Essential Oil Basics Archives

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Essential Oils Revolution 2

For those wanting to learn as much as possible about essential oils and the way to use them properly in your day to day life, I can think of no better opportunity than the coming series of online talks: Essential Oils Revolution 2.

Following on the heels of Essential Oils Revolution 2015, where over 160,000 people tuned in, this series promises to be quite interesting covering topics such as:

  • The truth about “therapeutic grade”, synthetics, and the most commonly adulterated oils.
  • How essential oils, homeopathy, and nutrition work together.
  • Practical tips for cooking with essential oils and integrating them into the recipes you love.
  • Effective oils to combat drug-resistant bacteria and how they are being used in community healthcare.
  • Combining frequency medicine with essential oils for healing emotions.
  • Oils for mood management, stress, anxiety, and better sleep.
  • Using oils for learning disabilities, ADHD, and special needs children.
  • Beating Lyme disease, improving blood sugar, and rebalancing your hormones with oils.
  • Reversing the 4 stages of trauma and using aromatherapy for coping with fear.
  • The different types of grief and how to help a mourning loved one with oils.
  • Preventing PTSD in first responders and service workers.
  • Preventing and treating yeast and fungal infections with oils.
  • Favorite oils for digestion, detoxification, skincare, and anti-aging.
  • Remedies for dandruff, athlete’s foot, and sugar cravings.

The talks are free and online, and they begin on August 22nd. To register click here.

A number of people have told me they won’t be able to attend all the talks, or that they’re at an inconvenient time. Not a problem you will be to acquire the downloads, including the transcripts. Click here for those.



Essential Oils Revolution 2 - Order the talks

Essential oil perfumes and after-shaves

Just wrote a post on Wellbeing’s blog – Making essential oil perfumes – in which I show you how I can replace dangerous synthetic perfumery with essential oil blends, and I give you some tips on how you can make these.

Till next time



Making up essential oil blends

Just wrote a short post on Wellbeing’s blog –  The magic of essential oil blends – in which I describe the benefits of blends and how you can actually create your own essential oil blends.

Till Next Time



Gary Young is today regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on essential oils and their distillation. Aromatherapy: the essential beginning is one of his earliest books published. Although, not the encyclopedia of essential oils (that was to come later 🙂 ), this book is nonetheless an excellent and lucid introduction to essential oils. You don’t need to be a scientist to read this book.

The book covers the history of essential oils up to the modern period, how they work, how they’re distilled and a number of techniques for administering them. It covers areas not normally covered by books on essential oils; areas such as the frequency of essential oils, in which Gary has been personally involved in the research. In addition you get a reference guide at the back of the book detailing the constituents that make up essential oils, essential oils for emotional applications and a description of various single oils and oil blends and their uses.

One of my favourite sections in the book is where Gary describes a trip to the Temple of Isis, on the island of Philae in Egypt in 1994. Having visited Egypt myself, this brought up lots of fond memories for me. But more than that Gary’s story brings up all the mysteries that one encounters in this ancient land.

Gary describes how a mysterious man convinces him to follow him into a secluded and closed off section of the temple. Three times, one of the guards of the temple approached him in the crowd and told Gary he would show him “that for which he was searching”.  He indicated that there was a special room that was forbidden for people to see, in which his ancestors once practiced very sacred rituals. Gary, thinking that the guard was just after baksheesh (a tip/money) ignored him. On the third time, Gary relented and the guard took him to a secluded and locked room in the temple. There, Gary was shown a carved relief on the wall detailing an ancient Egyptian ritual known as “cleansing the flesh and blood of evil deities” (there are photos of the relief in the book). This was basically a 3 day ritual using essential oils to cleanse people of negative emotional issues; what we would nowadays call “baggage” or “hang-ups” – those things which can hold us back from fulfilling our potential.

Was Gary’s finding serendipity or synchronicity? I would tend to believe the latter. Over the years, Gary Young has shown incredible intuition and creativity in the oil blends he has  produced. I would not be surprised if the universe was ‘lending him a hand’.

Buy the book

Till next time


Interview on Beyond The Heart

Hi Folks, this is an interview I recently gave (October 8th 2011) for the web radio programme – Beyond the Heart- hosted by Jenetta Haim. I talk about how I got into essential oils as well as how and why essential oils work. Check it out at :

Beyond the Heart with Jenetta Haim Aromatherapy 10/08 by The Difference | Blog Talk Radio



Essential Oils vs Herbs

I’ve been asked a number of times, what’s the most potent,  essential oils or herbs? Without a doubt, herbs have been used for thousands of years, and still are, with great effect; whether this be through the drying of the herb, the creation of salves or steeped as a kind of tea.

However, when you distill an essential oil from the plant, you are getting the concentrate of all the plant’s nutrients, molecules, trace minerals, enzymes, hormones, vitamins and lots more. And it’s the essential oil in a plant or herb that has the impact on us.

A dried herb can lose as much as 90% of its oxygenating molecules and nutrients.  Essential oils are volatile subtle liquids. When you dry something like a rose, you might lose as much as 95% of this extract through vaporization. How many people like peppermint tea? I love it. However, as a healing remedy it’s benefits are slight. To get the same benefit from peppermint tea that you would get from a drop of peppermint essential oil, you would need to drink over 20 cups of peppermint tea! I love my peppermint tea, but not that much, Thanks.

Through the benefits of distillation, we are able to get the plant’s concentrated life energy ( its blood if you like) and do some ‘serious’ healing work on people ( and animals).  When an essential oil is applied to the skin, it will penetrate every cell in your body within minutes. A number of essential oils can even penetrate the blood/brain barrier, carrying vital oxygen and nutrients into the brain. Research has shown such oils to be beneficial to the treatment of such ailments as dementia, alzheimer’s disease and even depression.

And another thing…

Many of the herbs that are grown for the purpose of creating supplements aren’t necessarily grown organically. They’re mass produced and harvested to be able to create as much of the supplement as possible. Have they been sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides? Maybe.  How much of the plant’s essential life energy is left by the time it’s harvested, dried, chopped up, bottled up and put on the shelves? Very little I suspect.

For that reason, when it comes to my health, I put my trust in pure therapeutic grade, unadulterated essential oils. And drink the peppermint tea just for enjoyment.  😉

Till next time



Chemistry of Essential Oils made simple


Chemistry of essential oils made simple


This is a great book if you wish to understand how and why essential oils work. Don’t be put off by the title. I attended Dr Stewart’s talk in Sydney, April 2010 and I’m wishing I had someone like that to teach me chemistry at school all those years ago. It’s not easy to find someone who can explain complex subjects in an ‘easy to understand’ laymen’s terms. This book and this author definitely do.

Buy the book


Use only Therapeutic Grade Essential oils

In the last two posts, we looked at what might make an essential oil toxic. I concluded by saying that if you’re not using an essential oil that is pure, unadulterated and therapeutic grade, then it could be very toxic.

So what is a therapeutic grade essential oil?

A therapeutic grade essential oil should have the following qualities:

  • The plant from which the oil is distilled or extracted should be organically cultivated and grown.
  • The land on which the plant is grown, should itself be free of herbicides, pesticides and other toxic residuals.
  • The oil needs to distilled at the correct temperature. Very high temperatures may extract the most oil from the plant, but in the process damage the quality of the oil.
  • The oil must be pure and undiluted. And it most certainly should NOT be mixed with synthetics.

In an age where plants and their constituents are being heavily synthesized, and where most farmlands are contaminated by either heavy metals, pesticides or herbicides, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a producer of essential oils that adheres to such a strict regimen.

To date, I have only found one – Young Living.

Dr David Stewart goes a lot further than I do. He puts forward the following questions to those who claim to match or better Young Living’s Therapeutic Grade (TG) essential oils: [1]

  1. Does their company own any farms on which to raise herbs for oils? And if they do, are they new farms on land formerly polluted with herbicides, pesticides, and chemicals that contain residuals from the past, or are they farming land that is clean, which has never been cultivated or has been untilled for at least the last 50 years?
  2. Does their company have their own fully equipped testing laboratory to verify an oil’s composition?
  3. Do they have anyone on staff with a trained nose who can analyze oils by their smell? (There are less than 200 people in the world with noses sufficiently trained to discern the chemistry of a fragrance.)Gary Young can.
  4. If their company purchases oils from outside suppliers, do they visit the distilleries and farms of those suppliers periodically to observe if the herbs are grown organically, i.e. without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers?
  5. Do they know if the grower has a testing laboratory on the farm to determine when the crop is at its peak for oil harvesting?
  6. Do they know if the crops were actually harvested at their peak time and, if so, was there an inordinate delay in taking them to the still and into the cookers?
  7. Do they know if their distillery personnel understand the art and science of distilling, exactly how to pack the cookers, how to administer the steam, how to maintain minimum temperatures and pressures throughout the cooker, and how to continuously monitor the process throughout distillation to make sure the oil produced contains all of its components in the proper proportions?
  8. If their supplier makes a mistake in the distillation or harvesting processes that results in an inferior grade of oil, does that supplier sell the oil anyway or do they discard it?
  9. Do they know if the cookers in the distilleries of their suppliers have domed lids or cone shaped lids? Most stills use dome-shaped lids. Cone topped cookers deliver a better grade of oil than dome tops.
  10. Do they know if their suppliers supplement the distillation process with solvents to extract additional oil from the plant matter?
  11. Do they know if their suppliers bottle their oils directly from the distillery without modifying the composition of the natural oil by adding anything or taking anything away?
  12. Do they know if their company has tested their company’s oils side by side with Young Living oils in the same lab to make a fair comparison? And if so, where is the data?

As Dr Stewart points out, if the answer to these questions is “No” or “I don’t know” then how can one say for sure their essential oils are better than Young Living’s or for that matter therapeutic grade in quality?

Till next time



Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] The Raindrop Messenger, Official newsletter of C.A.R.E. (Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education) Vol 6, No 4 Jul-Aug 2008. To subscribe

Essential Oils – A Brief History

As this video shows, essential oils have a long history.  To understand how essential oils work and what they can do, I cannot recommend enough this transcript of a lecture given by Gary Young : TheMissingLink_1998

Welcome to the world of Essential oils


Over the coming weeks some of the topics we’ll be visiting include:

  • Cheap essential oils – Do they exist?
  • Allergic reactions to essential oils
  • Essential oils for spiritual development
  • Swine flu and other menaces
  • Essential oils for ante-natal and neo-natal
  • Essential oils for the brain

If you’re totally new to essential oils, I urge you to check out the short 4 minute video on my post – Essential Oils – A brief history. On the same post you’ll also find The Missing Link. This is an excellent intro to how and why essential oils work.

What’s my background in essential oils? My journey began in 2003, when I came across a juice made of wolfberries from the NingXia region in China and developed by a man named Gary Young. There were some amazing claims put forward regarding the longevity of people in the NingXia region, attributed to the wolfberries.

Doing my own investigation, I uncovered research showing that the wolfberry had in fact the highest level of antioxidants in any food known to Man. So I bought my first bottle of this juice, now known as NingXia Red. And I’ve been using it ever since.

Furthermore, I came  to learn that Gary Young was something of an authority in the world of Essential oils, devising his own means to safely and effectively distill essential oils. His company Young Living produce and sell not only the Ningxia red juice, but a multitude of essential oils, oil blends, and essential oil products (food supplements, personal and beauty care and cleaning).

I began experimenting with and using Young Living’s essential oils and I haven’t looked back.  If I had a tummy ache, I would apply peppermint oil and in less than a minute start to feel better. With headaches I could apply either peppermint oil or lavender and do away with headache tablets for good. Oil blends such as Abundance and Joy would lift my spirits, as well as make a healthy alternative to after shaves.  And my health and wellbeing have improved immeasurably. Flu’s and colds that would sometimes last weeks are a thing of the past.