If you spend any time on the internet it’s likely you have come across essential oils at some point. New companies are cropping up all over, you can now get them at Wal Mart (please don’t…I’ll tell you why in a bit), yet a lot of people don’t know a whole lot about them. I thought I’d spend this Thursday with a little Essential Oil 101 to help get you up to speed.
First, just a little disclaimer. Essential oil quality is important and not all are created equal. I am specifically talking about Young Living essential oils and do not recommend the use of other brands without doing your research.
Second, I am not a doctor. I cannot prescribe, treat or recommend oil for specific medical conditions. Unfortunately there just isn’t enough research and regulation in the U.S. so the FDA prohibits such health claims. Instead we talk about how essential oils support specific body systems. With that said…
Not all oils are created equally and you can’t trust all the wording on the labels so it’s important to do your research! I’ll explain more on why I chose Young Living oils in this post.
I’m sharing graphics from around the web, they are not mine. Thanks to those who have created these awesome tools for us to use!!! If at the end of this post you’re interested in trying Young Living oils, I hope that you’ll use the sign-up link here or contact me for more info!
What are essential oils?
“Essential oils are some of the oldest and most powerful therapeutic agents known. Most people today are unaware that they have an impressive, multimillenium-long history of use in healing and anointing throughout the ancient world.” – Essential Oils Desk Reference by Life Science Publishing
More specifically, “essential oils are aromatic volatile liquids distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds.” Each essential oil has a complex chemistry, some consisting of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. They are highly concentrated and are more potent than herbs, so a little goes a long way! The distillation process is what makes an EO so concentrated, and it often takes an entire plant to produce a single drop of essential oil. (Note that different companies use different distillation processes, and more processed distillations will not produce the same properties.) Unlike vegetable oils (corn, olive peanut), they are not greasy and do not clog pores (great news for those of us that make homemade face creams!). Also unlike vegetable oils, most essential oils cannot go rancid and are powerful antimicrobials. You can find references to essential oils in the Bible, such as Frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood and sandalwood. Other oils like cinnamon, clove and lemon were highly valued as antiseptics hundreds of years before synthetic medicines were made like we have today.
How can essential oils be used?
It may be difficult to wrap our mind around it, but we can gain therapeutic benefits from an oil simply by SMELLING it. This can be done through the use of a diffuser, but even just opening the bottle and taking a sniff works, too! You can also put a few drops in a bowl of hot water, lean over it while covering your head with a towel, and breathing in the vapors.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and everything that goes on it goes IN it. That is why I have been working to rid the chemical-laden products out of our home that put our health at risk. As scary as it is that chemicals are absorbed so quickly through our skin into our bloodstream and then to the rest of our body, that’s great news with regards to pure essential oils! As essential oils have a role in regenerating a plant, the blood does the same in the human body. Because essential oils have a similar chemical structure to that of human cells and tissues, they are compatible with human protein which enables them to be readily identified and accepted by our bodies. Pretty cool, huh?!
Many essential oils can be applied topically but be sure to follow guidelines on the label. Some oils require dilution, meaning that they need to be applied with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, a good quality olive oil, etc. Young Living has a great carrier oil that you can purchase as well. If the bottle says “dilute 1 to 4”, you’d put one drop of essential oil into 4 drops of the carrier oil. Kids typically need more dilution than adults. Remember, pure essential oils are concentrated and therefore strong. Do your research on which oils are safe for infants and children.
One of the best places to apply oils is the feet, but the spine is also a great choice. Essential oils are great for massage!
I apply oils other places depending what purpose I’m using them for. The more you use them, the more familiar you’ll become with how, where and when to use.
This is a very debated topic but you can ingest SOME (not all) essential oils. Purity/quality is important here and you need to make sure that the essential oil is labeled for internal use. Young Livng just came out with new labeling for their dietary oils to make it easier to identify those that can be ingested internally!
I love to add citrus oils to my water (in glass cups/containers only!) but you can also use dietary essential oils in cooking or as supplements.
What’s the difference between companies? Why should I choose Young Living oils?
Essential oils vary in quality due to farming and distillation practices, adulteration by adding other chemicals, and dilution of the oils, As was mentioned in one of the above graphics, the FDA allows an oil to be labeled 100% pure as long as it contains 5% of the actual oil. If you’re going to be using these oils for the health of your family, quality and purity matter.
Young Living owns it’s own farms and oversees every step of an essential oil’s manufacture, from plant selection and farming, to distillation and bottling. The process is called Seed to Seal and this process is unique to Young Living.
There is so much more I can share but I need to cut out for today! I’ll be sharing more each Thursday on the blog so check back for that! I’d love to answer any questions you may have about Young Living essential oils. Feel free to comment below, contact me with the button at the top of my blog, or go to this link here to sign up as a wholesale member! I will share more details about what’s involved in that and what rewards are available as a member next week!