My Gentle Journey with Essential Oils

Let me begin this post by saying I do not sell essential oils and I’m not writing with the purpose of persuading you to buy anything. This is simply my story of how essential oils help my family.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

In 2010 Russ and I went on a cruise with his parents and siblings. In addition to the time we enjoyed together, we often had dinner with other folks on the ship. One dinner remains in my mind.

I began talking with the woman next to me about our lives, children, and shared faith. As I talked about my kids, I mentioned one was struggling with deep depression. We were considering medication and lifestyle changes to help but we were scared and overwhelmed.

Her teen daughter suffered from depression and in addition to other supports, she was using something I’d never heard of, an oil with properties to lift a person’s mood. It was called Wild Orange. It sounded a bit odd, but something about it made sense.

After dinner, we strolled to their cabin where she showed me a wooden box filled with small bottles of oils. She generously gave me a small bottle of Wild Orange and I nearly cried. I was curious about how my child would receive it and if it would help. I knew it smelled good and I liked opening the bottle just to breathe it in.

Following her instructions, I rubbed this oil on my teen’s feet at night and encouraged my child to wear small amounts so the uplifting scent could be inhaled. Together with other changes, it helped.

Pain

Years passed, and as many of you know, in 2014 we were in a tragic car accident that injured Russ and me and took the life of our precious daughter, Kalkidan.

We were in great emotional and physical pain. Russ’ sister brought us a nearly magical lotion called Deep Blue that we rubbed on each other’s aching shoulders, necks, and hips as we cried nearly every night. She also brought an oil called Elevation for us to rub on our hands and inhale the scent. I bought a simple diffuser and at night we diffused Serenity blend into our room. The scent became a comfort to us and we began looking forward to it.

Another friend brought a Lavender sprayĀ we spritzed on our pillows at bedtime. We grew to love that scent so much, we still use it most nights four years later.

That was a season of many tears; the oils brought us comfort and alleviated some of our physical pain.

Sleep

In the midst of this trying time, one of my kids wanted to try oils too. I bought a simple diffuser and an experiment with oils began. Different ones were tried, with the final conclusion that Lavender was perfect for sleep and calming.

Even before the accident, sleep was challenging for me, so I created an intentionalĀ sleep hygiene routine. I go to bed early, wear a sleep mask, and diffuse the oils that help me most. This routine has made a huge difference in my life and health.

We ran out of Serenity for a while and in the swirl of my life, it took me a while to get more. The night I finally had more to diffuse, Russ came into our room, immediately walked to the diffuser on his nightstand, cupped his hands around the water vapor coming out of it and inhaled deeply. He looked up, relaxed his shoulders and said, “I’m so happy you got more of this.”

Parenting

Our kids need a lot of support, but trust me when I say, moms and dads need it just as much.

Under the stress of parenting kids with early trauma, we stop sleeping, we become anxious and depressed, we can’t focus, we grieve. This is just what our kids are often experiencing too.

Medication is a gift when we need it, and many of us do at times. Additionally, we can care for ourselves every day using simple supports: drinking water, taking a walk, diffusing oils that lift our moods or help us sleep. These are powerful tools for my family and yours.

Lastly, Isaiah got me a new diffuser for ChristmasĀ (the one pictured above) and I love it. This morning my family room smells like fresh lemons and it makes me feel happy – I can always use more of that.

Do you use essential oils for your family? Leave a comment!

With courage, hope, and love,

Lisa

Disclaimer: This post doesn’t contain scientific orĀ medical advice. I’m not a medical provider; this is simply my story.Ā 

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRIĀ® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

14 Comments

  1. Charity Betts
    January 21, 2019

    I am happy you have oils that help lift… i used balance for a season and then gifted it to my college girl… but when my auto immune disease arrived the year I turned 40, and I spent two months in the hospital and all my homeschool kids suddenly needed to be in public school we lived on OnGuard and diffused it daily to combat the germs coming home… so invaluable!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2019

      I just got some OnGuard and need to start using it. How did you use it?

      Reply
    2. Vanessa Medlin
      January 22, 2019

      I love my oils as well. I started with orange for my emotions. It is amazing that something so simple can help so much.

      Reply
      1. Lisa Qualls
        January 22, 2019

        I agree, Vanessa. I’m so glad to be learning more.

        Reply
  2. Melody
    January 21, 2019

    Iā€™ve used oils at home for a while. I now have a job where I take people on international trips. I always bring peppermint and lavender. Peppermint helps with headaches and stomach ailments. (Rub directly in tummy). Lavender is great for those experiencing cultural shock and lack of sleep. These two oils are used on every trip I take!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2019

      Thank you for the recommendations, Melody. Great idea to take them when I travel.

      Reply
      1. Wilma
        January 23, 2019

        Peppermint is the oil I use for headaches. I just open the bottle and inhale a few breaths. Most of the time, the headache abates. I have not used oils for migraines, but for just a simple headache, it works for me.

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          January 24, 2019

          I’m going to try that, Wilma. Thanks!

          Reply
  3. Lori
    January 22, 2019

    My current favorites are Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Vetiver they elevate my mood and enhance concentration at school time, so a win/win for Gavin and I. I have to use very small quantities of both Ylang Ylang and Vetiver or I will get a head ache.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 22, 2019

      It’s wonderful how much the oils can help our mood. I haven’t tried Ylang Ylang or Vetiver on their own but I think they may be in some of the blends I use.

      Reply
  4. Rachel Nystrand
    January 23, 2019

    My gentle journey with EO began a few years ago when, in response to my frustration with getting several sinus infections each year, a fellow homeschool mom suggested old fashioned steam treatments (boiled water in a bowl and a towel over my head) with Eucalyptus Oil. I tried it and it made me a “believer.” It is very rare that I need to get antibiotics now. Eucalyptus in a bath is my go-to for the kids when they start getting a cold. My next try was Lavender to help me sleep; I diffuse it every night. Now I use several – clary sage on the abdomen for menstrual cramps, Thieves for cold/flu season, ylang ylang for stress (or Stress Away blend) and just because it smells so good, and several others. I have that same diffuser in my kitchen/dining area. It’s so pretty. I order primarily from Mountain Rose Herbs in Oregon and make my own blends.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 24, 2019

      I love hearing your story too, Rachel. It’s been a slow journey for me, but I’m enjoying learning more about oils and how to use them for my family.

      Reply
  5. Rachel Nystrand
    January 23, 2019

    Oh! And Peppermint saved me on our flights to/from Ethiopia. I saturated some cotton balls, put them in a ziploc bag and put them in my purse. Whenever a waive of nausea would hit, I would “sniff” and the nausea would go away.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 24, 2019

      I used it for motion sickness on my trip with Russ. It helped so much!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *