Essential oils: a brief intro
What is an essential oil?
If you've ever rubbed lavender or rosemary between your fingers and enjoyed the scent, then you're acquainted with the aromatic qualities of essential oils already... woohoo! But they deliver so much more than just scent (as I continue to discover, to my amazement).
Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds extracted from plants. I get really excited about plant chemistry... just so you know. 'Volatile' means they evaporate easily, which is why you can pretty much smell an oil as soon as you unscrew the cap of a bottle. As for the compounds - this is the exciting bit! Essential oils are comprised of up to hundreds of different chemical compounds. Within the plant, these play crucial roles in protecting it from environmental threats, repelling pests, attracting pollinators, healing from infection... They are the immune system of the plant.
All these different compounds?
Once extracted and placed in a little glass bottle...
WE get to access those healing, protective, regenerative properties that they provide for the plants. (Us and plants, we're made of the same stuff, y'know?)
▴ Lavender and frankincense relax the nervous system, reduce inflammation, and promote great looking skin
▴ Lemon and other citrus oils are high in antioxidants that support our detoxification pathways
▴ DigestZen (a blend) can instantly soothe bloating and indigestion
▴ Peppermint opens our airways and can improve exercise performance (and wake you the F up in the afternoons) (and help soothe headaches) (and support digestive health) (Mr Versatile this one!)
▴ Tea tree is good for spots, but it's also a powerful anti-microbial agent, so it's one to keep nearby for fighting germs and dealing with mould at home
▴ Rosemary helps with hair loss
▴ Marjoram (and others) can relieve joint and muscle pain
doterra + new paradigm business practices
I've chosen to be an ambassador, or a wellness advocate, for doTERRA essential oils. This is why I wouldn't (and don't) use another brand, and why I adore supporting this company:
▴ No other essential oil company tests its oils for purity as rigorously as doTERRA. There's no one singular standard of purity in the aromatherapy industry (there's a lot of adulteration going on). So doTERRA decided to set their own standard: Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). This refers to a whole process of lab tests that each batch of oil goes through after distillation to ensure it's free of contaminants, pesticides, fillers, heavy metals and synthetic compounds. Each batch of oil is also third-party tested, the results of which are freely available via SourceToYou.com (an amazing resource to learn more about co-impact sourcing, too). Transparency, baby!
▴ doTERRA's mission is to deliver the health-enhancing benefits of essential oils with the world, but not without caring equally about the health of its supply chain. As many of the oils are sourced from developing countries (where the plants best thrive), doTERRA have an opportunity to positively impact communities in these areas, which they do through their co-impact sourcing model and their Healing Hands Foundation. I really urge you to click through those links and read more about each of those initiatives. Every year millions of dollars go back into communities in Somalia, Haiti, Nepal, Madagascar and many other countries where the oils are sourced, often by collaborating with already-existing NGOs and charities on the ground to make a profound impact in these impoverished areas. (Think: access to clean water, education, healthcare facilities.)
there is no other essential oils rooted in this kind of integrity and impact.
This is conscious business in action.
If you're a conscious consumer - which I know you are - then you'll want to know that this is where your money goes. When you buy doTERRA oils, you're voting with your dollar for more of these business practices. This is game-changing stuff, people.
my journey with doterra oils so far
I'm going to be really honest with you. My story isn't one of "I had severe health issues and the oils turned things around for me". I bought my first oils because I became curious in the ways in which they could enhance my emotional wellbeing and connection to myself, and I liked the idea of having little botanical sidekicks around. It may be a complete and utter coincidence, but since the oils have landed on my lap, my personal growth trajectory has taken on a whole new, deeper dimension (and continues to - now more than ever). I use them to keep my nervous system grounded (I'm prone to sensory overload), to help with focus, creativity and concentration, I've eliminated loads of chemical-laden household cleaners and cosmetics in lieu of making my own natural stuff, and of course I turn to them first in case of headaches, sniffles, pains, skin irritations, digestive upsets.
Once I realised that 1) essential oils were in themselves such an effective, holistic healing modality, and that this is what is so desperately needed in our current healthcare model, and 2) I could share these oils and create a business doing so that was location-independent, I decided to jump in and start building my own crew of plant-powered, wellness-prioritising peeps! You can read more about that here.