My sister-in-law Debbie introduced us to tiny little bottles filled with what she called “essential oils” which she explained were “herbs distilled in concentrated amounts.” And yes, at the time I was intrigued by what she had to say, but I perceived them as a waste of money. How could one little drop work as well as the quarts of herbal teas we drank every day? Besides, my husband thought the oils stunk and didn’t want them in our house “smelling up the place.”
Now, I look back on our perception with wry amusement; after all, we were a family of eleven and farmers! Our house often smelled from any number of reasons—manure covered boots piled in the mudroom and ailing farm livestock, dogs, cats, sick calves, or lambs that frequently found a temporary home in our bathtub while we tended to them. We had fragrant herbs tied up by strings hung everywhere to dry, and our ever-present stash of onions and garlic—nature’s antibiotics—added to the “atmosphere.” All of this, combined with the waft of unpleasant aroma whenever the lid of our diaper pail opened! However, we were stuck in our perceptions; so we thanked Debbie politely, said no, and she went on her way—taking her little bottles with her.
Lucky for me (and I hope likewise for you), Debbie did not give up. She came over many times, extolling the virtues of these little wonders. Soon I realized she was right. So…slowly, I tried them…one essential oil at a time. The first ones were from herbs I couldn’t get locally. My very first oil was Frankincense, which remains a favorite. I did not know much about essential oils then, except —if it burned, add olive oil to it.