Painkillers, antibiotics, antacids, antihistamines, decongestants, the list of therapeutic options goes on! Sometimes it feels like all you ever do is mask pain, ignore a symptom and ingest some chemicals that will offset their own breed of collateral damage on your body. While we won’t be reaching for the crystals and dream catchers anytime soon, sometimes conventional medicine gets a little too much. Plus, that prescription little white pill can have far more sinister effects than you may think — immediately or in the future.
So, to avoid all this apparent evil, do we regress into the woods and start spoon-carving? Only if it’s been a seriously bad year — in which case we hope the yurt has a robust wine rack. A more practical solution is to look at alternatives that are pure and healthy for you: essential oils. More and more parents are moving towards holistic, natural and transparent solutions for almost every physiological and psychological ailment afflicting their children.
Why Essential Oils?
Plants have been our pharmacies for thousands of years, but their benefits have certainly been downplayed to maximize profits for the medical-industrial complex. However, the therapeutic and healing properties of plants are still widely known and respected, and essential oils are the most potent form of them. Essential oils are extracted straight from the flower, leaf, bark, fruit, seed or root and distilled to ensure every drop is potent.
One of the most revered essential oils is lemon oil. Taken from the lemon rind through cold-pressing, it’s said that lemon oil can help lymph-drainage, digestive issues, halitosis, abdominal colic pain, nutrient malabsorption, immunodeficiency issues, concentration problems and many other conditions. In fact, there are more than 519 different scientific studies on the wonder oil that is lemon oil. One Alva Ayurveda Medical College doctor is one of many who assigns lemon oil’s fantastic qualities to d-limonene, which is a potent anti-cancer antioxidant.
There are endless ways you can use lemon oil, and we’ve highlighted five of the most acclaimed applications where chemically-powered, store-bought products are typically used instead.
Lemon oil is an astringent, meaning it prevents sebaceous glands from releasing as much sebum as usual. Sebum is what makes skin oily, so anything that helps control it as well as tighten our pores is a winner in our books! Overactive sebaceous glands are also the leading cause of chronic skin conditions, such as cystic acne. Incorporating lemon oil into your natural cleanser could be worthwhile before going down the extreme prescription drug route. You could also use lemon oil as a toner on its own by dabbing it onto a cotton ball and wiping the affected area.
Immune System Booster
As mentioned above, lemon oil contains a brilliantly high vitamin content, which makes it one of the best allies to your immune system. Moreover, lemon oil stimulates your white blood cells, prepping them to fight infections and keep your immune system in shape. It also improves circulation and fights fevers. To soothe your body, add lemon oil to lukewarm water and rub a few drops on the bottom of your feet.
That’s right, lemon oil is also a natural antiseptic. For cuts, grazes and all minor skin abrasions, we suggest using lemon oil instead of whatever is in those first aid box wipes. A disinfectant spray is a must-have in every family home. Try out this DIY recipe: Add a cup of distilled water to five drops of lemon oil, ten drops of tea tree oil and six drops of eucalyptus oil. Mix in a spray bottle.
Mood and Concentration Enhancer
We all have bad days and periods of time when we need a boost in mood or level. Lemon oil has a calming effect, allowing you to focus on what really matters and forget background irritants. You can either add lemon oil drops to your bath, apply it topically or diffuse it into your room.
We’ve already spoken about the antibacterial properties of lemon oil. You can make the most of that by using it to keep your family’s home clean. Both antibacterial and antifungal lemon oil can be used to disinfect your bathrooms, kitchens, handles and fittings. Check out this DIY recipe that will revolutionize what you use to keep your family safe inside the home.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the benefits and magical applications of lemon oil. Like other essential oils, it’s fantastically versatile and efficient. However, essential oils are potent and must be used correctly. Just like with your prescription medicines, you’d be wise to exercise caution and follow guidelines for application — especially for children. Essential oils like lemon oil are powerful and can irritate the skin if applied directly without dilution in a carrier oil, like coconut oil.
The leap to using more and more natural alternatives for your daily skin care, first aid and kitchen needs is only as big as you make it. Bringing in lemon oil to replace some of your routine supermarket-bought products is a great place to start and a truly magical way to save money while maintaining effectiveness.
*Note: I do not endorse any particular brand of essential oils, and I don’t sell them. I just found this stock photo and thought it was appropriate.