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A Basic Guide to Essential Oils for Better Health

Ok friends, this post could get really long in a hurry because this is a BIG topic! But, I'm going to try to keep things as concise as possible, while still educating you and guiding you as best I can!

Why Use Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used for decades, but have become much more widely popular in recent years for people who want more natural remedies for everything from pain, illness, allergies, anxiety and stress relief, to sleep issues, skin issues, digestion, and household cleaning.

In short, essential oils are highly potent and concentrated liquid extracts derived from the bark, flowers, leaves, roots, seeds, and stems of plants, that can be used for aromatic and wellness purposes.

In our family we’ve grown to love using essential oils for many things, like:

  • Headaches

  • Tummy aches

  • Toothaches

  • Immunity 

  • Cold & flu

  • Allergies

  • Eczema & rashes

  • Acne

  • Wounds

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Stress

  • PMS

  • Joint & muscle pain

  • Energy

  • Focus

  • Cleaning

  • Relaxation

Image Credit:    Rocky Mountain     Oils

Image Credit: Rocky Mountain Oils

How to Use Essential Oils

There are three main ways to use essential oils: diffusion, topical application and household.

Diffusing Essential Oils

One of the most effective ways to use essential oils is by diffusing them as an aromatic mist into the air using a diffuser. As you breathe them in the beneficial properties of the oils are immediately absorbed into the body.

Topical Essential Oils

Another effective way to use certain essential oils is to apply them topically to your body. This method works best when you have a specific area of the body that needs relief (for example, an upset stomach, skin issues, muscle pain or a headache).

You first dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil (to reduce the extreme potency to a safe level for topical application) then apply it to the desired area and the oil will be absorbed right into the body, providing immediate relief.

Household Essential Oils

And the last way to use essential oils is for common household purposes. Certain essential oils can be mixed with commonly found ingredients like water, baking soda, vinegar or borax to create powerful, natural, non-toxic cleaning products.

Image Credit:    Rocky Mountain Oils

Image Credit: Rocky Mountain Oils

How to Choose Essential Oils

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past several years, you’re probably quite familiar with some of the big essential oil companies out there, and have probably seen a variety of other essential oil brands in your local grocery store or health food store.

With so many options out there, how do you know which oils to choose?!

For me personally, it comes down to the following three considerations:

Quality: All essential oils are NOT created equal, so it’s important to do your research when it comes to choosing oils that are truly 100% pure, organic when possible, and processed correctly to protect and retain the beneficial properties of each oil.

There is little in the way of standardized essential oil regulations, so when a company uses terms like “therapeutic grade” or “clinical grade” to describe their oils, that essentially means whatever they want it to mean because those terms aren’t standardized within the industry to meet any specific criteria.

Transparency: I believe strongly that an essential oil company should be willing to have their products third-party tested for purity and quality, and transparent with customers about the results of this testing.

Any essential oil company that cares about selling only 100% pure essential oils will have every single batch of their oils tested with at least two tests, usually run simultaneously: the gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) tests.

If the company you’re considering doesn’t conduct this third-party testing, and you can’t find or access the results of specific batch tests easily, I would reconsider using their products.

Value: Obviously, as with anything in life, you want to get the most bang for your buck, and essential oils are no different! But it’s important to remember that high quality essential oils are of high value because they require a large amount of plant matter to produce a small amount of powerfully potent oil.

This means that good quality essential oils should never be cheap. If they are, you probably want to run in the other direction! Just because an oil is expensive doesn’t mean it’s automatically a better oil, but the old adage, “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is” definitely applies here.

Don’t be fooled by discount retailers, big box stores, state fair or bazaar vendors, and others who sell essential oils at super low prices, or charge the same price for all of their oils!

The Oils We Personally Use & Love

Our family has used several of the most popular oil brands, including the two big guys (DoTerra and Young Living) and had mostly good experiences.

Ultimately the reason we switched from the big MLM companies is because I wanted the simplest, best option for our family.

I didn’t want to have to be ordering every month to stay active and get the best pricing - I don’t love that kind of commitment, don’t need to buy oils or products that often, and didn’t want to pay higher retail prices as a regular customer.

So after lots of digging and researching our family has settled on using Rocky Mountain Oils, a high quality oil company comparable to DoTerra, Young Living, and others.

Image Credit:    Rocky Mountain Oils

Image Credit: Rocky Mountain Oils

Here’s a quick rundown of what ultimately led to me choosing this brand:

  1. They are deeply committed to delivering only the highest quality essential oils (you can read more about their S.A.A.F.E Promise here)

  2. They are completely transparent about their sourcing and production standards

  3. They provide all third-party GC/MS test results free of charge on their website for each batch of every oil they sell

  4. They offer a 90-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee return policy

  5. They offer FREE shipping on all orders placed in the domestic US with guaranteed delivery between 3-7 business days

  6. There are NO membership fees, monthly minimums or auto-ship program requirements to receive better pricing

  7. They offer an awesome Oil’ty Rewards Program that allows you to earn points with every purchase that can be used towards the purchase of future products (without signing any commitments!)

  8. They pre-label their essential oil lids instead of selling you stickers to do it yourself (this is a small thing, but means a lot to me and makes life simpler!)

  9. Each essential oil bottle clearly indicates how the oil can be used (aromatically, topically, or for household use) which again, makes my life simpler.

  10. They’re education and safety focused, providing loads of resources to make sure people learn how to use oils safely and effectively

Since making the switch I can honestly say I’m extremely happy with the decision. I don’t think the other big companies are bad, this was just the best fit for me and my family (and maybe it will be for yours too!)

Image Credit:    Rocky Mountain Oils

Image Credit: Rocky Mountain Oils

How to Get Started

If you’re new to essential oils, you can check out RMO’s Essential Oils 101 learning resources here.

If you want to get started with Rocky Mountain Oils, it couldn’t be any easier. There’s no complicated membership programs or secret handshake, you just head over to the website and start shopping!

And if there’s a blend you particularly love from another company, RMO has made it super easy to find a comparable blend by providing this handy product comparison chart.

If you have any questions about choosing and using essential oils safely and effectively, feel free to come let us know if The Better Health Project Facebook group!

Always cheering you on in your better health journey!

xo Kelsey