If you've made it to this page, I take you've heard about essential oils.
Perhaps you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, aren't sure how they'd be able to support you,
or wonder why it is important to look into how your essential oils have been sourced?
Maybe you already have a couple of oils, and now wonder where to get started using them?
Fret not, I've been there! Once you dip your toes into the world of aromatherapy, the multitude of ways you're able to use these potent oils seem endless. I suggest you either pick one oil to slowly get to know, research a couple of different ways to use it, and explore how it makes you feel.
Once you feel like you understand it's essence and have become friends, move on to the next oil and add it to your arsenal.
Another option is to explore functions of oils: pick two or three things you'd really like to work on. Perhaps you get really bad menstrual cramps, your kids pick up colds around the clock, or your mother is always complaining about indigestion. Start experimenting with specific oils or blends for these concerns, and let them do the work for you.
You will soon experience and realize how essential oils will support your body's self-healing abilities, how easy they are to use, and how freeing and empowering it feels to have natural, non-toxic, solutions available to you at all times, in the doses you desire.
A Quick Overview
What are Essential Oils?
They are the aromatic compounds of a plant. That beautiful smell that surrounds you and lifts your mood when someone peels an orange, is you experiencing the essential oils of that orange! Essential oils are either cold pressed from the rind of citrus fruits, or steam distilled from the seeds, roots, flowers, bark, stems, fruits and other parts of plants. In essence, we could say that essential oils are like a fatty sack that sits on a plant and helps protect it against disease and predators. And it can do the same for us and our immune system!
Why do They Work So Well?
Their constituents are small in molecular size, as well as fat soluble, allowing them to easily and quickly penetrate cell membranes. Essential oils are physiologically active, which means they are easily recognized by and directly influence the body. They have the ability to support cells even when they are compromised, such as during times of poor nutrition or environmental threats, and have the potential to affect every cell of the body within twenty minutes, after which they are metabolized like other nutrients. They have no side effects, though there might be some unexpected side benefits (yay)! Let's say you're using lavender to soothe your skin after burning yourself (auch!), you will also get the emotionally soothing and calming effect of the oil, helping you to ease your mind, reduce any anxiety induced by the shock of the burn, and bringing you back into the present moment.
How Much Should I Use, and How Often?
Just like herbs, essential oils are potent natural medicine, which work well in synergy. Less is more, so instead of knocking yourself out with a high dose, it is much more effective (and safe!) to start with 1-2 drops every couple of hours, or every 15 to 20 minutes in more acute situations, until you feel that you've received the desired therapeutic benefit. You might be surprised how fast, and effective, these oils work.
For minor issues, a single use might suffice. If the effect of the oil wears off after a period of time, simply use the oil again.
For severe, or more chronic, problems, the best results are found by using several of the suggested oils at a time, 2 to 4 times a day.
How to Safely Use Essential Oils?
Aromatically (works on the emotional, mental and spiritual level):
Using essential oils aromatically works on the emotional, mental and spiritual level, and is the easiest way to use your doTERRA essential oils.The smell of essential oils affects our emotions, memories and mood. Diffusing oils cleans and clears the air of pollutants, microbes and bacteria, and stale or negative heavy energy. In yogic language we would say they infuse the air with good prana, or good qi.
The limbic system in our brain supports functions like smell and memory, which is why you can have extremely vivid memories if there is a scent that was associated with that moment in time. Use essential oils in this way to help you relax, support your airways, help aid your sleep, or keep you focused at work (peppermint and wild orange are a great combination to keep you on task!).
Some ways to use your oils aromatically are:
- Use an essential oil diffuser: fill it with water and add a couple of drops of your favourite oils - or look up a diffuser blend recipe that fits your mood - and turn it on. All doTERRA diffusers automatically turn off when the water runs low, or the set time is up, whichever happens first.
- Put one or two drops of essential oil in the palms of your hands, rub your hands together, and gently cup them over your face. Make sure not to touch your eyes, or to come near them, especially when using a minty oil like peppermint (which is a great wake-me-up before working out!). Inhale the oil slowly and deeply, for at least three times, to feel the desired effect. *If you do ever get peppermint essential oil in your eyes, immediately dillute it with fractionated coconut oil or any other vegetable oil you have handy. As essential oils are fat soluble, water won't have any effect on dilluting and decreasing the burning sensation!
- Put a couple of drops on a cotton ball and place it in your car's vent, for an easy way to diffuse your oils. This is especially useful when you easily feel motion sick or if the kids could use some calming down in the back seat!
Topically (works on the physical level):
Applying essential oils topically on your skin or in an oil bath works to support the physical level. Due to the molecular composition of essential oils, they are easily absorbed by the skin, and quickly move beyond the surface layer of the skin into the bloodstream, organs, joints and tissues. Apply them to inflamed areas, sore muscles, over the organs and on specific reflexology and acupressure points.
For topical use, you can either use essential oils directly on your skin - which is what we call 'neat' use, or with fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil of your choice, for diluted use. Because they are fat soluble, it is recommended to use a carrier oil to help spread the essential oils and drive them deeper into the tissues you are targetting. It is also important to use a carrier oil in case of skin sensitivities, or when using essential oils with small children, elderly, or others who are more sensitive to the effects of essential oils.
The most common topical applications are on the palms of our hands and bottoms of the feet. When using essential oils with children, the feet are a convenient spot to apply oils, as they might not be fond of a certain scent, or rub the applied oil into their eyes. Make sure to put some socks on their feet, to prevent this!
The wrists, inner elbows, and neck are wonderful spots as well, as is directly over an area of concern. You often intuitively know where to apply an oil, whether this be a soothing oil over your heart to soften and call in forgiveness, a rollerball blend on your temples and neck for head or jaw tension, or on achy muscles after an intense workout.
Careful: never drip oils into your eyes, up your nose or into the ear canal - stay away from body openings, please. In case an oil brings you discomfort, use a carrier oil to dillute it. Wipe it off and continue to dillute until your discomfort settles.
This is a controversial one, and a big reason why I've chosen to align with and trust doTERRA. All of our bottles that have a 'supplement' label on it are safe to use internally, whilst bottles that just read 'ingredients' should only ever be used topically or aromatically. Essential oils that are considered safe for internal use can be used as dietary supplements to support the proper functioning of your body; some oils have powerful antioxidant properties, others help to aid in cleansing, or support a healthy inflammatory response to support your cells.
If you are drinking your oils, for example by starting your day with a glass of water with a drop of Lemon essential oil to kick-start your day, make sure to use either a glass or stainless steel water bottle. Essential oils will eat away at plastic cups and bottles. When using warmer oils, like Oregano or our Protective Blend, internally, you can use a vegetable capsule to use your oils - like you would a pill.
My preferred way to use oils internally, is in the form of my supplements - which are whole-food based and include essential oils, or as small beadlets to help support my immune system.
Disclaimer: I only recommend the ingestion of dōTERRA's CPTG grade oils, as they are guaranteed free from synthetics, pesticides, bacteria, mould and free from any alterations. Each bottle only contains 100% pure essential oils. Please DO NOT use this information with any other brand, as the quality of essential oil is unknown and can cause great harm.
For all of the above, follow your gut and do what makes you feel comfortable. I was not aligned with using essential oils internally for a long time, and you certainly can reap the benefits of CPTG grade essential oils if you wish to only use them aromatically and/or topically. There are so many ways to use and benefit from essential oils. Keep it simple, let the oils do the rest.
What is the doTERRA Difference?
Not all essential oils are created equal; anything less than pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils may not bring the desired results and can, in some cases, be extremely toxic.
One of the factors that determines the purity and therapeutic value of an oil is its chemical constituents. These can be affected by many variables, such as the part(s) of the plant from which the oil was produced, fertilizers - organic or chemical - used, the condition of the soil, climate, altitude, geographic region, the distillation process, and the harvest method and season.
Producing the purest kind of oils can be very costly, as it takes several hundreds — if not thousands — pounds of plant material to extract one pound of pure essential oil. As most oils produced in the world are used by the perfume industry, they are often just purchased for their aromatic qualities. High temperatures, unneeded high pressure, chemical solvents and rapid processing, are often used during the distillation process so that a greater quantity of oil can be produced in the least amount of time. Often fillers and synthetic components are added, to further bring down costs.
While these oils may smell good and cost less, they will lack most — if not all — of the chemical constituents needed to produce the expected therapeutic results.
When it comes to supporting my health, and that of my family, friends and clients, only the best of the best will do. I often ask myself if I would use a product, or feed a certain food, to a small child or not? If my answer is a no, or my feeling one of 'how could you even consider that?', I know I have to do better.
The same rings true for using essential oils.
Why would you settle for anything but a product that is not only free from pesticides, herbicides, synthetics and other adulterations, but also sourced and researched by a company whose main vision it has always been to source and produce the most pure and potent essential oils? A company that pulls products off the market if they're not up to their standards, or won't make an oil available if the sourcing of it does harm to our environment or the plant's existance?
Yes, Essential Oils are a Hot Topic, and plenty of companies want their share of the market. I urge you to remain critical, and consider the following in determining whether or not the product at hand is of the highest quality to support your health. Just like that gmo-corn 'gluten-free' bread doesn't equal health and leaves you feeling off, a cheap bottle of essential oil that reads 'natural' might be far from what that label tells you.
Factors to Consider when looking for Effectiveness and Quality of Essential Oils:
1. Sourcing Methods
doTERRA sources their raw plant materials from the areas where that plant exists indigenously and is known to grow best. When taking a plant out of it's native environment, it might very well grow where you plant it, yet you change the compounds that the plant produces in response to it's environments. It is these compounds that make up the (potency and efficacy of) essential oil.
Yes, it could be easier to source lemons from central America or the US, instead of Sicily, where some of the oldest lemon trees in the world grow. But doTERRA wishes to work with farmers that have often worked with a plant for multiple generations, and know all about it's growing season, the local soil, climate, and the plant's needs, to get the most potent, pure, and effective plant material available.
There have been instances where a local essential oil industry has collapsed due to economic reasons. doTERRA works tirelessly to reintroduce these industries back into their native regions, as was recently done with Lavender production in Bulgaria, and Petigrain in Paraguay.
You can learn some more about this process, and the families and local economies that benefit from these reintroductions, in these videos:
I love this video, as it has me wonder: that thing you love so much, does it benefit others? In terms of sourcing Lemon and Bergamot, it surely does:
There is no such thing as an organic certification for essential oils. But if there were to be one, we might call these oils 'beyond organic'. Where you get your food from, your plants, is important. You won't get the same nutritional benefit from eating an imported, heavily sprayed box of strawberries at Christmas time, compared to a bunch of berries you picked yourself in your local area in the mid of summer. Their nutrient make-up differs, as will their influence on you. One of them might give you a wicked rash (is it the strawberries, or the chemical spray?), the other delights you with the joy of a never-ending summer evening.
I know what I'll go for.
2. Quality + Testing:
There is no governing body over essential oils. As mentioned before, many bottles that claim to be 'natural' or '100% pure', are actually of very poor quality, highly diluted or adulterated. doTERRA has set the bar for essential oil potency and purity, by creating a new quality standard for essential oils, called Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. Our CPTG exceeds industry standards, and you can learn a lot more about it on www.sourcetoyou.com
Did you know that doTERRA is the ONLY essential oil company in the world who does testing on every single batch of essential oils that is sold and is completely transparent in sharing the findings of that testing with everyone who wishes to see?
Let me show you how this works. Go to sourcetoyou.com/quality-reports-gcms.html
and enter lot number '162005A', which is the batch number of the first bottle of essential oil I randomly grabbed, being Ginger. You will see that is has been verified by a third party lab, and that no chemical adulteration or contamination was detected.
While many other companies may state that they are transparent about their testing, you will usually find that their reports date back a couple of years and are only about 1 or 2 batches of product.
As the only company in the world who releases testing for all their batches, research universities and hospitals ( such as Johns Hopkins University and Duke University) have chosen to partner with doTERRA. When doing scientific studies that are going to be submitted to journals for publication, as is happening more and more (!), it is of key importance to be able to show that results that were found are due to a certain mechanism, rather than changes in input or impurities in material used.
If you are nit-picky like I am, and explore every ingredient of the products you use to learn about the impact they have on your health and our environment, doTERRA is a trusted company to buy from. With their transparency and integrity, I lovingly recommend and use their products.
3. Giving Back to & Doing Good on the Earth
Around half of doTERRA's essential oils come from what we consider developing countries. In a lot of cases, the farmers and their community, don't have running water, access to schools or medical clinics. In certain countries, young women are pulled out of school because of their menstrual cycles, or are put into dangerous situations because they are considered unequal.
doTERRA's Healing Hands Foundation seeks to bring healing and hope to the world, for lives free of disease and poverty, and to ultimately empower impoverished communities with the tools needed to become self-reliant. They work directly with their farmers, to get to know their needs, and help them get access to basics that change the course of their days and life.
Click here to learn more about the Healing Hands Foundation and it's efforts, including our Days for Girls education projects. There are many efforts I'd love to highlight here, but I recommend you get lost on this page and immerse yourself in all the do-good, do-better.
4. Culture + Founders
I've witnessed doTERRA's executive team, as they've come together over the past years, multiple times during our yearly educational Convention and local events. These people, WOW me. All of them came to the company with a specific zone of genius, and years of experience under their belt. Currently there are 7 founding executives, who work together as a team - and seem to be having lots of fun doing so! - to assure that their decisions serve not only their company and employees, but also continue to build their legacy of empowering communties around the world and improve the health of their customers by bringing essential oils into every household.
- Read more about doTERRA's Milestones and Corporate Social Responsibility here
- doTERRA's Year in Review (2016) is also a fun and mind-blowing read on the impact of doTERRA and it's community.
Last, but certainly not least, is the incredible culture of doTERRA - rippling out from the executives down to Wellness Advocates and Customers, we all proudly and confidently stand behind doTERRA's products. doTERRA is setting new standards on multiple levels, including the age-old rule: 'if you've got nothing nice to say...'. After all, it isn't (just) about doTERRA or another essential oil producer, we are part of an industry, and wish for anyone who can benefit from essential oils to get into contact with them. Thus, we do the best we can with what we have, and share with joy, compassion, and joy.
I have never come across a company with so much heart and such a pure mission. The longer I am involved with this community, the more I engage with its Wellness Advocates and customers, and the better I comprehend - on multiple levels of my being - the impact doTERRA has set out and is making in the world, the deeper I feel committed to aligning myself with them. As a Holistic Nutritionist, I completely stand behind their actions, sourcing methods, the focus on sustainability and meeting people where they're at.
How Can I Purchase Essential Oils?
doTERRA oils and products are not sold in stores, as it is important to us that you are properly educated on how and supported as you safely use them. Thus there are two ways to order your oils: retail or wholesale. Read more about your options here.
Please Note: It’s recommended to avoid using essential oils undiluted on babies, children, the elderly, and when pregnant. (Please check with a certified aromatherapist, doctor, or certified herbalist in case you have questions/concerns about dilution and what oils to use and when!)