Essential Oil Basics

Essential oils are very popular right now, especially in the online communities.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad advice from people who are uneducated on using essential oils properly.  Having used oils for over eight years, I have made many mistakes and made my way through a lot of confusion.  Let me break down the basics for you, so you don’t have to take the same long and twisted path!

What are essential oils?  

Have you ever taken a peppermint leaf in your fingers and rubbed them together?  The scent left on your fingers is the essential oil which you have extracted.

Essential oils are basically the immune system of the plant.  They protect the plant from disease due to bacteria, fungi, molds or other threats.  The neat thing is, due to the fact that our bodies and plants have similar cellular structure, when we use these oils on our body, it supports us just as it would the plant.  This means the oil can assist in killing bacteria, inhibiting virus reproduction, cleansing toxins, destroying parasites and oxygenating blood cells.  Designed by nature, it is remarkable the support which oils can provide.

Essential oils are very strong, 50 – 70 times more powerful than their herb counterparts.  Because of this, we must use them with respect and proper education.  Using something this strong improperly could absolutely lead to undesirable results.

How do they work?  

Each essential oil contains hundreds of unique chemical compounds offering powerful chemistry for supporting our bodies in a variety of needs.  In order to achieve the most varied and desirable chemical profile, the plants used to extract the oil from MUST be grown in it’s ideal environment – when it originated from.  Things like climate, altitude, soil and seasons all impact the chemical profile and determine how potent and effective the essential oil will be.

Molecules in the oils are so small that they can easily penetrate the skin and cell walls, making them very effective at treating viruses.  Viruses can penetrate cells walls, where antibiotics are not able to reach.

Essential oils are able to follow nerve pathways and crossing the blood-brain barrier; bringing oxygen, antioxidants and detoxification to all parts of the body within 20 minutes of application.  Many people are oxygen deficient due to poor air quality, poor diet and daily exposure to thousands of toxins.  Environmental chemicals are absorbed into the body and cause cell mutation.  Essential oils have the highest level of oxygenating activity of any substance known to man which allows the body to detoxify and reestablish normal cell function and balance.  They can actually push toxins out of cells by pulling in potassium.  They also carry ozone and negative ions, which are necessary for a healthy body.  Studies have shown there are no bacteria or viruses known to man which are resistant to essential oils.

When diffused, the oils can provide air purification by increasing the oxygen in the air, removing harmful pathogens and toxins, increasing negative ions and providing a fresh scent which can affect mood.  They can also provide emotional and spiritual healing when used with intention.

It is very important to understand there are no government imposed quality standards in the United States.  The FDA does not look at essential oils because they are neither a food nor a drug.

There was a study done in recent past where random brands of essential oils were gathered and tested.  It was found that companies were using as little as 8% pure essential oil mixed with fillers, synthetic oils and even pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in some cases!  And every bottle had a printed claim it to be 100% pure essential oil.  That is why it is extremely important to know and trust the company you are using.  Do thorough research and contact the company with any questions you may have.

Using Essential Oils Safely

There are three ways you can use essential oils safely: aromatic, topically and internally.  Please don’t check out now – keep reading on – it is imperative that you only apply oils in and on your body that you can verify the purity.  You must be able to access and review the test reports!  The company I use has a website where you can type in the Quality ID printed on each bottle and receive test reports for that batch of oil.  This is where you should set your standards.

Aromatic Use

Using oils aromatically means dispersing them in the air and breathing them in.  Think aromatherapy.  The most popular and easy way to do this is using a diffuser, but can also be as simple as smelling the oil right out of the bottle top.  Because the molecules in essential oils are so small, inhaling is a great way to get essential oils into our bodies, especially our brains!

Diffusing essential oils is also a great way to clean the air of toxins and pathogens.  Did you know that the essential oil molecules remain suspended in the air for hours after diffusing?  It is a fantastic way to support yourself and your loved ones during cold and flu season.

Topical Use

The second way to use essential oils is topically, or applied to your skin.  I always stress the importance of diluting oils when using them this way.  Often when we hear the term “diluting” we think of watering it down, but that is not the case.   Diluting essential oils means adding a carrier oil, which is a neutral oil that helps carry the essential oil into our skin for better absorption and also minimize any skin sensitivity.  Remember these oils are extremely potent, which is why I always recommend diluting your oils.

Fractionated coconut oil has become our favorite and most used carrier oil due to it’s quick absorption and non-greasy texture.  We also use jojoba oil, avocado oil and others.   You are always going to dilute extra for children and the elderly.  Applying essential oils to the bottom of the feet is a great place to start.  It is the least sensitive area on our skin and there are a ton of nerve endings making it a quick place for the oils to get picked up.  Otherwise, simply put the oils where it hurts.

I love to use these rollerbottles to make topical use easy.  It takes just a few drops of essential oil with the remainder fractionated coconut oil and you are ready to go.

Be aware that citrus oils should not be applied topically when you will be heading out in the sun.  Citrus oils cause sun sensitivity.  These include Bergamot, Lime, Lemon, Orange, Citronella, etc.  You can still use them, just apply where the sun won’t shine, like the bottoms of feet.

Internal Use

This is surely the most debated form of essential oil use.  This is because like I mentioned earlier, essential oils are mixed with undesirable and potentially harmful ingredients in many cases.  Also, because essential oils are so potent, you should ingest them with caution and common sense.  Personally, I would never ingest more than a drop or two at a time.

Essential oil brands which have been deemed safe for ingestion (GRAS) by the FDA should have a supplement facts label printed on the bottle.  Oils which do not have this label are not recommended for ingestion.

Many people love to add a drop of essential oil to their water.  Always be sure to use a glass when adding essential oils to your water.  They will dissolve styrofoam and plastic!

Other internal uses include a drop under the tongue.  It is also possible to add a drop to an empty veggie capsule and swallow it similar to a supplement.

If you are interested in working with me to learn more about essential oils, make a comment below and I will be in touch!



One thought on “Essential Oil Basics

  1. Pingback: Essential Oil Diffuser Review – BriteLeafs | Mommy Lives Clean

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