We’re excited to have Christi Luke on the website today with a blog post about Essentials Oils and how she uses them on the trail. I use essential oils for stuffy noses and I’ll never forget my nurse midwife using lavender essential oil while I was laboring with my second baby so I know they have benefits…but other than the occasional bug spray I never thought about using essential oils on hikes.
Regardless of your favorite brand of EO, or your favorite remedy, I think you’ll like what Christi has to say.
Before I had children, I remember hiking some incredible trails in Zion National Park, Yosemite and the gorgeous mountains of Panama. It was hours of on-the-go, miles, and miles of endless scenery and beauty. Having the ability to try any trail I wanted, and stop to take in the scenery as I pleased.
When my twin boys came along almost 5 years ago, hiking morphed into something different.
Stops to enjoy the view now included stops for bottle feedings, bandaging up a skinned knee, and potty breaks. Stopping to see another cool rock or stick and “Look, mom, come see this cool bug!”
Backpacks (and occasionally strollers) were the new name of the hiking game.
I’ve lived in some amazing places but I’ll always claim to be a Pacific Northwest Girl. I grew up in Seattle, finished off my teens in Colorado Springs and spent many years in Salt Lake City.
I have skied, snowboarded and hiked some amazing mountains!
But I never understood how much I loved outdoor adventures and getting out on the trail until I had my babies.
When they were young, I couldn’t wait to throw my babes in our brand new Deuter backpacks. Looking back, it’s hard to remember how tiny they really were, but it felt good to hike up those trails and show them what mommy and daddy loved so much.
It was a lot of work, and those hikes were definitely short and included numerous stops, but it didn’t really matter because we were sharing something with our littles that we loved so much. It felt so good to be in the outdoors, sharing a love of nature with a new generation.
Before kids, my hiking packs contained snacks and water. In the early days of having young babies they contained diapers, wipes and bottles. Now, with two rambunctious 4-year-old boys, our day packs are back to water and snacks and a one more major item I will NEVER leave home without. And this is seriously a lifesaver on the trail – my essential oils.
(Note from Rebecca, Christi recommends doTERRA essential oils and she sells them too. But I’ve used other brands of essential oils for minor illness and injuries and don’t advocate one brand over another or one essential oil consultant over another…Christi just happened to approach me with a blog post idea.)
When your kids have graduated from hiking backpacks, and are ready to take the trail with their own two feet, you all of a sudden are watching their little feet run ahead of you, stepping and stumbling over the rocks, branches, and little streams.
Those little feet aren’t as experienced and tend to fall and get a little scraped up and even bloody sometimes.
And the other potential accidents are endless.
My child got stung by a bee? Yep! That’s happened!
Poison ivy? Oh, yeah.
Oh wait, my child jumped over a crevice and missed and fell on their face? Yup, that too!
But guess what? We are totally prepared for it all now! Essential oils have empowered me so much on and off the trail as a mother, and have given me the ability to be prepared to help my kids in any situation.
Essential oils are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. They come from our beautiful earth and are truly nature’s gift to us! Essential oils give plants their distinctive smells, essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination.
In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices. Even with pure essential oils the composition of the oil can vary depending on the time of day, season, geographic location, method and duration of distillation, year grown, and the weather, making every step of the production process a critical determinant of the overall quality of the essential oil product.
Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user experience and desired benefit.
Here are my top 5 oils we never hit the trail without:
- Melaleuca (antibacterial)
- Lavender (soothes the skin – think bee stings)
- Helichrysum (“stitches” in a bottle)
- Deep Blue (helps those sore muscles)
- Wild Orange (gives you an energizing boost)
Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. Because essential oils have low molecular weights and are lipid soluble, they easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the applied area for a localized benefit.
I never worry about what could happen on the trail now as long as we always pack our top essential oils.
Christi Luke (The Eclectic Mama) is a wife and a mother of four-year-old twin boys. Christi was raised in the Pacific Northwest and feels her best when in nature. Christi has a major passion for holistic health and educates on the importance of eating clean and how to incorporate essential oils into your life and home. She loves sharing with others how many areas of our life can be affected with plant-based medicine. With a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and an Interior Design degree, Christi also loves to be creative and believes that mother nature is the original and best interior designer. Christi enjoys creating spaces that are unique and full of life, color, character, and charm. You can reach out to her firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on essential oils or find her on social media @theeclecticmama.