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ESSENTIAL OILS: Greening Your Body And Your Home

Essential oils are so named because they contain the essence, or unique scent, of plants.  Essential oils are used in everything from bath products to household cleaners to food products.  In recent years essential oils have experienced a resurgence of popularity through aromatherapy. Essential oils such as lavender oil and rose oil are heralded for their calming properties.  But essential oils can also serve much more practical functions.  If you make your own household cleaners, which is much cheaper and much less toxic than buying conventional cleaners, you can add tree tea oil as a disinfectant and a scent-enhancer.  Orange, lemon, and pine oils, which are essential oils found in many conventional cleaners, also help remove stains and add shine.  Another disinfecting essential oil is eucalyptus, which can be added to laundry loads to kill dust mites.  Plus eucalyptus makes it easier to breather more deeply.  I once developed congestion the 24 hours prior to a triathlon and used eucalyptus oil on a tissue, which I lodged in a nostril overnight and awoke with 80% less congestion.

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