Note: Today I am especially proud to share this post with you. First, a bit of background. We have used essential oils in our home for many years, and thoroughly enjoy those from Rocky Mountain Oils. I didn’t realize, however, just how attentive my daughter was about this until she asked me to look at a school paper she was about to submit. In her Classical Conversations Challenge group, she was working on a report about beneficial plants. She took the approach of choosing a few plants that are used for essential oils. Loved how this assignment incorporated her love of all things STEM, too!
After I reviewed it, she put her hand on mine and said sweetly “Mom, you can put this on your blog if you want to.” Isn’t she a doll? So here’s Hope’s paper, entitled
Beneficial Plants – Three Greens That Work for Your Health
There are many plants that can be turned into essential oils, which can help get rid of aches, pains, colds and even help put you to sleep. Some examples of helpful plants are yarrow, peppermint, and lavender.
The lavender bud has thousands of tiny hairs on its surface, which are used to make the essential oil. Before you can make the oil, however, you have to dry the lavender. That process takes 2 to 3 weeks. The word lavender comes from the Latin verb to wash “lavare”, and Romans first used it to scent their bath water. The 2 parts of lavender that are used today are the flower itself and the essential oil. Lavender is good for soothing sunburn, getting rid of headaches, putting you to sleep and as an effective calming remedy for digestive problems.
Peppermint is actually a crossbreed of 2 types: watermint and spearmint. A peppermint plant can grow to be 18-36 inches tall and 24 inches wide. The United States produces about 75% of the world’s peppermint supply, with Washington State making the most in the U.S. The section of peppermint that is used to make the essential oil are the aerial parts, which is just a fancy way of saying the parts that are completely exposed to air. Peppermint helps with upset stomachs, hay fever, headaches, stress, asthma, muscle pain, and hiccups, to name a few.
Yarrow has feathery leaves that are usually 2 to 8 inches tall. The leaves of yarrow, like lavender, are also covered with tiny hairs. It is a perennial plant, which means that it can survive 2 or more years in the wild. Yarrow can have white, pink, or reddish flowers, which are shaped like rounded or flat heads and usually are 2 to 4 inches wide. Yarrow is helpful to gardeners because it keeps insects away and improves the soil. The feathery leaves on yarrow encourage blood clotting, making it an important herb for healing wounds. Yarrow is also believed to help cure colds, hay fever, and diarrhea. It is sometimes chewed to relieve toothaches.
Even though essential oils have become a day-to-day part of our household, I guess I really didn’t notice how much they have become a fabric of our children’s lives, too. The topic and research for this article were self-initiated, serving as yet another reminder that even when we don’t know it, our children are always watching
This post originally appeared on BreakthroughHomeschooling.com. Used here with permission.