“Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived” – Helen Keller
Each year on the 22nd of April, nearly a billion people spanning 192 countries participate in some form of Earth Day event. What started in 1970 as a modern environmental movement with 20 million people has multiplied into mass activism.
This year’s theme: Environmental and Climate Change Literacy. According to Earthday.org, the world’s largest environmental advocacy group, the mission is simple: To diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide.
In honor of Earth Day, we will explore the wonders of volatile aromatic compounds, also known as essential oils.
What is an Essential Oil?
By definition, essential oils are the volatile liquids (aromatic compounds) distilled from plants including the seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits. Science estimates there are currently over 390,000 plant species in the world. Of this vast number of plant species, an estimated 10 percent of these plants are oil-producing.
History provides accounts of essential oil use for beautification and purification dating back to the Egyptians. Accounts show that King Tutankhamen’s tomb included 35 alabaster jars for essential oils. Biblical accounts show that Frankincense and Myrrh were given to the Christ child. Even Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was sited for his belief in using plants as medicine.
As a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, I have the privilege of educating people all around the world on the numerous health and wellness benefits that stem from the use of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils. It is important to note that not all essential oils are created equally. Because of doTERRA’s rigorous third-party testing, they ensure the highest levels of purity and potency. This is very important when it comes to using essential oils internally. Let’s explore a little further how to use these miracles of nature!
Essential Oils Usage
Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming. Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. You can achieve the same health benefits by simply placing a few drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand that is then cupped around the nose as you breathe deeply.
- Apply oil to a cotton ball and place in the air vents of your vehicle
- Mix oils in a spray bottle with water and mist over furniture, carpet, or linens
- Add oil to a batch of laundry or to dryer sheets
- Use in household surface cleaners (try this 10 day challenge)
Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. Because essential oils have low molecular weights and are lipid soluble, they easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the applied area for a localized benefit.
To decrease the likelihood of developing a skin sensitivity, especially on young or sensitive skin, it is advisable to use a carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) to dilute more potent oils and when trying an oil for the first time. The recommend dilution ratio is typically one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil.
Other Effective Methods of Topical Application
- Add a few drops of oil to a warm bath
- Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a towel or cloth in water, adding essential oils, and then applying to the desired area
- Add oil to a lotion or moisturizer and then apply to skin
Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. When you sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, sip a mug of peppermint tea, or add fresh basil leaves to your spaghetti, you are actually consuming some volatile aromatic essential oil compounds.
Essential oil contributes many health benefits as well as flavoring and aroma properties to foods. When in their concentrated form, essential oils can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted and potent health benefits. Internal use is a very safe and effective method of application because of the sophisticated physiologic processes of our bodies.
When ingested, essential oils directly enter the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. Essential oils are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, essential oils are metabolized by the liver and other organs and are then excreted.
Effective Methods of Internal Application
- Use oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs and spices
- Remember that essential oils are much more potent than dried or fresh herbs and spices, so start with a very small amount
- For more potent oils, it may be better to administer them by toothpicks (dip the end of a clean toothpick into the oil and then add to the food) rather than drops
- Add essential oils to water, smoothies, milk, tea, or other drinks
- Take essential oils internally in a veggie capsule or add to a small amount of applesauce or yogurt
What are the benefits of using doTERRA essential oils?
The benefits of using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils include:
- Physical– doTERRA essential oils boast a wealth of physical health benefits including respiratory and immune support, stress and tension relief, as well as aiding in restful sleep. They promote feelings of well-being and balanced mood, aid in digestion and metabolism, and support increased cellular function. They help increase positive feelings, improve the appearance of the skin, and help protect against environmental and seasonal threats.
- Emotional- Using essential oils can be overwhelmingly therapeutic in nature, especially when it comes to healing emotions. Whether you are holding on to unresolved feelings, past trauma, or any number of negative emotions, essential oils help support the healing process by releasing limiting beliefs and helping mend a broken heart.
- Spiritual– Using essential oils is often a profound experience. Not only do they support you on a physical and emotional level, but they help establish a soul connection. There is a unique mystery about the use of essential oils, dating back to the earliest of civilizations. How profound to have this community with nature and experience peaceful and tranquil feelings. Essential oils help increase our spiritual awareness, and inspire us to connect with our life’s true purpose.
There are a vast number of reasons for exploring the world of essential oils. I made a personal decision to explore alternative ways of coping with anxiety which has been my companion since age 18. I will never forget the first time I used lavender essential oil. I recall specifically the impact it had on my nervous system, and it planted a seed that would one day grow into a profound passion.
We will take a look at specific oils and their health benefits in future posts, so if there is a particular oils you would like to explore, please leave a note in the comments. Additionally, if you have doTERRA oils you love using, share a tip with all of us! To experience the benefits of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils learn more about the StandinLove community here. I would love to support you on your health and wellness journey!
Happy Earth Day and cheers to Abundant Health
Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, DoTERRA wellness advocate, and BeadforLife community partner and is the founder of Stand In Love.org -a platform for sharing her core values:
Serving People | Inspiring Ideas | Living Your Purpose