Learning about essential oils can be overwhelming and confusing. I so appreciate the people who have been helping me learn about the wonderful health benefits of Young Living Essential Oils. "Essential Oils Made Simple" was written by Esther Phillips, and is a great resource. She breaks things down into the following sections:
Why We Need Essential Oils
From ancient times people have recognized the healing properties of plants. In the modern era this knowledge has aided scientists. Their understanding of the chemical makeup of plants has helped them to recognize scientifically why particular plants have the healing properties they do.
Using this chemical knowledge scientists have been able to isolate and create synthetic medicines which replicate those chemical components. But this synthetic copying of nature has had serious repercussions. These synthetic drugs are very often themselves responsible for dangerous side effects. Because they are used primarily to address symptoms rather than the root causes of ailments, they are unable to cure of solve health problems.
The reason that synthetic drugs which copy plant compounds have side effects and are often dangerous is because the drug is made by isolating and then synthesizing a single chemical compound. In nature a plant has a highly complex chemical structure—so complex that it cannot be duplicated in the laboratory.
The hundreds of chemical components found in a plant all contribute to its healing effects. These chemicals balance each other and work together synergistically in a way that is safe, healing and has better results than synthetic drugs. However, the catch is that pharmaceutical companies cannot patent a naturally according product. For instance the herb valerian cannot be patented but the drug Valium can.
Not only have isolated synthetic drugs made toxic what nature made benign but their misuse has been the cause of a medical crisis. The antibiotic ability of many plants comes as part of their whole synergistic chemistry, as mentioned above, but it is also part of a very complex molecular structure. However, once that structure is isolated and then produced synthetically, the resulting antibiotics have a relatively simple molecular structure. Because of the simplistic structure of these synthetic imitations, bacteria can build up a resistant strain with a fairly simple mutation. Hence we find the development of bacterial strains which are now resistant to all antibiotics. By contrast, the molecular structure of plants, and particularly their oil, is so very complex that it would be almost impossible for bacteria to become resistant to an antibacterial essential oil. This is why recent research has been focusing on the use of essential oils in the treatment of Super Bugs like MRSA.
Moreover, synthetic drugs, including antibiotics, actually repress and weaken our immune system. Synthetic antibiotics are indiscriminate. They kill all bacteria including the beneficial bacteria which we need to stay healthy. When this good bacteria is destroyed by synthetic antibiotics our bodies become vulnerable to other bacterial infections, virus infections and yeast infections. Anti-bacterial essential oils from plants, on the other hand, are intelligent and discriminating. They only target the pathogenic bacteria.
Why Essential Oils Are So Powerful
Essential oils are the most concentrated form of the healing components in pants. They are the ‘blood’ of the plant and transport the chemical components needed to feed, nurture and repair the cells of the plant. Because of this, the essential oil of a plant has from 100 to 10,000 times more potency than the plant itself. When the oils are extracted from the plant, they are far more powerful than if the plant was dried.
The constituents of any given essential oil will be determined by: (A) the parts of the plant from which the oil was extracted, (B) the condition of the soil in which the plant grew, (C) the climate, (D) the altitude, (E) the way it was harvested, (F) the time of year it was harvested and (G) the way it was distilled.
Finally there are different medicinal or therapeutic properties in plants of the same name depending on their chemical constituents. For instance one type of basil is more powerful as an antiseptic while another is more powerful as an anti-inflammatory.
Why Essential Oils Are So Versatile
The chemistry of essential oils is extremely complex. Lavender oil contains about 200 different chemical constituents. It is because of this that essential oils have multiple healing properties. The amount of each component will determine which oils are better suited for which application and use. There is an incredible variety of plants, each with hundreds of different chemical components and each yielding different and versatile therapeutic affects. Moreover, when the correct oil is used, and if the oil has been harvested so as to maintain the true therapeutic quality of the plant, it is so concentrated that very little oil is required. One drop of essential oil contains 40 million-trillion molecules!
The versatility of the oils is further seen by of their broad and convenient use. Assuming that you are using the highest grade of essential oil, it can be inhaled, ingested or topically applied. Because essential oils have such a small molecular size, the molecules can penetrate through the skin and into the bloodstream and from there into every cell of the body. Also when diffused in the air oils have the ability to break down harmful airborne pathogens. By virtue of their complexity they do not disturb the balance of the body; in fact, oils seem to work intelligently and in synergy with the body.
Why All Essential Oils Are Not Equal
Essential Oils are affected by many factors. In order to benefit from the therapeutic properties of medicinal plants, it is absolutely essential that the oils you use actually have the therapeutic 2 chemical constituents in them. However, only 2% of the essential oils that are produced have therapeutic grade quality.
Most words can be used in the sales industry without qualification. The words ‘100% Pure’ or even ‘therapeutic’ on a bottle of essential oil DOES NOT mean that the bottle contains all the vital therapeutic and medicinal chemical components that true ‘Therapeutic Grade’ oils do. In fact, in the USA the FDA has determined that a product need only contain 5% of the ingredient on the label to be pure.
True therapeutic grade oils are produced from the first distillation only. Many companies distill the same plants two, three or four times, but each time the potency is significantly reduced even if the smell is maintained. The temperature and time of distillation is also vital to harness the full chemical potential of the plant. Large batches distilled at high temperatures using maximum pressure have almost no therapeutic properties left, though the desired fragrance will be obtained and the product will be less expensive. Further, different plants require different distillation procedures according to the unique chemistry of that plant.
The plants themselves need to be of the highest quality, grown under the strictest methods and in the best conditions. The soil must be virgin and uncontaminated by chemicals. The plants have to be harvested at the right time of year (and often even the right time of day) when the desired chemistry is at its optimum. Then the plants need to be distilled straight away before the therapeutic properties can be reduced through time and travel. Because of this, the distilleries need to be on the farms and the batches need to be small.
Finally all the oil batches need to undergo rigorous testing and analysis to determine if the batch contains the chemical compounds it should. Hence tests such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry need to be applied to all oils before sale and if any oils fail the standards for therapeutic grade oils they need to be discarded. For instance lavender grown in one region might have slightly different chemistry than that grown in another region and so may not meet the standard. Or it may have been distilled when it was too green and so the chemical constituents are not at the correct levels. Or it may have been harvested at the wrong time of day so that the oil may be ‘pure lavender oil’ but not meet the therapeutic-grade standard.
Unfortunately, most of the oils sold in health food stores are low-grade oils. Also many of them are not only inferior to therapeutic-grade oil, but also adulterated, as synthetic-made compounds are used to extend the oil. These compounds are colorless and odorless and potential toxic.
It is absolutely vital that you only ingest essential oils that meet the rigorous standards I have outlined above. Also, any oils produced without these standards will NOT contain the medicinal potential of the plant and should not be used to treat any health issues.
Why You Can Afford to Buy Essential Oils
The question then arises, ‘How can I afford these high grade oils?’ It is obvious that the types of oils that will be of therapeutic benefit to you and so be worth your while to buy will be the oils that are more expensive. I recently investigated a company claiming to rival to Young Living (the company we represent). Their prices were somewhat cheaper, though not significantly. One of the testimonials said that though one particular oil blend was comparable to Young Living, she had to use much more of the oil to gain the same effect. When the standards of excellence that Young Living require are met, the oils not only work more efficiently but you need to use less of them. One drop can penetrate every cell in the body.
When you begin to find out all the uses for essential oils, it can actually help you save money by reducing reliance on over the counter drugs and, in some cases, medication. This means that essential oils are not only the healthier option but may also be the most economic option. Instead of heading off to the doctor you will learn how to use essential oils for infections, insect bites, headaches, travel sickness, indigestion, sprains, cuts, bruises, etc., without having to resort to synthetic drugs with side effects. Even antiseptic creams for cuts undermine the body’s immunity, while antibacterial hand sanitizers kill all the healthy bacteria living on the skin which protect us against other infections and actually help the skin to heal when there is any kind of injury. By destroying healthy microbes as well as the pathogens, we lower our overall resistance to germs. Instead of buying all the pills, creams and antibacterial soaps and sanitizers from the drugstore you can transfer that money into buying an essential oil pharmacy.
In addition to this, there are many other wonderful uses for essential oils which will help you reduce toxic chemicals in your life and home. This will help raise the quality of your overall health as you stop buying products that contain the toxic and hormone disrupting chemicals found in cleaning products, personal care items and air fresheners.
Why We Are Here to Help You
There is a lot of information here to digest, a lot more to discover, and an overwhelming amount of oils to investigate. Questions such as: How do I use the oils? How do I find out which oils to use? What do I do if I get the oils in my eyes or on sensitive skin? (Don’t use water to dilute! Use vegetable oil or cream) What types of topical application are best? Which oils can be ingested? How many drops to use at a time and for how long?
All these questions need to be answered. And that is where we come in. We are here to help you discover the wonderful, healing, uplifting and revitalizing world of essential oils. We are here to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can. We are here to support you and encourage you as you begin your journey. We do this because we have experienced the amazing benefits and healing properties of essential oils for ourselves. As parents we are excited to find ways to maximize the health of our children and to reduce the effects of toxins in their environment—we hope to share that enthusiasm with you. We have a website where we post our experiences and the experiences of others and seek to educate and inspire.
Because we care about the therapeutic quality of the oils, we want you to have absolute confidence that we promote those oils which meet the standards of true therapeutic grade medicinal quality oils. Only one company meets these standards – Young Living. You cannot buy Young Living oils in a store. Because it is important to learn how to use the oils, Young Living expects its distributors to educate those who purchase their oils. Therefore, you, the customer will have a network of resources to help you use the oils effectively and you will not feel alone as you find out about their many uses.
It is worth it!
The most efficient way of buying the oils is to become a wholesale member of Young Living. This membership enables you to buy at wholesale prices and you are only required to purchase $50 a year to maintain membership status. The membership fee comes with a start-up kit (we recommend the one with an assortment of the most used oils called, Start Living with Everyday Oils) to help begin your new adventure discovering the wonderful benefits of the different oils.
We will be your go-to person as and when you have questions. You will find that Young Living essential oils become a way of life. As they take over the products you have been used to buying, you will want to take advantage of the Essential Rewards Program in order to save money, gain points towards free products and, who knows, start your own business distributing oils too!
Both being a wholesale member of Young Living, and participating in the Essential Rewards Program, puts you under no obligation to sell the oils to others. In order to purchase products at wholesale prices your title will be ‘independent distributor’, but the option of introducing others to Young Living is just that: OPTIONAL.