What are Essential Oils?
An essential oil is that aromatic, volatile liquid that is within many shrubs, flowers, tree, roots, bushes, and seeds. They are highly concentrated, potent and may contain anywhere from 80-300 or more different chemical constituents. The best method for extraction is through steam distillation.
The purity of essential oils is of utmost importance. I trust and use Young Living Essential Oils because I believe in their Seed to Seal process which guarantees the highest possible therapeutic value for the oils.
It is imperative to take great care in choosing high-quality essential oils. Many oils, claiming to be essential and pure, are derived from harsh chemicals, diluted, or copied and produced in a lab. Cheap copies bring cheap results and have the potential to be toxic.
To ensure you are using a pure essential oil look for:
- A company that is personally involved in the farming and cultivation process, including the inspection of partner farms
- Oils that smell like the natural plants
- A company that has expertise in the distillation process and innovative distillation equipment
- A company that has published essential oils research in scientific journals and takes a clinical approach to essential oil development
- A company that verifies purity with their own laboratories, third-party testing fascilities, and educated scientists to read and interpret test results
(Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails, Scott A. Johnson)
*They are small enough in molecular size that they can quickly penetrate the tissues of the skin.
*They are lipid-soluable and are capable of penetrating cell membranes and can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes and are then metabolized like other nutrients.
*According to research at the University of Vienna, they stimulate blood flow, which increases oxygen and nutrient delivery.
*Essential oils containing sesquiterpenes have the ability to pass the blood-brain barrier.
*Essential oils are aromatic, and when diffused, may provide air purification by increasing ozone and negative ions in the area, eliminating odors from cooking, bacteria, mold, animals and other sources, and filling the air with a fresh, aromatic scent.
*Essential oils promote emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
(Information taken from the Essential Oils Desk Reference/Fifth edition)
How to Use Essential Oils
You can diffuse your favorite essential oils in an essential oil diffuser or simply place a drop of oil in the palm of your hands, rub your hands together and cup them over your nose and inhale.
Many oils are safe to apply directly to the skin but it's a good idea to use a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil or grapeseed oil. Dilution rates will be written on the back of the bottle. The bottom of the feet is a great place to rub oils because they are less prone to sensitivity and our feet contain over two thousand pores on them, improving absorption. Other key points of application on the body are: crown of head, temples, neck, abdomen, tops of feet, forehead, behind ears, upper back, over vital organs, and ankles. Never put oils directly in the ears. Keep essential oils away from the eyes and other sensitive areas.
When applying topically, first do a skin patch test by applying one drop on the underside of the arm and observing for irritation or redness. If irritation or redness occurs after application, apply a pure carrier oil (olive, jojoba, etc.), not water. For sensitive skin, place 1 to 2 drops of oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil before application.
You can ingest Young Living's Vitality Dietary essential oils (according to instructions on the bottle) in a capsule, beverage, in honey, on a piece of bread, or dipped right on the tongue.
In and Around Your Home
I use so many essential oils for cleaning and deodorizing my home. Many oils can also be used in your cooking, on your pets, in your garden and to help deter pests.
Guidelines for the safe use of Young Living Essential Oils
Young Living essential oils are pure, which makes them powerful and effective. Always be responsible and read the complete label on each bottle for directions. Check with a healthcare professional before using essential oils if you have a serious medical condition or if you are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant. Consult your healthcare professional about any serious disease or injury. DO NOT attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substances for health conditions that require professional attention.
Use peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus very cautiously on or diffused near children under age 5 and avoid wintergreen on or diluted near children under age 12.
- Always test for skin sensitivity and keep a bottle of V-6 vegetable mixing oil, massage oil base or any pure vegetable oil handy when using essential oils. Vegetable oils dilute essential oils if they cause discomfort or skin irritation. Water does not help.
- Read the complete label before using essential oils.
- Keep bottles of essential oils tightly closed and store them in a cool location away from children. If a child swallows an essential oil, administer milk, honey or another safe, oil-soluble liquid such as soy or rice milk, or yogurt.
- Do not use essential oils rich in menthol (such as Peppermint) on the throat or neck area of children under 30 months (2 1/2 years of age).
- The citrus-based oils of Bergamont, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange and Tangerine as well as oil blends with a heavy citrus concentration such as White Angelica and Purification should not be used on areas of the skin that will be exposed to the sun or UV rays within 72 hours. They may cause in increased reaction to the sun.
- Keep essential oils away from the eyes and out of the ears. Do not handle contact lenses or rub your eyes with essential oils on your fingers. If the oils should get into your eyes, soothe with a drop of vegetable oil, not water.
- Oils with high phenol content-Oregano, Helichrysum, Cinnamon, Thyme, Clove, Lemongrass, Bergamont, Thieves and ImmuPower- may damage contact lenses and irriate eyes. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses.
- Epileptics and those with high blood pressure should consult their health care professional before using some essential oils. Avoid Hyssop, Fennel and Idaho Tansy oils.
- Before taking GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe by the FDA) essential oils internally, always dilute with an oil soluble liquid like honey, olive oil or soy milk.
- Do not add undiluted essential oils directly to bath water. Use Bath Gel Base as a dispersing agent for oils in the bath.
- Pregnant women should consult their health care professional before using essential oils containing constituents with hormone-like activity, such as Clary Sage, Sage, Idaho Tansy, Juniper and Fennel.