Health by Essential Oils Pt. 2: How to Use Them & Why Quality Matters

We have just started a new series here at The Ezer Wife, one on essential oils. Check out the first post here, covering essential oil basics.

So, you’ve heard your friends talking about essential oils or you’ve read about them online and they sound miraculous, but you’ve got lots of questions. This is normal and completely understandable. If you’re going to ditch your SAMC (Standard American Medicine Cabinet), you want to know all there is to know about health by essential oils. You’re in the right place. Let’s talk about the different ways to use the oils and why when it comes to brand, quality does matter.

First, in using essential oils, there are 3 main ways you can reap the benefits of the oils: topical application, ingestion, and diffusion.

Topical Application

This is a fancy way of saying that you can rub them all over your skin. Well, maybe not all over. Most, if not all, essential oils can be used topically. Using topically is beneficial as the oils will penetrate your skin and get into your bloodstream almost instantaneously. Most oils will starting working within 20 minutes.

While not all oils are strong enough to require a “carrier oil”, it is good practice to use one if applying your EO’s topically. Carrier Oils are oils that will “carry” the EO’s onto your skin. Oils like fractionated coconut, jojoba, sweet almond are all great. When using this method, I will open both containers, stick my finger in the coconut oil, place it in my palm, and using my other hand, put 1-2 drops of the EO right on top, rub your hands together and apply your oils to effected areas. Peppermint, Oreagano, and Deep Blue are examples of “hot” oils and should always be used with a carrier oil. Practice caution, these oils are strong.

Warning: Never use essential oils around your eyes or in ears. If this does happen, immediately rinse your eyes with water and consult medical help.

Where to Apply

Localized You can apply directly on/over the ailment. When I am using oils for a cold, congestion, or sinus issues, I will apply behind my ears and down my neck/throat. Digestzen, which helps with all kinds of tummy problems, can be applied directly on your stomach.

Feet Applying to the bottom of your feet will get the oils into your system quickly. The pores on the bottom of our feet are some of the biggest we have, this is a safe place to always use for children and if you have sensitive skin apply here as well.

Internally

Therapeutic grade essential oils can be taken internally as dietary supplements. You can find capsules several places, including here.  A couple other ways some people ingest oils internally is by placing a drop under their tongue or by mixing the oils into their tea or warm water. Please do not take any oil internally without the presence and complete understanding of a dietary label.

Another way to use EO’s internally is by cooking with them. Adding some lime to your cilantro rice or oregano to your Italian dish. Yum! One drop will do. I never told y’all, but once when I was baking pumpkies (yes, pumpkin brownies) I was out of nutmeg, so I added a drop of OnGuard. Yes, I’ll be doing that again.

Aromatically

Essential oils can also be diffused into the air. There are many benefits to diffusing oils aromatically, aside from them making your house smell good. Some are antibacterial, antiviral, and kill pathogens in the air. It’s recommended to use no- or low-heat diffusers, so the chemical makeup of the oil isn’t compromised. Some oils elevate and lift mood, while others sooth and calm. I bought mine from myoilbusiness.com but this one should work well too.

A Quick Note on Quality

Today, you can find essential oils at your grocery store. Which is great; however, not all oils are created the same. Even though I am slapping this on the end of this post, finding out more about how the oils are made is very important.

Briefly, here are the grades and what to look for when buying oils.

Perfume Grade– This can be thought of as the lowest grade. It’s assumed that these oils will only be used topically and as a “perfume”. However, the chemicals and solvents added to these products are dangerous and have been linked to cancer. Anything we put onto our skin seeps into our bloodstream and effects us just as much as something we ingest. I do not recommend using oils from this class.
Food Grade- It’s unclear to me why these are labeled as food grade because they “may” (which likely means “they do”) contain synthetic material allowing the oil to be “stretched” thus giving the company a higher yield. The oils can also be grown with the use of pesticides, herbicides, and the like. The oil may contain synthetic added ingredients along with carrier oils. Again, I wouldn’t recommend oils from this class.
Therapeutic Grade– These oils are grown organically and are harvested at peak time, often using a steam distillation method to extract the oils. I would recommend that if you plan to use any brand or type of essential oil, they be at least therapeutic grade.

DoTERRA’s, “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade”– This term was trademarked by the company, thus you won’t see another company using this term for the grade of their oils. Do I find this somewhat unnecessary? I do. Do I think by having this grade, doTERRA sells higher quality products than a company selling therapeutic grade? To be honest, no I don’t. I know very little of all the different companies and brands of oils. I researched doTERRA and had a network of people to rely on when deciding to work with them. This grade is all that is described as therapeutic grade.

Wherever and whomever you decide to get your essential oils from, please do your research. “Research” can be as much as reading the bottle before you buy it. Look on the company’s website and understand how they received the grade they’ve got. Essential oils can be an amazing tool to have, but when we use oils laced with synthetic materials or loaded with pesticides, how is it different than using your commercial products to clean and heal? It’s really not.

If you have any questions regarding the use of and grading scale of essential oils, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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