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Essential Oils 101: A Beginner’s Guide To Using Essential Oils Safely

Hi friends!! I am really excited to share this article with you, considering this is where my journey began. Almost 4 years ago I went to a house party with an old co-worker. She called me up and invited me to an essential oils 101 class. I had recently tried peppermint essential oil and thought, okay, let’s see what this is all about. I NEVER expected how much that class would change my life. I left with a full starter kit from Young Living, the pioneer company in essential oils. 

I’d like to add a disclaimer that I’m not trying to sell you Young Living essential oils anywhere in this article. I prefer to use this brand in my personal life but you are free to use the brand that works best for you and your family! Be sure to do your research before buying any oil though because not all brands are created the same. Michelle prefers Plant Therapy!

Essential oils started the process of opening me up to the bigger picture. It took me to leading a more holistic lifestyle using a chiropractor as my primary care, plant based cleaning and care products, and then opening up to the universe, reiki, and the spiritual realm! What?! This all started with essential oils. It was my stepping stone and I am forever thankful to Stefanie, who I’m happy to say has become a dear friend. 

I’ll admit, when I signed up with Young Living, I did not know much but decided that it was worth the time to research. So after hours and hours of research, I was thrilled that I had chosen them and I was excited to see what I could learn. I will be honest that learning about essential oils can be overwhelming, intimidating, and seem like learning a new language in the beginning. I chose to take it one step at a time and start with the basics! 

So here we are with the very first question: What are essential oils?

Essential oils have been around for centuries!! So if you think that this is a popular trend that will fizzle out, I’m here to tell you that you are probably wrong… #sorrynotsorry. Essential oils have been around since biblical times and have been used in vast ways! An essential oil is, to put it simply, plant juice. There are proper ways to distill and create the oil, which is where quality will come into play. The plant is either steam distilled, resin tapped, or cold pressed to get the strongest benefit from the botanical and separate the oil from it. 

What happens after the oil is pulled from the plant is very important as this is where quality comes into play. It’s a huge part of the research I did to find the company that I was the most comfortable using on my family and in my home. I asked some questions like what are the oils stored in? How are they harvested? How are they checked for quality? What do you use for fertilizers and pesticides? Are the oils third party tested? I knew the answers that I was searching for and Young Living was the only company that could answer all of my questions without hesitation! 

Which brings us to the second question- How can you use essential oils safely?

Well, it’s not really a question but advice really. Essential oils can be potent and they aren’t all created equally. Lower quality oils have fillers, fragrance, and other chemicals in them. This can cause different reactions and they won’t give the benefits you are intending. Using a high quality essential oil is the safest, but you still need to take caution and be sure you are using them appropriately. 

First, do not put oils in your ears, eyes, genitals, and other “mucus membranes”. IF these oils end up getting into any of these areas, you are going to want to dilute them ASAP with a fatty plant oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, or Young Living’s V6 oil. I personally LOVE coconut oil and the V6. They have a longer shelf life and don’t feel heavy or greasy on my skin. 

Second, please don’t apply oils directly on a baby or your pets. This would require heavy amounts of dilution and careful research to make an educated decision for your family! I am not an expert, but I have taken the time to research and know my comfort levels for my family. Michelle has also done her research and knows what she is comfortable with. 

Third, some essential oils are considered “hot” oils. These oils, when applied directly to your skin can cause burning, tingling, redness and other side effects. Again, the best way to avoid this would be to dilute your oils! 

Lastly, citrus oils do not go well with the sun. When citrus oil is exposed to the sunlight and heat, it can cause adverse reactions and the burning of your skin.

This all comes back to research, comfortability, and knowing your oils! Please consult your healthcare provider before using oils with your medications. 

Okay, now that we have covered the safety tips, here is how to use your oils in your daily routine! 

There are three ways to use an essential oil and that is topically, with safe application, aromatically, through a diffuser or similar product, as well as internally using the vitality or “dietary” line from Young Living. 

We will start with topically, since I slather myself in oils every day… Yup I said slather – LOL. I place my oils on the points of the body to hit my nervous system and get the oils into my body quickly. Remember, dilute your oils when applying topically. Learn from me, I live on the dangerous side and apply my oils neat almost always and then tend to regret that hahaha. Just start on the right foot and dilute your oils. 

There are a few places that I LOVE to apply my oils and they are the most popular places too. I apply to my wrists, inner ankles, and behind my ears. I also apply to the bottoms of my feet, since all of the nerves in your feet reach the nerves in your spine, it will work quicker! The bottoms of your feet have specific spots for specific ailments, this is where reflexology comes into play. To be safe though, I apply all over the bottom – HA! Is that the scientific answer, NOPE, is it effective? Heck Yes!! I also love applying oils to the crown of my head for spiritual awakening and connection. Okay, that’s a lot of places, but it really depends on what I am trying to accomplish and what oil I am using. 

Another option for oils is using them aromatically. Who like a good smelling house?! Non toxic candles – oh yes! When using oils aromatically in a diffuser that uses water, we recommend starting low and slow and adding more if you want! Everyone has a favorite way that they like their oils. My fiance likes his with 3-4 drops, I prefer 8-10 (I want to be smacked in the face with the aroma). When you use a diffuser with water, you can diffuse all day long every day. Using a diffuser where the oil goes directly in with no water, we recommend a half hour use every few hours. The potency is much stronger. We like the ones that have water – your oils go much farther!! 

Using essential oils aromatically provides everyone the benefit however, if using oils with pets, allow it to be a larger room and a place that they can leave. Animals may not like the same oils that you do so giving them the space to leave a room is ideal. Typically pets will like the oils you like and dislike the ones you dislike, it’s like a weird 6th sense! I do not enjoy lavender…. Like at all. As you get to know me, you will know this to be SO true. My dog… also HATES lavender! He goes nuts and can’t wait to get away LOL. We don’t diffuse that one in particular, but other pets LOVE lavender. It’s all preference. There are a lot of rumors out there about oils and pets and the safety factors. Please do YOUR research, be empowered, and use quality oils! 

The third way to use oils is through ingestion. However, not all oils can be ingested! This is another place where quality comes in. For example, Young Living’s vitality line is safe for consumption. Lower quality oils are not safe to ingest. I only ingest 1 to 2 drops at a time, about three to four times a week however, Michelle chooses not to ingest them at all. Oils are strong and your body knows where it needs them. Less is more my friends. Put 1 drop in your tea OR half a drop in your water. How to get a half drop? Dip a toothpick in your oil and then swirl it in your water. This will make sure that the flavor isn’t too strong. I also love to cook with my oils. I add them to smoothies, marinades, dips, and drinks. They add so much flavor and are just a fun way to change it up. 

Please always remember that less is more, you can always add more. Dilute your oils and keep them away from your mucus membranes (eyes, ears, nose, lady bits, and manly parts) and you will be okay! Do your research, empower yourself, and make the best decision for your family! Did I overwhelm you… I hope not!!! It’s a lot to take in, but take baby steps and you will be an avid user in no time! 

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Namaste friends,