Getting started with Essential oils
Getting started with essential oils can be a little overwhelming and intimidating. There are so many choices when it comes to buying, blending and the best way to use essential oils. I am writing this post to share my experience and let you know what I use in my life.
I first got into essential oils years ago while in massage school when we were learning about aromatherapy. I used to get insane headaches and I started using a homemade peppermint and coconut oil salve around my temples and neck. That grew into me learning a bit more about oils and making room sprays, perfumes, cleaners and face oils. I went a little crazy! As the years went on my schedule got busy and my interest waned. It wasn’t until this last spring when my friend Carolina started telling me how she uses them to clean her home that my interest was piqued once again. She recently gave me a few samples from DoTerra and Young Living and I started using them in very basic recipes. I was once again hooked!
A few things you should consider when choosing oils.
I buy my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. This is the very first place I ever purchased essential oils from and I feel like their company meets all of the criteria that I look for when choosing oils. They are organic, ethically sourced and are fairly priced. I know a lot of people who purchase oils from companies such as Young Living but, I personally have mixed feelings buying essential oils from a multi level marketing company. However, I know people who love their oils and feel they are wonderful.
When choosing a company to purchase your oils from don’t get caught up in the words “therapeutic” grade, “clinical” grade, or “aromatherapy” grade. Those are marketing terms. You really need to read about the company, their extraction process and look at the oils they sell.
Authentic oils should have the common name AND latin botanical name, origin-country, batch or lot number, plant part, and some have an expiration date listed. You should be able to find this information easily on their website, the literature sent with your order and some such as the batch number on the bottle.latin botanical name, origin-country, batch or lot number, plant part, and some have an expiration date listed. You should be able to find this information easily on their website, the literature sent with your order and some such as the batch number on the bottle.
Certifications and Associations
When I began researching companies, I would look to see what associations they belonged to and certifications they hold. In the US, the NAHA is one you will see often. Here are some of the common certifications to look for: USDA Organic Program, Non-GMO Project, Earth Kosher, Fair for Life, Fair Trade, Earth Share, and Carbon Fund. It is becoming more important for me to buy from companies that are organic, believe in sustainability and fair for life practices. You must remember that it takes thousands of pounds of plant material to produce just a bit of essential oil. You don’t want to buy oils from someone wiping out the forest to create more space to grow their crops.
Essential oils can be pricey so, I suggest starting off with just a few and making your blends with 2 or three oils. Make sure you read the ingredients in your blends to avoid buying anything with synthetic oils, which have no therapeutic benefit. One of my Favorites is Neroli but it is over $68. dollars for 1/8 of an ounce! Bergamot – Citrus Bergamia, is another favorite and right now is priced $16.50 for 15ml (1/2 oz.) at Mountain Rose Herbs so if you see it somewhere for 5.99 you should just pass. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. On that note, it is important to remember that essential oils are very potent and just a few drops go a long way. Your initial investment may seem steep but, is definitely worth it as they will last a long time.
Blending is an art!
I recommend starting with a recipe or blending only two oils at a time. I can’t tell you how many times in my past that I decided NOT to follow a recipe and made my own creation and it smelled horrible!!! The wonderful thing about essential oil blending is that when you mix several oils together it can enhance their effects and become more powerful therapeutically. When I see that my kids are getting stuffy noses and headed for a cold, one combination that I like to diffuse is tea tree and eucalyptus while they sleep. This combination not only smells great but, helps loosen the mucus so they can cough it up. Yuck! Another fun thing to try is, look at some of the oils and lotions being sold in your favorite stores. Check the ingredients and see if you can make something similar!
Storage & Carrier Oils
If you are going to create your own blends, you should store your oils in dark glass bottles, not plastic. I have also heard that you can put them in aluminum containers but, I have never done that.
Essential oils must be stored out of light and away from heat. Some essential oils are toxic when taken internally and they can burn your skin if used undiluted topically. Tea Tree oil is the only oil I have dabbed undiluted on bug bites and pimples. Some of my favorite carrier oils for diluting essential oils are jojoba oil, coconut oil, rosehip oil and kukui oil. Rosehip oil and kukui nut oil both absorb easily into the skin, and are packed with wonderful vitamins and antioxidants. I have used both in the past in homemade face oils and they left my skin feeling super moisturized. Jojoba oil is another favorite, when I worked as an esthetician I would often use this on clients skin.
If you are a fan of Aveda’s old beautifying oil formula which contained jojoba oil as the main ingredient, you can attest to how luxurious jojoba feels on your skin! (the new formula is made with soybean oil. ) Coconut oil is another great option and is available at your local supermarket. I would stick to organic cold pressed. I would not put this on your face because in my experience it is very greasy.
Right now, I am really into diffusing my oils. Here are some of my favorites in case you are looking to buy a few staples to begin your essential oil journey!
Sweet Orange: Citrus Sinensis
Orange is said to be an antifungal and antibacterial and when used in aromatherapy helps to alleviate anxiety, depression and boosts immunity. I use this in the diffuser. The sweet smell is very uplifting and refreshing.
Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus Globulus
Eucalyptus is a home staple! It has a strong camphoraceous woody smell that I love. I use this in the diffuser mixed with other oils and will occasionally put some drops on a washcloth in the shower and let the aroma fill the room. It is perfect for when you are feeling stressed! I also use Eucalyptus in the diffuser in my kid’s room if I see that one is getting the sniffles.
Eucalyptus is said to be good for, Easing aches and pain, improving focus, combating fatigue, and when added to facial products, tones oily acne prone skin.
Lavender: Lavandula angustifolia
Lavender is another staple, it has a wonderful floral sweet aroma.
I use this one primarily in the diffuser and will sometimes spray my son’s pillows with a homemade room spray. Lavender is good for soothing skin, promotes restful sleep, acts as an antiseptic, and freshens the air.
Tea Tree: Melaleuca Altennifolia
Tea tree and Eucalyptus smell similar and I often use them together in many blends. Tea Tree is the only essential oil that I will use without diluting. If I see a pimple coming on or if my sons have a bug bite that is bothering them, I usually just dab a drop on the skin. I have also occasionally mixed tea tree in my face wash and even in shampoo. It has a tingly sensation that feels really refreshing. Tea Tree is known for Boosting Immunity, Fights skin infections, controls acne, combats oily hair and dandruff.
Bergamot: Citrus Bergamia
Bergamot has a citrusy smell and is known for being a good pick me up aroma. It is said to be effective against depression, eases anxiety and boosts mood. I used to use bergamot in massage oils because of its citrusy smell. I’ve noticed many natural health companies also use bergamot oil in their perfumes and deodorants.
Combinations for your diffuser
6 drops Eucalyptus + 4 Drops peppermint = Headache relief, sinus issues.
3 Lemon + 2 Lavender+ 1 Bergamot = Relaxing and refreshing
4 Peppermint +3 Eucalyptus +3 Tea Tree = Congestion.
3 Sweet Orange + 3 Drops peppermint + 3 Bergamot = Pick me up
Let me know what some of your favorite oils are and how you use them! I am always looking to learn more and create new blends! Click Here to get this pretty printable I made for you!!