What is an Essential Oil?
Essential oils are natural, volatile aromatic compounds found in plants (in the seeds, resin, stems, roots, flowers, or rinds). These tiny organic compounds help protect the plant from bacteria and fungus, insect attack, and have regenerative purposes – they are essentially the plant's immune system. They even help the plant heal from infection and physical injury.
Essential oils are often extracted by methods of steam distillation or cold press. The essential oil that is gathered is multifaceted and contains powerful properties that provide a safe a natural option for taking charge of your health. These volatile organic compounds are lipophilic and are easily absorbed into the skin. They can also penetrate into the blood stream and actively pass through cell walls to support healthy cellular function.
Throughout history, generations have used essential oils in and outside of the home. Essential oils are versatile oils that have been used not only for their fragrance, but also for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.
Why Use Essential Oils?
When used appropriately, essential oils are a safe, natural option for supporting one’s health and wellness. Certified pure therapeutic oils are safe to use without unwanted side effects and can be more cost effective then other options. The shelf life of certified pure therapeutic oils is extensive, maintaining their potency for ten years or more as long as they are kept in a proper environment and are not exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
Some essential oils are naturally high in antioxidants, are natural disinfectants, and support healthy inflammatory response in cells. Add in the aromatherapy benefits of how essential oils can affect the “emotional brain” (i.e. the olfactory bulb) – the only place in the body where the central nervous system is directly exposed to the environment -- and you can see how certified pure therapeutic oils are real power houses.
What to Look For in an Essential Oil Company
Does it really matter what brand I purchase? Yes. Absolutely. There are a lot of essential oil companies out there. It can be daunting when they all say “100% Pure”, “100% Therapeutic”, etc. It does take some time, but researching for yourself the quality and integrity of an essential oil company may mean the difference between actually experiencing the therapeutic benefits of an oil and not.
Care about how your essential oils are tested for purity and potency. The essential oil industry is not regulated by the FDA, so while an essential oil on the shelf of your grocery store may say 100% pure, try and see if they even have an ingredient list labeled for you to view. An essential oil can be sold as “100% pure” and still contain synthetic oils as fillers which often makes choosing a brand that is toxin-free rather challenging.
And then consider that while two essential oils may be pure, the two oils may be completely different based on the plant selection, where the plant was grown, how and when the plant was harvested, and distillation methods and procedures. Proper testing for purity should be conducted by credentialed and professional chemists who are experts in the field.
I encourage you to find an essential oil brand that rigorously tests each batch of essential oil and has a credentialed third party test for purity and potency. I support and use a brand that tests every single batch of oil from their farms to ensure that they are certified pure therapeutic oils – free from harmful synthetic filler oils and toxic substances – because quality is important to me. I will pay more for an essential oil if I can trust that it is unadulterated and as pure and potent as the company says that it is.
The 5 analytical tests your essential oils should undergo to prove that it is a certified pure therapeutic oil:
Gas Chromatography - This test tests chemical composition by vaporizing the volatile essential oil compounds and passing them through a long column called a gas chromatograph. Each individual compound travels through the chromatograph at different levels. Quality control specialists can therefore determine which compounds are present and at what levels.
Mass Spectrometry - Here samples of essential oils are vaporized, ionized, and then meausred by weight. This testing provides additional insight into the purity of the oil by revealing the presence of non-aromatic compounds, such as heavy metals or other pollutants.
FTIR Scan (Fourier Transform Infared Spectroscopy) - This is another test that anazlyes the composition of the batch of essential oil that uses light. Light is passed through the oil and the amount of light that is absorbed by the chemical constituents is measured and compared to documented standards.
Microbial Testing - This test tests for bio-hazards such as bacteria, fungus, and mold. This test should be performed twice: once a batch of oil enters the manufacturing facility and again on the finished product to ensure no harmful organisms were introduced to the product during the filling and labeling process.
Organoleptic Testing - Each batch of essential oil is also tested with taste, sight, touch, and smell.
Using essential oils has empowered me to be proactive in my health and the health of my family. Having had a full-time job as a classroom teacher and raising a toddler, I have come to truly value our health and wellness. I have found that by using essential oils, my body is supported in its natural ability to heal, and my immune system is strengthened. Essential oils even provide benefit for the wide variety of emotional and physical wellness needs of being a wife, working mom, and small business owner. I am forever grateful for the natural "gifts of the earth" that I now have in my home. Your health is worth the investment. Live well!
I hope you find the following information informative and helpful. To adhere to FDA compliance regulations, I refrain from mentioning the essential oil company that I use here on this page. The contact form at the bottom of this page is the quickest way to find out - so please do not assume I am not trying to manipulate you into a sales email! :)
Interested in Learning More? Want to Try Essential Oils?
If you would like to learn more about essential oils, I offer free 60 minute webinars.
Or, if you'd like, you can fill out this short form to learn of the certified pure therapeutic essential oil brand that I use and trust, and I would be delighted to send you some free samples. Let these powerful oils speak for themselves.
How To Use Essential Oils
There are three methods of application for certified pure therapeutic essential oils.
Aromatically – Inhaling or diffusing essential oils in a room can help change the mood or purify the air. This is perfect for emotional and respiratory health.
Inhaling Lavender to increase feelings of calmness.
Diffusing Eucalyptus to aid in respiratory discomfort.
Placing a drop of Rosemary on your shirt during study time.
Topically – Applying essential oils directly to the skin for therapeutic benefits for the immune system, skin health, mood, pain, etc. Diluting with a carrier oil is recommended for young or sensitive skin and when using "hot" oils. This is ideal for spot-treating pain or irritated skin, and for boosting the immune system.
Applying Melaleuca to a cut/scrape as a natural disinfectant.
Misting Lavender and Peppermint to ease sunburn discomfort.
Rubbing a few drops of Protective Blend on the feet to boost the immune system.
Massaging a few drops of White Fir to aid sore and tense muscles.
Internally – Consuming as a dietary supplement for targeted wellness. Note: One should only consume certified pure therapeutic essential oils that are labeled properly for internal use. Essential oils often found at health food stores are not suited to ingest internally . This is perfect for issues of digestion, the mouth and throat, and the urogenital tract.
Sipping Digestive Blend in a glass of water to ease stomach discomfort.
Ingesting a capsule of Oregano and Basil to support the body during the winter season.
Gargling a drop of Protective Blend to sooth a sore throat.
Care about where your essential oils are sourced from (i.e. where the plant is harvested). Consider finding essential oils that are sourced from a location where the plant grows indigenously and promotes optimal growth and health of the plant. Lavender grown in the U.S. will be different from Lavender grown in France (natural location). Peppermint from Washington State (prime environment) will be different from peppermint grown in Florida.
The quality of the soil, the amount of rainfall, and the overall seasonal effect on the crops has a significant impact on the therapeutic benefits of the plant. Make sure that no pesticides or chemicals are used to protect or enhance the growth of the plant and inquire to see if the grower harvests the plant at the optimal time.
For me, I chose a company who sources from small farms all over the world and in doing so, they sow into the local economies and family run businesses in both third and first world countries. Knowing that my essential oils are sourced from their optimum environments means that I’m using essential oils that are therapeutic and powerful in nature. Knowing that my company cares about the local economies of families and villages in which the crop is being grown and harvested is also a huge plus in my book.
Essential oils are more than just a fad. They have been around for centuries, and I believe that more people are finding out about them (including myself) once they inquire about living more holistically. You’ll want to find a company that also provides free education in how to use the essential oils properly. There are so many oils out there - some single oils and others are blends - that having access to free education on how to use them safely and properly is something to consider. With the certified pure therapeutic oils I chose to invest in, I have access to unlimited support from folks who are top professionals in the field of essential oils -- who freely offer education about how to use essential oils safely for myself and my family.