WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds created by plants to protect themselves from environmental threats and attract pollinators.
They’re found in the roots, seeds, bark, resin, rinds, leaves & flowers of plants, and are in fact more like water than oil. They're the reason for the scent of many flowers, herbs and spices. When you brush past a lavender plant, it is the essential oils being released that creates the fabulous fragrance. The same thing when you peel an orange, the essential oils in the rind are released.
Plants can't move like us so they need an effective way of protecting themselves from predators, as well as pests and diseases. This is where essential oils come in. They are effectively the immune system of the plant. They can deter pests and predators with their anti-microbial/bacterial/viral properties. These plant powerhouses can also help the plant heal from infection and physical injury.
These incredible oils can also help us in the same way.
Because the chemical composition of DNA in plants and people is practically the same, essential oils can also support the human body in the same way they support plants.
Using essential oils for their medicinal and fragrant properties is not a new thing. We’ve been using plants to heal for thousands and thousands of years. With the rise of many diseases being linked to the cocktail of toxic chemicals we are exposed to every day in our daily lives, in the environment, cleaning products & skincare, people are once again turning back to nature.
A friend introduced me to dōTERRA essential oils when I was pregnant with my little boy. It was divine timing as I had become even more conscious of what I was putting into and onto my body. I wanted to support both of us in the most natural way I could. The oils got me through my labour and are now a staple in our house for everything from helping us get to sleep, breathe when we’re blocked up or lift our spirits if we are feeling down! We use them every single day.
HOW CAN THEY HELP ME?
Essential oils can help your:
These incredible plant oils are the essence of the plant. The term 'essential oil' actually comes from the Latin quinta essentia - the quintessence of the plant.
"It is because essences are organic that they tend to work in harmony with the body. Very often they have a ‘normalising’ action. Whatever the problem, they will tend to bring the body back to normal. They have an ability to adapt to the needs of different bodies and different people.”
They can help you physically, mentally & emotionally come back to balance by:
So you can use them to stabilise your emotions, calm anxious feelings and to help motivate or relax you depending on you or your family's needs. Find clarity, calm, focus and happiness. Who couldn't do with more of that in their life?!
They're not only good for energising you, clearing your mind & helping you overcome everything life throws at you. You can also use them as non-toxic cleaning & beauty products, to promote sleep, to boost immunity and to manage your weight! Er yes please to all of that!
“They are non-invasive to the human body because we and they are made of the same material. They enter and leave the body with great efficiency, leaving no toxins behind.”
Valerie Ann Wormwood
The Fragrant Pharmacy
Their amazing versatility means you don't need to buy multiple products. With a Natural Solutions Kit you have in your hands the non-toxic, natural and holistic answer to pretty much all of you & your family's medicinal, cosmetic, household and therapeutic needs. You can create a safer, healthier home with dōTERRA sustainably sourced essential oil enriched products.
Pretty powerful hey!
How do they work?
HOW DO THEY WORK?
How does smelling a delicious scent have all those effects on my body and mind?
Because they react with chemical sensors in the olfactory system of the brain - the part that regulates our sense of smell.
This part is connected to the limbic system, which stores all your memories and emotions. This is why a particular smell can take you right back in time to a specific memory.
This same part of the brain has a gland called the amygdala, which has a big part in storing and releasing emotional trauma. Your sense of smell can stimulate this gland, so essential oils can be a powerful tool in the gentle unlocking and releasing of emotional anguish.
The limbic system also includes the hypothalamus, responsible for autonomic nervous system and our hormones, and the cingulate gyrus, which regulates blood pressure, heart rate and attention.
So when you breathe an essential oil in, the scent travels through your nose into these parts of the brain that then trigger physiological responses. These responses can alter and improve our moods & body chemistry.
WHY IS THE QUALITY SO IMPORTANT?
Because the benefits to us are completely determined by the chemistry of the plant and the potency of the chemical compounds. Put simply:
The therapeutic value of the oil extracted from the plant is hugely dependent on the time of day or year it is harvested, the part of it’s lifecycle at harvest time, the geographic location (not all soils are created equal), altitude and the weather.
It is the synergistic effect of all these complex chemical components in a plant that create their therapeutic value. This chemistry can be affected by a lot of different factors.
These compounds are always moving around the plants depending on the time of day, the season and the life cycle of the plant. In order to harvest the best quality oil the optimum growing environment for that particular plant is necessary, this is usually where they're indigenously found.
Did you know that some essential oils are adulterated with contaminants and synthetic fillers? Often mixed to bring the price down, these oils have no therapeutic value. Using these low-potency oils means you won't gain the full natural benefit of the plant, and in some cases they can pose serious health threats.
Essential oils aren't cheap. This is due to various reasons, one being the huge amounts of plant parts used to create certain oils. Two of the most expensive oils on the market are rose and jasmine, also two of my favourites! The reason they're so expensive is that it takes 60,000 roses to produce two tablespoons of rose oil. As for jasmine, the flowers must be hand picked the day they open, before the sun becomes too hot. It then takes eight million jasmine blossoms to produce 30ml of oil!
When you roll that jasmine oil on your neck, you can appreciate it even more knowing what it took to create this beautifully scented oil.
higher purity + potency = more effective
dōTERRA = GIFTS OF THE EARTH
I've chosen to align with dōTERRA (which translates to gifts of the earth) to not only buy oils from but to create a business sharing them with you. They are a truly incredible company that go to great lengths in order to make sure they stand alone as the sole provider of the highest quality essential oils in the world.
As a mama who uses essential oils on her toddler this makes me feel totally reassured that they are safe to his health.
dōTERRA works closely with a global network of leading essential oil chemists and growers to select botanicals of the correct species, grown in ideal environments, and carefully harvested at the right time to assure the presence of the oils’ active compounds at the right levels. The aromatic compounds of the plants are skilfully extracted by experienced distillers and subjected to chemical analysis to ensure purity and composition.
Many oils claim to be therapeutic grade, and some may be pure, but few are subjected to rigorous testing standards for chemical composition. dōTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade essential oils are cross tested using Mass Spectrometry and Gas Chromatography to ensure both the extract purity and composition potency of each batch. You can access this information for each bottle of oil as they have a serial number on, which you can trace back for full transparency. No other company does this.
Their values, the lengths they go to source the best plants and produce the purest oils in a sustainable way, and their integrity in giving back to the communities they work with through their Co-Impact Sourcing and their Healing Hands Foundation make it a beautiful company to partner with.
I really love that dōTERRA are a heart-centred, value led company who work closely with environmental bodies and research institutes in making sure the plants are grown and harvested in a sustainable and ethical way. I am so proud to partner with dōTERRA.
THE STORY OF FRANKINCENSE
Did you know frankincense cannot be harvested until the tree is 15-20 years old? Harvesting the resin is very labour-intensive and the whole process takes four months and can only happen twice before the tree needs to rest for a year. A cut is made into the bark, just enough to let the resin seep out. The harvesters then have to wait between 15-30 days for the resin to harden. It must stay in the cut until it is dry to stop insects from entering in. If a tree is cut too many times without adequate rest it will die.
Frankincense trees are considered sacred by the native landowners and the resin a gift. It is so highly sought after in the poor communities of Somaliland, Oman and Ethiopia where these trees are found, that there are poachers who will ignorantly and unsustainably harvest the resin, irreversibly damaging the tree in the process.
dōTERRA work directly with the APRC (Aromatic Plant Research Centre) and a dedicated Frankincense Preservation Team headed by Dr. DeCarlo to ensure best practices are followed with regards to sustainability and forest protection.
Their frankincense is a blend of four different Boswellia species to ensure pressure is never placed on one species alone. They have also invested heavily in research, supporting and developing nurseries and propagation projects to ensure sustainable harvesting practices and are acknowledged as being one of the few private sector companies that actually care about environmental stewardship.
As part of their Co-Impact Sourcing initiative dōTERRA work directly with the communities who work with these trees. They cut out the middle man so the wages go straight to those who need it the most. They provide well paid jobs with payment throughout the year, not just at harvest time, to prevent the illegal and damaging harvesting. This year round access to money and food significantly reduces the over-harvesting by desperate impoverished people.
dōTERRA also provide critical facilities for the local people. To date through their Healing Hands Foundation they have funded two boarding schools and one community health centre (the only one in the region) to the frankincense communities.
The labour-intensive way that frankincense is harvested is one of the reasons it costs £50+ a bottle. Please question anyone selling it for less as it is very likely it has been harvested unethically and unsustainably.
This is just one example of why I have chosen to align with dōTERRA and vote with my money for environmental stewardship. To vote for an ethical company that helps these communities protect their sacred trees for generations to come to be able to enjoy the incredible properties of this plant. To vote for a company whose mission is to bring wellness through essential oils to every home. This is happening whether that is through you buying a bottle of frankincense directly or indirectly through these initiatives to help the families who grow, harvest and sort the plants.
If you are interested to hear more about how dōTERRA sources their plants check out Source to You for more inspirational stories!