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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Essential Oils - My Story

Over the summer I've been experimenting with essential oils. I used to go for aromatherapy massages nearly 20 years ago so I was familiar with essential oils and I knew that they work but I had no experience of using them in my home to promote my own health and wellness.

I have a few health issues such as severe chronic upper back, shoulder and neck pain as well as an hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and vitamin D deficiency. The chronic pain in particular causes problems with sleep and together with the thyroid issues, causes lack of energy and of course I'm in a lot of pain and take a bucket load of painkillers daily. Two of the pain killers I take daily are medications that doctors are trying to get patients off at the moment and I promised my doctor I would try to cut down as I was taking the maximum dose every day. In fact, if I woke up in the night due to pain, I often had to take another dose which meant I was overdosing.

I was hoping essential oils would help me with sleep and thyroid issues and if I could find oils that helped with pain too, I'd be thrilled.

So I started out with oils that increased energy and helped me sleep. I chose to use DoTerra oils. DoTerra is a US company that sells essential oils and other wellness and personal care products. I will write more about why I chose DoTerra in an Essential Oils 101 blog coming soon!

As I got my first oils from DoTerra I also got some essential oils from health food shops and pharmacies. I bought three different brands. One is a well known and respected essential oil company, one was an own brand from a very popular UK chemist chain and one was a brand I'd never heard of before which I got from a well-known chain of health food shops. I'm deliberately not mentioning names here.

I tried the non-DoTerra oils and wasn't sure they were really working. As the summer progressed my collection of DoTerra oils increased. I compared the DoTerra oils to the cheaper essential oils I'd bought and the difference was immediately noticeable. The DoTerra oils smelt different, much stronger and more authentic.

There is very little regulation in the essential oil industry and often cheaper essential oils can be full of chemical additives, traces of pesticides and fillers even though they may be labelled as 'pure' or 'therapeutic'.

So how do you know if your oils are any good? Some essential oils, such as many of the citrus oils, peppermint and herb oils can be taken internally and used in cooking. So, for example, if you pick up a lemon oil and it says it can't be taken internally, you have to ask yourself why? There is no reason why you can't add a drop or two of lemon to your water daily if it's 100% lemon with no traces of pesticides, additives or fillers.
Many shops now sell diffusers with little bottles of scent. These are not essential oils, they are just synthetic scents to use with these diffusers. They may make your house smell okay but they're not benefitting your health. In fact, they may damage your health.

Interested in learning more about essential oils? Here is my Essential Oils 101. If you're interested in essential oils and want to find out more about DoTerra, do send me an e-mail on I'd love to talk to you about how essential oils can benefit you.

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Paula Johanson said...

I'd like to point out that though I don't use essential oils as medication, I find it very relaxing to massage my skin with a drop of a pleasantly scented oil mixed into olive oil. The relaxation helps me manage pain of a migraine better with smaller doses of a painkiller. Pain relief is a subjective thing, and when I feel relaxed or calm or cheerful I feel less upset by pain.

YarnAddictAnni said...

I agree Paula. Pain relief is very subjective. I'm glad you find the oils help you relax. I think being able to relax can help relieve the pain, especially tension headaches which I suffer from a lot.