OK! Are you ready to dive in and just a want a bit more info on how to USE essential oils? This is where you’ll begin… this is an “FAQ” document of sorts. Do me a favor? Do your own research. Ask your own questions. It has to make sense to you. Anyone can write a blog. So, check your resources. Read up. Ask lots of questions. These oils are no joke. They should be taken very seriously and used with caution. Always read the labels and follow instructions, and include your physician if you’re under treatment.
Read below, but watch this first: Mandi’s EO video
A few things first…
I am a member of Young Living. And when I speak of using essential oils, I’m speaking of Young Living’s essential oils. And while I’m on the topic, I love that Young Living has a Seed to Seal quality commitment when it comes to their PURE products. Secondly, if you are under the care of a physician, please seek their professional opinion on utilizing the essential oils in order to see if it’s ok to come alongside the plan they might have you on (especially if you are pregnant or nursing). Thirdly, I would recommend picking up one of the essential oils reference books for a PLETHORA of information on how to create your own plan for using essential oils. (Life Science Publishing has some good reference books available.)
So, let’s dig in… Gary Young of Young Living has spent over 25 years becoming an expert in the field of essential oils. And over the years he has learned extensively about the three schools of thought on using essential oils: German, British, and French.
The German perspective is to emphasize only diffusing of essential oils for the best benefits. Inhalation of oil molecules utilizes the lungs to put the oils directly into our bloodstream and brain (through our olfactory nerves).
Jane Buckle RN, PhD notes, for the British perspective, notes that diluted essential oils are best used topically as they are massaged into the skin. By this use, essential oils are mainly used for relaxation and management of stress (Clinical Aromatherapy by Jane Buckle, 2003), and at a very highly diluted ratio. In fact, such a highly diluted ratio that the oils are no longer therapeutically beneficial, mainly just aromatically.
And still the French doctors are confirming the use of essential oils mainly for the therapeutic benefits. The belief is that high-quality essential oils can be ingested, applied topically (some undiluted). The French believe that essential oils can be used both therapeutically, and to get them into the body by any means possible. So the French have long recommended the use of oils aromatically, topically, and internally.
Dr. Daniel Penoel, a French medical doctor, uses essential oils in the treatment of his patients claiming, “In my country, we’ve given millions and millions of clinical treatments with essential oils.” He adds:
“In medical aromatherapy, and especially within the framework of urgent or intensive treatment, the objective is to get the essential oil to penetrate with its concentrated material energy (aromatic molecules) into the body. Not only do we want to achieve this penetration of matter, but we seek ways to facilitate and accelerate the speed of the penetration. While recognizing the extreme importance of massage and its irreplaceable value in all its aspects, the medical aromatherapist uses all three interfaces to get the aromatic ingredient in concentrated form in urgent combat with infection from bacteria, viruses and fungi. As soon as essential oil is mixed with vegetable oils, transcutaneous transfer (absorption through the skin) will be slowed. This is the exact opposite of medical aromatherapy’s goal to create high-speed penetration.” (Natural Home Health Care Using Essential Oils by Daniel Penoel, M.D., Rose-Marie Penoel, 1998, page 153.)
All of that said… due to Young Living’s seed to seal quality commitment they stand behind the use of all three methods. Usage instructions are provided on the label of each individual bottle and additional usage instructions are available in the reference guides.
When I started using essential oils I started with my diffuser. I bought the Premium Starter Kit primarily because it came with this diffuser for FREE (that’s right – I bought $300 worth of essential oils for $150, and they all came with a diffuser for FREE!).
You see, I wanted help staying asleep once I fell asleep… and diffusing “sleepy time magic” was where I started. I filled it up to the fill line, added only a couple drops of essential oils and turned it on!
I stood there and breathed in the mist created by micro molecules flying up into the air. In that moment my olfactory nerves were talking to my brain (my limbic system). Plus, my whole bedroom now smelled like lavender… and it was time to go to bed.
I highly recommend this diffuser over other companies, or cheaper diffusers that can be found online. Young Living’s essential oils are different from other company’s oils because of their Seed to Seal promise. Read up on it. And the Young Living diffusers are built to tolerate their potency. Other plastic devices might start to break down if they aren’t made of the right grade of materials, etc.… and you don’t want your olfactory senses picking up on that stuff. Ick!
So, let’s talk about skin. Sometimes it’s sensitive, sometimes it’s flawless. Sometimes it’s hot and sometimes it’s cold. It needs to be nourished with moisture and vitamins. Clearly it’s also a receptor of what goes into our body… after all, it’s the largest organ on the human body.
I typically apply essential oils directly to the skin, and in the following area – wrists, temples, behind ears, back of neck, sinuses, stomach, feet, back, chest/throat. And when I do this, I’m usually applying about 1-2 drops at a time. Sometimes I dilute, sometimes I don’t. It really depends on the oil and what I’m using it for. In fact, I’ll talk a bit more about when and why I use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oils and what kind of carrier oil to use.
But for now let’s talk about applying the essential oils “neat”, meaning undiluted. That means, I’m dropping one drop of oil into the palm of my hand (or on the tip of my finger) and rubbing it right on to the skin. Undiluted essential oils act fast and quick, and I start feeling the benefits of the oil within a minute…
But sometimes I want to spread the essential oil around a bit more. Or add more than one drop of an essential oil to make my own blend (like my allergy trio – where it all started for me) to address a few issues. And some of the usage instructions (back of the oil bottle) say to use the essential oil diluted, or with a carrier oil. In those instances I’ll use a carrier oil.
There are a lot of carrier oils to pick from… I typically use coconut oil, grapeseed oil or jojoba oil. Both coconut oil and grapeseed oils are ingestible (you’ll find them in the FOOD section at the market). Jojoba is a skin care oil… found in the BEAUTY section at the market. There is also sweet almond oil, etc. Lots of carriers out there.
Using a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil will help to spread out the essential oil a little, but I have found that it also slows down absorption. Sometimes this is good… for instance, on my inflamed shoulder. I want it to work longer in that instance.
When making a topical “cream”, I’ll typically use coconut oil because it has more of a creamy consistency when kept in a cool place. I’ll typically carry a small bottle of jojoba oil in my oil bag (which I take with me EVERY WHERE) because it’s easy to put a drop in the palm of my hand and add a drop of the essential oil and rub on an aching back or inflamed shoulder.
Which takes us to …
When I first heard of my friend ingesting essential oils it sounded weird to me. “Are you sure that’s safe?” I asked her. She assured me it was, but suggested I talk to my doctor in case the oils would interfere with the prescriptions I was on.
Her assurance is what led me to read up on the difference in the school of thoughts out there, that I talked about earlier. I mean, it’s direct from the source… just sayin’…
You know what my favorite one is? Orange! I put a drop in a glass of water and can taste the residual flavor all day long. I just love it! (Note – citrus oils should only ever be used in glass containers. The acid from the oil can start to break down plastic… and that would be bad.)
But while I say all of this, there are some oils which should not be ingested (yes, even some of Young Living’s oils)… it all depends on the instructions on the back of those little bottles. Young Living has been diligent to include usage instructions… so I follow those instructions to the “T”! (I’m a first-born – of course I’m a rule follower!)
Young Living Essential Oils has a Seed to Seal commitment… and that’s what sealed the deal for me. If you want to read more or know more about acquiring these oils, please contact me at email@example.com or visit my story here.
Disclaimer / Safety Advisement: Lori Tisdale does not claim to be a medical practitioner. She does not diagnose, treat or prescribe any medical treatment or advice. Users of essential oils should always consider discussing treatment of medical conditions and/or inform your primary care physician before using alternative therapies, natural supplements, or vitamins. While well-intentioned some alternative therapies may not be conducive to a prescribed therapy and/or prescribed medications.