I am crazy, deeply, madly in LOVE with essential oils.
There, I finally said it. My love for essential oils is officially out of the closet!
My oily love story began almost three years ago when I participated in an Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) program at my hospital (where I work an a ER/med surg resource nurse).
The 3 month, intensive program was designed for nurses to learn how to treat patients from a more holistic approach by combining both eastern and western therapies (including essential oil therapy, Reiki, yoga movements, and guided meditation).
I didn’t know much about essential oils at the time (except that they smelled amazing!). Fortunately, I was given a Young Living essential oils kit in the program to practice with on patients and my colleges in the program.
Since then, the results I have seen using essential oils with patients has been incredible. I have been able to help patients with essential oils for nausea, anxiety, fatigue and even pain. In some cases we were even able to reduce some of their medications such as anti-nausea medications or other narcotics. Our hospital even has 6 of the Young Living essential oils stocked on most of the units to use for patients.
This makes me so happy. I love it when my patients take responsibility for their own health. My ideology around patient care has forever changed, as it has for many doctors and other professionals in the health care system.
My goal with essential oils is to live a more toxin and chemical free lifestyle and use products that I trust are actually safe for my family. I am able to make so many easy DIY products and I love it because I know exactly what goes into them.
I am a registered nurse at a large teaching facility in Los Angeles. Everything we do in the hospital has to be evidence based. In other words, if it hasn’t been proven to work in literature, then we don’t use it. That is the gold standard!
Essential oils are not junk science. Not only have they been used for over 4500 years, they have been widely studied and documented in medical literature to be effective and useful for treatments for a multitude of ailments. (You do need to make sure you are using oils from a reputable company which is why I use Young Living Essential Oils- you can read about their seed-to-seal process here).
PubMed is full of studies on essential oils. For example, there are over 2000 research studies on lavender alone (one of my favorites!). Peppermint has over 1200 published studies. (PubMed is a search engine for research studies, please visit if you would like to read any essential oil studies firsthand).
Essential oils have been used as part of a holistic approach to healthcare in many US healthcare institutions in recent years. In the hospital where I work I have been able to help my own patients using ginger for nausea and lavender for anxiety. In some cases we have been able to reduce some of the patient’s medications. We keep it stocked in the Pyxis along with all of the other medications we give our patients.
I have to admit, when I was told I could make my own toilet cleaner, bathroom tile scrub, floor cleaner and surface cleaner using thieves essential oil, I was pretty skeptical. So one Saturday afternoon I made my own DIY cleaners and put them to the test. Guess what? They actually worked better than some of my store bought products!
The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization focused on environment and public health, recently came out with their “Cleaners Hall Of Shame” List. Many common store bought cleaners contain carcinogens, asthma instigators, poisons and cancer causing ingredients.
As the mother of a two-year-old and a newborn, I want to keep as many toxic chemicals out f my house as possible! I don’t need them getting their cute little hands on them and then putting them in their mouths.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. But because the chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets, companies aren’t required to list their ingredients but merely label them as containing “fragrance.”
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty scary! Fortunately now I am able to make my own DIY perfumes with vanilla, rose, geranium and jasmine essential oils at home (as an added bonus, my husband loves them).
When I was is nursing school I quit using my expensive face creams and body lotions in place of coconut oil to save money. In fact, I used almost nothing but coconut oil on my skin for almost 6 years. Not only did I save a ton of money but I realized that using home products can be as good as many expensive store bought products.
I have become a little “fancier” in recent years. But all the good quality, organic products are so expensive! I could easily spend $75-$100s for one jar of eye cream alone.
Now I am able to make my own eye cream, lotion, face wash and body scrub with essential oils and I feel like I am using the same organic, expensive products I would buy at a spa. (My absolute favorite is my body scrub: 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 5 drops lavender and 5 drops frankincense. Ahhhh, heavenly!).
When I started adding a drop of frankincense to my face lotion every morning and night I notice a noticeable improvement in my skin texture within two weeks. And my skin smells delightful to boot!
Diffusing essential oils is one of the easiest ways to discover all the benefits of aromatherapy, which can include:
Diffusing essential oils throughout my home helps me to reduce my stress and relax a little. With two small babies, a nursing career and a busy life I can get a little overwhelmed sometimes (don’t we all?). Diffusing essential oils is how I try to chill out when I don’t have the time to actually sit still and relax. I enjoy having the ability to make my home a working sanctuary.
There are so many essential oil blends to make. My go-to right now is called “Gentle Baby.” Six drops in my difuser and my life instantly becomes a sweeter place (my blood pressure is lowering just thinking about it).
The skin is an amazing organ. It has the ability to protect us from the outside world… to an extent. Pretty much everything you put on your skin can seep right through and into your bloodstream. Including many dangerous chemicals and preservatives in skin products that can cause inflammation and worse. But if you are using natural skin care, including homemade skin products made with essential oils then you know you aren’t inviting these nasty ingredients into your body.
Remember how I said I am all about evidence-based care? Well, there have been a ton of studies showing that essential oils like lavender and frankincense are wonderful for the skin by reducing inflammation, helping with wrinkles, and even chronic wound healing. You can read for yourself here, or here, or even here.
Adding essential oils to food and drinks are a simple way to incorporate antioxidants into my life. It is very important to check oil bottles for the supplement facts label to know which oils can be ingested. Essential oils are very potent so you’ll need a lot less than dried herbs. Depending on the recipe, usually a drop is plenty.
Here is an easy one to start with: add a drop of lime to your sparkling water (or beer!)
My favorite: 3 drops of lemon in my loaded veggie bean salad dish!
Have a meditation or yoga practice? Adding essential oils in a no-brainer. Essential oils are perfect adjunct to yoga, meditation, reflexology massage or just trying to relax. I love adding aromatherapy to my yoga practice. Added bonus: yoga is so good for you, especially if you have a stressful job or are an ER nurse, like me!
(You can purchase a Young Living Starter Kit Here. By ordering a starter kit of Young Living essential oils you automatically become a part of our exclusive Facebook group “The Oil Spill” where we discuss various recipes and uses for essential oils and offer support for oil users.)
Consider a new way of treating yourself and your family. Take a look at some of to toxins you are bringing into your body and your home.
Review the ingredients of the products you put on your face and body. Do you know what they mean? Can you even pronounce them? Are you blindly trusting them to be both effective and safe?
Treat your body like a temple. Fill it with vital nutrients and antioxidants. Give it some tender love.
You will be less likely you are to wind up as one of my patients, which is a very good thing!
Have you thought about using essential oils? What are your thoughts? Please let me know if you are interested in or have any questions about essential oils. I would love to help you get started!
Sarah Jividen is a registered nurse, blogger, writer, wife, and mother with an aspiration to empower nurses and moms to take better care of themselves. Sarah lives with her husband in a beach suburb outside of Los Angeles where they are raising their two-year-old daughter, newborn son and two rescue kitties. In a rare moment of free time you may find Sarah practicing yoga, socializing with friends, sampling dark beers or attending a local concert venue with her husband.