How Essential Oils Saved Our Summer

Young Living Essential Oils
Young Living Essential Oils and the diffuser that makes my house smell so wonderful!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This post is not medical advice. This is my personal experience about what worked for me and my family. I have no way of knowing if essential oils truly helped any of the situations described below.

July has not been the best month for our family. We’ve had injuries, illness, and homeowner emergencies one after another. But one positive that came from this ghastly month is I’ve proven the value of using essential oils – at least to myself and my family.

On July 4th, my son sprained a ligament in his elbow- the night before he was scheduled to leave for his beloved summer camp. He needed to be in a splint for 2 weeks, taking it off for gradually increasing periods of time, stretching, and applying moist heat. Looking for ways to speed the healing process, I broke out the guidebook to essential oils I had ordered. PanAway – a blend of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint – can help ease muscle and ligament injuries, it stated. With some skepticism, I started massaging the oil on his elbow before applying moist heat. He was pretty much good as new in a week and half, though there’s no way to know the oil had any effect. He’s young and healthy.

But when my daughter came down with a sore throat, low fever, and red, swollen gums, I decided to further test my oils in advance of the doctor’s appointment. After some serious Googling, I determined she may have had strep throat, a mouth infection, or thrush. Based on her symptoms, I had her start oil pulling (swishing coconut oil in her mouth for 5 – 15 minutes) and using a mouthwash/gargle of Thieves, Peppermint and water. The results here were pretty astounding. Her sore throat and fever were noticeably improved the next day and gone in two days. The swelling also improved within a day, taking about a week to be back to normal. Since some illnesses resolve themselves naturally and my kids have pretty strong immune systems, there’s no way to know for sure what effect, if any, the essential oils had. But I was definitely intrigued and was able to avoid a costly visit to the doctor.

essential oils for poison ivy
This. All over my back & stomach. Ugh.

Then I got poison ivy. I’m highly sensitive to this demonic plant. I didn’t touch it and I washed after gardening, but ended up with a serious rash all over my entire torso. I had on a T-shirt and pants, so how did it get on my torso? I’m not entirely sure, but in any case, it’s not a fun place to have poison ivy. It was painful to even wear pants. As a disgruntled veteran of Ivarest, Calamine and baking soda, I turned this time to the essential oils for relief. Anticipating the itchy rash turning to oozing blisters and complete misery for about two weeks, I was amazed to find the poison ivy rash gone in a week with no oozing blisters. Here’s the recipe I used that I’d found online:

essential oils for poison ivy
My “Poison Ivy Tonic.”

Poison Ivy Tonic

2T water
2T apple cider vinegar (use Bragg’s “with the mother”)
1t sea salt
3 drops tea tree oil (cleansing)
3 drops peppermint (cooling)
3 drops lavendar (calming)

Mix this in a bowl or bottle and apply several times a day with a cotton square. Be sure to shake or mix well before each application.

So while this hasn’t been the best summer on record for our  family, I’m very happy to have discovered essential oils. I feel a bit like Claire in the TV show Outlander as I research the different oils, their history and legends, and how to use them. Not only has it helped our ailments but it’s also pretty fun.

Essential Oils for Travel

The essential oils I will always bring with me when traveling? Here’s my list:

  • Thieves – Antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infection. Basically a ninja oil. Legend has it Thieves was used by a group of 15th-century thieves who rubbed oils on themselves to avoid contracting the plague while robbing the bodies of the dead and dying. I rub it on my hands before heading to the airport and on the plane.
  • Peppermint – Another ninja oil with all kinds of claims, I like peppermint to help attention and focus. It’s a stimulating smell and it’s also said to curb appetite.
  • Lavender – I don’t particularly love the smell of lavender, but my daughter does and she now includes it in her bedtime routine, rubbing a bit on her feet, palms, and pillow for relaxation. It’s also good for soothing skin if you’re going to be in sand, salt, and sun.
  • Stress-Away – A mix of copaiba, lime, cedarwood, vanilla, ocotea, and lavendar, this blend smells heavenly. I love to use it on a road trip to calm everyone down!

I use Young Living essential oils, and have also bought them from my local health food store. Be sure to look for 100% pure therapeutic grade oils. If you’d like to save 24% on Young Living Oils, sign up as a member here and order your starter kit or contact me with questions.


  1. I get poison ivy every year. I have tried everything out there (I mean EVERYTHING). Nothing works as well and gives instant relief like this EO treatment. It also dried up amazingly fast. I use this and make it for everyone who complains about having poison ivy. This is the BEST ever remedy for poison ivy!!!

    • I just put this on my daughter and she complained of it stinging. I put coconut oil on top of it to reduce the stinging. Does it sting for you as well or did I do something wrong?

      • It does sting at first, but the sting goes away. The stinging is due to the drying action of the vinegar/salt. I wouldn’t advise putting any type of oil on poison ivy – you want to keep it as dry as possible.


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