Why I Started Using Essential Oils

Lavender 2
Today I’m starting a challenge to post about my experiences with essential oils this month, starting with why I got involved….

I started using essential oils over a year ago now and since then there are been a quiet, but steady, revolution happening in our house. Oils are now are our go-to for cleaning, medicine, stress relief and pretty much everything else – but why did I choose oils?

*big breath* I am chronically ill and have been diagnosed with both Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.

Just learning to spell them was a challenge, living with them is like having two enormous untrained dogs in the house that happen to be covered in three inch long spikes. It’s painful, it’s frustrating, it’s exhausting, completely annoying, and really inconvenient.
I’m learning that it’s a recurring cycle of working hard to feel normal, over doing it a bit and then having to stay in bed for a few days to recover. In short it sucks.

To add to the suck-y-ness the medications necessary to manage this condition are frighteningly toxic, and devastatingly, not 100% effective. Including those that manage inflammation and pain. That means that, despite being stuffed full of toxic medications, I was still reaching for Panadol and other things to manage the symptoms – Every. Day.

At the low ebb of this time I was invited to an ‘oil party’ and introduced to an epic rainbow of alternatives to over-the-counter pain relief, anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medications I was taking. Better than that – they worked! These little bottles of oil provided relief from the joint pain and took it from screaming at me constantly to background noise. I simply cannot put into words how much relief these pretty little powerhouses provided to me then, at such a low point in my life.

At that point my focus had been largely on me, I hadn’t considered using them for my children. My youngest is sleep challenged, bedtimes were a complete nightmare!
He is nearly 9, and is yet to sleep through the night. Enter essential oils and a sleep roller blend that is nothing short of pure magic. It transformed bedtime from a nightly war zone into something we all enjoy, a calm, loving and peaceful goodnight. By now I was completely captivated by the potential of essential oils and being analytical by nature, and a lover of learning those first tastes of success lead me to investigate further into the benefits of oils and, in particular, the opportunity to minimise the chemical load of everyday living, for me, and my family.

Part of the treatment for my condition leaves me immune suppressed, which means what is left of my immune system needs to be really efficient. That means I need to work to ensure that as little as possible presents a challenge to my body, so reducing our incidental use of harsh and toxic chemicals is key to my recovery process and ongoing well being. That it must just be good common sense to reduce using that stuff – right?!

When I collected all my cleaning products into one space and cast a critical eye over them it seemed to me that I was ‘cleaning’ with products that had ingredients that
were compromising our health and were also damaging to the environment. Some investigation online proved that there is no job that Lemon oil, Thieves and bi-carb cannot do equally as well, and often with less physical effort involved – a big plus for this broken body. Plus I use a glass bottle, that is re-used instead of ending up in landfill. The more I learnt about what I we had been buying, the more disgusted I was with how  damaging those products are, and to be honest, they didn’t clean that well either.

That was the start of the revolution!

Once that mindfulness arrives it can’t be reversed. Instead of replacing products as they empty I’m investigating natural essential oil alternatives. It hasn’t been difficult and despite those little bottles feeling like a big investment they are saving us money with every grocery shop. Less stuff is coming into the house and less empty packaging is going into the recycling. I am being more mindful of the environmental impact of our family and how we live. My house smells AMAZING and I am starting to tackle my skin care and makeup use – the toxicity of those products is just plain scary and honestly, Lavender and Frankincense is so delicious as a face cleanser.

The usefulness of essential oils is limitless and if one option doesn’t provide the result you were after there are a rainbow of alternatives to try. My boys both have a set of oils for those bedtime head/tummy/elbow/leg aches and a diffuser to help soothe bedtime anxiety. We are all sleeping better – ah-mazing!

I’m sure the revolution will continue as I learn more and we share more success with essential oils. I am so very thankful I found them, I’m experiencing less pain every day and that is a blessing.

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