What are Essential Oils?

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear essential oils? Most people think about something that makes a room smell nice or an aromatherapy massage. Essential oils are so much more than this though. They are little drops of wonder that can be used in so many different ways and to assist with many day to day aspects of our lives. They can be used to benefit the different body systems such as our immune system or our respiratory system.

Essential oils are the oils found in different parts of plants. They can be extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, seeds and even the peel of the fruit. The best way to look at it is that a plant can’t move from where it is. It thus cannot escape from any threats or predators. The plant therefore needs to hold within itself anything it may need for protection and healing. The oils taken from the plants hold all of these amazing properties.

 The incredible thing about plant oils is that they are unique and versatile. This means that one oil isn't only used for one purpose but many. For example Lavender essential oil is well known for it’s calming properties. It is known to assist with a better nights sleep. Lavender is also an oil that can be used for skin related issues. It has been shown to soothe itchy skin and bug bites. Lavender is also great for dry skin and skin imperfections. One oil - many uses. 

Essential oils can be used in a number of ways:


Breathing in essential oils can have an impact on our mood. It takes 22 seconds for the oils to get to your brain. This means smelling the oils can have a very quick impact on how you feel. Different oils are used to bring about their own unique emotional change – think lavender for calming and citrus to give energy and uplift the mood. You can either breathe the oils directly from your cupped hands or place them into a diffuser. Adding oils to your bath gives both aromatic and topical benefits.

How does this work? Essential oils aren't just smells. Essential oils take on the form of a gas as little chemical compounds. When we breathe in essential oils the molecules make their way into our limbic system. The limbic system is the centre of our emotions and it directly connects to parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, stress levels, hormone levels and even our memories. This is why it can impact the different systems of the body.


Some essential oils can be applied directly to the skin, other oils need to be diluted before being applied. These are referred to as "hot" oils. For children and those with sensitive skin it is better to dilute any oil in a carrier oil such as Fractionated coconut oil or Young Living's V-6 enhanced vegetable oil complex. How much you dilute the oil will depend on who the oil is for. Adults you can put about 10 drops per 10ml of fractionated coconut (depending on the oil you are using); kids 2-3 drops per 10ml and babies 1 drop per 15ml carrier oil. You can mix the oils in a dropper bottle or roller bottle for future use. You can apply the oil onto the bottom of the feet, down the spine, the back of the neck, on the wrist or over the pulse points to name a few. You can also use them for a luxurious massage. It takes 2 minutes for the oils to start having an effect and 20 minutes for the oils to reach every fabulous cell in your body.

Our belly button is a great connection to the rest of the body, very much like the limbic system in the brain. It was the point where we received all of our nutrients when we were in the womb. It remains connected to the body. I like to place a few drops of oil into the belly button for a fast response from the body. Where as the bottom of the feet the skin is much thicker so the oil will absorb slower through the feet giving a more long term slow release effect.

Essential oils are cost effective

Essential oils are potent. One drop of peppermint essential oil is the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea. This means that each little drop of essential oil can have a huge impact. When I make a Roller bottle of oils for my girls I usually mix 1-2 drops with 10ml carrier oil and this can easily last 3-4 months using it on both my girls. This makes the oils so incredibly affordable. I have worked out the cost per drop of each oil for you to give you an idea. Taking into account the roller bottle, carrier oil and the essential oil most blends in my house cost R15-28 (thats under R2.50 a month per kid). And the effect these oils have had in my home are beyond worth every cent of that. 

Essential oils are safe

Essential oils are natural. I have seen a huge shift in the last few years of families looking for more natural solutions for their families. They are wanting to rid their homes and lives of unnecessary toxins. Essential oils help with exactly that! Young Living oils are safe, natural and organic. They are also safe for every person in your family from baby to kids all the way through to great grandparents. The important thing is to make sure you dilute the oils based on the age and skin sensitivity of the person using them. There are a few oils that are not safe for babies or for pregnant woman so make sure you check a respectable resource for each oil before using but most are completely safe to use.