I almost threw the baby out with the bathwater. Really.
Several years before I had any kids, I bought my first book about essential oils. At the time, I was just beginning to explore “alternative” methods like herbs and essential oils. I figured I’d dabble a little bit and see what happened. Book in hand, I went to the health food store and bought four of the most popular essential oils and then brought them home to try.
Essential Oils: The first attempt
They smelled pretty good, that was a plus. After taking a whiff, I dreamed of all of the natural things that I could make with them: cleaners, candles, cosmetics. I was ambitious.
But my real reason for trying them out was to see if they’d be useful for staying well. Since I had peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree essential oils I felt that I was pretty well prepared for most of what I’d need. Over the next several months I used these oils when I had colds, and runny noses, and felt sick to my stomach, along with all the normal stuff like taking my vitamins and sleeping and eating well, and you know what? I was underwhelmed. I didn’t really see any noticeable differences in how we felt, and so the book and the drugstore oils got pushed to the back of a closet.
Essential Oils: The second attempt
Somehow those oils survived two moves and several years without getting noticed or being used again. Once we moved to the rural west we experienced a lot of different changes including having to learn more a whole lot more about healthy living.
You see, when we moved from Florida to Wyoming my 15 month old son began to get croup on the regular. After one expensive Emergency Room visit, I knew I needed to dig deeper into my mom bag of tricks to make sure we didn’t have to repeat that visit.
With that paradigm shift, I started to dig deeper into educating myself. My reading and research led me back to essential oils and herbs. At the time I felt like we needed to economize, I bought a wide assortment of inexpensive essential oils from Amazon (I actually spent somewhere close to $200 to buy a very popular budget brand). I was determined that I would have many options to choose from. Just to make sure, I threw away the oils that I had bought several years before, just in case they had expired.
And the very next time that my son was croupy I was ready with my arsenal of oils, herbs, and instructions. I expected results, and well, I waited, and waited.
Nothing helpful happened and my mommy’s heart broke into a thousand pieces when my son’s delicate skin started to turn red and irritated. He was looking to me for his comfort and now his chest and back were very obviously bothered by the inexpensive oils. I was horrified. We rushed to clean off the oils, and switched over to steamy showers and standing in front of the freezer to help him with his croup. Thankfully, after a day or two, the angry rash eventually disappeared. We made it through the incident, but that day I swore off using essential oils on my children. My best intentions and carefully following the directions had not been enough to protect my son from harm. My fully stocked oil arsenal had hurt my son in his time of need.
Last Ditch Effort
I was still partially open to using up these inexpensive oils. Over the course of that winter, we experimented with the recipes in the reference book I had bought (mainly so we could use them up) and saw NO results. My husband and I were very disappointed. I was so upset for spending nearly $200 on inexpensive oils that I apologized to my husband for wasting our money. To his credit, he was very gracious.
At that point, I decided that essential oils were just not for our family. They just didn’t work, and they had hurt my son! I still didn’t throw them away but put them back in the dark closet corner. I had the vague thought that they might still work to scent a candle or make some cleaner some day. But my heart was firmly set against using oils ever again for anything else.
They were clearly a scam.
What changed my mind? Read Part TWO now!