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My Favorite Essential Oils (And Why)

by jenny sansouci on January 11, 2016

Update: As soon as I posted this blog, I got comments and emails from people saying you shouldn’t EVER ingest essential oils internally. I am not recommending you do, and now I am committed to understanding the truth so I can give correct information here. The intention of this blog was to share my experience with the essential oils so far, and to share information from my peers and from the essential oils company literature. Please do your research before trying anything and don’t ingest them without guidance from a physician or aromatherapist. I honestly had no idea essential oils were this controversial (I’m so shocked!!) and I appreciate you guys bringing it to my attention so I can learn more.  Here is a good article to read for more on the safety of essential oils.  

Well good evening, wellness-enthusiasts…

There’s something I’ve been enjoying privately for far too long without sharing the specifics about it, and I’m starting to feel bad about that. I’ve been using it day and night, and it’s becoming a huge part of my life. I’ve shared a little bit on instagram, but not on the blog yet.

I’m talking about ESSENTIAL OILS. :)

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are naturally occurring, aromatic compounds, found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. (Click on Essential Oils 101 here). They each have different therapeutic benefits.

Essential oils are typically used aromatically (diffused into the air or just simply smelling them), topically (absorbed into the skin), or internally (according to the essential oil companies, you can drink them in water or using them in recipes – some people say this is fine, some people say this is not fine). There are different oils that can be used in different ways so make sure you do research.

I first discovered essential oils in 2013, at the Hanuman Festival in Boulder, Colorado. There was a booth set up, and I learned about (and smelled) all kinds of oils. I looked through pamphlets and realized that each essential oil has different properties, and different ways you can use it. I was fascinated, and mesmerized by the incredible smells of all of the oils.

Back in 2013 I bought a “Family Physician Kit” of oils, and I used a couple of them pretty frequently, but I didn’t take the time to get to know much about them.

Fast forward to about a month ago, my boyfriend’s brother Jason got me thinking about essential oils again. He was using them for many different things – including helping him to breathe and sleep better with his diffuser.  My excitement about essential oils got reignited as I listened to him talk about all the cool ways he was using them.

 

A photo posted by jenny sansouci ✌ (@jennysansouci) on

 


I got home and ordered a diffuser for myself right away, along with one of the starter kits (the Home Essentials starter kit). I signed up for a Wholesale account, as a Wellness Advocate, so I could get cheaper prices on the oils and so I could also have the opportunity to sell the oils myself (just click “Join & Save” if you want to do that too). If you’re a wellness entrepreneur/blogger, it could be a cool income stream for you to sell essential oils, if you end up loving them as much as I am. Of course, you can just purchase single oils without joining the Wholesale option, it will just be more expensive. I’m just starting to learn about the whole process, but the doTerra site explains everything, so just head over there if this interests you. :)

I love my essential oils diffuser so much that I got one for my Mom for Christmas. Here’s photo of us texting each other with our diffuser pics!

 

diffuser

Essential oils are incredibly fascinating. When I was visiting friends out in Portland recently, we watched a video about how essential oils are made (nerd alert, I know). Check this out! It’s SO incredible!

Essential oils are typically made with water/steam distillation (flowers and herb oils), or cold-pressing (most citrus oils). It’s so cool to me. I loved essential oils so much more once I found out how they were made, for whatever reason. Because the oils are powerful and precious — and so much of each plant is infused into each oil.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on oils, although I heard there are certification courses about essential oils that you can take, so now that’s one of my life goals. It’s so cool to have things to be excited about, especially when it involves learning..

If you have a favorite way to use essential oils, PLEASE leave a comment! I’m becoming a fanatic and I need all the tips I can get.

I’m still an essential oils newbie, but here are the 5 oils I’ve been using most, and what I’ve been using them for.

My Favorite Essential Oils & How I Use Them

(Grab any of these essential oils here, and learn ALL about them!)

NOTE: Don’t ingest essential oils internally without the guidance of a physician or aromatherapist. I’m sorry I didn’t say that before, I had no idea it was such a serious issue, and now I’m concerned – and I am committed to learning as much as possible about essential oil safety.

If you do use essential oils topically, please dilute them with coconut oil first. 

  • LEMON: Lemon oil is amazing for cleaning, you can add a few drops to a spray bottle of water and clean your house. In the diffuser, I use it in the morning, because it’s uplifting and energizing. I have added a drop of lemon essential oil to water before, and a drop to a recipe to give it a lemon flavor, which I thought was fine based on the dietary/ingestible guidelines from the essential oils companies –  but now I’m hearing otherwise. This article seems to state that ingesting lemon oil is ok, but others say it’s dangerous. There is a lot of conflicting info out there. What do you guys think?
  • PEPPERMINT: Peppermint oil was my favorite one from the original kit I bought in 2013. I used peppermint to add one drop to my water, and I carried it around and always had minty fresh breath! Such a cool gum-free trick. I also add a drop to green smoothies to create a minty flavor. (But, now people are saying this is dangerous so don’t do this if you don’t believe ingesting oils is safe. I was fine with it but I don’t want to make anyone sick). Just use it in your diffuser. OY. 
  • OREGANO: Oregano is one of the ones I use more therapeutically. This one is super strong and tastes really intense (don’t taste it alone, it can burn your mouth!) but if you put a drop in a glass of water and chug it down, it’s very powerful when you feel like you’re getting sick. You can also rub some diluted oregano oil (diluted with coconut oil) on the bottom of your feet to boost and protect your immune system. I use a drop of oregano oil in my oil pulling regimen if I feel like I’m coming down with something and it always helps. I feel like I should edit this entire blog now because everyone is bugging!!! I’ve been doing a drop of oregano oil in my water for years when I’m getting sick, but please only do so under the guidance of a physician or aromatherapist.
  • FRANKINCENSE: This beautiful oil is my new favorite for using in the diffuser. I use it during the day while I’m getting work done, and it makes me feel so uplifted. It smells incredible, too. According to the site, When inhaled or diffused, it promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness. I concur. :)
  • LAVENDER: Lavender is very calming, and I usually diffuse this one before I go to sleep. I also rub a drop on the bottom of my feet to help me relax at night. It smells so nice. You can even rub a drop into your pillow to breath in as you fall asleep. Sweet, sweet bliss.

Get started with Essential Oils

 

 


So there you go. I actually just put in an order for some other oils – including grapefruit, lime and cilantro!! WHAT!!! So I’ll try to learn as much as possible.

I feel very tender and cozy towards essential oils right now. They feel like a friend.

I’d like to learn from you, too. Please share your wisdom if you have any! Let’s learn from each other in this beautiful, wild world of oils…

Learn everything you want to know about essential oils here.

Again, please use these oils only under the guidance of a physician or aromatherapist. I am not a doctor and I am not suggesting you use essential oils without guidance, especially ingesting them.

I’ve been reading so much conflicting info now about ingesting oils, including articles like this that say they are great to ingest…yikes! What’s an essential oil enthusiast to do!?

Question – which essential oils are the best for giving a massage? I don’t know how to give a good massage but I’d really like to learn that too…

I love you all,
Jenny




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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie January 12, 2016 at 7:51 am

I always appreciate your blogs. And I do share your love of essential oils. However, essential oils are never safe to consume. Regardless of what doterra says, it can be very harmful and liver damaging. Ingesting can have irreversible side effects. Please research further before spreading misinformation that can harm someone’s health. I have a few friends who are certified experts on essential oils and their uses. Here’s one article explaining. Please take care of your insides and consider squeezing lemon in your water instead. Xoxo
http://www.thebarefootdragonfly.com/why-essential-oils-are-not-water-flavoring-agents/

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Thank you. If these oils are so dangerous, how are the essential oil companies not adding these warnings in their literature or providing their wellness advocates with this information? (Not trying to argue at all – just genuinely curious). I understand they are trying to sell oils, but why would so many people be talking about the benefits of these oils if they are so dangerous?

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Stephanie January 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Because sadly they didn’t do the research before they started marketing them as ingestible. And now they make so much money off the ingestibles that they just stay ignorant. Similar to a lot of doctors ignoring new biomedical research to maintain their own agendas. I was completely respectful in my post to you. And I posted because you are credible, and it only takes one post to discredit you as a reliable source. Your response was a little snappy and immature. Maybe reconsider all the “yikes” and “sheesh”es before you offend your most loyal followers who now want to unfollow you. Best of luck to you.

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Stephanie – the “yikes” and “sheesh” comments were DEFINITELY not directed at you or any other commenters! It was me expressing my absolute surprise that this is even an issue. I had NO idea, and I had never even heard about this before so I’m just super surprised/worried about the concept now, as of course I don’t want to spread information that is incorrect. Literally had no idea, as everyone I’ve spoken to that uses essential oils seems to ingest them, and I was doing a lot of research on the essential oils site itself, and I trusted that information. So I’m just genuinely very concerned. I was really appreciative of you bringing it to my attention, my response to you was a genuine question out of curiosity, and I really do apologize if you took it in any other way. Your ongoing support up until now means the world to me.

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stephanie January 12, 2016 at 10:24 pm

I already said this in a private email to you. But I want to share my thoughts. It takes courage and guts to allow comments to be posted when they are against something that you said. And it shows true character and grit that you allowed not just one, but several people come on here and share their thoughts against ingesting oils. I’ve followed you for a long time, and I will continue to do so. Thank you for being open-minded, responsible and for always digging in to find the truth. More people should be like that. Peace & love!

jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Stephanie, thank you so much for saying that. It’s definitely not easy to post all of those comments but I felt it was necessary for the discussion, so everyone can learn. You have been a big part of my learning process in this situation and I am really grateful for it!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and being open to having such a positive communication experience here with me. Sending you all the best:)

jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Also, if you’d be open to sharing, I’d love to hear where your friends got certified as essential oils experts, because I’d like to look into it so I can learn more. Thank you:)

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Gwen January 12, 2016 at 8:12 am

Please please do not encourage taking EOs internally! They should only be ingested under the care of a practitioner or aroma therapist. They are not food or drink flavors! You can damage you liver, esophagus, mucus membranes and much more. EOs should always be diluted to use topically, never neat. Dilution for adults is 2 drops per 5 ml carrier and kids is 1 drop per 5 ml. Please remove or edit this blog until you have a certified aromatherapist review it. You could send someone to the hospital following your bad advice.

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for your input Gwen. This is nuts! I had no idea essential oils were such a topic of extreme controversy..

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Gwen January 12, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Thank you for your update comments! I am sorry if I came on strongly but I just wanted to make sure the safety information got out there! There are a lot of reasons this misinformation gets out there. If you like adding something to your water consider hydrosols instead. They are a byproduct of EO production and can be safe for normal ingestion!

This is a great post describing what GRAS actually means when applied to EOs (and why those big companies can get away with marketing unsafe options). I am happy you are open to expanding your EO journey!

http://www.thebarefootdragonfly.com/essential-oils-and-gras-what-it-really-means/

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Thank you Gwen, I would love all the information I can get now that I realize how big of a deal this is. At this point, I just want to make it right! I believe there must be *some* beneficial ways to ingest essential oils, and I am super committed now to figuring out what those ways are. Thanks for the additional info!

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Gwen January 12, 2016 at 3:42 pm

There totally can be but that is why doing it under appropriate direction from someone trained and certified is so important! The NAHA is a great place to start if you are looking for more personal training. https://www.naha.org/education/approved-schools/

When done safely, aromatherapy can have tremendous benefits! Hopefully if enough of us stick together and educate ourselves then the industry standards will rise to a safe standard of use :)

jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 2:08 am

Thank you so much Gwen. I’m looking into taking a workshop or certification program. It would be nice to go somewhere warm to take it.. :) Appreciate your input!

Allison January 12, 2016 at 8:12 am

Um, you shouldn’t add essential oils to your water and drink them. They don’t mix with the water and are very strong, so you’re in serious danger of burning your insides.

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Thank you Allison! I’ve been fine with it but I understand and I’ve added disclaimers to the post.

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Jacqueline January 12, 2016 at 8:45 am

Fantastic that you are getting into essential oils. I think they are awesome! Just an fyi about ingesting the oils. Lemon oil can be used to strip paint. Even mixing it with water doesn’t dilute it, it will stay in droplets and not mix with the water. Prolonged ingestion of essential oils can cause mouth sores, stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, and more seriously can damage the stomach, kidneys, liver, and intestines and cause heart issues. Will be worth your time to talk to a certified aromatherepist. They have over 200 hours of training. While ingesting EOs can be beneficial, it should only be done under the guidance of a certified aromatherapist. This applies to any brand of essential oils, whether they tout to be ‘therapeutic grade’ or not.

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Thanks Jacqueline! I’ve added disclaimers to this post.

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Melinda January 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm

I also LOVE Frankincense oil and agree its wonderful when used in the diffuser. Incredibly powerful essential oil when ingested (small amounts if course) check out its use for curing cancer (yes that’s right I said cure) i use it in my homemade soaps, lotions and body butters.
For a quick pick me up I diffuse Bergamot oil – nothing like a natural kick in first thing in the morning!

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Awesome! Thank you!!

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Tali January 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Hi Jenny, I just looked at your Instagram page for the first time….you are so funny! Plus I love Gabrielle Bernstein too and noticed she is on there a bit too. How cool! Must try the float thing…You post so many fun & interesting things – it’s so eye-opening & engaging and I’m a bit of a health nut myself :-).

The local health food store where I’m from (that is run by qualified naturopaths) makes delicious raw cacao smoothies with avocado and a drop of DoTerra peppermint EO…and the raw chocolate I sometimes purchase from the store (http://www.panachocolate.com/information) has a lil bit of orange essential oil in it. I wonder if EO are so dangerous…how come they are manufactured in small amounts in several eco-conscious and heavily certified & fair traded companies that are doing so many good things to raise consciousness and are vegan etc? I wonder how these Eco-conscious do-good companies are up and running if they are wrong? I’ve been including a dot of EO to some drinks for the past three years, especially when travelling to prevent illness and have enjoyed the benefits, and have been eating the chocolate from Australia & similar above for several years now which contain EOs in ((((tiny)))) amounts and have had no problems. I’m more scared of GMOs and how animals are treated then a ((((tiny)))) dot of EO recommended on the bottle for dietary purposes. I wouldn’t however ingest where it did not stipulate “for dietary use” and be careful of quantitiy, and only use a brand I trust. It does state this on the DoTerra bottle, which ones are for dietary, topical or both but this is a controversial topic I guess, and it always pays to do your own research first.

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Thank you so much Tali, for your kind words about my instagram, and for your support! I really appreciate it so much. I do hope you try floating. :)

That’s so interesting about the foods with essential oils – I agree, I seem to see ingestible essential oils everywhere so I’m honestly shocked at all the comments saying they should absolutely never be ingested. I want to look into it much more now that so many people seem to be concerned.

The last thing I would ever want to do is recommend something that’s actually dangerous, but I’m having such a hard time figuring out why the essential oil companies and other people who promote ingesting essential oils are doing so if it’s so dangerous…I need to figure it out!

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Nicole January 12, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Jenny,

Thanks for sharing your journey with us! I love essential oils, too. My favorite is mixing lemon eo with coconut oil for my body moisturizer after the shower. So yummy!

Nicole

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Thanks Nicole, that sounds amazing. :)

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J January 12, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Hm….this is interesting!

The comments are as good as the blog post.

Would definitely be interested in a follow up post if/when you figure out what’s going on with EOs and which ones are/aren’t safe to ingest (and why there seems to be conflicting information out there).

Let’s find out the truth!

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Thanks – I agree. I’m bugging out.

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Katiejo January 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Hey Jenny!
Longtime reader here. Check out doTerra citrus bliss (grapefruit, orange, vanilla? Or something); so fabulous. I’ve worn it on my wrist and no skin fell off, but I am a super oil novice. Maybe a diffuser is more safe?? I put it on my wool dryer balls to freshen clothes and it smells fabulous! Can’t promise it won’t leave spots on your clothes, but it hasn’t mine yet. I went through a lemon-in-water phase, so hopefully no long term damage, eh? Keep letting us know your dabbles and delves – love to check out your latest healthventure. Keep it real, lady!

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jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 2:05 am

Thank you!! Citrus Bliss sounds amazing, I was actually just wondering if there was a vanilla essential oil – it’s my favorite scent. :)

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Monica January 12, 2016 at 7:14 pm

I love essential oils so much, and am a loyal doTerra customer/advocate. Excited you’re getting into them :)
I use a diffuser, put on my skin, & also ingest some (no probs thus far)

Some of my faves:
DigestZen for nausea (put a drop in palms & inhale)
Passion – new fave! I wear it or diffuse it. Cinnamony & warm.
Citrus Bliss – mood boosting, in diffuser
Serenity – relaxing, in diffuser
Breathe – to relax or clear breathing passages
OnGuard – immunity, diffuse or apply topically

Love researching the emotional effects too :)
Cheers!

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jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 2:06 am

Hey Monica! You’re the 2nd person now to recommend Citrus Bliss…I’m definitely going to try it. :) And maybe Passion too!

Cool to know you’ve used the oils all 3 ways and had no issues. Appreciate your insights!! xo

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Larke January 12, 2016 at 10:06 pm

I just started on my love for essential oils. I got my first diffuser for Christmas and move it all around the house depending on where it’s needed. So far I stick with one oil at a time but I just read a cool article about layering the oils so you have a top, middle and base to create a balance. I definitely need to increase the amount of oils I own before I start to make my own mixes but I’m excited! Thanks for the post Jenny :)

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jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 2:07 am

I’ve never heard about layering the oils like that, I’ll have to look that up!! And yes, I gave my mom a diffuser for Christmas and she moves it between the bedroom and the living room. I do the same. :) Thanks for reading!

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Hsinhui January 13, 2016 at 10:02 am

I love essential oil! And yes, I’m one of those who adds them in the water. But! The ones I’ve gotten are food grade, suppostly, thus it is safe to ingest it if needed. So I added oregano oil to my water when I was sick. Can’t say I like how it tastes, but I am still alive and kicking. :) definitely inhaled a lot of eucalyptus with vapor when I’m sick too.
I love puting some lavender and frankincense in my coconut oil and use it as my fancy lotion. :)

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jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Hey, Hsinhui! Yes, the ones I have are food grade too. Oregano tastes awful! :) But it seriously does help, for me. I only use 1 drop in a huge glass of water and it’s SUPER POTENT! Definitely not something to use frivolously, but it’s worked on my end so far.

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J January 13, 2016 at 11:59 am

I have to say I often ingest essential oils. I know some you can’t, for some you can. When I’m sick I grab oil of oregano. What I have a stomach ach, peppermint oil. Of course with everything, moderation is the key! Thanks for all of your great posts. They are my favorite thing to see in my inbox!

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jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Thanks, J! Good to know and I appreciate your insights. :) <3 I find it hard to believe that taking 1 drop of those oils could be so dangerous - it's definitely interesting to hear everyone's experiences and learning more.

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Brittani January 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Putting EO in your water is not reccomended. Since oil and water do not mix, what you are actually drinking is raw, undiluted oils. This practice has caused severe esophagus damage and can quickly throw off the stomach’s delicate balance. Use natural fruits and veggies to flavor your waters!

Please go to:
http://www.scentsablehealth.com
Or add the scentsable health Facebook page for correct, reliable Essential oil info.

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jenny sansouci January 13, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Thank you, Brittani! Many people have voiced similar concerns and your input is really valuable to me. I appreciate the link!

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Dina Behar January 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm

I love essential oils and have been using them regularly for the last 2 yrs. I use Geranium Rose, I mix it with castor oil and use it on my feet daily to help with sugar cravings. I also inhale bergamot oil and put it lightly on the outter upper layer of my ears to help relax me and sleep better at night. I also use doterra’s focus blend on the bottom of my feet and back of my neck to help me focus at work. It smells amazing! Lastly, I use doterra’s clarrycalm on my chest nightly to help regulate my hormones. When I want to shake things up I use lemon grass and levander for engerizing and relaxing. I thinks it’s so fun to read and learn about all the awesome benefits they provide!

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