Why I'm Obsessed With Essential Oils - This American Girl

Why I’m Obsessed With Essential Oils

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There’s no such thing as a cure all. No guaranteed item that will suddenly fix every ailment or concern you could ever have. No product that can instantly transform you into the happiest, healthiest, most vibrant version of yourself. But if such a thing did exist, I’m pretty sure it would be essential oils.

When I have my pouch of essential oils, I feel like a sorceress with a box full of magic. I feel like I’m covered, no matter what life hands me.


Like the time I was flying to Finland on a red eye, and after no sleep I suddenly felt a sore throat come on. Congestion followed the sore throat and eventually both catapulted me into a full blown flu. I asked the flight attendant to fill my glass bottle with hot water, and I added a few drops of Peppermint and Lemon essential oils. Between soothing my throat, and clearing out my nose from the steam, within a few hours, my cold was completely gone. I landed in Helsinki and immediately went out to celebrate my friend’s birthday.

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I’ve learned to keep essential oils on me at all times. If I get a sudden blemish, I extinguish it with some Tea Tree oil or Purification blend. If I need to freshen my breath I add a drop of Peppermint or Thieves to my water. If a friend or even a stranger has a headache or a meltdown, I’m ready with Lavender and Frankincense. When I’m traveling and need to cleanse a wound, help my digestion, or make my own beauty products, essential oils are at the ready. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing essential oils can’t do.

Like yoga, green smoothies, probiotics, and heck, even travel, I’ve come to understand that essential oils are more than a product, they’re a lifestyle. They’re the easiest way I’ve found to replace unnatural chemicals with the pure, potent, medicine of nature.

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So, what exactly are essential oils?

Essential oils are 100% pure oils extracted from plants, containing the essence of the plant itself. There are many different kinds of oils, with different properties and uses depending on the plant they’re derived from.

They are the most potent, concentrated form of the plant or herb that exists, which means that they contain extremely powerful health and wellness benefits. You’d have to consume an insane amount of herbs or tea to receive the same benefits contained in a single drop of oil.

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How can you use essential oils?

Like I said earlier, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing that essential oils can’t do. I ingest mine for immune health, digestion, and medicine. I put them on my face for healthy skin. I add them to coconut oil for insect repellent and sunscreen. I put them in my homemade toothpaste, my homemade hair serum, and my homemade deodorant (which actually works!) I use them in my yoga classes, diffuse them by my bed at night, and sniff them whenever I need to shift my energy.

They’re some of the most useful items I’ve found for travel, because they take up very little space and are extremely potent. That means, I can travel with less supplements, medicines, and even beauty products. If I can find coconut oil (or another high quality oil like argan, avocado, or olive) and baking soda, I can combine them with essential oil to make pretty much any beauty product under the sun on the road.

Whatever you need, there’s an oil for that.


Where can you get essential oils?

There’s a few ways you can get essential oils.

One, is to go out and gather plants and herbs, and learn to distill and extract your own. Sounds amazing, but most of us probably don’t have time for that.

The next is to buy them at a health food store or co-op. I’ve done this in the past, and while they’re inexpensive, I haven’t found them to be very effective. This is probably why it took me so long to get on the essential oil bandwagon. I hadn’t had that great of success.

The final, and in my opinion most effective way, is to order them through a high quality distributor online. To my understanding, there are currently two big players: Young Living and DoTerra. These oils are the purest, highest quality out there, and are food grade, which means you can ingest them like medicine.

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Which is better, Young Living or DoTerra?

Over the last year, I’ve used both DoTerra and Young Living oils. I will say, that both are high quality and both are effective. Friends of mine who use Young Living passionately say that it’s higher quality. Frankly, I don’t feel like I’m enough of an expert to confirm that. Ultimately I have decided to use Young Living oils for two reasons:

One: I much prefer the Young Living product selection. DoTerra has a limited selection of blends, and as a yoga teacher, I’m far more inspired by Young Living’s vast selection. Young Living has oils for anything from “Grounding” to “Joy” to “Clarity” to “Abundance.” They have dozens of custom made blends that you can’t get anywhere else, in addition to their huge selection of pure oils.

Two: My friends use Young Living. This may sound like a silly reason, but a big benefit for me with signing up for Young Living has been being part of a support network of people who are all passionate about the products. Whenever I have a question about how to use a certain oil or blend, I’ve got an immediate answer, from people who I trust.

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How to Get Started With Young Living Essential Oils

You can order Young Living essential oils individually at a retail price, however if you want to start incorporating oils into your life, I highly recommend signing up for a starter kit and a wholesale account. This way, you get a set of oils at an extreme discount, plus you get 24% off all of your future oils.

It also means that you will have access to Facebook groups and helpful guidance from an entire community of people who know a ton about essential oils. Something that was really important to me, as a traveler with an inconsistent schedule and income, is that there are no fees, and there is no required order minimum to have a wholesale account.


What Comes in the Starter Kit and How to Use It

Eleven 5ml bottles of everyday use essential oils: Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Frankincense, Copaiba, PanAway, Thieves, Purification, DiGize, RC, and Stress Away. (I’ve written out all of the ways I use these oils below.)

A home diffuser, which turns any space into a tranquil, delicious smelling oasis.

All kinds of samples to use for yourself or share with others.

The total value, if you were to order these items individually, is $300. But the starter kit costs only $160. Which means, that even if you don’t order any oils in the future through wholesale, it’s still worth getting the account, just to get the starter kit.

If you want to get this awesome starter kit, plus be able to order high quality essential oils at wholesale prices, sign up here.

Here’s how I use the oils that come in the kit


One of the most popular essential oils out there, lavender is known for being soothing and relaxing. It’s also antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and reduces cholesterol. I add it to my facial serum for clear skin, diffuse it by my bed for sound sleep, use it during my yoga classes, and put it on my skin if I get too much sun.


Stimulating and cleansing, peppermint can help focus and invigorate when inhaled, and is the most powerful herb for digestion. It actually triggers the brain to tell it you’re full once you’ve stopped eating. I use peppermint all kinds of ways. I love to put a little dab under my nose first thing in the morning to wake me up or inhale it throughout the day if I need a pick me up. I put it in my homemade toothpaste and gargle with it mixed with water. I also add it to some warm water for a digestive aid after I’ve eaten. Most helpfully, I’ve inhaled it on long bus rides when I’ve gotten motion sickness, and it worked like a charm. My sister gets migraines, and has found that putting peppermint essential oil on her temples offers great relief.


Like peppermint, lemon is also stimulating and cleansing. I like to inhale it anytime I need some uplifting. As a dietary supplement on the road, it’s amazing. I add a drop into some warm water in the morning to balance the ph level in my stomach so that I’m less likely to get food bourne illness. In a pinch you can also mix it with some water as a hand sanitizer.


Hands down my favorite essential oil I own. Frankincense has an amazing smell and since I’ve been applying it to my face daily, my skin has never looked better. This oil was valued more than gold during ancient times, and was considered to be holy. It’s a wonderful oil to diffuse during yoga or meditation.


When I first got my starter kit, I had no idea what the heck Copaiba was, and almost wanted to give it away. Then I started using it, and it’s now one of my favorite oils, that I plan to always use. Copaiba is considered to be one of the strongest anti-inflammatory medicines on the planet, which means it’s amazing for anything from wounds to muscle pain to digestive health. It’s also known as an intensifier, which means that you can add a drop of it to a more expensive oil, and magnify the effects. I consume Copaiba daily as a dietary supplement, and put it on my insect bites if I have swelling.


This oil not only smells heavenly, it’s also extremely versatile. With a blend of citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, lavandin, and myrtle, it’s a great antibacterial and insect repellent. I mix it with coconut oil and slather it on my skin, put it in my homemade deodorant (which actually works really well), clean wounds with it, and inhale it for some internal cleansing.


As a traveler and an adventurer, I use the PanAway blend for rubbing on my sore muscles and cleaning wounds. It contains the anti-inflammatory oils of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint.


Another versatile oil, thieves is the most antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti viral oil blend I know of. It includes clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary. I put it in my toothpaste (and it tastes really good!) and drink it in my water every morning as a dietary supplement to keep me from ever getting sick or food poisoning.


I’ve had chronic congestion for most of my life, and it comes on quite intensely when I’m in humid tropical places or if I’m staying in hotels and hostels with air conditioning. I love this blend of eucalyptus, myrtle, marjoram, pine, lavender, cypress, spruce, and peppermint, whenever that congestion comes on. I inhale it, rub it on my chest, and I especially love to put a couple of drops into a bowl of hot water and then place a towel over my head while inhaling the steam. It also works great in the diffuser at night if I have a cold.

Stress Away

This is the oil I make sure to always, always, always, have on hand. A delicious blend of lime, vanilla, lavender, cedarwood, ocotea, and copaiba, it helps restore equilibrium and distress. I sniff it throughout the day if I’m working, and I often diffuse it in yoga classes to help everyone wind down.


When you travel the world, constantly, your digestion gets seriously put to work. This is why I do everything I can to keep my digestion strong and healthy. Along with regularly consuming probiotics and balancing my system with lemon water, I use DiGize in the morning and evening for support. A blend of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, anise, patchouli, and lemongrass, it relieves heartburn, bloating, and IT EVEN KILLS PARASITES!

If you want to get this awesome starter kit, plus be able to order high quality essential oils at wholesale prices, sign up here.