Essential Oil 101 Beginner’s Guide
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are volatile liquids that are distilled from plants (including their seeds, barks, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.). One of the factors that determines the purity and the therapeutic value of an oils is it’s chemical constituents. These constituents can be affected by so many things: the soil condition, the fertilizer used, the geographical region, climate, harvest season and method, and the distillation process.
Thyme (thyme vulgaris) will be different in structure depending on the time it was harvested. High levels of thymol depend of the time of the year that it was distilled. If distilled during mid-summer or late fall, there can be higher levels of carvacrol, which can cause the oil to be more caustic and irritating to the skin. Low pressure and low temperature are the key to maintaining purity and the therapeutic value of the oil. It matters when and how all oils are harvested.
So you can see why it is so important to make sure that you comprehend the absolute necessity of obtaining pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. There is no substitute for pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils.
This is why I have chosen to use high quality essential oils. That sets the standard for the highest, purest essential oil on the market. With so many different essential oil brands on the market, it’s hard to know which brand is the best. Because I was seeing some results with other brands of essential oils when using them in my practice, I decided to learning more about pure therapeutic grade essential oils and their medicinal benefits on our health.
I researched more about them and discovered a few remarkable things about the special oils:
They test each and every bath of oils….not just once, but 5 different ways!
They follow strict and sustainable growing and harvesting processes.
They source their oils in their prime environment.
The oils are a step above organic, they are Pure Therapeutic Grade with no fillers, artificial ingredients, synthetic chemical substitutes or contaminants of any kind.
No matter what brand of essential oils you choose, it is imperative to choose the best quality! My goal and wish for giving you all this information, is so you will feel empowered, like I do! It is an amazing feeling to have the resources to heal your body and your family!
How Do I Apply Essential Oils?
There are 3 methods of applying essential oils to your body. Remember, when I talk about essential oils and their application techniques, I am ALWAYS referring to therapeutic-grade essential oils.
***Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal, or in open wounds.***
Topical application is the process of placing the essential oil on the skin, mouth, hair, nails, or teeth. When you apply the essential oil directly to your body WITHOUT any kind of dilution that is referred to as applying the oil “neat”. Since essential oils are potent, and because essential oils may irritate the skin, they are often diluted with a “carrier oil” such as fractionated coconut oil (this is coconut oil that is always a liquid and never solidifies), jojoba oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc. I always add a carrier oil when using topically. Essential oils are aromatic compounds they will float into the air if not weighted down with a heavier oil and will not be as effective.
Here are a few different ways that you can apply essential oils topically to your body:
1. Direct Application – because essential oils are so potent, more is not always better. To achieve your desired results, 1-3 drops of oil is usually enough. Quick-absorbing areas on your body are the feet, wrists and behind the ears. Always dilute the oils by 15% to 30% when applying to a large area of body. When applying oils to infants and kids, use 1-3 drops of an essential oil to 1 tablespoon of a “carrier oil”.
2. Massage – this technique is done by using stimulation of the skin, muscles and connective tissues to promote healing and balance. Use only a light to medium massage stroke UNLESS you are a certified massage therapist. Extreme caution must be used when massaging pregnant women. To create a simple massage oil, combine 2-10 drops of your desired essential oil and blend with 1 tablespoon of a “carrier oil”.
3. Reflexology – this method is used when applying oils to specific contact points (or nerve endings) on the feet and hands. The oils help remove blockage in the neuroelectrical pathways and/or travel the length of the pathway to get to the particular organ.
4. Baths – this is one of my favorite ways to get the benefits of a specific essential oil into my system.
Aromatic application involves inhaling the oil directly from the bottle or diffusing it into the air with a diffuser. Inhalation of the oil can be powerful way to affect memory, hormones, and emotions through the olfactory system. It can also be a very quick and effective way to affect the respiratory system.
- Diffusion – this is the easiest way to put a fine mist of the oil into the air for inhalation. The oils will remain suspended for several hours to freshen and improve the quality of air. CAUTION: diffusers that use an intense heat source may alter the chemical makeup of the oil and is typically not recommended. My favorite way to diffuse is using a aromatherapy necklace you can buy one or learn to make you own.
- Direct Inhalation – this is the simplest way to inhale the aroma of the essential oil. Simply hold the opened vial close to your face and inhale. You can also place 1-2 drops of oil on your hands, cup your hands over your mouth and nose, and inhale.
Internal use is the process of consuming the essential oil into the body. ONLY pure, therapeutic grade essential oils should be used for internal consumption, as other oils on the market may be diluted or processed using harmful chemicals. With my favorite oils, you can be confident that you are using the purest of essential oils. A few essential oils, cannot be taken internally: Cypress, Eucalyptus, Helichrysum, Birch, White Fir and Wintergreen.
- Sublingual – this is one of the most effective ways to take an essential oil. You, simply, place a drop or two of an oil under your tongue. Because the blood capillaries are so close to the surface of the tissue under the tongue, many essential oils are able to pass directly into the bloodstream, where they can quickly travel to the different areas of the body where they are needed..
- Beverage and Cooking – this is an easy and fun way to take your oils internally. Add a drop or two to some hot tea, milk, or water and drink! Alternately, you can add oils to your recipes to spice them up and add some therapeutic benefits to them.