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A Peak Inside My Medicine Cabinet
Aside from one prescription and vitamins, this is the totality of all the medicines and supplements that Kenny and I own and take. You’ll notice, there isn’t much there. The reason for that is three-fold. First, I dislike the idea of taking chemicals and medicines full of side effects to resolve common problems. Second, Kenny and I rarely get sick because we have tools to fight off illness before it takes hold. And third, we use our collection of essential oils as a substitute for dozens of medicines.
We have a book on essential oils, a small silver box of medicine, a box of essential oils, a big tub of coconut oil, and Advil.
This is an inside view of the small silver box. We have a bag of cough drops that are made with essential oils, a bag of bandaids, Tums, and then some small tins of medicine. Most of these are things we take once or twice a year. The five containers you see are full of Benadryl, DigestZen (an essential oil capsule), Mucinex, Tylenol, and one with both Excedrin and Aleve.
This box contains most of our essential oil collection. I also keep some in my nightstand to diffuse by the bed and Kenny keeps some in his work backpack to keep his immune system strong when he has sneezy co-workers.
For the record, I am not a representative or a salesperson for essential oils. You can see from the pictures that we use DoTerra. I’ve never tried another brand, but I have heard great things about other brands, too. My point is, I’m not writing this to sell you on any particular product. We use essential oils for everything because we love them so much and find them so effective. Also, I’m obviously not a doctor so none of this is medical advice, it’s just what we have learned to be effective in our experience.
I keep this diffuser on my nightstand. I explain below that I use it to diffuse a calming blend of oils when I need to sleep and we also diffuse an immune boosting blend whenever one of us is coming down with a cold.
Today I’ll share how we use essential oils in our daily lives, to fight off illness, and to treat our various maladies.
Essential Oils in our Daily Lives
Kenny and I use essential oils in our daily lives every single day. Our four most used oils are OnGuard Blend, Serenity Blend, Lavender, and Melaleuca.
OnGuard Blend– this blend contains orange, clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Our hand soap in every bathroom and our kitchen is made with OnGuard.
Serenity Blend– this blend contains lavender, marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood, and vanilla. This is the key to my sanity. I diffuse it next to my bed nearly every night to help me wind down and sleep soundly. I also have a tube of it with a roller ball that I dab on my wrists whenever I’m feeling upset or emotional (similar). Actually, usually, Kenny dabs it on when I’m being a little over the top. I’ve used this so often in my pregnancy to help me manage my aches and pains. Because I can’t take medicines for pain, I am stuck “toughing it out” which is difficult when your body is a ball of raging hormones. In the evenings, after a day of pain, when I just can’t be tough any longer, Kenny often dabs my wrists with Serenity or diffuses it near a hot bath. The calming effect makes my pain seem so much more manageable.
Lavender– lavender oil is great for healing. We use it on cuts, scrapes, and burns to help them heal quickly and prevent scarring. We might not use this one every day, but it’s more often than you would think.
Melaleuca– melaleuca (tea tree oil) is great for fighting infection. I talk about this more below, but I use melaleuca several times a month for all the little antiseptic needs we have- ear infection, spot treatment for pimples, etc. Just today I had one of those pesky hangnails that became slightly infected leaving my finger red, sore, and swollen. I rubbed and drop of Melaleuca oil on it and it is completely back to normal already (though it still is like a small cut that needs to heal).
Essential Oils to Fight off Illness
This category is probably the most important to us. Stopping an illness before it sets in is how we avoid getting sick, avoid needing prescriptions and doctors, and avoid buying the chemical-filled medicines we might need were we to get really ill. If you’re wondering, yes, we do take medicine when we need it! But most of the time we don’t. My two favorite medicines that we have eliminated the need for are DayQuil and Antibiotics.
Kenny used to take DayQuil and NyQuil about twice a year when he came down with terrible colds. The medicines were expensive, artificial, and only masked the problems rather than making them better. Now, we use oils to keep him from getting to the point where his illness is beyond the capabilities of essential oils. In our experience, there is a point at which the oils are not as effective and not as fast as other medicines, but we can usually avoid getting to that point!
Fighting off Colds/ Boosting Immune System – OnGuard blend (details above). Kenny drinks a drop of this oil blend in a glass of water, or takes a tiny beadlet filled with the oil, several times a day all winter and whenever he feels a cold coming on. It’s shocking how well it works to prevent him from getting sick.
For me, the elimination of Antibiotics has literally changed my life. Antibiotics make me incredibly ill. I can’t take them for more than two or three days without getting so sick I cannot finish the course of the medicine. They hurt the bacteria in my digestive tract so badly that it can take me months to recover. But, I get frequent ear infections. They are so frequent and severe that I was supposed to get tubes in my ears at one point in my adult life. Now, I use oils to eradicate the infection when I first feel it and I have not taken antibiotics since, nor have my ear infections gotten to the point of terrible pain that they used to.
Fighting Infection (Ear Infection)– Melaleuca. I put this oil behind my ear and just in front of it when I feel an ear infection beginning and within two days, it is completely better.
Essential Oils to Treat Various Maladies
These are our most common maladies and how we treat them.
Cold/ Sinus Problems– Peppermint, Lemon, OnGuard. When we do get a touch of a cold, we use essential oils to treat our symptoms and cure the cold. We inhale peppermint to clear our sinuses, use peppermint oil and lotion like VapoRub on congested chests, drink hot water with lemon oil and honey to soothe our throats, and OnGuard to help our immune systems.
Upset Stomach– Peppermint and/or DigestZen. We often smell peppermint oil or take a small beadlet of peppermint oil when we have an upset stomach. Kenny also swears by the oil blend, DigestZen, which contains things like ginger, fennel, peppermint, and caraway. He takes a small capsule of this whenever his stomach is upset or he eats something that doesn’t agree with him.
Sore Muscles– Peppermint and DeepBlue. We use peppermint oil mixed with coconut oil on sore muscles to act like icy hot and soothe the muscles. For more serious troubles, we use the oil blend DeepBlue which contains things like wintergreen, camphor, and blue tansy. This blend does have a sort of strong icy hot smell, but it is incredibly effective. Sore back or sore knee? Deep blue makes it better immediately. We also keep Advil on hand for the same purpose because it is effective without any smell (and we often have guests who ask for Advil).
Headache– This one’s tricky! I use different oils for different kinds of headaches. Sinus headaches are different than tension headaches or stress headaches or headaches caused by motion sickness. Prior to learning about essential oils, I took Advil for all of these. And it rarely helped. It did absolutely nothing for my migraines. But I can use oils to target the cause of each type of headache now and it’s much more effective.
Bug bites– lemongrass. It stops the itch. Enough said.
This is just the briefest of explanations of how using oils has completely transformed the way that my husband and I live our lives and particularly how we treat illnesses. There are probably hundreds of other combinations that we don’t even know about!
How do you use oils in your life? Any great remedies I’m missing or great combinations I need to try?