Before I start this blog, I must remind you that I am NOT a medical professional, nor do I pretend to be. I encourage people to try natural approaches to healing yourself and bringing your body to balance BUT if you are experiencing a prolonged or chronic issue you should consult your doctor. If you have any pre-existing conditions, questions, concerns of any kind, please consult a medical professional. There are amazing benefits to plants but we as a society have evolved and western medicine saves lives. It is important to respect both approaches and know when the time is right for each healing method.
Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. They’re referred to as volatile oils in my herbal courses, and are also known as ethereal oils, aetherolea or simply the oil of the plant from which they are extracted- example would be oil of clove, or oil of lavender. For the sake of this blog I am going to be using the term essential oil, as it is the most commonly used these days. I have been mentally starting to use volatile oil because it helps me keep things straight in school, and it seems to help people not get so caught up in which company is best. Which brings me to my first point- where do you buy and how do you know the source is trustworthy?
Living in Utah, I am right in the middle of the ‘essential oil war’ between Young Living and Doterra. I personally started with Doterra and this was basically because that’s what my mom chose. She is a licensed aromatherapist and I obviously know I can trust her. Whoever you choose, know your source. I think that Doterra and Young Living are probably both trustworthy companies. There are so many out there that are not trustworthy though. One rule of thumb I follow is if its found at the big box store next to some random item, it is not trustworthy. If the price is dramatically lower than what you have seen before, use caution. I needed to find an alternate company because Doterra doesn’t carry everything I was looking for. I have genuinely enjoyed everything I have purchased from Plant Therapy and have actually had some of their oils tested against Doterra and Young Living, by an impartial source, to find they were equally pure.
Essential oils have a trillion uses. Immunity building and emotional relief are the biggest ones I get asked about.
Immunity builders are oils that usually have antibacterial and antiviral properties and when certain ones are combined, they are often called Thieves oils. Many herbalists and homeopaths have a major conflict with a certain company trademarking this because it has been used for many, many years. The same issue has been going on over Fire Cider, which I am going to make soon and blog about! I have used Doterra’s On Guard for many years and have really liked it. However, I formulated a natural Vicks remedy and now that is my go-to for preventing illnesses by applying everyday when there are major outbreaks in our community, during illnesses for relief and after being sick to repair. This is when a lot of people will turn to ingesting oils because they want quick results. Do be cautious when taking any essential oils internally, not all are meant to be ingested and there is a ton of controversy in the homeopathic community about it being acceptable or not. It is always best to consult someone with proper training before ingesting any oils or herbal remedies. A lot of the immunity oils are considered to be ‘hot oils’. Hot oils literally feel hot on the skin and while some people can handle the warmth without going red it is extremely important that you use caution when testing your own tolerance. It can really irritate your skin if you apply these oils in the same spot repetitively without a carrier oil. Even if you normally don’t have an issue with peppermint for example, if you are using it for the stomach flu over a few days, you will want to use a carrier oil. Mixing a little carrier oil with them doesn’t only make them easier on your skin but they also have beneficial properties, too!
Emotions are probably the most common reason I reach for my oils. Lavender, citrus, sage and rosemary are my favorites! Aromatherapy is a very powerful tool for your emotions and I really love using them to balance my chakras. I remember feeling like I was never going to be able to breathe again when PPD kicked in. A little tangerine oil over my heart (ok a lot) a few times (ok many times) a day made such a big difference. My daughter has struggled with night terrors for as long as I can remember so we put a calming blend in her baths, huge difference. We made a spell jar last Ostara that has crystals, herbs and rosemary essential oil in it to help with the night terrors. When she is stressed out I have her take the cork out and breathe in deeply. The process of it, and the benefits of the rosemary, herbs & crystals has been a total game changer for us.
I have battled anxiety, insomnia and depression for the better part of my life. I have turned to lavender for relaxation before bed for years. Before I got into essential oils I would buy up everything I could that was lavender. I was amazed when I first smelled true lavender essential oil, the difference was astounding. I could literally smell the synthetic notes. Now that I’m in the know I like to do lavender, rosemary and sage to help me sleep, and of course I keep my Selenite close by! Vetiver is another oil that is really beneficial for sleep and relaxation, more about this gem in a moment.
Before I had my hysterectomy I used clary sage a lot during that time of the month. It helped ease the cramps and kept me from murder a time or two, I’m sure.
Vetiver has become a staple in our house. I love it, Claire loves it and I am sure my husband loves that it calms our crazy selves down! It’s a woodsy smell and I love paring it with cedarwood. It helps with sleep, irritability, focus, helps with fear and so much more. Cedarwood has also been a life saver for me during several periods. It really helps keep me grounded when I am going through high emotion times.
Bergamot is my absolute favorite citrus oil and I use it all the time. I love using it for a quick boost of calm motivation. It helps with sadness and calms emotions, and is also said to help relieve the urge to give into addictive habits. I like it topically and aromatically, being a citrus oil its great for deodorizing after cooking dinner. Am I the only one who hates cooking because my house smells like food for hours?
I really enjoy making oil blends and have random roller bottles everywhere, unlabeled because I am the worst at labeling. If you make a blend label it right away! In fact, make the label before the blend. When making your blend be sure to search carrier oils so you can choose the most beneficial one. If you are targeting emotions and illness it doesn’t matter quite as much as it does when you are targeting skin issues or maybe making an anti-aging blend.
There are certain oils that you shouldn’t mix together, and there are some that shouldn’t be used when pregnant, nursing or on infants. If you are going to make a blend be sure to check dilution rates.
A lot more goes into making oil blends than dropping oils into a carrier oil, so it is important to know your source here, too. .
If you are an occasional user or just don’t want to have to store 100’s of bottles, finding a trusted source to purchase blends may be the best route for you. It can also be much cheaper to have blends made for you than to buy eight oils to make one blend. I make them and so does my mom but they are also really easy to find on Etsy and most distributors of Doterra and Young Living would be more than happy to help you. If you are interested in buying Doterra oils I highly recommend reaching out to my mom. The issue most people in the homeopathic community have with the two big companies is that the distributors aren’t always properly educated. My mom has been a certified aromatherapist for a while now and has extensive information and knowledge about essential oils, their use and so much more. In fact, I should have made her do this post! I will collaborate with her on a future post but for now, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and her Doterra link, please reach out to either of us with questions. We work together often to decide between herbs and oils for people, and different parts of our businesses as well.
If you decide to use internally I highly recommend using veggie caps to put them in first. I have fallen victim to nasty oil burps many a times and this dramatically reduces this. My favorite oil to use internally is peppermint. My anxiety gives me stomach issues and this always helps. I love DigestZen around my belly button and a few drops of peppermint when I’m nauseated. Peppermint is one I will actually just take a few straight drops of. This is mainly because I need it quick and don’t always have veggie caps on hand. My stomach thinks it is always best to get upset away from home. *insert eye roll*
Topically oils only take a few seconds to absorb because the molecular makeup is so small. If you are applying numerous oils and they include peppermint, put that on last because its makeup is really small and helps push other oils.
Aromatic is simply smelling them. You can put them in a diffuser or just take the lid off and sniff! You’ll be amazed at how well this works. Go ahead, go huff an essential oil 😉