I hate all the recent hoop-la about essential oils.
Don’t get me wrong; I fiercely love essential oils. They are the fire element of our plant medicines, the spark, the passion, the pizazz.
And then there’s the mystery, the alchemy of it. The copper still and the curling glass tubing. It’s an art form: huge amounts of plant material distill down to the tiniest vial of liquid—I once watched 12 contractor-sized trash bags of spruce make only 4 oz. of essential oil.
The commodification of this ancient alchemical process, the loss of reverence for this mythical transformation, feels blasphemous.
Even those commercial formulas that have become so popular have ancient roots… and a series of stories behind them. During the Bubonic Plague years, perfumers remained disproportionately healthy due to their daily contact with the extremely powerful antimicrobials in the essential oils that were used in all perfumes.
Folks noticed this and when a band of thieves wanted to rob those who were dying from the plague, they soaked face masks in essential oils so they could enter the homes of the ill without getting sick themselves.
I keep this rich (and slightly morbid!) history in mind as I inventory my oils. These potent plant extracts are my first line of defense against whatever big ick blows in on the winter air.
Here’s my short list of ick-resistant oils. I just make them a part of my daily life this time of year:
- Lavender Spike
- Thyme Linalol
- Eucalyptus Radiata
- Palma Rosa
My favorite way to use them is to blend them together so that I can then use the blend in a variety of other essential oil recipes.
Room Spray: Mix 30 drops of the blend with a tablespoon of vodka. Shake well. Add this combination to 4 oz. of water and put in a spray bottle.
Hand Soap: Add 30 drops to a combination of 1 oz. glycerine and 3 oz. liquid castille soap. Shake well.
Cleaning solution: Add 30 drops to a 4 oz. combination of white vinegar and water.
Infuser/Nebulizer: For the highest therapeutic value, it’s best not to heat your oils. A cold air nebulizer is the best choice when you want to maintain the oils’ integrity and running a nebulizer is a great way to “clear the air.”
Inhalation: A few drops of oil will remain potent on a tissue that is then put in a ziplock bag. Put it over your nose and breathe!
Steam: Put one drop of oil in a bowl of just boiled water. Drape a towel over your head and breathe the steam.
So tell me, what oils will you be using this season?