E is for Essential Oils

I am a person who is influenced by my sense of smell. Many of my memories of people, places and things are tied up with scents; in that I only have to smell something familiar in order to trigger memories.
One particular memory I have is triggered by the smell of fresh baked bread. Upon smelling that, it immediately brings forth a vision of a man’s hands digging into a leather pouch hanging on his hip fishing out out coins as change from the payment I had given him for a loaf of bread. He used to come by the house each week selling bread and my grandmother would send me out to make her weekly purchase.
Although I cannot see the man, I can hear the sound of him looking for the correct change and smell the aroma of fresh baked bread that permeated his leather change pouch.
So it really doesn’t come as any surprise that I have developed a love for essential oils.
In the past I have dabbled with oil burners and melts. Although I enjoyed using them, I wasn’t particularly happy about having a lighted candle under the burner and leaving it for a while to fragrance the room. Then there was the evaporation of the water that required topping up all the time. Last year I purchased an electric soy melt burner that is lovely however the aroma doesn’t appear to last too long and then clearing out the waxy residue afterward became a chore. Still, there are others who love this method of infusing their home with fragrance even though it wore off quickly for me.

A couple of years ago I began purchasing Lavender oil from a stall holder at the local markets. They grow lavender and make their own products. I use about 20 drops of Lavender oil in the water bottle that I spray on clothes when I do the ironing. I also purchase lavender scented cleaning products and room fresheners when I can. I had read about the calming effects of this oil and so began using them profusely in my home on a regular basis.

Eucalyptus oil is another one I use often. I purchased this from the local supermarket and used it in cleaning. I found eucalyptus especially wonderful for removing sticky residue from items. Unfortunately, the oil from the supermarket is heavily diluted. *edited to add* – it has been pointed out to me that I made an error in the paragraph when I mentioned that eucalyptus is known as melaleuca. I got it completely wrong because my silly mind swaps things around all the time. Melaleuca (or Tea Tree) is another wonderful oil that I use but eucalyptus is the one I use for cleaning.

So earlier in the year when a work colleague invited me to visit her naturopath friend to learn a little more about essential oils, I eagerly went along. And now I am totally hooked on the wellness applications of essential oils.
Having recently completed my Wellness Coaching certification, I can also see how knowledge of the benefits of oil can fit into my chosen field of coaching. In order to increase my expertise in this area, I have undertaken an Introduction to Aromatherapy course, read a plethora of books and information and plan on furthering my studies over the coming months. But right now, I experiment and use the oils and see how they work for me.

I have my favourites (apart from Lavender) that I go to again and again – either in the diffuser or topical application. Lemongrass, Lavender Peace (blend), Vetiver, Cedarwood, Grapefruit and Salubelle (also a blend) are my regular go-tos.
My research into headache blends has been fun and trying them out is as well.
As part of my recent decision to use products that are as natural as possible on my body, I have been using oils in ways that I hadn’t ever thought of. I’ve begun making my own hand creams using an organic base purchased from a health food store and several drops of oil for fragrance and healing properties. I’ve researched ways of making my own deodorant although haven’t tried it yet because I’m using an organic natural roll on that I’m happy with right now. I’ve also looked into natural tooth cleaning pastes, perfumes and cleaning products.

These days when I talk about oils, the Garden Gnome just rolls his eyes and comments on my ‘strangeness’ but that’s why we get on so well. He’s the practical one and I’m the alternative one. 🙂 Just as well he loves me!
I really must admit that I am fascinated by natural remedies and healing processes and oils are just a small part of such a larger field. I’m excited about the benefits and how much I am learning and experiencing.

003 Half of my collection

My diffuser has replaced my burners and I am absolutely delighted with it. I don’t have to watch it to make sure the water doesn’t run out (it has an auto cut off) and I love experimenting with the mix of oils that I can put in and the mood that they engender.
I’ve used oils to treat my headaches, anxiety, stress and to help me sleep. I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface with what I can do with them and I’m itching to learn more.

I often wonder if I was a herbalist or medicine woman in a past life you know. Whenever I  read books that have characters who practice the art of healing with natural elements, they resonate with me. Who knows??? 🙂 🙂

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13 thoughts on “E is for Essential Oils

  1. Very cool Suz. I do believe that aromas can set people’s emotional state such that they can heal better or release stress, etc. It was cool that you mentioned the bread-man. My Dad did that for a living in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada, When I was young – about 7 or 8 or about 50 years ago – I would go with Dad sometimes in summer and on Saturdays when he was doing-retail routes. We would take a tray of bread of different types and walk up to or into houses: Hollering: “Breadman!” they would choose and pay and we would move to the next house. One day we were in a very poor part of town and I was delivering while Dad moved the truck. In those parts you just opened the door and walked in. As I walked up the concrete steps (city housing) there was a boy about 5 years old sitting on the steps. I said Hi and he turned to me. For the first time ever I saw a person with crossed eyes. He said Hi and I went in. When I came out there was a small black and white cat sitting on the top step with the boy and they both turned to look at me and the cat was cross eyed too! I told Dad and he nodded – he had seen the boy before and he theorized that the family had bought the cat so the boy wouldn’t feel an outcast. Now whenever I hear about a money pouch, I think of that boy and his cat. Here is a money pouch similar to the one we used and it threaded onto the belt You are right – the worn leather always smelled like bread:

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  2. I love how they smell and I always liked scented candles and such. But, I can’t use any of them. They give me headaches and make me sick to my stomach after a while. It’s so irritating because I like them!

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  3. Synthetic scents can give me headaches, but natural scents are wonderful – provided they aren’t skunk, poo, garlic, onion, fertilizer, ammonia, bleach, toxins, unwashed bodies of people, unwashed bodies of dogs, unwashed bodies of cats, litter boxes, fresh newsprint, sewers, gutters, rotting fruit, rotting veggies, rotten meat, rotten eggs, famous perfumes, cheap perfumes, – wait, maybe I don’t like too many scents. LOL

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  4. I’ve been away since I see that I’ve missed quite a few days. I didn’t want to comment on each one because I’ve done that before while catching up and I end up in the spam files. Chocolate is good but I prefer gum drops, I used to collect dolls–it creeped out my daughter and her friends. I gave them away because I’m trying to live a more simplistic life. As far as essential oils, I’ve just started to learn a little. We use eucalyptus when we have stuffy noses and it works great. I use lavender at night to help me sleep. I need to learn more!

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