A Quick Guide To Essential Oils
Let's talk about health for a hot sec. I have had migraines for almost 19 years. I'm not talking about headaches...I'm talking about migraines. Like, shut the door, turn out the lights, nobody talk, and please someone hold my hair while I hug the toilet migraines. By the time I graduated high school, I was having them multiple times a week. For five years, I was thrown prescription after prescription by primary care physicians, neurologists, and ER doctors. (P.s. all of those doctors visits cost a lot of money and for like literally nothing in return). Ultimately, I found a prescription that sometimes worked to get rid of a migraine and had manageable side effects. But still, my migraines persisted and I got so tired of everybody throwing meds in my face and nobody trying to treat the root of the problem.
Fast-forward to this time last year. I have a friend who went on and on about essential oils, but we just didn't have them in the budget at the time. When my birthday rolled around last year, there was only one thing on my list...THE YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS STARTER KIT. I was obseeesssssed with it. Like really obsessed. For the first time, I was seeing results (for things other than migraines too!) and I felt great about myself knowing I wasn't putting something in my body that was bad for me.
(Side note: I'm still super obsessed with oils, but I have been way more cautious during pregnancy with them and only use them when absolutely necessary. If you are pregnant and interested in oils, I would suggest doing research on oils + pregnancy and talking to your doctor! You have to do what you are most comfortable with.)
Soooooo...here's my quick guide to essential oils, including my fave resources and oils, why I prefer essential oils over other treatment methods, and why I choose to use Young Living EO'S. Scroll to the bottom of the page for information on how to get started with Young Living.
what are essential oils?
Essential oils are oils extracted primarily from plants through distillation, resin tapping, and cold pressing. Basically, they're super duper highly concentrated plants. They aren't new technology or the latest and greatest fad. They are ancient tools and one of the ways people used to heal their bodies using the resources they had at the time. We know this from sources like the Bible, where oils are mentioned literally hundreds of times.
why use essential oils? what are the benefits and risks?
Like I mentioned earlier, my journey with essential oils started with migraines. However, I have found soooo many other uses for them! For me, I really love the idea that I can treat my body with something that doesn't come with nasty side effects but is still just as (if not more effective) than some good ol' western meds. Although I haven't sworn off western medicine and truly believe there's a place for it, I think there's a place for oils too! So why use essential oils? Use them because you can. Use them because they are natural and healthy for you when used properly. Use them because they're a tool you can use to promote wellness, just like anything else in your medicine cabinet (but without the toxicity).
There are many benefits to essential oil use. Okay, first...they all smell AMAZEBALLS. That is a big plus. Also, oils have the ability to promote emotional wellness and physical wellness. They can be used to treat (or help treat) pretty much anything you can think of, from serious illnesses to an afternoon slump. Each and every oil has it's own unique benefits and seriously, the list goes on and on. The best part is that they are generally safe and side effect free (see risks below) and they are DEFINITELY safer than prescription or OTC meds.
Generally, essential oils are considered to be very safe. I've seen/heard people make claims that oils don't come with side effects or risks and that is super untrue. With anything, they are great when used properly and in moderation. Essential oils can come with risks or side effects if you have an allergy to a certain plant. If you are allergic to lemons, obvi don't use lemon EO. Because they're highly concentrated, they could cause skin irritation if used incorrectly (or if you have super sensitive skin). Also, if you're on a prescription medication or have a pre-existing medical condition, it's probably best to double-check which oils (if any) you should avoid. Some oils can exacerbate symptoms of a condition or interact with prescription drugs.
why Young Living?
YOUNG LIVIIIIIING <3. Young Living is an awesome company. My biggest reason for choosing Young Living is their Seed To Seal promise, which means they guarantee quality from the time the plant is a seed all the way to the seal of the bottle. Also, the reputability of Young Living and their large array of natural products have definitely stood out to me. And lastly, Young Living comes with a BA community of people who are committed to wellness and education. That has been invaluable to me. I'm talking Facebook groups, direct lines of communication with veteran oil users, and tons of resources about essential oil usage including free e-courses!
If you wanna get started with Young Living essential oils, scroll to the bottom of this page and click the "GETCHA SOME OILS" button!
how can I use essential oils (and use them safely)?
Essential oils can be used topically, through inhalation, and through ingestion.
It is highly suggested that you dilute essential oils in what's called a carrier oil (think olive, coconut, or grapeseed oil) before putting them on yo bod. Many people who use Young Living essential oils are so confident in their product and its purity that they are comfortable using many oils without diluting them. There are some oils you shouldn't use without diluting them first because they are super potent and can cause irritation if they aren't diluted. The thing about oils is that a little goes a long way. Diluting the oil won't cause it to be less effective and it helps you stretch your supply. Simply mix a drop or two of your fave oil with a dime-sized-ish amount of carrier oil and apply it to the desired area. They say the most effective places to put oils are on the insides of your wrists and the bottom of your feet!
Inhaling essential oils is another great (and safe) way to use them! You can smell the oil straight from the bottle or use a fancy diffuser to disperse delicious oil particles through the air. You can also put a couple of drops in your shower. By breathing in the oil, it gets into your bloodstream and then works it's magic from there! I like to put a teeny tiny drop of lavender straight on my pillow so I am breathing it all night and thus, get a great night's sleep.
Young Living prides itself on selling the purest oils. Some of their oils are, therefore, safe to ingest. They have an entire line of essential oils that are specifically created for ingestion. All oils that are safe to ingest will say so right on the bottle! You can put a couple of drops in a capsule and swallow it with water, put a drop under your tongue, or even use oils when you're cooking!
my top ten faaaave oils (In no specific order)
(Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any health condition. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult a physician. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.)
Let's start with Lavender. What can you not use lavender for!? Holy crud, this stuff is amazing. For starters, it is super calming. This stuff will put ya right to sleep! It's also great to promote healthy skin and relieve inflammation. Here are my fave ways to use lavender:
- Put a couple drops in your diffuser, straight on your pillow, or dilute it and rub it on the bottoms of your feet before bed for a good night's sleep!
- Calm your nerves by diffusing it or inhaling it straight from the bottle.
- Add a drop into your face moisturizer to promote healthy skin.
Peppermint is also a great oil that can help with sooooo much. It's great for an energy boost, when your head hurts, or when your digestive system is out of whack.
- Diffuse it or inhale from the bottle when you need an afternoon pick-me-up.
- Dilute in coconut oil and put it on your forehead, temples, and neck when your head hurts.
- Dilute and rub on your tummy or put a drop under your tongue when you've eaten something that doesn't quite agree with you.
COPAIIIIIBA TO THE RESCUE! Copaiba has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that literally work magic. I use this oil for respiratory support and to help ease aches and pains. It's super earthy, but I love the smell of it.
- Put a drop under your tongue when you're fighting off winter sickness (seriously, it's like magic. And instantly.)
- Dilute and rub on sore muscles.
- Add it to a "rest" blend for it's calming properties.
Stress away is exactly what it sounds like. It's a delicious blend of oils to help keep you calm and grounded. One of the things I love most about oils are their ability to help support you emotionally! This oil is deffffinitely helpful when I'm on overload.
- Add a few drops to your diffuser when you're feeling frazzled.
- Calm your nerves instantly by diluting and rubbing on the insides of your wrists or bottoms of your feet.
- Add a couple of drops to a bath with some epsom salts to help you unwind (+ treat yourself to some wine and chocolate too??).
Cedarwood is another great calming oil. It smells so delicious, too! It's awesome for promoting healthy skin and hair, lulling you into a deep sleep, and providing emotional support. I like to just use it in the diffuser to make my house smell yumderful.
- Add a drop or two to your conditioner or hair serum to promote hair health and growth.
- Diffuse at nighttime with lavender to help you sleep.
- Dilute and apply to your wrists or the bottom of your feet when you're feeling overwhelmed.
Vetiver is potentially my favorite oil because when you apply it, you can literally feel the calm overtaking you. No, really. It's magic. I have found myself reaching for vetiver several times over the course of my pregnancy when my mood swings have been out of control. It's super relaxing, great when you're stressed or nervous, and provides excellent emotional support. It also helps boost your circulation.
- Diffuse or smell right from the bottle at nighttime for a great night's sleep.
- Dilute and apply to your wrists or the bottom of your feet when emotions are running high.
- Add a couple of drops to a bath to help you relax.
Thieves (also magic) is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, and is most notorious for its bacteria-killing and immune-boosting properties. I always stock up on Thieves oil before wintertime rolls around because since I work with a kiddo, it seems like I'm always exposed to sickness! There have even been times where I have sworn I didn't get sick because I was diligent about applying this oil! It's also great for respiratory support, cleaning the house, and eliminating odors.
- Add a couple drops to an all natural cleaner (p.s. Young Living sells Thieves Household Cleaner) to help kill yucky germs in your house.
- Dilute and rub on your wrists to boost your immune system.
- Diffuse for respiratory support when you're feeling under the weather.
R.C. is a blend of spruce, cypress, and eucalyptus. It's THE oil for respiratory support of all kinds and it's an awesome energy booster. I like to use this oil for congestion when I'm feeling under the weather and I've even used it before a morning workout to get myself going and stay motivated (although let's be real...I haven't hit the yoga mat for like a year now). I also think this oil feels great on sore muscles.
- Dilute and rub on your chest and neck when you're congested.
- Diffuse during a morning workout to help wake you up.
- Mix in a blend with Thieves to help ward off sickness in the wintertime.
Valor II is an alternative to the Valor blend. I haven't ever been able to catch Valor in stock, so I've always used Valor II. It does not disappoint. It is hands down one of the most powerful oils I have ever used! Valor II was created primarily for emotional support to help inspire courage and strength. It's an incredibly grounding oil, but it also has some other fantastic properties as well. People call it "a chiropractor in a bottle" for its ability to help with alignment. Valor II is great for aches and pains too, and I love to rub it on my temples, forehead, and neck when my head hurts. It's also super relaxing!
- Diffuse when you need a little extra strength or courage.
- Dilute and apply to your spine to help with alignment.
- Add to a blend for sore muscles and apply where needed.
Lastly is one of the most precious and expensive oils out there, frankincense. Frankincense is a relaxing and calming oil (can you tell I super need to relax by all these relaxing oils in my top ten!?) and it promotes healthy skin, helps reduce inflammation, and helps balance hormones. Frank is big on emotional support, so it is awesome to use when you need to focus, work through feelings, or when you're feeling down in the dumps.
- Add a couple of drops to your moisturizer or lotion to help promote healthy skin.
- Diffuse when you need a little pick-me-up.
- Dilute and apply to your wrists or the bottoms of your feet when you need to focus.
START YOUR JOURNEY TO WELLNESS WITH YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS!
If you're interested in Young Living essential oils and want to know more (or you're ready to jump into the deep end with a YL starter kit), click the link below, fill out the form, and you'll be hearing from me with directions on how you can get started!