Melaleuca Essential Oil. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How to use it.

Melaleuca Essential Oil.  Who, What, When, Where, Why and How to use it.

A few years ago when selling a friend an intro essential oils kit when his husband referred to them as “snake oils”.  I was a little offended as  I believe in the efficacy of essential oils, but it turns out there was a bit of truth in his statement.

Who thought to use this Plant for the Oil:  The indigenous Bundjalung people of Australia have been using Melaleuca Alternifolia  for years medicinally.  They use a poultice on wounds, inhale the oils from the crushed leaves for respiratory support and infusions were made to treat skin irritations.  These people really paved the way for us today to understand how the difference between a common name and a latin name is quite important.  In the case of this particular plant where there are several plants that fall under the “teatree” label, many of which can be poisonous when taken internally.  The specific variety Melaleuca Alternifolia seems to be much less controversial.  As always, consult with your health care professional and when we are using essential oils When in doubt, Take the Safest Route Be smart, know your body and follow all the safety protocols and dilution rates.

What is Melaleuca: Melaleuca Alternifolia is a variety of TeaTree oil which has been used across the world for centuries, and guess what, according to this website, it is the original “Snake Oil”… who knew? It has over 92 different compounds and what some believe are limitless uses, although, If I was challenged, I’m pretty sure I could find a limit, like probably not a great ice cream topping.  Back in the day Pre 1920, Captain James Cook (is anyone else thinking about star trek right now?) used the plant leaves as an infusion tea which is probably where the common name “teatree” came from.

What type of plant is it?: Melaleuca grows all over the world, but is Native to Queensland and New South Whales.  The oil is distilled from the leaves of the plant, which is grown to the appropriate height then chopped off for harvest, and then just starts growing again making it a farmers delight.  It sure doesn’t seem as finicky as other plants, but in as much it is sure a powerhouse.

When and Where: Teatree in general “is commonly acceptable as an antimicrobial agent to  calm and fungal issues of the scalp and feet.” (Schnaubelt, Kurt, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2011, p 18) Although wikipedia says this is absolutely not true.  Go Figure, there’s a dispute about how to use essential oils.   Schnaubelt goes on to say that 1-3 drops of Teatree in a glass of water when drunk multiple times a day can affect cystitis or an inflamed unrinary bladder. (p134) Although wikipedia says it is poisonous when taken internally.   I personally base my decision about where to use this oil on the purity of the oils I use and knowing my body well enough to feel when something doesn’t agree with it.  But I also believe that the safest option is the best option.   Don’t forget to dilute it in a carrier oil.  Even if your skin is fine with it today, it might not be fine with it a year from now as skin sensitivities can build up over extended amounts of time increasing from not noticeable initially to extremely painful after multiple exposures.  Dilute Dilute Dilute.

One of the things that I absolutely loooovvvveeee to do is put 2 drops of melaleuca in my facial cleanser along with 2 drops of peppermint and give my face, neck and decollate a little massage in the shower.  After I rinse it off my face, it is left tingly and great.

Because I am a geek about how things work, but am not a science geek I have read how essential oils can affect a virus, but I just couldn’t picture it in my head. Until, I found this gem of a video, Voila… I now get it.  It shows how Oregano and Melaleuca can work together to get inside a virus and kill it.

 

Which  I Found interesting because I recently also came across a study done by Johns Hopkins that was published in the Journal of Infectious Disease and preventative Medicine that outlines how essential oils both in combination with existing antibiotics and without could be the answer to defense against the rise in “super bugs” or antibiotic resistant bacteria.  It is proving effective because of essential oils ability to penetrate the walls of a cell and get to the virus.    BAM… Take that all you “snake oil” naysayers!!!

 

Why:  I love my melaleuca, here are the top 5 reasons I will reach for it.

  1. To put in my facial wash
  2. to zap a blemish on my skin Just roll a little on
  3. I mix it in a little water and spray the inside of my husbands shoes to get rid of the smell.
  4. I roll it on the front of my throat the minute it starts to tickle (you know not a good tickle, but the kind when your about to go down and your voice is gone so you can’t even shout about it.)
  5. I add Melaleuca and lemon to my household surface cleaner.  They’re both antibacterial.

How:  do I use this lovely oil you ask.  Well my favorite thing when I am looking to apply it topically is to use the melaleuca touch which is pre-diluted with a carrier oil in a roller bottle so that it comes safely ready for everyone in your house to use.   But because I’m a freak I also have the 15ml bottle of oil that I can use to put drops in my cleaning solutions.  Here’s 2 of my favorites.

 

 

Throw out Your Comet and use this instead: Super Scrub

  • Put 1 cup of baking soda in a mason jar with a flip lid
  • Add 10 drops Lemon
  • Add 10 drops Melaleuca
  • Shake it up and sprinkle wherever you need a little gentle scrubbing action.

 

Here is the link to the mason jar tops that turn your mason jars into a shaker bottle, They’re freaking awesome.  I love that ball and other jar companies are finding ways to make re-useable things for us so that we aren’t creating so much trash.  Here’s what it looks like.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 4.32.46 PM
Pretty Rad huh!  I can’t wait until they make different colors, but Green work great for now.  You just replace this with the metal disk that goes on top of your jar, then add the existing band that you already used with it over the top of this.  Depending on how much scrubby stuff you go through you can select different size jars.

 

Multi Surface Cleaner

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 15 drops Melaleuca
  • 15 drops Lemon

Shake and spray on any surface to clean and disinfect.

And here is a link to the glass jars I use for my multi surface spray cleaner they come with chalk labels on them. Otherwise you can get the bottles and labels separately on amazon.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 4.37.12 PM

 

For more power first sprinkle on the baking soda then put the vinegar mixture over the top and it will foam up a bit.  Love doing this for the super hard places to get clean. (like dog crates…uggghhh)

 

Let me know in the comments what your favorite use for Melaleuca Oil is, or what future blog posts you would like to see.

Contraindications of Melaleuca: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

 

That’s it for now, I hope you enjoy

xo

s

Why use Peppermint Essential Oil

Why use Peppermint Essential Oil

Ahhh Peppermint Essential Oil, it is one of my favorites.  It can do a plethora of things from helping cool your body to keeping ants and spiders out of your house.  Here’s the skinny on this fantastic oil and how I use it… what seems like daily.

Who came up with the bright idea to use this plant originally.   It came on the scene with the Romans and Greeks who would crown themselves with peppermint at their feasts.  It was also used by them to season both sauces and wines (I’m not entirely confident in their wine decisions, but I guess it’s too late to really tell them).  Although there is a little evidence that it was also used by the Egyptians, it was definitely used by the Roman and Greek Physicians in their medical practice.

In Greek Mythology, of course, it has a romantic somewhat tragic story.  Mint was once the nymph Menthe, whom Pluto had wondering eyes for because she was super hot.  Persephone, Pluto’s jealous wife, pursued Mentha gave her a smack down like no other, ferociously beating her into the ground.  Pluto then changed Menthe into a delightful herb, and she was no longer a problem for Persephone.

What is peppermint?  Peppermint (menthe piperita) is considered the “River of Creativity”, peppermint is a plant that grows from 1-3 feet in height.  The oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant.

When do you use it?  Well if you’re me, every day.  I love the way that it smells, and it’s cooling affect on the body.  Historically it has been used in tons of medical treatments.  It is even the original chemical constituent that is synthetically reproduced in aspirin, “always use peppermint instead of aspirin“-Tisserand, 1977 p269.  Tisserand goes on to quote many essential oil scholars about the cooling affect it has on the body, the stimulation of the bowel, its ability to dispell nausea as well as its antiseptic qualities.  I never travel out of the country without it, as when traveling across Thailand in a train, or using public restrooms in Cuba, I need it to either help stave off motion sickness, or cover unbearable smells by rubbing it under my nose.

While Peppermint is also used to relive skin irritation or itching, for some, it can also be very irritating to the skin and should always be diluted to less than 1%, as over time the body can become sensitized to it and a sudden reaction could happen (Tisserand, 1977, p270).  It should also be avoided while pregnant or nursing. Tisserand also states that “when applied externally it relieves the breast of curdled or congested milk and prevents infection.  Internally it will discourage the flow of milk to the breast“. Which makes no sense to me after he says not to use it while breastfeeding or pregnant, but, hey I’m not one of the worlds leading experts in Essential Oils, so I’m not going to argue with him.

A great time to use Peppermint essential Oil is during meditation as it helps you to truly remain present.  It is also said that it can help you get in touch with your subconscious and deep inner feelings, with peppermint in the diffuser make sure you take some time to journal, as it will be a very effective journaling session.

Complimentary stones to use in combination with Peppermint for any spiritual practice would be Apache Tears, Orbicular Jasper, Orthoceras Fossil, Elestial Crystal, Time Link Crystal (Limbo 2016, p173-174)

Where is Peppermint grown?  Well if you know anything about gardening, you know that it grows just about everywhere and invades into flower beds often taking over where you don’t want it to. Many gardeners consider it a weed and fight like hell to keep it contained.  I have felt a lot like Persephone while trying to keep my peppermint in check, only to eventually rip it all out and limit its growth to containers.  Despite how lovely it looks and smells, I just don’t want all my flower beds to be peppermint beds.

Despite it’s current day affliction to growing everywhere you don’t want it to, it is cultivated in Italy, parts of the US including the Pacific Northwest (shout out to the #PNW ), Great Britain and Japan as well as in the Mediterranean where it originated.

The doterra peppermint is actually sourced from the Pacific Northwest in the most sustainable way possible.  Here is a video on the sourcing of Peppermint Oil that I love.  I really enjoy hearing from the second and third generation farmers that have learned this trade that has passed down through their family.  It is also of considerable note that Dr. Pappas, the worlds leading expert speaks to this brand of Peppermint Oil in the video.

 

Why do I use peppermint?  Well I use it because it takes me back to Christmas time as a child and those sugary candy canes.  It also calms my stomach and keeps me awake in the middle of the afternoon when I’m dying for a nap.  I love to use it with Lemon and Lavender when their are all sorts of pollens in the air.  It is truly just a delicious smelling oil.

Another reason I use it is because of it’s cooling qualities.  I will roll some on the bottom of my feet before going into a hot yoga class.  While I find it cooling there are some that find it warming, which is the body responding and heating up in response to the cooling qualities of peppermint. In this way it has been used both for treating disorders of heat or cold, such as influenza, fevers or chills (Tisserand, 1977 p269).

I have always loved peppermint tea, and I love it diffusing in my house.  I love the taste of peppermint and when I make brownies, which is not often, I put 4 drops in with the brownie mix before baking to have the best peppermint brownies on the planet.

Recently because it is spring I have been getting tons of questions about natural insect repellents.  Here is my recipe that I spray in the corners and wipe my baseboards down with to keep the spiders at bay:

Natural Spider Repellant

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 7 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil (spiders hate it)
  • 15 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (spiders Run from it)
  • 15 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil (it causes irritation to their legs)

Mix it all together in a spray bottle and shake before using.

To learn more about the most high quality essential oils that are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, click here and give me a shout.

Follow this blog, for weekly updates on Essential Oils, Healthy Living, Recipes and other Hippy Dippy stuff.  You can also check out my youtube channel at Essential Oils Gangsta and if you found this helpful or interesting please feel free to share it.

If there are specific blog posts you would like to see, comment in the comments section, or feel free to comment on your favorite use for peppermint essential oil.

Have a Great Day

xo

s

 

**Please note, I am not a medical professional and this information is not meant to diagnose, treat or prevent illness.  Always consult with your physician. These statements have not been approved by the FDA.