Ok, first of all. Before we get started, I have to admit something to you.
For the last 3 years, I’ve been so anti all things essential oils.
Like, YEARS people. I’d GIANT EYE ROLL at people that claimed that they helped “cure” anything from eye infections to shoulder injuries. You know the same people, I bet.
I thought, legitimately, that they were:
A big scam.
The placebo effect at best.
Just something trendy.
A multi-level marketing sensation (barf).
It was too much to get over.
My friend Katie (an avid user, but never a pusher), used to laugh at me. Suit yourself, she’d say. They help and they’re magical, but you’d have to be open to it first.
I can’t even remember what made me even willing to try a few, through my intense stubbornness.
But, about a year ago, I finally decided to be an adult, and just test it out for myself.
Skeptically. And so very slowly.
I started small, buying a little bottle of lemon oil at Whole Foods, purely because it seemed much easier and lazy-approved to do a drop of that instead of having to have fresh ones on hand at all times (including travel days).
I didn’t know what I was doing (or that there is in fact, different grades of purity and sourcing on oils, some for ingesting, and some not. Whoops).
I’d read quotes like this, “pioneering researchers are beginning to unlock the powerful influence the aromas of essential oils have on brain-wave activity. Increasing theta brain-wave activity is a preferred state for meditation because it heightens receptiveness and provides access to knowledge and information that is normally beyond conscious awareness – Mind Body Green
And, then piece it together. The skin is our biggest ORGAN in the body, and absorbs everything we put on it, or near it.
It’s why I’ve always stayed far away from commercial cleaners, bodycare, personal care and household products, always, so that part made sense. But it was the emotional, mental component I was curious about this most– how did that work? And why?
Essential oils, can stimulate the brain or are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, where they can affect internal organs. Scents do stimulate a part of the brain that influences emotions, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. Smell is the only sense that travels directly to the brain from the sensory organ. Scent messages are picked up by olfactory receptors in the nose and transported directly to the brain’s limbic region.– New York Times
Tiny ways to change lanes and get refreshed at different points in the day.
I mean, I guess they couldn’t hurt anything. They’re definately natural. They’re pure. And they do smell pretty good. Most of them, at least.
So, I started testing them out. Playing and reading more about about them, but with my guard still up:
A few drops of eucalyptus oil in the shower (home spa day? ok… um, yes. I’m ok with this).
A drop of peppermint oil on my tongue after lunch (ooo, that’s pretty nice. And no sugar needed). Or a drop in my green smoothie bowl for a mint-chocolate cocoa nib crunch situation when I was out of the fresh leaves (hmm.. how convenient).
A little lavender dapped on my wrists before my eyemask and earplugs go in for my nightly princess snooze (yes, I’m admitting that in writing right now).
A little drop of orange oil in my sparkling water (see ya, weird la croix”natural flavors”).
A tiny splash of ginger oil in Kyle’s whiskey cocktails (so sugar even needed, and suddenly I had a husband who wasn’t giving me the curious side eye anymore).
A little deep blue oil on sore muscles, or from computer headaches during program launches? (What could it hurt?)
A few drops in my Monday night chill baths? (um, quickly something that became the best part.)
Little by little, I’d get slightly more open.
I finally ordered some higher grade ones– not just the random grocery store variety— and was totally blown away by how different they smelled and worked.
I started to add a drop or two to a spray bottle and use that for cleaning (lemon, eucalyptus or peppermint), when I ran out of my 7th generation spray.
I started reading more about the thousands of nerve endings on your feet, and started to mix some of my favorite calming ones (breathe, deep blue, or lavender) with my magnesium spray and rub it on my feet and the inside of my arms and wrists as a little best-sleep-I’ve-ever-had nightly ritual before bed.
Followed by a mmmmmm…. you smell good pre-bed snuggle.
Did my life change drastically? To be honest, no. Nothing crazy.
Were they magical cure-alls for everything, working immediately and fast on demand? No.
But, did they make everything a little bit more soothing and peaceful, and like I had a toolbox for whatever mood, season, travel, ailment or need around the house? Definately.
Did it help encourage me to have little moments of #dailyjoys, and self care rituals that were free of chemicals and scary hormone disrupting fragrances/toxins? Yes ma’am.
Monday night wine + This Is Us watching, have been voluntarily replaced by Monday night spa/bath night/face mask night. I crave it, and look forward to it now. I mean, that means something big, right?
And overall, do they create little moments of ENJOYING taking care of myself better? 100%. Like little mini grounding moments that brought me back to good, in an instant.
Well, I guess….then, what’s the harm?
I began to realize that there were actually very little downsides. If they encouraged me to find joy in other healthy things and habits, why not?
So, over the last year, with almost daily use of some kind, I’m so in.
This is my official coming out.
I love my little oils. It only took a year or so to work up the courage to say that out loud.
And as life gets crazier, I feel like I lean into them more. Travel, moving this summer, and the busiest seasons yet in my business? I’ve got this. It’s like a mini portable spa, medicine cabinet, and superpowers that gives me more control and power to exactly how I want to feel.
I spend less money on cleaning products, bath products and my nightly face oil routine has gotten upgraded.
So, needless to say, I’ve even felt thankful for these little bursts of pause, grounding, and #dailyjoys that they bring to my day.
And that I’m no expert, I’ll never into the sales or “business” side of them (still barf), but as a easy, portable, and tangible tool in my healthy toolbox? I’ll admit it. I’m kinda obsessed.
I’ve also learned that quality makes such a difference with this. The oils I first bought from the natural food store are NOTHING like the upgraded and purer versions from the more serious companies that focus only on this, and this alone.
When I was first tinkering around, I wasn’t using them that often, so lower-grade felt harmless. And that may be a totally easy place to start. Just make sure they are organic and food or therapeutic-grade, if possible.
For me now, I love knowing that all of mine are pure enough to ingest, which is how I like to roll with ALL of my household products. But, that’s just my personal preference, knowing what I know about the natural food and product industry.
There are a lot of great, good quality oil companies out there, and I spent a lot of time researching and testing A LOT of different ones, and have finally found one that I love, trust their sourcing and that works for me.
And to be totally honest, it’s taken me almost a year to talk about it and share, because they do have a “referral sales” side of the company too.
I’m not into that, and will prob never be. But, what I do love is their wholesale membership option, just like Costco, so that’s what I do to get the best prices on the good quality stuff that get sent right to my doorstep when I want them.
So for anyone else who’s always been a little curious (or, highly skeptical like I was), there’s only one way to really find out if they’re something that will bring a lot to your life- test ’em out yourself, in real life.