It is encouraging to see that many more people are opening their minds to essential oils. If people haven’t tried them yet, chances are they have at least heard of them. We love meeting people who are on the spectrum from never-heard-of-them to skeptics to avid users to addicts and sharing knowledge, fun facts and recipes on our favorites.
Before we continue with the blog and in case you haven’t browsed our site, we want you to know Rebellious Intl is a passionate advocate of Young Living essential oils. However, the purpose of this blog is not to criticize your choice of essential oils but rather help guide you to ask some questions when making your selection.
One recently occurring trend that is prompting this blog is that many people miss the point of essential oils. Most people get into essential oils because they seek natural alternatives to chemically-loaded products and/ or a proactive approach to maintain physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. However, many people miss the mark and get essential oils that are full of fragrance and/or are diluted.
‘Fragrance’ is a term excluded from the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels. Fragrance is also protected under law as a trade secret. The alarming news about fragrances is that they can be a concoction of more than 3000 chemical ingredients, many of which have not been studied for safety and some of which are known to be harmful to our health.
At a recent event, I talked to a mom who wanted to clearly demonstrate her knowledge about oils. She purchased oils at the store where she worked (no place where you would even think to go search for essential oils) and knew they were good because they smelled good. Ouch! I wanted to cringe; she is using these oils on a child. She refused to hear what I had to say. I encouraged her to check the ingredient list and do some research about the source of her oils.
Here I want to digress to something I told one of my neighbors who is frustrated by her daughter-in-law who prefers to go the Western route with her family wellness. I told her to think from a mom’s perspective. No mom wants to use anything but the best for her family. So, whatever choice she is making, she thinks that is the best. You can only try to tell her otherwise. Some will listen, some will not. What I have found from my personal experience is that some people are simply not ready to dive into an oily journey. You have to let them get to the point of wanting to know. I am not judging that mom. I simply wanted to get her to pay attention to some things that may help her reassess her choice.
Now, first things first – the easy one: check the label. If it has as an ingredient any word like ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’, you may want to let this bottle go (like go to the trashcan). One of my friends, an avid Young Living user, purchased a product that came with a bottle of free essential oil. She felt bad throwing it away so decided to make hand soap with it. The result – the skin on her hands started peeling off. Yes, she did acknowledge she should have known better.
Second – just because an essential oil smells good does not mean that it is pure. Synthetic fragrances are made to smell like essential oils and, since most of our world is full of synthetics, these are the aromas that appeal to us. I challenge you to use pure essential oils for a couple of months and then smell a synthetically-fragranced product. From personal experience, I can tell you it will give you an unbearable headache. Opposed to synthetic fragrances that consistently have the same smell, essential oils aroma may differ bottle to bottle just like the smell of two plans is never the same. So, if your bottles of oil do not smell exactly the same, this may be a good sign. Vice versa is true as well.
Next, I would encourage you to take a look at the Young Living Seed to Seal page simply as an example of an essential oil production process. Seed to Seal is a comprehensive process Young Living utilizes to ensure purity and potency of its oils. The process begins with a potent, clean SEED. Next comes CULTIVATION on Young Living’s own or co-op’d farms, all of which meet sustainable cultivating methods and high standards of operation. After cultivation, the process continues with DISTILLATION in Young Living’s own distillation facilities utilizing proprietary steam extraction or raisin tapping or cold pressing techniques. Each different distillation method aims to preserve the highest potency of the select oil by safeguarding the most of its original constituents. To further ensure oil purity and potency, Young Living performs their own and third party TESTING meeting superior safety standards. Finally, Young Living completes the process by BOTTLING and labeling each oil in its own facility prior to shipping worldwide.
These are critical steps in essential oil production. All of these factors determine the purity of an oil by preserving its delicate aromatic compounds as well as its therapeutic potency. Soil conditions, geography, climate, altitude and so forth all affect plant potency. Additionally, a plant can produce different chemotypes – biochemically unique variants within a species – depending on growth conditions. As expected, starting plants should be free or herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals as these can mix with the essential oils during distillation to produce toxic compounds. Too high temperatures during distillation, contact with chemically reactive metals (like copper and aluminum) can destroy fragile aromatic chemicals. Therefore, all of the above processes come into play to ensure best essential oils.
When I first purchased my Young Living essential oils, I did not know anything about oils. I trusted a friend. However, when I received the oils, my main purpose was to use them on my then 3.5-year old. While I trusted my friend, I wanted to know exactly what I was about to put on my child.
And so my (nerdy) journey began. I spent days reading about different companies, their processes, reviews, etc. I read the good, the bad, I asked my poor friend a hundred questions. What ultimately gave me confidence about Young Living was their ownership and control of the entire oils production process. As time has passed and I have developed a ‘nose for chemicals’, I know that I have made the right choice for me. Oh, Young Living also allows visits to their farms so that people can observe their Seed to Seal process in action. Check if the company you are interested in allows this type of visits.
As you embrace on the journey to essential oils. I encourage you to read and ask questions. Ask about the sources of the oils, the controls within the production process, the production facilities, the testing. I always encourage people to do their own research.
As a side note, I often hear comments about the price of Young Living essential oils. My stance on that is that you get what you pay for. If I am going to be using oils for wellness, I want to use the best there is, and I believe Young Living is the best for my family. We have seen significant reduction in doctor visits and sickness, all of which are costly, so the trade off has been very much worthwhile for us.
Read, research, ask! Wishing you wellness and abundance on your oily journey!