Monday, September 17, 2018

Adventures in Aromatherapy

Hi! Susanne here.

I'm one of those people who is sensitive to certain smells, and at the same time, I love, love, love many fragrances. Certain lotions from a specific store in the mall give me an instant headache, yet I love burning candles and using soaps with different sorts of fragrances.

It's all pretty subjective ... until I tried essential oils. Now I'm on a new adventure.
Available here.
Essential Oils (EO's) are concentrated oils/essences extracted from plants. Sources for these oils include pressed seeds, citrus rinds, roots, resin, branches and leaves. Some of these fragrant oils have been used for thousands of years in incense, medicine, and body treatments. Modern use of EO's has been around since the 1930's when a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, accidentally discovered lavender oil helped heal a burn on his hand.
Image result for lavender oil

(Note: most oils may not be used "neat" or straight because they are too strong. They must be diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba, apricot, olive, grapeseed...the possibilities are endless.)

EO's are becoming more and more accessible. I've seen oil diffusers on sale at Target, WalMart, and even my local pharmacy. While I've been interested in them, I was not sure how to start.

Last year, a friend gave me a few oils to try, plus a diffuser--what a gift! I learned how to add a few drops to water inside the diffuser so the oils could--you guessed it--diffuse through the air and be inhaled. I researched how to make up a roller ball of diluted EO's so I could try topical applications, and while I have a lot to learn, I've come to enjoy using the oils in various ways.

What ways? Well, it depends on the oil--and I strongly suggest you do research first (and while some say oils can be ingested, others insist it can't, so I don't). But here are uses I've found for EO's:
  • To promote relaxation. Lavender is commonly believed to be calming, and has long been used in soaps, bath products, and more. Linalool, found in lavender and other oils like clary sage, is thought to regulate a neurohormone which in turn regulates stress hormones. Other relaxing oils include chamomile, sandalwood, cedarwood, myrrh, frankincense, and more. Try diffusing or adding to bath oil or salts (more on that later).
  • Image result for tea tree oil
  • To be used as an antiseptic. Tea tree is regarded as a wonderful antiseptic. While it's often included in shampoos and other beauty products, it is also believed to be effective in treating wounds and fungal conditions. I have used diluted tea tree on and around boo-boos from hangnails to scratches. Other antiseptic oils? Possibly thyme, peppermint, and clove.
  • To clean. EO's offer a more natural alternative to harsh chemicals when it comes to cleaning kitchen counters. Dilluted in grain alcohol and/or mixed with water, some oils like rosemary, lemon, and others really do a great job when it comes to tidying up the house.
  • Enhance mood. Linalool, found in lavender and clary sage, reduces anxiety. Citrus oils are thought to help lift depression. Bergamot, lemongrass, and chamomile also lift spirits. Some oils, like clary sage, rosemary, lavandin, basil, cypress, and geranium are also thought to help control hormone-related mood issues and may even help regulate a woman's cycle. Diffused or used topically, these oils can make a real difference.
  • Thieves 5ml Essential Oil by Young Living Essential Oils
    Thieves, from Amazon
  • Reduce pain and inflammation. My husband suffers from back pain, so we were quick to try some of these! Some work better than others, and we're still experimenting, but massaging the affected area with blends including turmeric, helicrysium, wintergreen, and more are helpful as alternatives to taking a pain reliever like ibuprofen.
  • To heal respiratory ailments. Eucalyptus is a well-regarded aid to helping with lung issues. Myrrh and frankincense are also thought to be beneficial, as well as Ravensara, fir, and others. Common blends like YoungLiving's Thieves are used to help ward off colds and/or help them heal faster. As a chronic allergy sufferer with sinus issues, I was glad to learn about  Kunzea. While it's not a "holy grail" healer, I can tell you that when I inhale the pleasant-smelling diffused oil, it does help my sinuses somewhat. And frankly, some relief is better than none, so I'll keep at it!
  • Kunzea from Eden's Garden, here.
  • To heal infection. Try adding a few drops of lemon oil to epsom salts and let sit for ten minutes to dilute (add some thyme oil if UTIs are an issue). Add salts to warm bath water and soak for 20 minutes. (Try bathing in other blends, too by adding other favorite oils to bath salts or blending with oil--chamomile and lavender, cedar and sandalwood, eucalyptus and rosemary, and more!.)
  • As beauty treatments. A blend with skin-loving frankincense, carrot seed, helicrysium, and other oils, diluted with a carrier oil like rosehip, is great for the skin. Acne blends can include tea tree, bergamot, basil, carrot seed, and frankincense.
There are so many other uses for oils. I am still learning. For one, there's a lot to learn. For another, oils aren't cheap, so it takes time to acquire them and try different things. 

I am not a member of a Multi-level sales company that deals in oils, and I do not have all of the answers. Maybe you can help me learn more...

What's your favorite EO? Why?


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances. A pastor's wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website,, and sign up for her newsletter for an occasional cheery hello:


  1. My daughter-in-law is convinced of their effectiveness and I don't disagree. I use tea tree oil straight (maybe I should check into that) as a disinfectant on the skin. I need to check on one thing, though...I heard that lavender oil is harmful to cats. Not that I'm feeding it to her, but I used to put a dilution on the back of my neck before bed. Because she often sleeps on my pillow in the winter (I still get a corner!), I thought I might need to find out more before continuing that practice. Like anything, I suspect the use of EOs is both useful and can be overdone, but I love that they are giving people relief.

    1. I had not heard that about lavender oil! Oh boy--that's worth looking into right away. Lavender is the only oil I've ever used neat, on small boo-boos. One of my friends had a laceration and claims straight lavender healed it quickly. Tea tree is awesome too, but I've diluted it first.

      I'll check on the lavender and cat issue! Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Thanks for the informative post, Susanne. I have sensitivities to smells, too, so I have to be careful what I use. I haven't tried essential oils, but I've heard a lot about them. I need to try your sinus help one.

    1. It's been interesting, Winnie; there have been some EO's where I don't care for the odor, but they don't give me a headache the way some synthetic scents do. At the very least, I figure some of the ones I diffuse give a pleasant smell to the house, but truly, it seems like some of them really do help me. I'm curious to try more.

      Thanks for coming by!


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