1. Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO) :Pros: RMO is a company offering top quality oils without the MLM model which means they’re reasonably priced, many oils are safe for internal and external use, great customer service, and the company provides customers with scientific information regarding the components in every batch of every oil (gas chromatography)! RMO offers rewards points on every order, monthly specials, and free shipping!
Cons: They don’t carry the type of cedarwood I use, nor do they currently hold community events.
2. Young Living (YL) :
Pros: This company was my “first love”. YL offers top quality oils, safe for internal and external use, no membership fee if you buy a kit, and free membership for life thereafter. Members are eligible for rewards based on purchase amount, whether or not they have a monthly order. Finally, I love their lavender; it’s grown right up in Utah. I hope to visit the lavender farm one day.
Cons: MLM structure means higher pricing, costly shipping.
3. DoTerra (DT) :
Pros: DoTerra offers top quality oils many of which are safe for internal and external use. They’re a nice oil community with local events. DoTerra is fusing essential oils with the medical world opening all over the US, which is awesome! I love their peppermint and cedarwood oils!
Cons: MLM structure means higher pricing, no free shipping, rewards are only available for auto ship. Even after kit purchase, you’re required a $25 yearly fee to maintain membership (you receive a bottle of peppermint oil which is $20, but peppermint is so strong that bottles usually last us several years).
Let’s begin with ingestion. Ingestion of essential oils usually entails placing a few drops into an empty capsule and ingesting. It’s through this method the greatest amount of oils reaches the bloodstream, 95%. Oils may also be diluted in a bit of honey and taken that way. For example, for a sore throat, I mix thoroughly a drop or two of clove oil with honey and swallow it.
Inhalation is the second most effective way to introduce essential oils into the bloodstream, 50% with a personal inhaler and 30%-70% with a diffuser. This is best achieved through diffusion. Inhalation offers the longest lasting aromatherapeutic effects. Examples of this method and it’s uses are diffusing peppermint for a headache, or frankincense for meditation.
Topical application is the third most effective method of introducing essential oils into the bloodstream, 5% to 10%. Topical application is best for skin troubles such as eczema, scrapes, or sunburn. For the most part the essential oils must be diluted appropriately. I’ve found a lot of misinformation regarding topical use, for example someone encouraged me to use lemon essential oil on an acne spot. It’s actually the citric acid found in lemon juice that exfoliates dead skin; lemon essential oil is cold pressed from the rind and does not contain citric acid. That said, examples of topical usage include applying diluted lavender oil to a sunburn, and using a bit of myrrh on cracked skin. For the most part you won’t be applying essential oils undiluted to your skin, which brings us to our next topic, dilution.
When I first began using essential oils I applied them neat, which turned out to be a major mistake for my delicate skin (as well as my sense of smell, essential oils are strong!). Thankfully, I learned thay diluting essential oils helps with their efficacy in three ways: dilution lessens chances of adverse reactions and sensitization of the skin, increases the surface area affected by the essential oils, and prevents the oils from evaporating too quickly.
Another way in which dilution greatly benefits the user is the obvious economical advantage of using less essential oil. The preparation used to dilute the essential oil is called a carrier. Lets review some dilution basics.
For best topical absorption, essential oils work well when diluted with a fragrance free lotion. Most commonly they’re diluted with various butters or oils which also work well.
When using essential oils in the bath, they should first be diluted in a bit of castille soap, a shower gel base, or a bit of oil before hitting the water.
When making a room spray, essential oils should first be diluted by filling your spray bottle halfway with rubbing alcohol, then add an equal amount of distilled (never tap) water. Shake it up and enjoy.
Dilution rates can be tricky, especially for those of us with sensitivities. The simplest equation I’ve found is to measure drops of essential oil against a teaspoon of carrier oil, lotion, or soap. With the exception of treating a cut, scrape, or toothache (I apply oils neat for these), I’ve experienced the best results with 2% dilutions.
Robert Tisserand, a longtime aromatherapy expert, recommends the following dilutions. They have served me well.
Facial application: 1% dilution-one drop per teaspoon of carrier.
Daily topical use on the body: 2% dilution-two drops per teaspoon of carrier.
Treating temporary symptoms: 3% to 10% dilution- three to ten drops per teaspoon of carrier.
Lavender is the crown jewel of my oil collection. If you want to begin with one oil, I strongly recommend lavender. Lavender is the go to oil for cuts, sunburn, and other skin irritations. Lavender reduces healing time and lessens discomfort. I recently learned of a study where lavender was helpful for many with migraines. I also love diffusing 3-5 drops at bedtime for relaxation.Peppermint:
Peppermint oil is something we use frequently. When I have a headache, I immediately place a few drops of peppermint in the diffuser, and rub one drop into my scalp. Peppermint hasn’t worked on migraines but takes the edge off while waiting for your medicine to kick in. Since discovering peppermint, I have never taken medicine for a high fever, instead I topically apply peppermint.Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is an old classic for breathing that can be diffused for a cold, or allergy season.
Citrus Oils (lemon, lime, orange):
I love citrus oils. They are emotionally uplifiting, and make great air fresheners. They’re also pretty inexpensive. Citrus oils have a way of enhancing and lightening the scents of stronger oils. I love adding citrus oils when diffusing frankincense and cedarwood. Citrus oils also blend wonderfully with mint essential oils. Be wary of using some on your skin as they may increase photosensitivity.