When essentials oils became really popular I refused to try them. I told myself it was all a marketing gimmick and these things surely couldn’t hold up to their claims.
Fast forward to about a year ago when I got really into making my own creations (lotion, chapstick, etc.) and I bit the bullet and ordered some essential oils. Since I went into using essential oils very skeptically and not thinking they’d cure cancer or even the common cold, I was pleasantly surprised.
I liked them. What I didn’t like though was the thought of paying hundreds of dollars on them. Instead, I’ve experimented with a variety of affordable yet pure brands and have found the ones I like the most.
My Experience With Essential Oils
I’ve now used a few different brands of oils for more than a year and my initial gut feeling was right. A lot of the things that I tried have not worked. However, there are some things that did work.
If you’ve never tried essential oils I want to share my 100% honest feedback with you so that you’re not expecting miracles.
What has worked:
Peppermint Oil for Mild Headaches: I get headaches often and find that peppermint oil can help ease a mild headache. I’ll either diffuse it or just sniff it right out of the bottle. If I have a tension headache I’ll sometimes dilute the oil and rub it on my temples.
Helping Stuffed Up Kids Sleep at Night – This is possibly my very favorite use for essential oils. I have a special kid safe “sniffle stopper” blend for kids that I run in the diffuser in their bedrooms at night when they’re sick. It works wonders! They can breath and sleep so well.
Making Beauty Products – I’ve made chapstick, lotions and face cream using essential oils for scent. The oils work well in homemade beauty products and my daughters and I enjoy making them.
Making Cleaner – If I make a cleaner out of vinegar and water I’ll add some sort of citrus oil to try and combat the vinegar smell.
Making the House Smell Good – I prefer essential oils over candles. (Except for Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena candle – I love that one!) I diffuse oils just because I like the smell of them. I’ll also put some oil on a paper towel and then place it in the bottom of the garbage can every time I take out the trash.
What has not worked:
Removing Warts – My oldest daughter had a couple warts on her hand last year. I ordered a special wart remover blend, applied it as instructed for a period of two weeks and………….nada.
Curing Cold/Sickness or Speeding Up Healing – The last time I had a bad cold I decided to experiment with a few different blends. One of my favorite blogs had a recipe that was supposed to speed up healing. I made the blend, applied it kind of like a vapor rub and diffused it. While it did help me breath better it didn’t speed up any healing.
Getting Rid of Fleas on My Dog – My poor dog got fleas a few months ago. He’s only five pounds so I always feel terrible putting hardcore flea medicine on him. Instead, I searched Google for a natural way to get rid of fleas and landed upon a myriad of essential oil recipes.
I whipped up an oil concoction and heavily diluted it. I applied it to the dog and he went NUTS. It stirred up the fleas so bad and was driving him crazy. After about two minutes I felt so bad so I washed him off and then had to resort to Frontline.
Getting Rid of Flies – Over the summer I tried getting rid of the flies around the chicken coop with some peppermint fly spray. It didn’t work even in the slightest. However, this may have been an extreme case. Maybe in a place where there’s less excrement for flies to be attracted to, it would work.
Ingesting Oils – If you Google essential oil uses you’re going to read about many ways to ingest them. Put them in capsules, dump them in your water they say. But I have not and will not try ingesting essential oils.
Yes, essential oils are extracted from natural plants……..but so is cocaine. Just because something is natural doesn’t necessarily make it good for you. Did you know that it takes 256 pounds of peppermint leaves to make one pound of peppermint essential oil? That’s some pretty concentrated stuff!
While I realize that there are a ton of people who have safely ingested essential oils my gut instinct tells me it’s probably not the best idea. There’s just not much research on it and I personally don’t want to be a guinea pig. The risk/reward ratio isn’t there for me.
(You can read more about the risks of essential oils here. You should definitely read it if you’re pregnant or are planning on using oils around young children.)
If you have ingested oils with no side effects, that’s fine. I believe you. However, for the purpose of this post I think it’s important to tell you that I haven’t orally taken any of the brands I’ve listed below and cannot tell you what the results of doing so would be.
Where I Get Cheap Essential Oils
Okay now that I have told you all about my experiments I should tell you which oils I have used. I have tried Young Living, Fabulous Frannie, Plant Therapy, and Majestic Pure.
Honestly, I can’t tell a whole heck of a lot of difference between these oils except that Fabulous Frannie has my favorite peppermint. (It smells a little less sweet to me than the other brands.)
If I had to pick my two favorite brands they would be Fabulous Frannie and the Plant Therapy Kid Safe line. (Since not all oils are safe for kids I like have the premade blends. Takes the worry off of me!)
I bought my first Fab Frannie kit a year ago on Amazon for $37. It’s still available here. It comes with the top 14 oils and is 100% pure and therapeutic. I love these oils. Besides the lemon and peppermint I still have some of all the others left, even after a year.
My other favorite oil is Kid Safe Sniffle Stopper from Plant Therapy. This works SO good when my kids are sick and too stuffed up to sleep.
And lastly I use this diffuser (currently $17) I’ve had it for one year and it’s still going strong.
I’ve tried the more expensive oils and I personally can’t tell a difference from the less expensive ones. My Mom, Aunt and Mother in Law all have Young Living Diffusers and oils and as far as I can tell my cheaper ones get the job done just as well.
If you’ve been thinking of getting oils but can’t justify the cost of the more expensive brands these could be a great alternative.
Do you use essential oils? If so, what is your favorite brand/oil?
Photo Credit: lanam7