6 Ways to Use Essential Oils at Summer BBQ Party!
If you are like us, you are constantly surprised and intrigued at the uses for essential oils that people come up with. At first, when stepping our toes into this magical world of oils, everything seemed so simple! You could diffuse them, rub some on your chest for a breathing aid, or maybe even make your own lotion with them. That was about the extent of the list of possibilities, or so we thought! Thanks to Tik Tok, Instagram, Youtube, and blogs like this we have a constant stream of innovation being thrown at us that we can benefit from. Today we will share with you some unique ideas for essential oils that will surely refresh and impress at your next cookout this summer!
Anything with peppermint essential oil will help you cool off during those dog days of summer. This will be especially beneficial this year where outside parties that favor social distancing will probably still be more common than gathering inside. Peppermint contains a compound called menthol, which is also in other varieties of mint plants. This compound tricks your nerves into thinking you are cold, when you actually aren't. It does this by activating a protein in your nerve cells called TRPM8. This protein, once activated, will send messages via neurons to your brain letting it know you are cold. We always like to include some science in our oil breakdowns!
If you really want to treat your guests, think about setting up a cool-off station with peppermint oil diffusing, and some mint-infused iced water.
Citronella is a lovely smelling oil that can seriously help out your skin and keep you from getting distracted by pesky mosquitoes. Traditionally, DEET (diethyltoluamide) has been the most effective and common ingredient in bug sprays. It still is considered a good choice by many, and is pretty safe to use, but there are people who react with rashes and irritated skin after applying. There are also much more serious side effects if the spray is ingested at all by humans or pets. Oil containing 100% Citronella has been shown to be just as effective as DEET, although for a shorter amount of time. After about two hours, bug spray containing citronella will have to be reapplied to remain working hard for you! If you are serious about fending off those little blood-suckers, steer clear of citronella candles. They provide a much lowered defense because of their lower concentration of citronella and the area they cover is not very specific. If the wind is not on your side you might not be getting any benefits.
Citronella works by masking human odors so the mosquitoes looking for a host are fooled into thinking you are not human! Another oil that is also just as effective as DEET and for a similar duration is OLE, oil of lemon eucalyptus. This oil is made from the lemon eucalyptus tree most commonly found in Australia, but is not lemon eucalyptus essential oil. If you are confused its ok, we were too! OLE is like a boosted more potent version of lemon eucalyptus oil, with more of a concentration of PMD (p-menthane-3,8 diol), which is the bug fighting ingredient. This article helped us understand.
Now let's get you set up with some DIY bug spray that is going to smell WAY better than anything you used as a kid! You will need some Witch Hazel, Distilled or boiled Water, Vegetable glycerin (optional), 4 oz Spray Bottle, and some citronella essential oil or 20% PMD OLE. Fill a spray bottle 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water. Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top, add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin, and 30 drops of essential oil or OLE. Shake well just before applying. Spray on clothes and exposed skin, being careful not to spray in your eyes!
If it's been a while since your grill got some use, or is still gunked up from last weekend when you forgot to clean it, fear not! We have another recipe for you that can get your gas or charcoal grill spotless and smelling good without much effort.
Here is what you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup (100 g) baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. (25 ml) soap
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- White vinegar
In a bowl, combine the baking soda, soap, and lemon essential oil. Add vinegar until the mixture reaches an oil-like consistency and starts bubbling. Brush the mixture on the grill, and allow it to sit for 15–30 minutes. Use a damp scouring pad, grill brush, or paint scraper to scrub the surface clean. Rinse the grill with water.
Spearmint oil is another one that has cooling properties because of the menthol in it. It is safe to be ingested in small doses and is commonly used in foods and beverages. Since nothing says warm summer day like a mojito, we're going to show you how to make an even more refreshing version with spearmint oil!
The first thing you will do is make the syrup. This will include 1 ¾ cups of sugar, 2 cups of water, and ONE drop of spearmint essential oil. Mix the water and sugar together and using a small saucepan bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, or until all of the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Add a drop of essential oil.
Add ½ cup finely chopped mint leaves to the bottom of the pitcher you are using, and pour the syrup over them. Now add 1 cup of lime juice, 10 ounces of white rum, lime essential oil to taste (start very small!), and 8-10 cups of water (start with 8 and add to taste). To make sugar rim for glasses, mix zest of lime with ½ cup sugar. Using a damp paper towel wipe the rim of glass and gently swirl the rim of glass in the sugar mixture. You can also use more mint leaves and lime slices to garnish.
Enjoy and be safe!
If you are very concerned about safety and not wanting to spread germs, whether you or your friends are vaccinated or not, try some eucalyptus essential oil infused hand sanitizer! If you are having a gathering outside, chances are you might not want everybody in attendance to run inside after eating or spilling something to wash their hands. Unless you have an outdoor hand washing station, setting up a sanitizer area is your next best option. Adding the antibacterial power of eucalyptus oil with antibacterial sanitizer is a surefire way to protect yourself and others from anything lingering at the cookout! It also adds a very nice smell to the sometimes overpowering alcohol scent of normal hand sanitizer.
Summer is all about relaxing, well it was at least when you were a kid. But in an effort to let your worries go and capture some carelessness of the summertime of your youth, try diffusing some calming lavender essential oil. Many studies have been done on lavender and it has been shown to help with neurological problems, burns, and infections. If you diffuse in multiple locations where people are socializing, you will surely catch some of the benefits, and its refined notes.
As you can see, there are many uses for essential oils that you may not have used or thought of. There are plenty of innovative people out there doing new and exciting things with oils, and we want to continue to share these ideas with you! This summer, unlike last summer, will hopefully include many more social activities and fun outings that we have gone without for the better part of a year.
Remember that lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus are all antibacterial, and can be used for relaxation, cleaning cookware, and hand sanitizer, respectively. Spearmint can be ingested and is a great way to provide a cooling sensation to your favorite drink. Peppermint is also very refreshing and could be diffused near the beverage table to give your guests a break from the heat. Citronella essential oil and OLE are great options for keeping the bugs at bay while you enjoy yourself during some much needed socializing.
Be safe out there, and report back to us if you have any questions or to share your experience with these ideas!