Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beginner's Guide To Essential Oils

Ok so I wrote here about my journey into essential oils and I got a lot of feedback, mostly from friends and family members asking me questions like...do you really think essential oils work, and how in the world do you use them? Well, I am here to tell you that YES they do work.  As for how to use them, I've decided to make a post giving some basic information. Here we go:

1. Picking a brand
Alright so I shared earlier why I liked Spark Naturals. I felt that their prices could not be beat for such high quality oils, and especially when compared with DoTerra and Young Living, but that doesn't mean that those are the only places to get good oils  (though I would avoid your big chain store brands...just my thoughts). I've read a good bit about how to pick an oil and most sites agree on a few things:

 - If purchasing from a website make sure the site has the plant's Latin name listed ( look for country of origin and distilling method too for extra points)
 - Oils should be stored in dark bottles and out of direct sunlight or heat. Dark amber and cobalt blue is the most common. Avoid clear. 
 - Opt for the bottles with the plastic drip cover rather than the long dropper built in because the oil can eat at the dropper and contaminate it.
 - Look for 100% essential oil, and read the label. Some companies dilute the oil to drop the price down. 
 - If really unsure about the quality of the oil ask for a sample and test for yourself....smell the oil and be wary of any chemical fragrance note and use this little trick mentioned in the first link at the bottom of this paragraph: 
" If you are unsure then an easy way to test for yourself is to place a drop of the oil on absorbent paper. A pure essential oil will evaporate leaving little or no mark on the paper. A diluted oil will leave a greasy oil mark and will not evaporate"

Bottom line is to do your research before you commit to buy and be smart about it. Some more great tips when picking essential oils at your local markets can be found HERE and  HERE. 

OK..I've decided who I'm going to use...now what?

2. Figure out your need
There are LOTS of ways to use essential oils. Here are just a few:

  - Cleaning/Sanitizing 
 You can add essential oils to your cleaning routine to amp it up a bit, and sanitize safely. For example:

*Polishing Wood With Wild Orange Essential Oil
   by Life Inside Nickie's Little Bubble
* Peppermint Kitchen Wipes   by One Good Thing by Jillee
* 5 Lemon Oil Cleaning Ideas by My Chemical Breakup
* Safe All Purpose Cleaner  by Rubies & Radishes
* Add a few drops of peppermint or lemon to this
   Lean Green Floor Cleaning Machine Recipe by A lovely Mess 

 - Internally
OK, there is a lot of back and forth over this one. Most websites say that you can ingest them but only in small amounts and only the ones that specifically say you can. Other websites say no, and not under any circumstances. My stance is this: the oil that you are using is a HIGHLY concentrated amount of a plant, it's not like chewing on a sprig of mint in fact it takes roughly 100 lbs of plant to make 1 pound of essential oil, that's some highly concentrated stuff. Yes, it is natural but the effects of using such a highly concentrated oil internally in the body have not been studied enough for me to warrant it as safe. Plus there is no guarantee that it won't interact with any medicines you are taking so honestly I'm personally not a fan of internally but if you want more info...check it out HERE and HERE

- Topically 
There are SO many uses for essential oils in healing and mood boosting, here are just a few ideas:

How Frankincense Gave Me Peace by Life Inside
   Nickie's Little Bubble
Beating The Flu With Shield Blend by Life Inside
   Nickie's Little Bubble
 * Headache Buster Blend by Riches to Rags by Dori
 * ADD/ADHD Treatment by  Riches to Rags by Dori
 * All Purpose Healing Salve by Camp Wander
 * Top 10 Essential Oils To Relieve Anxiety by Mary Crimmins
Easing The Pain Of Canker Sores With EOs by Life Inside
Nickie's Little Bubble

Just remember:

* Sometimes recipes allow for something they call  "neat" placement which means topical placement undiluted on the skin. If you're uncomfortable with that the first few times you use an oil simply dilute the mixture with a carrier oil ( Almond Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, etc) I typically use this fractionated coconut oil but you can find it almost everywhere online and in natural stores.

You have to use fractionated because the fractionated remains in liquid form so you can use it in a spray or roller bottle.

* When using on young skin ( babies, kids, etc) always cut the recipe in half and use more carrier oil
* Placement ideas are on the bottoms of feet, inside of the wrist, back of the neck, or wherever it hurts.
* Each mixture calls for a different amount of drops so there isn't a drops ratio or anything, it all depends on the oil you're using and what you're using it for.


An awesome way to get a scent out and dispensed through your home for mood boosting or even germ fighting is by using a diffuser. There are a gazillion types of diffusers out there so you'd just need to figure out which one works with your budget and style. If you can't shell out the bucks for a diffuser quite yet you can simply put a pot of water on the stove set on LOW and add the oils to that. I've also heard of ladies using their crock pots! If you'd like to try some aromatic recipes, check out these great ideas:

Wild Orange Diffuser Blends by Life Inside Nickie's Little Bubble
Diffusing Bliss Calming Blend by Life Inside Nickie's Little Bubble
* DIY Reed Diffuser  by One Good Thing by Jillee <<<make your own
* 10 Must Try Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes by The Prairie Homestead
* Essential Oil Sleep Remedies  by Experience Essential Oils 
10 Holiday Diffuser Blend Recipes by DoTerra Everyday
Fight S.A.D. With This Citrus Blend by Aromatherapy Contessa

Alright, so I have my shop, I have my use in mind, is there anything else? Well...yea....there's still a few things to keep in mind....

3.Oils To Avoid
Not all oils are safe for use if you're pregnant such as Cinnamon and Rosemary for example. Read THIS POST for more information. There are also oils out there that can be toxic to pets so make sure you read up on them before you go spraying mixtures around your furry friends, read up HERE from the ASPCA. Bottom Line: If you have any questions or concerns ask your doctor before any use ( or vet ).

A few extras:

- There are "blends" of essential oils already added and balanced together on the market. Each of the major brands have a few blends that are all their own, but most are the same( or relatively the same) blends under different names. Check out this awesome comparison chart by Created2Fly.

- Recently Fox News did a report on the powers of essential oils, check it out HERE. Also, Vanderbilt Hospital used essential oils to boost productivity and balance moods, the results were pretty incredible, see more  HERE.

Remember...if you're 
planning on using Spark Naturals use promo code
 " Bubble " to get 10% off your order! 

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