Traveling by car for an extended period of time can become exhausting for everyone, especially during the heat of the summer. We have compiled some tips we have learned for using essential oils to make car travel a more enjoyable experience.
Since space is limited, and things can easily become lost under a seat or in the clutter that inevitably happens during long car trips (especially on trips with small children), a little organization and planning can help keep your essential oil necessities accessible and ready to use the moment they are needed. To keep them handy, you can try some of the following:
Keeping the constant vigilance needed to safely drive and arrive at your destination requires an alert mind. According to the book Modern Essentials, peppermint, ylang ylang, lemon, basil, and rosemary essential oils applied to the temples and bottoms of feet may help with alertness. Diffusing invigorating oils such as these in the car can also help. Carol Schiller and David Schiller also recommend in their book, 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy, using small 4 oz. spray bottles with an invigorating blend of essential oils (such as 110 drops peppermint, 35 drops cinnamon, 35 drops lime, and 20 drops patchouli in 4 oz. of water) to mist in the car to help keep the driver alert (being careful not to spray this mixture around the eyes) (p. 86). If the driver is feeling very tired, he or she should stop driving and take a break.
In order to help alleviate the motion sickness that many people experience during car trips, Kurt Schnaubelt recommends using a drop of peppermint oil placed on a sugar cube and then eaten. He also recommends scenting the air in the car with a few drops of peppermint to lengthen the stomach-calming effect of the peppermint oil (Advanced Aromatherapy, p. 104). It can also help to keep looking outside, to open a window to get fresh air into the car, or to close your eyes until the feelings of sickness subside. Oils that help with car sickness are peppermint, Digestive Blend, and ginger.
While traveling during the summer months, especially when the car has been parked in the hot sun for a while, even a good air conditioner in the car doesn’t always work fast enough to keep you cool. Several essential oils that have a cooling effect include peppermint, eucalyptus, melaleuca, lavender, Roman chamomile, and citrus oils (Modern Essentials). Diffuse these oils in the car, place a few drops in a small spray bottle filled with water to spray in the car (being careful not to spray close to people’s eyes), or create your own cooling wipes to use on the skin. You can also try adding a drop of peppermint to a glass or metal water bottle filled with water and drink slowly. If you don’t have a glass or metal water bottle, try putting a drop of peppermint or a peppermint beadlet in your mouth; then as the oil fills your mouth, drink it down with water. Because some oils can break down plastic materials, especially thin plastics often used in making disposable water bottles, it is best to avoid putting oils in plastic water bottles.
Those who have traveled with young children know that it can be challenging keeping their attention focused on things other than how long and boring it is sitting in the same position for so long. Books, travel games, and portable video players are often used to help alleviate this boredom; but activities such as these that keep eyes focused on one spot inside the car can often lead to feelings of car sickness in many people. Click here for some car games that can help keep young eyes focused outside the car and thinking about other things.
If children are having a hard time calming down in the car, some essential oils that may help include lavender, bergamot, myrrh, ylang ylang, rose, Roman chamomile, and Calming Blend. These oils can be used in a massage oil, a wipe, or in a personal inhaler.
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Spanish sage, also known as sage lavender (Salvia lavandulifolia), is steam distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant. It belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family. The aroma is herbaceous and camphorous (with camphor as a primary chemical constituent), with a subtle lavender undertone.
Guaiacwood (Bulnesia sarmientoi)—pronounced GWHY-ack-wood—is steam distilled from the heartwood of the plant. It belongs to the Zygophyllaceae botanical family and is native to parts of South America. The aroma is woodsy with a subtle smoky-sweetness reminiscent of sandalwood. Its properties are...
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