Essential Oils and How to Use Them
What are essential oils
EOs are a highly concentrated form of plants, including plant roots, leaves, stems, seeds, flowers and bark, where the oil is extracted through distillation (most commonly by steam or water). The outcome is a powerful, fragrant essence of the plant containing the characteristic smell and healing property of the plant. You’ll see essential oils described as a “volatile aromatic compound,” which is a fancy way of saying it’s a compound of small organic molecules that change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature (i.e. evaporates quickly). In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health care practices.
What’s all the hype around Oils?
As part of my wellness journey, I’ve incorporated EOs into my family's wellness arsenal. Let's be real, EOs alone are not the holy grail/miracle cure, but they can be a powerful amplifier to your healing protocol. It's one of the many things I use to support our health. It's a part of my toolkit -- an important part of my toolkit -- and they are well represented in my small-batch, natural products/remedies. I love the smell and, more importantly, the wellness properties. They've been a highly beneficial tool for us.
What brand of OILS is best?
Honestly, this is where your keen intellect comes into play. I have used both DoTerra and Young Living and love them both. I've chosen to stick with DoTerra for a variety of reasons (some below); feel free to message me for more details. As with all things, I recommend you dive into some research (take a gander at our bff Google), read about the brands and get familiar with EO precautions. I will say be careful about more cost competitive (i.e. cheap) brands/products. In my personal experience, it’s best to find a source of EOs that’s pure and therapeutic grade. You know what’s best for you, your family and your wallet, and that’s what matters.
Oils: Benefits and Uses
EOs can be used for a wide range of emotional, energetic and physical wellness applications. You can use single oils or a blend of oils depending on the desired benefit. Oils can be used aromatically, topically and (in some cases) internally. Click here for details on doTerra Product Usage info.
Aromatic: The sense of smell can elicit powerful physiologic, mental and emotional responses. Oils can induce a variety of effects, from uplifting/invigorating to calming. Diffusing oils is a simple way to experience oils aromatically, and to cleanse/purify the air. You can also place a few drops in the palm of your hand then cup around your nose and inhale.
Topical: Topical application is effective due to its low molecular weight and that it’s lipid soluble (i.e. easily penetrates the skin). Once absorbed, they remain in the applied area for a localized benefit. You can increase absorption by lightly massaging the area to increase blood flow to the area of application, thus improving distribution throughout the body. Use in conjunction with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, to increase absorption by moisturizing skin and slowing evaporation. It’s recommended to dilute oils with a carrier oil before applying to skin, especially for more potent or “hot” oils or when applying for the first time. Click here for more info on carrier oils.
Internal: Certain EOs have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of health conditions (e.g. sprinkling cinnamon on oatmeal, adding fresh basil to spaghetti). When ingested, essential oils directly enter the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. EOs are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, essential oils are metabolized by the liver and other organs and are then excreted. Each constituent of the EO possesses a unique set of biochemical properties that react with cells and organs in different ways. Although these mechanisms of action are not completely understood, the positive end results have been demonstrated. However, the body is only equipped to handle appropriate doses of essential oils. Proper dosing according to labeling recommendations and other professional guidelines should be strictly followed to avoid toxicity.