When I was a little girl I distinctly remember my mom each and every time she would make spaghetti sauce placing about two tablespoons of Italian seasonings into the palm of her hands. She would then rub the herbs together in her palms prior to releasing the herbs into the pot of spaghetti sauce. Afterwards she'd place her hands by her face and take a deep breath in and say, " Aaaaah." One time she looked so happy that I asked her what she was doing and she explained to me that she had released the oils from the herbs and now some of the oils had remained on her hands so she was enjoying their amazing scents. Then she placed her palms in front of my face and offered me a whiff. This moment and smell is permanently sealed in my precious memories of my mom's love for me and the herbs.
So here's my story:
Approximately 40 years later it has come my turn with my daughter and as life hands it to us mothers we are given the opportunity to do as our mothers did before us with our children....
I was in the kitchen with my daughter cooking when I shared with her the story of Grandma and myself as a little girl smelling the Italian herbs when she would make Italian spaghetti sauce. I then went on to explain that I realized that all the Italian seasoning herbs are also made into a therapeutic essential oil in which is then used in medicine.
To my surprise my daughter stated she didn't know this.
Seizing this opportunity I went on to explain that all Italian seasoning herbs are made into excellent therapeutic essential oils for the body to INHALE in a steam inhalation when you have chest congestion due to each one is an excellent expectorant.
Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Marjoram and Sage Therapeutic Essential Oils are excellent for use in steam inhalations for chest congestion. However no more than three drops in total are able to be used at any given time in a steam inhalation. EXAMPLE: 1 drop of Rosemary essential oil, 2 drops of Thyme essential oil to equal 3 drops in total of essential oils for a steam inhalation or 3 drops of Sage essential oil for a steam inhalation.
However when she asked me can you consume a therapeutic essential oil the answer is not all oils can be consumed some are topical use only.
On reflection: I think of my mom and am most grateful for the opportunity she gave me that one day in her kitchen. If not for her the love of herbs and their amazing essence may very well of alluded me. My hope is I have done the same for my daughter. Thanks Mom!
The following supplies are needed to do a steam inhalation:
Timer or phone timer
Pan or teapot to boil 2 cups of water
2 cups of water
Up to 3 drops of therapeutic essential oils that work well for steam inhalations (at the bottom of this post is suggestions on therapeutic oils.)
Ceramic or Glass Bowl that can handle boiling water
After I have finished my steam inhalation I place my remaining water essential oil blend into one of my essential oil diffusers. This helps to not waste the essential oils as well as then it helps permeate the air with the essential oils therapeutic medicinal qualities as well.
Always be advised as to pets by essential oils due to they are haphazdous for them. So if you are in a closed area with a diffuser going and you have pets be aware of their intake as well.