I have a good story to share tonight! Forgive me if this is a bit long; I'm trying to tell the story of how I thought through and selected a treatment.Quinton, my nearly-two-year-old, got up this morning with a barking little cough. Some chest congestion is fairly common for him-- he seems to have inherited my allergies. However, this was that unhealthy, hoarse sounding sort of baby cough that makes a mom think, "uh-oh, here we go." Except now, of course, Mom goes, "Hmm.... what can I try here? Which of God's amazing plants was created to help heal my little fella today?"I have a handful of aromatherapy books, all from different authors so that I can learn from multiple perspectives and backgrounds. Most of them caution that "more is not necessarily better" and that many oils work best in smaller amounts rather than larger ones. This seems counterintuitive to me, and I usually use the oils in higher concentrations than they recommend. However, I've been wanting to try obeying their instructions-- less oils means less expense, after all! If less works as well as (or better than) more, I'd be silly not to try it. Another principle that I find fascinating is that essential oils work BETTER together than separately... that a blend of two or more oils will make each oil more effective than it would have been when not combined with the others. (tip: Lavender, in particular, seems to work as a fantastic "booster" for other oils.) Again, this works against my sense of logic. But I wanted to use a blend for my fella to see this principle work to end his cough. With Quinton whoofing sadly as he played, I consulted my oil spreadsheet and pulled the oils I had that had mucolytic or anti-spasmodic qualities that would fight both the congestion and the cough. I was about to make a blend myself for him. (Yes, I'm slowly building an oil database. I used to design databases for a living. Nerdy, I know.) But then I remembered: I already had a blend on hand. I bought a "respiratory" blend (made of eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus radiata, eucalytus citriodora, pine needle, spruce needle, marjoram, lavender, cypress, peppermint, and myrtle) a few weeks back. I don't own six of those ingredients, so I'd figured the $5 investment in a small bottle would be handy this fall. Here was my chance to try it out. At the last minute, I added a little cedarwood, frankincense and myrrh, because I love the scents and all have qualities that would help a congested cough. So. Into a 5ml bottle (about 100 drops), I placed:
3 drops respiratory blend
1 drop frankincense
1 drop myrrh
1 drop cedarwood
...and filled the rest with a carrier oil (jojoba, because it doesn't go bad or need to be refrigerated). This is a blend of about 6% EOs to 94% carrier; still about twice as strong as several of those book authors would recommend. I looked doubtfully at this little bottle. So little essential oil in there! And at 3 drops a rub, there's enough to use on Quinton's little chest 33 times. How could this work?You know the rest of the story, of course, because why would I be writing this otherwise?
Three drops of the diluted blend, rubbed into his little chest, with a little up onto his throat just in case that might be hurting him too.The result? NOT ONE MORE COUGH from that moment on. I'm serious. I put him to bed tonight still incredulous at how effective this seems to be. Now, he may wake up with the cough in the morning again because I didn't continue the treatment-- I've had that problem myself with various things I've tried; once is often not quite enough to do the trick. But it sure seems to have healed him, and I won't hesitate to use it several times tomorrow to finish it off if I need to. It still blows my mind every time I get a result like this. What a gift!