Go to fullsize imageAs some of you may know from this post.  I have been trying to find out some better ways to use essential oils.  I love essential oils.  Essential oils (EOs) are concentrated oils from various flowers, herbs, fruits, and plants.  Since ancient times, they have been used for their medicinal and aromatherapy properties.  There seems to be an endless number of scents and combinations you can use for various purposes.   The best part…they are known for their antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.  A great, cheap and natural alternative to synthetic chemicals. 

However, I have been scared to venture too far into this because of cautionary tales of what to mix and what not to mix.  If you mix the wrong combination, you can end up with some not so enjoyable results (various toxicities, skin rashes, horn growth, etc).  So it has made me a little nervous to be messing around with these concentrated little gems when I have been either pregnant, nursing, or in the immediate vacinity of children and pets.  Basically, the past 5 years have been a wash with EOs at my house except for use in a couple cleanin sprays.

But now, I shall no longer be chained to my fears!  I will embark on this experiment.  Let’s hope it goes better than my experimentation with concentrated HCL in the lab years ago.  For those of you who haven’t heard this story, my sense of smell has been moderately altered from respiratory passages being burnt out from that experiment.  There are certain scents I have trouble detecting and my smell thresholds are off.  (Pair that with my mild color blindness and I am a multisensory mess!). Oooh, I was so young and naive.  Lesson learned:  If you are told to only use a chemical under a fume hood, don’t think that you can save time by just trying to hold your breath by the lab bench instead.  On a positive note, it taught me that chemicals can be very bad for your body.  Bad, bad chemicals!

Anyway, back to EOs.  First of all, remember this about EOs:  A little bit goes a very, very long way.  One drop is usually about equal to one ounce or more of the actual plant.  A small bottle may cost you a few buckeroos but it lasts a really, really long time.  Secondly, remember that as with any substance, at a certain amount EOs are toxic.  Do your research and follow any necessary precautions.  Better yet, if you are doing something really fancy with them, please contact a professional aromatherapist.

I will first address one household use for EOs…Air fresheners.  Some may argue that air fresheners are not essential.  I beg to differ.  Try living with the funky 5 over here at my house.  And no, I am not talking about our dance moves.  I am talking about our own essential aromas.  Mmmm…somedays I thank the good Lord that my sense of smell was altered before entering motherhood.

To create a room scent, you can diffuse it using an electric diffuser for aromatherapy and for air freshening purposes.  You can easily create room sprays for the same thing.  All you need is a small plastic spray bottle, water and your oils.  For example, citrus, cinnamon, or peppermint will help to eliminate food and cooking odors in the kitchen.  My personal new favorite use…put a few drops in your vacuum bag (I put it on my filter since I have a bagless) to freshen while you vac. That’s a “2-fer-1” deal for ya.


A recipe for a kitchen freshener is on this page 

Some air freshener recipes are here. and here.

Some blogs addressing EOs:  here, here, and here…..oh, sorry!  I just spent 2 hours reading random blogs and ended up here.  I love it!  I have no idea what the path was but if you know me, you know why I was so interested in this blog.  It’s like my past life and conversations as a biologist in industry came back to haunt me in a very amusing way.