Learning to use herbs and essential oils can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on where to begin growing and preserving herbs and using essential oils.
I started using essential oils over 20 years ago, right about the time I started growing my own herbs because Martha Stewart said it was a “good thing.”
The first oils I bought were from Bath & Body Works. My daughter now has the little wooden box that held the oils, extra mixing bottles, stir stick, and list of instructions and mixture recipes that were part of the kit. I thought the kit was kind of cool and “earthy” and mixing my own oil blends looked like fun.
There was no “aha” moment or anything dramatic that made me start using essential oils around my home or for personal care. I just liked them and wanted to use them. And I still like growing herbs because it’s fun, growing your own is much cheaper than buying them in the store and there’s nothing like fresh basil on a homemade pizza. 🙂
This post contains affiliate links. Read here for disclosure.
Essential Oils and Herbs: Where to Begin Using Them in Your Life
There is a feeling of satisfaction and a little pride in accomplishment that comes with making my own skin cleanser, healing an illness or infection with a salve I created. Sitting down to a meal that was produced on our land and flavored with the herbs grown on it is empowering.
Herbs and essential oils are a part of who I am as a woman and homemaker. As much as possible, I want my home to be natural, healthy and fresh. I struggle with a condition called estrogen dominance that is exacerbated by xenoestrogens found in chemicals. Even though I started using herbs and oils long before I knew I had this problem, I’m even more committed to living naturally now that my health being better for it is more than an abstract idea.
I could probably write a book about the many ways I use herbs and oils (and many people have!), but for the sake of brevity, I’ll just touch of a few of my favorite oils, herbs and the ways I use them in this post. The world of herbs and oils can be overwhelming. I’ve been learning for years and am still learning.
My purpose in writing this article is to give you some ideas on where to start if you’re interested in exploring this world and joining me in learning how to make your home healthier and live as naturally as possible.
Start with Lavender
I have always loved lavender (you can probably tell by my logo and signature ? ) but I don’t care at all for the artificial, overly flowery lavender fragrance. I’m drawn to the real, herbal, slightly floral, slightly spicy, fresh, clean, fragrance of real lavender and to the lovely simplicity of the plant and its flowers.
There is a lavender plant in my herb garden that’s over 20 years old.
It has supplied me with flowers for cooking (lavender lemonade anyone?), for drying and putting in dresser drawers and on closet shelves.
Lavender essential oil fragrances and cleans my home, it helps my family relax, treats our bumps, bruises, headaches, bug bites and cleans my face. I use it a lot with lemon essential oil as a room and linen spray that I keep on the nightstand in the master bedroom. It’s in a pretty cobalt blue glass spray bottle and is always handy when I want to freshen the linens and the rest of the house. The fragrance is so clean and fresh. I never get tired of it.
Lavender or Lavandula Angustifolia, is a full-bodied steam-distilled oil from the flowers… [More]
Tea Tree Oil: A Natural Antiseptic
Tea tree oil is a proven antibacterial, anti-fungal, oil that is my first choice for cleaning and healing. You can read the fascinating history of the use of tea tree (melaleuca) in this article at Tea Tree Wonders. (IMPORTANT: TEA TREE OIL IS FOR TOPICAL USE ONLY. DO NOT INGEST IT. See my article How to Safely Use Tea Tree Oil)
Tea Tree essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils, and for good reason. … [More]
Tea tree oil has a fresh, clean scent that pairs well with other oils. I mix it with lavender and lemon oils for cleaning with the Persik Microfiber Sponge. I use it year-round in my essential oil diffusers mixed with other oils like bergamot or lavender to clean the air and fight viruses as well as fragrance my home and promote relaxation.
UPDATE 3/16/19: Since writing this article, I’m wholly endorsing essential oils from the Plant Therapy line. Their oils are more concentrated and better quality. Plant Therapy has a Kid Safe line of oils so you don’t have to guess about using oils on children, and directions for using their oils are on their website.
I Healed a Heifer with a Tea Tree Oil and Coconut Oil Salve
We raise cattle, and a few years ago one of our heifers developed bright red lightning-shaped streaks on the inside of her thigh by her udder that spread up and down her legs and backside and her hair was falling out where the streaks were. We think its a louse or parasite of some kind.
After giving it some thought, I decided to treat her for a yeast infection. It’s a wet spring and the problem starts on the skin in between her udder and thigh.
I mixed up about two cups of coconut oil and an entire 2-ounce bottle of tea tree oil. We put on some latex gloves, got the heifer in the livestock chute and rubbed the salve all over her leg and backside.
The next morning the streaks had lightened. After applying the salve twice more, the infection clears up within the week.
Homemade Bug Repellent
Are the bugs bad this year or what!!
It’s only May and already we don’t dare go outside for any length of time without bug spray. The gnats are awful. I tried enjoying my coffee and a book on the deck at sunrise yesterday morning and was swarmed with the little devils buzzing my face, getting in my ears – it made me mad.
How do you keep bugs away when you’re outside on the deck? I really didn’t want to spray myself with my homemade bug spray (my Bug Block Hard Lotion Stick had not arrived yet) – I was still in my pajamas. I hadn’t even had my coffee yet for cryin’ out loud.
It’s time to do something:
The gnats left. The mosquitoes left. The dog left.
And I am left in peace to enjoy my coffee and book.
Homemade Bug Spray Recipe:
Fill an 8-ounce spray bottle just short of the top with Witch Hazel. I’ll write more about Witch Hazel in another post. You can get it at the affiliate link, but it’s only about $1.50 per 16 oz bottle at Dollar General or Walmart.
Shake it well before each use and spray all over your body (avoid your eyes) and clothing. It has a fresh, clean, pleasant scent and really works!
Thyme: It’s Not Just for Fried Chicken
My laying hens benefit from thyme. Thyme is an antibacterial herb. I buy it in bulk because I put a heaping tablespoon of it in my chickens’ water to keep them healthy and keep their water fountain cleaner.
I’ve tried growing thyme, but it’s a fussy plant and I’ve not had much success with it. The leaves are also tiny and it takes a large plant to get enough fresh thyme to use, especially as much as I use, so I quit trying to grow it and just buy it.
Chives Are Super Easy to Grow and Use
Fresh chives are wonderful and I use them for cooking a lot when I want a mild green onion flavor. They’re super-easy to grow and pretty in a flower garden. Find a friend who’ll give you a start.
I use chives in homemade potato salad, soups, quiche – pretty much anything that calls for onion or green onion. They’re so mild and add a pretty color.
I dehydrate my fresh chives in a food dehydrator to have a supply over the winter. When I cut the stems, I leave them long and put them in the dehydrator. I let the dehydrator run on medium overnight out on the deck so my house doesn’t smell like chives. Then I cut them into small pieces with kitchen scissors and store them in a Mason jar with a silicon gel packet that comes with powdered drinks.
The Herbs and Essential Oils Ultimate Bundle: The Answers You Need in One Place
I love using herbs and essential oils in my home. My family and I and our animals benefit from their relaxing and healing properties and enjoy their fragrances.
This article is a quick overview of how I use herbs and essential oils in my home and on my small farm. I have plans for future articles highlighting individual herbs and essential oils in more detail to hopefully inspire you to use them to help make your home a healthy, relaxing and clean sanctuary for you and your loved ones.
I almost passed on getting this bundle.
I’ve been using herbs and essential oils for so long I thought I didn’t need all the information this bundle contains. I also wasn’t very excited about making preparations to offer a product over Memorial Weekend. I do wish the timing of the initial offering of this bundle was later in June. We’re all so busy and focused on other things right now.
But I saw this bundle offers recipes for making homemade lotions, soaps, salves. It contains instructions for using herbs and essential oils during pregnancy and postpartum and on children all by certified aromatherapists and herbologists. It contains 4 ecourses and 2 membership sites, 22 ebooks, and printables.
I downloaded and saved this amazing library to a stick drive so I can access it whenever I want it.
The price is very reasonable – only $47!
You don’t have to search all over the internet to find good information about herbs and oils. Everything you need is in this bundle.
Shop Here for the Items You Need to Start Keeping a Natural Home with Essential Oils and Herbs
If you’re interested in using essential oils but don’t know which ones to get first, start with Plant Therapy’s 7&7 Starter Set. It contains lavender, lemon, tea tree, and four other essential oils. It also contains seven oil synergy blends including InvigorAid, ImmunAid, Tranquil, and four others. It’s perfect for someone just beginning to use essential oils. Best of all, Plant Therapy publishes instructions for using their single and synergy blend oils on their website.
Then get the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle where you’ll have all the information you need to get started all in one place.
Plant Therapy also has high-quality diffusers to suit your needs.