Essential Oils for Medicinal Use
Many of the most used items in my medicine chest are not bought at the drug store. Why? Because there have been so many recalls in the last five to ten years I have become very leery of using over the counter, even some prescription, medicines. Five years ago, if you had asked me what was in my medicine cabinet, I would have told you Tylenol, Neosporin, various cough and cold medicines, etc. Now, you will find essential oils, salves and tinctures – as well as the Tylenol and allergy and asthma medicine.
How did I first start down this path, you ask? I was listening to More Hip Than Hippie, an eco-funny podcast, a few years ago and one of the hosts started talking about using essential oils for medicinal use and how lavender essential oil aromatherapy helped her to overcome panic attacks. Yes, I immediately thought it was full of hooey, too. How could smelling something make you better?
I decided to be opened minded and give a few of the little pieces of advice a try. After all, it was a few bottles of oil and couldn’t hurt to try, right? Thus began my journey into the world of alternative healing and herbal remedies. As a result of my research, and my trials and errors, I believe I can help you in your own explorations.
This will be the first in a series of articles on “universal” essential oils, oils which can take the place of just about anything you can buy on the first aid aisle of your local drugstore. I will also write on a few specialty oils, oils which are only good for one or two ailments. At the bottom of each article, I will include a few starter recipes for you to use in order for you to get to know how to use your essential oils.
There are several places you can purchase essential oils. Earth Fare carries several different brands, but you want to make sure they are pure essential oils, no synthetic materials, they do not need to be organic oils but they do need to be natural oils. GNC carries some oils, but not all. In my neck of the woods, I pick up oils at the Pee Dee Farmer’s Market in Florence, SC, at a little shop called Harvest Moon Soap Works. You can also check around your city for natural or alternative shops. My favorite place online is Greenfeet, a site for green living products, though you can Google to find other sources.
I have been a convert since my first experiment over three years ago. My advice to you is to start small. Start with only two oils. Tea tree oil and lavender oil are good for just about everything, and will be the subjects of my next two articles. As you become comfortable, you can add to your medicine chest, not just with essential oils but also with salves and tinctures, which are a whole other series of articles in themselves.