The Essentials (Oils, That Is)
Thinking about getting into essential oils, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you already use them, but want to learn more or get some tips?
You came to the right place! I've been using essential oils since 2012, and I can honestly say they have made a huge impact on my life! I exclusively use Young Living Essential Oils, because they are therapeutic grade and 100% pure. The quality of your oils is very important- I will dive into that later on in this article.
While I feel like pharmaceuticals have their place in life, we definitely live in a drug-centric culture and will pop pills like candy for any small problem. For me, essential oils have been great replacements for things like Tums (stomach ache/ heartburn), Advil (for headaches, menstrual cramps), and have helped improve my sleep, hormonal balances, and more!
Here's a few of my favorite uses for essential oils!
For Sleep: Lavender & Eucalyptus
I have a cold diffuser next to my bed, and every night I diffuse a blend of 4 drops of Lavender + 4 drops of Eucalyptus. I've had trouble sleeping most of my life. Now, I sleep like a baby*! I don't have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and I usually wake up before my alarm even goes off in the morning. A couple of weeks ago, I ran out of Eucalyptus so I stopped diffusing my oils for a few days. I couldn't figure out why I was having trouble sleeping and why I couldn't get up in the morning. Once I got my Eucalyptus restocked, I figured out why :)
*Please note, my sleep has improved drastically because of the essential oils + other lifestyle changes which I dive into on this blog post.
For Skincare: Frankinscence, Lemon, & Lavender
Frankinscense is probably my favorite essential oil for skin. Frankinscence dates back to biblical times- if you're a Christian or have studied religions, you probably recognize the name because it's one of the gifts that was bestowed upon the baby Jesus by the Wise Men in the New Testament. Frankinscence is known for it's anti inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties. I've even heard stories of cancer survivors who used Frankinscence to speed up their recovery. It's very powerful and because of these properties, it's great for anti-aging and even for blemishes. I add a few drops to my Coconut Oil Face Scrub as an anti-aging boost.
Lemon and Lavender are also great for your skin- Lemon is a strong antibacterial, so if you suffer from mild to sever acne, you could add this to your moisturizer. Lavender encourages cells to renew quickly, so it's another age-fighting oil (plus the two together smell heavenly!)
For Digestion: Peppermint and DiGize
I used to be on all sorts of acid reflux medicine as a kid. Antacids are TERRIBLE for your body and I highly recommend doing everything you can do get off of them-especially for women because of the risk of Osteoperosis. Although I've kicked my acid reflux through change of diet and lifestyle, I sometimes get the occasional heartburn. Peppermint essential oil is great for digestive problems. I put a couple of drops in a glass of water and drink it or put a few drops in a vegetable capsule and take it like a pill. It's also great for nausea, indigestion, and more. For nausea, a few drops of Peppermint rubbed on the throat help immensely!
In addition to Peppermint, I buy a blend from Young Living called DiGize- it contains Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli. When I have an upset stomach, I put a drop or two of this in my bellybutton and let it soak in.
For Pain: PanAway and Wintergreen
I buy a blend from Young Living called PanAway which contains Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint. It smells similiar to Tiger's Balm, and works very much like it, too. I hold a lot of tension in my shoulders, so I like to rub it on my shoulders, then follow with a warm compress to ease aches and pains. It' great for headaches and menstrual cramps too- literally just apply it wherever it hurts!
Wintergreen by itself is also effective for pain relief- same as above, just apply it wherever it hurts! (Make sure to wash your hands after applying, you don't want to accidentally get these on your eyes!).
For Cleaning: Lemon and Thieves
Lemon is a strong antibacterial, and it smells wonderful! Diffusing Lemon essential oil helps to purify the air and make your house smell great.
My favorite essential oil for cleaning is Thieves. Historically known as Five Thieves Oil, it's a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, Rosemary, and Cineol. This blend has been around for centuries and got it's name because thieves in England would rub this all over their bodies during the Plague so they could steal from the sick/dying and not catch the sickness. A few drops of Thieves added to a spray bottle with water makes a wonderful surface cleaner that smells like Cinnamon and kills bacteria without chemicals. Young Living has a whole line of Thieves products including hand soap, cleaning products, laundry products and more. That being said, you can literally just add a drop of Thieves to anything and have the same effect- those products are for people who want the convenience.
For Hormonal Balance: Ylang Ylang and Clary Sage
I feel like hormones don't get the spotlight they deserve- a lot of what happens in our bodies, good and bad, is due to our hormones. They can work for you or against you!
Ylang Ylang has been around for quite some time. It's great for balancing hormones and also balancing male/female energies. Clary Sage is another great oil for hormonal balance. I just apply a drop to my feet (feet have the biggest pores on the body, so oils applied here are absorbed the quickest). These oils are great if you suffer from hormonal breakouts, mood changes due to hormones, or before/during/after menstruation to keep everything in check.
Tips on Buying Essential Oils
I'll happily admit my bias here. I love Young Living- I have had nothing but good experiences with all of their products and I've been a member since 2012.
That being said, they are not the only good quality essential oil company out there. My advice is, do your research. You always want to get therapeutic-grade essential oils. There's a lot of oils out there that are cut with fillers, like rice oil to cut costs.
Only buy "therapeutic grade" and "food grade" essential oils. You should be able to apply them to your skin and consume them orally. If the bottle says you can't do that, they aren't the real deal. Some oils are labeled as "Pure Essential Oils" because they do contain pure essential oils- but that's not all they contain. :) If you have some that aren't food grade, don't fret- you can still diffuse them, just please don't apply them to your skin!
Use price as an indicator. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Good quality essential oils are not cheap. Luckily, they are so concentrated that you only need a little bit and one bottle will last you a long time!
Find out where they are sourced from. Good quality essential oils will be sourced sustainably and from ethical, reputable farms. Do your research. If it's not listed on the company's website, contact them and ask.
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