8 Reasons I Love Essential Oils

8 Reasons I Love Essential Oils

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.

8 Reason Why I Love Using Essential Oils. (And why you should too!)

As a nurse, I learned about essential oils as a way to treat my patients more holistically.

The healthcare paradigm is changing.

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.

8 Reason Why I Love Using Essential Oils. (And why you should too!)

8 Reason Why I Love Using Essential Oils. (And why you should too!)

8 Top Reasons Why I love Essential Oils:

#1.   I believe in evidence based care.

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.

#2.  I can clean my home with chemical and toxin free products.

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.

#3. I can make my own non-toxic perfumes.

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).

#4. I save money by DIYing my lotions, face wash and body scrub.

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!

#5.  My home always smells amazing.

Diffusing essential oils is one of the easiest ways to discover all the benefits of aromatherapy, which can include:

  • neutralizing odors
  • inspiring a positive emotional state
  • supporting your physical wellness

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).

Defusing lavender Young Living essential oil during a yoga practice is a divine treat!

Difusing lavender essential oil during a yoga practice is a divine treat!

#6.  Great for beauty treatments on the skin.

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.

#7.  I can enhance many of my recipes.

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!

#8. Great for stress relieving activities

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!

Interested in trying Young Living essential oils?

(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.) 

Food for thought

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?

In closing…

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!

How Pediatric Nurse Training Reminded Me To Have More Gratitude

How Pediatric Nurse Training Reminded Me To Have More Gratitude

When you have your health, you have everything.

My experiences as a nurse have taught me that having good health makes you the richest person in the world. On another hand, being ill makes life seem poor even if you are monetarily wealthy. It’s too bad you can’t buy your way out of an illness.

I deplore being sick. For me, illness goes something like this:

One day I’m feeling great! Then the next I wake up feeling achy and lethargic. A scratchy, sore throats kicks in and swallowing makes my throat feel like sandpaper. Everything hurts. I feel like dying. Life sucks. The end.

Just kidding. I’m not that dramatic. I’m just trying to make a point, but for the record I personally do not handle being sick well. Luckily, I rarely get sick (knock on wood!).

Recently, I received news that I was selected to ‘master in’ as a Resource Nurse in the Emergency Room. It is a 3 month in-unit training program that includes an additional 50 hours of classroom training and testing. After completion of the program I will officially be an ER nurse. Yay!

I am ecstatic about the opportunity for emergency and critical care training as it will build my skill set and hopefully make me a better nurse. Additionally, I will have to be trained in pediatrics which is a whole new specialty for me. I am excited about that too, but the Mom in me is a little nervous about seeing kids in pain or any kind of suffering.

As part of my preparation for training this week I completed a Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certification course and shadowed a Pediatric nurse for a 12-hour shift. While I am still very far from being competent in Pediatric nursing, it was an informative opportunity to be exposed to the kinds of things Pediatric nurses do on a day to day basis.

There is one overwhelming thought that has stayed with me since my experience working on a Pediatric Unit:

I am so grateful that my child is healthy.

We are lucky to live in a world where there are so many medical professionals who dedicate their lives towards helping sick children (and all people of course, but for the purpose of this post I am talking about Pediatrics). Working with very ill or injured children is challenging and emotionally draining. Yet the nurses I shadowed on the Pediatric unit are happy to be there. Most importantly, they are competent and knowledgeable.

I am grateful.

Pediatric nurse training reinforced my gratitude for having a healthy child.

Up until now my nursing career has involved working with adult patients 18 and older. The shifts can be exhausting to say the least. At the end of my 12 hours I am often too tired and emotionally drained to even think about talking about many of the sad and difficult situations that unfortunately occur. Its often easier just to block it out of my head and move on.

Soon the ER will be my new place of work and my new job description will include children and even babies. There will be situations that are critical and possibly catastrophic. As a Mom (and obsessive lover of small humans) I will have a lot of adjusting to do in this new area.

Practicing gratitude is so important (especially for the gift of healthy children!)

When life gets busy it is easy to take a child’s health for granted. You assume they will be healthy because they have always been healthy.

Mama and baby.

Gratitude for the opportunity to be a Mama.

Between all the cooking, cleaning, working, errands, play dates, and (fill in the space here) time slips away and it is so easy to forget to focus on the magnificent joy of having a child who is free from illness or injury. The only time people often think about health is when it is no longer there.

Gratitude is just a way parents can pay attention to the gift of good health today. No one can predict what will happen tomorrow so you might as well live in the moment!

Imagine that your child was sick and had to be in the hospital for an extended period of time. Or worse, if they were in an accident or received a devastating life threatening prognosis.

I have never experienced any of these scenarios myself. But I imagine they would probably be the hardest thing I would ever have to deal with as a parent. In my years as a nurse, I have seen a lot of families at the hospital in similar situations. I’m not sure where they find their strength and I’m sure in those moments they take nothing for granted.

Gratitude keeps us grounded and in the present moment.

Gratitude allows for positive energy to permeate in the NOW and not stuck in an annoying situation that has passed.

It’s important to understand the difference between normal difficult life situations and the kind of catastrophic situations that occur when your child is sick or injured. 99% of the negativity in our daily lives as parents isn’t really as bad as we make in in our minds if you really think how many good things are happening.

Hanging out with other Moms is like therapy for me. Venting to an extend is important. We get to talk about frustrations and experiences while surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who have the same interests: our children.

Newborn baby feet

I have gratitude for a healthy baby.

But too often gratitude is not present in many of these conversations and they can easily turn into a pessimistic venting session of who has it worse. I have heard many conversations with parents comparing their gloomy situations with other parents. Negativity is contagious. Next thing you know you are hyper-focused on the negative and completely overlooking the awesomeness of being a parent in the first place!
Gratitude puts child-rearing challenges and perceived annoyances into perspective.

Not everyone gets to have a healthy child, or even a child at all for that matter. Being a parent is a privilege.

There are parents who practically live at the hospital for weeks, months even years at a time because their child is sick. A ‘normal’ crazy busy day with their child at home would be the best gift in the world.

So when a child is being difficult it is important to remember that we are lucky enough to have healthy children to discipline in the first place. Not everyone gets that opportunity.

Here are a few ways to practice gratitude for continued good health!

1. Keep a gratitude journal

Intentionally choose gratitude. Writing down what you are grateful for consciously reminds you that even though parenthood is frustrating at times, the good stuff far outweighs the bad. It keeps you aligned with the positive aspects of parenthood that we should keep our energy focused on (like watching my kid have fun watching and playing with other kids).

2. Watch the language (internally and externally)

What you say and think becomes reality. In other words, if you think life sucks, then it does. That becomes your truth. Gratitude can also become your truth if you make it a habit.

Kids are sensitive and pick up on attitudes and the words coming out of their parents mouths. Fortunately, gratitude is also contagious!

3. Pray

Or meditate or have a positive mantra, whatever works for you. The point is to essentially say “thank you” and bring awareness to the positive aspects of parenthood. Meditation is my thing and it works for me every time. Especially as my daughter, Zoe becomes more independent and adorably (and sometimes frustratingly) sassy.

4. Take care of yourself!

Its hard to practice gratitude when you are too exhausted all the time. You know how when you are on an airplane and they say in an emergency that you need to put the mask on yourself first, then assist your children? Its pretty much the same thing here.

When your basic needs are being met it is so much easier to be grateful for the other miracles in your life.  So be nice to yourself.

Parenthood is a glorious, overwhelming and at times maddening thing and I am glad I’m in the thick of it. Zoe brings 1000 new levels of joy that I never knew existed prior to parenthood. I am so lucky that I can bask in gratitude that right now my child is healthy and happy and her parents are too.

Sarah, Mother Nurse Love