Scientifically speaking, essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants that have therapeutic properties. They can be found in the plant’s flower, stem, leaves, bark or fruit. The chemistry is extremely complex and consists of hundreds of unique chemical compounds. These chemical compounds give each oil its unique characteristics. Essential Oils are the life blood of plants. They protect the plant from disease, provide nutrients and help fight off unwanted invasions! They keep the plant (or tree, fruit, bark, root, etc.) healthy and functioning at its best! AKA Volatile Oils or Ethereal Oils. Volatile because they are easily evaporated at normal temperatures. Ethereal, I had to look up. According to Google, it means: “…extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.” I want to geek out for a second and get a little deep. The life blood of plants is essentially the life blood of the earth. Plants convert the sun’s rays, the clouds water and the earth itself into… life. They pump these essential oils which are full of these amazing compounds through their little plant veins and produce the strength to bust through freaking sidewalks. This is their essence. Essential oils are no joke. Essential oils are NOT the same as vegetable and/or olive oils. Vegetable oils are obtained from the fatty parts of a plant like the nuts, seeds or kernels and are greasy. These oils can go rancid over time. In the essential oils world, kitchen oils (olive, coconut, avocado, grape seed, etc.) are referred to as carrier oils. They are often used to dilute the potency of an essential oil.

I got into essential oils a few years ago. I have always approached my wellness with a more holistic view; eating healthy, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and exercise. I began to pass displays in the grocery store and see “Essential Oils” for sale, quackery, I thought. I then began seeing online articles about the power of essential oils and my interest grew. What were these oils I was seeing popping up everywhere? I like plants. I find beauty and power in the world around us. A friend at work mentioned how they found relief from their occasional neck tension using diluted peppermint oil on their temples and the back of their neck. I always loved the smell of peppermint. I figured I’d give it a try. I bought a bottle on Amazon and begin my self-guided introduction to the use of essential oils. The oil smelled nice and would tingle a little when applied, but I didn’t experience any significant effects. Was my friend wrong? Were all the articles I saw some form of pseudoscience or convincing marketing? Was I doing this, right?

Since that day, I’ve done a lot of research on essential oils. I’ve experimented with my own personal use and have read loads of studies. I can get a little carried away with the amount of time I’ll spend researching products that catch my interest. You bet I researched the crap out of my television before I bought it and the resort I was planning a Caribbean vacation too. Thank you, TripAdvisor!

 

Oil Purity:

My first goal was to find the purest essential oils I could find. Research told me that there are many ways to obtain the essential oils from the plants. Some methods would use damaging temperatures or harmful chemicals that could produce a higher yield of oil from the plants, but ultimately be a much lower quality. I learned to not simply trust a bottle that was labeled 100% Pure Therapeutic. I wanted to know how the oils were made, how were the plants grown, on what land? Are they farmed sustainably? How consistent is the production? I had a lot of questions. Like I said, I research the crap out of things.  That’s when I came across Young Living and their Seed to Seal commitment.

Young Living’s Seed to Seal methodology controls the process from the selection of the seeds and the land they are grown on, through the distillation process, to the final sealed bottle.

They are the ONLY company in the world that owns their own farms to grow their own crops with no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Every other company buys their product at some point which concerned me. Other oils on the market are purchased from third party growers in foreign countries where they include 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th distillations. Young Living only uses the 1st distillations so their oils are way purer and provide many more therapeutic benefits. How a company distills their oils is key. Most essential oils in the market have been produced as “fragrance grade” meaning they are used for aromatic purposes.

 

Did you know that a company can write 100% pure essential oils on a label, but only actually use 5% of inferior essential oil and then fill the rest of the bottle with synthetics and chemicals that can irritate or burn the skin?

 

If you physically can’t go walk onto the farms and distilleries where the oils are grown, harvested, tested, distilled, tested again and then bottled – stay far away from them. Many essential oils on the market have expiration dates. Young Living oils do not expire. Correctly stored 100% pure essential oils (excluding citrus) won’t ever go bad and will last indefinitely if stored away from heat and sunlight. If an essential oil has an expiration date, it isn’t pure or has been cut with a carrier oil which will eventually go rancid.