Let’s Talk About Essential Oils, pt. 1



Opening the Conversation


Let's talk about essential oils


1. Where it all started:


Let me take you all back in time to when I was, oh, about eleven years old. I was obsessed with a series of books called Sunfire and I was especially obsessed with one called Cassie. Anyway, long story short, that book had me captivated with the ideas of beading moccasins, subsisting on corn meal, and, perhaps most of all, creating poultices to heal wounds. I can remember sitting in the sand outside of a cottage in Newport, Rhode Island, weaving long seagrass together and mashing random plants on a slab of slate, certain I was concocting some healing wonder. Obviously, I was not.


Still, those seeds were planted and never really fully went away.


A few years ago, my husband and I were watching a documentary and, in it, they spoke of a birch tree and how it has been used since ancient times for pain– that it contains the same compounds we use in aspirin. My fascination was rekindled and I confessed to my husband that I had always been interested in the healing powers of plants and herbs and that I wished I knew more about them. He may have been more amused than intrigued, but he encouraged me to pursue it and research it, then.


2.  Read, read, and read some more.


I’m a tad skeptical by nature (though I won’t claim to be “the world’s greatest skeptic.”) I can also be cynical in some circumstances. Still, I won’t deny that I was fascinated to read some of the tales about successes people were having with herbs and essential oils. Quite frankly. some of them sounded downright… miraculous! And that’s what made me cynical.


I never doubted the power of plants, however. I mean– I’ve known since I was a child that peppermint soothed a queasy tummy and ginger helped keep nausea at bay. Wintergreen relieves pain and inflammation and has long been used in certain pain creams. Some of my family members joke that I recommend peppermint tea for almost anything that ails you.


So, when I considered possibly branching out beyond herbal teas, I knew I needed to read. And, as much as I love a good anecdotal story, I needed to read material from SCIENTISTS and AROMATHERAPISTS. Sure, I kept reading the accounts from my friends and fellow bloggers and that was interesting enough. But it wasn’t enough to convince me that I wanted to slather these things all over my body.


My number one recommendation if you, too, like to “know your stuff” before dipping your toe in? Be sure you’re reading some impartial research. Deliberately seek out the works of people who are NOT affiliated with a particular company. Here’s the thing– I have a brand I love most of all, too. But I don’t blindly trust everything they publish. Anytime someone stands to gain money from you following their specific advice, it pays to be a tad skeptical. Their words might turn out to be true! But it’s better to do a little research and be sure.


3. Making mistakes, despite my research.


So, here’s where I get all upfront and honest with you all– although I had read, read, and read some more, I still did some things with my essential oils that I now regret. I’ll tell you more about those as time goes on, but I think it’s important to admit that I’m definitely in the “do the best you can until you know better” camp on this one (<– thanks, Maya Angelou.) I engaged in a couple of potentially risky usage behaviors, thankfully on myself and not my children, that I now choose to avoid. The good news about that is this– I’m not incredibly judgy about how people use their oils. I mean, there are things that make me a bit nervous, but I also know that I made some choices that would probably make others cringe. Learning is fluid and what I know today may not be all that I know tomorrow. And that’s okay.


4. Why talk about it?


Essential oils have blown up in crazy ways. I am 100% positive that some of you reading this are sick.to.death of hearing about them. I get that. And, you know what? I’m totally cool with you ignoring any of the posts I write on the topic. I am definitely not here to waste your time or add noise to the conversation.


But I do want to share some of the successes we’ve seen. I will warn you– mine are not stories of miracles. Mine are stories of our lives being made better thanks to essential oils. Most of my happiest successes actually involve the synergy of natural healing and modern medicine. I have not completely overhauled our lives. The ibuprofen is still in our medicine cabinet! I still have a bottle of peroxide on the shelf. And I still make my peppermint tea with herbal tea bags.


Maybe a few of you are more like me– you love the idea of learning something new and you welcome adding something beneficial into your life, but you’re not looking to abandon everything else. You’re not looking for a whole new lifestyle or a new marketing job. You just want to explore and experience what essential oils can perhaps do for you.


And if that statement rings at all true for you? Then you’re in a safe place. Let’s chat about some stuff, free from brand names and sales pitches, and see where it leads us, okay?


Let me know what YOU want to know. And we’ll dive in. :)



(Note: If you love and are passionate about a certain brand of oils, that’s awesome! Glad you found a good fit. Feel free to share your experiences using oils, but please do not mention brands or solicit sales here. Any comments doing so will be deleted or I’ll ask you to edit it. Thanks for understanding!)

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6 comments to Let’s Talk About Essential Oils, pt. 1

  • I feel like it is really hard to find neutral research. My aunt has asked me for that, and I honestly don’t know where to send her. Any ideas?

    • It IS hard. Seriously hard. The Learning About EOs site is a good one, and includes some very interesting third party research. They also have a good, active FB group that is very safety-minded. I also really like the work of Robert Tisserand, who has been in the field for umpteen gazillion (<– possible exaggeration) years and is incredibly knowledgable. He flat refuses to ever recommend a brand no matter how many times people ask and he’s very honest about whether he considers something helpful, risky, or neither. He, too, has a FB page and responded to me directly when I had a question about A. and his blood pressure– I really appreciate that from someone with so much knowledge and experience!

  • Katherine

    I am actually going to get my first order this week. I was getting tired of reading about them since I only read a few blogs and most of the bloggers are selling them. I just started thinking how nice it would be to have a safe natural way to kill germs in the air, help with moods, sleep, coughing, bug bites, etc. Not to mention a nice smelling house perks me up! So I went for it and I am excited to give them a try and learn. It was near impossible to pick who to sign with since I like all of the women so much.
    I also will not ditch ibuprofen anytime soon, or completely get rid of bleach for sanitizing, I doubt I would anyhow. A house full of kiddos with a stomach bug last month makes me still like something strong around. I actually wanted to dip the whole house in bleach that month to be honest! I prefer natural and non toxic of course but we moms have to pull out the chemicals in battle sometimes in my opinion. I look forward to reading what oils you all love.

  • Cari

    Love this! I’ve found so I’m something of a skeptic too (perhaps 14 years as a Mary Kay rep taught me to take everything a rep of a company tells you with a grain of salt). I’m new to the EO world and I’ve found a lot of good info from Learning Essentials Oils facebook group (they aren’t associated with a MLM).

    • I am a part of that FB group too, Cari! I LOVE that they absolutely enforce their “brand-free” stance. It helps me feel like I’m learning about the actual plant’s properties and not a trademark. :)

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