What is an Essential Oil?
Essential oils are liquid compounds found in in nature – usually plants, but not always – that when extracted properly can have healing effects on people. Essential oils have two jobs in nature.
- They protect the plant from environmental toxins and stressors.
- They are the “life blood” of the plant, and increase oxygen flow throughout the plant.
When essential oils are extracted carefully and properly from the plant, they can actually offer those same benefits to us. The extraction and distillation process of essential oils is very delicate (must be a cold steam distillation process), and actually differs from oil to oil. So if you are looking to use oils for healing (as opposed to just scent), please make sure you use a pure, high quality oil.
How do I know if an oil is pure?
You’re going to really need to poke around! Unfortunately an oil only needs 5% of the actual oil compound in order for the company to label it pure. Many oils in this country are adulterated with synthetic chemicals, or extracted and stored in a way that compromises the therapeutic ability of the oil. Cheaper is NOT necessarily better when it comes to essential oils. So here are some things you should look for:
- Are all oils labeled with their Latin names and country of origin? Example: There are differences between eucalyptus globulus and eucalyptus radiata , and eucalyptus bicostata. So depending on what you want to use eucalyptus oil for, you need to know which one is which. The Latin name will help ensure that you are buying the correct oil. The country of origin is important information because quality can vary by country.
- If all oils carried by a company are all the same price, stay far far away! That is a sure sign that the oils are adulterated, as there is no way a company can offer Rose oil (typically very expensive) at the same price as a lemon oil (typically very inexpensive).
- How are the oils stored? Heat and direct sunlight can compromise the chemical constituents of an essential oil. In order for them to retain their pure, therapeutic properties, essential oils need to be kept in a glass (preferably dark glass) or stainless steel bottles. Oils need to also be in a tightly closed bottle since exposure to air can harm them.
- There are many different forms of extracting an oil, and it varies from oil to oil. There is steam distillation, solvent extraction, and cold pressing. Find out which form is the right one for the oil you are interested in, and call the company to find out if they are using the correct type of extraction.
Because it takes time to find out all the above, it is important to find an essential oil company that you can trust. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to look into all this every time I want to buy an oil. That’s why I have chosen to use Young Living’s essential oils.
Why do you use Young Living’s essential oils?
Here is what Young Living says about their process:
The process Young Living uses when planting, cultivating, harvesting, and distilling a batch of oil is crucial to retaining its vital compounds. Without the exact blend of naturally-occurring plant chemicals, an essential oil can lose its beneficial properties and fail to produce the desired effect.
Young Living Therapeutic Grade (YLTG) means that every essential oil Young Living distills or sources has the optimal naturally-occurring blend of constituents to maximize the desired effect. Young Living is able to make this assertion because of our strict cultivation process—illustrated by the Four Ps—that guarantees the optimal potency of every Young Living essential oil.
An oil’s potency can be affected not only by selecting the proper plant to cultivate, but also by where the plant is grown, the quality of soil in which the seed is planted, and even the time of day it’s harvested.
Young Living has extensive experience selecting the correct species of plant for desired oil potency, planting under optimal conditions, using ideal soil and natural methods to encourage growth, and knowing the precise time to harvest each crop. Only those plants that produce the most active and widest array of therapeutic compounds are selected.
Once the optimal soil, plant, cultivation, and harvesting conditions have been adhered to, the plants must be distilled properly in order to meet Young Living Therapeutic Grade standards. Young Living uses a gentle, proprietary technique for steam-extracting the most potent essential oils, which remains unmatched throughout the essential oils industry.
To meet Young Living Therapeutic Grade distillation standards proper temperature must be maintained throughout the distillation process, and pressure, length of time, equipment, and batch size are strictly monitored.
Young Living Therapeutic Grade standards prohibit the acceptance of any diluted, cut or adulterated oils. Every product Young Living produces—essential oils, oil blends, nutritional supplements, or personal care—meets strict purity standards.
Every batch of essential oils is subjected to rigorous, state-of-the-art analysis at the Young Living chemistry lab. Using some of the most advanced equipment in the world, our scientists subject every batch of essential oils to Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer testing, and heavy metals analysis. Oils that exhibit even the slightest hint of possible adulteration or tampering are rejected.
The culmination of the preceding three stages, Potency means that the naturally occurring compounds contained in each essential oil product are of the highest and most consistent bioactive levels. Without strict adherence to the Young Living Therapeutic Grade standard in the Plant, Preparation, and Purity phases, the final product would not have the necessary potency to create the desired effect.
I have used a number of different oils from different companies over the years. I consistently get great results from Young Living’s oils, and though I am not a huge proponent of internal use of oils, in the rare cases where I would put them in a capsule and swallow them (more about that in a post), Young Living’s oil are safe for consumption.
But I read some weird things about Gary Young online…?
Yup. So did I when I was researching different essential oil companies last year. Most likely some things you read are true, but probably more things are not. But I’ll never know, because I didn’t join Young Living to be buddies with Gary Young and get to the bottom of his personality. However kooky he is, the only thing I care about is that he knows how to make good oils – and even better oil blends! I have tried a number of different essential oil companies over the last year and I consistently get great results from my Young Living oils. But if it’s important to you to only use products from squeaky clean companies with 100% moral and ethical people behind them, you may want to look elsewhere for your oils (and possibly consider moving out of the US since we aren’t exactly known for our, ahem, ethical and moral politicians and leaders). You get my point.
What are the different ways to use an essential oil?
There are a few different ways to benefit from an essential oil. You can open up the actual bottle of oil and breath the aroma in, you can diffuse in a diffuser, you can apply the oil topically, and in some cases even ingest them (but only use an oil that is marked safe for internal consumption).
Can I be allergic to essential oils?
If you are using a pure, high quality essential oil it is high unlikely that one can have an allergic reaction. Pure oils do not contain any proteins, therefore if a rash develops it is more likely that your body is having some sort of detox reaction. If any reaction should occur, lessen the amount or times per day you are applying the oil, and watch carefully. If it is a detox reaction, it will only last a few days and will get better with time. If it a true reaction to the oil (this is VERY uncommon) it will worsen with each exposure.
What should I do if I get an oil in my eye, or if I use an oil meant to be diluted the wrong way and I have a reaction?
First of all, the VERY worst thing to do is to splash water on the place of irritation. Essential oils are not water soluble so the water will have no effect whatsoever. The two things to use would be a carrier oil (oils besides for essential oils. The extra virgin olive oil in your cabinet is just fine) or full fat milk.
Where do I get Young Living Essential Oils?
Since Young Living’s oils are not available in stores, please click on the “Order Oils” tab on the top of the page. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any assistance.