• How Essential Oils Replaced My Medicine Cabinet

    Guest post written by Kellyn Anderson, co-owner of Bow & Arrow Collective 

    Are you ready for a medicine cabinet makeover? Once I tried essential oils, I quickly found myself replacing my over-the-counter medications with therapeutic-grade oils. Essential oils are amazing for helping to alleviate all sorts of ailments – from bug bites and skin issues to sore throats and stuffy noses – and can be diffused, applied topically or even ingested!

    Here are just a few ways essential oils can help ease some common summer ailments, not only saving you a trip to the drug store, but also giving you peace of mind knowing you’re healing yourself in a more natural way:

    • Mosquito bites – What’s summer in New England without mosquitos and even those pesky greenheads at the beach? Just dab some of Young Living’s Purification blend on your bites for instant relief. The company’s Thieves oil can also be used (for both, dilute with carrier oil for sensitive skin)
    • Allergies – When every surface outside is covered in a yellow dusting, try diffusing a blend of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint oils to ease allergy symptoms 
    • Stomach aches – Overindulge at your family BBQ? Just add a few drops of Peppermint oil to your water to alleviate the pain; or try Young Living’s Digize to ease bloating, gas and heartburn
    • Breakouts – Let’s face it, all that sun can certainly cause our skin to go crazy in the summer. Skip the harsh over-the-counter remedies – this is nothing that a little Tea Tree oil can’t help with
    • Cuts and scrapes – With all the time spent outdoors, summer often means cuts and scrapes galore! Lavender oil has very powerful antiseptic properties. Applying it to cuts will help the wound heal faster and decrease the appearance of scars (dilute with carrier oil for sensitive skin)

    I have been totally amazed at how versatile these oils are and how well they work. They have helped me discover more natural and healthier healing alternatives, and I’m happy to report that they have completely replaced our medicine cabinet at home. I also use them every day in my diffusers at home and in the salon to help keep me energized, relive allergy symptoms, keep the air clean and to keep me grounded. Just like crystals, there are so many ways to use each of these oils – the list is endless!

    What to Look for in an Essential Oil Brand

    The key is to select a brand that is delivering the highest-quality essential oils. But this can be tricky when so many brands are using the same language. Do your research! You do not want to be ingesting anything but the absolute best. A good place to start is by looking at the environmental and physical factors that go into producing the oils.

    • Environmental Factors:
      • Quality Seeds – It starts with the seed. Powerful essential oils come from seeds and plants with the highest possible level of bioactive compounds, so be sure to look for a brand that evaluates the plant’s potential at the seed-level
      • Cultivation Process – Essential oil farms should be sustainable in the growing and harvesting methods used around the globe. Look further into how the companies you are evaluating cultivate their crops
    • Physical Factors:
      • Distilling – The distillery process is important to preserve the precious elements within the oils. Cold pressing and resin tapping methods should be used, along with steam extraction of the essential oils
      • Testing – Look for how the company tests the quality of the oils. For consistent quality, tests should be done to ensure the oils are not diluted, cut or adulterated
      • Sealing Process – Trusted companies will ensure careful packaging, bottling and labeling is done with the highest quality control

    Unfortunately, there aren’t standards for testing therapeutic-grade essential oils in the United States. The FDA has very loose standards on even labeling oils, so it’s up to you to know your products. It takes far less material to make synthetic or perfume-grade oils, so they are more prevalent. Producing pure oils is time-consuming and costly. Therapeutic-grade essential oils are extremely concentrated and, although the cost of the oil is more, far less is needed and they produce better results. It is an art and a science, and something that should be done by all companies that are dedicated to both the process and their consumers.

    If you already have essential oils at home, there are a couple of ‘tests’ you can do to determine their quality. First, pure essential oils never expire, so make sure there is no expiration date on your bottle if you’re using them for healing and homeopathic remedies. Next, freezer test your oils. Pure essential oils will not freeze, so if you put a brand in the freezer and it does freeze, you know it’s been modified and has other liquids in it.

    While there are several quality brands on the market, I personally love Young Living for its Seed to Seal promise. It is important for me to know where ingredients come from before I put them on or in my body. Make sure to do your research before using any essential oils. Just like all products, ingredients are not created equal from one company to another. Don’t trust the label – do your homework. 

    If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, please feel free to reach out to me at kellynloveshair@gmail.com or leave a question in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to guide you. Oils have had such a great impact on my overall health and wellness, I am excited to share what I have learned with you. 

    Wishing you the best in wellness and abundance,

    Kellyn

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