Do essential oils go bad?
The answer to this, like most things, is yes. Essential oils have a shelf life and over time they break down and their chemical compounds change. Even if your oils are pure, they still will break down over time, it is a scientific fact. They oxidize over time and extreme heat can also cause chemical breakdowns.
When oxidation occurs the oil will become skin irritating and unfortunately, this is the best way to test oxidation yourself. There are laboratory tests but they are expensive and not ideal. Some oils may get cloudy or smell less vibrant, but you may visually not be able to see a difference. It is important to know the shelf life of your oils and blends to avoid irritation.
Shelf life doesn’t start when you purchase the product but rather when the oils themselves are distilled. So if you are trying to figure out the shelf life you would need to know when the plant was harvested and distilled. Reputable oil companies should provide an expiration date on the bottle. It is always a good idea to keep a running inventory and cycle through your oils as needed.
Blending & Product Shelf Life
When creating a blend or butter the shelf life of the blend becomes the shortest shelf life of the individual products. For example, if I made a headache blend of peppermint, frankincense and coconut oil the shelf life of my blend would that of my peppermint which expires the soonest. When you add water or hydrosols to your blends your shelf life becomes shortened and is about 6 months.
Extending Shelf Life
Keeping bottles sealed tightly and storing oils and carriers in a cool dry place can help keep oils longer. Refrigerating oils is an excellent idea, although not necessary. I personally keep my oils stored in a mini-fridge. Some oils may thicken when placed in the fridge but will thin back out when removed, unaltered. If you are using your oils on a daily basis and don’t intend to need to keep them stored for lengths of time simply keep them out. Don’t leave oils in the sun or in your car.
Do I have to use oils every day?
This question can be debated among oil users, some who use them daily for everyday living like me, and those who only use them for certain issues or times. There is no right or wrong answer, but to see health benefits and really utilize the amazing properties of essential oils, the more consistent you are in use the more benefits will be seen. Our environment and everyday household products expose us to small amounts of toxins that build up in our bodies over time and disrupt our “healthy” (homeostasis) state. Eliminating or at least minimizing these exposures can lead to a healthy lifestyle and happy body!
The best way to make this happen is to trade in your daily exposure causes, the chemical cleaner you use the cosmetics you place on your skin, anything that comes into contact or goes inside your body. This post is not to explain all the hash details or discuss all the awful chemicals you expose yourself to daily, but here are some links if you want to read further into it:
CNN Everyday Toxins
20 toxins you probably use daily
This process doesn’t have to be overwhelming, you can just switch to using self made products and oils as you finish using up what you have. Integrate your oils into the routines you already have. Below is a list of some uses for oils everyday that may result in side benefits for your health!
- Lemon & On Guard for cleaning- these two oils can be used to disinfect your counters and can also be used to make a vegetable wash. Simply add 10 drops to distilled water or viniger in a glass spray bottle. You can use this from your kitchen to your bathrooms and it makes an excellent floor cleaner too.
- Skin Care & Cosmetics – use essential oils Frankincense, lavender, sandalwood and melaleuca to create your own skin care that you know is safe! Simply use your choice carrier, I use Shea butter, or you can even purchase already made products from a certified aromatherapist if you are not into the DYI! But it’s so easy once you try it and no running to the store when you need more.
- Cooking- essential oils are great to add to your food or even to flavor your water! Use very small amounts as they are concentrated and if you use too much you can ruin your dish. oregano, cilantro, cinnamon, lemon, lime and basil are some of my favorites I use in the kitchen.
- Deodorize and cleanse the air – we all hate funky smells, diffusing any oil of your choice can deodorize the air. Tea tree can be used to cleanse the air too. Try blending a few different oils and create a scent custom to what you like.
Using oils doesn’t have to be complicated and can be worked into your already existent lifestyle. Simply replacing some of your products for oils can show a positive impact in your life. Trade out those side effects of toxic products for the side benefits of essential oils.
There is an entire makeover you can give your medicine cabinet. Trade in those over the counter medications for natural plant based remedies. Don’t want to just toss out all that unused medicine? You can incorporate natural medicine with it instead. The choice is yours, that’s one amazing thing about essential oils. You can use them alone or with modern medicine to achieve benefits! I personally like to use a multi-focal approach to my family’s healthcare and use a mixture of natural and modern medicine.
Oils to have in your cabinet
- Lavender – use for burns, irritated skin, bug bites, eye infections, and sleep aid.
- Lemon – sore throat, stop nose bleeds, sanitize, and detox.
- Clove – powerful analgesic for numbing wounds and toothaches
- Peppermint – fever reducer, headache reducer, relieve nausea and vomiting, respiratory aid, and ant repellent.
- Melaleuca – (tea tree) wound antiseptic, antimicrobial, and when used with Oregano they create a powerful antibiotic/antiviral.
- Frankincense – healing properties, ant-inflammatory, skin soothing, and anti-scarring. Great for headaches.
- Digestzen – anti diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and heart burn.
- On Guard – immune support
Swap these for those
- Tylenol for fever – Apply 1-2 drops of peppermint and carrier oil to back of neck and down spine, on bottoms of feet.
- Neosporin – Equal drops lavender, frankincense and melaleuca with a carrier oil.
- Orajel – Place a drop of clove in a small amount of water and swish, swallow.
- Pepto Bismol – rub 1 drop Digestzen and carrier oil on stomach.
- Tums – run 1 drop Digestzen and carrier oil over chest.
- Burn gel – apply lavender directly to burn, multiple times as needed to alleviate pain.
- Excedrin – apply frankincense to forehead, temples and back of neck. Also in addition or on it’s own use peppermint aromatically and place one drop in hands, rub together, cup hands and inhale. Rub excess on back of neck.
- Airborne – place 1 drop of On Guard under tongue daily to support a healthy immune system.
You can choose to swap out your medicine cabinet or even just add to it!! You never can have too many options when it comes to healing! The choice is yours😃.
Your heart works hard to supply your body with the nutrients and oxygen it needs. It is important to take control of your cardiovascular health, diseases of the heart comprise the leading cause of death in the United States. And what is even scarier is that these are preventable conditions!! While no one can be certain what there future holds, with positive lifestyle changes and health conscious decisions you can prevent 90% of cardiovascular diseases. While there is an entire list of life style changes I can cover from adequate rest to exercise, I am going to cover the role of essential oils and how you can use them to benefit your cardiovascular health. Essential oils are able to be transported by the cardiovascular system and are able to permeate cells and tissues throughout the body. When topically applied they are absorbed through the skin within 30 seconds and benefits can be seen within 14 to 20 minutes. It is important to remember that the use of essential oils and natural solutions can be used as preventative measures for heart health. Any medical condition of the cardiovascular system should be seen by a qualified medical professional. They work by supplying the body with what it needs to reach homeostasis.
Single oils to help support cardiovascular health are
- Cypress- promotes proper circulation and blood flow
- Ylang Ylang- balances heart rate and reduces high blood pressure
- Marjoram – supports healthy heart muscle
- Helichrysum – repairs damaged blood vessels, stops bleeding
- Black pepper – warms and tones blood vessels, decongestant for lymphatics
- Geranium – supports heart, blood, and blood vessels
Aromatic: Diffuse 5-10 drops of oils of choice, inhale directly from the bottle. Try adding a few drops of oil to your clothing or anywhere that may support inhalation. Topical: Apply oils directly to chest, either neat or diluted with a carrier oil, to bottoms of feet, down the spine or any area of concern. Internal: Take 1-5 drops under the tongue, in water or in a capsule to support circulatory function.
Cholesterol Fighter: Frankincense and lemongrass in a capsule 2x daily. Varicose Vein Repair: Apply cypress and helichrysum to veins daily. High Blood Pressure Reliever: 12 drops helichrysum, 12 drops ylang ylang, 8 drops cassia, 8 drops frankincense, & 8 drops marjoram combine in a roller bottle with carrier oil and apply to bottom of feet, wrists, along breastbone, over heart and carotid arteries and back of neck as needed a minimum of 2x daily.
Who are essential oils for?
Well I would like to say everyone, but in reality there are plenty of people who would not benefit from their use due to their own limitations. While anyone can receive beneficial effects they are not for everyone. If you are not willing to educate yourself on the proper use of essential oils then you need not use them. While they may be natural and safe there is still improper uses which could result negatively. If you are not willing to use essential oils consistently for desired results they probably are not for you. While you may pick and choose when and what to use them for, I am not saying you need to use them daily or for everything, but when you do decide to use them for a beneficial purpose actually use them to achieve the benefit! If you don’t like natural products and scents they may not be for you. However if you are willing to learn, consistent in your use for medicinal purpose, and a nature lover then you will love essential oils if you don’t already!
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the aromatic chemical components of plants. They are used by the plant for 3 main functions: to repel, to attract, and for medicinal properties. They are also beneficial and very versatile in use for people and animals.
When should you use essential oils?
The best answer is whenever you feel the need! There are so many uses that you can use them daily in all most all areas of your life. From diffusing for fragrance to soothing a itchy bug bite or cooking a delicious meal. Essential oils often times can be used in place of many of the OTC medications found in your medicine cabinet. They may be used for a holistic approach to health or as a compliment to your existing medical treatment. *Disclaimer: Always consult a medical professional regarding any health concerns or use of essential oils with medications.
Where can you get them?
Essential oils are widely available both online and in the store. It is honestly your preference where you choose to buy from. However it is extremely important to do your part in researching the quality of the oil as there is no regulations in place to prove quality oils are being distributed. It is the company’s responsibility to test and ensure pure potency of the oil, but it is not a requirement for the company to sale, see where we start getting into a gray area? Also not all essential oils are pure and most you find at the local drugstore contain additives and chemicals! I myself use doTERRA essential oils as I have found them to be the most reputable company with 3rd party testing and access for you to actually review the test results from your batch! What ever company you do decide to go with ensure pureity and sourcing ( I will cover this more in depth in a later post).
Why use essential oils?
I started using essential oils because they smell amazing!! The more I used them for beneficial use the more in love I fell. They offer a natural way to give your body what it needs for homeostasis. They have a variety of uses from emotional balance to anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properities. They also offer side benefits rather than side effects. You may use an oil for one reason and see that it creates an additional benefit for you. I will let you know that there are a number of oils that work for multiple uses and it may take you a few tries to learn what works best for you and your body, much like managing a medication. But that’s what makes using essential oils so easy, you have unlimited options!!
How are essential oils derived?
There are multiple ways to extract the oils from the plant. Specific to the plant will determine the best method for extraction. The methods are steam distillation and cold pressing. Steam distillation uses just that, steam to extract the aromas and then a condenser converts the steam back into a liquid form. Cold pressing, used for citrus oils, uses mechanical and centrifugal force by pricking and stabbing the rind of the fruit, and collecting the oils underneath. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and should be used appropriately. For example it takes 3 pounds of lavender to get 15 mL of oil. A single drop can effectively achieve desired results.