Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Essential Oils 101, Part 1

Essential Oils 101

What are they? 

Essential oils are volatile substances derived from plants, containing the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. They are extracted primarily through steam distillation. These potent, volatile, and versatile oils are often called the "life blood" of the plant. They have protective properties which are the plants' natural defense mechanism. They are volatile substances and can evaporate, unlike a fatty oil. Some oils last a very long time, while others, such as citrus, have a shorter shelf life.They are the purest and most potent form of the plant. For example, one drop of peppermint oil is 26 cups of peppermint tea, and 5,000 pounds of rose petals will yield 2.2 pounds of rose oil. 


Essential oils are nothing new. They've been around a long time! They are the oldest form of medicine, dating back to 4,500 B.C. They are mentioned over 180 times in the Bible. In 1922, 120 liters of essential oils were discovered in King Tut's tomb in Egypt. When the oils were tested, they showed all of their chemical components, which means they were still potent. In the National Library of Medicine (pubmed.gov), there are over 14,000 references to essential oils.


Essential oils can be used to support all body systems: endocrine, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, respiratory, urinary, lymphatic, reproductive, and integumentary. Each oil, like every living thing, carries a scientifically measurable frequency. Their frequency affects ours, which supports health and vitality. They more you apply oils, the more you expose yourself to higher frequencies and potentially better overall health. Use them often! Just as our bodies are constantly changing and adapting to our environments, so essential oils change to their environments, soil, water, etc. The final product can vary from time to time because they are not made in a lab. If you purchase an oil that smells exactly the same every time you do, that's a red flag that you've purchased something that's been chemically altered. 


1. Commercial grade (example: orange oil for cleaning)
2. Perfume grade (have added petrochemicals)
3. Food/Flavoring grade (candy)
4. Therapeutic grade (put on your skin, safe to inhale and ingest)

How do I use them?

Aromatically: Fragrance is the substance of memories. Aroma inhaled causes the limbic system to send messages to the brain, which activates memories and emotions. When inhaling, it takes 22 seconds for an oil to reach the brain. The only way to reach the limbic system is through smell, which makes oils a great option for helping to support emotional and nervous system health. Diffusing is another way to inhale the oils. It purifies the air and  makes your home smell good without chemicals.

Topically: Essential oils are rapidly absorbed by the skin. When applied topically it takes 2-3 minutes for an oil to reach the bloodstream, 20 minutes to affect every cell in the body, and then 2 1/2 hours to be metabolized. Some favorite places to apply oils are wrists, behind the ears, neck, temples, stomach, or especially feet. 

Some oils, like citrus, are photosensitive, which means you are more prone to sunburn when wearing them in the sunshine. 

Certain oils needed to be diluted before applying to the skin. Dilute a couple of drops of essential oil in a carrier oil, like olive, coconut, jojoba (personal favorite), or Young Living's V6 oil. Never put oils in eyes or ears. If an oil gets in your eyes, use a a drop of carrier oil to rinse it out. Never use water. 

Internally: Essential oils can be used in water/drinks, cooking/baking, vegetable capsules, or suppositories. Be sure to use stainless steel or glass when drinking essential oils in water. Citrus oils especially can digest petrochemicals, so it's important not to use a plastic cup. 

Next time I will be discussing the Seed to Seal process that Young Living uses when harvesting their essential oils and also discussing individual oils and their uses.

For more information, check out the website and our collection of kits to start using essential oils in your home:



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oily Adventures: Why I Use Young Living Products

So, I've been into aromatherapy for as long as I can remember. As a teen (or maybe younger?), I have a memory of walking into a health food store and smelling these amazing plants oils for the first time. It was unlike any "perfume" I'd ever experienced, and I remember the profound freshness and emotional uplifting as a result. I was hooked.

Since then I've become a real snob. I took classes with Katie Haley (she founded Cosmic Flower) a few years back, an amazingly independent woman who has traveled the globe and brought back some real olfactory treasures. She taught us the importance of knowing the Latin names to determine the quality of the plant the oil comes from. She made sure we understood what real quality oils were! My long, all-day classes with Katie and the continual exposure to oils throughout the day lifted my mood and energized me. I knew that these were more than just scents

I'd used Young Living maybe back in 2000, or 2001. I picked up again in 2014 and I remembered why I'd loved this product so much. The oils are alive. This may seem sensational, but if you start "smelling around," you will begin to pick up on the differences.

As a creator of aromatherapy products (for example, I like to make body/room sprays), I love using oils that not only smell amazing, but offer a therapeutic benefit, as well.

Add to this the long list of healthful benefits our family has noticed by using the oils. I was able to support my husband through a difficult time with his eyes by giving him Thieves, oregano, and sacred frankincense in a capsule for about a week. He'd already used three courses of antibiotics without much success. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint helped me through seasonal discomfort I was having on a vacation in Florida one year. Basil and clary sage has been useful in supporting my hormonal system.

And then there's NingXia Red, which my doctor most recently told me was a possibility in supporting my reproductive health. I'm now 18 weeks pregnant!

Next time I'll talk about the basics of oils and how to use them. For more info, click on my link below. If you scroll to the bottom, you will see all of the kits that are available if you sign up. The kits are one of the most economic ways to try the oils out. You may just want to browse around at the other products, which is fine too. You can just click on the "Young Living" logo on the left side of the top of the page. http://bit.ly/1tKdfHu

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sixteen Going on Seventeen

I'm almost seventeen weeks pregnant. Wow! I'm into the second trimester. It's been a relatively fast ride through this crazy journey. From allergies and headaches, to constipation and tailbone pain, it's been an unusual and sometimes uncomfortable experience.
Mostly, however, I've felt pretty good. I'm thankful! I hear for some women that it's a horrible time!
Have felt a few weird movements that I assume are the early flutters of baby kicks? I just don't know! I've never done this before! Sometimes I worry that I should feel more. We shall see what the doc says.

I know that I have yet to enter the truly "uncomfortable stage," but sometimes already I have felt like this:

 Next appointment should we should know the gender-yay!

Skeletons, Yet.

I first learned of the skeletons when I was a teenager. The ugly pile of unsightly bones came tumbling out of the closet. It shocked me. I'd grown up thinking Grandpa was a cool dude; a stinker of a man, yet tough and no-nonsense.
But then I found out.
Mom shared the family secret. It rattled my image of the man. It wasn't just Grandpa though. There were others, and I used to fantasize (or maybe they were dreams?) of pulling out a hand gun and threatening these abusers in the act. I wanted to go back in time and protect my mom, my aunts and uncles; the foster kids. I wanted to yell at Grandma for not protecting her kids. Where were those who would stand up and be advocates? But then, those were the 50's and 60's. Not many talked openly of such horrors.
Two winters ago I was watching the movie American Crime for my Literature Into Film Across the America's class at Webster University. I felt the blood leave my hands and I wanted to run out of the classroom as the cruelty and torture of Ellen Page's character intensified. The ideas were too close. Thankfully, in my mom's side of the family no one died (physically, that is). There wasn't torture per say, but there were some similarities. The movie was just too historically personal.
I cried in the hallway one day when I learned of the relentless physical abuse poured out on my uncle. It seemed he caught the most of Grandpa's rage growing up. Why? Why was he so angry? Why did my uncle have to suffer because of it?
"He tried to take my virginity," Mom had said to me during those pre-adult years, referring to angry Grandpa. My aunt, one of my mom's sisters, remembers him touching her inappropriately when she was just two years old. Another sister said she used to "kick him [Grandpa] where it counts" when he tried similar approaches.
The stories could go on and on.
One night, I was sitting in the car, waiting for my husband as he pumped gas and picked up a few goodies at the station. I think we were in Tennessee. It was the middle of the night and we were traveling to my folk's home in Georgia. A stunning thought passed through my head. Grace had gone there. Gone to that ugly and sick place, and I was amazed by that idea. It was as if I could truly see it for the first time and realized how astounding it truly was. The beauty of hope and light and God's relentless love was not afraid of the darkness. The skeletons were no surprise to him.
When my mom was 11 years old Grandpa made a decision to become a Christian, as did she. These post-Christian years were far from perfect, nor did they fix many of the deep struggles and sin patterns. For that I place a majority of the blame on the church and the hands-off approach to community that is all too common in America, especially among Christians.
Mom recalled a time when Grandpa, in the very act of his usual temptation, begged Mom to pray for him to overcome it. Still so much blackness, yet the tiniest streaks of light poked through.
Grandpa died when I was three years old. He was killed in a snowmobile accident. Only memories remain. Some good and many bad. From those ashes, my mom has grown and flourished as a believer and I think about the incredibility of fruit coming from such a place.
When Jesus walked the earth he really didn't have time for good people, but for the evil of his day: the prostitutes, murderers, thieves, etc. He came to call sick people, not the ones who had it all together. Religion is afraid of these types, but not grace. It runs right towards the muck. It knows the One who can beautify those ugly wounds; those bones.
Skeletons, yet.