Essential Oils 101
If you’ve read this blog for a while you have probably noticed that I am by no means one of those super-crunchy granola-eating, hemp-wearing, organic-gluten-free-unprocessed everything kind-of gals. I will happily admit that I enjoy preservatives and white sugar as much as the next girl. I also drink coffee and beer and take my kids to a real licensed doctor on a regular basis.
That said, I also frequently use essential oils for a variety of purposes, whether it be in my homemade cleaning products, homemade scrubs or dry shampoo, or DIY bug spray. For a long time I would simply buy my oils on Amazon or through VitaCost, but then I started hearing things that scared me about chemically manufactured oils, and I also started doing a little more research into the health benefits of pure essential oils. As I researched, I learned that the majority of essential oils that you can buy from the store are not, and do not claim to be, therapeutic-grade oils.
What is Therapeutic Grade?
The potential danger of an essential oil is generally relative to its level or grade of purity. Many essential oils are designed exclusively for their aroma-therapeutic quality; these essential oils generally should not be applied directly to the skin in their undiluted or “neat” form. Some can cause severe irritation, provoke an allergic reaction and, over time, prove hepatotoxic. Non-therapeutic grade essential oils are never recommended for topical or internal use. Source
I started to notice that the bottles of oil I had purchased from those places had warnings on them like “do not take internally” and “for external use only.” So I started looking into oils that did claim to be therapeutic grade and safe for internal use.
I have a few good friends who use a brand of essential oils called Young Living so I listened to them talk about all of the amazing ways that Young Living essential oils were supporting wellness for their family. And I was impressed, but still not ready to join the crazy “oil bandwagon.” But the more that I read, the more that I discovered that many of the essential oils companies on the market (even some of the ones that claimed to be therapeutic-grade) weren’t really giving the full story.
The Full Story
Almost every bottle of essential oil on the market claims to be “Pure Essential Oil”, but that claim can legally be made if there is as little at just 5% of the actual essential oil from the plant in the bottle.
There is also no regulation for how an essential oil is to be extracted. Companies are free to use high-heat, high-pressure, and chemical-solvents to extract more from the plants, and still slap whatever label they want to on the oil. In fact, the majority of essential oil companies buy their oils from an oil broker. The company isn’t actually involved in the process of cultivating the plants or extracting the oils at all.
How to Know the Difference
Here are 8 questions to ask whenever you’re considering purchasing from an essential oils company (adapted from here):
1. Can this company guarantee that the land used to grow their plants & herbs is free of residual herbicides, pesticides, & chemicals?
2. Does this company own their own lab to test an oil’s composition?
3. Does this company ever purchase oils from outside suppliers? If so, does the company visit the farms and oil distilleries to observe the process and make sure that there are no added chemicals to the distillation of the oils and that the herbs and plants are grown completely free from contamination with herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers?
4. Does this company only use crops that were harvested at their peak time? And if so, does the grower test to make sure that the crop is at its peak time for harvesting?
5. Does this company continuously monitor the process of distillation to make sure that the oils produced from the distillation contain all of the correct therapeutic components?
6. Can this company guarantee that oils are discarded and not sold if mistakes were made during the distillation process that affect the quality of the oils?
7. Does this company’s oil suppliers use extra solvents during the distillation process to extract extra oil from the plants?
8. Can this company guarantee that nothing is added to the oils during bottling?
Why I chose Young Living
Young Living is the only company (probably because they were the pioneers in the therapeutic essential oils market) that has their own farms, can absolutely guarantee that no pesticides or herbicides were used in the growing of any of their oils (they guarantee absolutely no pesticides and they do all of the weeding by hand), has their own testing equipment (they do both in-house and 3rd party testing), only uses the first distillation of oils instead of adding chemicals to get more out of the plant, and basically answered all of my 8 questions in a way that I felt comfortable with.
Young Living also was the only company that was directly in charge of essential oil farming operations. Every other company I researched goes through some kind of an “oil broker” to buy their oils. They have to trust the oil broker that the farmers that he/she buys the oils from can be trusted to do what they are saying they are doing.
With Young Living, you just have to trust one company instead of several.
I feel like it’s a trust step either way (anyone could be lying) but I felt the most comfortable trusting Young Living since I had a few friends who had actually been to the Young Living farms and seen first-hand exactly how the plants were grown and the oils were distilled.
I also loved that I could just sign up and get the member discount (24%!) and not have to sell anything to anyone. All I had to do to keep getting my discount was to buy $50 worth of products per year. Yeah, that was definitely doable since I use essential oils for so many things!
How I Use the Oils
I signed up for Young Living several months ago and have been using the oils pretty much daily since then. I bought the premium starter kit and I’m so glad that I did!
Here are just a few of the ways that I’m using the oils in the starter kit. My medicine cabinet has definitely gone through a major overhaul! In fact, a few months ago I wrote a post sharing 10 ways my family uses essential oils every single day.
There are SO many ways that you can use just the oils in the starter kit. (Click on the image below to make it larger.)
I assumed that my ultra-rational engineer husband would be completely skeptical when I started using oils for our everyday ailments–and he was. At least at first. Until he saw (and felt) the results. Now he is the first to ask for them–in fact I would say that he probably uses them even more than I do on a daily basis. He’s even started using them on our dog to help her skin issues, with amazing results!
How to Buy Young Living Oils
There are a few different options. You’ll likely want to choose the wholesale member option when you sign up so that you’ll get the 24% discount (if you just choose “Customer” then the prices are retail prices). One thing I really love about Young Living is that there is absolutely no obligation to sell anything when you become a wholesale member. You can if you want to, but it’s in no way a requirement, and most people become wholesale members just to get the awesome 24% discount on Young Living oils.
Once you fill out your information you will need to pick an enrollment kit. Here’s a little rundown of the different starter kits available:
I would strongly recommend starting with the Premium Starter Kit. It’s BY FAR the best value, as it includes 11 oils to try out (lavender, peppermint, lemon, Panaway, Purification, Thieves, frankincense, Copaiba, RC, Digize and StressAway). It also comes with a really nice home diffuser that is normally priced at $98 just by itself, and the total retail value of the kit is over $300!
And, just because I really believe these oils are life changing & I want anyone who buys them to fully understand how to USE them, when you sign up here at Living Well Spending Less, I will throw in even more freebies–see complete list at the top of this post. To get your freebies, simply follow the instructions below.
Here’s how to sign up:
1. Head over to the Young Living page here and fill out your information.Please use your laptop or desktop to sign-up, instead of your smartphone or tablet.
2. BE SURE the “Wholesale Member” option is checked so that you don’t end up paying retail prices (which are 24% more than wholesale).
3. BE SURE the “sponsor ID” and “enroller id” say 2081607 (This is so that I can send you your AWESOME freebies!!)
4.Select which starter kit you want to get! I’d recommend getting the Premium Starter Kit so that you get all of the oils to started above, AND you get FOUR different options for the diffuser!!You’ll likely end up getting several diffusers at some point down the road (most people do!), so don’t stress too much about which one to get now. If you’re looking for the absolute BEST deal, then I’d recommend spending the extra to get Aria diffuser. The Aria diffuser by itself is regularly $225 for wholesale members (it’s a super NICE and absolutely beautiful diffuser!), so it’s like you’re just getting all of the oils for $35 more! That’s INCREDIBLE!!Otherwise, you can just pick the Home Diffuser, which is still a great diffuser option and that package is only $160!
5. Select which starter kit you want to get. My recommendation would be the Premium Starter Kit with the Home or Dewdrop Diffuser(and that’s the one where you get all of the freebies!) Those are the oils that I use almost every single day! You can get the kit that’s $160, or you can get a kit for $170 with a different style diffuser. (I have both and I personally like the home diffuser better.)
6.*OPTIONAL* If you already know that you want to be ordering regularly, then you can go ahead and sign up for Essential Rewards right there when you order your starter kit! It’s an amazing way to earn FREE oils with your order every month! It’s a completely OPTIONAL program, so if you’re just wanting the starter kit for now then you can just skip this part of the sign-up process. I’ll send over an email with more details on that part of things after you sign up. If you DO want to get started with Essential Rewards so that you can get product credit back on all of your purchases, then I’d highly recommend the Thieves Essential Rewards Kit to get started! You’ll be able to change up what you buy each month.
7. Go through the checkout process. Young Living accepts most major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
8. After you sign up, FILL OUT THIS FORM letting me know that you signed up through this promotion so that I will know to send you your freebies.
9. BONUS STEP–Completely Optional! If you would like to earn a BONUS essential oil, then you need to get your order total up to 190 PV (different products have different point values). If you get the $160 Premium Starter Kit then you’ll automatically have 100 point value… then you’ll just need 90 more points to get the bonus oil. For example, you could grab an extra bottle of Thieves Oil at 33.75 points, 15 ml bottle of Lavender at 23.5 points, 15 ml bottle of Lime at 11 points, and the 14.4 ounces of Thieves Household Cleaner at 22 points (just pour one capful of the concentrated Thieves cleaning solution into a spray bottle and it lasts for a really long time!) All of those items will bring your total points up to $190.25 which will qualify you to get the BONUS oil! (This step is completely optional!) (This step is completely optional!)
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does signing up make me a “distributor”?
Nope! You are not required to sell anything at all to anyone. When you become a wholesale member, you get a special link that you can share with friends and get credit from their purchases, but there are no minimum sales amounts at all. In fact, 90% of the wholesale members in Young Living don’t do the business side at all. They are buying from Young Living because of the quality alone.
Am I required to make a minimum purchase each month?
There are absolutely NO minimum monthly purchase requirements. To remain a wholesale member, you have to make $50 worth of purchases per year to keep your membership. But if there’s a year that you don’t make a $50 purchase, you can reinstate your wholesale membership discount by just placing a $50 order.
If you do find yourself making regular purchases each month, then Young Living has a rewards program (called Essential Rewards) where you can make a nice percentage back in product credit each month on all of your purchases. So that’s a neat program to join if you find that you *want* to purchase regularly (but it’s not a requirement for being a wholesale member).
Why should I buy from Young Living instead of other essential oils companies?
It does seem like a new essential oils company pops up every day, doesn’t it?
I can’t speak to the quality of other companies, but I can say that Young Living was the only company in my research of essential oil companies that could answer all of my questions about purity in a way that was satisfactory to me.
Young Living was the only company that has their own farms (in the regions where the plants should be grown), could absolutely guarantee that no pesticides or herbicides were used in the growing of any of their oils (they guarantee no pesticides and they do all of the weeding by hand), has their own testing equipment (they do both in-house and 3rd party testing, and use many different testing methods not just GC/MS which only tests for certain chemicals, not whether those chemicals are synthetic or not), and only uses the first distillation of oils instead of adding chemicals to get more out of the plant.
Young Living also was the only company that was directly in charge of essential oil farming operations. Every other company I researched goes through some kind of an “oil broker” to buy their oils. They have to trust that the oil broker is telling the truth, who has to trust that the essential oil distilleries are telling the truth, who have to trust that the farmers are telling the truth about what they say they are doing.
With Young Living, you just have to trust one company instead of several.
I feel like it’s a trust step either way (anyone could be lying) but I felt the most comfortable trusting Young Living since they are a full-disclosure company. ANYONE can visit the farms, participate in the harvesting and distillation, view the Young Living labs, and see the entire process. That’s not an option with any other company.
How will I know how to use my oils?
One of the benefits of getting a starter kit through this promotion is that you also get to join our private Facebook group!
Does Young Living only sell essential oils?
The answer to this one was surprising to me when I first got my starter kit! Young Living actually has an entire line of personal care products, supplements, meal replacements, energy drinks, and more! Almost every product incorporates essential oils (for example, frankincense is absolutely wonderful in facial products), but there’s a wide variety of products available.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.