The hardest thing about starting to use essential oils is … REMEMBERING TO USE THEM! We are so in the habit of doing other things – grabbing a bottle of pills for headaches, spraying or plugging in the toxic “air fresheners” if there’s a stale scent in the air, taking cold remedies or hay fever meds for congestion, sleep aids, “wake aids” (mmmm, coffee… oh, sorry!), you get the picture! So many times I am talking to a friend or relative and they mention some ailment or problem, and I ask, “Did you use peppermint?” Or lemon, or frankincense, or melaleuca, or whatever would have prevented or helped with their issue. “Oh, I forgot,” is usually the answer.
Well, it’s hard when you’re starting out! Again, we have other habits, we don’t know that many uses for the oils at first – it’s just not the first thing we think of.
I have a few suggestions that will help you make the switch from the old, toxic way of life to the new, cleaner way of life using essential oils! Any and all of these ideas can help.
Some suggested references.
References – Obtain a good reference book! The best ones are a little pricey, of course. The Essential Oils Desk Reference, published by Life Science Publishing, isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. The current edition is the 6th edition, but the older ones have their place, too. They may not have all the latest products but they have more information on the older products – information that the FDA is apparently now preventing them from publishing. This book is also commonly referenced as the EODR, or the “Essential Oils Bible”.
Another great reference is the Reference Guide for Essential Oils, compiled by Connie and Alan Higley, also called “Higley’s”. I like this book because, to me, it’s a little more accessible than the EODR. They also have a little different focus, with more information on using the oils for emotional care, what oils blend with with what other oils, and a little more specific information on application.
Both of these books are excellent, and I use both on a regular basis. They also both have smaller editions with just the usage information. Higley’s calls theirs a “Quick Reference Guide”; the EODR version is called a “Pocket Reference”. These smaller reference guides are less expensive, first off, but have all of the usage information that the big books have. They are also nice to be able to drop in a suitcase or travel bag for on-the-go reference.
Both references also have still less expensive mini-references. The one for the EODR is called a “Quick Reference Guide”, and Higley’s calls theirs “The Primary Usage Guide”. I keep one of these in my purse in my oil wallet (you can’t tell from the above photo, can you?). It has more information than you would expect for something so small! Currently these little references run about $2.50 – affordable!
Location, location, location!
Now, the books are all great, but not if they’re gathering dust on a bookshelf! At least at first, leave your reference out on a table, desk, or countertop – someplace where you’ll see it and remember to look up issues! Next to the medicine cabinet is a great place. Instead of your previous headache or upset stomach remedy, check the book and see what oils you have that could help!
Proximity – Speaking of where to keep your books, you also want to keep your oils handy, and at first it will be helpful to keep them where you use them. Do you want something to relax you for sleep? Keep lavender or a sleep formula from your desk reference on your headboard or bed table. Put a bottle of lemon or orange essential oil next to the glasses cabinet, so when you are looking for a soda you can remember to drink water instead, flavored with a little pick-me-up of oil! Make a spritzer bottle of your favorite scent or a powerful odor-eliminator (again from your desk reference) and put that in the bathroom instead of your old air spray. Keep small bottles of peppermint or lemon, and lavender or vanilla handy in the car to keep alert and to help relax in busy traffic. My language is much nicer when I have my vanilla for city driving!
Education – I learn something new every time I go to an introductory meeting. Always take a notepad – you WILL learn a new way to use an oil!
Another good resource is Oil Testimonials. Oil Testimonials is a site where you can search on an oil or blend or an issue, and it will bring up testimonials written by people who have had experience with that oil or issue, and what worked for them. You can find lots of information here. Remember, oils work with frequency as well as with biochemistry, so what worked for one person may not work for you. Don’t give up – try another solution. You’ll probably find several on this site.
I’ve also found some good recipes on Pinterest and Facebook. Use these with caution, though – things get “shared” and “pinned” so freely that you will frequently not know where it came from or if it’s valid. Check the recipes out with other references before using them.
Keep an eye out for classes from ISHA (Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy) and CARE (Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education) in your area.
I hope this has given you some ideas on ways to develop new, healthier habits for using your essential oils!