Imagine a typical stressful day at the office. You’re tense, anxious and slightly wired. You notice you are shallow breathing, have little appetite, and a dry mouth. You’re in fight or flight response because that meeting didn’t go well, or because it’s 10pm and you’re still working, or because you were late to work and got that look form your boss.
Now imagine holding a bunch of the highly aromatic Lavendula angustifolia (lavender). A deep breath in, and her soothing volatile oils leave her tiny flower, traverse the air, enter the nasal cavity, and make their way up into your brain, the limbic system to be exact. The life force of the plant becomes a part of you.
Here, the constituents in those volatile oils activate that part of the brain that has you stuck in your stressed out, fight or flight response – and sends a much-needed message of peace and calm. Instantly, your outlook changes, you soften, your chest relaxes, and you breathe deep into your lungs with a welcome sigh of relief.
This is the magic of essential oils (well, but one example anyway).
What are essential oils
Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic compounds distilled from the flowers, leaves, rind, bark, gums, saps and roots of plants.
Within these oils are an array of pharmacologically active compounds with a wide range of potential uses.
Essential oils are not new. Naturally, their history is deeply intertwined with that of herbal medicine.
The Egyptians were using aromatic oils as early as 4500 BC, for ceremony, perfumery, cosmetics, medicines and even in embalming. Their use is widespread in the Ayurvedic health care system. In European medicine, they feature in many of the texts written by some of the greats in Herbal Medicine – Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Galen, Avicenna and Culpepper.
In more modern times, it was the French perfumer and chemist René Maurice Gattefossé (1881-1950) who first coined the term aromatherapy.
Today, these highly concentrated and fragrant plant substances are enjoying a huge resurgence. Their most regarded use is their ability to positively affect the mind-body through aromatic use, but they are also used topically, in food, as medicines (and in synergy with herbal medicines), and as self-care, beauty, personal care and cleaning products.
What drew me to essential oils
In my clinical practice as a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist, there has only ever been one person to sit across from me in a consult in claim they have no stress. Well, let’s just say I was highly suspicious of that answer!
I ask my clients to rate their stress levels out of ten. I ask them if they have a self-care practice, if they meditate or practice any form of relaxation therapy. It is not uncommon for women in particular to state that they simply do not have any time for themselves.
Even though I was using essential oils in practice when indicated (as part of complex formulations in capsule or tablet form), I had not yet introduced them to the world of aromatherapy to support their body, mind and spirit.
And even though I spend an hour on average with people, there is still not quite time enough to delve into a potential self-care practice that could revolutionise their health and wellbeing.
If all they did were plug in a diffuser and inhale some calming, grounding or uplifting aromatics, they would be supporting their wellbeing in such a profound way – I know this because it has done this for me.
Which lead me to doTERRA
doTERRA is the largest essential oil company in the world. Their essential oils are ethically and sustainably sourced, they are independently verified, and are absolute top quality.
I see the company as a beautiful platform from which to share the medicine of plants with a much wider audience. After all, they are on a mission to get oils into every home, and I want to help them.
doTERRA source their oils from over 50 countries world-wide, which is important because the medicine is always more potent from a plant in its native environment.
They have a co-impact sourcing model, which sees them work with the local community of growers, harvesters and distillers, ensuring they are fairly compensated economically and socially.
Because of this model of sourcing, there is no middle man to take advantage of them and drive down prices. This means, that the beautiful oil in your hands, at the end of the supply chain, have arrived there without coming at anyone else’s expense. This is a company with integrity. People before profit.
doTERRA also have a strong philanthropic culture. Their Healing Hand Foundation contributes to many initiatives world-wide, to help provide support and relief where it is needed most. Once such initiative is Operation Underground Railroad – helping to rescue children from sex trafficking with the ultimate goal of completely eradicating this awful industry.
Finally, doTERRA obviously also provide a unique opportunity to build your own business with them, with very little start-up cost (the price of a set of oils and a few brochures will get you on your way). As a business owner myself (aside from clinical practice, I run a successful food business), I appreciate how incredible this as, considering the huge amount of capital we had to raise in order to get things off the ground.
The business provides freedom to fit your schedule, generous compensation, personal growth, and connection with a wonderfully supportive community behind the scenes. I feel at home here am and very grateful for that.
Come to an essential oils class and experience them for yourself
If you would like to be introduced to the world of essential oils, and learn how they can support virtually all of your body systems (for example your immune, nervous, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, and musculoskeletal systems), reduce the toxic load on your body, and most importantly, enhance your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing - then come along to a class with me at my home in Ellerslie.
I would be honoured to teach you how to use these oils as your first line of defence – and will show you what an essential oils home apothecary of sorts looks like.
Finally, if you are ready to dive in but want a bit of an overview on how they work first, have a watch of my video below (it's one you'll fit into your lunch break).