Essential Oils: Does brand matter?

 

Nemo / Pixabay

One of the things that happened when I started to step into essential oils was feeling completely overwhelmed.

There are so many brands to pick from. Certain brands will tell you that they are better than others. From other products, I know that sometimes brand does matter.

Then there is the cost. A simple bottle of lavender oil can range from $6.50-$56/ounce. That is a huge range and an investment if you buy the more expensive brands.

The other side of me wondered how one can be so cheap. I worried about the quality and purity of the oil. What was in the oil to make the price range so extreme?

I started doing lots of research. Books did not help. They only gave recipes or promoted their own brand so I turned to the internet.

My conclusion:

[Tweet “Brand matters when using #EssentialOils but it does not mean you have to buy the most expensive one.”]

First, to address the elephant in the room. What about the premium essential oils? They are more expensive for a reason. doTerra even markets itself as “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade © .”

Sounds much better, right?

Currently, there is not a regulating board that oversees essential oils in America. Oil companies self regulate.

Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade©, Therapeutic Blend, and Grade A are simply marketing slogans. The reason why doTerra is the only company that calls itself Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade© is because they have copyrighted the statement.

 

So since there is not a regulating board, and companies call themselves therapeutic simply as a marketing slogan, how do you find a good essential oil?

 

It is quite simple:

First, look for a brand that labels their oils as 100% pure. That simply means you are getting 100% of the oil. Sometimes essential oils are pre-diluted with a carrier oil. I do believe you should dilute your essential oils, more on that next week, but for now I’ll simply say that when I buy an oil I want to pay for the real stuff. I don’t want something that is already diluted down so I cannot control the strength.

Second, do a little internet research on the company. I personally look for a company that has a very informative and easy to navigate website. I also look for a company that is well respected. If I enter the company on Google and the first page is full of negative reviews, that sends up red flags for me. Check out 3rd party sites that offer product reviews like Amazon. Those won’t tell you everything but should give you a perspective on what the oil is like.

Third, what does the bottle look like. There are some things I look for:

  • Does it say 100% pure (I already covered that above)
  • Is the scientific name on the bottle? Can I verify it online? Does the scientific name match what I think I’m buying? For example: Eucalyptus golbulus can have some anti-inflammatory properties. Eucalyptus radiata may help with disinfecting or helping a cold. Both are marketed as 100% pure eucalyptus oils but have completely different properties. (personally, I use eucalyptus golbulus to help with my congestion during a cold and it seems to work so I only keep one kind in my stock instead of two).
  • Is the extraction method listed? Common extraction methods are steam distilled and cold pressed. Occasionally there will be another method listed. Verify those before purchasing.
  • Is my oil quality tested? This can also come through your internet research. I like a company that tests their oils for quality and purity. I’m not a scientist and I don’t know what those tests mean, but it does tell me that there is some kind of internal quality control measures.

Finally, I go with my gut. If I’m reading about a company or buying a bottle at the store and something looks off, I don’t buy it. It is as simple as that. If at the store I may write down the brand and do a little more research but I won’t buy it on the spot.

 

But what about “not for internal use”? Aren’t oils that marketed as safe for consumption safer to use?

Not necessarily. In my research I learned from beeyoutiful.com one reason companies may not be listed as safe for internal consumption. It comes down to money. First, in order to be labeled as safe for internal consumption a company must secure insurance. Very costly insurance. Also, the company must produce lots of information for the average consumer to educate and inform safe methods, etc. It is very costly and naturally drives the cost of oils up.

Remember my example of Lavender from the beginning?  The $6.56 /ounce bottle is from NOW Essential Oils. A brand I use and currently have in my stock. It is listed as not for consumption. The $56/ounce bottle is from doTerra. It sold in a 1/2 ounce size for $28. It is listed as safe for consumption.

Both may be of good quality. One is listed as safe for consumption, the other is not. There are other reasons I believe doTerra is much more expensive, but it has nothing to do with the oil.

 

I have come to these opinions through hours of research. I read, digested, and read some more. I drew what I perceived to be logical conclusions based on my research and decided to share them with you to hopefully help you on your journey. Please don’t take what I said at face value. I encourage you to do your own research and see for yourself. To get you started, I recommend the following resources:

The Hippy Homemaker

Beeyoutiful.com

Plant Therapy

NOW Essential Oils

 

Above all, remember:

[Tweet “#EssentialOils can be purchased on a modest budget, but it is still important to be careful.”]

 

~Crystal

 

Fulfilled Fridays 11

danigeza / Pixabay

My life is so fulfilled and amazing.

It has nothing to do with the big things, but about focusing on the simple things.

This past week I was feeling a little sick.  When you get sick, you are forced to slow down. Whatever your life is normally like, when you are sick you do less.

The girls and I haven’t left the house for a week now.

I don’t feel like cleaning and clutter is piling up all around.

Dirty dishes are taking control of the kitchen. I cannot sit on the couch because it is covered with laundry. I have to walk around an obstacle course of random things dropped on the floor all over the house.

It is going to take a lot of work to get this house back to normal when I start feeling better.

My life is so fulfilled and amazing.

  • I have a roof over my head that I know is not going to leak.
  • I have more than enough food to eat in my kitchen to eat and feel full.
  • Even though he has worked 50 hours this week, I have a husband who still helps where he can around the house.
  • I have 2 daughters who love to help. They are constantly asking what they can do. All I have to do is say something and they willingly do it with a smile.

In the simple things I am reminded this week….

Yes, my life is so fulfilled and amazing indeed.

Now it is your turn!

There are very few rules. You don’t have to follow me on social media or subscribe although I’d love it if you do. Links to where you can find me on social media are off to your right.

If you’re feeling extra generous, tell others where to find this link-up. I’ll make it easy for you if you use twitter!

[Tweet “I linked up at Fulfilled Fridays. Come join me! #linkup #bloggers”]

You don’t even have to link back but it’d be awesome if you did!

Simply share a post, recent or in the past about anything good. Perhaps it is a recipe, craft, a moment in time, something you overcame, something to inspire, or just a journal. Anything goes.

If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment and share below.

Let’s celebrate why our lives are fulfilled!!!!

 

And if you have a few minutes after posting your link, please spread the joy. Take some time and visit some of the other bloggers.

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9 Signs Mom is Sick

The bug that has been sweeping the nation landed in my house this week. Last weekend the rest of the family was sick. I thought I got lucky because it missed me. I was so wrong. It never fails, as soon as the family gets better, I get sick. Without making you wait any longer, here are

9 Signs that Mom is Sick

 

1. Here come the paper plates

When I’m sick, I do as little as possible. Paper plates come out of storage so there is one less thing for me to wash.

sick plates

 

2. At least the clothes are clean

There is a choice, clean laundry or a place to sit.

sick laundry

 

3. Paper plates don’t save the kitchen

Even with fewer dishes, the kitchen still looks like this:

 

sick kitchen

 

 4. Speaking of the kitchen, you mean I have to turn on the burner to cook?

Um, yeah. I guess I have to do that so I don’t serve raw meat. Dinner is going to be late….again.

sick meat

 

 5. Just because I remember to turn on the burner doesn’t mean I’ll remember I’m cooking.

These eggs were boiling for over 2 hours, until all the water had boiled out of the pan and I started to smell something funny. They were really easy to peel, a little on the rubbery side, and went straight to the trash. Oops!

sick eggs

 

 

6. If you can’t find me I may be snuggling with my buddy

 

sick snuggling

 

 

7. Or with my head under a towel steaming some peppermint oil.

sick steaming

 

8. Or huffing Vapor Rub because it is easier than putting it on.

sick huffing

 

 

9. As for the children, I don’t care. Make a mess and play on the computer all day, do whatever you want, just leave me alone.

(I’m glad you’re feeling better, but you really didn’t have to share this time.)

sick dirty

 

 

Slowly I’m getting better. I’m sure by next week I’ll be back to my normal self. Perhaps in a few weeks the house will look like I was never sick, just in time to do it all over again.

What are some signs that you are sick?

~Crystal

Essential Oils: Why I’m a Believer (testimony)

Essential Oils for my husband

Last week I began a short weekly series on essential oils. You can read Essential Oils 101 here.

This week I wanted to share our story and what turned me from a skeptic to someone who is now slowly stocking her medicine cabinet full of oils.

The end of April 2014, my husband left his job of 11 1/2 years. When he did, we lost all our insurance. He quickly got a new job but there was a 90 day waiting period before benefits began. Even with the new job, we could not afford the COBRA payments of over $1,000 per month.

We were hopeful that his job as a plumbing apprentice and future plumber would become a career that would fully support our family, like his old job did.

By the end of May, he began complaining of pains in his arms. At first they were momentary shooting pains. Soon his hands starting going numb occasionally. Then the pains became constant.

By the middle of June, he was unable to hold a phone or drive without losing feeling from his elbow through his fingertips.

[Tweet “Being a one income family, he continued to work each day through the agony and pain.”]

Without insurance and with him barely making enough to cover our monthly expenses, we couldn’t afford to take him to the doctor.

All I could do is sit at home and pray that his 33 year old body could continue to withstand physical labor intended for 18-20 year olds.

I was desperate to find something that would help.

My husband is used to physical work. At his old job, he oversaw buildings & grounds maintenance at a 20 acre facility. Yes he had a couple employees, but he still did a lot of physical labor. He was used to lifting hundreds of pounds, swinging hammers, twisting and bending all day long.

Now, I had to cut his meat for him simply so he could eat each night. There were times when he could barely use a fork because he lost all feeling and it would slip out of his fingers.

Over the counter pain relievers were not working.

On the verge of him unable to work and feeling backed into a corner, I turned to Google.

I went through his symptoms and came across a few things that fit.

Upon further research, I began to think he had tennis elbow. How could he have tennis elbow? He doesn’t play tennis yet here he was developing a sports injury. Then I ran across this article from the Mayo Clinic.

“Despite its name, most cases of tennis elbow occur in people who don’t play tennis. People whose jobs feature the types of motions that can lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers.”

The first job on the list. A quick trip to Walgreens to pick up some tennis elbow support braces confirmed my suspicions.

He had relief for the first time in over a month.

Relief quickly disappeared as I looked at treatment. Recommended treatment included months of physical therapy, cortisone shots, and surgery. We couldn’t afford one trip to the doctor, let alone months of physical therapy.

Needing options, I decided to turn to an essential oil book that I had been casually reading for a few months. I was skeptical but faced with more costly options I looked up tendinitis (aka tennis elbow) in the glossary.

I read a few recipes and made a 25 mile trip to a local health food store to pick up some oils. Thus began our nightly regimen which continues to this day.

I mixed some marjoram with coconut oil to stimulate the tendons/nerves and encourage healing. I also mixed a blend of peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oils with coconut oil as a topical pain reliever. Think icy/hot relief without the icy or hot sensations. (recipes shared in a few weeks)

Every night when he got home from work I would cut his meat and massage his arms. At first I had to be very light but over time I was able to increase pressure.

Within a few days, the pain started to diminish. Within a week, the numbness began to go away.

[Tweet “Finally we had hope. With #EssentialOils he was healing, and without a costly trip to the doctor.”]

While I was doing my research, I ran across some articles that talked about the Tyler Twist. You can read the article here, but to summarize, it is a study that changed the way they treat tennis elbow.

I researched the exercise, purchased the necessary bar from Amazon for under $15 and figured it was worth a try. At this point, he had some relief and some hope, but we were looking for a way to accelerate it.

At first he could only do one twist a day. Soon he could increase the amounts of repetitions. Last time I asked, he was up to 12-15 repetitions before the pain set in.

It is still a slow process, but so is months of therapy or surgery recovery.

[Tweet “#EssentialOils didn’t just save us a lot of money, but also my husband’s job.”]

I believe if we hadn’t tried essential oils, he would have been unable to continue working. Very soon, he would have been without a job, losing our only source of income.

I purchased all the needed essential oils and the therapy bar for around $50, significantly less than one trip to the doctor.

Like I said last week, essential oils are not for every use, but simply one more tool in the cabinet. A tool I am so thankful to have at my disposal.

Coming up next week: Does brand matter?

 

~Crystal

 

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Fulfilled Fridays 10 and Link-up

sharpemtbr / Pixabay

Last night The Husband and I had a good laugh watching old videos from the 1950’s and 1960’s on youtube.

We grew up in the 80’s and 90’s so this is quite a different culture.

The one that made me the most thankful was “Duck and Cover.”

It is a video that was shown to elementary age children to teach them how to protect themselves in the event of a nuclear bomb. Granted, the children wouldn’t have been protected, but it made me thankful to be living in a time where we don’t live with an immediate threat of nuclear war.

I am so thankful for where I live.

Yes, times are hard, and there is war all around us, but in America we generally don’t have to worry about it on a daily basis.

There are problems in large cities and other places with violence but not in my town or neighborhood. The last murder was 3 or 4 years ago–crime is very low. There are problems, there are drugs, there are issues, but violent crime is virtually nonexistent.

I don’t have to worry about sending my children outside to play without watching them. I know they are safe playing in the neighborhood and with the neighbors.

I often leave the front door unlocked during the day, even if I’m on the other side of the house. There have been times when I’ve left the house unlocked while going for a walk because I couldn’t find my keys. I have never been worried about theft.

I live in a great town and a wonderful neighborhood. To the average person, it might look a little rough around the edges. It is not like the picture at the beginning of this blog with green trimmed grass without weeds, houses perfectly painted and well kept, and cleanliness everywhere you look.

There are weeds in every front lawn, if there is grass at all. Nearly every house is in need of some kind of repair. Trash cans are left out on the sidewalk all week long. Broken down cars sit on the road or in a driveway until the owner can afford to fix it, or have it towed away, or both.

It isn’t pretty but it is my neighborhood and I love it.

What do you love about where you live?

Now it is your turn!

There are very few rules. You don’t have to follow me on social media or subscribe although I’d love it if you do. Links to where you can find me on social media are off to your right.

If you’re feeling extra generous, tell others where to find this link-up. I’ll make it easy for you if you use twitter!

[Tweet “I linked up at Fulfilled Fridays. Come join me! #linkup #bloggers”]

You don’t even have to link back but it’d be awesome if you did!

Simply share a post, recent or in the past about anything good. Perhaps it is a recipe, craft, a moment in time, something you overcame, something to inspire, or just a journal. Anything goes.

If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment and share below.

Let’s celebrate why our lives are fulfilled!!!!

 

And if you have a few minutes after posting your link, please spread the joy. Take some time and visit some of the other bloggers.

Grab my button:

 

 

Living In Green Grass
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