They’ve been praised for their physical and mental health benefits by physicians, celebrities and natural health practitioners. But do essential oils like lavender oil and tea tree oil also have real benefits for your bank account?
Inexpensive and versatile, essential oils can be used for everything from health improvement to household cleaning, making them a great cost-cutter for homemakers searching for something that truly does it all.
From cleaning the dishes to freshening up old clothing, essential oils have more uses than most people realise:
Kitchen and bathroom cleaning
Surprisingly, essential oils — best known for their physical health benefits — double as low-cost natural household cleaners. Organic homemaking enthusiasts have already discovered how a variety of essential oils can be used to create cleaner, fresher kitchens and bathrooms.
For a cheap and simple bathroom cleaner, mix four drops of eucalyptus oil and an equal amount of tea tree oil with 500ml of warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and mix thoroughly for a versatile shower, bathtub and kitchen sink cleaning solution.
Freshening up old, worn clothing
Need to freshen up an old outfit? If your clothes are starting to feel and smell a little overly worn, a simple essential oil formula might be enough to freshen them up. Many essential oils are great natural deodorisers, making them perfect for brightening up aged and worn clothing.
For a simple clothing freshener, mix two drops each of lemon oil and tea tree oil in 750-1,000ml of warm water. Add four to five tablespoons of baking soda to create a powerful formula that can bring new life into even the oldest of winter outfits.
Inexpensive skin and hair care
Bergamot oil, one of the most popular essential oils, is closely linked to healthier skin, hair and nails. A favourite of celebrities, small amounts of bergamot oil can have serious positive effects on hair and skin health, making it a great low-cost replacement for costly skin creams.
There are two ways to benefit from bergamot oil: by applying it directly, and by mixing it into a warm bath. For a relaxing, skin-softening experience, add 10 drops of bergamot oil to a warm bath and soak for 10-15 minutes before bed.
Improving mood and energy
Did you know that essential oils, such as tea tree and lavender oil, are closely linked to better mental health and life satisfaction? Many physicians recommend essential oils to new mothers as a low-cost, natural way to reduce the effects of postpartum depression.
If you’re feeling stressed, frustrated or just in need of a mood improvement, try diffusing ylang ylang oil in the late afternoon or early evening. It only takes 10-15 minutes of exposure to give most people a natural pick-up in mood.
Relaxing after a long day of work
Essential oils are powerful stress relievers, especially for new parents. Instead of costly spa and massage treatments, try adding a few drops of chamomile or lavender oil to your nightly bath for a relaxing, stress-reducing experience.
Don’t have time for a warm bath? Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil — ylang ylang and bergamot are popular choices — to a reed diffuser to create a calming environment in your home throughout the entire day.