check out my list of favorite essential oils for the homestead
Essential oils have become a hot topic in our culture and are becoming more mainstream and widely accepted every day. Maybe you are like our family and you first discovered essential oils through one of several purveyors like doTerra, Young Living or Eden’s Garden. Essential oils have become popular topics of bloggers, celebrity doctors and nutritionists, natural health practitioners and yes…..homesteaders. Essential oils and their various concoctions have also become the darling of many a homesteading mom, my wife and her sister included.
I, however, think that all the attention given to tea tree, oregano, lavender and so many other glamorous and exotic oils has caused us to forget the other “essential oils” around our homestead. No, I am not taking about frankincense or blue tansy. I am talking about the oils that are even more important and critical to keeping things running smoothly around the house. Oils that, if they became unavailable, would bring things to a grinding halt. Curious? Let me tell you about my essential oils
Number one on my list would have to be motor oil. Sold by the quart rather than little 1 oz glass bottles, this is the stuff that keeps engines running around the world. What could be more essential that that? Image your life without engines. No trucks, tractors, chainsaws, generators, atvs, snowmobiles….you get the idea. Your life would become a lot more labor intensive and time consuming without these devices in it. Think Amish (although many of them use engines too). So, motor oil is my number one essential oil, even if it can’t heal an earache or help keep our kitchen clean. For all that it does this oil comes at a real bargain. A quart of 10W-40 can be picked up for around $5. An equivalent amount of lavender oil will set you back at least $200. Think about that. What’s your favorite essential oil now?
bar and chain oil
Next on my list of essential oils is a little beauty called “bar and chain oil.” I really like this one, it even comes in two styles (much like myself) – “summer weight” or “winter weight.” This important distinction has nothing to do with the consumption of carbohydrates or the amount of time spent watching Netflix. It refers to the viscosity of the oil and how fluid it is when used during the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Bar and chain oil is used in chainsaws to lubricate and cool the components of the saw that do the cutting, specifically – wait for it….the “bar” and “chain.” Without this essential oil chainsaws around the world would eventually burn out. This stuff is so important to chainsaw operation that you typically need to fill the bar and chain oil every time you refill your fuel. I can’t tell you much I like this stuff! As much as I appreciate a good ax or a 2-man pull-saw I wouldn’t want to use them to cut the 8-10 cords I use per year. Yep, the smell of a smoothly running chainsaw is my kind of aromatherapy!
extra-virgin olive oil and fractionated coconut oil.
For the sake of brevity, I will lump my last two essential oils together as they are somewhat interchangeable. They are extra-virgin olive oil and fractionated coconut oil. Both of these oils can be used for cooking, or as “carrier oils” for diluting medicinal essential oils, and also for making other recipes around the home such as dish and hand soaps. Personally, I cook almost exclusively with olive oil. While it isn’t the best for high-heat cooking, it has a wonderful flavor and aroma, and is a great way to incorporate healthy oils (omega 3 and 6) into your diet like many of the world’s healthiest people do around the Mediterranean. That right, these essentials oils are actually made up of other essential oils. It’s getting pretty mind-blowing right? Fractionated coconut oil has been processed (in a good way) so that only the most stable oils remain, allowing it stay liquid at room temperature and not go rancid once opened. We use both of these oils to keep our human machinery running well for the long haul.
That’s my short list of favorite essential oils for around the homestead. Despite the catchy title of this article, these oils are clearly gender neutral, I was just distinguishing them from the essential oils that my wife and her sister slather on everything from sick kids to smelly toilets. If there was one oil that just missed the cut it would have to go to “beard oil” which helps keep beards around the world “soft and manageable” – but as I don’t have a beard it didn’t make my list, but it could be on yours.
What about you? What are the “essential” oils you utilize around your home and homestead. Take a moment to consider all the types of oils in the world and how we use them, sell them, and even fight for them. Consider how much effort is expended to acquire them, process them, research them and sell them. Oils are an amazing and critical part of our life, and one that is so ubiquitous that we often take them for granted. The next time you start your car, deep fry a turkey or put a little lemon oil in your dish soap blend take a moment to appreciate all the essential oils in your life, and not just the fancy ones in the little brown bottles.
Leave a comment below to share your favorite essential oils and how you use them around your homestead.