Those of you who have been reading Surviving The Stores for a while know that I have been dabbling in using essential oils for the past several years. A couple of years ago I started to get sinus infections any time I used commercial cleaners. I did some research into making my own household cleaners and found out how incredibly easy they were to make with just baking soda, vinegar, water, and essential oils. I started using essential oils to clear up any other random sinus infections that I would get (tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil really helped!) and also bought lavender and peppermint oils to use in my homemade cleaners. I experimented with lavender essential oil and a few other ingredients to make homemade mosquito repellent - and it actually worked! But then I started doing a little more research into essential oils and learned that the majority of essential oils that you can buy from the store (like Whole Foods or Sprouts) are not, and do not claim to be, therapeutic-grade oils.
The potential danger of an essential oil is generally relative to its level or grade of purity. Many essential oils are designed exclusively for their aroma-therapeutic quality; these essential oils generally should not be applied directly to the skin in their undiluted or “neat” form. Some can cause severe irritation, provoke an allergic reaction and, over time, prove hepatotoxic. Non-therapeutic grade essential oils are never recommended for topical or internal use. Source
All of the bottles of oils at the health food stores I looked at said things like “do not take internally” and “do not apply directly to the skin.” So I started looking into oils that did claim to be therapeutic grade and safe for internal use. I had a few good friends who had started using a brand of essential oils called Young Living so I listened to them talk about all of the amazing things that the oils were doing for their family. And I was impressed. But I still waited and kept researching. The more that I read, the more that I realized that many of the essential oils companies on the market (even some of the ones that claimed to be therapeutic-grade) weren’t really giving the full story. Almost every bottle of essential oil on the market claims to be “Pure Essential Oil”, but that claim can legally be made if there is as little at just 5% of the actual essential oil from the plant in the bottle. There is also no regulation for how an essential oil is to be extracted. Companies are free to use high-heat, high-pressure, and chemical-solvents to extract more from the plants, and still slap whatever label they want to on the oil. In fact, the majority of essential oil companies buy their oils from an oil broker. The company isn’t actually involved in the process of cultivating the plants or extracting the oils at all. Here are 8 questions to ask whenever you’re considering purchasing from an essential oils company (adapted from here):
1. Can this company guarantee that the land used to grow their plants & herbs is free of residual herbicides, pesticides, & chemicals?
2. Does this company own their own lab to test an oil’s composition?
3. Does this company ever purchase oils from outside suppliers? If so, does the company visit the farms and oil distilleries to observe the process and make sure that there are no added chemicals to the distillation of the oils and that the herbs and plants are grown completely free from contamination with herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers?
4. Does this company only use crops that were harvested at their peak time? And if so, does the grower test to make sure that the crop is at its peak time for harvesting?
5. Does this company continuously monitor the process of distillation to make sure that the oils produced from the distillation contain all of the correct therapeutic components?
6. Can this company guarantee that oils are discarded and not sold if mistakes were made during the distillation process that affect the quality of the oils?
7. Does this company’s oil suppliers use extra solvents during the distillation process to extract extra oil from the plants?
8. Can this company guarantee that nothing is added to the oils during bottling?
I have looked into pretty much every essential oils company that I can find… from the ones that you can find at health food stores to other network marketing essential oil companies to online-only essential oil retailers..
Young Living was the only company (probably because they were the pioneers in the therapeutic essential oils market) that has their own farms, can absolutely guarantee that no pesticides or herbicides were used in the growing of any of their oils (they use essential oils for pest control and they do all of the weeding by hand), has their own testing equipment (they do both in-house and 3rd party testing), only uses the first distillation of oils instead of adding chemicals to get more out of the plant, and basically answered all of my 8 questions in a way that I felt comfortable with.
Young Living also was the only company that was directly in charge of essential oil farming operations. Every other company I researched goes through some kind of an “oil broker” to buy their oils. They have to trust the oil broker that the farmers that he/she buys the oils from can be trusted to do what they are saying they are doing.
With Young Living, you just have to trust one company instead of several.
I feel like it’s a trust step either way (anyone could be lying) but I felt the most comfortable trusting Young Living since I had a few friends who had actually been to the Young Living farms and seen first-hand exactly how the plants were grown and the oils were distilled.
I also loved that I could just sign up and get the member discount (24%!) and not have to sell anything to anyone (after my Cutco knives experience back in 1998 I told myself I would never do sales again… it seems that everyone I talk to either had a “Cutco experience” or knows someone who has!) All I had to do to keep getting my discount was to buy $50 worth of products per year. Yeah, that was definitely doable since I use essential oils for so many things!
I signed up for Young Living at the end of February 2013 and have been using the oils pretty much daily since then.
I bought the premium starter kit and I’m so glad that I did! Here are just a few of the ways that I’m using the oils in the starter kit. My medicine cabinet has definitely gone through a major overhaul!
Lavender essential oil – minor burns, rashes/hives, sunburn relief, bruises
Thieves essential oil blend – colds/flu, sore throat (one drop usually knocks a sore throat out for me), headaches, toothaches
Peppermint essential oil – headaches, fever, congestion, nausea (my tension headaches that I get form staring at the computer many hours a day are GONE with peppermint oil!)
Valor essential oil blend – neck/muscle pain (again, mostly from a computer job), stress, snoring (that would be my husband, not me)
There are SO many ways that you can use just the oils in the starter kit. (Click on the image below to make it larger.)
What I really love is that there is absolutely no obligation to sell anything when you become a wholesale member. You have that option, but it’s in no way a requirement, and many people become wholesale members just to get the awesome 24% discount on Young Living oils.
There are a few different options.
You’ll likely want to choose the wholesale member option when you sign up so that you’ll get the 24% discount (if you just choose “Customer” then the prices are retail prices).
Once you fill out your information you will need to pick an enrollment kit.
Here’s a little rundown of the different starter kits available:
I got the premium starter kit with the Everyday Essential Oils kit that is $150 and I use the oils in it every single day. It’s a great value (as you’ll see below) and back in 2013 I thought it was a great deal and I didn’t even get the diffuser, Joy oil, and Stress Away oil with it (which you get now with the Premium Starter Kit!)
The $150 kit includes 11 oils to try out (frankincense, lavender, peppermint, lemon, Panaway, Valor, Purification, Thieves, Peace & Calming, StressAway, and Joy). It also comes with a really nice home diffuser ($98 retail value all by itself!).
Here’s how to sign up:
1. Head over to the Young Living page here and fill out your information.
2. Be sure the “Wholesale Member” option is checked so that you don’t end up paying retail prices.
3. Be sure the “sponsor ID” and “enroller id” say 1423474 (so that I can send you your free book!)
4. If you do not feel comfortable putting in your social security number (this is only for tax purposes if you decide to turn this into a business) then you can get an EIN from the IRS in just a few seconds here and use that number instead (the IRS just needs to be able to connect some number with you for tax purposes). They need a Social Security Number or an EIN because if you make $600 or more per year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail (which is required by law). Young Living will never share this info with anyone.
5. Select which starter kit you want to get. My recommendation would be the Premium Starter Kit (and that’s the one where you get all of the freebies!) Those are the oils that I use almost every single day! You can get the kit that’s $150, or you can get a kit for $160 with an even nicer essential oil diffuser!
6. I’d recommend skipping the Step 3 (Optional) part of the sign-up process. I’ll send over an email with more details on that part of things after you sign up (if you’re going to be purchasing products monthly then it’s a great program that will give you credit back with each order and save you on shipping costs).
7. Look for an email from me with more information about how to join the great Facebook groups available for learning more about essential oils!
BONUS Step 8 (COMPLETELY Optional!) If you would like to earn 2 bonus oils this month, then get your order total up to 190 PV (different products have different point values). You could get the Start Living With Everyday Oils kit and automatically have 100 point value… then you’ll just need 90 more points to get the bonus oils. For example, you could grab an extra bottle of Thieves Oil at 33.75 points, 15 ml bottle of Lavender at 23.5 points, 15 ml bottle of Lime at 11 points, and the 14.4 ounces of Thieves Household Cleaner at 22 points (just pour one capful of the concentrated Thieves cleaning solution into a spray bottle and it lasts for a really long time!) All of those items will bring your total points up to $190.25 which will qualify you to get the two BONUS oils! (This step is completely optional!)
Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.