Today I have a very special guest on my blog!  Her name is Victoria Grazeley and she is one of my very favorite peeps.

Not only did she design my website, but she is an avid and long-time user of essential oils.  She and her family left the city for rural living in a restored heritage log cabin in British Columbia, Canada.   Today she is sharing how she uses essential oils to support her new life of Modern Homesteading (also the name of her website and blog).   (Note: In September I’ll be her guest and write about essential oils and first aid!)

I know you’ll enjoy her post as much as I did – she’s a wonderful writer.  After reading it, give me a shout on my Facebook Page and let me know your thoughts!

Here is Victoria!


by Victoria Grazeley

“Mama, where’s the peppermint oil?”

My 9-year old son had eaten something that didn’t agree with him and was looking for relief.  As is usual around here with all sorts of health maladies, we didn’t reach for pharmaceuticals or the remedies most of us used growing up (remember that pink stuff… yuck!) – we opened up our vintage cedar boxes full of therapeutic grade essential oils.  In fact, I think I can count on one hand (with some fingers left over) the number of times this child has been exposed to ‘conventional’ remedies.  His first bout with antibiotics came for a tooth infection when he was 5, and none since.  I consider myself lucky to have that knowledge, helping him build a strong immune system from day one.  He’s never had any of the common ‘childhood illnesses’, even though he’s been exposed to a few, and as he gets older, he’s falling to fewer and fewer colds and flus than seems average among his friends.  Part of that is that he doesn’t have any siblings snarfing all over him, partly our relatively clean diet, and the rest, I firmly believe, is due to our regular use of essential oils.

When I did my Registered Aromatherapist training back in 2000-2003, I could never have imagined the things I’d one day use oils for.  Mostly I was thinking of using them for relaxation and emotional stuff.  But when we moved onto 7 acres in the country, I discovered there’s no shortage of applications!  In the last year, we’ve pulled out those vintage boxes for all sorts of things:

  • deterring mice (lots of opportunity for that here)
  • disinfecting counter tops, appliances and other surfaces
  • headaches
  • sore gums as new teeth come in
  • calming down for a restful sleep
  • anxiety
  • deodorant
  • bug bite remedy
  • avoiding said bites in the first place
  • asthma after an ill-fated long walk in tall grass (remind me not to do that again)
  • fleas (on the dog, not us!)
  • relaxing pulled and strained muscles
  • colds and flus (rare as they’ve been)
  • bruises
  • cuts and scrapes (lots of those around here)
  • digestive issues
  • burns (lavender to the rescue!)
  • focus and confidence before big business meetings
  • a bleeding comb on our rooster
  • as a short-term ‘antibiotic’ for the chickens’ water
  • cleaning the chickens’ waterer and feeder
  • most recently, we’re using a blend as part of the treatment for my parents’ dog’s lipoma (fatty tumour)
  • gifts for friends and business associates
  • and I’m sure a lot of instances I’ve complete forgotten about

They’re definitely our go-to for health and wellness, not an after-thought.  And I’ve been studying more about their use with animals – again, the applications seem endless… and successful.  Next up for me – more essential oils first aid training (with our own Liz Fulcher!) and research on effectively treating viral conditions as we prepare for a winter of potentially virulent bugs.

But what I love most about essential oils is that not only are they extremely portable (unlike dried herbs or tinctures) and easy to use (unlike homeopathy, where it seems like you need a degree to figure out the right remedy – though we do use a few tried and trues like Traumeel), but the peace of mind they bring when it comes to emergency preparedness.  I know that I can take care of myself, my family and my livestock through most illnesses or injuries using common sense and essential oils.  Should we have no access to the clinic, hospital or vet due to power outages or some other calamity, we’re covered.  That’s something not a lot of people can say, and I’m thankful I’ve had the opportunity to learn about these incredible substances and use them in our day to day life.

In short, I can’t imagine being without our little bottles of wonder!  In fact, I wouldn’t be without them.  With increasing natural disasters kicking up all over and the growing ineffectiveness of conventional medicine in the face of communicable diseases, it’s reassuring to know we’re covered for so many emergencies with just a few bottles of essential oil.  If we needed to look after our own health and that of our animals, we could.  In fact, we do.

And that’s a very good feeling indeed.

Victoria Gazeley is a former Registered Aromatherapist living and working in an 80-plus year old restored heritage log cabin on the wild west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Since the late 1990s, she’s been studying the fine art of rural living, and has been living it since the spring of 2009. Since then, she’s added (with a lot of help!) a greenhouse, a blueberry patch, various edible plants, a raised bed veggie garden, 14 chickens (plus a rooster and 6 new chicks), and most recently, a two-room addition using as many locally sourced materials as possible. Now she’s living her dream – running The Cabin Design Studio, her WordPress web design and support business, via satellite internet from a cabin in the woods, exploring all the nuances of rural living, and sharing what she’s learning with others who have either recently moved to the country or are planning the move. You can find her on her blog at, and at and every day interacting with an amazing, growing community of rural living fans, as well as her blogs at Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine.

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