Health and Vitality Lies Within the Essential Oils of Mother Earth
Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils Can Carry Life-Sustaining, Health-Advancing Nutrients to ALL Your Body Cells
Most people know how beneficial (and sometimes delicious!) herbs are. That they’re packed with vitamins and antioxidants. What most people don’t know, however, is that PURE therapeutic-grade essential oils can carry up to 75 times the concentration of these life-sustaining, health-advancing nutrients!
Plus, essential oils are a far more effective delivery agent.
They are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. They contain hundreds of organic constituents, including hormones, vitamins and other natural elements that work on many levels. They are 50 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils in dried herbs.
Each one has a unique range of health and healing uses…
From nausea, to headaches – digestion, mental clarity, sleep benefits, anti-tumor properties, oral health, weight loss, skin care and anti-aging… the list goes on and on.
Essential oils are life-enhancing gifts from the plant kingdom, revered for centuries for their restorative properties to body, mind, and spirit. They are absorbed into the fluid surrounding the cells beneath the skin’s surface for a variety of effects including deep cleansing, nourishing, rejuvenating and balancing.
All the countries of the world provide essential oils, making aromatherapy a truly global therapy, and information on the specific properties of each essential oil can be found in any one of the hundreds of books published worldwide on the topic.
Quality vs Quantity: Understanding the Grades of Oils Can Help You Avoid Making Things Worse
There are significant differences between synthetic fragrance oils and pure essential oils. The best way to tell the difference between them, is to determine the “grade” of the oil itself. You can go to Whole Foods or your local health food store and find essential oils at a low price, but this doesn’t mean your going to get the results you are looking for.
A fellow massage therapist shared with me an experience one of her clients had had in regards to using lavender on a burn. For those of you who don’t know lavender is really good at easing the pain of a light burn as well as helping it heal faster.
“My client got a small burn from the stove and someone told her that she should use lavender on it in order to help reduce the pain and help it heal. So she went to the local health food store and bought some lavender. Once she got home, she applied the lavender and was shocked! Not only did it not work, but it made it worse. The burn hurt more and was irritated. It was as if she had put butter on it. I felt bad for her, because her friend didn’t tell her the importance of the type of lavender she should get. I taught her about the different grades of oils and that she needs to use therapeutic-grade lavender in the future, not the stuff she got from the health food store.” — Fellow Massage Therapist
I share this story NOT to scare you, but to show you the importance of choosing the correct “grade” of oil. When you recommend an essential oil to someone, I suggest that you also make it clear to them that the “grade” of the oil is very important. Yes, a high quality of oil may cost more, but would you rather pay a bit more to get results, or would you rather pay the least amount possible and risk making things worse?
In my experience, when it comes to essential oils, quality is way more important than quantity and cost. Below I’ve listed the different grades of essential oils.
**Note** I use a particular brand of essential oils for myself and in my practice, and this article is not meant to promote that brand. We all have our preferences, so please honor one anothers’ choices when it comes to the brand of essential oils others in our community use.
These oils are pure, medicinal, and contain all the desired therapeutic compounds. Therapeutic quality oils are usually made from organically grown plants, and are carefully distilled at the proper temperatures. As we begin to understand the power of essential oils in the realm of personal, holistic health care, we will appreciate the necessity for obtaining the purest essential oils possible.
For this reason, the entire process of obtaining these oils must be carefully watched over from beginning to the end, and this means that they will (in general) cost more than other grades of oils.
Natural (Organic) and Certified
These oils may not contain any therapeutic compounds found in a pure oil. If so, it’s only just a few and in low quantity. Compounds are the building blocks of each oil. They oil may have the correct compounds, but not enough to make the oil therapeutic.
Extended or Altered
These oils are perfume grade and may contain the same type of adulterating chemicals as synthetic oils. They usually contain chemical solvents. Remember, even though it may smell nice doesn’t mean it is of good quality.
Synthetic or Nature-Identical
These oils may have been created in a laboratory. They could contain synthetics, pesticides, fertilizers, extenders, or carrier oils. These are the ones you’ll commonly find at retail stores.
Because the process in which this grade of oil is produced, the compounds found in a therapeutic-grade oil may be extremely reduced or not even found. Recall the story I shared above – The woman used lavender to treat her burn, but instead of helping, it made it worse.
As mentioned earlier, lavender has healing properties. This is due to the compounds found in pure lavender oil. However, synthetic lavender may not have the necessary compounds, and therefore not work, or worse, may contain chemicals that make the problem worse.
Nature-Identical oils are cheaper to make because they do NOT have to be produced from an actual plant. Because they don’t need a plant to make these oils, they can mass produce them and sell them to retailers at a low cost. This puts the focus on quantity NOT quality.
This water is a byproduct of the distillation process, a very high quality, IF it comes from a therapeutic-grade distillation process. Accordingly, it is a low quality if it comes from poor quality raw materials and/or poor distillation processes.
Be advised! Therapeutic-grade essential oils are the only grade that I would ever use. Synthetics, pesticides, solvents, chemical additives may SMELL the same but they will NOT have the medicinal properties AND they are certainly not anything I would ever want to use on my body.
Enhance Your Treatments and Provide Home-Care with these Gems of Nature
Personally I like to use essential oils in collaboration with my bodywork and yoga practice. In my experience, they enhance the treatment as well as the benefits of achieved by the particular modality being used. It’s also a great way to get your client involved with their own healing process. You can teach them about aromatherapy and how they can use oils at home.
Essential oils are the quintessential life force of aromatic plants, sometimes called the “soul” of the plant. People who truly appreciate the qualities of them consider each drop a precious jewel to be savored, enjoyed and protected. I’ve heard others refer to pure (therapeutic-grade) essential oils, as precious jewelry or fine wine – Gems of Nature.
I believe aromatherapy has a huge role to play in the natural healing of the world. That is why it is a key element of my lifestyle. There’s not a day goes by that my partner and I don’t use them.
Prior to the industrial age, society used herbs and essential oils to treat illness. There was no running down to your local pharmacy and getting a “magic pill”. You had to go out in nature and find the correct herb, root, bark, or plant to help you heal. We are slowly beginning to rediscover this aspect of Mother Nature and I’m glad to be a part of it.
I love sharing essential oils with others. It’s beautiful watching the dramatic change take place in a person’s face when they take a few deep breaths of Frankincense oil, one of my favorites!
Questions and Actions
What are your favorite essential oils? What do you use them for?
Has anyone had an amazing experience of the healing powers of essential oils, and would you care to share it with us? Thank you!
If you use essential oils, look into their “grade”.
If you use essential oils in your practice and are not using therapeutic-grade essential oils, I invite you to consider looking into it.