Back in November, I ran a 10K with my sister. She rocked it! I PR’d but would definitely not have done so without her motivation and a little sisterly competition. I would have gladly been at home in my jammies sipping on my coffee instead of enjoying a 6.2 mile run on an absolutely beautiful Fall morning. Afterwards I felt so happy and motivated. I wanted to bottle that feeling for all those days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed to get to the gym, to remind myself about how awesome if feels to be healthy and use your body for exercise.
Now, with that being said, being healthy is compromised of more than just exercising and eating well. It also involves what you put on your body as well as what chemicals you allow into your home. And there are some scary chemicals out there, that we don’t even think about, coming into our homes. Chemicals that affect our endocrine systems, reproductive systems and that can be carcinogens. Many of these products are disguised under the name fragrance found on the ingredient label on your products. Fragrance can stand for over 100 different chemicals and companies do not have to disclose the contents because they are part of the products “recipe”. Divulging “recipes” could lead to your competition getting your secret product information. And if you’re a business you certainly want to keep your trade secrets private so other companies don’t steal them, even if it means not disclosing potentially harmful ingredients. And maybe these companies don’t even want to disclose their ingredients because who would knowingly purchase a product that could cause cancer over time? I know what you’re thinking, why would companies be allowed to sell products with chemicals that are potentially harmful? You would be shocked at what the United States allows in their products that other countries ban. Don’t take my word for it, do the research, and if you don’t have time for research, maybe check out Jon Whelan’s documentary Stink! on Netflix. It’s eye-opening and just a tiny bit alarming!
Did you know that the average woman applies over 300 chemicals a day to her body through soaps, makeup, shampoos and hair care products? However, chemicals can also enter our body through what we clean with and what we are breathing in inside our homes. According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), the inside of your home can be 5 to 10 times more polluted than outside air. Eek! Also, you may be surprised to find out that the biggest culprits are those air fresheners and candles that make our homes smell so good. The second biggest culprits are cleaning products. These are products we use every day, right? Now before you go saying Amy said, my products are bad for me. I’m not saying that, I have no idea what you use in your home. All I’m saying is buyer-be-ware and read your labels so you know what your family is coming into contact with, inside your home.
With this growing movement of health and wellness along with gate-keeping what comes into your home, has come the rise of essential oils and natural wellness. Most of you reading this post have no doubt heard of essential oils, I mean walk through any store or scroll through your Facebook news feed and I bet you see something about essential oils. So what are they? What do they do? How do you use them? And why in the world do I need them?
What are Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are the concentrated part of the plant, (the juicy bits) extracted through steam distillation, cold pressing, resin tapping, or absolute oil extraction. The concentrates, are natural aromatic liquids containing the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. The method of drawing out these concentrates depends on the type of plant you are trying to extract the oil from. For example, the most beneficial part of most citrus fruits are found in the rind, so cold pressing is used on these fruits to extract the essential oils in them. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years and are known for their healing properties of the body and mind. If you’re a Bible person, essential oils are mentioned in the Bible 188 times. Essential oils use has also been documented in Ancient civilizations evidenced by Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts. Also, if you’ve read (or watched) Outlander, Claire uses plants for their healing benefits when she goes back in time to Scotland in the 1700s. Now, I’m not sure if they were in oil form, something tells me she may not have had a distillery available to her then, but my point is, essential oils and plant based products are not new.
What do Essential Oils do?
Because of their concentrated nature, essential oils can effect every system inside your body. Now with that being said, I am not a doctor or medical professional. Also, certain oils will effect different people in different ways. They can be used for aromatherapy, personal care, or as household solutions to naturally replace many of the chemicals you are using in your home. Personally we use essential oils in our home for aromatherapy, as supplements to our diets, in our daily self-care products, and for cleaning. The truth is there are many uses for essential oils and they are plant based products so instead of worrying that you are exposing yourself to a bunch of synthetic chemicals that could potentially be harmful, you can feel confident knowing you are using products from nature.
How do I use them?
Essential oils can be used in 3 ways:
Aromatically: Essential oils can be diffused or inhaled. I diffuse oils in my home daily and have replaced all of our candles and air fresheners with home-made room sprays or diffuser use.
Topically: Many essential oils can be placed directly on your skin. (Always use a carrier oil when you are first introducing an oil to your skin to check for irritation.)
Internally: Essential oils can be added to your food or drink, added to a gelatin capsule, or placed directly on your tongue. Not all essential oils are created equal so please know your source before you go ingesting oils.
Why are essential oils for everyone?
When I first became a Young Living member I joined because I wanted a natural way to deal with anxiety. I had previously heard of essential oils for making home-made hand creams, shampoos, and cleaners which is something I’m very interested in—My secret retirement plan is to move out to the country and grow and make all of my own foods and products. I’m not sure that will ever happen, but I’ll settle for making simple home products in the meantime.
When I first purchased my kit, I made a couple of rollers and diffused oils in the house, but rarely went beyond that. It wasn’t until about a year later when I attended a Saavy Minerals make-up event and used some other essential oil infused products that I realized that essential oils can really be used in every aspect of my life from make-up to cleaning. We all use products and we all clean our houses right? I’m not sure about you, but I want to make sure my children grow up as healthy as they can. I can’t control what they are exposed to when they go outside or to school, but I can ensure that I’m providing a toxin free environment for them at home.
Why use Young Living essential oils?
Yes, here it comes. I think Young Living essential oils are the best. I did a lot of research on essential oils when I first found out about them and I actually went to a class on them and didn’t purchase a kit for over a year because I thought they wouldn’t fit into my budget. Yes, essential oils can seem pricey. However, they are very concentrated and as long as you are using a therapeutic grade oil (not all essential oils are created equal and some may contain synthetic materials—which to me defeats the purpose of going natural) then the cost is truly pennies for drops.
There are many essential oil companies out there and ultimately I urge you to choose the best company for your needs. However, I choose to use Young Living essential oils and products because of their Seed to Seal guarantee. They are a transparent company, you can actually visit their farms and distilleries. They list all ingredients on their labels so there are no surprises. You know what your getting. I’m a busy person and feel confident knowing that each essential oil at YL goes through the Seed to Seal process. With that being said, yes, their products and oils are more pricey than some competitors and you can literally walk into Wal-Mart (I have nothing against Wal-Mart) and purchase essential oils. I mean you’re going to pay more for an organic grass-fed burger than you are for a McDonald’s burger right? But if you’re trying to rid your home of toxins, be weary of bringing those same toxins back into your home under a “healthy” guise.
Ultimately I urge you to do your research, figure out what’s best for you and your family. The purpose of this post is not to “sell you” some essential oils—although, if you are interested in becoming a Young Living member, I’d love to help you on your oily journey to a toxin free lifestyle—it’s to inform. Be educated, know what you’re bringing into your home. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there and just because it’s on a store shelf, doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Environmental Working Group Web-site- https://www.ewg.org/
Stink! Review- https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/stink
Information on Fragrance- http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/fragrance/