Doctor Mom: Indispensable At-Home Care Tools

Have you noticed a rise in natural home remedies when it comes to common everyday situations that require fast-thinking care? Fact: Plants were man’s first medicine. Our ancestors figured out their own health hacks by observing, touching, smelling, ingesting plants. As a mom and aromatherapist, I find myself returning to traditional practices I grew up on when I became aware of how powerful they can be. Since then, plant constituents have become my new best friends. They have fundamentally changed my life, and not a day goes by without us using essential oils and plant-based products.

Gary Young once said, “Anything that goes on your body should be good enough to go in your body. There should never be an exchange. For instance, you should not have to take something for your heart that destroys your liver.” I love this because it is in line with the Hippocratic oath, “First do no harm.” The chemistry of plants dovetails with our own chemistry to benefit our health and wellness. I am thankful that I can turn to natural solutions that won’t cause harmful side effects or damage, even while waiting to speak to a medical professional when I need to. 

There is a wealth of excellent and quick-acting ideas for most minor troubles you can turn to in a home wellness kit of essential oils! The practice of using oils isn't exactly new. In fact, they have been used across all world cultures for thousands of years for healing and wellness, because humans have a symbiotic relationship with plants. Modern aromatherapy has made them even more accessible. They have a long shelf life. They are conveniently compact and handy. They smell amazing. They are safe. Best of all, they work, when used properly! Check out my post on how to use essential oils.

This post is not meant to take the place of any medical care when required. But when minor mishaps can easily be handled at home, a lot of them are self-limiting. In that respect, the human body is fascinating! Just think about this for a minute: How many times have we cut ourselves and have healed without a trace? When we are under the weather, did you know our body can recover? With proper nutrition and smart lifestyle choices, a healthy body really has the ability to heal itself - and a little help from the plant kingdom could very well be the boost the doctor ordered!

When faced with a skin, tummy, breathing, vitality imbalance, or are looking to soothe booboos or sore and achy muscles, aromatherapy can be a powerful, safe, and effective part of your quick-response kit. I’m here to propose that anyone can know which oil to turn to for different needs, whether physical or emotional, and that having oils in your home maybe the wellness revolution you’ve been looking for. So arm yourself with a collection of plant essences you could turn to when handling common everyday situations. Below is a great way to start, and could save yourself some time and money. 

How to navigate this list:

Think about the action of the plant and then apply it to the issue you are trying to address. If the plant is calming, then use that with intention. Are you trying to calm the skin, the tummy, or the breath? Are you trying to cleanse an irritation or the nails? The same action can apply to emotions because the aromas are meant to be inhaled. Do a little research on the key constituents and allow them to work in harmony with your body’s healing power and bring it back to balance.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Derived from the Latin word “lavare,” which means “to wash,” Lavender essential oil has been used extensively for thousands of years as a fragrant addition to baths and laundry and as a culinary and medicinal herb. Considered the panacea of aromatherapy, Lavender essential oil has endless uses because it protects and renews. In addition to its tranquil aroma, Lavender provides many skin care benefits and can help cleanse, calm, and soothe minor skin irritations and after sun exposure when applied topically. Known as the mother of all oils, think about the loving care mom gives when we need her. Lavender is so versatile, it is good at almost everything. It contains the natural occurring constituents linalyl acetate and linalool. I keep an extra bottle in the kitchen for those occasional cooking mishaps and in our wellness kit for spot treatment for minor bumps and blemishes.

Key constituents: Linalyl acetate, Linalool


Lemon (Citrus limon) was historically regarded as a cleanser, and protector, and supports normal circulation, and breathing. It is widely used in skin care as an astringent and tonic. Fight oil with oil—for real! This skin care superstar great for spot application because it is degreasing and drying action. Just remember to use lemon on your skin only at night or wait at least 12 hours before heading outdoors. Take a whiff from the bottle and you’ll experience drying action up your nose. That comes in handy when you need that! It contains the naturally occurring constituent, limonene, known to have a number of wonderful benefits. Lemon Plus contains antioxidants, provides immune and circulatory support, and can be used to add a fresh flavor to food and beverages. A drop in our drinking water is a health hack we employ each time someone is off balance.

Key constituents: Limonene, Gamma-terpinene, Beta-pinene


Peppermint (Mentha piperita) calms and cools. It contains the naturally occurring constituents menthol and menthyl acetate. When applied topically, its cooling action helps regulate normal body temperature. Its calming action is comforting to the skin, head tension, tired muscles and joints and soothing to the belly after a heavy meal. So I use peppermint with intention diluted in a massage because that signature sensation of peppermint on your skin means it’s getting things moving. When I need a way to open up the senses for clearer deeper breathing, it’s got to be peppermint! Peppermint Plus can also support healthy digestive function and gastrointestinal comfort, and adds a fresh, minty flavor to food and beverages.

Key constituents: Menthol, Menthone

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) essential oil has been named “the king of essential oils” and has been known to enhance immunological function, support healthy skin, and increase spiritual awareness. Frankincense is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian scroll from approximately 1500 BC that documents its use for skincare, and for health purposes, so it isn’t any wonder that frankincense is hailed as a crown jewel. It contains the naturally occurring constituents alpha-pinene, limonene, sabinene, and beta-caryophyllene and supports overall wellness and vitality when applied topically. Just like a noble king, Frankincense makes things right.

Key constituents: Alpha-pinene, Beta-caryophyllene, Limonene, Sabinene, Alpha-thujene, Incensole


Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is one of the most powerful and versatile antioxidant essential oils. It may help stimulate the immune and digestive systems, strengthen the energy centers of the body. It contains the powerful constituent carvacrol, which provides much of its characteristic aroma and contributes to the warming sensation this oil creates when applied topically to the skin. Due to the skin-warming sensation, Oregano essential oil must be diluted to apply to the skin. Oregano Plus contains antioxidants and may provide immune support and digestive-cleansing properties when taken internally. Dilute Oregano Plus with a carrier oil such as V-6 or olive oil in a 1:2 ratio and add to a vegetarian gel to support a healthy lifestyle. To me, he is General Oregano. No nonsense. Eliminates the enemy and gets the job done.

Key constituents: Carvacrol, Beta-caryophyllene, Thymol

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) One of the most extensively studied essential oils, Tea Tree has been used as a traditional medicine by the Aboriginal people of Australia for centuries and is widely regarded for its purifying and cleansing properties, with topical applications for skin, hair, scalp, and nails. It contains the naturally occurring constituents terpinene-4-ol, gamma terpinene, and alpha-terpinene and was regarded in Australia as a standard soldier first-aid-in-a-bottle issue during the war. Tea tree oil serves many purposes, even warding off outdoor annoyances, and is a dependable tool to have on hand. This oil is like a dedicated nurse, making sure everything is purified, safe and clean! 

Key constituents: Terpinen-4-ol, Gamma-terpinene, Alpha-terpinene


Eucalyptus radiata contains eucalyptol, which provides an invigorating breathing experience with an camphoraceous aroma that refreshes any stuffy environment. You hear the word eucalyptus and you know it’s here to support healthy breathing! It used to be known as a fever tree. There are over 700 varieties of eucalyptus, with over 500 that produce an essential oil. Many of them produce the same actions of Tea Tree and Myrtle essential oils, like all members of the myrtaceae family. Diffuse eucalyptus or use in steam inhalation or dilute with a carrier oil or a balm and apply to head, neck, chest to open up, take a deep breath, release, and clear the senses.

Key constituents: Eucalyptol, Alpha-pinene, Alpha terpineol, Limonene

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) rejuvenates skin, reducing the appearance of uneven skin texture and tone and improves the appearance of tender skin when applied topically. Nicknamed “liquid stitches,” this oil is a favorite among moms of very active children and a go-to oil in sports therapy. Also known as “Immortelle,” or “the Everlasting Flower,” Helichrysum contains the naturally occurring constituents neryl acetate, gamma-curcumene, alpha-pinenehas and is considered a precious oil. It possesses a unique chemistry that provides so many health-giving skin benefits that it would be simple to reach for Helichrysum for skin and muscle applications where this oil shines best.

Key constituents: Neryl acetate, Gamma-curcumene, Alpha-pinene

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) supports overall well-being, contains antioxidants, and supports a healthy immune system. Listed in Hildegard's Medicine, French hospitals traditionally used rosemary to cleanse the air. So diffuse and inhale to experience its benefits. It is especially helpful at times I need to experience deeper breathing. A drop of Rosemary in steam does the trick! It is also a great addition to salves and balms because of its skin-care and muscle-soothing properties. Rosemary’s strong, fresh, herbal, and medicinal aroma brings a lot of soothing, clearing, relief, and comfort.

Key constituents: Eucalyptol, Camphor, Alpha-pinene

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) contains methyl salicylate, which is beneficial for use during soothing massage to cool fatigued muscles. This makes it a great addition to lotions and ointments that are applied after strenuous activity, making it another favorite in sports therapy. On aromatic applications, it has a stimulating, minty aroma that invigorates the senses. Breathe it in and it will help release what’s unwanted. Wintergreen’s fragrance may be attractive to children so always keep the child-resistant cap in place.

Key constituents: Methyl salicylate

There it is! A pretty sold place to start that opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities. Isn’t it exciting to know that plants are here to help and that they are so accessible today? 

Just to validate the science behind the power of plants, Alternative Medical Practitioner Scott A. Johnson wrote, “Science and natural remedies are not archenemies and can exist harmoniously with an open-minded practitioner. Truthfully, science is a very welcome member of the evidence-based practitioner's toolbox and can be an influential guide in deciding which oils will work best to restore homeostasis and balance to the body.” He also adds "Essential oils are a valuable tool for the parents who seek to raise their children using what is found in nature.”

If this resonates with you, I encourage you to connect yourself directly to plants through aromatherapy with me. Do a bit more research on the chemistry of the plant constituents found in the oils and know why it’s a great advantage to have them at home.

Here's a family favorite you could try.


You've got this, mom! 



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