I am sitting in between flights in Phoenix feeling like something the cat dragged in. Congested and exhausted, I reach for some peppermint oil.
I put a few drops into my palms, rub together and bring them up to my nose and mouth to inhale deeply. Ahhh. I am saved, rejuvenated.
I rub a little bit into my shoulders and put a drop into my water bottle. A woman next to me smells it and asks for a whiff. Yes. Yes, please share this moment with me. We savor a moment of peppermint bliss together and it is awesome.
Essential oils are natural oils typically obtained from plant material by steam distillation or expeller press. They contain the ‘essence’ of the plant material, including fragrance and medicinal properties.
I got really interested in essential oils when I started making my own soap. At first I just wanted natural scents which would be gentle on my skin and smell amazing. I then learned about aroma therapy and the medicinal benefits. Some even talk about the spiritual benefits of essential oils. All these upsides plus they smell great-I was hooked.
Why are they essential in the one bag? Practically speaking, they are multi-purpose, which goes a long way when only carrying one bag. Medicine, perfume, and relaxation tools all in a little glass bottle.
On a somewhat New Age-y level, I also feel connected to some of these oils. Kind of like old friends; we know each other well. Delightful and comforting, a long trip without them would seem like a trip not worth taking. So, even with a limit on the amount of liquids one can carry, there are a few of these friends that can not be left behind:
I use peppermint oil as a decongestant. I put a few drops in my hands, rub together and inhale deeply. As a digestive, a drop or two in a bottle of water helps soothe stomach aches and indigestion. Peppermint also has a cooling effect on the skin and feels wonderful on sore muscles. These are the three main ways I use peppermint oil but there are many more.
Pete got stung by a bee as we were moving the last few things out of our place. I was glad to have lavender oil on hand to soothe his sting. Lavender also smells great and I use it as a skin tonic and to relieve stress. There are so many other uses however, it is worth a Google search.
If I had to, I could get by with these two. Together they are most everything one could want in medicinal and aromatherapy oils. They smell great, help with many common ailments, and are relatively inexpensive and easily found.
There are however, a few more that I made room for, which may or may not be replaced as time goes by:
Like peppermint oil and lavender oil, lemon oil has multiple uses. Also helps with digestion, it is a great cleanser, lymphatic system support, and metabolic. It smells great and is energizing. Like peppermint, I’ll put a drop or two in a glass of water and rub into skin with a carrier oil. Only at night though, as lemon can make skin sun sensitive.
I bought my first bottle of vetiver during the height of my essential oil frenzy a few years ago. I forgot I had it and only recently started appreciating it. It smells earthy and pungent and is a muscle relaxer. It is also thought to be emotionally balancing. It works great on my skin with jojoba oil.
A blend from Doterra. I really like this blend as a decongestant. I probably wont replace it, as peppermint and lemon are in it and can work as well, but I love the eucalyptus in the blend. I rub it into my palms and breathe in deeply as well as put some on my chest at night.
So, there you have it. Many good reasons for making room for a little bottle of oil (or five) in your one bag. They work hard for that space.