I've been using essential oils for more than 10 years. My first use was via aromatherapy to help reduce stress and aid sleeping. I bought some stuff at the health food store and did not really know what I was doing. That meant those little bottles sat on the shelf most of the time collecting dust.
Then in 2011 I began making some of my own personal care products in an effort to reduce my synthetic chemical exposure. It only made sense - I was careful about what I put in my body, no GMOs, only organic or wild meat etc. so why not be careful with what I put on my skin, the body's largest organ? I started off by making my own foaming hand wash (My YouTube video has over 60k hits. Whoa!). Easy. Next came cleaning supplies, shampoo, then deodorant. Many of the recipes called for essential oils.
During this process, I began investigating the ingredients I was using to make my own stuff. The health and purity was only as good as the quality ingredients I was using, right? Why go to all the trouble if it wasn't actually going to be healthier? What I discovered is that just like other 'natural' products, essential oils are not really regulated. The term natural is not regulated, which means it is really just a marketing ploy for most companies. In fact, it turns out that essential oils are frequently adulterated, often thinned with synthetics, because the largest interest is the perfume industry and they only care about smell not purity or therapeutic value. Ugh.
Before this some friends had been telling me about therapeutic grade essential oils, but I hadn't been listening. Finally, (Now that it was my idea!!) I attended a local class where they were making lip-balm with quality essential oils. (Confession: I have a little addiction to pure and natural lip balms and had been secretly wanting to make my own since beginning this journey!) The lip balm was great and the oils were fabulous. I attended several more personal care product classes and got to play with and learn more about essential oils each time. (Have I told you that I am a geek at heart?) There was much to learn! I had not idea!
After attending 4 classes, making a different personal care product each time, I was finally sold on the quality & benefits of therapeutic grade essential oils versus the grocery store stuff I had dabbled with in the past. I got a little starter set to use at home and see what I really thought. Oils like: lavender, lemon, peppermint, melaluca, oregano, frankincense and a few blends. Cypress was one of my first and I still love it. Emotional it is perfect for transition and grief. Both things of which I have had plenty of experience!
Now my real test began! Essential oils weren't just for smelling, but touted as a natural way to support health. Physical, emotional and spiritual. I was headed on a month long trip, out of the country, with family and so I packed up part of my new oil collection in my carry-on. With an intense travel schedule, stress and not being able to stick to my regular diet or water intake (I was unable to remain completely gluten free on this trip and was definitely eating less veggies) I was worried about how I might fare. And did I mention a month with family? By the time I returned I was completely sold on the power of essential oils. I used lavender, lemon and peppermint to support my sleep while on the road. And melaluca, oregano and frankincense to support my immune system. I also used some to help me just chill out. I was completely amazed that I never I never got sick nor had a break down during my trip!
I have since used the oils for just about everything. From cleaning and personal care (I continued the journey and now make lotion, toothpaste, laundry detergent - you name it!) to supporting my body on its journey towards wholistic health.
Since beginning this road I have discovered that many of the problems I have been dealing with over the last few years were due to a body and immune system that have been overly taxed. (Being in a job that I hated, having a spouse die and going back to school might just do that!) My immune system was on high alert and my minerals had been depleted. Using essential oils has supported my immune system, digestion & cognitive function and helped me find some semblance of emotional balance and relaxation. The emotional & spiritual benefits have become a favorite topic of mine, because I have found so much relief and support. The oils, combined with the other lifestyle changes I've incorporated like diet, gentle exercise and spiritual & self-care practices, have contributed to disease prevention and overall better health. This gift of plant medicine came into my world at the perfect time and has been truly life changing. I truly believe that I would not be here and functional without essential oils entering my life. Truth. My health issues have been that serious.
Interested in learning more?
I love sharing my journey towards health! Contact me if you are interested in hearing more of my story and philosophy. I think it is amazing how the human body & spirit can create health when given the right environment, tools and resources.
*Statements here have not been approved by the FDA. None of the suggestions given here on this website or offline by Andrea L. Crisp are intended to diagnose or treat. Please consult your physician before starting any new lifestyle, nutrition or supplement routine.