These oils don’t just smell pretty, my friends! If you are new to essential oils, you probably know by now that they smell AMAZING. You may have used them as household cleaners, or to improve the appearance of your skin in beauty recipes. Maybe you dabbled a bit with cooking. What you may not know, is that they are powerful healing tools. Step-up your Wellness Game with Essential Oils and learn how to use essential oils for wellness!
I’m going to start off by saying that I am not a doctor or a nurse. Just a normal mom who has been using essential oils with her kids for over six years. All of my statements in this post are based on opinions and personal experiences and are not intended to be interpreted as medical advice. Please do your own research, and do what you feel comfortable with for you and your family.
Part of learning how to use essential oils effectively for wellness involves changing your mindset about illness. Illness is a reaction. An immune response to a stressor. Illness is a cue that your immune system has kicked into gear.
I truly believe that our bodies were perfectly designed. Whether you are looking at it from a spiritual standpoint or a scientific one, our body was built to restore itself.
I have witnessed essential oils do amazing things. They are the first thing I reach for when I need support. Although I do have some over-the-counter products in my home, they are typically my last-ditch effort. Got a headache? Grab some peppermint. An itchy bug bite? Purification it is. Dealing with seasonal allergies? Lemon, lavender, and peppermint. I could go on and on.
When you change your mindset about illness, your reaction to these common afflictions changes. Essential oils, along with proper nutrition and supplements, are part of this mindset.
History of Essential Oils as Medicine
Essential oils have been used throughout history. There are Chinese manuscripts and Egyptian hieroglyphics that point to the ancient use of these precious liquids. Essential oils are referenced in multiple places in the Bible. Frankincense and myrrh are well-known examples of essential oils in the Bible.
Since the beginning of time, people have used plants to support their health. There simply was no other option. And people survived. For thousands, and thousands, and thousands of years. Modern society now views essential oils and homeopathic remedies as ‘alternative medicine.’
Plants as Medicine
Most people know by now that eating more nutrient-rich vegetables will improve overall health. Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber that your body needs to function properly. Increasing your vegetable intake will lower your risk of developing certain diseases, including cancer.
Vegetables nourish our bodies in different ways. Not all vegetables have the same nutrients or even the same chemical makeup. If you are trying to improve your health with vegetables, you would select vegetables that contain the exact nutrients that you are lacking. For example, spinach is high in iron and potassium. Just like vegetables, essential oils interact and respond to the body’s unique chemistry.
Properties of Essential Oils
Essential oils are volatile mixtures of chemical compounds. They are separated into groups of terpenes, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and other oxygenated compounds. They are broken down further into constituents. These constituents have properties that make them distinctive. You can read more about the chemical makeup of essential oils here.
The essence of the plant is preserved and carried into the essential oil. For example, limonene, found in citrus oils like lemon or orange has anti-viral properties. Linalol, which is in lavender, has a calming effect. Melaleuca alternifolia, or Tea Tree, has antibacterial and antifungal properties from the terpene terpinen-4-ol, making it a good choice for the skin.
As you start to learn more about the properties that make up essential oils, you can begin to approach ailments more confidently and effectively.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are three primary ways to use essential oils:
- Aromatic – inhale essential oils straight from the bottle, add to a bowl of warm water and breathe in, or diffuse essential oils into the air with an ultrasonic diffuser. The act of inhaling essential oils can help your body calm, relax, or get energized.
- Topical – many essential oils also carry with them benefits for our bodies when applied to the skin. Good locations include the forehead, back of the neck, wrists, spine, and feet. *Always dilute essential oils until you know how your body will react to an oil.
- Internal – add to a glass of water, or take in a vegetable capsule. Essential oils are many times a better alternative than dried or fresh herbs and flowers since they are more concentrated and last longer. You only need about 1 or 2 drops. *Only essential oils with the Vitality label are considered safe for internal use.
Best Essential Oils for Wellness
There are certain essential oils that I reach for when dealing with a sick kiddo, or when I am under the weather. Luckily, you can find several of these oils in your Premium Starter Kit. Read my recommendations and tips for each of these powerhouse wellness oils:
Lemon has been used in home remedies for centuries. It contains the constituent limonene. Lemon has antiseptic properties and may act as an immune stimulant. Apply diluted lemon oil on the spine when you aren’t feeling like yourself. Diffuse lemon to purify the air and boost immunity. Add 1- 2 drops of Lemon Vitality to a cup of water to support healthy immune function.
One of the oldest known scientific records dating back to the 16th century BC, the Ebers Papyrus, contains references to Frankincense. Frankincense, or simply Frank, contains boswellic acid, which may help reduce inflammation. Its properties are considered immunostimulating, making it a good choice when you are not feeling like yourself. Apply frankincense directly to the feet, chest, spine or wrists. Frankincense Vitality can be taken internally as a dietary supplement.
This unique essential oil blend was inspired by the legend of 15th-century French grave robbers who formulated a special blend to ward off sickness. Thieves Vitality taken internally can support a healthy immune system and may contribute to overall wellness. Thieves contains an array of immune-boosting oils (Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary), which makes it both a powerful and economical blend. Apply diluted Thieves topically to the spine and feet, and diffuse it frequently and in close proximity.
The Chinese used Cypress essential oil in home remedies to lend support to the digestive and respiratory systems. The key constituent in Cypress is the Alpha-Pinene terpene, giving it antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It can be used to soothe a cough and minor chest discomfort. Inhale Cypress directly, diffuse it in your home, or apply it to the chest and neck. *Take caution if pregnant or nursing.
Oregano is a common ingredient in Italian cooking, but it has medicinal uses as well. A member of the mint family, oregano has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It contains high levels of the compounds carvacrol and thymol, which make it effective for bacterial infections and reducing oxidation. Apply oregano directly to the skin with a carrier oil, or take Oregano Vitality in a vegetable capsule to promote wellness.
It’s no coincidence that Thyme was mentioned in three of the earliest published books on medicine, Ebers Papyrus, Hildegard’s Medicine and De Materia Medica. The key constituent in Thyme is Thymol, which has antifungal, antispasmodic, and antiviral properties. Thyme may be beneficial at eliminating certain bacterias. It is a key ingredient in Listerine mouthwash and is effective as a food preservative. Apply Thyme topically at a 1:4 ratio. Thyme Vitality is available for internal use.
Like Thieves, R.C. Essential Oil blend is unique to Young living. It is a combination of spruce, cypress, and three types of eucalyptus oils (E. globulus, E. radiata, and E. citriodora). It packs a lot of punch! Young Living doesn’t specifically say what R.C. stands for, but many believe it stands for Respiratory Congestion. It is great for opening up the airways and providing respiratory support. Diffuse 4-6 drops of R.C., or apply it diluted to the chest.
There are over 700 varieties of Eucalyptus, but Young Living carries just three as essential oils; Eucalyptus Radiata, Eucalyptus Blue, and Eucalyptus Globulus. The key constituents are slightly different, but they all contain high amounts of 1,8-Cineole or Eucalyptol. Eucalyptol is anti-inflammatory and may support healthy respiratory function. Eucalyptus Radiata is much milder in scent, making it a good choice for everyday use. It is also found in several blends like Breathe Again, Thieves, Raven, and R.C. Add 3-4 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata to an Epsom salt bath for a restorative soak.
Frequency of Use
Essential oils are not a one-and-done type of product. In order to maximize the benefits, you need to use them frequently. Essential oils can penetrate the layers of skin and make it into the bloodstream, but they don’t stay in the body very long. The time they stay in the body is dependant on the chemical makeup of the oil.
For example, lemon may leave the body in as little as 40-60 minutes, while peppermint may stay in the bloodstream for up to 120 minutes. If using essential oils topically to alleviate symptoms, it would make sense to re-apply them every 60-90 minutes to increase the benefits of the oil.
Other Ways to Stay Healthy
Essential oils are just one piece of a healthy lifestyle. There are just a few of the products that I use to boost immunity and keep all of us feeling our best:
- Probiotics – there are strong links between gut health and overall immune function, so a high-quality probiotic should be part of your daily routine. I like Biokult since it does not have to be refrigerated, which makes it great for travel. Young Living also makes a probiotic called Life 9 that I highly recommend.
- NingXia Red® – NingXia is a beverage unique to Young Living. Packed full of antioxidants, it helps energize the body and may contribute to overall wellness. The base of NingXia Red is wolfberries. It also contains plum, aronia, cherry, blueberry, and pomegranate juices and extracts.
- Cod Liver Oil – like fish oil, cod liver is high in omega-3 fatty acids. I prefer cod liver oil due to the added benefit of vitamins A and D. It may help reduce inflammation in the body. I like this brand here.
- Epsom Salts – in addition to helping you relax and unwind in a warm tub, Epsom salts have numerous therapeutic properties. Epsom salts contain magnesium, which can be depleted by stress. Increasing magnesium in the body may help with muscle recovery and ease inflammation. Epsom salts are also perfect for adding essential oils to water since they act as a carrier to disperse the oils into the water.
- Vitamins C, D, and B – although I try to get as many vitamins as I can from the food I eat, I do incorporate these vitamins into my daily routine, and increase the dose if I am feeling unwell, especially vitamin C. Young Living has a wonderful line of supplements, most that are eligible to redeem for Essential Rewards points.
Interested in learning more about the therapeutic brand of essential oils and products discussed in this post? Find out more here.