Essential oils provide a simplified way to eliminate chemicals and toxins from your environment while enhancing your feeling of well-being. High quality essential oils are steam distilled and some are food grade, which means that you can safely ingest them. However, not all essential oils are intended for consumption, so be sure to check before doing so.

Since essential oils come from living, breathing plants and flowers, they usually have few to no side effects and are generally well tolerated by most people. Since they are usually either inhaled or applied topically, there are few allergic reactions to them because the oils don’t pass through the digestive system. Essential oils can also be invaluable around the house for most tasks, from curing colds to cleaning. It is absolutely amazing what they can do, everything from disinfecting to promoting better sleep. Here are some unique uses that you may have never thought of before.

All-Purpose Disinfectant

This formula disinfects surfaces while leaving a very pleasant scent. The combination of alcohol and oils kill the germs without chemicals or chemical residue and should be safe for most people.

  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1-1/2 cups purified or filtered water
  • 4-6 drops peppermint
  • 4-6 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 2 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 drops lemongrass oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake thoroughly before use. If you have pets, use lavender or rosemary instead of the tea tree oil since it can be toxic to pets.

Nighttime Allergy/Sinus Relief

If you have trouble sleeping, particularly if it’s due to nasal or sinus congestion, the application of this nighttime remedy will ease the symptoms and help you to fall asleep faster. Lavender has a calming effect and the peppermint and eucalyptus will clear up the sinuses.

  • 6-8 drops lavender
  • 4-6 drops peppermint
  • 1-3 drops eucalyptus
  • 1-3 teaspoons carrier oil

Mix all the oils in a small glass bottle with a tight fitting lid. Shake well for several seconds then apply to the chest area but avoid the face and neck. A warm, tingling sensation is normal and should subside within a minute or two. The carrier oil is necessary because undiluted essential oils are very strong so they need to be diluted. Store in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

Scent Your Silk Flowers

Match essential oil fragrances to the silk flowers in your home for a pleasing and surprising effect. Mix purified or filtered water with an appropriate oil in a spray bottle and mist your silk plants with it. Alternatively, you can scent a small cotton ball and place it within the plant. Refresh as needed.

Make Your Own Thieves’ Oil

Legend has it that medieval thieves used this concoction, or a variation of it, to protect themselves from the plague so they could rob those who had died of it.

  • 40 drops clove
  • 35 drops lemon
  • 20 drops cinnamon
  • 15 drops eucalyptus
  • 10 drops rosemary
  • 4-6 tablespoons carrier oil

Mix all oils in a dark colored, glass bottle with a tight fitting lid. Since this formula is very strong, it must be diluted, don’t try to use it straight. Avoid use on babies and young children or those with sensitive skin.

Thieves oil is an effective antibacterial formula that can be used in a diffuser, in a spray bottle, with alcohol as an antidote to insect bites and poison oak and ivy, as a massage oil for sore muscles, as a decongestant, as a preventive for germs, and in many other applications. For additional information on thieves oil, click here.

Sore Teeth/Gums

Oregano oil or clove oil can be used for sore gums or teeth. One or two drops of one or the other, don’t use both simultaneously, combined with one or two drops of carrier oil can alleviate tooth or gum pain.

Essential oils are invaluable around the house and their uses are limited only by the imagination. The possibilities really are endless. Just take the time to do your research and experiment and you will be surprised by just how useful and effective essential oils can be.