Essential Oils – More Than Just a Pretty Smell

We all know that essential oils smell great, but did you also know that they have numerous medicinal properties and applications? I had no idea until relatively recently that they were capable of having tremendous effects on the body. While I have used herbs for a long time in my approach to health and healing, I hadn’t yet learned the true value of essential oils and their place within a holistic approach to health.

My love and study of essential oils began when a colleague and partner of mine, for whom I have great respect, recommended that I buy a few therapeutic grade oils that were working wonders for her family. I took the plunge and I bought a number of them to try. I figured if nothing else they would at least make my house smell great.

My family and I are pretty healthy, so it took a couple of weeks before we could really put the oils to the test. My first use for them, aside from diffusing lavender at night in my room because it smelled nice and is known to help with sleep and relaxation, was to help with a kink in my neck. Usually when I would get one of these, it would last a few days and I would lack full range of motion in my neck during that time (not quite ideal with a 6 year old, 4 year old and 8 month old to keep up with!). When I woke up one morning with that all to familiar kink, I decided to put on an oil blend specific for pain and muscle tension and see what would happen. It tingled at first, kind of like it does when you use icy-hot. After about 2 hours the discomfort had improved, but wasn’t gone entirely so I reapplied. Within an hour the discomfort had disappeared, I had full range of motion in my neck and I couldn’t feel the knot anymore. I was thrilled. However, even more thrilling was the chance to try some out on my admittedly skeptical husband for a headache that had been plaguing him. While he supports me in my natural ways and holistic beliefs, he lovingly refers to me as his “hippy wife” and has joked for years that one day I was going to start having patchouli oil around the house – how right he turned out to be! To say that he that he prefers an allopathic approach to his health would be accurate. It took some convincing, and a decent amount of hemming and hawing on his part, but he finally agreed to try the oil. After about 15 minutes, he grudgingly admitted that it seemed to be helping, and then sure enough an hour later he was asking if I had any oils for muscle aches. For me, that was all the proof I needed!

Our home now has an essential oil for pretty much any ailment, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed witnessing their powers in action, not only in my own family, but those of friends as well. I’ve been on a journey to learn as much about essential oils and their medicinal uses as possible. It’s quite amazing really, how many there are and how they serve such diverse roles when it comes to our health, both physically and emotionally. While the history of their use is rich, scientific data is only now starting to emerge. Among some of the more recent and compelling findings are that the essential oil of Frankincense causes bladder and breast cancer cell death and might very possibly be an option in the treatment of those cancers; that Melaleuca oil is effective again MRSA and fungal infections; and that the oil of oregano appears to reduce infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics. The list can go on and on, but I’ll stop there for now.

I’m excited and honored to be a part of the Mothering community and start sharing what I’ve learned about essential oils and their many, many uses.

Amy Paolinelli

About Amy Paolinelli

Amy is a mom of 3 lively kiddos, a wife, and an advocate for natural living. Prior to having children, she worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist with high-risk youth. After having her first daughter, she found her passion in pregnancy, childbirth, babies, and natural living. She is now an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in private practice, a student of Herbal Medicine for Women, and cofounder of 3Girls Holistic – a truly pure herbal skin care line. She loves getting her hands dirty in the garden and spending time near the water. You can find more of her writings at www.3girlsholistic.com