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Aromatherapy/essential oils and effectiveness


Hi.  I am very interested in the essential oils to clean & disinfect with and diffuse.  A friend has bought some from YL and the Thieves blend smells wonderful.  I have been looking online and find that there are many claims that essential oils disinfect/sanitize in your home.  Is this true? Also, I have found places such as YL, Rocky Mtn Oils and Plant Therapy online and a vitamin store intown sells Aura Cacia brand...these are all such different prices!  Is there really a difference in essential oils if the bottle/company states they are pure and no added preservatives,etc?  I truly can't justify $44 for a bottle of Thieves when you can find comparative oils for half or less that, and would like an HONEST opinion on oils in general.   Do oils really clean & disinfect and would clove, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus keep one from getting sick or help?  I would think hospitals would have this everywhere if so.  Also, I mix vinegar and rubbing alcohol with water and clean at my home--I bought some Lemon oil and add.  Does this mix clean/disinfect as well as Cloves/Cinnamon/Lemon/Rosemary/Eucalyptus blends?  I would just like some unbiased guidance on this stuff before buying.  Thanks so much!

Hello Bea. Thank you for your question. All essential oils are antiseptic and some are antiviral, antibiotic and much more ! The oils you have mentioned are not only antiseptic but are relatively inexpensive so you don't need to invest millions to put together a team of oils for cleaning and warding off the nasties.
It sounds as if you already have a fairly organic approach to cleaning, so adding some essential oils will enhance what you are already doing.
First of all - Lavender, Tea tree, Rosemary and Lemon would be my choices for the main four oils to have in the home, either in the medicine cabinet or around the kitchen.

Tea tree is highly antiseptic but also antiviral and antibiotic. It is great for disinfecting any kind of small wound or as a drop or two in in hot water in a vaporiser ( the sort that has a night light candle underneath and hot water in the top), or in a stem inhaler when there are germs about. Also can be used to really good effect in a gargle for mouth infections, although the taste is very bitter - so I add one drop of Peppermint oil to two drops of Tea tree oil, which makes it taste much better.
So I would always be happy to include a drop or two of Tea tree when wiping over surfaces.

Lemon oil is also highly antiseptic, and of course smells glorious ! It can sting a bit if applied to sensitive skin areas but is great used in cleaning and it gives such a fresh smell.

Lavender oil , along with Tea tree oil are the only two that can go neat on to the skin. Lavender is terrific as an antiseptic, but it also is very gentle and soothing on the skin. It has a cooling effect and when you get a bit or a sting or a small burn, neat Lavender will take the heat out and soothe the area. Again used in cleaning it will give a lovely aroma and has a relaxing effect on the senses. It also can help with headaches and sleep problems.

Rosemary is the oil that gets rid of mental rubbish ! It's great for clearing the head and the sinuses. It has a clean smell and an energising effect on the senses. Rosemary is an amazing hair tonic and can be added to the last rinse water for a great shine. Also Rosemary will get rid of nits. In this case you need to use three or four drops with some vegetable oil and massage it into the affected hair and scalp. Leave for a few hours and then comb out before washing the hair. Add a few more drops to the last rinse water.

So with the list of oils here you have a great team for cleaning and cleansing both your home and the occupants. Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon oils should only cost a few pounds/dollars each for a 10ml bottle, while Tea Tree will cost a couple more. I'm not sure where you are in the world but I usually find my local pharmacist will stock Lavender, Peppermint, Tea tree and often Rosemary. The companies you mention were not known to me - they look wonderful and there is a whole range of fantastic oils that you can get to know. But it's always good to start simply and gradually build up your experience. If you buy your own essential oils you will only need to use a couple of drops at a time as they are very concentrated. You can also then experiment with mixing them together - which how the best teams work.

So ideas for where and how to use them around the home.....

Cleaning - add a drop or two to your vinegar solution when cleaning. Put in a spray bottle and shake up before use.
Ash trays can have a wipe of oil after they have been cleaned.
If you have pets a drop of oil onto a blanket or pet's bed will freshen things up.
A drop of essential oil on a hanky, pillow or collar at night will help with breathing problems, cold and sleep difficulty.
A vaporiser with hot water ( I don't like the electric ones) and few drops of oils will freshen a room and get rid of cooking / smoking / stale odours.
On a hot day a spritzer bottle of water and Lavender will make a great face freshener.

As to the genuine-ness of oils. All I can say is try them and see how they smell. The oils we have mentioned here are cheap to produce and should not cost the earth. You know what Lemon should smell like so if it smells a bit synthetic it probably is. You will soon find you can tell what is pure essential oil from the imposters. Also make sure the oil you are buying is not already diluted. If says something like 5% on the label, it probably means you are only getting 5% essential oil and the rest is vegetable oil.

The only other caution I would mention is that less is definitely more - don't overdo the number of drops you use. I wouldn't put neat oils onto a French polished wooden surface as they can be corrosive. However one or two drops in a cleaning solution will be fine. You only need a couple of drops in a vaporiser. The oils will gradually evaporate and then you can top again with a couple more.Too many drops at once may give you a headache and will just be a waste.

There are many websites that give recipes for cleaning in the home using natural products. I think you should start here and gradually build up. Try mixing oils for different effects and please come back to me if you need any further help. Good luck and best wishes.



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Judy Frayne


I specialise in the mixing of oils. Every problem has a different solution depending on the underlying causes.A simple headache could be caused for a number of different reasons. Tracking down the origins of a problem is the first step. I can then advise on the correct oils to use,how to buy them and the methods with which they can be applied. I can also recommend other complimentary techniques for self help with many physical and emotional problems. Feel free to ask about: Skin disorders - eczema, psoriasis,atheletes foot Muscular aches and pains - arthritis, neck and shoulder tension. Painkilling - headaches, chronic pain, backache. Digestive disorders - IBS, constipation. Stress - depression, anxiety, grief, anger, concentration. Medicine cupboard - bites, stings, cuts, bruises,burns. Babies and childrens - tummy aches, colds, sleep problems. And many more !


I have been a qualified aromatherapist for twelve years, working in my own premises as well as mobile visiting. My clients have been varied - ranging from babies to the elderly and sadly,the terminally ill. Whilst many clients simply wish to use aromatherapy to promote a feeling of well being and keep themselves relaxed and healthy - I have had much experience of clients with specific needs. These are just as wide ranging - from skin disorders to back problems on the physical side - to the emotional and spiritual side of things and problems such as coping with grief and bereavement or helping combat anger and stress. I use a mixture of techniques including reflexology. I believe that aromatherapy is a very simple and natural method of self help that can compliment conventional techniques. I am passionate about passing on safe and sensible advice so that more people feel confident to try aromatherapy for themselves. Aromatherapy is not always a cure - but it's potency should never be underestimated. It can help, it can be life changing - and it's certainly worth trying

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