Alternative remedies, such as essential oils, can have something of an ethereal quality – a nice idea in theory, but how can we be sure they really work?
My client had experienced the benefits of individual oils and wanted to purchase an essential oils kit, for use by the whole family. I therefore asked them to make a diary of the oils they used, what they were used for, and how well they worked. Even better, they agreed to keep away from traditional medicines and, where possible, only use essential oils.
Here is her diary from the week:
I was pleased to receive my essential oils kit and try treating family ailments without reaching for medicines or pills. The kit is on the side in the kitchen, ready to be used for any symptoms/issues that inevitably occur during a busy week.
On Monday both my son and my daughter’s boyfriend complained that they had headaches. It was early evening and both had had busy days, one at work and the other studying for exams. I consulted the leaflet that came with the oils and decided on ‘Deep Blue’, which they rubbed onto their temples. My son said the relief was immediate, as did my daughter’s boyfriend – although his headache began to creep back – he felt a migraine was coming. I suggested a second application with more of a massage on the temples. This did the trick: the migraine never materialised (despite him being a regular sufferer) – both were surprised and impressed.
Later that evening, my eldest daughter phoned and mentioned that she was in pain with a wisdom tooth (the dentist had confirmed it was coming through). I advised her to call round the following day and apply ‘On Guard’ directly to the troublesome area. She reported a strong taste and within seconds experienced relief of the pain. (I sent her away with the bottle and she continued to apply until the tooth was finally removed a few weeks later.)
My second daughter is expecting a baby and has had problems with indigestion and heartburn, particularly in later pregnancy. Following the success of the past few days, I therefore suggested she try ‘Digest-Zen’, which she applied to her stomach area and added a few drops to a glass of water. She has continued to do this whenever the problem flares up and has avoided the need for any over-the-counter indigestion remedies.
Towards the end of the week, my youngest daughter began to complain of a sore throat, which rapidly developed into a nasty chesty cough. She also had a high temperature, so I made an exception and gave her paracetamol – as I wouldn’t want her to suffer. This did little to ease the sore throat though, and the cough was getting worse. I therefore rubbed ‘Breathe’ onto her throat and chest area (rather like you would use a vapour rub), and sure enough, it eased the pain and loosened the tightness in her chest.
Even my cat got a look-in! Getting on a bit now, she is prone to skin irritations and sometimes has angry-looking patches where she has scratched away the fur. Having read up a little, I decided to try Melaleuca, or Tea Tree oil (diluted to the recommended proportions). I bathed the affected area twice a day for a few days and the skin seemed soothed, with the redness now gone. Her fur has grown back completely now and I nip any early signs of irritation in the bud with topical application of Melaleuca.
Having seen how it helped our cat(!), my son decided to try Melaleuca on his skin – to treat the occasional breakout or angry spot. As we know, brand name spot treatments can be fairly expensive and not always effective. This, however, successfully treated his skin and was gentle enough to use as often as needed. We now have a second bottle (with a roller-ball top) in the bathroom cabinet, so it can be applied neat and with no fuss.
And so to me! My two everyday challenges health-wise are IBS (a digestive system that responds immediately to the remotest presence of stress) and insomnia (the difficulty in achieving deep sleep that comes with kids and a hectic life!). It is well known that peppermint and lavender can be used to treat these two respectively, but I have had little success with peppermint tablets and lavender sprays. What’s different about them in essential oil form (and both are found in the kit) is that they are so much more potent and therefore far more effective.
My conclusion, having used these oils for myself and my family in a variety of ways, is that they offer genuine relief to a good number of everyday complaints. For the price I paid for the kit I will have saved myself a small fortune in over-the-counter remedies, many of which are used once and sit at the back of the medicine cabinet until past their ‘sell by’ date. What’s more, even though the bottles are small, the oils are so concentrated that you only use a few drops at a time. This means they will serve us for a good while yet, and they retain their efficacy for over five years – so no need to waste money on one-off medicines.
I would recommend investing in one of these kits as a natural, effective and economical solution for day-to-day complaints, aches and pains.
One thing I’d like to add to my client’s comments about her using Melaleuca for her cat is that there is a lot of confusion around this oil and in particular with cats. If this is a concern of yours then please have a read of a very helpful Facebook post made by an holistic vet who uses essential oils. I really appreciate her clear explanation, especially on a topic, I’m often asked about.
If you’d like any advice or recommendations about essential oils or would like to purchase a mini kit (or a kit of any size!) like my client’s, I’d love to chat with you.