Last week, I came out and told the (virtual) world that I am using and distributing essential oils. You may be asking yourself: but why oils? Why Young Living? Why would I use oils instead of tylenol, bengay, benedryl, or pepto? Why should I invest in something that’s not mainstream and well known like OTC medications? I don’t know anything about these things, why should I take the time to learn? Can’t I just read the label? I’ll answer some of these questions and more this week.
Essential Oils have history. Ancient Egyptians were one of the first recorded cultures to use essential oils. They used them for enhancing their appearance, to prepare their food, and to restore and support their health. They also used essential oils for mummifying and embalming methods. This is not something that I plan on adopting for our family. Essential oils even show up in the Bible (my all-time fav book); 70% of the books of the Bible mention essential oils. Frankincense alone is mentioned 22 times in the Bible and it was valued more than gold at the time. There are waves of essential oil use throughout history and the world–from those BC Egyptians, through the middle ages, to now with cultures through China and India, Romans, the French, to this Kentucky girl.
One of my favorite history lessons about essential oils (besides the Thieves Oil legend that I’ll share later this week), is the story of a French chemist in 1937. Rene Maurice Gattefosse was also a perfumer who was interested in the scents of plants but not necessarily the healing benefits of them. While in his lab, he burned himself pretty severely and thrust his hands and arms into the closest vat of liquid. That vat was pure, undiluted lavender oil. The lavender oil not only helped his burning sensation, but also healed his hand without infection or scar. As a chemist, he also found that essential oils can be absorbed by the body and interact with our body’s chemistry. Essential oils continue to be used today in aromatherapy, health, beauty, cleaning, and with other uses.
Contrary to popular belief, essential oils have been researched, tested, and documented to have many benefits. A variety of essential oils have properties that are antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressive, antioxidant, anti-fungal, to support immune health, mental clarity, digestive support, and emotional stability (just to name a few ;)). Young Living has their own research lab staying abreast to the latest on essential oils. Some of you may find that as “cheating,” as if they have their own press secretaries. Just so you know, pharmaceutical companies do the same thing, and then they give crazy money to politicians and lobbyists to get things done in Washington for themselves. But that’s for another time…anyway!
If you’d like more proof about the affectivity of essential oils, I’ve found the following resources to be helpful: University of Minnesota’s article in “Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellbeing”, Questions and Answers about Aromatherapy from the National Cancer Institute, this recommendation from the Mayo Clinic, this study reported on Science Daily’s website, and this from the University of Maryland. Also, this website has some stellar links. The above has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Essential oils are not meant to cure, treat, diagnose, or heal any disease or condition. Please consult your doctor when incorporating oils into your healthy regimens. However, essential oils are used nationwide in hospitals as supplemental and alternative treatment.
One of my favorite ways to learn about the benefits of essential oils are from the users. The testimonies of those who use the oils have been the biggest encouragement to me on my oily journey. I’m a part of a wonderful team of users who share with this public Facebook group about the effects of the oils on their family. I have learned so much from their stories and advice.
Essential oils are the essence of the plants that God gave us. If you were to scratch at a peppermint leaf and tear it, do you know what would happen? The leaf would start producing a liquid (essential oil) to help heal and restore that part which was broken. Essential oils are the plant’s immune response to being roughed up. Isn’t it cool that God gave even the petal of a flower a innate mechanism in which to heal? So cool. My husband and I have been trying to keep whole & natural foods in our house as much as possible–meaning that what is in our pantry, fridge, and freezer is pretty much just what the Lord gave us. It just makes sense that I would pursue healthful supplements and medicine that is the same–straight from The Man himself. This is one reason why I love Young Living oils because they are unadulterated with synthetic oils and substances. But I’ll talk about that more later this week.
Essential oils are a natural answer to our health needs. Read the back of any OTC drug and you will see a myriad of side effects. Now most of us haven’t (and probably will never) have a bleeding stomach lining from taking aspirin too much, but they need to tell you about it on the bottle. Not because you definitely will, but because someone did. I know someone did, not just because the FDA makes them write that on the side of the bottle, but because my friend, Noah, had a brother who died from eating aspirin like candy. Because of him we now have a label that tells us the side effects and they have specific instructions like, “take with food.” Noah would tell me to tell you, “Eat a few crackers, anything, when you take medication. Just in case.” To put Noah’s worrisome mind more at ease, we could all start using peppermint for headaches with zero side effects.
Here’s something crazy-awesome about Young Living essential oils: they pass through the blood-brain barrier. Stay with me…”the blood brain barrier is a wall of high density cells that restrict passages of substances from the bloodstream into the brain. This protects our brain from foreign substances. Since essential oils are lipid soluble and have very light molecular weight, they can pass through the blood brain barrier and effect their benefits. Frankincense and peppermint can carry more oxygen into the brain this way and some essential oils can also benefit those with Alzheimer’s, memory loss, ADHD, metal toxicity, and more.” This is quoted from here, but there is proper (medical) documentation here.
Essential oils are a wonderful alternative to over the counter medications and even antibiotics. Certain EOs (essential oils) can help balance your body’s alkaline levels, cross the blood-brain barrier, and even penetrate cell walls. Okay, stay with me on this one. Bacteria in your body happens outside of cell walls. That’s why antibacterial medications can work quickly and well, because they can travel through body systems, like your bloodstream, where bacteria can lurk. (Side note–antibiotics can also kill good bacteria like that in your gut. Gut health and overall health are closely linked, so be mindful to restore good bacteria in your body after taking antibiotics! I just try to avoid them when I can, and use that time to build my immune system to super-strong!) Anyway, so bacterial lurks outside of cell walls in our body. Viruses, however, reside within a cell wall. That’s how they get so nasty. Not only are they hard to get to (antibiotics do NOT help!), but they can also replicate and reproduce within your body because they make their home within your cell’s membrane. I have good news! EOs penetrate cell walls. Yup! Those EOs that your body absorbs can help your body on a cellular level. Crazy, right?! Crazy awesome!! Oh, and if you have a virus, get some rest and let your body stock up on vitamins D & C as well as Zinc! A strong immune system is your best defense against being down for the count.
Essential oils can be used at a variety of application sites. Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? It’s true! The skin is really great at absorbing stuff, like Vitamin D when you’re outside, or Vitamin E if you are like my Grandma Betty who would pierce a capsule with her teeth and apply the Vitamin E to a cut or zit. Skin absorption can be a scary thought if you think of the chemicals that we come in contact with, by choice or not. Have you ever read or studied about the ingredients in your lotion, face wash, or eye cream? Sure they are just trace amounts of toxins, but don’t you use that stuff nearly every day? Do you think that those toxins could build up in your body over time without proper detox? There are plenty of cancers where the source just can’t be explained…like a lifetime of built-up toxins. I digress…so your skin absorbs stuff! Well EOs can be applied to the wrist, temples (careful of the eyes!), inside of mouth or nose, outside of the ear (never inside the ear), under the tongue (I can only recommend ingestion of oils with Young Living), reflexology points of the feet and hands, the back of the neck, the heart, and other specific helpful areas to focus their potency. Oils can also be inhaled straight form the bottle or from your cupped hands around your face. Young Living oils can be ingested with water or with a vegetable capsule. I love a drop or two of lemon EO in my water for detox purposes. Peppermint applied to the intestines can soothe gas and an upset stomach. Lavender oil (Young Living’s) can be swabbed in the mouth or nose for allergy symptoms. As you can see, EOs can be inhaled, applied topically with or without a carrier oil, or ingested, but be careful which oils you use for this!
Tomorrow I’ll talk about why I chose Young Living specifically. Do you have experience with essential oils? Do you have questions for me?
Disclaimer: All opinions made above are my own and not necessarily reflective of Young Living or others associated with Young Living. I am an Independent Distributer. These statements and sources have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Please seek guidance from your doctor before incorporating anything new into your diet.
Sources: see links above in addition to Esoteric Oils page about oil history, Young Living Oil Lady, Dr. Myhill’s website in reference to infections, Baby Steps website’s intro to EOs, Heart-Centered Sharing by Vicki Opfer . Photo cred: google search “essential oils in history” and Young Living’s website.