If you know me, you know I always have essential oils on hand. Whether it be for a mood booster, a headache healer, or a kitchen cleaner, essential oils are, well, essential to my healthy holistic lifestyle.
The oils may be essential, but few people know how to incorporate them effectively and safely into their life. Of the limited sources available pertaining to their proper use, information is often broad and speculative. I created this blog post to share what I’ve learned about essential oils and how they can make a difference in your life.
So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know before getting into essential oils.
The quick MUST KNOWS of Essential Oils:
- Always dilute your essential oil in a carrier oil (coconut oil, grape-seed, primrose, hemp seed oil… they all have different benefits to best suit your needs!) Applying the essential oil directly onto the skin can sometimes be harsh.
- If you ever get an essential oil in your eye, do not flush it out with water! Grab a carrier oil and flush it out with a drop or two of that.
- There are no known interactions with essential oils and prescription medications documented in medical literature.
- Technically, you cannot be allergic to an essential oil (don’t believe me? Read on garçon)
- Not all essential oils are safe for everyone. Certain oils should be kept away from children, pets and pregnant women.
- Essential oils are to plants as blood is to humans, it is their life force.
- Historical use of essential oils dates back to the Egyptians over 5000 years ago. Egyptians used frankincense and myrrh as part of their embalming process.
- In 1910 Dr. Rene Gattefosse, a French chemist burnt his arm badly, grabbed the only thing he had near by, lavender essential oil, and sha-bam, you guessed it. Where Dr. Gattefosse applied the oil healed without any signs of burn or scarring. He then went on to invent the term “aromatherapy” in the 1920’s.
How they WORK their Magic:
Essential oils are composed of around 40 million trillion molecules per single drop. The human body is only composed of about 100 trillion cells… Mind blown. The molecules that make up essential oils are extremely small, allowing one drop of oil to be jam packed with an incomprehensible amount of molecular goodness. The benefit of these molecules being so small is they can easily pass into all tissues and actually enter the cell membrane! The body is capable of transporting these light little molecules all over the body in minutes after being applied and enter directly into your cells. They are highly volatile allowing the tiny molecules to easily and effectively take over the air space with their aroma, seconds after simply opening the bottle.
Essential oils are composed of three major compenents; phenols, monoterpenes and sesquiterenes. Phenols are said to have powerful immunity supporting properties. Not all essential oils contain phenols, but are found highly in Thyme, Eucalyptus, Clove, Cinnamon and Oregano. (When you read on the internet the dangers of phenols they’re referring to man-made phenols and not ones found in nature, like the phenols in essential oils). Monoterpenes are said to have cleansing properties and act as solvents. Monoterpenes can be found in grapefruit, lemon, frankincense, orange, bergamot, spearmint and peppermint essential oils. Sesquiterpenes act as defense agents and also have cleansing properties. The US National Library of Medicine and the Natural Institutes of Health state that sesquiterpenes are “a class of naturally occurring molecules that have demonstrated therapeutic potential in decreasing the progress of cancer”. You can find sesquiterpenes in Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandlewood, Ginger and Myrrh.
Dive Deeper into the world of Essential Oils, READ ON!
When it comes to allergies and essential oils, there’s really no such thing. When an allergy occurs, you have what is called an “allergen” (the mysterious invader) enter the body… the immune system reacts with the release “antibodies” to check it out, they’re your defense, your immune system. The antibodies bind to these allergens in attempt to remove them from the body. Allergens are made from proteins and/or polypeptide nitrogenous molecules, there must be a protein for the antibody to bind to, this is key! Essential oils do not have protein molecules … therefore, well yah know, no allergic reaction can happen. Allergens are typically 100 to 1,000 times LARGER (in both size and weight) than the molecules that constitute an essential oil. There are no essential oils that are protein based, and therefor nothing for an antibody to bind to. PLUS the essential oil molecules are so tiny they basically fly right under the radar. There have yet to be any documented antibody responses to the use of an essential oil.
There is no regulatory agency in the US to certify or over-see essential oils on the market. So long as there’s one tiny drop of pure essential oil in the mixture they can label their products “100% pure essential oil” and fill the bottle with fillers and synthetics. They’re not lying, there is one tiny drop of 100% pure essential oil in there out of the 100 drops in the bottle. They’re just being smart with their marketing, so YOU be smart with your purchasing.
If you’ve shopped around for essential oils you may have noticed there can be a huge price gap, and you may be asking yourself why?! I’m a sale shopper, and quite proud of it to be honest, but when it comes to your oils… go big or go home. Essential oils are created most commonly by way of steamed distillation which depending on the oil, may take hours and is quite the extensive process. However, this process is crucial to effectively distract the therapeutic properties of the oil. Often times, companies selling cheap essential oils take short cuts, altering the quality of the oil. A good steam distillation is done at a low temperature, with little to no pressure and with a no-solvent distraction method. Some companies cut corners by increasing temperatures and adding pressure to speed the production process. These oils can still be labeled pure essential oils, as they are, they’re just missing the therapeutic properties. You can test the quality of your essential oil by placing it in the freezer before you open the cap. High quality essential oils should not freeze.
What the RESEARCH says:
There are no known interactions with essential oils and prescription medications documented in medical literature. David Stewart, PhD states, “I researched essential oil and drug interactions thoroughly when I was writing my chemistry book and was unable to find a single citation or publication that indicated any adverse reactions between drugs and essential oils anywhere.”
After two 10-minute aromatherapy sprays with Bergamot essential oil on elementary school teachers, the parasympathetic nervous system was enhanced and shown on corresponding physiological parameters. Aromatherapy seems to drive autonomic nervous activity toward a balanced state. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3092730/
Studies have shown that monoterpenes exert antitumor activities and suggest that these components are a new class of cancer chemopreventive agents. (Elson and Yu, 1994; Kelloff et al., 1996; Crowell, 1999).
Limonene, a main constituent of orange and citrus peel oils, has been reported to exert antitumor activity against mammary gland, lung, liver, stomach, and skin cancers in rodents. (Elegbede et al., 1986; Wattenberg and Coccia, 1991; Crowell and Gould, 1994; Mills et al., 1995; Kawamori et al., 1996).
Coming Soon: All the ways you can infuse your life with these potent oils! Now that we have the facts, lets put these oils to use!
Drop the chemicals, ditch the crap and cleanse your life with essential oils!
My hope for you is that this blog gave you enough information to get you started on your journey through essential oils. If you’re intrigued and looking for more information, read Jen O’Sullivan’s book, “The Essential Oil Truth; the facts without the hype”. Jen O’Sullivan is highly educated and knows her stuff, thanks to her knowledge, this blog was created.