Essential oils have been in use since ancient times (starting around 3000 BC) and have been in use ever since for everything from medicine, beauty care, spiritual enhancement, mood balancing, and household chores. But, sadly, they’ve been dubbed “snake oils” by modern medicine even though their use has been proven effective for a wide variety of ailments and conditions by millions of homeopathic practitioners and individuals.
Still, today isn’t ancient times. Nowadays we have things like aspirin, bleach, and dandruff shampoo to make our headaches go away, our countertops clean, and our scalp itch-free. So why bother with learning about essential oils if we already have everything we need?
Because sometimes essential oils can often do the job better, cheaper, and without side effects. Dr. David Stewart, Ph.D., Registered Aromatherapist (RA), explains in an article how “essential oils properly applied always work toward the restoration of proper bodily function, they do not cause undesirable side effects.”
Furthermore, studies on essential oils are just starting to gain speed. According to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, “Research studies on essential oils show positive effects for a variety of health concerns including infections, pain, anxiety, depression, tumors, premenstrual syndrome, nausea, and many others.”
As they say, the proof is in the pudding!
Fall has arrived!
While newbies to essential oils are prone to using essential oils as merely scent options for their diffuser — turning cinnamon or clove oils into a really expensive air freshener is nice, after all, and makes your house smell like something is baking in the oven — aromatherapy is merely one of many uses for these special ingredients! And applications don’t always involve a complicated mixture of many oils, either.
While essential oil companies sometimes offer premixed tinctures to take the guesswork out of the alchemy, essential oils can be used one at a time in simple ways to help you through the day. Many can even be interchanged from season to season, like switching summer scents (ie lemon, catnip, jasmine) for those that remind us most of Autumn.
Three of the most popular all-around essential oils are Melaleuca (tea tree), lavender, and lemon. However, they don’t smell very “fall”-like. In fact, the strong citrus and menthol scents can really take away from the magic of the cooling season.
Instead, try the following scents. They share properties with the above-listed common oils AND smell like fall!
- Clove (aka spice)
- tree & wood oils (cedar, birch, fir, etc)
So, whether you’re new to essential oils or have years of essential oil use under your belt, try integrating more autumn-like scents into your home this season for these common purposes:
Put away the tea tree and lemon oils and pick up a bottle of cinnamon and clove oils to mix your autumn season disinfectant spray. Both oils are powerful disinfectants… and they’ll make your house smell like fresh baked pie!
2. Mosquito Relief
Just because summer has gone away doesn’t mean the mosquitoes and biting flies have.
Mix 1 part clove oil with 10 parts carrier oil (e.g. fractionated coconut oil) or witch hazel and spray it on as an insect repellent. (Just be careful to keep the mixture out of eyes and mouths!)
3. Dandruff Control
Fall and winter can be tough as dry air plucks moisture from scalp. For dandruff help, add a few drops of ginger oil to your shampoo to help stave away itchiness, as well as reduce any inflammation that your dandruff may be causing (since ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory). Your hair will smell season-appropriate without the harsh, lingering chemical smell of over-the-counter dandruff shampoos.
A few drops of lemon essential oil in a carrier works great as an underarm deodorant during the sunny months. In the cooler seasons, switch the lemon for bergamot, another citrus oil that offers a warmer smell. Its invigorating scent and antibacterial properties make it an effective oil to lift your spirits and deodorize your pits.
5. Diffuse away the blues
Speaking of pits, bergamot can work as an antidepressant. Use it to pull yourself out of a pit as you head into the long winter months. Just put a few drops of this oil into your diffuser whenever you start feeling blue.
6. Diffuse away!
Of course, the easiest way to bring fall into your home with essential oils is to diffuse them. Play with combinations of the autumn-inspired oils listed above, or use these pre-tested autumn combos.