Essential Oil Basics

What is the big deal about essential oils anyway?  Everyone seems to be talking about them and you can find them in every store you enter from your local dollar store to upscale retail stores.  Essential oils rocked my world several years ago and we have been using them as our go-to medicine cabinet ever since.  If you think essential oils just are for smelling nice, you may be surprised to learn they have quite a lot of medicinal properties and by their very nature, are effective and safe to incorporate in to your every day life. 

A variety of plants cover the Earth in different shapes, sizes, colors, and scents. Many of these plants contain compounds that typically can’t be seen with the naked eye—they hide within the roots, flowers, seeds, bark, or other areas of the plant. These compounds are known as essential oils. They are highly concentrated, making them extremely potent. Also referred to as volatile aromatic compounds, essential oils give a plant its aroma, protect it from harsh environmental conditions and insects, and even play a part in plant pollination.

When you hear the word “volatile,” you may think it holds a negative connotation; however, in the case of essential oils, volatility refers to a substance’s ability to change its state quickly. The chemical makeup of volatile aromatic compounds in essential oils allow them to disperse quickly through the air. This is why you can instantly smell the potent aroma of an essential oil from the moment you open the bottle—even from a distance. 

As volatile aromatic compounds move quickly through the air, you will experience the scent when the compounds interact directly with sensors in the brain. With over 3,000 types of volatile aromatic compounds discovered so far, it is important to note that these compounds greatly determine the benefit, aroma, and nature of each essential oil. Because of unique chemical makeup, each essential oil will vary from species to species, and even from plant to plant. The delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in any given essential oil are what make it unique and give it specific benefits. 

Essential oils offer a variety of benefits, and each individual experiences essential oil use in their own way. Fortunately, the diversity of essential oils makes them a helpful way to maintain health, even for those who have specific health concerns, seek diverse health benefits, or experience sensitivity. Using essential oils for health benefits has become popular because it allows the user to tailor the experience to their specific wants and needs, rather than settling for a generic solution. 

Now don't be fooled!!  Of course NOT all essential oils on the market today are created equal.  On the contrary, typically the essential oils for sale in stores have been adulterated in one way or another, either because of the process used to get these fragile compounds in to the tiny bottles you can buy or because someone has added a carrier oil of some sort.  Many times it is difficult to detect this adulteration too, so please be careful.  If an essential oil bottle says "do not place this ON or IN your body" or "for aromatic use only" then you should be leary.  If it is not safe to put on your skin you should be thinking hard about what sort of chemicals or synthetics the company used in the bottling process.  

I only trust companies who are transparent about what is in their oil bottles and that is why I trust doTERRA so much.  If you look at every single bottle, there is an expiration date and a batch number on the bottom of each bottle.  If you go to and click on "Quality Reports" you can see all of the testing done on that particular batch and can see all of the chemical compounds making up that essential oil.  doTERRA hires a 3rd party to test every batch to ensure quality.  doTERRA is the only company to offer a Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oil.  This certification from a 3rd party that you can easily look up to determine purity is what sets this company apart.  

Nature has so many perfect solutions for our bodies found in the aromatic compounds in plants.  doTERRA captures those solutions for you and I to use so we can support the bodies of ourselves and our families.  What a gift for sure--the name doTERRA means "Gift of the Earth." 

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