What are essential oils?

Essential oils are naturally occurring volatile aromatic compounds found in various parts of plants (seeds, flowers, roots, bark, and others). These compounds serve protective, regenerative, and reproductive purposes vital for the plants survival. They help protect the plants, participate in plant pollination, and provide plants their distinctive aromas. Essential oils are highly concentrated when distilled for purity, potency, and efficacy. 

Each oil can have hundreds of individual constituents that provide specific aromas and benefits and embody protective properties, allowing them to be used to support human emotional, mental, and physical healing. They can be used in food preparation, beauty treatments, and healthcare practices as a part of an overall wellness lifestyle where the practitioner focuses on positive lifestyle choices and uses essential oils to support and serve the body.

Read more directly from dōTERRA via this link.

 
 
 
 

Why dōTERRA®

dōTERRA® is safe, effective, and 100% pure - truly the best products on the market. The plants from which the oils are harvested are grown in their natural habitats and harvested at the ideal time and temperature, ensuring the highest quality of oil produced. dōTERRA® oils are labeled as "Certified Therapeutic Grade" which combines rigorous testing for both the quality of the essential oil as well as the purity - those bottles contain oil and only oil so no fillers, synthetics, or other manufactured chemicals. You can read more about the company's extraction process here. Many individuals have their personal reasons for choosing dōTERRA®. Reasons most important to me are highlighted below.

 
 
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PURITY

There are generally four grades of essential oils on the market: Synthetic, Food, Therapeutic, and Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. dōTERRA® oils are guaranteed to be 100% pure as ensured through rigorous quality control standards. Plants are grown where they naturally thrive, harvested by those who know them best, distilled by experts, and tested by chemists. The world of essential oils is unregulated at the moment, and corporations aren’t required to disclose exactly what they put in those bottles. So while you may be able to purchase oils at large box stores or e-retailers, you cannot be certain of their quality. I wanted a product that would be effective and safe to use with all members of my family and didn't want the hassle of reading label after label. dōTERRA® is a brand I can trust. 

 
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sustainable sourcing

Sustainable and Co-Impact Sourcing might be my most favorite thing about dōTERRA®. In business school I studied sustainability and social entrepreneurship and earned an opportunity to visit coffee farms in Colombia to learn more about sustainable supply chains. Following that, I looked for companies whose mission and values included a heart for being not just good environmental stewards but also fairly serve all members of the supply chain. dōTERRA's commitment to source plants from where they grow naturally and work with growers, harvesters, distillers, and scientists to bring us the highest quality of oils is unmatched in the industry. I urge you to read more about this one via the links below if you also have a passion for social impact and sustainability. 

 
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versatility

One of the many benefits of using pure essential oils is that there endless options. Since I have been using dōTERRA®, I have replaced most items in my medicine cabinet, cleaning cabinet, beauty and skin care drawer, and have used in cooking, gardening, and camping first-aid among other things. Lemon in particular is a workhorse in my household. I use it daily in my water to help with digestion, in our diffuser as a morning pick-me-up, and in our laundry, particularly when we've got disgusting toddler smells oozing from the hamper. Check out the link below for a 100 other things Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint can do for you and your household. 

How to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils empower individuals to naturally manage the physical, emotional, and mental health of themselves and their family. The oils are complex and versatile having various benefits depending on the type of application. 

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aromatic

Diffused or inhaled essential oils are very powerful due to your smell receptors connection to the limbic system. They can purify the air and adjust moods to be calming, stimulating, or soothing based on specific oil or blend.

My Favorite Methods

  • diffusers in various rooms of house

  • direct inhalation from hands to nose

  • spray bottles to freshen sheets/laundry

 
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internal

Some essential oils can be taken internally either in capsule form as supplements, in food preparation, or directly in mouth. Oils are absorbed directly into the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract. Be sure to start with a small amount and check the label.

My Favorite Methods

  • lifelong vitality supplements

  • citrus oils in my water

  • replacing dried herbs in cooking

 
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topical

Oils can also be applied directly to the skin, on bottoms of feet or on targeted area. Give a gentle massage with application to increase blood flow and distribution and avoid eyes, ears, and broken skin. Small amounts more often is most effective.

My Favorite Methods

  • pre-diluted rollers to apply to kids

  • on pulse points for emotional balance

  • soothing massage or bath

 
 
 

Basic Essential Oil Safety

Essential oils are incredibly concentrated -just one drop of peppermint can make over 28 cups of peppermint tea! You can safely experience all the therapeutic benefits of essential oils with just a small amount. General tips in addition to dilution, sun sensitivity, and internal use are to avoid eyes, ears, and nose; use a carrier oil and not water when you need to remove oil from sensitive skin (especially near the eyes); consult your health practitioner before using if you have critical health conditions. Remember that not all essential oils are created the same. I encourage you to read the blog post below to learn more. 

 
 
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dilution

Essential oils are naturally very potent, making dilution an important part of the safe topical use of essential oils. In fact, dilution can often make an oil more effective since it will help the oil absorb into the skin. A general recommendation for dilution is three drops of pure vegetable oil (known as a carrier oil) to one drop of essential oil. You may use any carrier oil you find most effective for you. Suggestions are: coconut, avocado, linseed, sunflower, or olive oil. 

Always dilute the following oils: Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Oregano, and Thyme. Some oils are marked as sensitive and you should consider diluting especially for young or sensitive skin. These include single oils Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Copaiba, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Geranium, Ginger, Lemongrass, Lime, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Spearmint, Wintergreen and blends Breathe, Deep Blue, OnGuard, Slim & Sassy, Motivate, Cheer, Passion, and Forgive.

 

photosensitivity

Photosensitive oils are those that react to sources of UV rays due to a specific class of organic chemical compounds called furocoumarins. Cold pressed citrus oils typically have higher concentrated amounts of the compound and therefore are more sensitive to sunlight or other sources of UV rays. For this reason, it is recommended that oil users wait twelve hours after topical application to expose the skin to any UV rays. If exposed, skin may become temporarily darkly pigmented, red, or irritated. I typically apply oils on the bottoms of my feet or on my spine to insure that skin is covered just in case I'm in the sun long enough to cause a reaction. 

Oils that may cause photosensitive reactions are labeled on doTERRA® bottles. These include: Bergamot, Cumin, Grapefruit, Kumquat, Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, and Wild Orange as well as AromaTouch, Breathe, Cheer, Citrus Bliss, Elevation, Forgive, InTune, Motivate, OnGuard, Purify, Slim & Sassy, Sunny Citrus, and Zendocrine. 

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internal use

Consuming essential oils on the FDA's Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list is a safe and effective way to experience the therapeutic power of essential oils. My favorites are the doTERRA® essential oil supplements, Citrus oils in my water, and Frankincense under my tongue every morning. Many people enjoy cooking with their essential oils. To use them safely, be sure to follow recommended directions for use. Oils that are safe for internal use are labeled with Supplement Facts on the bottle. It's also always a best practice to start with a single drop and observe how your body responds or how your food tastes as a little bit often goes a long way. 

Some oils that are not recommended for internal use include: Arborvitae, Birch, Cedarwood, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Siberian Fir, and Wintergreen. Again, check the label if you are unsure!