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One of the great struggles on the mission field is keeping yourself and your family healthy. Stress, a new environment, new foods, new bacteria, and a foreign immune system present an ideal cocktail for health complications. Before arriving to Ethiopia, we purchased a variety of essential oils from a friend to help keep everyone healthy. I had never used essential oils and did a lot of research before using anything–especially with my babies. Most of the information used in this post came from a book called Modern Essentials I was given by a friend. The book indexes ailments and gives you oils and protocols to treat them.

It can be overwhelming trying to decide which oils to take with you. Considering the great investment it takes to purchase essential oils, I thought I might highlight some of my favorites in this post.

Note: I use DoTerra oils, but there are other reputable companies you can research. The blends I list are the DoTerra names, but other reputable companies have equivalents. I do not sell DoTerra or get any profit from this blog post.


OnGuard (Blend)

This blend (Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary) is an immune booster and sanitizer. Studies show it kills bacteria, mold and viruses.

  • I put a few drops into my toddlers’ bath water, which was unsafe for drinking.
  • I rubbed it on the bottom of our feet if we came in contact with someone that was sick.
  • We diffused it in our girls’ room if someone had a cold.
  • Used a drop to soothe and heal a sore throat.
  • I rubbed it on my gums when I dealt with some gingivitis due to pregnancy hormones.


DigestZen (Blend)

If I could only recommend one oil, it would be this one. Your body has to adjust to so many foods and food-borne illnesses, but this oil made it easier to deal with.

  • When our bodies were adjusting to new foods (both arriving on the field and back in the States), my husband and I would take two drops of DigestZen in an empty veggie capsule. This kept us from dealing with Traveler’s Stomach.
  • We got food poisoning several times and used this oil topically to draw out the illness.
  • We took it internally alongside Peppermint Oil to soothe an upset stomach.




Peppermint is such a versatile oil! Here are some of the ways I used it:

  • Nothing seemed to calm an upset stomach or nausea better.
  • I diffused it in the girls’ room, along with OnGuard, if they were fighting a virus.
  • If anyone was fighting a virus, I put a drop on everyone’s toothbrushes to kill any germs.
  • I used it if anyone was fighting motion sickness on a car ride.


Breathe (Blend)

This was actually the essential oil that got me interested in essential oils in the first place. When I was nursing my second born, I came down with a terrible sinus infection that made it difficult to sleep. I asked one of my Pastor’s wife friends if she had a natural remedy safe for nursing mothers, and she diffused this for me. It was such a relief to get a restful night’s sleep that night!

  • I diffuse this anytime my girls come down with a cold/congestion.



This is another incredibly versatile oil!

  • Diffused it alongside lemon and peppermint for allergies.
  • I used it topically to heal a bad bout of poison ivy my husband had. In the past, he had to use heavy medications to get rid of steroids. This cleared it up very easily!
  • It calmed itchy skin, rashes, mosquito bites, or sunburn.
  • We used it internally (alongside DigestZen and Peppermint) for amoebas.
  • I put a drop on pillows or diffuse at night for a good night’s sleep.

While I have highlighted my top five favorites, I used many others on the field. My favorite diffuser recipe to fight colds is BOOP (Breathe, OnGuard, Oregano, and Peppermint). I used Lemon, Orange, and Grapefruit in my water. Some of our dear friends had a small boy with them in Ethiopia. He cracked a tooth that consequently had to be pulled by a dentist. The problem was, they do not use anesthetics in Ethiopian dentistry. Thankfully, I had Clove Bud oil on hand to help with the pain. I used Melaleuca (Tea Tree) to keep fleas off our dog, keep lice out of our hair, and treat warts. Juniper Berry and Fennel were also useful. Even back in the United States, as I deal with MS, I treat pain or tingling with Peppermint to deal with pain and tingling caused by nerve damage.

Ultimately, I was grateful I had brought essential oils as traditional medicines were not always available on the field and the quality of what they did have was sometimes suspect. The Lord always gave us His sufficient grace and wisdom when we dealt with any health difficulties.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or health care professional. I did a lot of research and recommend anyone do the same before using essential oils in any capacity.