All About Essential Oils…

My name is Sarah. I’m married and we have four young children.  I have been a nurse for 11 years, so I am medically minded and thankful for the power of technology in medicine.  I am also a firm believer that we were given this earth for our benefit and that there are powerful agents found in it, as well.  One of those being essential oils.  



{a brief} History


Essential oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids extracted from plants (all parts of plants: flowers, seeds, stems, leaves, bark, roots, trees, etc.) through a process called distillation. History has shown their medicinal use in ancient times through Egyptian hieroglyphics, Chinese manuscripts and the words of the Holy Bible. They were also used as a source of trade, considered more valuable than gold.


What are essential oils?


Essential oils are the “life blood” or immune system of a plant.  This concentrated liquid is complex (containing up to 800 compounds in each oil) and loaded with oxygen.  Essential oils have therapeutic (healing) effects on our bodies because of this concentration of oxygen, which enhances our cells’ ability to metabolize toxins, supporting the health of all of our body systems.


in other words…

essential oils allow the cells in our body (OUR immune system) to better do their job!


And here’s a bonus: they are natural, they are safe and they are cost-effective.*


How are essential oils used?


Essential oils can be used in 3 ways:


Aromatically: Use a diffuser to spread the essential oil particles into the air or rub a few drops in your hand and inhale {self diffuse}. 


  • affect mood
  • cleanse air (kills bacteria and stops replication of viruses)
  • open airways


Topically*:  Apply a few drops of essential oil directly on area of concern. The bottoms of the feet are also a quick and safe way to apply because the pores are largest and the skin is less sensitive.  A carrier oil {I prefer fractionated coconut oil} can be used to massage and apply the oils and also dilute the more “hot” oils (especially important when applying on children and sensitive skin.) A little goes a LONG way…a few drops are all you need.


  • quickly absorbed into the body through the skin
  • full body benefit on a cellular level
  • immune support
  • immediate comfort 


Internally*: Place a few drops directly under the tongue, mix with water and drink, or drop in an empty capsule and take in pill form.


  • benefits mouth and throat
  • supports digestive system
  • supports immune system
  • cleanses organs



*Please be aware that not all essential oils are created equal.  Not all are safe and natural.  Many contain alcohol, chemicals or other carrier oils and thus, are not safe for children nor should they be taken internally.  Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils are 100% safe and natural and can be taken internally as a dietary supplement.


Ok! Now let’s get down to the real stuff and talk about what essential oils can do for you.


First of all, there is no “one pill for one ill” with essential oils.  Many different oils can be used for different ailments.  There are many resources available to guide us in our use of essential oils, however.  I highly recommend a book called Modern Essentials (1).  It has suggested uses and also provides information on each oil and research to back it up (which is important to me).


Essential oils are anti-inflammatory.

All of our bodies are in some state of inflammation somewhere at all times. And where there is inflammation, there is commonly pain and sometimes infection.  Help manage that inflammation, help control pain and infection. 


Frankincense is one of the most powerful oils due to its anti-inflammatory properties.  It is also the subject of a lot of study on cancer treatment.  I use frankincense for first aid.  It helps take the pain away and heal quickly and effectively.  It is also marvelous for a headache!  It’s also been known to enhance healthy skin cell growth and  decrease wrinkles. bonus :)  


Citrus oils also help with inflammation and can cleanse our body systems of the toxins and petrochemicals our fat cells store.  This can help with weight loss too!


Lavender is a commonly used oil for a multitude of reasons.  It helps me sleep more soundly.  It can be used on any skin disorder, topically.  It is a lifesaver for burns!  Apply neat (no dilution) to the burn repeatedly. 


Peppermint is another common oil that we use on the daily.  It helps with a headache, fever, upset stomach.  It increases focus.  I love to send it in a little glass roller bottle to school with my 9 year old.  He will rub a bit on his wrist and smell it throughout the day and it helps him focus on his schoolwork.  


White fir, birch, and wintergreen are commonly used in our family.  My husband loves to exercise (he is dragging me along with him, ha ha…) and my kids are all involved in sports and gymnastics.  These oils help with sore muscles, tendons, joints, etc.  There is a LOT of massaging and sports therapy going on at our house!


Essential oils are anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

Not only can they kill bacteria on the outside of our cells, they can actually enter our cell walls (antibiotics cannot) and eliminate viruses, as well.

Research has proven in published study that certain blends of essential oils can actually STOP the replication of the flu virus.(2)


I use a protective blend (which was the actual blend used in research study above) every day.  I diffuse it in the morning, use it as a mouth wash for cankers or tooth pain, I take it internally if I feel a scratchy throat coming on. I put it on my children’s feet after a day at the mall play place or church nursery.  I use it to clean my counters, door knobs, in my laundry…on and on! It is an amazing blend of orange, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove and rosemary that really does help catch a cold before it starts.  I love it.


Oregano is also a very powerful antibacterial and antiviral oil.  I will use it in combination with lemon to wipe out a sore throat or even strep.



Essential oils are mood elevating.

Everyone knows the power of aroma. Whenever I smell freshly baked cookies or bread, it transports my mind back to my grandma’s house. Christmas always smells of pine and cinnamon.  I’m sure we’ve all experienced this in some degree.  Mind and body are interconnected and smell is one of the most powerful connectors through the amygdala in our brain.  So it only makes sense that the powerful aromatic properties could help with anxiety, depression and stress.


Lavender is calming. Orange and lemon are mood elevating.  Bergamot can decrease agitation.  Grapefruit and lime help with mental stress (and they all taste great in your drinking water, too!)


As a medical professional who works in a hospital, a recent study done at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, has been very intriguing and inspired me to implement a similar study in the healthcare system where I work.  You can see a news clip about the power of essential oils and stress in the workplace here:


I also use oils for less therapeutic things like cleaning, laundry, perfume, hair and spa products. They also just make the house smell GREAT!   Recently, my sisters and I hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law-to-be and we made sugar scrubs for the favor.  You can see our bridal shower highlighted on the “Hostess with the Mostess” blog (and even get some free downloads!!!) here:  


Since I am a nurse, I have always been very accustomed to frequent calls and even pictures sent regarding ailments, rashes (is this chicken pox?”), cuts (“does he need stitches?”) and about everything else you can imagine from friends and family alike.  Now, I am known as the “oilRN” and I receive even more calls about ailments, cuts, rashes, etc.  And although, I often did my best, from a distance, it was often very difficult for me to be certain I was giving accurate advice.  Now, however, I am empowered that I can give accurate suggestions that I am confident will help in a variety of situations.  I SO enjoy educating others and helping them feel the same empowerment of actually being able to DO something to help in the middle of the night or on a weekend without running to the urgent care.  Power to be a mom that can offer a child relief of a tummy or earache. Power to help relieve congestion, cough and fever.  Power to manage my moods and emotions.  Power to be proactive in prevention of colds, flus and other common diseases. 


{disclaimer, again}

The information in this blog post is designed to provide information and educate the reader on the powerful therapeutic effects of essential oils.  It is written with my personal expertise and experience in mind and is not provided in order to diagnose, proscribe or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body.  


If you would like to know more about Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and how they might help you achieve a more balanced, healthful life, please feel free to contact me via email


Best wishes and wellness,


Sarah, oilRN


1.  Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils (Third Edition, October 2011)


2.  Booth, L., Lin, Hsueh-Kung, Metcalf, Jordan P., Patel, Krupa B., Wu, Shuhua, Wu Wenxin.  Protective essential oil attenuates influenza virus infection: An in vitro study in MDCK cells.












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  1. I love having all this info in one simple place. Such a good job at explaining how and when you use oils. Awesome!

  2. A well-written post, complete with disclaimers and resources cited. We all need to be informed of options beyond pharmaceuticals, and I appreciate you honoring your readers’ intelligence by providing an opportunity to learn more.

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