What is an Essential Oil and How Do They Work?
The chemistry of essential oils is absolutely fascinating. They are the life force of the plant they are derived from! When they are distilled properly, essential oils have the ability to do for us what they do for the plants.
Essential oils can help support our physical, mental and emotional well-being by triggering and strengthening our bodies’ own natural processes. They are made up of tiny molecules that can deliver restorative properties to the systems that control our physiological state. The molecules of essential oils are so small, so efficient, they have the ability to affect every cell in your body in 20 minutes, and then be metabolized like other nutrients.
Like I said, the chemistry of essential oils is fascinating, so for the science enthusiasts out there, here are some fun facts just to make your brain happy!
Essential oils contain oxygen molecules that help transport nutrients to the human cells that have been damaged, compromised, and drained of nutrients. Because a nutritional deficiency is essentially an oxygen deficiency, disease begins when the cells lack oxygen for proper nutrient assimilation. By providing the needed oxygen, essential oils also work to stimulate the immune system.
Essential oils are very powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent mutations, work to protect against free radicals, prevent fungus, and prevent oxidation in the cells. Our body does create antioxidants on its own, but not enough to keep up with the damage we do to our cells via toxins and disease, much less the natural aging process. Supplementing with nutritionals high in antioxidants is a very wise health choice, and essential oils are extremely antioxidant!
There are two main groups of constituents that make up the chemistry of an essential oil. They are hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds. These are further subdivided into sub-groups: Monoterpenes, Sesqueterpenes, Phenolics, Alcohols, Esters, Aldehydes, Ketones, and Oxides. The unique chemical makeup of each essential oil gives it the ability to work on a cellular level, support our body systems, and encourage healthy function the way that God intended.
How to use Essential oils?
I know what you’re probably thinking… “That’s all good and fine, but when I get my oils, what do I DO with them!?” There are many ways for the body to absorb the therapeutic components of Young Living essential oils – inhalation through the olfactory system of the nose, absorption through the topical layers of our skin, and with the Young Living Vitality line of oils, you can even ingest internally.
Internal – Yes, Young Living essential oils are safe to take internally! Swallow them, drink them, cook with them. Young Living has an entire line of essential oils that are labeled for internal use – the Vitality line! Still a pure, Therapeutic Grade essential oil that we know and love just simply labeled as a supplement to keep everything straight with the FDA.
Capsules – you can purchase veggie capsules from Young Living (or at a local health food store) for the times that you could benefit from taking an oil internally.
Add to food or drink – just make sure you are using either a glass or stainless steel container. Essentials oils know the difference between natural and synthetic and can eat through plastics or styrofoam. Even if it’s not apparent, it could be leaching toxins from the plastics…and then you would be ingesting them – yikes! Kind of defeats the purpose.
Drop under tongue – is one of the fastest methods to get all the essential oils benefits into your body.
Topical – Essential oils can be applied either neat (undiluted) or diluted with what is called a carrier oil. A carrier oil is a fatty oil such as organic olive, coconut, grapeseed etc. that is used to ‘carry’ your essential oils. The larger molecules of a carrier oil will slow the absorption rate down, allow the essential oil to cover a greater surface area and also create a somewhat “slow release” effect.
Not only can you apply essential oils directly to the site of concern, you can also use VitaFlex points of the feet, hands and ears to access specific areas of your body. VitaFlex is an ancient healing methodology brought to the U.S. by Stanley Burrows. It means ‘vitality through the reflexes’. It is similar to reflexology. Your skin has a piezoelectric property, meaning pressure induced electricity. The pressure comes from the fingers. A rolling motion of the finger pads, tips and nails, creates the stimulation similar to how an electric switch or circuit works. The technique is applied to the various reflex points of the body.
When it comes to applying essential oils topically, we love the bottoms of our feet! The bottoms of your feet have large pores so the oils absorb rapidly, are typically not sensitive, and are where many of those VitaFlex points mentioned above are located. When in doubt, apply to the bottoms of your feet!
Aromatic – Place a couple of drops in an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser which disperses tiny particles into the air via a fine mist. Not only does the use of a diffuser make your home smell lovely, but unlike synthetic fragrances and scented candles – you and your loved ones will experience therapeutic benefits.
Place a drop into your hand, rub them together and cup your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe in the aromatic vapors for 3-5 minutes.
Breathe straight from your bottles…even if they are empty! This is a very cost effective way of utilizing every last bit of your precious oil. A bottle could last nearly forever!
When inhaled, molecules of essential oils immediately go to the olfactory (smell) part of the brain, and then to the limbic (emotional part of the brain) system to work in the emotional area of our bodies. It has been scientifically proven that emotions and illness are closely linked. Our eyes, ears, tongue and sense of touch are all wired so that their messages pass to the brain via the reasoning cortex first. The nose, however, is wired differently. It connects directly with the limbic brain such that one’s response to an aroma is going to be emotional before it can be rational. Therefore, because inhaled oils directly affect the emotional seat in our brains where traumatic memories are often stored and because oils can release cellular memories stored anywhere in the body, they can be of great value in helping us clear ourselves from the unconscious, hidden emotional patterns that control our lives!
Frequency of Oils
One of the most amazing ways that essential oils work is because of their frequencies! Now stay with me, this is not some weird ‘woo-woo’ frequency vibe thing. I am talking about actual measurable scientific frequency that every living thing has. Every organ in our body has a specific frequency – a healthy state frequency – and these frequencies are lower when we are experiencing disease, fatigue, and illness. It is known that by keeping our body’s frequencies at the correct levels, our organ systems and immune system work at a more optimal level. When 2 frequencies that are the same come together, it harmonizes or ‘evens out’ the frequency wave and improves that living thing’s function. Just smelling a high frequency oil can raise our frequency up after we have lowered it by consuming dead or acidic food! We now know that the frequencies of certain oils are the same as certain organs, which explains why they have been used for centuries to support that organ’s system! Pretty cool, right?
Frequency is a measurable rate of electrical energy that is constant between any 2 points. The difference between essential oil frequency and the frequency of light (or television, telephone, microwave) is these electrical AC frequencies are incoherent, chaotic frequencies. They fracture the human electrical field. Essential oils, on the other hand, have a coherent, harmonic DC frequency, and so they are harmonious with the electrical field of the human body. Studies show that negative thoughts lower our frequency 12 MHz. Positive thoughts raise our frequency 10 MHz. Prayer and meditation raise our frequency on average 15 MHz.
Essential oils start at approx. 48 MHz (Melrose) and range as high as 500+ MHz (Idaho Blue Spruce).
Processed food has a frequency of 0 MHz
Fresh produce: 15 MHz
Dried herbs: 12-22 MHz
Fresh herbs: 20-27 MHz
Healthy human body: 62-78 MHz
Unhealthy human body: <59 MHz
Dying human body: 20-25 MHz
Essential Oils Work with all our Body Systems
We all have the end goal of living a healthy and happy life above the wellness line! Unfortunately for many of us, that means a starting point of below that line. Below the wellness line with things like illness, pain, medicine, and stress. The GOOD news here is that your body was designed to be healthy. Oils consists of over 100 different natural organic compounds. In the human body, they provide support for every system of the body; such as… your skeletal system, muscular system, circulatory system, endocrine system, your hormones, respiratory system, immune system, digestive system, limbic system, lymphatic system, nervous system, reproductive system, and hopefully I didn’t miss a system. 😉
I did some research on essential oils and different companies. I’d like to share with you what stood out the most to me during my time learning about what is important when choosing an essential oil company.
Purity, quality, and integrity. – There seem to be so many essential oil companies these days, but what sets Young Living apart is the purity and commitment to quality.
Young Living produces and guarantees 100% therapeutic grade oils, which is vastly different from the perfume grade oils that you can buy at the local health food store. Did you know that essential oils in the store only need to have 5% real essential oil in the bottle? As long as that 5% is one oil, they can name it 100% pure. The other 95% is synthetic smells, alcohol, fillers and chemical ingredients. For me it defeats the purpose of buying essential oils in the first place.
Young Living is the only company that owns its own farms. Because of this they have the Seed to Seal® guarantee. Being able to go to their farms and being able to see the entire process, puts you at ease. You know what you are getting is right.
Young Living’s process is called Seed to Seal®, which means they have control of the product from the soil and seed to the time it is bottled and sealed. These steps are taken in order to promise 100% pure oils without additives, fillers, synthetics, or oil that is just void of the constituents that benefit our bodies.
Do your research, know the company you want to get your essential oils from. I started my research back in 2014, and I know there is no other company I rather be with.
History of Essential oils
Essential oils may seem like a new health trend, especially with major retailers carrying varieties of fragrances labeled as “essential oils.” The common misconception that essential oils are a new health fad is so far from the truth! The use of essential oils made from herbs, grasses, trees, and flowers dates back all the way to the ancient world! Essential oils have been enhancing lives for thousands of years in many different cultures, offering a variety of benefits—from cosmetic and dietary purposes to spiritual and religious uses. Essential oils were used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Europeans, and Chinese. In fact, oils are mentioned in many historical texts and are well documented for their uses and benefits in ancient times.
• 3500 BC: First known distillation apparatus developed in Tepe Gawra, located in modern-day northwest Iraq.
• 3000 BC: Legendary ruler Shen Nung publishes a groundbreaking book containing information on more than 300 botanicals and their uses.
• 1470 BC: Queen Hatshepsut, Egyptian ruler, undertakes an expedition to bring back riches from the land of Punt. The greatest of the treasures to return being a grove of myrrh trees.
• 1330 BC: King Tutankhamun is buried with alabaster jars designed to hold the precious essential oils the boy king would need in the afterlife.
• 345 BC: Alexander the Great of Macedonia burned incense during his youth, even being berated by his tutor for his extravagant use of the incense.
• 0 AD: According to the Bible in Israel, wise men visit the Christ child and bring the most precious of gifts, including frankincense and myrrh.
• 100 AD: Pliny the Elder, a Roman historian, writes his natural history describing the use of herbs and essential oils.
• 1000 AD: Physician Avicenna steam distills floral essential oils in Persia, such as rose essence, laying the groundwork of aromatherapy.
• 1930: Dr. Rene-Maurice Gattefossé beings his pioneering research on the therapeutic properties of essential oils, leading to the publication of his aromatherapy book.
• 1980: In France, Dr. Jean-Claude Lapraz conducts indepth research on the beneficial properties of essential oils and their component parts.
• 1985: D. Gary Young begins researching essential oils, which eventually leads to the founding of Young Living.
The Most Popular Essential Oils
Peppermint – Its sharp and herbal aroma is so distinct and refreshing. Peppermint essential oil is very soothing and cooling when applied topically to your skin and is great for body discomforts. Peppermint Vitality™ is very supportive of the digestive system and tastes delicious when used in chocolate treats.
Lavender – Lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils on the planet! It’s one I can’t imagine running out of – we use it for so many things! Lavender is known for being so relaxing. It’s a great oil to diffuse aromatically for a calming and soothing aroma. I love putting a few drops on my pillowcase before bed. A nice relaxing soak in the tub with Lavender essential oil and epsom salts is a real treat! Do you ever find yourself needing some additional seasonal support? Try adding a drop of Lavender Vitality™ essential oil to your daily NingXia Red®!
Lemon – Lemon Vitality™ essential oil enhances the flavor of your favorite drinks and many foods. Not only used for its vibrant flavor, but also for its many body system supporting and detoxifying qualities. Lemon is also a great cleaning companion.
DiGize – DiGize™ essential oil has a very spicy and rich aroma. It’s very soothing when rubbed topically over your belly! DiGize™ Vitality™ is ideal for supporting the digestive system when taken internally. Keep a bottle of it with you at all times, so you’ll have it on hand when you indulge in rich or heavy foods!
Citrus Fresh – Citrus Fresh is a zesty blend of Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Mandarin oils with a hint of Spearmint. It is a perfect replacement for chemical-based home fragrances! Say bye-bye to toxic room sprays, wax warmers, and candles. Just combine a few drops with distilled water in a spray bottle and spritz throughout rooms and closets and over linens. Diffusing this blend invites a positive energy to any room and it can also be incorporated into your beauty routine for smoother and more radiant looking skin
PanAway – Spicy and minty – PanAway™ has an invigorating aroma! Apply PanAway™ to soothe tired muscles. Apply it to the back of your neck for a refreshing aromatic experience. PanAway™ is blended with Helichrysum oil, which has many skin-supporting benefits.
Frankincense – Frankincense is an amazing essential oil with many historical and Biblical ties! It has a very grounding and earthy aroma, and it’s one of the best oils for healthy skin support. Frankincense Vitality™ is very supportive of multiple body systems such as the immune and respiratory systems! This oils is used for everything, and a quick google search will have you amazed.
Raven – Raven™ is a blend that includes Ravintsara, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus Radiata. It can be beneficial when rubbed on the chest or as applied to the bottoms of the feet. When diffused, the aroma is very invigorating and creates a cooling sensation. Many people like to apply it to their chest before exercising
Stress Away – It’s all in the name! Use this oil liberally when the normal stresses of everyday life creep up. Stress Away™ essential oil is amazing when used during a neck massage and it has an incredible aroma that men and women both love to wear as a cologne!
Thieves – Thieves® Vitality™ supports a healthy immune system. This is a use daily, never run out oil. For life! Whether it is daily prevention, or extra support when you’re below the wellness line. Plus it smells like Christmas! Thieves® is a blend of Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lemon, and Clove. These familiar aromas give it a warm and homey smell! Since Thieves® is SO powerful and effective, Young Living™ has made an entire line of Thieves® products! The Household Cleaner and Cough Drops might be my favorite!
Valor – A deep blue blend of Black Spruce, Camphor, Blue tansy, Frankincense, and Geranium that smells amazing. It’s not too sweet or overpowering. Many inhale or wear it to boost their courage, confidence, and self-esteem. Many people use Valor before a presentation, going to an event, or engaging in nerve-racking activities like flying, or every day to feel confident in your own skin. This is also great for kids who are worried about attending school, playdates, or being around others.
Peace and Calming – Peace & Calming is a gentle, sweet blend of Ylang Ylang, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Blue tansy and is one of Young Living’s most popular essential oil blends. Apply to wrists and inhale, or diffuse it when you are feeling on edge. Perfect to use during your children’s bedtime and for yourself after the house has settled down.