Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Essential Oils

New to essential oils? Check out this ultimate beginner’s guide to essential oils to discover everything you need to know about essential oils! Learn what essential oils are, how they work, how to use them, and more.

Beginner’s Guide To Essential Oils

Before I jump into this beginner’s guide to essential oils, I just wanted to preface this guide by saying I am not a doctor nor am I an aromatherapist.

I am just a girl who wanted to live a healthier, toxin-free life and fell in love with essential oils because they helped me to do just that.

So although I am not a doctor, I want to point out that essential oils are considered alternative medicine and most conventional doctors receive little to no essential oil education.

I’ve been using essential oils for over 10 years and I have read countless books and I have done countless hours of research about essential oils.

And I definitely think 10 years of research and hands-on experience should count for something!

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s get started!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure statement here.)

I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your doctor before using essential oils on children under 5 or while pregnant or breastfeeding. Please do not ask me for medical advice. Click here to read my full disclaimer.

Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils

What Are Essential Oils?

The magical plant juice we call essential oils are the vital fluids of a plant, shrub, root, herb, flower, seed, or tree. They are a highly concentrated form of the natural oils in a plant.

The oil inside of a plant operates as the plant’s immune system. They help protect the plant against predators and disease and they also aid in plant pollination.

The oil is essential to the life and health of the plant. Think of essential oils as the lifeblood of the plant.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to promote healing and wellness. They’ve also been used to flavor foods and they have also been used in beauty and cleaning products, and so much more!

They have enhanced so many lives over the years by offering a variety of benefits. These benefits are not just physical but also spiritual and emotional. Essential oils are truly a gift from God that was created to benefit our entire body.

How Do Essential Oils Work?

Essential oils contain various natural components that impact the body such as terpins, esters, oxides, alcohols, phenols, ketones, and aldehydes. Some essential oils contain as many as 300 components! 

Their small molecular size means essential oils can be absorbed fast and easily into the bloodstream when applied to the skin, taken internally, or inhaled. It only takes 2 minutes for oil molecules to hit the bloodstream and only 20 minutes to affect every cell in your body!

How are Essential Oils Extracted?

Essential oils are extracted by steam distillation, resin tapping, and cold pressing that involves every part of the plant, including roots, leaves, stems, flowers, and bark, resulting in an oil containing the fragrance and healing properties of the plant.

Extracting essential oils is a very careful process that ensures all the important, therapeutic, and health-giving constituents of the oil remain intact.

Extracting just one bottle of essential oil requires an incredibly large amount of plant material. For example, it takes approximately 3 pounds of lavender flowers to distill just 15ml of lavender essential oil

It takes about 242,000 rose petals to distill approximately 5ml of rose oil. This is why some essential oils can be very expensive.

How to Use Essential Oils?

The most important part of this beginner’s guide to essential oils is learning how to use them. Essential oils can be used in many ways. When using them to promote health and wellness and overall well-being they can be used aromatically, topically, or internally.

How to Use Essential Oils Aromatically?

To use essential oils aromatically you can inhale the essential oil directly from the bottle or you can add the oil to a diffuser (my favorite way). 

Diffusing essential oils is an extremely simple process. All you have to do is add water and a few drops of essential oil to your diffuser and turn it on.

If you want to learn more about diffusing essential oils I recommend reading this post – how to use an essential oil diffuser.

It will teach you everything you need to know about diffusing essential oils.

Diffusing essential oils is a great way to fill your home with the amazing therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Diffusing essential oils is also a great alternative to toxic candles and air fresheners.

You can check out some of my favorite essential oil diffuser blends below.

If you are in need of an essential oil diffuser be sure to check out the best essential oil diffusers of 2021.

How to Use Essential Oils Topically?

To use topically the oil can be applied directly to the skin. Some oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil so please do your research. Some of my favorite places to apply oils are my feet, abdomen, chest, spine, and neck.

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to use essential oils topically is roller blends.

If you don’t know what a roller blend is, it’s basically just a blend of essential oils, diluted with a carrier oil, inside a glass roller bottle, with a little roller tip.

You simply roll the blend onto your skin to experience the therapeutic benefits of the oils.

I am a huge fan of roller blends. I use them on a daily basis (along with my diffuser). There are so many different types of roller blends that you can make. A few of my favorites are below.

And if you want to dive deep into the world of essential oil roller blends and learn everything you need to know about them, I suggest reading my ultimate guide to essential oil roller blends.

How to Use Essential Oils Internally?

The topic of ingesting essential oils is a highly debated one in the essential oil community. When I was a member of Young Living, ingesting essential oils was highly promoted.

After doing my own research, I discovered that ingesting essential oils can be dangerous and there have been many people who have had very bad reactions.

I personally have ingested essential oils and still do from time to time but I think that is a decision each individual person needs to talk to their doctor about and make on their own.

If you are brand new to the world of essential oils I highly recommend not ingesting essential oils until you learn more about them and also know for sure that your essential oils are 100% pure.

With that being said, essential oils can be ingested by mixing a few drops into your tea or water. Sometimes I like to add a few drops of lime essential oil to my water.

You can also add a drop or two of essential oil with a tiny bit of carrier oil to empty capsules like these and swallow them like a pill. When I feel a cold coming on I sometimes add a few drops of my wellness blend and a little bit of coconut oil to an empty capsule and ingest it.

But I definitely recommend doing more research and talking to your doctor before consuming essential oils in any form. Essential oils are very powerful and should be used with safety and caution.

Some oils are hot and can burn your esophagus. Consuming large amounts of essential oils can also potentially harm your liver.

Creating Homemade Products With Essential Oils

Essential oils can also be used to create so many homemade beauty and cleaning products. Many of the products we use in our homes and on our bodies on a daily basis are full of nasty toxins. 

I recommend downloading the Think Dirty app and scanning just a few of your favorite products.

You’ll be shocked to discover how many toxins and carcinogens you’re exposing yourself to and also your family to everyday. It’s quite frightening. 

Essential oils are a no-brainer way to start ditching those nasty products and switching to toxic-free, immune-boosting, life-giving household and beauty products instead.

Although I love essential oils for their healing and therapeutic benefits, they’ve impacted my overall wellness the most by enabling me to reduce my toxic burden.

Many of the products I used to use on a daily basis were filled with toxic ingredients that were making me sick. Because of essential oils, I have been able to make my own toxin-free products and throw out the harmful products I used to use.

If you want to start making your own homemade products with essential oils I recommend you check out my giant library of essential oil recipes.

You’ll find all kinds of recipes there and I add new ones almost every week.

Essential Oil Safety

I am by no means an essential oil expert. But I am very passionate about two things – essential oils and essential oil safety.

I plan to write an essential oil safety guide in the future. For now, please read the articles below to learn more about essential oil safety.

Best Essential Oil Brands

There are dozens and dozens of essential oil brands on the market. But don’t be deceived. They’re not all created equal.

Many oils being sold today are synthetic. Your body processes synthetic oils as a toxin which does not help your body but actually works against it. So please do your research before purchasing essential oils.

You can read this post – how to choose an essential oil brand – to figure out which essential oil brand is best for you.

You can also check out this post – fake essential oil brands you should avoid – to discover essential oil brands to stay far away from and also learn how to spot fake essential oils.

Personally, I’m not loyal to just one brand. I use a variety of different brands. I used to use Young Living oils exclusively. That was until I discovered other companies that sold high-quality, 100% pure essential oils at much more affordable prices.

I still use my Young Living oils from time to time but I mostly use essential oils from Plant TherapySimply Earth, and Florihana.

Essential Oil Supplies For Beginners

To get the most use out of your essential oils, you’ll definitely need a few different supplies.

I recommend purchasing a diffuser, roller bottles, and a carrier oil to get started. Those would be my top three recommended supplies for those just starting out with essential oils.

You can check out this post – best essential oil supplies for beginners – to see all of the other supplies I recommend purchasing as well.

Building An Essential Oil Collection

There are over 90 different types of essential oils which is a great thing. But that can also be a bit overwhelming when you are first starting out. The good news is you don’t need all 90 to start experiencing the wellness benefits of essential oils.

I recommend starting out with a few of the most versatile types first. You can check out my post – the best essential oil for beginners – to discover a few essential oils that can be used for a variety of different things.

These are the best types of essential oils to start out with.

Once you get the hang of those, I recommend checking out this post- top 20 essential oils you need in your collection.

Easy Ways to Use Essential Oils Daily

I use essential oils every single day. A few simple ways to incorporate essential oils into your daily life are below.

  • Diffuse essential oils instead of using candles or air freshener
  • Make and use this all purpose cleaner made with castile soap and essential oils
  • Use this energy boosting roller blend whenever you need a quick pick me up
  • Make and use this DIY face serum for glowing skin made with lavender, frankincense, tea tree, and rose essential oils
  • Use this headache relief roller blend whenever you feel a headache coming on
  • Use lemon essential oil to remove sticky residue
  • Apply diluted lavender essential oil to minor burns for quick relief
  • Apply a few drops of essential oil to a cottonball and throw in your bathroom trashcan to quickly freshen up your bathroom

Well, I think that wraps up this ultimate beginner’s guide to essential oils. If you have any questions please let me know in the comment section below.

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