When my youngest was still a toddler, we took a family vacation to see some church historical sites. We were still really new to using essential oils as a family. In fact, we’d just become independent distributors and made our first big purchase. Though oils had helped me with some problems, I still secretly thought that Young Living aficionados were pretty out-there, at times, with some of their claims about how “powerful” essential oils are. I was still thinking in aromatherapy terms, and when’s the last time you ever saw a mere smell really help anything? I had a nagging feeling to bring some of the oils along as part of the car’s first aid kit, so I did. I’m so glad I listened to my gut, and I’m sure if my guts could thank me for that obedience, they would.
I bought everyone their own Lexan plastic water bottles, properly color variegated so that nobody would mistake anybody else’s bottle for their own. We brought along some drinking water too, knowing the thirst complaints would come and just hoping we wouldn’t have to stop too often for potty breaks. I’d read that putting essential oils in drinking water was a good way to support your health while traveling. I put Thieves oil in my water throughout of the trip, and my husband would sometimes consent to Thieves water, too. I got mixed results with the kids. They preferred being given no oil, but would sometimes agree to lemon or peppermint.
My first realization that there was something more than scent to the oils came in the afternoon of our first day. I discovered strange plastic etching inside some of the bottles, and was shocked to deduce that the essential oils had eaten away at the plastic. I’d heard of Coca Cola eating rust off dingy hub caps, but what kind of concentrated botanic power could eat up plastic?? Most of the family laid off using so much oils after that, but I didn’t because I couldn’t stand drinking just plain water at that time.
We were excited to get to Nauvoo, Illinois where we had made arrangements for unique accommodations: furnished log cabins! The owner of the establishment was really nice, and for no reason we could ever determine, treated us to an upgrade. We were given the deluxe cabin, which had a fully stocked full kitchen including a refrigerator and dishwasher. There were 2 bunk beds, a loft bed, a queen sized bed, air conditioning, a television and two bathrooms. WOW. We couldn’t believe our luck!
Things went fine until the next afternoon. Less than halfway through the wagon tour of the city, our youngest puked all over my husband. At first we thought it was just the heat, and took the children home to cool down. But by that evening all three children were throwing up, turning that cabin from a paradise into a prison cell. My husband was very concerned about me coming down with this illness, because he knew, with the weakened thyroid I had at that time, it would be worse for me than for the rest of the family. He had a few dry heaves during the night, and I thought I was in for it. I never did get sick, though.
We ended up paying for a few extra days in the cabin, just to get the children to a point where we thought they could handle car travel. It was good we had the extra beds, because if one wasn’t projectile vomiting all over a bunk, another one was. We would have had no place clean to lay them while we washed the sheets.
I started to wonder if maybe my kids had gotten sick from the plastic-essential oil-water combo they had inadvertently drunk on their first day of vacation. Or maybe it was my cooking that had made everyone sick! However, on our last day in Nauvoo, I stopped by a souvenir shop. When I told the owner what had happened to us, he asked, “You weren’t staying at the big cabin, were you?” When I said that I had, he said “Some kid just came through here a week or two ago with a wedding party. He passed around that same stomach flu to a lot of the people in town and at church. I’m pretty sure he and his family stayed in the same cabin you were in.” Another shopkeeper told me about how polluted the Missouri River has made the water table in Nauvoo, and how most locals don’t drink the water without treating it first. Although it didn’t change anything, or make anything better, what a relief it was to confirm that everyone’s puke was NOT Mom’s fault!
My husband and I believe that the only reason I didn’t get sick like the rest of the family is because I was the only one who always drank my water with Thieves essential oil blend in it.