Introduction to Essential Oils

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There’s a lot of buzz online and in the news about essential oils. Here’s an easy introduction to essential oils that will help you sort through the hype and learn what essential oils can (and cannot) do.

Reminder: I’m not a doctor, and this information should not be considered medical advice. Do your own research and use good judgement!

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are naturally occurring compounds that are found in the seeds, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. This plant material is carefully treated by steam distillation or cold pressing, and the result is a highly concentrated liquid that we know as essential oil.

They are called “essential” not because they’re necessary (although I think they are), but because their extreme concentration brings out the essence of the plant.

As with many products, essential oils are made in different grades, or levels of quality.

  • Synthetic oils or fragrance oils are the lowest quality and are typically used in lotions or perfumes. These are often sold at craft stores.

  • Food grade oils are used to flavor things like cake mix, cereal, etc. An example of this is the lemon or orange flavoring sold at the grocery store.

  • Therapeutic grade oils are the highest grade and can be diffused (spread via air), used topically (on the skin), or internally. I only use and recommend therapeutic grade oils by doTERRA, because of their strict quality testing. Learn more about doTERRA essential oils here.

Because they are so concentrated, you only need to use one drop at a time. That’s why they’re sold in such tiny bottles!

What can essential oils do?

Therapeutic grade oils can be used to improve your family’s health, to clean and freshen your home, and to improve mood.

Here are a few examples:

If you are going to use essential oils for your health, please only use therapeutic grade oils.

Health food store oils or inexpensive oils that are found online could be diluted, contaminated, or made from plants that are sprayed with pesticides. You wouldn’t rub Roundup on your skin, so don’t risk having it in your essential oils.

One of the reasons I chose doTERRA essential oils is because their oils are tested by an outside lab, ensuring they are free from contaminants and pesticides. Learn about the eight types of scientific testing doTERRA uses on every batch of oils.

What can essential oils NOT do?

Essential oils are not a magic pill that will fix everything. You can’t expect essential oils to fix an unhealthy lifestyle, make up for a poor diet, etc. If I broke my leg or was in a car accident–you bet I would go to the doctor. Essential oils can be used with Western medicine to improve your health.

Essential oils are extremely potent and concentrated, and should be used with care. One single drop is an adult dose. Yes, really! Babies and kids can use essential oils that are highly diluted with a carrier oil.

It’s important to use essential oils safely.

How do you use essential oils?

doTERRA essential oils can be diffused (spread via air), used topically (on the skin), or taken internally. Never put oils in your eyes, ears, nose, or other sensitive areas.

Essential oils are my first line of defense. I use them for health, freshening the air, and cleaning. The kids can help clean without danger of chemical exposure, and I don’t worry about spills or the dangers of mixing one cleaner with another.

And a single essential oil can be used in a variety of ways, which saves you money instead of buying multiple products.

For example: I don’t need to buy “Baby Bedtime Bath” for Little Peanut–I just add a bit of lavender oil to her bath water. A couple of drops of lavender on a cloth in the dryer gives our laundry a fresh scent. And finally, a teeny drop of lavender soothes occasional skin imperfections. That’s three separate products that I didn’t have to buy, from just one bottle of essential oil!

Hi, Im Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here!