I have this affinity for Things That Do Other Things. Scarves that become ponchos or hoods simply by buttoning, yoga mat bags that expand to carry blocks and other gear with a quick unzip, step stools that turn into chairs (I'm a master collector of those~~just ask my husband). It's kind of an obsession, actually. So I was thrilled to discover that a couple of essential oils really can cover many of our health and body care needs.
You might already know that essential oils are literally the "essence" of plants (you can read here more in my blog post about autumn scents), and that they seem to be an ingredient in many everyday items~~shampoos, cleaning products, and more. But did you know that French chemist René Maurice Gattefossé discovered the healing effects of lavender oil when he suffered a severe burn? I know, I know, it seems we can't escape from this particular scent sometimes. But the oil of Lavandula angustifolia has so many benefits~~and an aroma that's agreeable to most people as well~~that's it's worth exploring further.
And for that reason, it's a wonderful oil to have on hand in homes with children and pets. It's a very safe oil that seems to exude relaxation as soon as the bottle is opened. Further, it helps combat depression and nervous tension, so maybe it's no surprise that it's a popular alternative remedy for headaches and migraines. You already know from Mssr. Gattefosse how soothing it can be to the skin. I can personally attest to its cleansing effects. In fact, its name comes from the Latin lavare ... "to wash."
For decades, my favorite combination to use on my acne-prone skin was lavender and tea tree oil. Tea tree, melaleuca alternifolia, is still my first aid kit in a bottle. No matter your issue~~itching, burns, cuts, bites, sores, etc.~~tea tree can help provide relief. And like lavender oil, it can usually be used "neat" if you are well aware of how your body reacts to it (otherwise, always patch test and dilute). From body care to surface disinfecting, I find an excuse to use drops of this oil every single day.
Without a doubt, lavender and tea tree are my top two must-have essential oils. So save room in your desert island suitcase for sunglasses and a good book--these two are all you need to treat a variety of ailments ... and enjoy the pleasant fragrance at the same time.
What's your favorite way to use these essential oils?