Hi! My name is Zoe Blackman. I’m a Certified Aromatherapist, and I am so excited to be connecting with the Jewelweed family. I was originally drawn to Jewelweed because they carry my absolute favorite brand of oils: Aromatics International, among other amazing aromatherapy products. It can be difficult to figure out who to trust when it comes to information about aromatherapy, as there can be a lot of misguided information out there. As a certified Aromatherapist, I use and trust the company, Aromatics International, as they supply customers with a report that shows all of the molecules contained in the oil you are purchasing. In addition, they supply you with accurate shelf life information, safety data on each oil, and their oils are 100% natural with no markup. Education on essential oils is crucial to their use, because essential oils are natural but also are extremely concentrated–making them a highly potent substance. I often see misinformation on the internet that can end up being harmful.
When figuring out who to trust, it’s important to understand the terminology used to discuss essential oils. Brands love to throw around terms like “therapeutic grade,” “food grade,” and “organic.” “Therapeutic grade” and “food grade” are completely made-up marketing terms. Starting with multi-level marketing companies (like DoTerra and Young Living), these terms became a way to try and convince people that their oils are worth the added expense (which is really just built in commission for their sellers). Essential oils by their nature are therapeutic, so this distinction is wholly unnecessary, and a marker of suspicious marketing.
A question I often receive is whether you should spend the extra money to purchase organic certified oils. My answer is two fold:
1. I would say about 90% of oils have been steam distilled. Since steam distillation requires high heat, any pesticides or chemicals used to grow these plants will burn off and die through this process.
2. The only oils that are not extracted using high heat are citrus oils. Oil is taken from the peel of fruits through the cold press process. If it feels like a better fit to purchase organic in this case, go for it!
Once you decide what brand to buy, you can start building your essential oil collection. There are so many oil options it can become somewhat overwhelming. I want to share the simplest way to determine which essential oil you should use for the betterment of your health and well-being: focus on the plant part. It’s an easy technique to get a general idea of what various oils can be used for. I will be going into more depth explaining the uses of different oils in my Essential Oil class. This class will be offered through Jewelweed on October 12th! In the meantime, here are some cheats by plant part:
Seeds are protective of their contents and are creators, the beginning. This signifies that seeds are, energetically, good for strong new beginnings, are of a protective nature, and aid in growth.
Roots are grounding, conduct nutrients, and are the arteries of the plant. Energetically, root oils will feel grounding, which can help calm our emotions and anxieties, creating stability and balance.
Oils made from wood/bark are generally grounding, centering, and good for the skeletal system of our bodies. You can remember this by knowing the trunk/branches are the skeletal system of a tree.
Resin is produced from the trunk of a tree when the bark is cut open. Knowing this can help us remember that resin oils are generally good for healing wounds. They can be great for skin issues as well as emotional and mental disease. Mentally, resin oils tend to be meditative and calming.
Leaves are like the lungs of plants. They “breathe” in carbon dioxide and “breathe” out oxygen. Interestingly enough, there are no coincidences in nature, and leaf oils are known to help humans with our respiratory systems. For example, Eucalyptus oil is used often as a decongestant.
Essential oils created from flowers are some of my all time favorite oils. Everyone who uses oils knows that lavender is extremely calming and healing. The best way to generalize flowers is to remember that flowers are often given to people as support. When someone is sick, sad, being congratulated, or celebrating a birthday, we often gift them flowers.
Lastly, we have oils extracted from fruit. We get these oils mostly from the peel of the fruit. These oils tend to be cleansing, uplifting, and are great for healing on a physical and emotional level.
I wanted to close this out with a few extra tips that I find helpful. I’ve worked in essential oil retail and customer service and have spoken to many people with many different circumstances. One thing I always make sure people know is that essential oils are extremely concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Since they are liquid, it’s common that they can run into undesirable areas or pour out a little faster than expected. Many people reach for a cloth or water to clean up this mess. Since we are dealing with the consistency of oil, this doesn’t usually work. When dealing with too much oil, or even irritation from a little bit of oil, remember that oil cleans oil. My suggestion is to have plain coconut oil on hand and use that to clean up the mess. Always remember, a little bit goes a long way!
My second reminder is that essential oils expire. It’s important to be aware of the distillation date as well as the shelf life of each oil you purchase. Aromatics International has these dates listed on their bottles and website. The staff at Jewelweed are so knowledgeable and constantly learning, so they are an amazing resource when purchasing oils! Also, keep your oils in a dark, cool place with the bottles tightly shut to preserve them and stop them oxidizing so you get their full life and quality from them.
I’m so happy to be working in aromatherapy and love educating. Please feel free to reach out to Jewelweed with any questions and make sure you check out my upcoming class!