Thursday, September 11, 2014

ABC's of Essential Oils in School

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 


Thousands of years ago, essential oils were considered more valuable than the most precious jewels or metals, and highly coveted by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the Greeks, the Romans and the Arabians.Their healing powers were literally the world's original pharmaceuticals, but with no negative side effects!
 

B is for Benefits


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.
  1. Calming Nerves
  2. Improving Performance
  3. Eradicating Airborne Viruses and Bacteria
  4. Lifting Spirits
  5. Eliminating Unpleasant Smells 


C is for Categories 


Listed below are the single oils which have proven benefits within each area of focus.  It is important to note that *reputable therapeutic oil distributors have also created custom blends that contain varying combinations of single oils.  You can use these oils one at a time, create your own blends, or purchase some AMAZING blends that are named based on the resulting benefits.

My Go-To blends are - 
  • Peaceful
  • Focus
  • Valor
  • Warrior
  • Joyful


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 -
  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Vetiver
  • Orange
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium 

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 -
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon
  • Nutmeg
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Rosewood
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

Cold and Flu Prevention – Germs are always a concern in the  classroom, and staying healthy is an ongoing battle. Try the these oils in a diffuser to kill airborne viruses and bacteria, or follow the instructions for more targeted personal benefits. These blends are used in lieu of traditional antibiotics, and have amazing results.  Consider keeping a few bottles of Plague Defense, Warrior, Top Gun or Thieves on hand this winter. These blends are varying formulas comprised of:

  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Tea Tree
  • Oregano

Joy and Enthusiasm – When "the littles" are tired and sleepy, or spirits are low for any reason, the right blend of nose-pleasing, therapeutic oils can be just the ticket! I actually diffuse more of these oils than anything else. As long as no harmful germs are imminent, then feeling happy and positive is a top priority! A few popular happiness oils are -
  • Lemon
  • Coriander
  • Rose
  • Tangerine
  • Jasmine
  • Absolute
  • Geranium
  • Bergamot Orange

D is for Diffuser


Just think of it as a personal mister or a tiny cool mist humidifier.  Essential oil diffusers are easy to find, but I recommend the cautious approach to ensure that what you purchase is specifically designed to be used with therapeutic grade oils, and has settings that can be adjusted to accommodate your preferences and specific environments.


There are some highly functional diffusers that work exactly the way you want them to, however they will only compliment your d├ęcor 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


You and Your Family - Independent of whatever you’re doing in your classroom, you can use your oils for all sorts of wonderful benefits. Always read the directions as provided, but don’t hesitate to oil up whenever you need to. Use your hands to apply the oils directly on the soles of your feet, then cup them around your nose and mouth, deeply inhaling 2 or 3 times. 

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. 




Jayne Gammons

F is for Friend


An ESGI friend/teacher/blogger, and content developer, Jayne Gammons, explains how she uses her favorite oils in the classroom! Learn more about Jayne's ideas at  SmartKids: Five Oils for Your Classroom.  She agrees that there’s nothing better for getting rid of those lingering, not-so-nice aromas.


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.

Heritage Essential Oils

Young Living Essential Oils

doTerra Essential Oils