Friday, January 11, 2013

Essential Oils 101

I recently went to my first Essential Oils class.  It was by a doTerra teacher.  I have a few essential oils, but I know I don't know very much about them, and I don't use them enough.  I asked some basic questions and got some good answers.  Hopefully this basic introduction is helpful to some of you, too!
  • An "essential oil" is basically the essence of a plant.  All plants have them, but not all essential oils are known to be beneficial.  They are used in alternative medicine, and aromatherapy.
  • doTerra is a good brand to use because they are %100 pure essential oil, and not all brands are.
  • They don't expire
  • It is good to apply the oil to the bottom of the feet, where the pores are the biggest and the oil can be absorbed into the body the fastest.
The instructor's very favorite essential oils:
  1. Lavender--use for colds and cold prevention, soothes skin from burns, rashes  
  2. Frankincense--many uses: anti-inflammatory, great for any skin problem, stress reliever
  3. Peppermint and Lemon--good for diffusing aromatically, lemon will keep you energized, peppermint is also good for burns
  4. Digest Zen--it's a blend for stomach pain, throwing up or heart burn.  It can be used on the stomach and feet.
  5. On Guard--another blend.  It's a great immune booster.  She highly recommended the soap, cleaner and especially toothpaste (with a great personal story).
  6. Wild Orange--a great stress reliever, mood uplifter

That was super brief, but it's a subject I'm interested in, and I would love to hear some of your favorite essential oils and how you use them?


  1. I have grapefruit, and it's probably a cheap grocery story diluted version, but I use it in my soap and when I just want to smell something that makes me happy.

  2. This is a good basic review of the class. Peppermint oil is also good to soothe the stomach for morning sickness or a stomach ache. We just diffused some a couple days ago when Micah was sick. I know DoTerra also has class on how to clean using the oils. That one would be interesting. Have you Marshall ladies written a post on earth friendly cleaners?

  3. Thanks Ariel! I'll refer everyone back to the guest post that Liz Ford did a few months ago, for some more info:

    I think essential oils are really effective agents for healing, disease prevention, and pain relief. I hesitate to use them too much because of ongoing discussions over hormone disruption from phytoestrogens. But I think they are valuable in moderation, and certainly preferable to antibiotics or flu shots.

    Yes someone please do a post on earth-friendly, people-friendly cleaners!

  4. I love using essential oils in household cleaners. I put a few drops of this or that in my vacuum bag or cleaning water or countertop, and the effect is lovely. I used to put a drop of sweet orange in my vinegar rinse (for my hair), and I'd say it was uplifting. :)

    I wonder if the phytoestrogens would be absorbed through a diffused essential oil? I am wary of using them directly for that same reason, especially when pregnant (when we need such balance) or on young children. But as you said, Meredith, better essential oils than more invasive remedies. I sure have heard a lot of great healing stories by essential oil users.

    1. I heard that the problems from hormonal imbalances are possibly only related only come from voiles that aren't truly 100% pure oils and have added substances in them. Does anybody know anything about that?

    2. Ariel, I have heard the same thing. I talked with doTERRA's leaders about it, and they had actually written an article about that (which I can't find anywhere, alas). They claim doTERRA's oils don't cause any hormonal disruptions.

    3. Thanks for looking into this, Liz. If you happen across that article, I would really like to read it. I wonder if doTERRA has done a study comparing their oils to others. Many plants have naturally occurring estrogens, including some used for their oils, such as lavender, tea tree, peppermint, clove, and oregano (among others). I would like to know if the estrogens somehow get filtered out when the oil is extracted. If they don't, I would like to know how concentrated they are in the oil. I imagine that there could be a positive place for them (during menopause or protecting against prostate cancer), but I prefer to use them minimally, especially on pre-pubescent children (one of the reasons we avoid soy altogether), especially when we are exposed to SO many estrogen mimickers in our industrial society.

      That being said... I've heard rave reviews about doTERRA. I have another friend who uses TRUessence by Forever Green. She told me about another company that sells the same high quality therapeutic grade oils that does not have a multi-level business plan, so prices are lower. They are called Butterfly Express at if anyone wants to check them out. Most of the ones I have are Aura Cacia brand, and they say 100% pure on them, though I know little about them beyond that. If I ever get serious about using essential oils, I have some research to do.