Let me just get one thing out there, I’ve never considered myself to be the crunchy type. You know, crunchy? Granola. Wellness. Hippie. I’ve always sworn by my handy Lysol wipes to kill germs. Women’s One-A-Day is my go-to multi-vitamin. I exercise regularly. And as a general rule, I avoid sweets. To me, that has always been the epitome of health. Any further than that, sounded just a little extreme. Did you know that homemade almond milk is a thing? Who has the time…and send some my way!
But then *cue the unfortunate turn of events in our story* I was diagnosed with PCOS & have been dealing with those lovely symptoms ever since. For many reasons, this has caused me to reevaluate everything that I do and why I do them. I want to know that I am doing everything possible to be the healthiest that I can be, not just for me but also for our “someday family.”
Now this has been a PROCESS.
One, there is a lot to learn & evaluate. Just because one person said so doesn’t mean that I’m going to believe it and act on it. I want to know that what I’m doing, all the extra efforts and pains to be health conscious, are actually legitimate & proven. I also believe that all that is really important & manageable by one person may not be as important or manageable to me—that’s ok.
Two, I’ve had to overcome some stereotypes and pride. Like I said, being a crunchy granola person sounded extreme to me. I mean, I’m “normaI.” It didn’t help that just about every wellness oriented person that I’ve ever met was, for lack of a better term, abrasive. I know they meant well, but seriously–any advice came across as frighteningly imperative & condescending; as if I, a full-functioning adult, am clearly incompetent of formulating my own decisions. Nobody likes to feel disrespected or to be told what to do, mmkay. It took me a while to get over that initial introduction to wellness, to realize my own pain points, and actually be open to changing my life around a little.
Today, I may be a bit crunchier but really, I’m just a girl that’s doing my best to take care of myself one day at a time.
I’m dragging you through all that backstory because I’m about to bring up essential oils (aka crunchy people stuff) and I want you to know for a fact, that this anti-crunchy, “normal” (we’re just going to stretch that term a little) girl is completely, 100% serious about it (in a very, non-abrasive way of course). I don’t get into things that waste my time. What started out as wanting to diffuse some nice smelling oils has helped to transform how I see health & has made me feel like I have another amazing tool to help my body do what it’s meant to do.
If you’re like me, you know of Essential Oils—maybe used them a few times, but don’t really understand WHAT they are & HOW a few drops of oil can actually do all the things that all of the crunchies claim. It sounds a little far-fetched at first, I totally admit it. I for one, need to know how things work so that I can decide it it’s something worth investing in.
So, what are Essential Oils anyway?
Simply put, Essential Oils are complex liquids procured from plants. We can access this super liquid during the distillation process (separating the substance from liquid by evaporation & condensation—fancy!) of roots, seeds, shrubs, flowers, leaves, and even trees. You’ll find oils distilled from all sorts of things, like: Lemon, Eucalyptus, Geranium, & Cinnamon Bark. The result is aromatic oil that is easily evaporated, making it easy for the body to absorb & utilize.
How do these oils actually work?
So why bother rubbing on this particular oil rather than say, vegetable oil? First of all, ew. Secondly, the chemistry of an essential oil contains hundreds of unique, powerful, natural chemical compounds that work with our bodies on a cellular level–ultimately supporting all NINE systems of the body. Let’s break it down:
- NERVOUS: all about those nerves & cells
- IMMUNE: keeping that body protected & healthy
- INTEGUMENTARY: skin & nails for dayzzz
- ENDOCRINE: those hormones tho
- MUSCULAR & SKELETAL: you know dis
- EXCRETORY: it’s ok, we all do it
- RESPIRATORY: because breathing is the best
- CARDIOVASCULAR: circulating that blood & transporting those nutrients
- DIGESTIVE: turning good eats into energy, all day errday
(do I refer to Urban Dictionary as much as Merriam&Webster, maybe…maybe not)
Each variety of oil is capable of working with our body in a different way, many offer several benefits. Did you know that within minutes of using an oil, you can find that oil in every organ of your body? Basically, the oil acts a teammate for your body—they work together & quickly!
Not only does this affect us physically but emotionally & psychologically as well—as the oils stimulate our limbic system (the emotional part of the brain).
Ok, that’s pretty legit—how can I use them?
There are THREE ways to use these oils: aromatically, topically, and internally.
Aromatic usage includes diffusion & inhalation. And it’s my personal favorite method; I mean who doesn’t want good smelling things? The most common method is adding a few drops of oil to your favorite diffuser—which helps to distribute the oil via steam in turn purifying your space, neutralizing odors, and getting it into your system. But there are so many other ways to breathe these oils in, like facial steams, diffuser jewelry, homemade candles, and even EO based cleaners like Thieves! If you’re wanting to expedite that oil into your system: rub two drops of oil into the palm of your hand, cup your hands over your mouth & nose, and B R E A T H E deep.
Topical usage is the easiest way to utilize your oils because it’s just rubbing oil on your skin. The oils easily pass through the lipid membranes of your cell walls and are disbursed throughout your body within minutes, making topical use highly effective. You’ll hear a lot of people recommend rubbing oil on your feet—it sounds odd, but your feet have large pores & most of your nerve endings are located there making it an ideal location. When applying topically many oils, not all, need to be diluted in a carrier oil (especially for young children) because they are so potent. The label should convey whether dilution is necessary or not. There are many carrier oils to choose from, I prefer liquid coconut oil. Simply add a little coconut oil—about 1 tsp—to the palm of your hand, add a couple drops of oil, mix & apply. I highly recommend simultaneously asking for a massage. Other creative ways to apply topically include: adding to lotion, mixing up a roller bottle blend, incorporating into your mascara (particularly Lavender), I’ve even heard of adding oil to witch hazel for a DIY facial toner. Mmmm.
Internal usage is a quick way to get those oils to work! Quick word, ingesting oils has been & is still commonly debated. No, many oils are not safe to ingest. But there are certain US FDA classified GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) oils that are safe to consume. In fact, lots (as in thousands) of food products actually integrate EO’s into their recipes for aroma & flavor—now you’ll look at your gum & candies a bit differently, amIright? I only ingest EO that are labeled safe for consumption, specifically Young Living’s dietary oil line: Vitality. My favorite recipes include: peppermint oil & brownies (yes, I’m drooling too), citrus oils in my water, Thieves or Cinnamon Bark in my tea, and herbal oils in my cooking (one surefire way to amp up that spaghetti).
Sold—where can I get them?
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a post or two sharing my love for Young Living. I’m not going to diss all of you Doterra fans. However, there are many reasons why I have chosen to exclusively purchase & distribute Young Living oils, most importantly:
- EXPERIENCE: Young Living has been around since 1994 (I was fresh out of diapers—anyone else?). So that’s over 20 years of research & refining their method.
- VARIETY: They offer more oils than any other company, both single oils & unique blends.
- TRIED & TRUE: They sell first distillation oils only that are rigorously tested both in house & 3rd Young Living is known for being stricter on quality control than any other company—if a batch doesn’t meet their standards, it’s sent back to the farm for use as a natural pesticide not to the shelf for consumers.
- OWNERSHIP: Young Living owns each farm, all of which are open to the public for participation in the harvesting & distillation process.
- SEED TO SEAL PROMISE: Young Living raises the standard for quality oil & remains hands-on throughout the whole process, from cultivating their own seeds to packaging in house.
- ORGANIC: Everything is done organically; even the weeding is completed by hand. All distilleries are equipped with stainless steel & glass tools so that your oil never comes in contact with plastic, which could leech into the final product.
- QUALITY: I have used cheapie brands (found in grocery stores & Amazon) for years because who wants to spend more money on the same oils? Not to throw shade but let’s be brutally honest—those brands use fillers & synthetic products to make production more cost effective. Young Living costs more because it is worth far more—being highly concentrated & pure, meaning they are most effective & beneficial. In bacteria fighting tests, Young Living wins. every. time.
- YOUNG LIVING FOUNDATION: The Young Living Foundation, founded in 2009, is committed to “empowering individuals to achieve their potential and defy limitations by providing wellness and education opportunities to underserved communities.” This is accomplished by personally overseeing projects & working with those in need (as with the Young Living Academy in Ecuador or service trips to Nepal, to name only two current projects) as well as partnering with qualified organizations.
- COMMUNITY: Young Living is community driven—providing amazing support and education for all consumers.
- BENEFITS: You don’t have to be a distributor to enjoy fantastic perks like wholesale pricing, the monthly Essential Rewards program, and FREE goodies. Yup, you read that right: F R E E. Plus, you can buy all the wellness things (diffusers, supplements, household cleaners, make-up, CHOCOLATE, pet treats, & baby goods) from Young Living–not just oils.
- BUSINESS: The distributor benefits & opportunities are absolutely incredible. I have learned so much in the past few months—not just wellness but business—from an incredible upline that are pouring into their teams on a daily basis. Not only are the earning incentives beyond generous (it really does feel like you’re making out better than you should—what job ever makes you feel that way?) but it feels AMAZING to promote products that you want to share (*hint* it doesn’t feel like work). Young Living takes care of their people, plain & simple.
Them’s the facts, folks.
From one half-crunchy, non-abrasive, “normal” girl to another, I wouldn’t lie to you.
If you’re feeling even the teensiest bit curious about all this oily goodness–let’s chat (or you can check out my website)! Whether it’s samples or specials, we’ll get some oils in your hands to start experimenting.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today, my oily friends! Keep your eyes peeled for some favorite recipes over the next few weeks. xx