Essential Oils are very popular right now, but they can be pretty pricey and the choices can be completely overwhelming. Now, I’m not completely natural or homeopathic by any stretch of the imagination (I only wear silver, I find apple cider vinegar disgusting, and I -gasp- vaccinate Man Cub [please no hate mail]), but I love my essential oils. I am not an oils expert by any means, and there won’t be any charts or graphs, just the essentials (I had to). I am also not a doctor, and nothing from this post is a diagnosis or medical advice. It is simply what I use for my family that works for us. Okay? Okay. So what is this post about? This is a basic introduction to oils for the frugally-minded. Essentially, (last one, I promise) I’d love to share with you what I use and why.
Before we launch into things, though, I need to tell you something: I do not sell essential oils. This is not a sales pitch. I do have a particular brand that I use and love, but my goal is to share information not sell something (and I don’t make anything if you buy from them). I know there are a lot of people selling oils out there, and I just wanted to let you know this so you don’t have to wonder when the catch is coming. It’s not.
Choosing a Brand
When we first started using essential oils, I tried at least four different brands (including doTerra, Plant Therapy, Now Foods, and my favorite- Eden’s Garden. All of them were rated either food or therapeutic grade, and 100% pure oils. I had very simple criteria:
- Effectiveness (for my family; you may have different results)
(I told you it was simple).
The winner in the effectiveness category was hands-down, Eden’s Garden. Second place went to Plant Therapy, and Now Organic & doTerra tied for third. As far as cost goes, Now was the clear winner, Plant therapy second with Eden’s Garden a close third, and doTerra was definitely fourth. To give you an example, I compared prices on Amazon today for 30ml of lemon oil (one of the less expensive oils on the market). Here are the results: Now $7.25, Plant Therapy $11, Eden’s Garden $15.70, doTerra $26.66.
While Now was definitely the least expensive, I didn’t use it because it wasn’t all that effective (and if it doesn’t work, what’s the point?). I also don’t use doTerra because it is very expensive and, again, not effective for me. That left me with Plant Therapy and Eden’s Garden. I already preferred Eden’s Garden because of the effectiveness (and, frankly, smell- their Rosemary and Grapefruit oils are incredible), but then I looked into their company. They provide high quality oils from all over the world with a 30 day guarantee. They really care about their customers (I have interacted with customer service before with very good results) and the founders original goal was to make high-quality essential oils available to everyone. They are also a Christian-owned company that donates to Teen Challenge and YWAM. Eden’s Garden also offers a few ways to save even more (read on). They have been our family’s essential oil company for several years, and I am thrilled with them.
Oils I Love
I absolutely love my oils. We have assembled a pretty decent arsenal that I’ll share with you in a minute. If your budget is very tight or you just want to try a few oils to begin, though, these are the three must haves:
- lavender- for soothing skin, pain, stress, sleep… (I, A)
- peppermint- for headaches, energy, focus, nausea, morning sickness… (I, A)
- lemon- for cleaning and disinfecting, energy… (I, A)
Plus, you can combine the three for an awesome allergy relief. Here’s the recipe: in a 10ml roller ball (an oil dispenser that lets you roll oils onto your skin), combine 10 drops each lemon, lavender, and peppermint oil. Fill to the top with a carrier oil & shake. A carrier oil is an oil that diffuses an essential oil so that it’s less intense. Do not use water. Carrier oils include coconut*, sweet almond, grapeseed, and jojoba. We use jojoba because it is inexpensive and not an allergen (my mom is allergic to coconut and we have friends with nut allergies); it also has no smell.
*You can use fractionated (liquid) coconut oil in a roller ball or spray bottler, or stir an essential oil into regular coconut oil from the grocery store for a lotion.
Now, for some of my other favorite oils:
- Grapefruit- for waking you up and in a good mood (I)
- Sweet Orange- for energy, cleaning, and just because it smells good (I)
- Tea Tree- for immunity and shingles (A)
- Eden’s Garden Stress Ease (I)
- Eden’s Garden Digest Ease (A)
- Eden’s Garden Head Ease (I, A)
- Eden’s Garden Hope (I)
- Eden’s Garden Muscle Relief (A)
- Eden’s Garden PMS Ease (I, A)
How I Use Oils
Wondering what the letters after each oil were about? There are a few ways to use essential oils. I inhale (I) them, either in the bottle or in a diffuser. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can use a small bowl and water or boil a small pot and water. I also apply (A) some oils. I always dilute applied oils for safety (5-10% essential oil in 90-95% carrier oil; for use on kids dilute 1-2% essential oils). Some people also ingest oils. There are different schools of thought about whether that is safe or not, so I choose not to use them internally.
How to Save Money
My favorite way to save is, of course, by using a company that is less expensive. My second is making my own roller balls. I love applying oils directly but with sensitive skin, I cannot use them straight out of the bottle (actually, it’s unnecessary to do so and certain oils – called hot oils- everyone should dilute as they can burn your skin). I buy my own roller balls and mix them myself to save money over pre-filled ones. There are also ways to save with Eden’s Garden. You can buy sets (including a build-your-own set that’s a great deal) and they’ll even give you 2.5-7% back in rewards.
So there you go! That’s how this frugal mama uses essential oils. I wish you luck in your essential oil journey.
Do you use essential oils? What kind do you use?