Many people know what essential oils look like. For example, you see them in the health food store and they smell good, but most are not sure where they come from or what to do with them. What are essential oils? Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of plants or they can come from the resin of trees. The oils contain hundreds of natural organic compounds. Essential oils are the immune system of the plant. They protect the plant from bacteria, mold and viruses. They also carry oxygen and nutrients to the plant cells. Lucky for us, essential oils do the same for humans and animals. Essential oils can be applied topically, either diluted or neat. They can also be inhaled and ingested. No matter how you use the oils they will be quickly taken up into the blood stream and go to work. Many people feel instant relief when a pure therapeutic grade essential oil is used, even if the pain does not go away entirely at first, the pain will decrease significantly in time. For example, the other day I had a bit of an upset stomach, which I rarely have, and I put a single drop of peppermint in my water. I felt relief with one sip and my stomach felt normal long before I finished the bottle. When using essential oils it is so important to know the quality of the oils. I only use Young Living Essential Oils because I know they are pure therapeutic grade oils. Before you ingest any oil please be certain that the oil is pure and is safe to do so.
The plant matter is put in a stainless steel cylinder with steam running up from the bottom. On the Young Living Farm in Mona, Utah, the cylinder is about 20 feet tall and 8 feet across. The plant is packed into the cylinder in a way so that the most material can be processed while still allowing the steam to easily flow up through the distiller. The steam draws out the oil and it is taken out through the top . The steam is cooled and the oil separates from the water. How much oil do you get? It differs from plant to plant. If there was roman chamomile in the distiller you would only get 1/4-1/2 cup of essential oil. This is why a small bottle of oil may cost $30 or more but when you stop and think about how effective one drop is then you begin to see how economical they really are. When you have a pure oil, one drop of that pure oil can do more good than many drops of an adulterated and diluted oil. Rose oil is a very expensive oil because it takes at least 5,000 pounds of rose petals to make 1 pound of rose oil. It takes 3 tons of melissa to distill one pound of oil! It takes a lot of material to make a small amount of oil but the oil that we get is very concentrated and one drop goes a long way. For instance, one drop of peppermint oil is the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea! We live in the desert and my husband and I have been enjoying putting one drop of peppermint in our water bottles. It keeps us cool, it’s energizing and it tastes really good (also note the soothing stomach upset benefit mentioned above). One drop in 32 oz of water is effective and economical. I know it is a pure oil it is safe for us to ingest. Please see my “Why Choose Young Living Essential Oils” page to learn more about what to look for in a pure oil.
Why Use Essential Oils?
In my opinion, this is such an important question to ask! Why use essential oils when we can go to the store and buy a whole assortment of drugs that can take care of this pain or that ailment. Plants are studied all the time for their healing abilities. Researchers isolate the one or two compounds in the plant that they believe are responsible for the healing effect then synthetically reproduce those compounds in a lab to be packaged as a pharmaceutical. The problem is that the compounds that make up an essential oil work synergistically. The essential oils contain hundreds of compounds that attack viruses and bacteria without doing any harm to the person. I love those drug ads (ok, not really) that show you a person suffering from a condition, looking miserable, until the wonder drug is introduced. Then, all smiles. My favorite part comes at the end of the commercial where someone mentions all the possible side effects (while speaking so fast you can hardly understand what they are saying). We’ve all heard them before: constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, strokes and yes, even death. Of course those are just a few of possible side effects from synthetic pharmaceuticals.
Let’s also talk about the overuse of drugs. Allopathic medicine treats symptoms. Often a patient is prescribed a drug to treat specific symptoms. The patient experiences side effects when taking the drug. The doctor prescribes another drug to relieve the side effects. Then another, and another. I think the only people who could possibly be happy about this scenario are the drug companies. The other problem is the over prescribing of antibiotics. I just read an article, “Are you ready for a world without antibiotics?”, on The Guardian website. Because antibiotics are synthetic and made in a lab, they have to be standardized. The microorganisms that are targeted by these drugs have developed immunity, hence they are referred to as “super bugs” . In the article, Professor Tim Walsh states: “We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with.” As a powerful alternative, we have essential oils. The oils are not standardized because they come from plants and trees that grow in different conditions and locations all over the world. It is much more difficult for the microbes to develop immunity to them. In fact, studies have shown that essential oils are effective in fighting super bugs as noted in this article from Science Daily, “Essential Oils to Fight Super Bugs”. The article notes the essential oils of thyme and cinnamon are very effective in eliminating bacteria. “Not only are essential oils a cheap and effective treatment option for antibiotic-resistant strains, but decreased use of antibiotics will help minimise the risk of new strains of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms emerging,” said Professor Samaras. I feel even better using essential oils knowing that I am tapping into natural sources that will ultimately be more effective than synthetic drugs.
My very good friend has a gland condition that pops up whenever she is stressed and tired. Her usual treatment is to get a round of antibiotics from her doctor. About 10 months ago, when it last came up I gave her a bottle of Thieves (an essential oil blend) and told her to use it next time her throat felt sore. Of course, she promptly put it in the back of a drawer and forgot about it until about a month ago. She was in the middle of a very important project and her throat was beginning to really bother her. She didn’t want to deal with calling the doctor, getting the prescription, then waiting for the drugs to kick in. She dug out the bottle, put some on her throat and feet at bedtime, and awoke feeling much better. She used more Thieves and no longer needed to call her doctor for a prescription. She is quite familiar with this condition and knows that if she doesn’t get the antibiotics, it gets worse. It was nothing short of a “miracle”. Those were her words, not mine. I believe a lot of time and money can be saved by using just a few drops of select oils.
I have young kids, ages 5 and 7. Before I began using the oils, I would use over the counter meds, like Tylenol, only when I felt I really needed them. If the kids had a fever and were comfortable, I would let them be unless they couldn’t sleep, in which case I would give them the meds. I recently found an article on Reuters UK about “Acetaminophen tied to childhood wheezing and allergies” – Yikes!!! There needs to be more studies but it seems that the use of Tylenol in children under 1 can lead to allergic nasal congestion and eczema as well as asthma. They are not ready to advise not using children’s Tylenol but my thoughts as a parent is why wait to find out and at the least minimize usage. Essential oils can be used on infants safely, and my children now prefer the oils when they have a bruise or a fever. I also find the oils work much faster than waiting the 20 minutes for the Tylenol to kick in. Myrtle, lemon, lavender, Valor, Gentle Baby and Peace & Calming are all oils that can be used on infants and children for either bumps, burns, cuts, fevers and fussiness. Basically, there is an oil for every ailment, it’s just a matter of finding the right one.
Using essential oils is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. I think we all want balance in our lives and many times we need a bit of help to maintain that balance. Using essential oils can help to ease pain, headaches, soothe sores, aid sleep, they can help restore harmony to the body in a safe, natural and effective way. I know we can use less drugs, those that are over the counter as well as prescription, if only more people knew of the power of pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.
Can’t wait to get started using Young Living Oils? Great! See my “How to Order Young Living Oils” page for more details.
Francine Smith blogs about Young Living Essential oils. You can find more posts at http://www.younglivinglife.wordpress.com