What are Essential Oils?
They are the most powerful part of the plant. They are distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, fruit, rinds, resins, and herbs.
In humans they provide support for every system in the body:
- Endocrine and Hormones
They are also used for emotions and spiritual support in prayer life. Oils can be used to soothe or calm. Essential oils can also be used as an alternative to toxic cleaning chemicals in the home. You can start swapping out every single chemical cleaning toxin in your home to live a purer lifestyle.
How do they enter and how long do they last?
Tests have shown oils reach the heart, liver, and thyroid in three seconds when inhaled; they were found in the bloodstream in 26 seconds when applied topically. Expulsion of essential oils takes three to six hours in a normal, healthy body.
I, like many others, used to buy my oils from health food stores, Wal-Mart, or online. Anywhere they would have a bottle for $4. Unfortunately in the US there is no rating system for essential oils and the closest we get is an FDA requirement that if the label says “pure” or “therapeutic grade”, the contents of that bottle must contain at least 5% essential oil.
There are 4 categories to essential oils: Grade A, Grade B, Grade C and Grade D
- Grade A is therapeutic, made from organically grown plants and distilled at low temps
- Grade B oils are food grade, but may contain synthetics, pesticides, fertilizers, chemical extenders, or carrier oils.
- Grade C oils are perfume oils that often contain adulterating chemicals. They usually use solvents, for example, hexane, to gain a higher yield of oil per harvest. Solvents can be cancerous, and are in many store bought oils. They may also be diluted 80-95% with alcohol.
- Grade D is called “floral water,” which is aromatic only and is usually a byproduct of Grade A distillation. After all the oil is pulled out, the leftover trash water is sold to companies which will fill 5% of the bottle with this “leftover trash water” fill the rest with carriers, and label is “pure”.
Grade A is the only true pure oil. Before you purchase, check to see if the company grows their own plants, owns their own fields, and controls the entire process from Seed to Seal. Pesticides, pollution, previously farmed land can all affect the quality of an oil.
WHY DO OILS COMPANIES SELL OILS MORE CHEAPLY?
To save money. If you spray your crops with pesticides, you have more crops to distill. If you use a chemical solvent to extract the oil, you pull more out. If you dilute it with a carrier oil or cheaper oil, you stretch the oil you have distilled. Most essential oils are sold more cheaply because companies cut corners.
HOW OILS ARE MADE
Just to give you an idea:
- 60 thousand rose blossoms provide only 1 oz. of rose oil
- 220 lbs. of lavender will provide 7 lbs. of oil
- Jasmine flowers must be picked by hand before the sun becomes hot on the very first day they open, this making it one of the most expensive oils in the world. It takes 8 million hand-picked blossoms to produce 2.2 lbs. of oil
- A sandalwood tree must be 30 years old and 30 feet high before it can be cut down for distillation
ARE THEY SAFE?
There are certain oils that are photosensitive, meaning you don’t want to wear them and go outside. These are mostly citrus oils, like grapefruit, lemon, etc.
When using on your skin, always watch for redness and dilute with carrier oil. Dilute oils on children, because their skin is more permeable and absorbs the oils more quickly. What is a carrier oil? It’s a fatty oil like olive or coconut oil, and its molecules are much larger than those of essential oils. Using a carrier oil with an essential oil slows down the rate the body can absorb the essential oil, because it has to ping pong through the large molecules of the carrier oil to get into the skin.
Be careful with putting oils topically near your eyes. Some oils, like peppermint, can cause a burning sensation. If you are placing an oil near your eye, apply the oil to a q-tip.
Take a look at the ingredient list of what you have in your bathroom. Every day we put products on our skin, in our body, and breathe them in, but many of these products contain damaging chemicals. The average woman applies over 300 chemicals a day to her body just through soaps, makeup, shampoos, and hair care products. 80 of those chemicals are applied every day before breakfast!
If you’ve never purchased an essential oil before I’m here to help guide you on the top 10 essential oils, their uses and benefits. I must emphasize the fact that the quality of essential oils is the most important aspect when choosing which brand to go with. If you’d like to know what I use and how to get involved send me a private message on Facebook and let’s connect!
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