How I became aware of therapeutic grade essential oils and their healing properties:
I would like to share with you how I became aware of the power of therapeutic grade essential oils. In 1999, I had the experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer. This shocked everyone because I owned a health and fitness business and had a very healthy lifestyle. I thought I was doing everything you were supposed to do to prevent breast cancer. I even liked tofu.
I have since learned you need to be very proactive in preventing disease, more so than even I was.
I had a lumpectomy. My surgeon did not think she had got it all and recommended that I get a mastectomy. I had gotten very sick from the anesthesia and also developed a huge hematoma, so the surgery was put off for awhile. I was in a breast MRI study so I was being monitored closely.
The week of Christmas I go a call from my surgeon, she said they saw more tumor in my breast and it was growing.
Because of the holidays and because my surgeon was so busy, I could not get a mastectomy for almost a month. I decided to turn things over and asked God, “What do I do next?” The next day I ran into someone who had been in one of my fitness classes. She started telling me about her cousin, who trained people nationwide on therapeutic essential oils and suggested I call him. I did. This wonderful man, Michael McDanel, drove 2 hours to meet me and gave me a protocol for cancer developed by a naturopath.
I thought, “What do I have to lose, I’m just waiting around for surgery.” I ordered the oils and started the protocol. About 3 weeks later, it started to feel like the lump was getting smaller, but it was difficult to tell because this hematoma was over it.
I wanted to get in for another breast MRI. If it showed it was shrinking, I was going to put off the mastectomy, because it would indicate this protocol was working. I couldn’t get in for one.
To me it was always about weighing risks. I knew it was difficult to get surgery quickly and the tumor was only 2 millimeters from my chest wall, so I decided to go ahead with the mastectomy. My surgeon was a very honest doctor. She called me when the pathology report came in.
My tumor had shrunk! The only thing I had done differently that month was this cancer protocol using therapeutic grade essential oils. This is very impressive, if you know anything about cancer treatments, to shrink a tumor in less than a month.
I thought I have to learn more about essential oils. The more I’ve learned the more impressed I am about what a powerful health tool essential oils are.
My mother, who was 83 when I was first diagnosed, has high blood pressure. After I was diagnosed, it skyrocketed. Medications are very expensive for seniors. I looked up which oils to use for high blood pressure in the Essential Desk Reference for Essential Oils. We applied 2 oils, Ylang Ylang and Aroma Life over her heart and on the acupressure point for heart on her foot. Within a week she was able to cut her meds in half. (My mother was smart about it and monitored her blood pressure every day.) This saved her a lot of money.
Another example of the effect of essential oils is my use of an oil blend Thieves, which is very antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infectious. It can help protect you against illnesses such as flu, colds sinusitis, sore throats, bronchitis, etc.
Weber State University tested it for its potent antimicrobial properties. It had a 99.96% kill rate against air borne bacteria. I put this on my children’s feet before bringing them to daycare. Flu or colds would go through the rest of the kids at the daycare but my kids never got them. I put a few drops of Thieves on the bottom of my kid’s feet before they went to school as prevention. It was amazing. Their classmates would get sick but they didn’t.
Because it is antiviral, I applied 1 drop of Thieves on my son’s plantar wart and a wart on his leg every night before he went to sleep. Within 3 weeks both warts were gone.
As demonstrated in my own life, therapeutic essential oils have many properties. They are antibacterial, anti-cancerous, antifungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, anti-tumoral, anti parasitic, antiviral and antiseptic.
I have written an article, Creating a Healthy Medicine Chest which gives you some ideas for everyday uses for essential oils, such as using peppermint oil to lower a fever within 20 minutes. It is much safer than Tylenol, which can cause liver damage.
My criteria for selecting essential oils
Essential oils, personal care products and vitamins and supplements are unregulated so you have to be a smart consumer.
Pure therapeutic essential oils are very chemically complex. Depending on the essential oil they have anywhere from 80-300 different chemical constituents. This is why a synthetic oil can never compare to a pure therapeutic grade essential oil.
95% of the essential oils in the marketplace are adulterated. How do you tell what is safe in an unregulated industry?
Many factors affect the quality of essential oils. If the plants are grown in nutrient poor soil you will not get as high quality essential oil.
I do not want plants that are grown with pesticides. Many pesticides are toxic and are hormone disrupters. Pesticides would affect the quality of the essential oil.
If a company has its own farms and distills the plants right at the fields, you will get higher quality oil. Just like vegetables, you get the most nutrition when you pick a plant from your garden and eat it right away. You get the highest therapeutic or healing properties from essential oils with the first distillation. Some companies will steam distill the same plant material 2-3 times. With each distillation you get less effective oil therapeutically. The company can still claim it is a pure essential oil because it hasn’t added anything, but it becomes an inferior oil the more you distill the same plant material.
Heat destroys the healing properties of essential oils. It is cheaper to steam distill plants at a high temperature and turn them out faster but you also destroy the therapeutic value of an essential oil. You want essential oils that are steam distilled at a low temperature over a longer period of time to get your highest quality oils.
Another factor to consider is whether or not a company uses chemicals to clean their distillation equipment. It defeats the purpose to have plants grown without pesticides if a company cleans their distillation equipment with chemicals.
Aromatherapy is very popular, so how do you tell which ones are therapeutic grade? The good news is there are international standards set up for therapeutic grade essential oils. The International Standards Organization (ISO) is an organization that 97 countries belong to that establishes standards for industry for a variety of products from medical devices to quality systems. They have international standards established .for therapeutic essential oils. They are based on the French Standards Organization (AFNOR) for essential oils, because France has been the leader for the use of essential oils internationally. At a minimal level you want a company to meet international standards for therapeutic grade.
It is important to note companies should not only test every batch of their oils to make sure they meet therapeutic standards but also use 3rd party certification. What this means is they have an independent lab certify they meet therapeutic grade standards. I have more confidence in an independent lab’s certification than a company’s own lab, because a company’s own lab would certainly be biased in giving a favorable report.
Here are my criteria for selecting essential oils that are therapeutic grade:
- An independent lab certifies that the essential oils meet international standards established for therapeutic grade essential oils.
- Plants are grown without pesticides.
- Company is holistic and does not use any toxic ingredients in any of their products. Companies who sell essential oils often sell skin and hair care products, deodorants, etc. I ask for their ingredients list of these products. If they have toxic ingredients or ones that are carcinogenic or hormone disrupting then I know they don’t walk their talk. They don’t have a company culture promoting quality and practicing a holistic approach to health. They may say their product is natural but if they have ingredients that damage my health I’m not interested in being their customer.
- Company has own farms and produce many of their own essential oils. No company that has an extensive line of essential oils grows all their own plants. There are certain areas in the world that you can get certain essential oils, however if a company has its own farms and distillation right there,they have a lot more control of the qualityof essential oil that is produced. What is more important is they have a quality system in place, where they do on-site inspections to ensure there quality procedures are being followed, especially from their vendors.
It is important to have tough criteria in selecting essential oils. You are putting the products on your skin or may be taking them internally. The company that I have found that meets these criteria is Young Living.
I’ve been very impressed with their commitment to quality and their customer service. I have never found a company before that I could recommend any of their products without hesitation because of their high standards and quality. If you are interested in these products or would like to learn more please contact me.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Henry David Thoreau