fall off, all in about two weeks even with the anti-biotics. Full healing takes probably another week. In the meantime I have to be obsessively careful not to spread the bacteria ANYWHERE or to ANYONE.
Plus, just to get the meds, I have to schedule a doctor's appointment, get the prescription, fill it, and start taking it. Time wasted and $$ spent.

Alternative remedy: Again, Lavender essential oil. When I feel like I may have a patch of the infection coming on (it'll feel itchy and I might start seeing a small patch of redness or even the beginnings of little red bumps) I'll hit it hard with lavender. Undiluted, applied by a q-tip or my finger every two or three hours. I don't like the smell of lavender and it might make me sleepy, but it works, I tell you. I just did this last weekend. It works every time. The infection never even pops out. No embarrassing pustules on my face, no scab, and no contagious bacteria.

Other uses I've found for lavender: Insomnia (lavender helps you relax. Put a few drops into a warm bath), eczema (it helps itching to go away) and even Braxton-Hicks contractions (I rub lavender on my belly and lay down and the contractions will go away). I've even used it on my c-section scar when it felt a little ouchie from stretching due to the new pregnancy.

Now for another problem:

Morning Sickness/Nausea: My first pregnancy, I threw up probably 10 or so times. Sick in the first 18 weeks, sick at the end. And just plain yucky for pretty much the entire time. Most people would say that's not bad. But who likes to feel sick? Especially when you have to cook dinner. Ugh! It. sucks.

Usual remedies: ginger ale, crackers, rest, and though I've never taken it, Unisom is supposed to work.

Alternative remedy: Lemon essential oil. I rub a little bit on my earlobes or even just take a whiff of it. It smells very nice, like a lemon-flavored Starburst. Gets rid of nausea so I can cook dinner without ralphing my cookies.
Does it work on carsickness? Not sure. Something to try someday.

You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a sink of soapy water to clean your kitchen with.  (I'm no expert on "green" cleaning products, but homemade recipes are all over the place on the internet. Lemon essential oil is one of the ingredients in many of the cleaners.)

These are only a few examples of what two of the most basic essential oils can do. There are many more that I want to get (peppermint, orange, eucalyptus) when I can. And no crazy side-effects.

Bottom line?
I use what works and what I can afford. I'm working my way, step by step, to a healthier body and family. I'm not trying to "convert" anyone to living a different lifestyle or cleaning out their medicine cabinet. I'm just telling you what has worked for me that has helped me avoid a lot of pain, frustration, discomfort, and inconvenience.

Tried and true.


mandyface said...

Ryan peddles essential oils and we use them for almost everything.

Heather said...

Good to hear! I have been wanting to try EO since everyone is talking about them and always raves. I still get the occasional zit monster that lives underground and never really surfaces, just causes redness and annoying blotchiness on my skin. So tired of it! I am going to try EO for that. I'll let you know if it works!

Leigh said...

I LOVE the lemon oil I got from your momma. Worked wonders for morning sickness/nausea. And at the very end of pregnancy, a friend let me borrow DoTERRA's Deep Blue Rub. Oh. My. Heaven. Back pain was gone! I am not huge into essential oils and natural remedies, but the few things I have tried have definitely helped.

Alesha said...

I have been skeptical, but have wanted to try. I think you convinced me. :)

Jennie said...

I am also one of those skeptics... I might just have to try them someday. I think the EO fanatics can be off putting, I like your approach. Use what works.

What I Did Today said...

Love it! Will definitely be breaking out the lavender oil for Britt's current rash of eczema. Thanks for the tip!

Lisa said...

Great advice! Thanks!