My love of all things natural: Embracing essential oils and their benefits

My love of all things natural: Embracing essential oils and their benefits

My love of all things natural.

I was very young when my love of all things natural began. My parents were instrumental in this, although neither them or I knew it at the time. Safe to say that, now decades into my adult journey, where there’s a natural alternative I’m keen to get on board and give it a go.

This is how it used to be.

I grew up in the 1970s/80s when many families, including mine still grew their own vegetables and fruit trees. When meat was sourced from out local farms and butcher. Baked goods were made at home. And the soft drink factory was down the road in my little local country town. Not in some mega-factory in a far off city.

This continues to be an ever-increasing journey of discovery for me. I’m not claiming to be an expert. I don’t know it all. Will never claim to. However, what I do know is that I want to give myself and my children, and future generations the best chance to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

The Journey

It seems that as a society we’re beginning to appreciate the goodness and incredible benefits of such living again 40+ years later. As much as I love the convenience of buying almost anything from our supermarkets, even more so, I love knowing where my food has come from and what it’s been exposed to along the way.

I believe that the largely western non-whole-food-diet has contributed enormously to many of the disease epidemics we are witness to today. Also the countless chemically-laden products we consume, both topically and internally. And we’re seeing more and more scientific evidence to back this up. Our bodies need a break!

My Ever-Growing Passion

My passion only continues to grow for my love of all things natural. For the past 20 years I’ve been on my own journey. Intentionally making more choices to go natural. Perhaps I’m just a 70’s hippy child at heart. But my goal in pursing such a path is about me taking care of the ONE body I’ve been given. The ONE life I’m blessed with. And the privilege and responsibility I have to impart that to my children and future generations. My faith also plays a major part in this pursuit. Decision by decision I’ve accumulated a number of practices and products that have been specifically influenced by my love of all things natural.

It’s a personal choice

My goal has never been to sell or force my love of all things natural onto anyone. I guess what happens, naturally with anything we’re passionate about, is that we want to share. About what it’s done for us. About the benefits. With the hope that someone else might have their life enhanced and experience similar benefits. Some will. Some won’t. That’s okay. We all get to make our own personal choices along the way.

Essential Oils

So one of those areas I’ve been led to explore in this love for all things natural in recent years is essential oils. Way back when I was younger I thought essential oils were just used by hippies. Because they smelt nice. Maybe had some special benefits! And they were naturally sourced from plants.

As I’ve discovered, there is so much more to essential oils than just a nice smell. So, this is what I’m going to share with you here.

There are so many dozens of oils I would love to share with you, but I’m going to keep it down to three, after I fill you in on more of the general benefits of oils.

Integrity of Essential Oils

I do need to say that all essential oils are NOT created equal. For instance, some are marketed as being ‘pure’ and organic. But there often isn’t a way for them to back up their claims with hard evidence. There is, however, one particular company I deal with that provides detailed testing on every bottle of oil produced. The tests for each bottle can be accessed by consumers via a specified website. As a result the oils purchased may be costly. However, for integrity and safety’s sake I’m guaranteed that no matter how I use them there are no hidden, un-mentioned nasties. I am deeply reassured that the benefits in using them will be absolutely maximised.

What is an essential oil?

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants. Throughout history in many cultures they’ve been used for their aromatic qualities and cleansing properties. Today other benefits are being discovered that promote health and wellbeing across many different spheres, with new scientific evidence of their benefits emerging consistently.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Here are just some of the general benefits of the highest-grade essential oils:

  • Helps deal with infections
  • Supports the function of the immune system
  • Quickens the recovery process 
  • Helps in hormonal imbalances
  • Useful in homemade cleaning products
  • Used in beauty products
  • Diffused in air for air cleansing
  • Used topically when diluted
  • Adds aroma and flavour when cooking
  • Helps ward off pests when used as a homemade insect spray

My love for all things natural hooked me in.

This list of benefits had me IN right from the start. Since first using essential oils, I can honestly say I’ve personally experienced every one of those benefits. I began using the oils in a very basic manner and began educating myself about other uses, which has helped me execute a LOW TOX living plan for myself and my family, which I’m LOVING! But I’ll go into that another time! The beautiful thing is that my kids don’t really know any different now. Essential oils are a go-to in our home more often than not.

Now, back to the three oils I mentioned earlier. I’m going to share a few different uses/benefits for each of them.

LAVENDER

Personal Use:

  • Apply one drop to moisturiser to soothe dry skin
  • Apply to bottom of feet before bedtime for a relaxing scent that promotes peaceful sleep
  • My personal favourite! Combine with fractionated coconut oil (or apply ‘neat’) to mosquito/bug bites for soothing effect (This is the first reason I ever used lavender essential oil. One summer my kids were covered in mosquito bites and they were becoming infected from excessive scratching. It was awful! The lavender oil eased the irritation AND the lumps disappeared in 24-48 hours). A bottle of lavender oil lives in my handbag during summer months. It’s also great for soothing sunburn after a little too much sun. Put a few drops of lavender in a spray bottle with water and spray on effected area.  
  • Put lavender in spray bottle with water and apply to legs after shaving. Super soothing for any razor rash.

Household Use:

  • Diffuse lavender (may also combine with ylang ylang and other oils containing relaxing properties) before bedtime for an even more relaxing aroma.
  • Freshen linen closet, mattress, or air with a light mist of lavender combined with water in a spray bottle.

LEMON

Personal Use:

  •  Combine with baking soda and coconut oil, rub on teeth for two minutes and rinse for brightening effect

Food Use:

  • Add two drops to water (still or mineral) for a thirst quenching flavour
  • Use in a favourite dessert recipe for refreshing citrus flavour – I use when baking cakes, slices and sorbet. Also to make lemon icing for that special occasion topping.

Household Use:

  • Diffuse to neutralise bad odours
  • Place a few drop of lemon on a cloth to help remove stubborn sticky residue
  • Add to spray bottle of water to clean different surfaces.

PEPPERMINT

Personal Use:

  • Massage into neck and shoulders for a refreshing aroma
  • Add to cold water compress or foot bath to cool off when overheated
  • Dilute with fractionated coconut oil and apply after exercise for a refreshing feeling.

Food Use:

  • Use in place of peppermint essence in your favourite recipes. I’m ridiculously besotted with my Peppermint Black Bean Brownie – it’s to die for!

Household Use:

  • Put peppermint in a spray bottle and spray around windows and doors.
  • Diffuse five drops of peppermint for an energising aroma.

To use or not to use essential oils?

That is the question! These benefits may not appeal to some people. They may even find them a little strange. In other words, this is probably not for them.

However, there are literally dozens and dozens of people I know and know who have their own stories about how the use of high-grade essential oils has helped them, and in some cases cured them. From minor ailments to life-threatening diseases. And then I have my own stories. But to include them all would require another post on its own.

At the end of the day I hope that sharing my love for all things natural inspires you to go on your own journey. Which may look entirely different to mine and anyone else’s. And that’s okay. If the focus is on taking care of your body, your mind, your home and your family, then that has to be worth going on the journey for, right?

Glenda O'Neill

Glenda is the founder and director of Novo Counselling, a private counselling practice situated in the beautiful North East Region of Victoria, Australia. She is especially passionate about helping women find release from the pain and baggage of their past as she journeys with them through life's challenges, toward emotional clarity and freedom. Marriage and Relationship counselling is also part of her skillset. In addition to her one-one-one work, Glenda leads an online community ‘The Empowered Mind’ where she is passionate about educating and inspiring women to bring life and growth to their inner world, as they grow stronger, more empowered minds. Her online presence continues to expand with her online consults and programs. Glenda is also a qualified teacher with over 23 years spent in education, mumma of three wonderful miracles, wife to one amazing husband, lover of life and proud Aussie.

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