There is SO much information on essential oils and I know that more and more research will emerge as the “industry” grows realizing the potential of the power of oils. That also being said, the science I’m talking about here is unique to one company that has pioneered the re-introduction of essential oils into families lives for wellness benefits. I cannot speak for other oil companies out there selling under the promise of being “pure” or “natural” or “organic”. Who knows maybe they are. But are they therapeutic grade? I’ll get into what that means later on. But ask that company if you can visit their farm, talk to their employees, watch them distill it. Are they transparent in their testing, in AND out of house? Young Living is. That’s just ONE of the reasons I am so in love with Young Living, their purpose, their offering of wellness AND abundance.
So let’s start with the most basic of the basics.
What are essential oils?
You know if you cut into the bark of a tree or plant? Usually, a sap will come out right? well, if you were to wipe away that sap, behind it, is a wet residue left. What is that? yep, it’s the plant’s oil coming to aid of the plant.
“Essential oils are the volatile liquids distilled from plants. Expertly authenticated, cultivated, harvested, and steam distilled to preserve “nature’s living energy.” Mankind’s first medicine.”
essential oils are the life of the plant.
Similar the way blood is to our own bodies. The oils of a plant transport nutrients and oxygen and fight for the plant by combating against harmful exposures in the environment.
Our blood is so similar which is where this gets ooh soo interesting ( I just love it). The uniques lipid-soluble structure of essential oils is very comparable to the the makeup of our own cell membranes. This means essential oils have the power and ability to penetrate our cell membranes, giving them the ability when applied topically, to travel through every single cell in our body in 20 minutes.
I can’t make this stuff up!
Essential oils are composed of anywhere from 200-500 different bio-constituents, of which linalyl acetate, linalool, cis-beta-ocimene, trans-beta-ocimene, and terpinen-4-ol are major components. All of these constituents are important for the oils ability to support our body systems and improve our wellness.
The tricky part of getting the benefits of these constituents from essential oils is through what’s called a therapeutic grade oil.
I get asked all the time “what exactly does therapeutic grade mean?”
Well, what it means is this:
A therapeutic grade oil came from a non-GMO seed, planted in virgin organic soil, grown without chemicals of any type, harvested correctly, distilled correctly*, tested for quality (meaning looking for the desired constituents present, because incorrect harvesting or distillation can compromise this), and bottled up with no other additives whatsoever, natural or synthetic. It also must be cared for in proper temperatures and bottles away from direct prolonged sunlight as not to alter the chemical makeup of the bottled oil.
THAT’S what a therapeutic oil is. One that has the most powerful compounds from nature preserved in it that has equal power to affect changes in your body.
Now I want to touch back on those bio-constituents I mentioned earlier.
Each bio-constituent have specific properties. Terpenoids (A large and diverse class of naturally occurring organic chemicals) are found in all essential oils and are constructed out of the same building block which is an isoprene. An isoprene unit is a set of five connected carbon atoms with eight hydrogen atoms attached. This is what the formula generally looks like: (C5H8) n.
I want to talk about three different groups of these constituents specifically: Phenols, Monoterpenes, and Sesquiterpenes. Don’t let me lose you, KEEP reading. I promise it’s so cool.
- Phenols are powerful antimicrobial compounds composed of carbon with a hexagonal ring incorporating one isoprene unit. Because of their antimicrobial properties, phenol help clean cell receptor sites which is extremely important in your cell’s ability and efficiency in communicating with other cells. When your cells can communicate the way they are supposed to, your body functions properly at a higher rate of efficiency. Prettyyy cool.
- Monoterpenes are the most common class of constituents and they are found in most essential oils. They are compounds containing two isoprene units. Their main function is to inhibit free radicals (toxins) from accumulating in cells and assist it in reprograming miswritten information in cellular memory. This ensures your body is, again, functioning efficiently and properly.
- Sesquiterpenes are compounds containing three isoprene units. This group is unique and works twofold—they deliver oxygen to cells and can erase or deprogram miswritten codes in cellular memory.
I seriously fall in love with the science behind oils more and more every day.
So how exactly can they support me?
Aromatically, topically, internally.
If I were to go into all of these I would A) probably not be compliant and B) lead people to use essential oils unsafely who aren’t using high quality oils
SO, that being said, I’m just going to cover aromatic use.
So a lot of people think…if something smells good, it’s a placebo effect that makes them “feel good”. I’m here to tell you that’s incorrect and here’s why. Oils not only support our biological functioning but also our emotional functioning.
“Unlike psychological mechanisms, the pharmacological mechanics for aromatherapy is not thought to involve any perception of the odor. The effects are thought to be due to the compounds entering the body and acting directly on the brain, i.e. Via the bloodstream by absorption through the lungs or olfactory mucosa” (Vance, 1999).”
So the molecules that are vaporized in the air through diffusers travel to the olfactory epithelium (the center of the olfactory sensation). Receptor cells are triggered by the molecules, sending impulses to the olfactory bulb. The bulb transmits the impulses to the amygdala in the limbic system. Amygdala- This is where are emotional memories are stored. Smell- the sense of smell is the only of the 5 senses directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain (the emotional control center). Are you following me?
The limbic lobe can directly “activate” the hypothalamus.
What does the hypothalamus govern? Just to name a few: Body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep, and circadian cycles, the production of thyroid hormones, and neurotransmitters such as serotonin. It acts as our hormonal control center regulating numerous part of our body systems among other things.
So even without a sense of smell (many studies have been completed with severe dementia patients showing benefits using essential oils, since many people with dementia may be anosmic because of the early loss of olfactory neurons) you can receive biological and emotional benefits from essential oil use.
Still think It’s just a “fad”?
I hope that some of this information at leasts prompts you to do more of your own research into essential oils and the power that they have. Because it’s just so real and I believe can change families lives in amazing ways. They have changed our way of living and how we view wellness and I can’t WAIT to see where oils and Young Living continue to take me.
And in case you were wondering about what our “medicine cabinet” looks like 😉
Isn’t she beautiful!?
If you’re ready to take the plunge, please feel free to ask me more about them! I always love oily questions and mentoring new members along their oil journey.