I got the chance to visit my cousin yesterday and had a fantastic time. She and I have similar views on life – living more sustainably, making things at home, using essential oils and herbs – and it was so nice to talk to a real, live person about all these new things I’m discovering. Especially when that someone believes/does/uses the same things as I do. It can be so hard to make changes in your life when you don’t have anyone nearby to support you (BJ doesn’t agree but he is always supportive) so it was great to have a sounding board to share thoughts, questions, and ideas with.
When we were talking about essential oils I was telling her about how I got started with them and why I ultimately decided they were so wonderful and worth it. And I realized that in all my posts about essential oils (and there are certainly more to come) I haven’t shared my biggest reason for making the switch.
A few months ago (I honestly can’t remember exactly when now) I was at a baby shower for a friend. One of the other gals there had just had a baby herself and was talking about how she’s taking a break from selling essential oils (she uses doTerra). I had heard a little about how she used oils for herself and her family but I didn’t know, really, anything about them or how they worked. I asked a couple questions, she told me a little bit, and ended up giving me a sample pack of three oils: peppermint, lavender, and melaleuca (tea tree) essential oils. I brought them home and they sat on my dresser for a good few days before I even looked at them again. I just had no idea what to do with them.
Then a migraine hit. And if you’ve ever had migraines you know how horrible they are. I, myself, get at least two or three migraines a week. And it I don’t take something right away (as in as soon as I feel it coming), 30 minutes later I can’t do anything. Light sensitivity, over-heating, and nausea are the biggest symptoms I get with a migraine.
I know, I know, I should have seen a doctor about them so long ago. I’ve had them for at least 10 years – sometimes only once a week or less, but often up to two to three times a week – but I just don’t go to the doctor. I never do. If I can still function or find a solution at home I’m not going to the doctor. And before having a baby I was able to find relief with OTCs. Lots of OTCs, but they at least did the job. When a migraine would hit I would take over 1000 mg of Ibuprofen or two Excedrin® Migraine. They would provide relief but it would take up to an hour sometimes for them to take effect. For a long time I didn’t even think about how much medication I was putting into my body. It had become so normal for me that it was an unconscious decision to keep taking them when a migraine hit.
And then I got pregnant and had a baby. Luckily I didn’t have any migraines while I was pregnant (apparently that’s a thing) so I didn’t have to worry about it until Roly Poly was about 5 months old or so. I knew I couldn’t take Excedrin® because they would be so bad for Roly Poly. I felt like a lot of it would make it into my breastmilk and I was not ok with that. So I stuck with Ibuprofen. I only took about 400 mg (because 1000 mg is a lot when you’re breastfeeding) but it did nothing. I saw no reaction with little girl so I slowly increased how much I took with a migraine. When I got to an amount that would do anything to help I started seeing Roly Poly having a reaction to the medication. Nothing major, thank goodness, but any reaction at all told me that wasn’t a safe option anymore.
I honestly thought I would have to go to the doctor. I am not about to just suffer through a migraine because you can’t. Sleep doesn’t happen, they can last for days, you can’t function, and none of those things are good when you have a small baby at home. Thank goodness for those essential oils from my friend at the baby shower. The sample pack told me that peppermint essential oil was good for headaches so I figured I’d give it a try.
One drop swiped across my forehead at the start of the next migraine was all it took. Within a minute my migraine was gone. Gone. Not even the OTCs could do that. I figured maybe this one wasn’t going to be a migraine, or even a really bad headache. So I tried it again with the next one. Same results. And I’ve continued to have success with peppermint essential oil with almost all of the migraines I’ve had in the last few months. I will admit that there are times that it doesn’t quite knock it out. When that happens I take 1000 mg of Acetaminophen (yeah, I know that’s a lot but I take it right before bed and have at least 6-7 hours before Roly Poly wakes to breastfeed. And in my opinion that is so much better than before. Once a month or so I end up needing Acetaminophen after I’ve tried peppermint (I always give it at least an hour and several drops of oil on my forehead before making the switch) and that is so much better than more than 3000 mg of OTCs a week.
With the amazing results I get from using peppermint oil for my migraines I can guarantee you I will keep using them. It keeps me from going to the doctor, who will more than likely prescribe me an even stronger medication and would mean I could no longer breastfeed. It means I save tons of money on OTCs. And it means that I am able to use something that is safe to be around my little girl. All wins in my book.
Have you used essential oils yet? How have you found them to work better than OTCs?