If you're anything like I was, you hear the term “essential oils” and your mind’s eye immediately sees a celebrity-type spending her day getting rubbed, scrubbed and submersed in mud. You would never think that essential oils would find a place or a purpose in your own life. Well, as my mother always says, “That’s what you get for thinking!”
Essential oils are nature's original remedy for healing and protection, and are technically described as concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing volatile aroma compounds, cultivated from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, brushes, herbs or seeds.
For today, let's consider the basics as they may apply to you and your classroom.
A is for Ancient
It is CRITICAL to understand that only 2% of essential oils on the market are considered “therapeutic grade.” The remaining 98% are aromatic and pleasant to the nose, but have no physiological benefits whatsoever. For the purpose of this article, I am referring exclusively to the 2%, and their potential to improve your health and your disposition. Although the number of oils and the various benefits of single oils and oil blends are almost endless, let's take a closer look at the top 5 benefits for you at school.
- Calming Nerves
- Improving Performance
- Eradicating Airborne Viruses and Bacteria
- Lifting Spirits
- Eliminating Unpleasant Smells
C is for Categories
My Go-To blends are -
Stress and Anxiety – Either singly or combined, these oils can be diffused during relevant times throughout the school day or based on school calenders, when students (and teachers) are inclined to be anxious or overly excited. They include -
- Ylang Ylang
Focus and Performance - If you or "the littles" need extra support at the end of a grading period while using your quick and easy ESGI 1:1 Assessments, or when teacher evaluation time rolls around, you might consider -
- Roman Chamomile
- Cinnamon Bark
- Tea Tree
- Bergamot Orange
There are some highly functional diffusers that work exactly the way you want them to, however they will only compliment your décor if you're going for that "early medical" theme. Other designs are very Zen-like and look terrific resting beside your miniature water garden; however, these styles may have limited functionality. Just do your research and select the option(s) that best meet your needs. I recommend that you start by looking on various essential oil distributors' websites, and end on Amazon.com. You’ll know all you need to know at that point!
E is for Everybody
Your Students – Although we may want to oil up "the littles" in an effort to help them in all sorts of wonderful ways, that’s obviously not an option unless you share a home address and your DNA! Diffusers are definitely the way to go in the classroom or workplace. The benefits are still great, so don't hesitate to diffuse to your heart's content!
Your Environment – The aromatic benefits of diffusing oils are obvious, but you can also use them for an environmentally friendly cleaning solution. Simply dilute the appropriate oils with water and vinegar, and store them in a glass spray bottle to use as needed. There are a host of essential oil cleaning formulas available online.
F is for Friend
G is for GO!
Maybe just start with a few, then see how it goes. To kick start your day, massage a few drops each of lemon and peppermint oil on your palms and the soles of your feet, then inhale deeply 2 or 3 times. It will definitely get your attention! If you do decide to try some oils, please make sure you use a reputable distributor. I can personally recommend the following, but there are many options available.