Things You Should Know About Essential Oils
Essential oils are one of natures best kept secrets. Essential oils are the untapped powerhouses of natural remedies. Most people just don’t know the potential these oils have! If they did, they might stop buying over-the-counter items like painkillers, rash creams and sleep aids. But everyone is a skeptic, including me! I did a lot of research before using these little miracles. So I thought I would give you a few facts that I think you should know about essential oils!
Essential oils have been used throughout recorded history for a wide variety of wellness applications.The Egyptians were some of the first people to use aromatic essential oils extensively in medical practice, beauty treatment, food preparation, and in religious ceremony. Frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh and cinnamon were considered very valuable cargo along caravan trade routes and were sometimes exchanged for gold. You will also find many of these oils in the bible!
Do you know how to see how pure your essential oils are? Or how long your essential oils will last? Or even how much of a plant is needed to produce a pound of essential oil? (It’s more than you think!)
Here’s the skinny on essential oils:
Things You Should Know About Essential Oils
- Essential oils are not really oils nor are the oily. They do not contain the fatty acids that constitute what we would consider an oil. Essential Oils are actually highly concentrated plant constituents possessing potent medicinal and cosmetic qualities. Or, as Stephanie Tourles in Organic Body Care recipes said, “I consider essential oils the life force or the soul of the plant.”
- Essential oils are miniscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to heal, soften, and nourish. However, they do not accumulate in the body over time – they simply offer up their healing properties and then pass on through.
- Fragrance oils and essential oils are NOT the same thing. As a rule of thumb, if you see the word “fragrance” or “fragrance oil” or even “perfume” on anything, you can assume this is synthetic and NOT natural.
- Essential oils are wholly natural and cannot be patented; which means that you’ll never see an essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug.
- Enormous amounts of plants are needed to produce essential oil. In fact, on the extreme end, it takes 4000 pounds of Bulgarian roses to produce 1 pound of essential oil. Other plants like lavender only take 100 pounds of plant material to produce a pound of essential oil. Still, can you imagine how concentrated essential oils must be, in light of how many plants are used to produce them?
- Many essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties: This makes them an excellent addition to your homemade cleaning preparations.
- Essential oils GRAS. Although there is no government agency that certifies or grades essential oils, there are many essential oils that are Generally Regarded as Safe by the FDA.
- They pass directly through our skin into our bloodstream, thanks to their very low molecular weight. That means that within seconds, they’re spreading through our bodies and passing through our liver, kidneys, lungs and heart.
- Not all essential oils are created equally, nor does more expensive necessarily mean “better.”
- To test your essential oil to see how “pure” it is, put a single drop of it on a piece of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes).
- Essential oils will last for at least 5-10 years, so one bottle could literally last you a decade. Hopefully that thought will help mitigate the cost involved in purchasing some essential oils. Because they are SO concentrated and only a tiny amount is needed in anything you do, they’ll last you a very, very long time. The only exception to this rule is citrus oils, which will see a reduction in potency after a year or two.
- Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles and out of direct sunlight. This is simply to help preserve their potency.
- Remember that what you’re allergic to in food, you will be allergic to in essential oils.So if, for some reason, you can’t eat sage without breaking out in a rash, steer clear of sage essential oil (or any product containing it).
Why aren't essential oils used more often?
It all boils down to one thing: essential oils are all-natural and cannot be patented. This means that you’ll never see an essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug. Because essential oils cannot be patented, drug companies will not waste money studying them.
What I hear most often and I how felt in the beginning: There are so many oils I don't know where to start!
To help people get started, Young Living has created a Premium Starter Kit. This kit has 11 everyday essential oils in it. With this kit you can do most of the things you are looking to do with your Essential Oils. The kit is highly discounted and once you buy it you are considered a wholesale member which means everything you buy from Young Living there on is discounted.
Most people purchase this kit and start using their essential oils little by little until they get the hang of it. Then one day you will think, "I wonder if there is an oil for that." The answer of course will always be, Yes! Then you will research your ailment and find the oil that is just right for you and purchase it at a wholesale price. Eventually your oily arsenal will be huge and you will notice the lack of pharmaceuticals, chemicals and colds in your house!