With worsening pollution, changes in weather and such a dense population, it’s easy to come down with a bug here in Hong Kong. Whether it’s a cold or a bad stomach, everyone seems to be sniffling and snuffling at some point throughout the year. When my family came down with coughs and colds, I started to feel worried about the long-term effects of the medication we were taking. I began searching for alternatives, trying homeopathy, Indian home-remedies and essential oils. The essential oils were my favourite, and I haven’t turned back since. I now use them frequently on myself and my husband for headaches, tummy aches, seasonal coughs and colds, and even on burns.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIALS OILS?
A little bit of science: essential oils are volatile liquids distilled from plants that embody the regenerating, oxygenating and immune strengthening properties of plants. They are lipid-soluble and can quickly penetrate the skin – even if applied to the bottoms of your feet.
According to the Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley, “Essential oils contain oxygen molecules that help to transport nutrients to the starving human cells. Disease begins when the cells lack the oxygen for proper nutrient assimilation. By providing the needed oxygen, essential oils also work to stimulate the immune system”. Pretty cool, eh?
There are a range of brands that sell essential oils, just remember to do your research and pick a brand that owns its own farms and is 100% pure. Bear in mind that for an essential oil to be labeled as “pure” it only requires as little as 5% purity to be approved by the US FDA as “pure”. I personally purchase the products from Young Living because of its proprietary Seed to Seal process.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIALS OILS
There are a lot of essential oils out there, and you certainly don’t need them all. Start with a few, get comfortable and then explore further. My Top 5 favourites are:
Thieves® was created based on research about four thieves in France who covered themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims. I use it to boost immunity, and apply it more frequently when my family or I are sick. I personally use this on myself the minute my throat is sore.
This one is great for Respiratory Congestion. The minute I think I’m getting a runny nose I apply RC (diluted with a pure vegetable oil) on my back, chest and vita flex points around five times a day. I only have to do this for two days max before the cold stops. It’s a relief when it doesn’t turn into a cough!
This is a regular in my handbag. I apply 1-2 drops (yes that’s all you need) on my temples, brainstem and forehead when I have a headache or I am feeling tired and drained at work. I also put a drop or two on my palms and inhale five times. I absolutely love peppermint for its refreshing and invigorating feeling, and it works wonders with stomach aches. I recently used diluted peppermint on my son’s feet and back to help with a fever, which worked great.
I recently used this when my daughter burnt her finger on a hair iron – a tiny burn but painful! I calmly applied lavender and frankincense every couple of minutes. She calmed down in under a minute. I continued to apply it throughout the day to help with the healing. I have also use this diluted on rashes, mosquito bites and on bruises.
This is another staple along with lavender to heal cuts and bumps. Frankincense has been a popular ingredient in cosmetics and incense burners for centuries. It has even been found in the remains of ancient Egyptian and Anglo-Saxon civilisations.
I recently learnt about Frankincense to help with anti-ageing. According to organicfacts.net, “Frankincense Oil promotes regeneration of healthy cells and also keeps the existing cells and tissues healthy. When you combine this aspect of frankincense oil with its powerful astringent capabilities, you have a potent anti-ageing quality that frankincense oil is often used for. It can help you to eliminate sun spots, remove micro-wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks, and generally tone and tighten skin all over your body, while simultaneously replacing old or dying cells with new, healthy ones!”
This one is a blend, comprising tarragon, ginger, peppermint juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli. It’s the one oil I absolutely can’t stand the smell of … which apparently means I need it the most. Go figure!
Digize is great for digestive concerns, i.e. stomach cramps, bloating, indigestion. I recently applied this diluted on my husband’s lower abdomen with peppermint to help his stomach cramps after a bad meal out.
I have learnt so much over the last year and continue to read, research, and talk to my Young Living community of friends for advice. My next OILY mission is to find something to help my post-baby hair loss. After that, it will be beauty and replacing all my chemical household cleaners. Stay tuned!
- When using oils, make sure to dilute before applying to the body. If you are worried about skin sensitivity, apply to appropriate reflex points on the bottoms of the feet.
- Don’t waste the oils, just 1-2 drops is enough to do the trick.
- Frequency is key in terms of application and the earlier the better if it’s an illness.
- If it gets into your eye, wash it out with the carrier oil and NOT water.
- The oils will help you eliminate toxins through your excretion, so if you are having problems in those areas you should deal with those first. Drink lots of water when using the oils to flush out toxins.
All essential oils can be purchased at Young Living.
Featured image via Shutterstock, Image #2 via Shutterstock