Thursday, November 6, 2014

How I Use Essential Oils

Oh boy, yes, I am another victim to the essential oil cult fad, but a few of you have asked about which ones we have been using so I thought I'd share all the details.

After first seeing some doTERRA related instagrams about them a few times late last winter I did some reading up on what the hell they were.  I wasn't down for spending a ton of money on something that I wouldn't really use if they even worked, so I bought a cheap "starter kit" on amazon that had great reviews and read the little pamphlet that came with it, a 101 Uses type thing, and was encouraged to try as many things as I could.  I didn't own a diffuser and I was bit hesitant to use them on myself, so I started with other suggestions like cleaning. 

I started using lemon essential oil in my DIY multi-purpose cleaner and loved the scent it left.  I was also promised it had disinfecting power.  Then, every Spring, we have ant problem.  It usually starts in our master bathroom of all places.  They come in through a tiny crack between the door jamb and tile on the floor.  I read they are repelled by peppermint oil after many online searches for non-chemical treatments.  I stuck a cotton ball soaked in peppermint on the crack and they disappeared completely for about 5 days until I had to place a new cotton ball in the spot.  This is when I was sold on the oils. (We did have an exterminator come to eradicate the problem completely, no one wants to live with ants!)

So now, that I was really interested in trying these oils for all the benefits they had to offer, I started reading more into doTERRA.  I had been following a few sellers on instagram and seeing all the different ideas for uses how they've been able to makeover their medicine cabinet with natural alternatives, so I looked into my options for buying and took the plunge into getting a wholesale account (though I am not currently selling them, sorry!).  I am now able to buy any future oils at a member discount and I was given some bonus product for signing up and purchasing the Family Physician Kit

Now that I was being promised 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils, I was game for trying them out for health and healing benefits. (You can read a bit more on what that means here) I started with lavender.  I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, and would put this on my wrists and behind my ears when I felt overly anxious.  Then, I started putting it on Ashlynn's feet with fractionated coconut oil (a liquid carrier oil that doesn't solidify like regular coconut oil) at bedtime and noticed she did indeed put up less of a fight and slept soundly through the night.  You can also use it on bug bites and addressing cuts to help soothe.

When the Husband complained about a pain in his arch after a long run, I used Deep Blue blend (similar to icy hot) with a carrier oil and he was amazed that "my voodoo magic" worked.  He's since used an "allergy blend" I made with equal parts lemon, lavender, peppermint (in a roller ball filled with fractionated coconut oil) and OnGuard when he felt a cold coming on and was again amazed they actually seemed to work.  I made a believer out of him.

Other oils I've used topically include the DigestZen blend on my stomach when feeling nauseous or having a stomach ache, which I'm not crazy about the scent of licorice, but it seems to do the trick.  Deep Blue on neck and shoulder tension and my knee pain from running.  Peppermint on my neck or temples when suffering from a headache.  Balance on my wrists when feeling extra anxious. Melaluca (tea tree oil) on any blemishes that pop up (just the smallest dab with a q-tip and they are gone within hours - which should be no surprise since tea tree oil is a common ingredient in skin care).  You can also mix with lavender to treat and calm rashes, including diaper rash which both common ingredients in natural balms.  I've used Breathe blend mixed with fractionated coconut oil on Kenley's back when she was sick and OnGuard on her feet.  I also try to remember to always put OnGuard on Ashlynn's feet the days she has school to help boost her immune system.  And my current favorite, a homemade "tantrum" blend of lavender and Balance that I roll on Ashlynn's spine and feet when she's being extra special.  And by special, I mean two years old.  It's definitely helped us get some naps and easier bedtimes since taking away her pacifier. 

I recently purchased a diffuser and now I can get the aromatic benefits of the oils as well.  When we took away Ashlynn's pacifier, I ran the diffuser in her room with Serenity Calming Blend.  I've also used Lemon in the kitchen to purify the air and OnGuard when Ashlynn brought home a cold from school.  I need to read into more diffuser suggestions, I know Wild Orange will lift moods and energy, but I typically focus on running it for sleep!!

Honestly, I still haven't taken any internally.  Even though doTERRA is certified to be safe and free of synthetic ingredients, I just haven't felt ready to take the plunge.  Not all oils are safe for ingestion, but all the oils come clearly marked with how they are to be used (diffused, ingested, topically).  

As for cleaning, lemon is my bff.  I've moved on from just using it in my multi surface spray to being my all-in-one cleaner.  My favorite use is polishing our stainless steel!  I always have a hard time finding a cleaner that is truly streak free.  I've used specific "stainless" cleaners, but they always leave a slippery residue on the floor from the mist. Not to mention a baby who loves licking kissing her reflection, I don't want to use harsh chemicals. A few drops of lemon on a damp rag and polish your appliances and trash cans until they shine.  It truly brings ours back to brand new.   

Speaking of the dishwasher, I add a few drops to our rinse aid and my plates and glasses have never been cleaner. Even the inside stainless tub is sparkling after adding it. It helps clean up grease on my range and the splatters inside the microwave.  A drop down the garbage disposal and good bye stinky onions or other table scraps or a drop in the washer when you've forgotten to swap everything over to the dryer and it's sat for too long.

OnGuard I've also used to disinfect.  I placed some in a small spray bottle filled with water and sprayed on all our sheets about an hour before bed to help kill any germs when they girls were battling colds.  You can also do this with lavender to help with sleep.  I also would spray our counters and door knobs when trying to keep germs at bay from going through the family.

As for the pricing, it is no doubt an investment.  I had a lot of explaining to do when I bit the bullet and got the Family Physician Kit. However, I knew buying them individually would add up as well.  You can buy the oils on Amazon as opposed to an independent product consultant, the only concern would be where they are coming from and that it's not coming from a suspect source that could tamper or provide counterfeit products .  I always read the reviews so that helps me have confidence when purchasing anything from Amazon.  I also love reading all the reviews for how buyers are using them.   

I use these roller bottles and usually add 60 drops total of the oil blend, for example the Allergy Blend I mentioned above was 20 drops Lemon, 20 drops Lavender, and 20 drops Peppermint then fill the rest with fractionated coconut oil.  Or if you want to have a Lavender Roller bottle, which is perfect for using on baby and toddler feet before bed (make sure to cover with socks / sleepsack so they don't accidently touch it then touch their eyes), just add all 60 drops then fill with the FCO.  The Intro Kit would be a good way to get started and see if they are something you find yourself reaching for and using, the three oils included - lemon, lavender, and peppermint, have a tons of uses!  Majority of the oils sell separately in 15mL bottles, however the Family Physician Kit comes with a sample of 5mL bottles.  Even having the smaller sized bottles, I still haven't used any up and I received my kit back in July.  So they do go a long way for the price, you only need to use a few drops when diffusing or using topically.  And if you make roller ball blends they go the distance too.  I'm closest to needing to reorder Lavender and OnGuard.

Now, while some people have an oil for anything, we aren't quite there yet.  I do enjoy using them, but Essential Oils in general (all brands) have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products mentioned are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  I just strive to use natural products before using heavy duty cleaners, medicines, etc and find the oils useful in my daily life.   If you are interested in speaking with a independent product consultant and learning more details from someone truly versed in the options of the oils, contact Traci at The Oil Mommies (@theoilmommies on instagram) and mention Strawberry Swing to learn more or order products.


  1. I've been using DoTerra for years and love essential oils! Funnily enough, I learned about it from a patient's mother while I was working as a nurse. Call me crazy, but after getting a nursing degree I tend to lean towards homeopathic alternatives instead of western medicine. The OnGuard and Melaleuca worked wonders when I got mastitis a few times while I was breastfeeding. Thankfully, I didn't need to go on antibiotics because these worked so well! We also use the OnGuard every day to stay healthy!
    XO Kelly

  2. Oils are no joke! Sydney had an ear infection that had gone from one ear to the next and on Sunday my friends gave me a little bit of oil in a bottle that would be used to help it. And after a couple of days it's completely gone! She uses Young Living Essential oils, so I think that's what we will be using as well when I order them, but I think an essential oil is great regardless of the brand. I love hearing that other people are using them as well and am excited to order mine!

  3. I've always been big into homeopathic alternatives, so learning about these was right up my alley. I wouldn't rely on them to cure a sickness or anything, but to provide relief or help aid is great way to use them. Why use sleep aid when some lavender does the trick or a blend can relieve congestion instead of drowsy decongestant? I wish I would have known about them earlier!

  4. They really are amazing. I know there is a 'recipe' for teething as well, I believe its clover, but would need to look it up. We don't have it so I haven't used it, but definitely something that would come in handy these days ha!

  5. Thanks for sharing all this! I've only dabbled in a couple oils and love reading how people use them and help me try to figure it all out. Like you I am a little skeptical about ingesting any of the oils still. My hubby is a chemist and gave me some skepticism about all this (I've made him a bit more of a believer) but really gave me major side eye over the idea of consuming it. Just not enough information out there long term to really know how that is going to effect you. I never really gave Lemon a chance, for whatever weird reason, but I think you just sold me on giving it a try!

  6. i have recently used essential oils and I think I too may be on the essential oil trend!! I used thieves and it cleared up my sinuses over night. I use lavender and peace and calming to sleep and lemon also!!! I just used some my friend lent me but I think I seriously need to look into purchasing some of my own!

  7. we love love love our oils here! and that diffuser is going on my Christmas list. I love that it's black! and small!

  8. it's the jasmine diffuser, it comes in a few different colors. I love that it isn't big or bright. Portable and sleek.

  9. how did you decide on your diffuser? I've been researching them and looking for a good recommendation!

  10. I honestly picked it because of it's design/look. I liked that it was sleek and didn't stick out like a sore thumb in a room. I like that it has the option of running continously or in 10 min increments (which is great for running overnight).

  11. the best part about the lemon it doesn't have to be name brand, there are tons of cheaper options on amazon in larger quantities which are great for cleaning purposes.

  12. we use doterra too! i also have a wholesale license but don't sell to anyone. i really need to use them more. we use breathe a lot for blair when she has allergies, asthma, or a cold. matt thinks it's bogus but i don't care. i buy one vile a month and that eliminates spending too much. i gotta use them more for cleaning etc. and i just purchased the roller balls....i've been looking for those! thanks for all the tips!

  13. I definitely use them more with the roller bottles, much easier to apply (especially for the kids) and it's easier/less mess for travel too.

  14. This is so helpful! I just bought a few; lavender, peppermint, melaluca, and eucalyptus. How do you get the discount you were describing? I'd love to become a member too to take advantage for a larger investment order.


I love hearing from my readers! Be sure to check back as I try to respond to all comments and questions here in the comment form :)