By Susan Hilton
The trees are budding and the grass is getting green. Flowers are springing up out of the ground and bees are buzzing around the flowers and flowering trees. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It’s not for many of us, especially those of us who are allergic to so much that’s coming out this spring. Allergies to pollen, grasses, flowers and other greenery can bring the best of us running for tissues and over-the-counter or prescription medicines. The coming season also brings sunburn, bug bites and the list goes on and on.
There is something we can add to your arsenal of items that make up your survival kit. Essential oils may be what you have been missing. Let’s look at the history of essential oils and how they’re made.
Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. From the Egyptians to the time of Jesus Christ and throughout the ages, people have used plants, herbs, trees, fruits and seeds for healing, cosmetics and their emotionally uplifting properties. Therapeutic grade essential oils are extracted through careful steam distillation. Cold pressing is then used complete the process and both have to meet very high standards. What comes from these stringent processes is the purest of essential oils.
If you’ve experienced a spa treatment or massage, chances are you’ve been exposed to essential oils. These oils are usually used in diffusers or rubbed between the palms to warm them and then massaged onto the skin by spa professionals.
With summer coming, essential oils can provide an arsenal to combat the worst that the warm season can bring. There are oils to use for many purposes, from first aid to hydration and cooling and allergies to sunburn. Here are a few examples.
- Sunburn – Lavender and Myrrh are the best oils without a doubt. They are not sun blockers, though, and some essential oils can make you sensitive to the sun, so remember to do your research. Use these two to help sooth dried, sun damaged skin and reduce inflammation.
- Allergies – There are many essential oils that relieve nasal congestion and inflammation. There is a trio of them that is known by some as an ‘Allergy Shot.’ These three oils are Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint. Put two drops of each oil in a shot glass of cool water and drink. They can greatly reduce your symptoms and possibly stop the allergic response.
- Insect Repellent – Purification is my number one when it comes to keeping insects away. This oil can be rubbed on your skin or placed in products like sprays, creams or lotion bars. It also helps in neutralizing poisons in the bite that cause redness and swelling.
- For those of us living in tick country, there is a product called Tickless that is made with Geranium, Rosewood, Lavender, Lemongrass and Palo Santo essential oils. This spray will keep the ticks off you and your pets. However, if you don’t have Tickless and get a tick on you, after careful removing the tick, use a drop of Thieves to prevent infection.
- Drinking – Putting any of the citrus oils including Lemon, Orange, Tangerine or Citrus Fresh will add hydration and flavor to any drink.
- Cooling – Applying Peppermint to the back of your neck will refreshingly cool your neck. Dipping a bandana in water and applying one to two drops of Peppermint, then freezing it will be a great cooling bandana both for you and your dogs.
There are many more essential oils that can be added to your survival kit. There are oils for cooking, digestion problems, and hot tub safety that can be added as well. A new store, The Nature Cottage, will be opening soon at 208 East Center Street. The store will feature many oils and products developed with essential oils in them. There will also be products to use with the oils and a variety of gift items for the little ones, the home, the spa and your wellness. The Nature Cottage looks forward to bringing this unique store to our clients and customers. Look for us on Facebook or at www.thenaturecottage.com