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A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils

A Guest Post by Amanda from The Ginger Home

What are essential oils?

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for everything from cosmetic use to spiritual and religious use to alternative medicine. Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the increasing popularity of aromatherapy and natural living. We use essential oils in our household for everything from supporting immunity and getting a better night’s sleep, to cleaning our home safely with no nasty chemicals! Some examples of common essential oils include Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Rosemary and Lemon!

Picture of essential oil bottles

Compounds Extracted From Plants

Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants (or other natural sources). Raw material like flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots seeds or peel are subjected to a distillation process (liquid is heated to create a vapor and then condensed back into a liquid again), cold pressing (friction, rotation, or pressure is applied without external heat) or resin tapping. These methods extract the potent “essence” of the plant!

Picture of Stress Away Essential Oil from Young Living

Essential oils can be used individually or mixed into blends and used in so many ways!

How do you use essential oils?

There are three main ways to use Essential Oils: 

#1 TOPICALLY

This means applying oils directly to the body. It’s recommended that you dilute your essential oils with a “carrier oil” (e.g. coconut oil) to do this. A common method of topical application is making a roller bottle with a few drops of oil topped up with the carrier oil to roll-on to your skin.

Picture of roller for applying essential oils

Tips for applying oils topically:

  1. Some essential oils are “hot” and should be diluted with a carrier oil (ex. Thieves, Pan Away or Peppermint).
  2. Always dilute using a carrier oil when applying oils topically to children.
  3. Like a perfume, apply oils behind the ears, on the chest or on the wrists.
  4. You can also apply oils down your spine or on the bottoms of your feet before bed.
  5. For super-fast absorption apply oils on your stomach, near your belly button,.
  6. For a calming effect apply a drop of oil to your scalp.

#2 AROMATICALLY

This means to breathe in the oils. You can use a diffuser to expel the oils into the air in a fine mist. Diffusing is the most common way essential oils are used.

I have my diffuser running when we are in the room, pretty much 24/7! In large, open areas we don’t keep track of how long we diffuse. At bedtime we use the intermittent setting on our diffusers and let them run all night long! And if we are diffusing in a room where doors are closed, like the kids’ bedrooms, we simply add less oil and use the intermittent setting.

picture of essential oil diffuser

You can also simply put a drop or two of oil in your hands, then cup them over your nose and mouth and breathe deeply!

#3 INGESTING

This means taking your oils internally, by adding them into food or drink or by filling a vegetable capsule and swallowing them. I love adding a drop of Lemon Vitality Essential Oil to my water glass in the mornings! You could also add Peppermint Vitality Oil to brownies, or a drop of Cilantro to your summer salsa recipe! The options are endless!

picture of essential oils being used for ingestion

Note: Not all oils are made to be ingested, so please refer to the label of each oil for proper usage instructions.

How do Essential Oils Work?

Have you ever wondered why a smell can trigger a strong memory of the past? For example, whenever I smell the ocean, I’m immediately and vividly immersed in memories of growing up in Southern England near the sea!

Here’s why:

Your sense of smell is strongly linked to memory!  The same part of your brain that is responsible for memory creation is also responsible for your sense of smell.

Essential Oils Can Stimulate Areas of Your Limbic System

“Inhaling the aromas from essential oils has been proven to stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell and long-term memory (Source).

“Interestingly the limbic system also plays a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Therefore, some people claim that essential oils can exert a physical effect on your body” – Healthline

I have experienced these effects myself! Here’s one example: If I am stressed or sad I can take my “Unicorn” oil blend and rub it on my palms and inhale or apply it with a roller. Within seconds I will feel more peaceful, calm and safe!

picture of essential oils used to make "unicorn" oil blend

It really is amazing what these incredible and natural compounds can do for our minds and bodies.

Where can you get essential oils?

It’s important to buy natural & 100% pure oils in order for them to be effective. Not all essential oils are created equally. Some oils sold in health food or grocery stores and online contain chemicals and fillers.

Young Living Essential Oils

I choose to buy my oils from Young Living because of their “Seed to Seal” promise. Young Living rigorously controls their production process to avoid contaminants and to meet the highest quality standards. Products are sourced from carefully vetted corporate-owned farms, partner farms, and Seed to Seal-certified suppliers and tested extensively. They strive to produce ethically, sustainably and transparently …You can even visit their farms and see the process for yourself! They are also the original essential oil company and have been in business for over 25 years!

MY STORY

Before I tried Young Living oils, I had used another brand that I found at the mall. To be honest, I wondered what all the fuss about essential oils was. The oils smelled ok, but they didn’t seem to do anything for me physically or emotionally.

Then when my oldest daughter was having trouble sleeping a couple of years ago, I read that lavender oil could help. I happened to come across Young Living online and ordered a bottle of their Lavender oil to try. My daughter slept through the night for the first time in a long time the first night we used it!!

Hooked On Essential Oils

I was hooked! We now use essential oils in so many ways and I’m so grateful for the many positive effects that oils have had in our home and life!

How do you use essential oils in your home?

If you aren’t familiar with essential oils you might think that they are just a way of making your house smell nice. But essential oils and oil infused products can be used in so many ways! Here are some of the ways that my family uses essential oils daily!

#1 WELLNESS

Essential oils can be used to support wellness & immunity. They can be used to combat everything from seasonal allergies to hormonal imbalances! Here are a few of my favourite ways to support my family’s health and happiness!

Wellness Roller

Each member of our family has our own wellness roller that we keep by our beds and apply at night! This is the recipe we use for our kids and we double the amount of oils for ourselves!

Wellness Roller Recipe for Kids:

  • 5 drops Purificiation
  • 5 drops Thieves
  • 3 drops Frankincense
  • 3 drops Lemon
  • 1 drop  Oregano
  • + organic fractionated coconut oil

Instructions:
Drop essential oils into a 10ml glass roller bottle and fill the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Roll along the spine, bottoms of the feet, or around your belly button!

photo of wellness roller

Sleep Diffuser Blends

It’s become a nightly ritual to clean our rooms, turn down the covers and put a sleepy blend into our diffusers. The girls each have their own diffuser in their room and we have one in our master bedroom as well. The girls love choosing their blends for the night and we’ve noticed that they fall asleep more quickly and seem to sleep more soundly through the night.

Some of our favourite blends to diffuse:

Goodnight

  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Frankincense
  • 3 drops Tangerine

Sleep Tight

  • Northern Lights Black Spruce, 3 drops
  • White Angelica, 3 drops
  • Lavender, 3 drops

Bedtime Stories

  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Vetiver
  • 2 drops Bergamot

Sweet Dreams

  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Cedarwood
  • 2 drops Tangerine

Hormonal Support

I’ve personally always struggled with hormonal issues. From mood swings, to hormonal acne to issues with food, it’s been a constant struggle! There have been a couple of game changers for me with hormones and essential oils. 

#1 Diffuse Clary Sage at night!

Clary Sage Oil has been used for centuries to help support the female body. It supports a healthy attitude during PMS and is a support for menopausal women emotionally due its balancing nature. This oil has really helped me with deeper sleep and fewer hormonal night sweats!

You can try putting a drop or two on the back of your neck as well as diffusing!

essential oil being diffused at night

#2 Use Progessence Plus, Endoflex and Dragon Time Blends!

I apply Progessence Plus blend on my wrists, ankles or thighs daily. It contains progesterone as well as a blend of balancing essential oils. Through my experience, I have found that it helps to regulate the emotional and physical effects of PMS. 

I apply Endoflex over my thyroid daily to support balance in my endocrine system and hormones.

At that time of the month I like to use Dragon Time blend! You can apply it to your tummy to help with cramps and it works really well!

picture of Endoflex and Dragon Time Blends essential oils

Seasonal Roller 

This recipe has been amazing for Spring allergy season! We get tarred and feathered each year when our Poplar trees shed sticky pods all over the yard and then our birch trees shed fluff that sticks to the pods! It’s a nightmare each year lol!! I find that my itchy eyes and runny nose are soothed with this blend that I roll on behind my ears and on my chest!

Seasonal Roller Recipe

  • Lavender, 10 drops
  • Lemon, 10 drops
  • Peppermint, 10 drops
  • + organic fractionated coconut oil

Instructions: Add oils to a 10ml glass roller bottle and top with fractionated coconut oil. Roll on wrist, neck or chest as needed!

picture of seasonal essential roller

#2 CLEANING

One of the unexpected effects of starting to use essential oils in our house was that I became aware of just how many toxic substances I had allowed into my house. If you have ever watched the documentary Stink on Netflix you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that it is shocking how little regulation exists to protect consumers from toxic substances in North America.

I started reading the labels on my cleaning products, makeup, even food and was horrified at what I found. I’d challenge you to download the App “Think Dirty” and check just one cupboard of products in your bathroom or pantry and see what’s lurking in your “safe” or “green” products.

Safe Cleaning Products Made With Essential Oils

The good news is that it’s actually really easy to get rid of those nasty chemical products. Young Living has an entire line of cleaning products made with natural ingredients that are actually safe for you and your family!

The Thieves Household Cleaning Concentrate is one of my absolute favorite products from Young Living! One bottle of concentrate will make 30 bottles of cleaner so it’s actually really cost efficient as well.

picture of Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner

Here are my 3 favourite recipes for cleaning my house. They are all easy to make and actually work REALLY well! 

#1 Thieves Household Cleaner

Recipe: Add 1 Capful Thieves Cleaning Concentrate to a 16oz glass spray bottle and top with water. Add a few drops of Lemon or Citrus Fresh essential oils for extra cleaning power.

I use this for everything (and I mean everything) in my house! I make the kids their own bottle to have in their bathroom for quick spray downs. It’s totally safe for them to inhale! No more running out of the bathroom, tears streaming from the chemical cleaning fumes!

photo of Thieves household cleaner

#2 Thieves Glass Cleaner

Recipe: add 1 Capful Thieves Cleaning Concentrate and a splash of vinegar to a 16oz glass spray bottle and top with water. Add a few drops of Purification or Lime essential oil for a yummy scent and extra cleaning power

photo of Thieves Glass Cleaner

This gets all our glass and reflective surfaces sparkling with no streaks! I even use this on our glass shower doors.

#3 Thieves Soft Scrub

Recipe: Add I cup baking soda, 5 capfuls Thieves cleaner and 10 drops of Lemon essential oil to a glass jar and mix!

photo of Thieves Soft Scrub

This is my favorite cleaning product EVER!! You can scoop it right out of the jar with your hands and it just makes your skin soft and scented. I use it to clean soap scum in the bathroom, our stainless steel stove top (it’s soft and won’t scratch), even sharpie off quartz counters! It’s the best!!

#3 SUPPLEMENTATION

When I first started using oils, I didn’t realize just how many amazing products Young Living carried! There is an entire line of Supplements from multivitamins to joint health supplements to protein powders and sports supplements! 

Here are my current favourites:

Life 9 Master Formula

This is the multivitamin pack that I take every day! Taking a multivitamin is so important for overall health, but so many of the vitamins found on store shelves are full of chemicals or ineffective ingredients! I can FEEL the difference these vitamins make on my overall vitality daily.

photo of Young Living Master Formula

Ninxgia Red

Ninxgia Red is a super antioxidant drink made from Wolfberries and it has been an absolute game changer for me!!

photo of beverage Ninxgia Red

I’m a shift worker with a stressful job, a mom of 2 and I have several business side-hustles. Sleep is hard for me! I was finding that I was relying on coffee to make it through the day and I would drink one or two cups each morning. My body didn’t react well to it and I would feel shaky and nervous, but more awake. By the afternoon I would crash and sometimes feelings of anxiety and depression would arise. I finally made the connection between these feelings and the caffeine when I stopped drinking it for a month last year, but I was SOO tired.

Ninxgia Red Essential Oil Energy Boost Drink

I found Ninxgia Red through recommendations from my oily community and started taking 2 oz in the morning instead of coffee. It gives me a more even energy boost without the jitters and the highs and lows!! It’s literally changed my life!!

Photo of drink Ninxgia Red Zyng

I also find that my body is not reacting well to alcohol (I’ve started intuitive eating lately and it’s been very interesting what I’ve found as I’ve been paying more attention to my body…but that’s a discussion for another day!) so instead of reaching for a sugary cooler in the summer, I’ve been drinking sparkling Ninxgia Zyng! It’s made with Ninxgia red, black berries and just a little hit of natural caffeine and it’s a delicious pick me up on a hot day!

#4 PERSONAL CARE

When I checked the labels of products in my house, one of the places I found the most toxicity was in my bathroom! My makeup, personal care products etc.. were all full of chemicals and most of the products were meant to be applied daily to my skin!! I overhauled my entire daily routine and it actually made everything much more simple. Now I use fewer products. Plus, I know they are safe. And I’m loving how effective they are! I currently use the Savvy Minerals makeup line, natural deodorant, body wash, whitening toothpaste, hair oil and so much more!

Photo of make up made with essential oils

I also use Young Living shampoo, conditioner and body wash on my kids. My oldest, who has slightly oily skin, has started a simple nightly cleansing routine for her face just using orange infused charcoal bar soap and rose ointment. She loves it, her skin is healthy and clean and I love that I can provide her with safe beauty options!

photo showing essential oil beauty products for kids

#5 KIDS & PETS

Oils can be used for kids and pets too. Young Living has lines of oils designed specifically for our minis and fur babies!! Click on the links below to find more information! It’s important to read the labels and follow instructions to make sure you are using oils safely with your families most vulnerable members! I love that Young Living makes things easy and clear so that I can feel confident that I am being safe.

Kids Essential Oils

Pets Essential Oils

Ollie, our beagle, has his own oils that we use to make doggy fresh spray, put on his paws if they are rough and sore, or soothe bug bites! There are so many uses!

photo of Ollie the beagle sitting next to essential oil bottles

We do make sure that we diffuse in open areas and that he can always leave the area if a diffuser is running just to be extra safe!

Essential Oils For Kids

Our girls have their own diffusers in their rooms and a collection of special recipes that they use daily like “Mermaid Hair spray”, “Bug Off Spray” and “Owie rollers”.

photo of "Mermaid' essential oil blend

We love the KidScents Oils as well. These are pre-diluted and safe to use for little ones. T-GIZE is probably our most used of these oils. We will pop a roller top right onto the bottle and rub on sore tummies for immediate relief!

photo of kid scents essential oil blends

As a Mom, having essential oils in the house has really made me feel empowered! When they come to me with scraped knees or hurt feelings, I have some tools to help them! I really realized how much I am thankful for essential oils when we all got stomach flu last winter. You can read about how I used essential oils to make the situation so much more bearable in   7 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Stomach Flu.

I want to try oils! How do I get started?

Young Living makes getting started easy! They offer Premium Starter Kits at incredible value (more than 50% the regular cost of the included products). The kits come with a selection of most loved oils, a diffuser and lots of information and samples.

photo of essential oils starter kit

There are also Ninxgia Red, Thieves and CBD starter kits to choose from! The Oils Premium Starter Kit is my favorite though, because it allows you to really dive in and start using oils in so many ways!

Why do I need to sign up with someone? 

When you sign up with Young Living you can just buy products as a retail member at retail cost if that’s what you would like to do. But if you sign up as a wholesale member by buying a starter kit you get 24% off all future purchases and you get the support of a “sponsor” to help you with your oils!

Benefits Of Having An Essential Oil Sponsor

Who you sign up with is so important! You will want a sponsor who actively uses oils themselves and who can support you in your oily journey! Our Nesting Well community has active Facebook groups where you can educate yourself on essential oils, find awesome recipes, get questions answered and even win prizes!! We send out cute cards with tons of recipes and tips in your welcome package. When you sign up with me I will personally help you figure out your oils, ordering etc., so that you never feel lost.

photo showing essential oils and recipes

I can’t wait for you to see the results of using oils in your everyday life! To sign up for a starter kit click the links below. If you need help just send me a message on Facebook, Instagram or through my blog The Ginger Home.

>> SIGN UP HERE <<

…AND GET A FREE GIFT FROM ME (AMANDA) WITH YOUR STARTER KIT PURCHASE!!

Essential oil starter kit

If you need a little more information on the signup process here’s a blog post that walks you through it:

How to Get Started With Young Living Essential Oils – How To Sign Up

Thank you so much for reading this beginner’s guide to essential oils! I hope you found it informative! It really is easy to get started with essential oils and there are so many benefits!! Stay Well friends!

X0,

AMANDA


Meet Amanda | The Ginger Home:

photo of Amanda from The Ginger Home

Amanda started The Ginger Home in 2018 as a creative outlet for her love of all things home. Amanda and her husband Mark have been slowly renovating their small country house in Alberta, Canada over the past 10 years. They’ve become experts at dreaming up creative home decor DIYs to achieve designer style on a budget. She’s passionate about creating a well loved and well lived in home for their family and Amanda loves helping others do the same! Visit her blog at www.thegingerhome.com.


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16 Comments

    1. I do too! Amanda’s guest post was so helpful and has really turned me on to the benefits of essential oils!

  1. I love essential oils!! I’ve been using them for years. Whenever I have a headache, cold or stomach ache I use peppermint.

    1. I love peppermint for headaches too! I have not tried it for a stomach ache. I will have to try next time!

  2. Lovely post! Young Living is one of my favorites, along with Sanje 🙂 and one that has helped me for my headaches is peppermint for sure!!! I am also a huge fan of Lavender . I will be having more essential oil blog post at http://kimburlee.com/ 🙂 make sure to stay in active for the fun!!!

    1. That’s a great point that essential oils should not be applied to small babies and there are definitely oils that can be harmful to pets too.

  3. Thank you for the great article! I have always wanted to try essential oils but things seemed confusing. This clears it all up! Love using “clean” cleaning products, I can’t even believe people use such toxins in their home and laundry. On my daily neighborhood walk, I can’t tell you the number of people smelling like Downey as they walk by!

    Third and Windsor Interior Design

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this guest post from my friend Amanda! I have switched to all “clean” products and have noticed such a difference.

  4. Hello Jennifer,
    I’ve bought essential oils and did not use them coz i didn’t know all these diys.!!
    Thank you for helping me!! Your tutorial helps me more to get proper guidelines.

  5. I recently started following proper skin and hair care routine and that’s where I get to know about the huge benefits of essential oils. I am still in the process of searching the best one for my skin though.Lately, I have been using tea tree but it didn’t suit me so I am currently researching for another good oil for my face and trust me blogs like yours are such a great help for beginners like us! Thanks much!

  6. Your beginner’s guide to essential oils is fantastic! As someone just starting to explore this aromatic world, your insights provide a clear and concise roadmap. Excited to begin this journey with a better understanding. Thanks for making the world of essential oils more accessible for beginners!

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