Welcome back to my Healthy Living series y’all. I hope you’ve enjoyed my first 2 posts in this series. Today’s post is pretty evident from the title but we are going to be talking about essential oils and how they can contribute to healthier living. Remember y’all, everything I post is strictly my own personal experiences and thoughts on each topic or product and is not meant to serve as the final word in any particular subject.
Well ladies and gents, it’s the middle of February and hopefully we’ve at least attempted to stick with our resolutions if we made some. If you have I am definitely celebrating with you. If not, no worries, you’re doing your very best and that’s worth celebrating too. Is your resolution to start living a healthier life, but your not quite at the point of completely overhauling your eating habits, essential oils might just be the place to start. I’ll start by telling you a little bit about them, an overview of how to use them and then tell you one of my personal experiences.
Essential oils are naturally occurring compounds that come from plants, flowers, some fruits, herbs, etc. It’s best described here, I’ll likely mess up the explanation. The person who shared her thoughts with me essentially said it was natures perfect medicine and could help to alleviate certain ailments if used properly. She sent me some samples of the most popular oils and then a list of things they helped with and explained to me how to use them. Now first things first, they smell incredible and are very potent. Anything minty is my personal favorite because it just smells so clean and fresh. Second, I really do believe they work. Think of things like ginger or mint teas, they are usually meant to help with digestive issues. Well, what if you’re not a fan of the flavor of them but know that they help you? Essential oils are probably the best way that I’ve found to alleviate that problem. If you use them topically (explained below) you can find relief the same way you would with drinking that kind of tea, except without the flavor you don’t like.
There are 3 ways to use essential oils; aromatically, topically or internally. Internally is definitely the most controversial of the 3 methods but I leave it to you to make your own personal decisions. Each person believes differently and no one can usually steer them a different way, so please lets all be kind here.
Aromatic usage of essential oils basically just means smelling the oil. This can be done a few ways. You can open the bottle and take a whiff, put a drop in the palm of your hand and rub both of your hands together and smell them that way, or (my personal favorite) by using a diffuser. We have a diffuser in each room of our house (except bathrooms) all differing in size depending on the size of the room its being used in. I prefer the use of diffuser because the scent and healing properties of the oil can be enjoyed by all, not just you. It just makes your room smell incredible. Certain scents have a calming effect almost instantly when you enter the room, its crazy. My personal favorite diffuser has a large capacity and runs ALL day. Various settings can make it run nearly 24 hours. Here are a couple of the other diffusers we have.
Topical usage of essential oils involves putting it somewhere on your body. To start with most people put them on the bottom of their feet. If you’re into reflexology you’ll know that certain spots on your feet are in some way connected to another part of your body. Apparently the absorption rate of oils is much quicker on your feet as well so that’s a popular place to start with topical application of oils. As you start to learn a bit more about oils you discover you can really put them almost everywhere. If you’re having a stomachache (or another digestive problem) then you can use a single oil like peppermint on the area that hurts. Sometimes it helps immediately; other times it takes a couple of applications several minutes apart. Sometimes you’ll need to dilute the pure oil with what is called a carrier oil. This takes the concentrated oil and calms it down just a bit for application on people with sensitive skin, or on young children and babies. Popular carrier oils are things like coconut, almond, jojoba or grapeseed oils.
To use oils internally, you guessed it, they have to be ingested. You can start your day with a drop of lemon in a large glass of water. This must be a GLASS or something that isn’t plastic. You can put a drop or 2 in a veggie capsule or you can use premade capsules made by the company you purchase from. This method is controversial because there isn’t any data to support the effectiveness of this method. No data except people’s experiences.
When I think about why I love my essential oils, I am always brought back to when my oldest son had the flu. It came on fast and furious, as I’m told it tends to do. He fainted and lost control of his bladder a little bit and just generally wasn’t feeling great. I freaked out, I hadn’t dealt with this kind of thing before and I didn’t know what to do. I called a friend to look after my youngest and the big guy and I went to the doctor. We left with a prescription (which was outrageously priced) a flu diagnosis, and the thought of “I don’t want this thing spreading”. Enter essential oils. He had a certain spot on the couch that he stayed on, right next to the diffuser, which was constantly going with doTerra’s OnGuard blend. I had mixed together a little blend of oils known for their properties of fighting germs and was constantly applying that to the bottom of everyone’s feet and down our spines. Each bedroom had their own diffuser filled with OG and they were going day and night. By the end of this flu experience, no one else was touched. We weren’t putting him in quarantine or anything like that. We were all sitting very close to him sharing hugs and loves and not one of us caught the bug. I was constantly spraying everything down with our OnGuard cleaning spray (couches, beds, pillows, rugs, etc). I firmly believe that the rest of the family would have caught the bug had I not known about essential oils. I just read another blog post that falls into the same sort of category of keeping healthy. This one is geared mainly toward kiddos but I think its great advice for adults as well.
Well they have become wildly popular over the last several years. You might hear people say “there’s an oil for that” or whatever. People refer to themselves as oily, or hippie. Whatever people are saying, I think we all have one thing in common, a strong desire to rid ourselves of the harmful effects of medication usage. That was my motivation. There are MANY brands out there and so many places you can get them. Health food stores, Amazon, some grocery stores and through direct sales people who work for companies like YoungLiving or doTerra. My friend who introduced me to them is a doTerra consultant and I have a few other friends who are as well. “Technically” I am as well but I don’t try to sell to anyone, I like having the wholesale cost of the oils that I know and love. My suggestion to you is to do your research, talk to representatives from different companies and ask for samples from direct sales companies to compare. Not all oils are created equal… meaning not every company properly extracts these oils from their source. They also sometimes have not so great things added to them to make the pure oil stretch farther which then destroys the effectiveness of the oil. This means it won’t work as well as pure oil would. This is not the same as diluting an oil with a carrier oil as described above. Using a carrier oil does not destroy the chemical makeup of the pure oil, it just lessens the potency of the oil, not how well it performs. What I’m talking about is when companies add other additives to the oil that actually destroys the oil molecules itself. To me this defeats the point of attempting to rid your body of toxins because you’re actually just adding them back in under the guise of something “healthy”.
Here is a great source that I think that all oil users should follow.
I could tell story after story about how I’ve used oils and what blends have worked well for me and my family (maybe if y’all want that I’ll share another time) but for now let me leave you with this. Whatever you choose to do, don’t just take the advice of one person. Whether we know it or not, each of us knows one person who is associated with at least one of the brands, maybe even a few of them. Gather several bits of advice and this way you can make an informed decision. If it turns out its not your thing, that’s ok, its not for everyone. Y’all know me, I’m gonna just tell it how I see it, from my perspective. Which I know isn’t always the right perspective but it’s the only one I know personally.
If you are “oily”, which oil singles or blends are your favorite and why? How have essential oils made a difference in your life? Leave your comment below!
If you’re not “oily” but have some questions, what other things would you like to know? If I don’t know the answers, I’ll point you toward someone who does. Let me help you out by commenting!
Y’all are amazing!!! Thank you for reading the blog and being patient with me as I figure this whole thing out still. If there’s anything you’d like to see me write about, let me know. If I have any experience with it, I’d be happy to do that for you.
Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!