I have been working with medicinal essential oils for almost 10 years, since 2012. I began learning about medicinal essential oils with an intensive weekend workshop. And since then, I’ve been using them regularly and gaining my own personal knowledge and wisdom from hands-on experience and use.
[I’m not a doctor or an expert and I don’t claim to be. I’m a human being with experience and this is my own wisdom that I am sharing with you. Also, if you are the kind of person who needs proof in order to buy into something, I totally understand. My partner is like that and we go in circles about this topic. Although, I’ve already had him research Lavender and Turmeric and he’s found scientific studies to back up both substances. He’s still not convinced, but that’s his choice. Still, if you need that kind of proof, go online and knock yourself out. Do what you gotta do, I totally get it. But I’m not going to give you that here. I’m going to give you powerful, anecdotal information from my 10 years of personal experiences with using essential oils.]
LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST EPISODE
THE WAY MEDICINAL ESSENTIAL OILS ARE DISTILLED
This is actually quite a complicated process. So when in doubt, I defer to visuals created by other human beings who know more than me…
“Steam distillation is the most common way to extract aromatic compounds (essential oil) from a plant. During the steam distillation process, steam passes through the plant material. The combination of heated steam and gentle pressure causes the essential oil to be released from microscopic protective sacs. As the vapor mixture flows through a condenser and cools, it yields a layer of oil and a layer of water. The essential oil rises to the top and is separated from the hydrosol (floral water) and collected.”–doTERRA
See, I told you it was complicated. But so cool, right!? What I love most about this process is the purity of it. Aside from the actual crazy contraption, we’re literally dealing with three components in order to arrive at medicinal essential oils: plant material + water + heat. Nothing more than that. And when you do your research, and purchase essential oils from quality companies who distill oils with care, you have yourself an incredible gateway into the deeply divine healing powers of nature.
A BIT ABOUT DOTERRA
Before I get into my feelings about doTerra, I just want to share a little price comparison I did. I compared two of the exact same oils. One is from doTerra, and one is from the place I like to purchase my oils from.
• 15ml of Bergamot is $46.67 on the doTERRA website
• 15ml of Bergamot is $24 on the Stillpoint Aromatics website
From what I understand, doTERRA uses Wellness Advocates who sell doTERRA products on their own and kick back a percentage to doTerra. And since doTERRA also sells their oils retail, perhaps that is why the retail price is so high. I really don’t know and think that paying that much money for a small bottle of oil is too much. Twenty-four dollars is more than enough to pay!
They’re amazing at blending oils and I would use doTERRA for that reason only. When I have inhaled some of their blends, they really do smell delicious and like nothing I’ve ever smelled. And I’m such a sucker for that. But, otherwise, I don’t see the reason for that high of a price. And doTERRA just seems a bit trendy to me.
STILL POINT AROMATICS (NOT SPONSORED)
I have always used Stillpoint Aromatics for my oils. They are based in Sedona, AZ, and I believe it’s led by just one woman, Virginia Joy, and her team. She sources oils from all over the world. And she ensures they are “either certified organic, wild harvested, unsprayed, bio-dynamically farmed with the rhythms of the earth and or vintage.”
In general, you can distill your own oils, but it’s not practical and very limiting. Most essential oil companies source from all over the world, because you can only get certain plants in other countries. So, it’s the essential oil company’s job to establish trusting relationships with the farmers from all over the world. And then we just have to trust in the oil company’s ability to establish and maintain trust with those domestic and global farmers.
This website also has amazing information about each oil, including uses and benefits, and the emotional energetics of each. Their prices have also always been very reasonable, as far as essential oils go.
Keep in mind, if you want to purchase an insanely precious oil like Neroli, you’re not going to find it in its purest form for cheap. The more rare and precious the flower, or for instance, if the harvest window of time is only a few days out of the year, then the price will be incredibly high. And should be. The price on Stillpoint for a 15ml bottle is $279! Be suspicious if you find a neroli oil for less than that. And know that it will have been diluted by carrier oils and will not be in its purest form. Which means, it will be less powerful and/or effective medicinally.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIGH QUALITY MEDICINAL ESSENTIAL OILS AND GROCERY STORE ESSENTIAL OILS
Essentially (hehe), medicinal essential oils are the purest form of essential oil. And anything less than that will have been diluted with a carrier oil. Carrier oils are neutral oils such as olive oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, etc. And they are often combined with the pure medicinal oils as a way for oil distributors to save money and spread their product a bit further. When you purchase oils of this quality, they might smell nice and be okay to use for perfume. But the medicinal effectiveness will just not be there. You can use the whole bottle on your body. But since it’s diluted, the power will be missing. However, ten drops of the real stuff will get you pretty far, so it’s worth the price in my opinion.
In general, most medicinal essential oils are not actually very oily, unless you get a very viscous oil like Vetiver, which is super thick like tar! But most medicinal essential oils are kind of watery. And some fly out of the bottle really quickly, almost quicker than water. So, that’s another indicator of the quality of oil. If it’s really oily, it’s most likely been diluted with a carrier oil. When in doubt, read the labels before you purchase in a store.
I spent years thinking hydrosols were silly and a waste, and have only now begun to become a bit obsessed with them. Yes, they are less powerful in terms of concentration than the medicinal essential oils. But they are imbued with the same plant material as the essential oils. Hydrosols are just the gentler, watered-down version. And in many ways, this version is often more appropriate for certain things.
For instance, I don’t recommend putting any medicinal essential oils directly on your face, with some exceptions. They are too powerful and if they get in your eyes, they can really sting. You can also have all kinds of intense skin reactions by applying medicinal essential oils to your face. However, hydrosols work as AMAZING toners. I have been using Elderflower hydrosol on my face for months now. And it’s been giving me this added layer of moisture that I could just not get with any other products. It’s also keeping my face really clear and balanced looking. I’m obsessed!
Hydrosols are also amazing to spray on yourself or into the air before meditation, or when you need an emotional charge or boost. It’s true, these uses are more for luxury, pampering, and comfort, than they are for healing. However, on the Stillpoint website, they recommend you ingest small doses of Elderflower hydrosol to keep your immune system strong. So they still very much have incredible healing benefits. I personally don’t recommend ingesting concentrated medicinal essential oils (although you probably could, and some do). But, if you are curious about ingesting essential oils, hydrosols are much gentler and can still be very effective.
If I learned nothing from that workshop back in 2012, I learned about safety. Essential oils don’t work the way other substances do. And basically, if you get something in your eye, or if you have a negative reaction on your skin, water is the last thing you want to apply.
Think of water and oil and what happens when you put them together. They separate and ultimately repel one another. So, if you have oil on the surface of your skin, and apply water, the oil is going to want to go in the direction opposite of the water on top of your skin. So, the only place it has to go is then deeper into your skin, away from the water. Instead, when you have a skin reaction, you want to apply a carrier oil, like olive oil, to the affected area. And this will in fact dilute the intensity of the essential oil, and the reaction will slow down and eventually cease.
Also, in general, always keep essential oils away from mucous membranes.
ESSENTIAL OILS AND EMOTIONS
I have less experience with this, but I don’t discount this benefit. I have learned over the years that essential oils really do communicate. And it’s important to take the time to develop your own relationship with them. I have built trust with a handful of oils, and I feel like I know them really well. I know their personalities and I know what they have to give. And I also think they know me pretty well too!
Essential oils are the life force, the blood essence, the innards of nature. And I truly believe in the power of them. I also believe these are high vibrating entities (in terms of MHz).
“The measured frequencies of essential oils have been shown to go as high as 320 MHz as seen with Rose oil! Lavender has a frequency of 118 MHz and Sandalwood has a frequency of 96 MHz. Oils entrain the cells of the body to increase their vibratory rate…To put this frequency business into perspective, dead foods such as hamburger and chicken have a frequency of 3 to 5 MHz; raw almonds vibrate at 50 MHz; living greens such as broccoli and wheatgrass have a frequency of 70MHz. Living greens, herbs and botanicals capture light from the sun and that light or ‘life force’ is held in the molecules.”–Nuworld Botanicals
These concepts of MHz and vibrational energies can be found all over the internet, so feel free to explore. Or, do what I do, and try using medicinal essential oils, and take notice if you feel better!
PRACTICAL USES AND APPLICATION
Another thing to remember is application. Applying oils directly onto your skin ensures that the oils are entering into your bloodstream more effectively. I learned in my 2012 workshop that it’s best to imagine that if you add ten drops of oil to your skin, you’re probably absorbing about five drops into your bloodstream. Some will remain on the surface of your skin, or rub off, etc. I’m not sure if this is true or not. But in general, I typically add about five to ten drops to the affected area, with some exceptions.
An exception would be that when I had a huge cystic blemish on my face, I added ONE drop of carrot seed oil and ONE drop of lavender fine to the zit. I did this throughout the day for one day. I’m telling you, this zit was deep and it hurt! Without treatment, a cystic blemish like this would have taken about two weeks to fully heal, at least. And within 24 hours, my deep and disgusting blemish was basically gone!
PS I got the blemish several days after experimenting with makeup, something I NEVER do! Read more about it in my article, “My Soul Crumpled A Little When I Tried Wearing Makeup.”
24 hours #notevenkidding #notphotoshopped
It’s also best to drop the oil directly onto the affected area, when possible, rather than put in your hand first, for the same absorption reasons. However, I will put oils in my hand first if it’s too awkward to reach otherwise. It’s really no big deal. This also goes without saying, but I’ll say it. Once you have the oil on your body, RUB IT IN! They are very runny for the most part. So, rub it into your skin immediately so the oil remains in the area you are concentrating on.
When I want to intensify the effect of an oil, and I have already determined that this oil does not irritate or burn my skin, I will apply before a shower. I allow the oil to rest on my skin for a few minutes before entering the shower. And sometimes I do actually feel some burning or tingling once I’m in the shower, depending on the oil, but I actually like that.
Unfortunately, whatever oil you put on your body will make you smell like that for hours. And some of these oils can really stink. They will make your clothes stink as well, but it comes out in the wash. This is another reason why I like to apply oils before a shower. Because I get the benefits of the oil, but then I can wash off the surface of my skin before I get out, knowing that most of the oil has already been absorbed. Then I don’t stink all day. But sometimes, maybe you wanna stink??
MY DAILY / WEEKLY / MONTHLY GO-TO MEDICINAL ESSENTIAL OILS
These are my go-to oils that I keep in constant supply. They are all affordable and I never purchase any oil that costs more than around $30 for 15ml. They last for months, depending on how often I’m using them.
I share more about my go-to oils in my article, “My Top 8 Favorite Essential Oils.”
- ORANGE OIL AND BERGAMOT OIL: for digestion, abdominal cramping
- CARROT SEED OIL: for skin issues, burns, blemish spot treatment, cuts, also anti-fungal (use on feet and toes)
- TURMERIC OIL: intense anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, use on lower back, stiff joints, perfect before shower, super stinky
- ROSEWOOD OIL: smells amazing, good for heart issues, panic, anxiety, heart palpitations, apply directly to center of chest with some lavender oil and try to relax
- CYPRESS, RAVENSARA, LAVENDER OILS: I used them all on my chest during the flu, naturally suppressed my cough for three-hour intervals when cough medicine was not working. Amazingly healing and immune boosting
If you are sick with a cold or a flu, and/or your immune system has been weakened, use any and/or all of these oils to boost your immune system. I haven’t been sick for years. Is it because I’ve been using medicinal essential oils for years?? Anyway, when I was sick, I would apply every oil in my arsenal to my gut/abdomen area to keep my immune system strong.
When I’m feeling low energy, or emotionally low or negative, I will often use oils for an emotional and/or energetic boost. Or, when I just want to connect with nature indoors, or want to pamper myself a bit. Again, I like to do this before a shower.
I intuitively grab a bottle. Often I can’t even see the label. And I open the cap and inhale, while asking the oil where it wants to go on my body. I will usually instantly get a sensation, or my awareness will come to a certain area of my body. And I trust this is where the oil is meant to go. If I don’t have any insight coming to me, it might mean that now is not the time for that oil. But that almost never happens!
Wow, this was a long one! And I’m very impressed by my comprehensive knowledge, aren’t you?!
Have you ever used essential oils? What has been your experience? Did you learn something from this article? I certainly hope so! xo
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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash
Essential oil distiller photo obtained here