Essential oils are widely known for their benefits and have been used for thousands of years in a variety of different ways, including skin care, perfumes, soaps, aromatherapy and medicinal purposes. With the recent resurgence in popularity, more and more people are turning to essential oils to complement their daily routines.
With hundreds of different essential oils, all touting different benefits, getting started can be intimidating and overwhelming. A great way to start using essential oils is with an introductory kit containing Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint oils. These incredibly versatile oils offer a myriad of uses, and when combined, pack a pretty powerful punch.
LAVENDER is an incredibly powerful oil, most often used aromatically to promote sleep. (1 2) But it has other uses as well. Lavender may help alleviate pain; studies have been done that show when applied topically, lavender is effective for reducing pain from needle insertion (3), and decreasing abdominal menstrual pain (4). However, just smelling lavender for 15 minutes has also shown to be effective in alleviating menstrual and abdominal pain. (5)
The calming properties of lavender mean that inhaling the scent can be very effective in reducing anxiety and agitation (6), and can be especially helpful for those experiencing anxiety before dental procedures. (7)
Its calming effect combined with antimicrobial properties mean lavender can also be very helpful in calming skin irritations and flare-ups. (8)
Lavender also makes a very effective, all-purpose ‘freshener’. Combine in a spray bottle with water or vinegar and use in place of chemical fabric refreshers for your furniture, car, or other unwashable items; or mix a few drops with baking soda and place in smelly areas.
PEPPERMINT. If you suffer from frequent stomach upset like I do, you likely already rely heavily on the properties of peppermint. Ingesting pure peppermint oil has been shown to be very effective in treating minor stomach upsets and easing the abdominal pain associated with IBS (9, 10, 11), but did you know that you don’t have to ingest it to get the benefits? This study showed that using peppermint aromatically also helped to alleviate nausea.
Peppermint is also very invigorating; using it aromatically has been proven to reduce mental fatigue and burnout (12). Applying it (with a carrier oil) to tired, achy muscles can help decrease pain and refresh your energy levels. There is also evidence that peppermint oil can increase hair growth (13) when massaged into the scalp.
The cooling properties of peppermint have shown to be helpful in reducing tension headaches and migraines (14) when massaged into the temples and neck.
The antimicrobial and antiseptic properties of peppermint oil make it a very effective – and great smelling – natural household cleaner. (17) Combine in a spray bottle with lemon oil and water or vinegar and toss your commercial cleaners.
LEMON. Have you ever wondered why there are so many lemon-scented commercial cleaners? It’s because lemon is a powerful disinfecting degreaser. Ditch the commercial cleaners with their harmful chemicals; with its antimicrobial properties (18), lemon oil, combined with water or vinegar can clean virtually every surface in your home, eliminating germs (19). Lemon oil is also a great way to polish wood (combined with olive oil), remove smudges from stainless steel, nourish leathers, remove sticky residues, and freshen laundry. It’s cleaning uses are almost limitless!
Because it’s 100% natural, lemon oil is also an effective – and safe – way to wash fresh produce (20). As a bonus, produce washed in lemon oil tends to stay fresher longer.
But lemon oil is not just an effective cleaner, it is also an amazing antioxidant! (20, 21) Applying lemon oil to the skin has shown to be helpful in improving skin tone, and its antimicrobial properties can help alleviate blemishes and minor irritations. (22) Ingesting pure lemon oil has been shown to be an effective remedy for Candida as well. (23)
Let’s not forget that lemon is also a very effective mosquito repellent! (24)
We’ve gone through a short list of some of the scientifically proven uses for the Introductory Kit trio of oils, but there is no way we could have covered them all. The various uses are almost limitless! For more ideas, check out this awesome list of 101 Uses for the Introductory Kit.
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