I have been a fan of essential oils even before I moved to India, but since being here I have gotten a lot more interested in what they do, especially in terms of essential oils for travel & health. They have so many uses and I’ve teamed up with Wendy Selvig, an aromatherapist, to tell you about the best essential oils and their uses. I have a little essential oil carrying case to take them with me on the road and diffuser for home. You can even get travel diffusers which I’ll talk about below.
Essential oils are extracts from plants and it’s important to buy pure essential oils especially if you are going to take them as medicine. With oils, you get what you pay for and the cheap ones might smell okay but they are usually not effective in what they claim to help with. As a nurse, I am trained in Western medicine but have always been taught that everything is connected, like stress and your health. Essential oils have been researched by doctors over the years and there are loads of studies on Pub Med about their uses, although if you feel you need this for and illness you have, you should also see a doctor first and tell him you are supplementing with oils.
Essential Oils for Travel
There are a handful of essential oils I use for travel, but mostly it’s lavender and tea tree oil. The Young Living essential oil kit I have came with these little travel vials and since you fill them yourself you can do some mixing.
I use lavender often because it’s my favorite scent. I place it on little cotton pads and put it in my luggage every time I travel. When I get to my destination after sometimes even a 40 hour journey I love that I can open my bag and it smells fresh! Another great thing that lavender can be used for is sunburns.
I take the tea tree oil with me because I get really car sick. I rub it on my wrist and then smell it and take deep breathes. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or not, but it works for me. I can’t read or write in the car, I’m the type that has to keep my eyes on the road or just sleep through it.
Peppermint is one that I use for stomach issues, which you can imagine happen sort of often in India. As a nurse I feel like I can’t just take antibiotics all the time (it’s terrible for your system) so I have tried more natural health options. I’ll tell you more about them below.
I also use the citronella scent for misquotes. When I make candles, I add the oil because it smells good but helps keep away the mozzies! You can use the roller and put it on your ankles and backs of knees. It’s a great natural remedy.
Essential Oils for Health & the Home
You know those little lavender cotton pads I have in my luggage? I also put them in my closet and other wardrobes around the house. I love the way it smells! The other great thing with Lavender is to get a little spray bottle in the travel toiletry section of the store and fill it with water and about 10 drops of lavender. You can make your own “pillow spray” and other than bedding, I spray the curtains in my living room and couches.
Most of the oils are okay for putting on your skin, and a lot are great for massage! I do massage myself, but Thai so not with oils- I love an oil massage though and I use these now when the masseuse comes to my house. Yes, I know that sounds crazy but in India it’s really common and is anywhere between 10-20 bucks for a massage at home!
I use a diffuser in the morning when I work. I love the Stress Away blend but in general just love having a nice scent in the house. I bring candles from the US over but they are usually gone within the first few months and I can’t get nice smelling candles here. I love mixing different drops of oils in my diffuser. Each scent will usually last 3-4 hours.
The “allergy bomb”: This is something that Wendy tod me about which I do at night sometimes when my allergies are really bad. Put water in your diffuser and add 5 drops each of Lavender, Peppermint and Lemon. Rub a few drops of each oil on your wrist or on the bottoms of your feet as well.
You can put essential oils on gel capsules and basically make your own natural medicine just by placing a couple drops. You could even put them in your food if you want! Frankincense has been used by some for skin issues and thieves oil is anti-viral and anti-fungal so great to have on hand when you travel.
Essential Oil Carrying Case
While I have 10 little oil sampler bottles that you can fill up for short trips and take a few, if you’re going on a long 6 month backpacking trip or you use your oils regularly and take them to the office or want them in your gym bag or car, I suggest the 10-oil carrying case. Because it’s limited to 10 it’s smaller and 10 is still a decent number of choices to take with you. It’s compact, durable, and has a lot of color choices.
Another option is to take mini bottles and throw them in your toiletry bag. The kit I got came with 10 little bottles you can put small amounts in for a trip.
So, at home I have the Dewdrop diffuser and I love it, but I am definitely going to be getting a travel diffuser now that I’m so addicted to having these oils. The travel diffuser I am so keen to get is the USB diffuser. You put a little oil in the cartridge and plug it into your computer in your home, hotel room, or office! It’s genius. It would take up hardly any space in my bag. There is also the Travel Fan Diffuser which is a little larger but great to plug in hotel rooms. You could put citronella in it while traveling in mosquito areas and have your own room repellent.
Essential Oils by Young Living
The brand that I use is Young Living which I got from Wendy Selvig, a certified aromatherapist and reputable Young Living source. I recommend if you choose to buy Young Living oils you do so through her (her page the Oily Traveler is here), as she gives you so much information about how to use them. She lives in Central America and is a traveler too, with a travel blog. I have the starter kit and I took photos while I unwrapped it here in India so you can see what you get inside.
You get 10 oils, a big booklet of information, a diffuser, travel size bottles, a roller, some unique juice mixes that have great health benefits, and lots of samples. There are 10 oils and the “Stress Away” blend oil which I have had in my diffuser every single morning. Here are the 10 oils included and what they do:
- Thieves- taken in a capsule helps immune system (mix of cloves, rosemary, and more)
- Peppermint- add to tea for normal digestion, helpful for heartburn or stomach-ache
- Panaway- apply topically for foot massage or after working out (mix of peppermint, clove, wintergreen)
- Frankincense- earthy scent, put on face & neck for healthy glow, used in high-end spas, and reduces appearance of wrinkles
- Lavender- for the home, for calming aroma to help sleep, helps skin as well
- Lemon- dietary supplement and great to add to your water for flavor, also good for kidneys & digestion
- Purification- great for blemishes and moisturizing & neutralizes house odors (mix of Lemongrass, Rosemary, Citronella, more)
- Digize- add to water and drink for digestion (mix of Tarragon, Juniper, Anise, Fennel, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Patchouli)
- Copaiba- as a medicine promotes overall wellness, you can also add to your tea
- R.C.- smells like eucalyptus and good to breathe in over a bowl of hot water or apply directly to chest
Since I’m talking about Young Living as the oils of choice, I will share a little bit about why. There are so many essential oil brands but any searches online will point you their direction. They have a seed to seal process which is part of what makes them the best, but also that they have farms in places where the oils will be better including Idaho, Utah, British Columbia, Ecuador, Canada, Croatia, France, and Oman. The lavender in Utah for example, takes 3.5 years to harvest. They test in their own labs as well as 3rd party test each batch of oil to prove quality. The oils are Therapeutic grade and can be taken internally, which cannot be said for any oils you buy.
Buying Essential Oils
As I said, I got mine from Wendy. Young Living has individuals selling as it’s a wholesale club and even you could sell them if you wanted to. Selling the oils is something I considered doing, as I really believe in them but being in India right now, it didn’t seem right and I want to wait a little while.
Other than the way Young Living produces it’s oils, it’s unique in that they make their own blends that you can’t get anywhere else. Once you buy oils through Wendy you’ll also get to enter her secret Facebook groups which give all kinds of information about how to use the oils and you can post your own questions. If you have an illness you can see first hand if there’s an essential oil cure that’s helping others.
You can buy the oils on their own at retail price, or you can get the kit and shop wholesale prices like I did if you’re really interested in learning about using these in your daily life. When you buy the starter kit you’ll get all 11 of the main oils and a diffuser (and all the extras I mentioned above) and you automatically join their program for a year. For that year you get 24% of all your purchases which are already at wholesale costs. The kit is $160 but the costs of all the stuff separated is over 300 bucks. If you want to buy some oils, click here!
Once you click to buy, you can choose right away if you want to buy retail or if you want to join the wholesale program, of which they have more than oils: household cleaners, diffusers, animal products, hair and skin care, and health.
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My sister sells essential oils and wasn’t wiling to try. I bought some right before moving and traveling a lot and agree that I enjoy lavender the most. I also carry peppermint.