WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS

If you are anything like us, we had a huge learning curve when we were first introduced to essential oils and holistic resources.  We didn’t even know what an essential oil was let alone how to use it.  Once we had our first experience though, we were set on a path of intense learning and greater appreciation for natural solutions.

Essential oils have been around for centuries, but we just learned about them a couple of years ago.  We wanted natural solutions for our family and this was the solution we had been looking for.

In the beginning, we had to read up on what essential oils are.  We learned that essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They are both beautiful and powerfully fragrant.  In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination.

Essential oils are non water-based phytochemicals (beta carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), folic acid, and vitamin E, etc.) that are made up of volatile aromatic compounds.  They are very pure and clean, almost crisp to the touch, and are immediately absorbed by the skin.  When untouched and pure, essential oils are translucent and range from crystal clear to deep blue.

 

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History of Essential Oils

Throughout history, essential oils have not only been used for fragrance, but in many cultures, they have been used for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits.  In modern times, we are seeing a revival of sorts with holistic approaches to wellness which is now supported by modern scientific study.  dōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils are the safest, purest, and most beneficial essential oils available today. They are gently and skillfully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy. Experienced essential oil users will immediately recognize the superior quality standard for natural, safe, pure, and effective therapeutic-grade dōTERRA essential oils.

 

Ways to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends in one of three methods:

aromaticlogoAromatic:

Essential oils, when diffused, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Diffusing essential oils can also cleanse and purify the air.

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Topical:

Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and many can be safely applied topically when used in conjunction with a carrier oil, such as Fractionated Coconut Oil.

internallogo Internal:

Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions.

 

In order to reap the benefits of essential oils, you must first learn what each oil does and apply it in the proper way.  Diffusion (aromatic) is a wonderful way to use oils, as the vaporized oil is gentle and much less likely to cause reactions on sensitive skin.  Topical application may be necessary to help with things like the occasional acne flare, a persistent rash, or intermittent discomfort.  Ingesting oils can be very beneficial if you need comfort during indigestion or stomach upset; additionally, when cooking, you can use oils like lemon or oregano in your food to cut down on the ingredients you need to buy and to give your dish a pure, full flavor.  However you choose to use them, oils can support you in many ways.

 

 

Science

Oil Grades

There are three grades of essential oils, indicating purity and intended use.  They are as follows:

  1. A-grade essential oils are generally intended for therapeutic or medicinal use, such as pain management or mood elevation.  As pure, well-distilled oils, they can usually be diffused, ingested, or used topically to get the desired effect.  Of course, some of them require dilution before topical use and some should not be ingested, but if used correctly, they are most beneficial in helping with certain ailments or supporting the immune system before or during an illness.
  1. B-grade essential oils are less pure, and are generally considered to be “food-grade” oils.  Because they are not used as treatment oils, they can contain chemicals that do not naturally occur in the raw materials used to make them.  They do not necessarily need to be organic, and are considered to be of lesser quality.
  1. C-grade essential oils are used for scents, such as perfumes or candles.  These are not required to be pure, and generally have somewhat dangerous chemicals in them.  Although they are not necessarily directly harmful to humans, they are not ingestible, and should not be applied to the skin without severe dilution.  These oils can be diluted to make perfume, but it must be done carefully.

 

Organic vs. CPTG Essential Oil Testing

It seems as though everyone is concerned these days about whether or not things are organic and rightly so.  We are unknowingly (and knowingly) putting toxins in and on our bodies daily so it makes sense to be cautious where we can.  Essential oils are no different and this scrutiny needs no exception, especially since essential oils can pass the blood brain barrier.  So are the essential oils we use organic or not?

We have found a brand of essential oils that are considered Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® but not Certified Organic.  What does this mean exactly?  As far as we understand it, for something to be considered organic, it must pass specific laws that vary from state to state, country to country and this makes it currently impossible to acquire all oils under certified organic status.

However, through a rigorous process, the oils we use are subject to strict requirements set forth in the CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol to ensure potency, purity, and consistency batch to batch.

The CPTG

Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol includes the following tests:

  • Organoleptic testing
  • Microbial testing
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Chirality testing
  • Isotopic analysis
  • Heavy metal testing

For more information on our preferred brand, please contact us here or here so we can share what we love.


Co-Impact Sourcing

One thing we have fallen in love with is the concept of Co-Impact Sourcing.  This brilliant concept “uses a global network of artisans to provide the raw materials—sourcing—used for essential oil production. Where a plant is grown has a major impact on its constitution, which in turn determines its potency. Using local artisans who have grown the source plants for generations ensures that the plants are not only properly cared for, but also grown in an environment that maximizes the essential oils’ potential.

Additionally, harvesting the right part of the plant at the right time is a major determiner in the quality of an essential oil. Growers have discovered over generations proper harvesting secrets that increase yield and quality of the essential oil.

Using local artisans to source the raw materials for essential oils has the added benefit of creating industry for that particular community. In many cases, the harvesting of essential oil source plants has created jobs and opportunity where previously there was none.”   This way of doing business has more than helped health-conscious individuals find safe alternatives while also lifting entire communities and giving them hope for the future.

What isn’t to love about this?  If you are interested in more about Co-Impact Sourcing, click on this link to watch an amazing video.


Coming Soon! Herbs

 Currently, Joanie is studying herbs and will post on the blog as she learns specific uses that relate to health and wellness.
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