By Lynda Carpenter

Essential oils are a powerful way to manage wellness and enhance health. Here are some guidelines on how to use the most popular and available oils.

If you want therapeutic benefit, you need a therapeutic grade product. Aromatic Plant Resource Corporation, an independent, third-party quality assurance essential oil tester, has stated that 80% of all essential oils on the market are contaminated. Consumers Advocate vetted 11 essential oil companies and found all but three produced oils that were contaminated. Essential oils contain a vast array of chemical components that perform specific actions, and many have beneficial therapeutic effects. The purity of the oils is crucial in the selection process for consumers.

Lemon is one of the most-used of all essential oils. The oil comes from the peel of the lemon (rather than the fruit) and is highly concentrated.  Lemon is high in monoterpenes, which are very small particles that work very nicely in a diffuser. The small particles are lightweight and suspend in the air well. Monoterpenes trigger the immune system by activating white blood cells. They are antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-viral. The d-limonene is a monoterpene found in all citrus oils that help to open up respiratory channels and relieve congestion. Lemon in a diffuser lifts mood because it tends to be calming without being sedating. It is also great to clean with: a few drops in a spray bottle and the room is fresh and clean.

Lavender is popular as a restful and relaxing oil. Many love the aroma and use it to promote or enhance the quality of sleep. The primary components of lavender are Linalool and Linalyl Acetate. Linalool provides relaxation and is an antimicrobial effective against bacteria. Oils rich in linalool are also anti-spasmodic and calming to the nervous system. Linalyl Acetate is sedative anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effective for the relief of minor aches and pain and to normalize an area that is inflamed.

You can also try some lavender the next time you are on a flight with a distraught child. I once put a drop on a napkin and waved it in the aisle, and the crying infant was asleep in a few minutes. Of course, I can’t be sure that it was the oil but nothing else had worked for at least an hour. Lavender is great for both sunburns and local burns. I accidentally touched the oven rack set at 350 degrees. Quickly applied lavender oil directly to the small but intensely painful burn completely relieved the pain. Every time the pain returned, I reapplied the oil, and it would be relieved again. I did this for a couple of hours and soon, it was almost as if there had never been an injury.

Peppermint is probably the most recognized essential oil aroma that wakes you up. It is one of my favorite things to do on a long drive. Put a drop in a glass of water. (Never put essential oils in plastic containers, oils dissolve plastic. If you drink from the plastic container, you ingest the plastic.) Peppermint has a very strong scent and should be avoided on infants or children less than five. When used topically on adults, a 1-2% solution is all that is needed.  That means about six drops in a 10ml roll-on filled with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil works for topical use. Peppermint is also great to eliminate a pounding head or upset tummy. High in menthol, This oil is well known as a cooling agent and is also quite analgesic. It works remarkably well in headaches and also reduces itching. Rubbing diluted peppermint oil on upset stomachs right where it hurts often eases symptoms.


Lynda Carpenter holds a Master’s degree in Complementary and Alternative medicine. She is a board-certified drugless practitioner and holds essential oil safety certification. Lynda is the founder of Wellness FOR a Lifetime a holistic nutrition practice in Orchard Mesa. Visit www.WellnessFORaLifetime.com or call 970-596-7669.

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