Using Essential Oils on the Homestead
Homesteaders are self-reliant individuals who are willing to work hard to provide a family centered life with natural and wholesome ways of living. Using essential oils on the homestead is an additional way to provide purity and to eliminate chemicals from invading our bodies and environment.
Essential oils can provide a safe and effective way to promote wellness. Often, homesteaders do not live in areas that have medical clinics in the immediate area. It becomes incumbent on the family to use home remedies to treat minor problems that confront the members of the family. One of these options, which has historically been used throughout human history, is the use of plants. Essential oils are produced from various parts of the plant. The essential oils are obtained by various methods such as distillation, pressing, solvent extraction, and CO2 extraction with distillation being the most common. This process takes a great deal of plant matter to produce a very potent essential oil. Thousands of years ago, plants and trees provided the remedies to promote and maintain health. Our ancestors did not have access to the distillation process as we know today, but, they were able to utilize the plants by making plant infusions. These infusions were considered extremely valuable. With the advances in ways to produce even more potent plant essences known as essential oils, the homesteader can add a natural health element.
There is a fair amount of research now being done to show how the plant kingdom can and does promote health. This has always been known but plant based treatments cannot be patented and therefore are not high on the list for mass production by the chemical and pharmaceutical companies. It has become a matter of taking the plant world’s benefits into an individual’s own hands to implement their own homemade remedies. This is similar to what our forefathers did. A major upside to this is we now have much information from holistic type research and personal success to aid in the use of essential oils for our own wellness.
Let’s look at some of the essential oils that shows promise for the homestead.
• “Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to help heal minor burns and bug bites. Research has revealed that the essential oil of lavender may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness.” – Medical News Today
• Peppermint oil has historically been used for fever, digestion, congestion, and pain. ALWAYS dilute and do not use on children under 5.
• Melaleuca (Tea Tree) oil is historically known for its use to help with infections. It has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and is great to use in cleaning.<
• Lemon oil is often used to aid in digestion and to deodorize and disinfect the air. It is a great degreaser and may help with nausea especially when combined with peppermint. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
These are but a VERY few of the many essential oils that are available. They would be a good starting point if you want to begin your journey into the world of essential oils.
As you explore the many companies that offer quality essential oils make sure to look for the companies who offer great detail about each oil. The type of information you will want to see will be the date of distillation, both the common name and the Latin name, essential oils that are either organic, certified organic, wild-crafted (harvested from wild grown plants and trees) and those that are ethically harvested. Companies that offer a chemical analysis of each batch of essential oils known as a GC/MS report. You don’t have to know how to read the report but the fact that the company offers the report shows they have done their due diligence. (If you want to learn to read the report, it would be awesome and informative but not necessary to use the oils.) By seeking companies that have gone the extra mile to give you all this information you can feel confident you are choosing a responsible company.
ALL essential oils should be diluted. It only takes a few drops to achieve your desired goal. Often companies suggest using the oil straight which is known as NEAT. This is not necessary and may cause harm and sensitization on certain individuals. In the world of essential oils, less is best. As a rule of thumb use 5 to 6 drops in one ounce of carrier oil for a one percent dilution. This dilution is usually used on children, the elderly or people with comprised health. A carrier oil is an oil used to dilute essential oils. There are many to choose from but some of the best would be Jojoba oil (also called wax) and Coconut oil because of their long shelf lives. To make a three percent dilution you would use three times that of a one percent dilution or 15 to 18 drops in one ounce of carrier oil. This would be a common dilution for an adult. By diluting your essential oils, not only will you have better results with their usage you will save money. A definite double score.
If you would like more information on essential oils and self-sufficient living, visit my blog, Blue Jean Mama.
I hope you enjoy this article and will experiment with the wonders nature has to offer.
Blue Jean Mama