‘Tis the season to travel to visit friends and relatives, but it is also the season for germs, overeating, travel sickness, and stress. However, you can be prepared to combat all of these things with just a few essential oils (Image 2) that can make your trip seem more like a vacation than a stressed-out trip during the holidays.
Lavender – Known for it’s relaxing and gently sedating properties, lavender is one of the least expensive, and most versatile oils you can find; it’s often called the “Swiss Army Knife” of oils. However, most people are not aware that lavender oil is also a great skin soother, bug repellant, and pain reliever. In addition, you can use lavender for bruises, sunburns, insect bites, sleep aid/sedative, or for swollen feet and ankles. According to Mountain Rose Herbs, an Oregon corporation specializing in 100% pure aromatic, organic extracts, lavender essential oil has no known precautions.
Tips: For headaches: Put a drop or two on your fingers and massage into temples and between eyes, being very careful to avoid eye area. For a sleep aid: Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow before lying down. For bruises, cuts, and scrapes: Apply a few drops to the area with a cotton ball or swab. For sunburn: Dilute in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil, or even better, aloe vera, and apply to affected area.
Peppermint – According to Doreen DeSarres, aromatherapist, owner, and operator of Nature’s Spirit Distinctive Aromatherapy by Doreen since 1988 in Brevard County, Florida, peppermint essential oil is a “powerful digestive stimulant,” that also makes for a great antiseptic. At her shop, Nature’s Spirit, she often recommends this oil when traveling to aid in digestion, upset stomach, or to “enhance breathing.” Peppermint can also combat lethargy and headaches, fight nausea and fever, and motion sickness. Considered the world’s oldest medicine, this oil is a must when traveling. Mountain Rose Herbs says to avoid using this oil while pregnant or if you suffer from epilepsy.
Tips: For indigestion/upset stomach: put a few drops of peppermint oil in a glass of water and drink it after eating. For nausea and motion sickness: inhale directly. For headaches: Dilute in carrier oil such as olive, coconut, or grape seed oil and place a drop directly on forehead.
Citrus – There are several citrus essential oils to choose from (Image 3) for travel, such as orange, lemon, and lemongrass. Doreen suggests trying mandarin (orange) essential oil, which is “wonderful for travel” and “easing nausea.” Often used in many potpourri blends for the holidays, the scent of citrus induces the flavors of the season. Always use caution when using citrus oils before exposure to the sun, as it may produce a phototoxic effect.
Tips: For dehydration: Mix 1 liter bottled water, 8 tsp. sugar, ½ tsp. salt, and 8 drops of a citrus oil or blend, shake well. Drink one glass at a time. To uplift or relax: fill spritzer bottle ¾ full with distilled water, add 6-8 drops of your favorite citrus oil or blend (mandarin, lemongrass, or bergamot are great for this), and spritz in car or on airline seat, and around face, hair, and shoulders while keeping eyes shut.
Rosemary – Rosemary is uplifting and stimulating, according to Doreen. It is a great oil to bring along when traveling, especially on long trips, as it promotes alertness, as well as reduces stress. Rosemary essential oil has pain-relieving properties, the ability to clear the airways, as well as give relief from respiratory problems. Mountain Rose Herbs suggest you avoid using rosemary in epilepsy, hypertension, and while pregnant.
Tips: To refresh/rejuvenate yourself: Add a few drops (6-8) to distilled water in a glass spray bottle (Image 4) and spritz around face, hair, and shoulders while keeping eyes closed. To refresh/rejuvenate atmosphere: Mix same as above and spritz around a hotel or guest room to freshen the air and create a peaceful atmosphere amidst the holiday rush. For congestion: Add 2-3 drops to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil such as coconut, sunflower, or olive oil, and rub over chest.
When purchasing your travel essential oils, whether online or locally, be sure that you are getting them through a company that carries organic oils produced from sustainable resources. Online try Mountain Rose Herbs, or find your local herb and aromatherapy shop similar to Nature’s Spirit, so that you can be sure your oils are of the highest grade, and able to be sustainably harvested for everyone’s future enjoyment. Happy Holidays and safe and joyous travels!