You might have heard about essential oils before. They are oils that are the essence of a certain plant, fruit or herb that we can find in nature. Essential oils can be very beneficial for our health if used in the right way. In this blog I'll explain my view on essential oils and why I've grown to love them.
My journey with essential oils
My journey with essential oils started about 2 years ago when I first heard about them via one of my favourite health influencers Melissa Ambrosini. She shared how it had impacted her life in a good way by using essential oils. So I got myself a diffuser and bought some oils from the health store around the corner. I however didn't get into them so much until a year later when my friend gave me an essential oil that I absolutely loved. I used it particularly around Christmas time when I took a bath. Every time I smell that oil, it takes me back to that Christmas and it gives me a relaxed feeling. If this oil could do that for me, how could other oils work for my benefit? It made me curious. I did some research and landed on Young Living. Young Living is an essential oils company which works with a Multi Level Marketing system. I was approached by a lady who uses the MLM method and I wrote myself in. I got myself a starter pack and started using the oils. That is where my love for them grew. Since then my collection of oils has grown and I love using them on a daily basis. But there are some things I would recommend you to be careful with when using oils. I will explain why.
5 ways essential oils can change your life
1. Oils can have a therapeutic influence on us
When you smell apple pie, what do you think of? Does it bring you back to your mother's kitchen or back to a birthday at your grandparent's house when you were little? That is the influence our smell can have on us. Smells can bring back happy memories or less happy memories. That is why spa's always use essential oils in their massage oil, they can give us a relaxed feeling.
We often use scented candles to bring back a memory like this and to make the house smell good, but they are often loaded with chemicals. Something I do not want around my body are products packed with chemicals and I especially do not want to inhale them. That's what I love about essential oils. They spread a lovely scent, can bring back memories and are not toxic.
2. They can change our mood
There are a variety of essential oils on the market, from lemon to sage and from basil to rose. All these oils can have a beneficial influence on your mood. If you're feeling down you might want to diffuse a blend of oils that can lift you up, like Abundance. If you're feeling tired you might want to diffuse a blend of oils that can lift you up, like combining Peppermint, Lemon and Citrus Fresh. The amounts of times that the smell of an essential oil has changed my mood for the better is countless and I'm so grateful that there are natural products that can support us in these ways.
3. They can be used to support our body to heal certain diseases
Essential oils can be beneficial to support your body to heal certain ailments or diseases. According to Dr. Eric Zielinski, the bergamot oil can reduce pain and has anti-microbio properties. A lot of essential oils have properties that can support the body to heal diseases. I'm all for natural healing, so if I can use an oil to support me on my journey of healing PCOS, I'm all for it!
4. They can be used in cleaning products or other health products
Young Living doesn't only sell oils, but also products with their oils in them, like a household cleaner, toothpaste, make-up and laundry detergent. They also have a baby line with non-toxic baby products. I've tried the household cleaner and the toothpaste and I'm a fan. What I love about the household cleaner is that it is non-toxic, smells amazing, cleans really well and it doesn't feel like your lungs are breathing in harmful chemicals! What I love about the toothpaste is that it's fluoride free (fluoride is very harmful for your body), it tastes amazing and it cleans my teeth properly. Before this one I've tried at least 5 other fluoride free and organic toothpastes which just didn't clean my teeth well. That's why I'm hooked on this one now.
5. They make your house smell AMAZING
This of course, is a given, but they make your house smell amazing. I do have to say that I had to get used to quite a few of the scents before I wanted to use them in my diffuser. Because we're used to using candles that are made for the masses, the oils can smell kind of strong and pungent. When you get through this stage and get used to the smells they are such an attribute to your house.
5 tips when using essential oils
1. Get oils of good quality
This might seem logical, but most oils sold on the market (between 60-80%) are not of good quality. This means that they might have been diluted with a carrier oil and that decreases the strength of the oil. This means that you might not be able to smell them properly or that they might not have the health benefits that they can have. That is the reason I chose to go for Young Living oils. Because it is such a big company and popular all over the world and they have a Seed to Seal policy, I was pretty sure the oils would be of good quality. And now I've been using them I am very positive about the oils and the quality of them.
2. Never apply oils on your skin without diluting them first
Even though essential oils can be put on your skin and vitaflex points, I recommend you never use a new oil before diluting it with a carrier oil first. Sometimes your body doesn't like a certain oil and it can harm your skin and health. So every time you open a new bottle and want to use the oil on your skin, dilute it first and then test it. Yes, even if you've already used another bottle of Frankinsence on your skin, dilute it first. The oils are never exactly of the same quality because the oils come from different harvests. The new harvest could be stronger than an older one, so always test it first.
3. Never ingest oils (except a few) before consulting a licensed aroma therapist
There are horror stories of people being advised by their peer who was not a licensed aroma therapist in a MLM company (could be YL or DoTerra) to ingest an oil in capsules and getting really sick because of doing this. Essential oils are super, super strong and if you ingest them plainly you could intoxicate your liver. That's why I recommend you always get a professional aroma therapists opinion before ingesting the oils.
There are certain oils that you can use in your water or food. Young Living has a special line called the Plus line (in Europe, it's called differently in the USA), which are oils you can ingest. You can enhance your cooking by adding a drop of basil in your spagbol or you can give your water some flavour by adding a drop of lemon into your can of water. Then again, first test your oils before ingesting them. Also, the oils are greatly diluted when you cook with them or drink them in water. They can add flavour but the chance of you getting harmed by them is decreased. Next to that, most of the food products that are flavoured (such as ice creams and sodas) are flavoured by essential oils. We already ingest them, but then heavily diluted. That doesn't dismiss my point though of always checking with an aromatherapist if you want to ingest them in a capsule to change your health.
4. You don't have to buy your oils at an MLM company
Even though I have bought my oils at an MLM company because I was quite sure that the quality of the oils would be really good, you don't have to do that. A lot of people do not support MLM companies and that is understandable. There are arguments that it are pyramid schemes and only benefit the top of the company.
Personally, I'm not quite sure what to think of an MLM scheme. What I like about it, is that people get the opportunity to start their own business without having to invest too much money. My mum started her own company via an MLM company and it gave her all the freedom she had ever wanted. It is however questionable if it is an ethical scheme, as the top earns most of the money. It's up to you to make up your mind about that for yourself. If you don't want to support an MLM company (because when you buy something, you vote for the company that you buy it from), you can always consult an aroma therapist as to which oils are also of good quality and are safe to use.
A documentary that is good to watch about essential oils is (Un)well. This documentary shows the different sides of the essential oils world. Some people love them, some hate them. It's always good to check both sides of the story before you make up your mind about something.
5. Always get your information from trustworthy scientific research
Within Young Living, people are not allowed to make claims about what certain oils can do for your health, because every oil influences everybody differently. There where peppermint works amazing for me with a certain ailment, it did absolutely not work for my boyfriend. That is why I always recommend you get your information about the health benefits from trustworthy scientific research. I personally like getting my information from Dr. Eric Z. He is specialized in the workings of essential oils and how they can support our bodies. He researches the benefits of essential oils and has written a best selling book about it. What I like about him is that he is not attached to a brand that sponsors him. His research is completely non-branded so it's objective and makes it trustworthy in my opinion.
Eric also states that the oils are not the healers, but they support the healing properties of our body. Our bodies do the work, the oils support our bodies.
What essential oils have done for me
I'm a fan of essential oils, I think you already noticed that when reading this blog! Some essential oils have really helped with some skin issues that I have, but the most beneficial has been the emotional support. I have a past of emotional eating and I now notice I reach out for oils in stead of chocolate when I feel stressed. This, in my opinion, is a way more healthy way of dealing with difficult emotions than pushing them away by eating unhealthy foods. When I feel stressed I will diffuse some oil or put some oil on my diffuser necklace and smell it. It usually supports me and makes me feel more relaxed. It doesn't however, push my emotions away like emotional eating does. It invites me to take a moment of mindfully collecting my thoughts and feelings before continuing with the day.
I hope this blog has inspired you and I wish you a lovely day!