Essential Oils Basics

essential oilsTherapeutic grade essential oils contain such vitality! In a healthy plant, the pure essential oil functions much like human or other animal blood and lymph, doing nutrient delivery, immune protection, anti-oxidation, oxygenation, warding off or killing invading organisms, tissue regeneration, hormonal and many other functions. They are usually the most potent part of herbs (mostly lost in drying), and amazingly are designed to be able to serve us similarly to the plants they come from.

Essential oils are a precious gift of Mother Nature bringing very quick and clean support to shift our experience and mind/body/emotional and mechanisms. They often can save the psychology too by reminding us how just shifting the body in these ways, and with their gift of potent life force, that we already have what we need with surprising availability, within. Then it is easier without guilt or blame to get to the rest of the “homework” done … which usually is needed and which makes the changes hold so much better.


Organic is grade A, Therapeutic means highest grade A – including lower temperature and pressure distillation. Therapeutic grade is not available in stores, some organic is. A bottle can say 100% Natural and legally have only 10% essential oil, the rest a carrier oil. The essential oil can be synthetic and have petrochemical solvents or pesticides also. Food Grade is B, Perfume Grade is C. There are about 100 times as many “essential oils” sold in the world as there are produced from plants … the chemistry industry is very busy.

Benefits of Grade A essential oils, in addition to the individual plant gifts/focus, include enhancement of immune, hormonal, digestive and other functions, plus oxygenation, antioxidant, & antimicrobial support in varying degrees.

Therapeutic grade essential oils have many more bio-constituents, between about 300 and 800 per plant, due to their preservation in the distillation process. This means greater potency and many more healing properties, and much more difficulty, for instance, for a microbe to mutate against it.

Results will vary from person to person depending also upon quality, how alkaline or acidic or toxic their tissue accumulations are and other factors; this may also affect how frequent we feel to use an oil. Please enquire for further information.

Due to regulatory status, a bottle can say “100% pure Lavender Essential Oil” and only has to have 10% lavender essential oil, can have Lavendin in it (considered unsafe for pregnancy), can be synthetic, and can have any carrier/diluting oil.

Caveat – The experiences reported on this website are specifically about therapeutic grade essential oils. No testimonies and the following warnings have to be made regarding use of any other essential oils.


A few oils need precautions about how to use them. The hot oils like cinnamon, clove, oregano, thyme, and penetrating oils like mints can feel too strong on tender skin; always dilute with several drops of carrier oil first, and avoid moisture or they will sting. Citrus and evergreens can create photo sensitivity on local site of use particularly with repeated application. Bergamot should be avoided on any skin exposed to sun for 2 -3 full days to avoid serious burn.

PLEASE do not apply Essential oils which are not organic directly (“neet”) on babies at any time – diffuse only, such as from your hands or a cotton ball if you must – or on adults for the reasons below. It is recommended to always dilute essential oils for babies; we find 2 – 3 drops to ½ teaspoon carrier is enough per drop of good essential oils.

When oils and fats grow in nature, nearby toxins and other petrochemicals will naturally concentrate into the oil, more than into the rest of the plant.

Many essential oils have trace solvents, used in washing the last batch off the distillation equipment.

Soil history, growing, water quality, harvesting, multiple processing methods are factors


If you get a rash, headache or nausea, it almost always means petrochemical toxins are being released from the body (absorbed commonly from not only foods but also most body care and cleaning products). Drink water, breathe fuller, exercise, rest, use Vitamin C and support bowels moving 2 – 3 times daily. Use the essential oils less/less frequently until your body adjusts. Look to these things first before thinking you may have an (extremely rare) allergy.

Usage Basics

Use the oils on an as needed basis; several times a day, week, month, whatever. Listen to your instincts!

The body accepts it as layered intelligence once it is dry to the touch.

Be sure to stay hydrated; if diet, personal care products or lifestyle has been more toxic, use one at a time, with more time between to be sure you can handle it. I let clients smell and choose their favorite (and any they have a strong aversion to is sometimes very good for them too).

Anytime an oil is too penetrating or irritating, dilute with massage oil not water.

With emotional issues, always use something like the blend Valor first, as described in the following pages, for grounding and electromagnetic balancing before going into higher vibration oils.

Application Suggestions
  • Diffuse, spritz with water or shake a few drops into the room.
  • Dilute slightly in vegetable oil and apply topically.
  • Put on a cotton ball in baby’s bed.
  • Try a drop with 2-3 drops vegetable oil in/around navel or on acupressure points.
  • Rub a drop on your palms and hold near baby’s skin.
  • Add a 8 – 10 drops into a tablespoon of salt and add to (adult) bath.
  • Add a few drops to massage oil.

Anytime an oil is too penetrating or irritating, dilute with massage oil not water.



Use the links below to learn more:

  • Common Perinatal Uses List
  • Flu Experiences with Essential Oils
  • Thyroid Supports
  • 101 Uses of the Essential 7 Kit (more than that!)