Essential oils. Yep, you’ve heard of them. All those crazy hippies are into them. They’re totally a fad. Except they’re not! In fact, essential oils have been around for almost 5000 years, starting with the Egyptians. There are recipes on ancient Egyptian scrolls dating back to 1500 AD! Alright we get it. They’re old. Why should we care about them? Because they will literally change your life if used properly and consistently.
What are essential oils?
Let’s give the brief version of what essential oils actually are. Essential oils are the blood-life of the plant. All parts of plants— shrubs, leaves, flowers, rinds etc. They give the plant nutrients and the ability to heal. In turn, they give humans similar support for every bodily system. Circulatory, respiratory, immune, digestive and excretory, muscular, and skeletal systems can all be supported by essential oils. They have the ability to hit every cell in your body in 20 minutes, and they actually reach the INSIDE of the cell to help repair it, unlike the synthetic chemicals in your go-to over the counter medicines, which tend to just cover up the cell’s symptoms.
Why you should incorporate essential oils: So why did I get hooked on oils? Because I found out that nasty chemicals were in everything— all of my everyday products, from skincare to household items. Did you know the average woman uses 300 chemicals a day? Eighty of those before breakfast! Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, makeup. I challenge you to go into 3 cabinets and pull out 3 products. Do your research and find out what chemicals give you harmful long term side effects. This is not to scare you, but to get you to realize our beauty and cleaning products are not all what they seem and that there ARE alternatives. Young Living Essential Oils are so much more than oils! I’ve been using their products to “ditch and switch” a good bit of my not-so-clean products. Why not turn to natural products with minimal, simple ingredients that we know are safe, as opposed to chemical-laden products that potentially irritate our skin, irritate our digestive tract, and disrupt our hormones. It takes some time and patience but it’s totally worth it. I’ve never felt safer and healthier than with the products I use from them! So where to start? This link will bring you to our amazing Premium Starter Kit. It comes with all the oils I mention below (11 total), a diffuser, samples of the antioxidant rich dietary drink called Ninxia, a lifetime wholesale membership of 24% off all Young Living products and an online community called Oil and Co, because you need a support system to make a lifestyle change, amirite? The starter kit is the most discounted item on Young Living’s website! Practically 50% off for a ton of product. You won’t regret it. Can we rid ALL of the harmful chemicals in our life? No. Is it possible that we might get sick regardless of how healthy we live? Yes. But why not reduce your exposure? Why not, as they say, “live your best life”? It’s worth it.
How do we use them? Three ways: aromatically, topically, and internally. AROMATICALLY: We diffuse essential oils or breathe them in by cupping our hands over our faces to experience aromatic exposure. Breathing in essential oils gives us the benefits of the oils without them having to pass through our gastrointestinal system. You can actually sit there with your face over the diffuser and it’s good for you. Would you do that with store-bought aerosol air freshener? I seriously hope not! TOPICALLY: They can be applied topically by placing 1-2 drops on the skin. For many oils, a carrier oil is used with this technique. Carrier oils are your coconut, olive, avocado, or jojoba oils and they help to dilute oils to spread over the skin. I use carrier oils especially with “hot” oils, which are oils that give a spicy feeling such as cinnamon or peppermint. INTERNALLY: A.k.a, ingesting them. You can drop some on your tongue, in a beverage, or a vegetable capsule. Wait. You can EAT essential oils? Yes and if you’ve eaten a breath mint or used spices in your cooking, you’ve ingested EOs. Now, ingestion of oils can be a tricky subject. You should follow guidelines on the appropriate, safe amount to invest, and you MUST use the highest quality oils for your safety.
What you should look for to determine quality: There are guidelines you should follow when becoming interested in using essential oils therapeutically. First off, KNOW YOUR SOURCE. There is no way of knowing your grocery store or Amazon essential oils are pure if you don’t know where they come from. The FDA does not completely regulate essential oils, therefore there is only one real regulation they need to follow. That is, the essential oil must be GRADE A – D and contain at least 5% of the essential oil, to be labeled “100% pure therapeutic essential oil.” Five percent for a hundred percent? Hmmm. Insert hand on chin emoji. Let’s just go through the grades shall we? Grade A – therapeutic, made from organically grown plants and distilled at low temperatures one time; the highest concentration and truly 100% oil Grade B – food grade; can contain synthetics, pesticides, chemical extenders etc. Grade C – perfume oils that often contain chemicals; most of your store bought oils Grade D – aromatic only, usually left over “water” after oil is pulled from the plant multiple times and then sold to companies which will fill 5% of the bottle with this and the rest with God knows what. Young Living’s oils, of course, are Grade A. They have been deemed Generally Regarded as Safe, or GRAS, by the FDA, to consume or ingest. While most of all their oils are safe for ingestion, (i.e. Wintergreen is not) Young Living created the Vitality Line which labels oils with a white label to clarify they are safe for ingestion, though they are no different from their colored label counterpart. Alright, now we know the oils you buy at random stores could have 5% of the essential oil (more like diluted “oil water”) it’s actually labeled as and could contain harmful chemicals. Doubt you want to breathe, touch, or ingest those when you’re trying to use these oils for therapeutic reasons! If you found a $3 bottle of Frankincense, I’m sorry to tell ya, IT AIN’T REAL. So why Young Living? Because they are the purest, Grade A, greatest oils on the planet! And that’s not a stretch people. But let’s get a bit more objective. 1. Young Living owns its own farms and/or partners with reputable farms. 2. The plants are harvested at their peak, hand weeded and farmers never use chemical pesticides or fertilizers. They actually use their own oils, like peppermint, to ward off insects. 3. They use only cool, slow distillation 4. Each oil goes through one cycle of distillation pulling the highest concentration of oil from the plant. 5. They are tested over and over and over (and over) again before they even think about getting into your hands. Gary Young, the founder and CEO always states that he does not sell oils for a profit, but for a purpose: to help you live your best, healthiest life. Check out the website to find more info about Seed to Seal. Also, Google Gary Young because he’s a badass.
Essential Oils Favorites: Where to start
Now the fun part. I mean it’s all fun to me but let’s get to my favorite, most used oils. I’m going with my top FIVE OILS and then a few Young Living blends as well with a more brief explanation. The reasoning behind this is that 10-11 oils is such a great starting point when beginning to use EOs. And the ones I’ll go over will help support every bodily system we talked about earlier. LAVENDER: The Swiss Army Knife of Oils. So versatile. So necessary. When we think of Lavender we think of sleep and relaxation. I diffuse lavender every night... but I also use it for emotional support (great for depression/anxiety), topically for minor cuts and burns, static in my clothes and hair (weird - but true), and I put drops in my mascara to promote hair growth. Oh, and It’s also delicious in homemade Lavender Lemonade. Recipe here. PEPPERMINT: Peppermint is a prime digestive powerhouse. It can soothe an upset stomach, bloating, gas or nausea. You can apply it topically or ingest in water or a veggie capsule. I also use peppermint in my seasonal issue roller. Think of a roller of perfume, minus the chemicals and alcohol but filled with lavender, lemon, and peppermint goodness topped with coconut oil. That’s my Seasonal Issues roller that helps with occasional (or often if we’re being real) sneezes, coughs, and watery eyes. I also love to diffuse peppermint before work to give me a boost of energy. LEMON: Lemon is a detoxifier. I drink it with water to help jumpstart my metabolism and rid my body of toxins. I also use it to clean! I drink my cleaner, y’all— that’s how safe and It’s a natural degreaser as well as heavy stain lifter. I use it on my floors, my stove, and toilets! I love diffusing this for a clean scent. THIEVES: A Young Living blend and staple! If you’ve heard of Young Living, you’ve heard of Thieves. It’s a blend of clove, cinnamon bark, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary; all types of plants and herbs that assist in boosting the immune system. I have another roller (I have lots of rollers) that I use for immunity that Thieves is apart of. I roll it on my feet and spine for every day optimal health. I also drop some in my favorite tea with honey to enjoy a spicy kick, as well as the added health benefits. This blend is so awesome, Young Living created a whole cleaning line infused with it! It’s completely plant based. I use it on every surface of my home. COPAIBA: (ko-pai-ee-buh) Say it. It’s fun. Another overall wellness and versatile EO that comes from a balsam tree. Another staple in my Immunity and Seasonal Issue roller. My main use for this oil is its anti-inflammatory effect on the body, specifically the sinuses. I apply it topically as well as ingest it in a capsule or Thieves tea. FRANKINCENSE: A top skin oil. Can help smooth lines and wrinkles. I drop about 10 drops in my favorite moisturizer. Frank is also a great grounding oil. Love to diffuse this during yoga or meditation.
Blends: PanAway: think PAIN away. Sore muscles after a workout? PanAway Epsom Salt bath. Digize: The game is in the name. Digestive support. Apply topically to stomach or ingest with a veggie capsule. Stress Away: “Vacation in a Bottle.” Inhale. Apply to wrists. Chill. R.C.: Respiratory Comfort. A blend of eucalyptus oils. Rub on chest or diffuse for congestion relief. Purification: The Stank Killer. Diffuse this after you cook fish or other smells that lingers. I also put drops right in my trash can!