“Essential oils and plant extracts have been woven into history since the beginning of time and are considered by many to be the missing link in modern medicine.” -Life Science Publishing
Here are Monica’s seven safe family life hacks using essential oils.
1. Increase memory function
The following essential oils are great for stimulating the memory and increasing concentration, but see below which one was used in a study on memory:
- clary sage
Use your choice of oils, individual or blended, in a diffuser for a half-hour, every 4-6 hours, as needed. Or you can add eight drops of your oil(s) of choice to a cotton ball and put it in the air vent in your home, office, or car. Then breathe.
A study by Dr. Dember at the University of Cincinnati showed “inhaling peppermint increased mental accuracy by 28 percent.” (Dember, 1995)
2. Help the kids sleep — safely, naturally
Diffusing a few drops of lavender, patchouli, and/or ylang-ylang at bedtime will have the desired, dreamy effect. Be sure to set the timer for an automatic shut-off after a half-hour or so.*
Or you can apply the oil topically. But with children, you must dilute it first!
- Mix 1-2 drops of therapeutic grade lavender with 3 teaspoons of a carrier oil (safflower oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, almond oil, apricot oil, grape seed oil, even olive oil works).
- Massage the sleepy oil blend into the soles of your child’s feet (make sure s(he) doesn’t put little tootsies in the mouth).
*Be very careful when using essential oils with children. Dr. Erika never recommends giving children essential oils internally and cautions against inhaled essential oils for kids with asthma.
My daughter has asthma and actually benefits from a eucalyptus-lavender blend in her diffuser. So, use your discretion, and always consult your physician.
3. Boost your family’s health and spice up your cooking
Try mixing 1-2 drops of therapeutic grade basil oil or thyme oil in your salad dressing and sauces next time you cook.
Basil has been used for ages to guard against viruses, bacteria, inflammation and to relax the muscles, treat migraines, insect bites and various infections.
Thyme is one of the oldest recorded medicinal plants, dating back to ancient Egypt. A few of its many healing properties include anti-aging, antioxidant, and purifying agents.
Both are beneficial and delicious. Talk about healthy eating!
4. Treat headaches: migraine, sinus, tension
Studies at the Christian-Albrecht University in Germany proved essential oils were as effective as acetaminophen (like Tylenol) when treating common headaches. (Göbel, 1996)
There are many different oils used to treat the three different types of headaches mentioned above, but peppermint, lavender, and rosemary were common among two of them: migraine and sinus. Peppermint was the big winner, however, as it has been used to treat migraine, sinus, and tension headaches.
There are a few ways to treat headaches with peppermint oil.
- Diffuse a few drops for a half-hour every 4-6 hours as needed.
- Put several drops on a cotton ball and place in an air vent in your home, office, or car.
- Dilute it with a carrier oil 50:50 and rub it carefully on your forehead, temples, the crown of the head, back of the neck, behind ears, and soles of feet. (Do not use liberally. Avoid seepage into or near eyes. Wash hands after application.)
5. Harness the power of a single drop of lemon oil
Lemon oil has been used to improve memory, as a relaxant, to stimulate the immune system, aid digestion, treat UTIs, and reduce anxiety and obesity.
With one drop of therapeutic grade lemon oil, you can boost a boring glass of water, help balance your pH levels, and make your meal pop!
Lemon oil vs. lemon juice: While lemon oil is concentrated and cold pressed from the rind, lemon juice is not concentrated, is squeezed from the pulp, and contains citric acid. Many find lemon oil gentler on the stomach. But if you want to make lemonade, definitely go for the juice.
6. Clear sinuses, aid digestion, boost concentration
- 1 drop of peppermint (for sensitive skin, it’s recommended to dilute with carrier oil 50:50)
- Rub oil into the palm of your hands.
- Cup your hands over your nose — careful not to hold over eyes — and breathe deeply.
7. Calm agitated pets
Whether you have a new baby, or it’s the Fourth of July, sometimes our four-legged friends get agitated. Lavender works wonders for calming cats and dogs.
- Dilute 10 drops of lavender in 2 ounces of distilled water.
- Pour solution in a 4-ounce glass spray bottle. Never use plastic bottles for essential oils.
- Shake and spray in air around them and on pet’s bedding or favorite furniture.
- You may also rub 1 drop of lavender oil neat on paws, or dilute it with a carrier oil 50:50 for a milder effect.
“My family and I use essential oils to improve our health daily. We diffuse them, cook with them, apply them topically, and drink them in teas.” – Monica M., Healthy Living Consultant, Live Inspired
Feel free to contact Monica for more essential oil facts, advice, and life hacks for pain relief, stabilizing blood sugar and cholesterol, combating PMS, and more. You may also want to read her first feature on Tuned In Parents, Fighting Cancer with Food.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This site nor its affiliates accept responsibility for such use.
Essential Oil Safety and Children
Life Science Publishing, “Essential Oils: pocket reference” sixth edition, 2014.
Dember WN, et al. “Olfactory Stimulation and Sustained Attention,” Compendium of Olfactory Research, Ed. Avery N. Gilbert, Kendall Hunt Publishing, 1995:39-46.
Göbel H, et. “Effectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension type,” Nervenarzt. 1996 Aug; 67(8):672-81.