Essential Oils: Product Spotlight

Product Summary:
Lavender essential oil is known as the most popular and versatile essential oil.
It is steam distilled from Lavandula angustifolia, a perennial, busy shrub with a flowery top. The many properties of lavender essential oil contribute to a vast range of usage. It is highly regarded as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, for skin care, or as a lovely fragrance.
Product Story:
Traditionally used to treat burns, lavender is one of history’s most celebrated and versatile essential oils. In ancient Greece, Pedanius Dioscorides, a physician, pharmacologist, and botanist, extolled the medicinal qualities of lavender. Greeks also used lavender as a perfume. The Romans used lavender in their baths for washing, for its healing and antiseptic qualities, and to deter
insects. The Egyptians used lavender as an ingredient in incense and perfume. Queen Elizabeth I used lavender as a tea to treat her frequent migraines.
Following a laboratory explosion that severely burned his arm, a French scientist named Rene Gattefosse was the first modern scientist to document lavender’s ability to promote tissue regeneration. Today, we use lavender as a tea, to dress wounds, to induce sleep, ease depression, and reduce stress. Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils and can be used in full strength on the skin. The benefits of lavender essential oil are limitless. As we continue to study lavender, additional usage and efficacy is identified.

Did You Know:
 - A study at the Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan found that, “Lavender aromatherapy reduced serum cortisol and improved CFVR in healthy men. These findings suggest that lavender aromatherapy has relaxation effects and may have beneficial acute effects on coronary circulation”.
- Young Living grows its own lavender at farms in Utah, Idaho, France, and Ecuador.
- Shakespeare grew lavender in his garden and spoke of it in his writings, including a recipe for a lavender tea in The Winter’s Tale. 
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is the difference between lavender and lavandin?
A. Lavandin is a hyprid plant developed by crossing true lavender with spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia). Lavandin is most commonly used to sterilize animal cages throughout Europe. Lavandin has similar calming effects as lavender but is slightly harsher.
Q. Is lavender essential oil safe for children?
A. Lavender is generally safe for children. It has traditionally been used to calm small children and babies. However, you should always consult with your child’s healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Medical Properties:
Antiseptic, antifungal, analgesic, antitumoral, anticonvulsant, vasodilating, relaxant, anti-inflammatory, reduces blood cholesterol, combats excess sebum on skin.
Respiratory infections, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, menstrual problems/PMS, skin conditions, eczema, psoriasis, scarring, stretch marks, acne, burns, hair loss, insomnia, nervous tension.

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Essential Oils: The Therapeutic-Grade Difference

Therapeutic-Grade essential oils are naturally-occurring oils that provide healthful benefits for all kinds of diseases and disorders. Not only can therapeutic-grade oils be used aromatically and topically, they can also be ingested in beverages or in capsules.
Gary Young developed his proprietary distillation method by combining knowledge of history’s finest distillers, modern technology, and decades of trial and error. Variations in the distillation process can result in a reduction or destruction of quality. To maintain purity and quality, Young Living Essential Oils have a proprietary stainless steel distillation process that uses low temperatures, low pressure, and only pure water free of heavy metals and contaminates to foster the preservation of plant properties, capture the pure essence of the plant, and maintain the quality of the oils.
Why is it so difficult to find pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils?
Producing the purest of oils can be very costly because it may require several hundred pounds, or even several thousand pounds of plant material to extract one pound of pure essential oil. For example, one pound of pure melissa oil sells for $9,000-$15,000. Although this sounds quite expensive, one must realize that three tons of plant material are required to produce that single pound of oil. Because the vast majority of all oils produced in the world today are used by the perfume industry, the oils are being purchased for their aromatic qualities only. High pressure, high temperatures, rapid processing and the use of chemical solvents are often employed during the distillation process so that a greater quantity of oil can be produced at a faster rate. These oils may smell just as good and cost much less, but will lack most, if not all, of the chemical constituents necessary to produce the expected therapeutic results.
What benefits do pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils provide?
1. Essential oils are the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune defense properties of plants.
2. Some essential oil constituents are so small in molecular size that they can quickly penetrate the tissues of the skin.
3. Essential oils are lipid soluble and are capable of penetrating cell walls, even if they have hardened because of an oxygen deficiency. In fact, essential oils can affect every cell of the body withing 20 minutes and are then metabolized like other nutrients.
4. Essential oils contain oxygen molecules which help to transport nutrients to the starving human cells. Because a nutritional deficiency is an oxygen deficiency, disease begins when the cells lack the oxygen for proper nutrient assimilation. By providing the needed oxygen, essential oils also work to stimulate the immune system.
5. Essential oils are very powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants create an unfriendly environment for free radicals. They prevent all mutations, work as free radical scavengers, prevent fungus, and prevent oxidation in the cells.
6. Essential oils are anti-bacterial , anti-cancerous, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-microbial, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and antiseptic. Essential oils have been shown to destroy all tested bacteria and viruses while simultaneously restoring balance to the body.
7. Essential oils may detoxify the cells and blood in the body
8. Essential oils containing sesquiterpenes have the ability to pass the blood brain barrier, enabling them to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
9. Essential oils are aromatic. When diffused, they provide air purification by:
     1. Removing metallic particles and toxins from the air.
     2. Increasing atmospheric oxygen
     3. Increasing ozone and negative ions in the area, which inhibits bacterial   
     4. Destroying odors from mold, cigarettes, and animals
     5. Filling the air with a fresh aromatic scent
10. Essential oils help promote emotional, physical, and spiritual healing.
11. Essential oils have a bio-electrical frequency that is several times greater than the frequency of herb, food, and even the human body. Clinical research has shown that essential oils can quickly raise the frequency of the human body, restoring it to its normal, healthy level.
{Information on this page is from the Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley.}


Essential Oils: My First Experience

The air was humid and hot. Ancient pecan trees provided highly sought after shade from the summer sun. Sweat dripped down the cheeks of four young children as they played baseball in their grandparent's back yard. The smell of dirt and sweat,  and the sight of grass stains gave life to the unspoken camaraderie among the four cousins. Although vastly different in personalities and ambitions, the great American pastime of baseball proved once again to bring individuals together in sportsmanship and fun.

That hot summer in Houston was my last great attempt at anything remotely athletic. Both of my cousins are athletic people. My brother and I are not. But playing baseball builds character, right?

Houston summer afternoons have a way of leaving your skin pink. As soon as we stepped inside my Grandma's kitchen I knew I was sunburned. The cool air inside was intensified by the hotness of my burned skin, and although my skin was warm, I remember instantly feeling goosebumps on my arms. I was sunburned.
My grandma is a practical woman. Upon noticing my newly pink skin she went to the aloe vera plant on her back porch and broke off a stem. She rubbed that aloe vera stem all over my arms, neck, and face. I remember my skin being sticky. But the soothing sensation of the aloe vera was worth it.

That was my first experience with essential oils. The nectar inside that aloe vera plant, the soothing juicy stuff that left my skin feeling soothed, that's essential oil! It is the life blood of the plant. It nourishes and protects the plant just like blood protects and provides life-giving nourishment for us.

Try this at home: Squeeze the peel of a ripe orange. The fragrant residue on your hand is full of essential oils.

Or you can pick a leaf off a tree and tear the leaf. You will see a little liquid drip out of the vein  of the leaf - that is the essential oil of the plant, it is the Immune System of the plant. These little drops of oil have powerful healing properties and they are very compatible with the human body!

I bet you have a testimony about essential oils. Tell me about it!

Getting Started: What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from plants (including their respective parts such as seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.). One of the factors that determine the purity and therapeutic value of an oil is its chemical constituents. These constituents can be affected by a vast number of variables including: the part(s) of the plant from which the oil was produced, soil condition, fertilizer (organic or chemical), geographical region, climate, altitude, harvest season and methods, and distillation process. For example, common thyme, or thyme vulgaris, produces several different chemotypes (biochemical specifics or simple species) depending on the conditions of its growth, climate, and altitude. One will produce high levels of thymol depending on the time of year it is distilled. If distilled during mid-summer or late fall, there can be higher levels of carvacrol which can cause the oil to be more caustic or irritating to the skin. Low pressure and low temperature are also keys to maintaining the purity, the ultimate fragrance, and the therapeutic value of the oil.

Essential Oils: A History 

Essential oils were mankind's first medicine. From Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, we know that priests and physicians have been using essential oils for thousands of years. In Egypt, essential oils were used in the embalming process and well preserved oils were found in alabaster jars in King Tut's tomb. Egyptian temples were dedicated to the production and blending of the oils and recipes were recorded on the walls in hieroglyphics. There is even a sacred room in the temple of Isis on the island of Philae where a ritual called "Cleansing the Flesh and Blood of Evil Deities" was practiced. This form of emotional clearing required three days of cleansing using particular essential oils and oil baths.
There are 188 references to essential oils in the Bible. Oils such as frankincense, myrrh, rosemary, hyssop, and spikenard were used for anointing and healing the sick. In Exodus, the Lord gave the following recipe to Moses for "an holy anointing oil":
Myrrh ("five hundred shekels" - approximately 1 gallon)
Sweet Cinnamon ("two hundred and fifty shekels" - approximately 1/2 gallon)
Sweet Calamus ("two hundred and fifty shekels")
Cassia ("five hundred shekels")
Olive Oil ("an hin" - approximately 1 1/3 gallons)
The three wise men presented the Christ child with essential oils of frankincense and myrrh. There are also accounts in the New Testament of the Bible where Jesus was anointed with spikenard oil; "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box and poured [it] on his head" (Mark 14:3). "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment" (John 12:3).