Every Single Thing You Ever Wanted to Know about Essential Oils

Hi there and welcome! This is your “All about essential oils 101” class in print so you can learn at your own pace. Since some people learn better with video, I did a Facebook LIVE essential oils class on 4/17/17 and will post that video here as well.

OK! There’s a lot of info here, take your time and as you have questions, text or email me — you’ll find my contact info at the top of every page.

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I’m a mom and a functional health practitioner, not a doctor. I don’t diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease and none of my statements have been evaluated by the FDA.

That said, I can tell you that I have thoroughly researched essential oils and Young Living. I’m a little OCD in the research department. I would not use these oils on myself and my family if I didn’t know they were completely safe! Plus, I see the very real health benefits of using essential oils, both in and on our bodies, and around the house.

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A little about my “oily” journey

Here’s a quickie intro on my About page. Professionally, I’m a Functional Health Practitioner meaning I help people find and fix their health challenges at the root. You can read more about that here.

What I don’t usually share is my family’s turning point when it comes to living a healthful life.

Hal and I have always been health conscious, doing our best to live and eat with nutrition in mind. Unfortunately, we didn’t read labels, or question any foods in a grocery store or anything a doctor said. Why would we? The government said it was keeping us safe and, gee, it wouldn’t allow any foods or ingredients to be sold that might harm us. Right?

So when my son developed asthma at 3, out of the blue, and the doctor said my precious baby would be on inhalers and steroids for the rest of his life, Hal and I went, “OK.”

Because a doctor said so, we were helpless. Well, here’s what I learned the hard way: you don’t know what you don’t know.

Inhalers and steroids cost a fortune, even with insurance. Plus, you couldn’t get a refill without a doctor visit, which wasn’t cheap way back then either. However, I was making oodles of money in a resort real estate market… I was very busy and had the money, so we just went with it. Besides, many of the kids we knew had asthma and/or allergies so it seemed “normal.”

In 2004, the market started to wane and, by the time Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005, I hadn’t had a paycheck in 8 months. We did have savings and an itch for adventure. So, in January 2006, on a whim and a prayer, we moved to Costa Rica.

There we were in a foreign country with time on our hands. By that point, I’d somehow gotten hooked up with an alternative healer who put some crazy ideas in my head about healing Ryan’s asthma naturally — as opposed to just treating it — so I spent all my time researching.

Man, did I fall down some rabbit holes! Wow. I discovered a lot about natural healing during those years (and about how the government keeps us safe). Little by little our lives changed as we started to put the new ideas into practice. Ryan’s asthma was healed along the way and he got off all meds. He’s 24 now (13 then), 6’2″ and in excellent health.

Just to be clear, we weren’t using oils in Costa Rica — that’s just where we stepped through the looking glass into the world of REAL health. Our time there couldn’t have been better spent!

By 2010, we’d returned to the states and in 2013, I was studying to be a midwife’s assistant. My first client turned me on to essential oils. I remember the day I signed up — November 2015. Courtney had been sharing with me about the oils and how she used them, and one day… one day, I said, “Where do I sign up?” No class. I just knew I wanted them. I had almost completed my functional health course and was ready to change the world with alternative, affordable, easy-to-implement wellness tools. If essential oils worked for me like they did for Courtney, I had another powerful tool to share!

Indeed, EOs have dramatically changed how we live. I knew I’d get plenty of use out of all these little bottles, but never did I expect so many lights to go on! It’s funny, both my grown-up gigantic (6’2″) sons diffuse essential oils! Ryan likes R.C. and Peppermint, Morgan diffuses Lavender at night for the baby. Sure didn’t see that coming either!!

We now have a (mostly) toxin-free home and use our essential oils every single day. I LOVE everything about my eos, and the fact that my whole family uses them. Of course, I will share all the details here so you can know how to use them, too.

First, a bit of education so you know what you are using, what makes them so powerful and why brand matters.

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What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the most powerful part of the plant. They are what keeps the plant healthy and makes it thrive. They are distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, fruit, rinds, resins, and herbs. Oils consist of over 100 different natural organic compounds.

In humans, EOs provide support for every system in the body:  your skeletal system, your muscular system, circulatory system, endocrine system and your hormones, respiratory system and immune system.  They support brain health and a healthy weight.  They are used extensively for emotions and for support in your spiritual life.

An oil in the diffuser can soothe a child’s tough day at school and provide a calming effect when you’ve had a stressful day at work. Oils can be used as an alternative to toxic cleaning chemicals in your home. You can literally start swapping out every single chemical cleaning toxin in your home to live a purer lifestyle, and you can do it without breaking the bank!

There are about 300 oils on the earth, but you only need 10 – 20 of them to build a good kit.

And, you don’t need to be an aromatherapist or professional to use them effectively. They are simple to use. Heck, in most cases, just rub the oil topically into the skin!
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How to Use Essential Oils

There are three main ways to get oils into your system.

  • Topically: the English rub it on the skin.
  • Internally: the French ingest and cook with them (as do I).
  • Aromatically: the Germans diffuse and inhale, which can be the most efficient method because the oil doesn’t have to pass through the digestive system.

How do EOs enter your system and how long do they last?

Tests have shown oils reach the heart, liver, and thyroid in three seconds when inhaled. They were found in the bloodstream in 26 seconds when applied topically.  It takes three to six hours for the oils to be expelled from a normal, healthy body.
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History of Essential Oils

They were first mentioned by name in the biblical book of Genesis, chapter 37, when Joseph was sold to the slave traders.  They carried spicery, balm and Myrrh!  Genesis ends with the burial of Joseph’s father anointed with myrhh.

Oils are mentioned 1100 times directly or indirectly in Scripture.

Some of the oldest cultures on earth used essential oils.  The Babylonians placed orders for Cedarwood, Myrhh, and Cyprus.  The Egyptians used essential oils for beauty and embalming and they have the oldest recorded deodorant recipe made with essential oils.  Pakistan and Rome used essential oils in the communal bath houses.

They were even used by Christ!  Jesus was given Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.  Frankincense is sometimes referred to as the “coconut oil of essential oils” because it has over 10,000 uses!

Essential oils were used by the Medieval Europeans, many of whom brought oils back during the Crusades.

It was after World War 2 before essential oils were RE-discovered. The science on their uses grows with every single year.
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How are Essential Oils Produced?

I have been using oils for over a year now. I mean, Lavender always smelled nice in my bath, but never had any effect on my body, not even relaxation.  That’s because I’d buy my Lavender-scented bath bubbles for $5 a bottle from store shelves. I mean, everyone I knew did that!

Lavender in a $5 bubble bath is NOT a Grade A oil and we shouldn’t expect any effect!

In the United States, there is no official rating system for essential oils.  The closest we get is an FDA requirement that in order to label a bottle of essential oil “pure” or “therapeutic grade,” the contents of that bottle must contain at least 5% essential oil.

Yes, only 5%!!! The rest of the stuff in that bottle…who knows?

All oils in the world fall into one of 4 Grades:  A, B, C and D.

  1. Grade A is therapeutic, made from organically grown plants and distilled at low temperatures.
  2. Grade B oils are food grade, but may contain synthetics, pesticides, fertilizers, chemical extenders, or carrier oils.
  3. Grade C oils are perfume oils that often contain adulterating chemicals.  They usually use solvents, for example, hexane, to gain a higher yield of oil per harvest.  Solvents can be cancerous, and are in many store bought oils.  They may also be diluted 80-95 percent with alcohol.
  4. Grade D is called “floral water,” which is aromatic only and is usually a byproduct of Grade A distillation.  After all the oil is pulled out, the leftover trash water is sold to companies which will fill 5% of the bottle with this “leftover trash water,” fill the rest with carriers, and label it “pure.”

Grade A is the only true pure oil. All Young Living oils are Grade A!

Grade D would be like going to your fridge, taking a glass of orange juice and diluting it 95% before you drank it!  It wouldn’t have the full benefits of orange juice.  That’s why you want Grade A oils!!

Before you purchase oils, check to see if the company grows their own plants, owns their own fields, and controls the entire process from Seed to Seal – from the farm to the sealed bottle. (Young Living does!)

Pesticides, pollution, previously farmed land – all of it can affect the quality of an oil. Why would you go the extra step of using an oil to get away from a chemical – and then use an oil laden with chemicals? That makes no sense.
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The “Seed to Seal” Guarantee

One of the things that stands out to me is Young Living’s Seed to Seal process.  It’s a promise of integrity.  Gary Young has said that he never makes an oil for profit, he makes it for a purpose.  He is very passionate about his oils!!

Seed to Seal means each plant is hand-weeded, there are no pesticides used, no chemicals, and no weed killers.  The plants are harvested at their peak.  They’re then put through a vigorous testing process.  Then they go from the farm directly to your home.  Seed to Seal is not a slogan, it’s a promise!  Here’s a quickie video on the topic:

You can learn more by checking out the Young Living story, and fall in love with the company as I have, at SeedToSeal.com.

Why Do Oils Companies Sell Oils More Cheaply? To save money. Most essential oils are sold more cheaply because companies cut corners.

  • If you spray your crop with pesticides, you have more crop to distill.
  • If you use a chemical solvent to extract the oil, you pull more oil out.
  • If you dilute it with a cheaper oil or a carrier oil, you stretch the quantity: more to sell.

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Are EOs Cost Effective?

It takes a great deal of work to produce a tiny amount of essential oil!

  • One ounce of rose oil takes 60 thousand rose blossoms!
  • Lavender is abundant – 220 pounds will provide 7 pounds of oil.
  • Jasmine flowers must be picked by hand before the sun becomes too hot on the very first day they open, thus making it one of the most expensive oils in the world! It takes 8 million hand-picked blossoms to produce 2.2 pounds of oil.
  • A Sandalwood tree must be 30 years old and 30 feet high before it can be cut down for distillation.

Thankfully, a little oil goes a looooong way!  Most oils are $10 to $30 a bottle.  A 5 mL bottle contains about 90 drops, and a 15 mL bottle contains about 250 drops.  Each application is one to three drops, meaning even a small bottle will get you 45 to 90 applications.

A product I am never without (and my first bottle has lasted a year so far), Thieves cleaner is made of plants only and costs about $1.50 a bottle to make! You can’t even get that in the organic section at the grocery store! It replaces a multi-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, and floor cleaner.  The organic versions of those can run you $4 to $6 a bottle.
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Are Essential Oils Safe?

There are certain oils that are photosensitive, meaning you don’t want to wear them and go outside.  These are mostly citrus oils, like grapefruit and lemon.

When using oils on your skin, always watch for redness and dilute with a carrier oil.  Dilute oils on children, because their skin is more permeable and absorbs the oils more quickly.

What is a carrier oil?  It’s a fatty oil like olive oil or avocado or coconut oil, and its molecules are much larger than those of essential oils.  Using a carrier oil with an essential oil slows down the rate the body can absorb the essential oil, because it has to ping pong through the large molecules of the carrier oil to get to your skin.

My current fav carrier oils are avocado and sweet almond oil. The graphic below is an excellent guide to carrier oils!

Be careful putting the oils topically near your eyes.  Some oils, like peppermint, can cause a burning sensation just from the fumes. Ask me how I know 🙂  If you are placing an oil near your eye, apply the oil with a Q-tip. Or put a drop on your hands, rub together and touch fingertips around your hairline.

You can become desensitized to an oil if you use the same one day after day, so I rotate my oils every three to four days.

So, what about internal use of essential oils?

NAHA, one of the top aromatherapy schools in the US, doesn’t advocate essential oils for internal use.  Why?  Because most oils companies don’t carry GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) essential oils which have been cleared by the FDA (Young Living does).

NAHA also bases a lot of their decisions on the British model, which advocated topical use only.  Many of the British studies are flawed, too — for example, done at extremely high doses in ways the oils aren’t used in real life, like pouring a bottle inside your body!

Young Living utilizes all three methods, British (topically), French (internally) and German (aromatically).  The French have been safely using many essential oils internally for decades.  Young Living has created a Vitality line with distinctive labels so you can easily recognize which oils are safe to take internally.

On The Flip Side….

Look at the ingredient list of what you have in your bathroom and kitchen.  Every day we put products on our skin, in our body and into our air that contain damaging chemicals.  The average woman applies over 300 chemicals a day to her body just through soaps, makeup, and body care products.  Eighty of those products are applied every day before breakfast!!

When you use Young Living’s essential oils, you’re using a product with one ingredient, like Lemon, Peppermint, Frankincense – no additives and no chemical yuck!
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About the 11 “Starter” Essential Oils

When I signed up with Courtney, I got the Premium Starter Kit (PSK). It comes with 11 bottles of oil, a free diffuser, samples of Ningxia Red (yummy), travel bottles and a lifetime wholesale membership. It’s the only thing YL offers that is 50% off retail! If you are like me and already know you want to use essential oils, go here and click the left graphic, then look for the PSK with the Home diffuser (you’ll scroll right on your phone to choose your diffuser).

If you want to check out the individual oils in the Premium Starter Kit, read on! Following are the 11 PSK oils, a few notes from the Young Living site on uses, plus how I personally use them. Click on any graphic to see it bigger or to download.

#1 Peppermint Supports gastrointestinal comfort. It promotes healthy bowel function and enhanced healthy gut function.  Helps maintain efficiency of the digestive tract. It may support performance during exercise.

Peppermint is just my favorite oil! I have a bottle by my bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, at my desk… addicted! Wakes me up, offers relief for an occasional headache, brightens my mood. I put a drop on my hands, rub together and massage into my scalp on my way into the gym. WAKE UP, lol!

How to use Peppermint Essential Oil

#2 Lavender  Oil of relaxation!  Diffuse for a calming, soothing aroma.  Unwind by adding a few drops to a nighttime bath.  One of the top oils to support healthy skin.  It’s called the “Swiss army knife” of essential oils because of its many uses.

I use in my Face Serum and in my tallow balm. My DIL uses the Lavender tallow balm on the baby’s feet at night to help her slow down. I use it on mine, too 🙂 Also wonderful in the bath: I have a 50lb bag of Epsom salts in my bathroom (ok, addicted to that, too). I fill a cup with Epsom salts, put 1-2 drops of Lavender (doesn’t take much!) in the salt and dump in the tub. Heaven!

P.S. The salt helps the oil disperse rather than sit on top of the water.

How to use Lavender Essential Oil

#3 Lemon Its citrus flavor enhances that taste of food and water.  A key ingredient in Thieves and Ningxia Red.  May help support the immune system.

I love love love my lemon water now! With “real” fruit lemon water, you never know how sweet or sour the fruit is you’ll be getting. Plus the mess of cutting, squeezing… And lemon juice from the fruit is hard on teeth enamel. Not so Lemon EO — it’s made from the rind so fine for teeth! Nothing quenches my thirst like a big glass of ice water with 1-2 drops lemon EO and a tiny sprinkle of salt. So good. Having some now!

Also, Lemon EO cleans my windows like nothing else! 2/3 C white vinegar, 1 1/3 water, 5 drops Lemon. No streaks, just clean.

How to use Lemon Essential Oil

#4 Frankincense.  One of the top skin oils, it helps smooth the appearance of the skin.  A key ingredient in Young Living’s “Brain Power” essential oil blend.  Diffuse it during prayer and meditation time to help with grounding and purpose.

I made an inhaler with Frankincense to carry in my purse, it’s also my favorite oil for my diffuser necklace. I put a drop of Frank under my tongue every morning to support my immune system. I also use it in my Face Serum: 1 ounce of sweet almond oil, 6 drops Frankincense, 1 drop Lavender makes a wonderful basic serum. Lovely scent, very grounding.

How to use Frankincense Essential Oil

#5 Copaiba Copaiba is steam distilled from gum resin tapped from the copaiba tree in Brazil. Known for its high levels of beta-caryophyllene and a sweet aroma, it promotes overall wellness.  Supports nearly every system in the body!  Also a great skin oil.

Makes a lovely tea, great for occasional inflammation — just a drop under the tongue. Sometimes I add a drop to my face serum, lovely oil!

How to use Copaiba Essential Oil

#6 DiGize Top oil for supporting the digestive system.  Add two drops, along with a drop of peppermint, to water for a stimulating beverage. Take in a veggie capsule internally. Use with Essentialzyme at every meal to support a wellness regimen.

Overate? Ate something that disagrees? DiGize on the belly soothes the tummy and aids digestion. (Good in the belly, too!)

How to use DiGize Essential Oil

#7 Thieves Helps support a healthy respiratory system. Helps maintain overall wellness when taken as a dietary supplement. Add a drop to hot drinks for a spicy zing!

Thieves is my go-to for immune support. If I feel a cough coming on, I toss back a drop to help soothe my throat. It’s in my home-made oil-pulling concoction (coconut oil, charcoal and 2 drops of Thieves) and travel hand-sanitizer. Wonderful to diffuse on a winter night!

How to use Thieves Essential Oil

#8 R.C. Supports a healthy respiratory system. Diffuse for a comforting aroma. Contains eucalyptol. Rub on feet and chest. Encourages an atmosphere of comfort.

We love diffusing R.C. in the wintertime, too. Great to use before a workout, just a drop on my hands, rub together and wipe on my chest or back of neck. Also good for bottom of feet after a hot bath, then thick socks — feels good!

How to use R.C. Essential Oil

#9 PanAway Apply this after exercise to soothe muscles.  Has a stimulating aroma.  Apply to back and neck for a soothing aromatic experience.  Supports the appearance of healthy skin coloration.

Great to rub on my neck if I slept “funny”. Lovely on my muscles after a hot bath, just feels good!

How to use PanAway Essential Oil

#10 Purification Diffuse this to freshen the air and eliminate odors. Add to a carrier oil to moisturize your skin or for a soothing massage on your feet. Use in a spray to enjoy and annoyance-free outdoor experience.

  • Wonderful in the laundry! I put a drop in every washer and/or dryer (depending on whose clothes I’m washing and how stinky.)
  • I also put a drop in the bottom of my trash cans along with a sprinkle of baking soda. My trash cans are lovely!
  • Great to diffuse in the car.
  • Put a drop on a cotton ball and wedge into the ac vents.
  • Put some baking soda in an old sock, add a couple of drops of Purification and put in son’s horrible work boots. Those things used to stink up the entire house! No more. So many uses!

How to use Purification Essential Oil

#11 Stress Away Promotes wellness and may be an important part of a daily health regimen.  One of the top emotion oils! In yourPSK, you get a free roller fitment which allows you to turn one of your bottles into a roller-ball. I used mine on Stress Away and carry that in my purse. Remember “Calgon, take me away”? Now, it’s Stress Away, take me away! Meditation in a bottle.

How to use Stress Away Essential Oil
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Now you know everything!

It’s true. Essential oils are simple to learn and use. There is no mystery — it’s why you have over a million uses for EOs. Think there might be an oil for that? Give it a go!

Ok, there is one more thing to know…

And that is how to get Young Living essential oils at wholesale prices! It’s simple. Click here to open your wholesale account and get your YL EOs at 24% off retail. For life!

Any questions any time, call, text or email me — I love talking oils and wellness. You’ll find my contact info at the top of every page =)