(Note from Erin: Thanks to Dr Eric Z for this guest post!)
My wife and I have been using essential oils for years. I’m actually a late-bloomer compared to Mama Z who has been using these precious natural solutions since she was in her teens! We’ve tried several brands and have completely rearranged our medicine cabinets over the years, and have become leaders in the industry as my articles, books, and conference presentations grows in popularity.
Whether you’re a veteran looking for some new tips or a beginner who wants to start using oils but don’t know where to start, here’s my Daily Essential Oils User Guide that you and your family can start using today!
- The Wise Men Knew What’s Up: The 12 Most Important Oils in the Bible
- 5 Kid-Friendly Essential Oils To Help Your Child Avoid A Meltdown
Do’s and Don’ts
Before I dive into some of the ways that you can use essential oils as part of your daily natural health regimen, there are some “housekeeping” items we need to discuss. Here are some do’s and don’ts.
- Use essential oils aromatically in a diffuser, inhaler, spritzer and other fun ways.
- Add essential oils in your daily body care regimen.
- Be careful – and learn the basics. My Aromatherapy 101 article will help.
- Enjoy the good things in life! There’s nothing like one drop of lemon or orange oil in a 32 ounce glass liter of sparkling water with some liquid stevia as a special soda pop treat.
- Have fun & be empowered! Using essential oils and other natural therapies is a life-changing experience for most people and remember to enjoy the journey as you learn all about them!
Daily Do Not’s:
- Consume essential oils for “prevention.” This is wasteful and dangerous, and I was a victim of the take-a-drop-of-essential-oil under your tongue (or in your water) everyday myth until I irritated my esophagus and developed acid reflux! The more I learn about EOs, the less I consume them – only for specific health conditions, or my special soda. 😉 And, no, it doesn’t matter how “pure” or “therapeutic” they are. Daily consumption is NOT the most effective (and medicinal) way to use them, and it has taken me 3 years of trial & error (lots of error) and literally hundreds (if not thousands) of research hours to get to this “revelation.” So, please learn from my mistakes! 🙂
- Believe that “there is an oil for that.” Essential oils have changed my life so much that I have devoted much of my personal and profession lives to sharing the message that they are truly God’s Medicine. Seriously, I’m the “oil” guy and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be featured on countless health summits, conferences and documentaries. Yet, let’s be real. Like anything, essential oils are limited by what they can and we should not fall into the trap that they are the end-all cure because misguided hope will disappoint.
Ok, now that we’ve cleaned house, let’s get to work…
Daily Practice: Aromatherapy
When people that essential oils have been used for thousands of years, they’re referring to the art of aromatherapy when tribal cultures burned plants to make incense for spiritual and medicinal purposes. Remember, modern-day distillation didn’t exist back then and our ancestors never had access to what we know now as “essential oils.” Still, the use of aromatic herbs, roots, flowers and fruits was widely enjoyed.
Throw away the glade plug-ins and wall flowers! They emit toxic chemicals that have been linked to neurotoxicity and cancer, which is why every house should have multiple diffusers running throughout the day. Not only will they help make your house smell and feel refreshing, but they also emit aromatic essential oil “volatiles” that have significant medicinal properties.
Mama Z and I love the diffusers at Aroma2Go. Their USB ultrasonic diffuser is just about the coolest thing I have ever used, and all of their products are designed in Belgium. This gives their products a sophisticated “Euro” look and you’re going to fall in love with their diffusers, wraps, cases and necklaces! I’m buddies with the CEO and I asked if he could give you a special gift for visiting my website to get you started on your aromatherapy journey, and we came up with this: use the coupon code “DRZ10” to get 10% off your entire first purchase! Isn’t that cool!
Research studies have linked inhaling diffused lavender EO to:
- Decreased oxidative stress
- Reduced postnatal depression and anxiety
- Improved mood for people suffering with PTSD
- Enhanced sleep and decreased moodiness
- Increased overall health status
- Prevented allergic reactions
Applying diluted lavender EO directly on cuts and burns has also been shown to speed would healing. On a personal note, I have extremely sensitive skin, and I have a tendency to nick myself pretty good when I shave my face. Whenever this happens, I put a drop of diluted lavender on my cut and the bleeding usually stops immediately!
- For burns or eczema, mix lavender with coconut oils in a 1:5 ratio to speed up the healing process.
- For sunburn or dry skin, add 5 drops of lavender in 1 ounce of fresh frozen aloe, aloe vera gel or coconut oil.
Daily Practice – Body Care
Next to aromatic use, safe topical essential oil application is a must for anyone wanting to experience Abundant Life health and wellness. The benefit it two-fold:
- Essential oils penetrate into the blood stream within minutes of being applied on the skin, and are completely metabolized within hours. This means that your body will benefit from the healing chemical compounds in the essential oil for only a limited time, which (unlike drugs that don’t fully metabolize in the body) gives you more control of your body.
- When you apply topically, you also receive the aromatic benefit as the volatile organic compounds reach your nose!
We try to DIY as much as possible in our home and include EOs in everything from our toothpaste to body lotion and liquid hand soap. The aroma in our home is intoxicating and my family and I always get asked why we “smell so good!” Chances are that you’re applying aromatic compounds on your skin as it is with conventional, store-bought body care items. So, why not use the real deal, instead of the synthetic stuff that has been connected with cancer, autoimmune disease, and neurocognitive disorders?
While Americans are incessantly enticed by the intoxicating aromas, flashy packaging, and false promises of sustained youth and beauty from health care products, the global beauty market is expected to reach $265 billion in 2017! Now, there is nothing wrong with making a buck, but one question we all should be asking is what is the real cost of using these products to our health?
“Well, nothing.” You may be thinking to yourself. “I don’t eat them, I just put them on my skin!”
True, but did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body and EVERYTHING you put ON your skin goes INTO your body! Just think about the price of beauty when you consider the long-term effects of putting chemicals on your body every day!
But don’t worry yourself sick over it. ALL of your body care products can be made with essential oils!
- Be sure to visit my wife’s DIY Essential Oil Body Care Recipes database for tips on how to make everything from flea shampoo for dogs to toothpaste!
- Also, don’t forget to check out our DIY Essential Oil Cleaners Database to protect you from all the toxins conventional household cleaning products!
Not-So-Daily Practice: Oil Pulling
Love, love, love oil pulling! Anyone can do it and all you need is some essential oils and a carrier oil that’s probably in your kitchen already like olive, coconut or sesame. I have found that it’s the easiest, most effective way for anyone to start using essential oils to get immediate results!
With that said, I still don’t recommend oil pulling every single day. Like most natural therapies that cause a strong detoxifying response, I give my body a break once in a while. Personally, I like to oil pull a couple times per week.
Oil pulling works by detoxifying your oral cavity in a similar way that soap cleans dirty dishes. Because most toxins are fat-soluble, it literally sucks the dirt (toxins) out of your mouth and creates an antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that is needed to prevent cavities and disease. The ancient Ayurvedic system for health in India has used oil pulling for years to treat just under 30 systemic diseases, ranging from headaches and tooth decay to diabetes and asthma.
To help detox, keep your smile bright and shining and freshen up your breath mix essential oils with unrefined, organic coconut oil or another carrier. Here are some tips:
- Like most other detoxification procedures, the best time to oil pull is first thing in the morning, right after you get out of bed.
- All you need to do is swish between 1 – 2 tablespoons of the coconut or sesame oil and 1 drop of an essential oil (or EO blend) in your mouth for 10 – 20 minutes. Easy peasy!
- Don’t worry, you won’t even notice 20 minutes have gone by if you do this during your normal morning routine (i.e. while you shower, put your clothes on, and prep for the day).
- Be sure NOT to spit out the mixture into your sink or the coconut oil will harden and may end up clogging up your pipes.
- Either spit it out in the trash or in a jar or some other container.
- Immediately afterward, rinse your mouth out with warm water.
- Use salt water for added antimicrobial properties.
- Don’t be shocked if the oil/saliva mixture you spit out is milky white or yellow.
- Finally, brush your teeth as normal.
Note: This should be a relatively relaxing process, so don’t think that you need to swish your mouth with oil for the entire time – you’ll be bound to wear out your jaw muscles! Simply move the oil in your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing any of it.
Oil Pulling & EO Applications: I recommend oil pulling no more than 3-4x per week.
- Add 1 drop of clove, lemon or orange essential oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
- If you’re battling an infection, you may want to would change it up and use 1 drop of an immunity blend as a holistic remedy.
In addition to oil pulling, try using EO instead of (or in addition to toothpaste). One drop of clove, peppermint, or orange on your toothbrush will supercharge your fluoride-free toothpaste, or if you want to make your own remineralizing toothpaste, just combine Himalayan pink sea salt, baking soda, unrefined coconut oil and essential oils. Some of our favorite combinations are:
- Citrus oils like orange, grapefruit and lemon
- Peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree
- Clove, orange and peppermint
Not-So-Daily Practice: Morning Immune Booster
Arguably the most potent medicinal essential oil out there, recent research studies suggest that frankincense can kill cancer. It also promotes health and vitality in neighboring non-cancerous cells through a process known as “cell selectivity,” which is pretty amazing when you think about it! Before we all drink a bottle of frankincense in the race for the cure, it’s important to put things into perspective and remember that the studies out there are in vitro (cells in a petri dish). We still have a long way to go before doctors will start prescribing oils as a viable cancer treatment, but social proof resounds as the testimonials on the Internet support the possibility that people can receive significant benefits from regular frankincense consumption.
In addition to frankincense, there are other essential oils that pack a super-powerful antioxidant boost with clove topping the charts. I like to make an immunity blend that includes 1 drop of each of these oils: cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, orange, and rosemary.
To help prevent getting sick around flu season and boost your immune system try using my immune boosting shot 2-3x per week at the onset of a cold or around flu season.
- 1 packet Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
- 1-2 drops Immune Boost Blend Essential Oils*
- ¼ teaspoon organic pumpkin pie spice
- tiny pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
- Mix together in a glass bowl and enjoy twice daily at the onset of a cold, or once per day for prevention.
- Wash down with pure, filtered water.
- Be sure to not use for more than two weeks at a time.
- Equal parts Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Orange and Lemon essential oils
* This can be enjoyed straight or with a little bit of water to wash it down. Depends on your palate.
* It is not recommended to add this mixture to hot tea because this will kill the enzymes in the honey and can alter the composition of the essential oils and vitamin C. If you want to add to your tea, make sure it is cooled down to room temp.
- Be careful not to take this mixture daily for extended periods of time (more than 2 weeks). Our bodies quickly develop resistance and so do bacteria and viruses! Alternatively, consider switching up the protocol with a non-essential oil based product.
- Do not consume essential oils on a regular basis for “prevention.” Not only is it a waste of money, it is oftentimes unneeded and you may end up causing damage to your body. At one point of my early EO career, I was so enthusiastic about using them that I was taking a couple drops of a variety of oils in my mouth (straight, undiluted) every day and I shortly ended up with a mild case of acid reflux and really irritated my esophagus! With that said, there’s nothing wrong with adding a drop of cilantro in your guacamole and enjoying some lemon in your water if you like the taste, but let’s not overdo it. 🙂
Remember: Quality NOT Quantity is Key!
One thing to remember is that not all essential oils are created equal. In fact, many on the market are veritably worthless to your health because they are over processed, include synthetic ingredients and are not organic. When buying essential oils, make sure they are a pure, therapeutic grade.
Also, take note of those oils that are “food grade” compared to cosmetic grade. Personally, if I wouldn’t swallow it, I wouldn’t put it on my skin. So, keep a look out for that as well!
What do you think? Ready to use oils now?!?
*Article originally appeared at Dr. Eric Z.