Many people have noticed amazing benefits with essential oils.
I sure have. They are unique in that they can cross the cellular membrane because their molecules are so small, which is pretty amazing.
Traditionally, herbal oils have been used for centuries. Records dating as far back as 1000 BC indicate uses of herbs & extracted herbal oils for health purposes. Clove oil & rosemary oil were the most popular essential oil produced during the middle ages. Today we have over 700 different types of herbs to choose from!
In the traditional method of extraction, herbal plant & their flowers were placed in a still and through distillation, the steam was collected and the oil separated from the water. Some essential oils, like citrus, are extracted through the method of expression, which is basically involves scraping the skin to extract it’s oils. You know that mist that comes off of an orange or lemon when squeezed? That mist contains the essential oils of the fruit.
The modern methods of extraction are most often done with supercritical solvents such as CO2. This process uses high pressure and heat to force the plant to release it’s oils. Some plants, like Frankincense & Myrrh, do well with this method. Others lose their important elements in this process. Some companies today still practice traditional methods of essential oil extraction and in my opinion, the traditional method is best.
The fact that essential oils are 50-70 times more concentrated than the herb makes sense why it is so effective. And while this is awesome and amazing that people are turning to natural remedies instead of prescription medication, I think it’s also important to find a balance.
Let’s face it, as a society, we tend to get more excited about CURES rather than PREVENTION. Once the news breaks that some food is a miracle cure…everybody is quick to jump on the bandwagon, but we forget about one key element in optimal health.
As you know, I’m a traditionalist at heart. I love learning about how to live off the land and nourish my family with traditional wisdom! We try our best to eat real food — grass-fed, full-fat meat — whole raw grass-fed dairy — traditional fats such as butter, lard, tallow, coconut & olive oil — whole-grains prepared properly — and plenty of seasonal produce! Personally, we have noticed amazing health benefits from eating real food.
One thing I do know is…No amount of essential herbal oil can trump a bad diet.
The best part of eating a traditional diet? Your body does this amazing thing with food — it finds a natural balance in the amount of each food group consumed! No more portion control or counting calories! I believe whole-heartily that if we can connect to the earth and eat in each season appropriately, then we won’t have to count our protein, fat or daily nutrient count. Does this mean we never go to the store and we live off dried meat and seasonal berries we scavenge by the road? Absolutely not! We just try our best to eat real food — and find a natural balance in the process.
Are you overdosing on essential oils?
Just like a person can overdose on carrots to the point where their skin turns orange, just like a person can overdose on nutmeg to the point where it becomes a hallucinogen, just like you CAN in fact drink too much water to the point of death, so can a person overdose on herbal essential oils.
For example, one drop of lemon oil is equal to 1 POUND of lemons. Whoa. That’s a lot of lemons. So, if you like to put lemon essential oil in your water, wouldn’t it make sense to use sparingly?
Does this mean essential oils are bad for us?
No! Essential oils are amazing and have many uses. BUT, we need to find a good balance. In low concentrations, diluted with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil, essential herbal oils can be used as a wonderful alternative to medication. Using herbal essential oils appropriately also helps ease the costs of the things, (because dang, are they expensive!)
As symptomatic relief, herbal essential oils are my go to. If I’m being honest though, by eating a real food diet, we don’t have many symptoms that need alleviating. We focus on prevention, not cures. And while we believe in the benefits of herbal essential oils, we also know that part of living a truly healthy life means finding balance — in all things.
How I find the balance with Essential Oils
I LOVE using essential oils, but I don’t spend thousands or go overboard with them either. I find a happy balance and enjoy the benefits of essential oils whenever I need them:)
So, when does my family use essential oils?
- occasional muscle & joint discomfort
- clearing my head and helping me focus
- balancing my system
- to help support good hormone function
- increasing my energy
- easing head & neck tension
- to cleanse our home
- to stimulate digestive production before & after a meal
- soothing digestive discomfort
- calming a difficult child
- improving respiratory health
- calming my anxious thoughts
- for aromatherapy (goodbye candles!)
- for healthcare on us and our goats, sheep, chickens, & dogs.
- making homemade (peppermint) chocolate ice cream
- making homemade toothpaste
- making homemade deodorant
- making homemade soap
- making homemade udder balm
- making homemade baby & cleaning wipes
- making homemade cleaners
- making homemade lip balm
- making our laundry smell amazing
- making our bathrooms smell amazing
- and much more
This may seem like overdoing it with essential oils, but we use only a few drops which not only helps us find a good balance, but also saves us money:)
Thanks for info. I’m about 140 lbs overweight and going to try hCG diet. There is a limit to the oils used in moisturizers, conditioners etc.
I can use baby oil, but I usually add a few drops of essential oils for natural fragrance.
I will have to phone my physicians office to ask, still not sure.
You look so healthy! I am making note of the wholesome food you eat, your article was inspiring to me.
shelley nobile says
HI, what is your fave brand? I’ve been researching it lately. Thank you!
DaNelle Wolford says
Hi Shelley, if you go here: https://www.weedemandreap.com/how-to-buy-essential-oils/ you can enter your email for more info!
I am presently a Canadian living in France and essential oils are sold in the pharmacies in the same way we see cough medicines. In fact, essential oils are more prevalent than cough medicines. I do not worry about quality when I buy them in a pharmacy. As well, the pharmacist is willing and able to help when you have questions about essential oils. How civilized! What happened in North America insofar as the potential therapeutic effects of essential oils go? Just wanted to let you know that there are parts of the world that treat these oils as the potentially valid beneficial treatments they are.
Thanks for all the great info!! I started drinking lemon EO in my water. Can I put a drop of lemon in my glass (16.oz”s) every time? Or better in only one or two glasses a day? I’m drinking about 4-5 glasses a day.
DaNelle Wolford says
I typically only do it once or twice a day:0
Would you mind telling me the reference you found for 1 drop of lemon oil equalling 1 LB of lemons. That doesn’t seem right to me, but I’d love to read whatever reference you got that from.
I LOVE this article. Great information. So much of it just comes back to common sense. Right??
It takes around 45-50 lemons to make 15ml. Lemon essential oil is cold-pressed from the rind, and lemon juice comes from the pulp. Resulting in two very different substances with different properties. These facts arent right at all.
Hi Brianne and Jennifer-
Here is doTERRA’s info on their Lemon EO. https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-lemon-oil
There are anywhere from 250-350 drops per 15mL bottle and a pound of lemons can range from 2-4 lemons, all depending on size. I hope this information helps.
Thank you for reading and posting! -Bobbi (DaNelle’s Assistant)
Nicole Thayer says
Could you point me in the direction of where you got your info? I’m not doubting you, I just want to look at it, see what oils they tested, and how they were used so I can keep my family safe 🙂 Thanks!
[email protected] says
Thought provoking article! While I don’t use a lot of essential oils now, my interest has been increasing. I will keep these factors in mind as I move forward!
Isabelle Goyer says
Great post!! I am 100% with You… Balance is always the key!
Deanna Norris says
I love this post. Sharing it with all my oil junkie friends. 😉
thank you for posting this blog. notice that you only speak of your favorite brand of oils – which does not speak for every oil in the world. i believe only the PUREST essential oils should be used – no negative reactions at all.
Chris Anderson says
how do your absolutely KNOW that your favorite brand has reached a billion dollars a year? Can you prove this? Have you seen a company prospectus on it? I would hate to pass that knowledge on if it is not true. A BILLION is a huge amount!!!!
Would you send me your source?
There are farms that produce lavender and blue spruce, etc. If you research these companies, you will find that reputable owners of these farms will test and amend the soil before each planting. Testing is also done during the growing season. These fields are not over farmed. The key word is REPUTABLE! Find a company that can back up their claims of natural, organic and use proper distillation methods. As far as I know, there are only a small handful out there that you can research their processes by actually going to their company and asking to see with your own eyes how they produce their products. If one company can do this why wouldn’t the others make their companies transparent as well? Protect yourselves with knowledge of what you are putting in and on your bodies. And yes, of course, know your oils and use them properly ALONG with proper nutrition, exercise and mental health.
get rid of silverfish home remedies says
There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this issue. I really like all of the points you’ve
Here is my homepage … get rid of silverfish home remedies
I don’s know if you can answer this but I make my own tick spray with tea tree oil and water, a 1:2 ratio. I spray this on my kids with a spray bottle several times a week during tick season (May-August). Is that too much?
Meagan Visser says
Great post! I think the heart of all healthy living lies in diet and lifestyle. If we use natural remedies like herbs, homeopathy, or essential oils to fix our illnesses then we’re using them just like we would a medication we get from our doctor. If we start with proper nutrition, we won’t have as many illnesses to deal with.
Another interesting point you brought out was about sustainability of essential herbs. I recently heard another blogger talking about this with herbs. People are now using them so much that they’re being mass produced on farms. I’m all for making these things more available, but does it decrease their beneficial properties… farming them? I think that could depend on how they’re grown or like you said, how the oils are extracted. I suppose that’s why it’s important to purchase oils and herbs from reputable, organic sources. So you know you’re getting a quality substance. That’s for this info… it good to think about.
Ashley Bridger says
Great post! 🙂 http://www.hernewglow.blogspot.com
Preach on! This is fantastic.
Janine Thompson says
Absolutely agree! And I love, love, love your favorite brand. Honestly, however, for the most part, the people that have come to classes I teach are already on a healthy food journey and this is just another step to cut toxins out of their lives. I did teacha group this weekend that were clearly not interested in changing diet and lifestyle. I warned them that it is not a mgic pill, but just one step to aid your body in healing itself. I feel really badly for people who pay a fortune for the oils and will see no result because of their toxic lifestyle. But for those who already have made changes, these oils are a powerful part of that arsenal. Good post. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.
Denise In Bloom says
I love this post, and I love essential oils! I found you through the Village Green Network facebook page, as I recently joined there. I am anxious to read more of your blog. Nice to “meet” you.
Have a great week!
The Duckworth Family says
Definitely the key word here is balance. We can get carried away with too much of a good thing (even exercise!). I have loved my oils and appreciate this post.
Fantastic! Thanks for the perspective! I loved the “could I grow thousands of pounds of lavendar…?” question. Such a good thing to think about. Balance is critical!
Barry Martin says
Thanks – thoughtfully presented and thought provoking. Cutting back on the “More is Mo-Bettah!” behaviour is a challenge I confront after years of subscribing to that faux-value.
What a great post! We need to be reminded every once in a while to step back and take stock in how we are living in all aspects of life and make sure we haven’t developed extreme habits.
I never think of turning to eseential oils for ailment cures because I’m not that savvy on their uses but do have quite a few to use in making soaps, lotions, and lip balms.
Your approach to eating what you can make and grow plus what is in season is the most sensible plan in eating whole foods and keeping healthy.