Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mini Starter Kit

The new Mini Starter Kits arrived in the mail today! I'm so glad Butterfly Express is finally doing this!

The kit includes 10 ml bottles of peppermint, lavender, Breezey, Deeper, Deliverance, and Millenia (click on the links to read more about each oil) plus 1/2 oz coconut oil, 1/2 oz almond oil, and 1/2 oz Miracle Salve. It also includes a small pamphlet that lists their most common oils and what they are used for (for easy reference), plus tips on how to use the oils (similar to my list here.)

The coconut oil and almond oil are the best carrier oils with a very light texture and mild smell.

The Miracle Salve can be used as a carrier oil. It was originally formulated to treat burns and prevent infection, but it's been used in many other ways. I have really liked using it on the skin around my fingernails that tend to crack and bleed during the winter months. My husband burned his hand on an auto part and I put some lavender on it. He said it helped but there was still some discomfort. Then I added the Miracle Salve and it took the rest of the pain away.

This kit is only $45--a 30% savings!!! If you've ever wanted to try essential oils, this is the kit to get! These oils are my favorite and I consider them as must-haves.

If you would like to order this kit, you can contact me by e-mail or message me on my Facebook page. My contact info is listed in the upper right corner under "Contact Me".

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Essential Oils 101: Carrier Oils

When you first start learning about essential oils, it won't be long before you hear the words "carrier oil" and wonder what that's all about!

A carrier oil is usually an oil derived from a vegetable, nut, or seed. Common carrier oils are coconut oil and almond oil.

The purpose of a carrier oil is to literally carry the essential oil. Essential oils are very potent, and often times less is more. Only one or two drops are needed to access the benefits of the essential oil. A carrier oil helps to carry the essential oil over a greater surface. If someone had a sore back and you wanted to rub some peppermint on their back, it would require a lot of peppermint oil to cover the entire surface of the back. That much oil would be very irritating to the skin, and it would be very costly to use that much essential oil. The solution is to use a carrier oil to allow the essential oil to spread over a greater surface without irritating the skin. In the example of applying essential oils to a back, you would pour some carrier oil into your hand, drop a few drops of peppermint into the carrier oil, mix it together in your hand, and rub it over the surface of the back.

Another benefit to using a carrier oil is that it traps the more volatile molecules of the essential oil so they don't evaporate before they can be absorbed into the skin. In the book "Butterfly Miracles with Essential Oils" the author's husband explained it this way: "Imagine putting an alcohol-based primer on hot asphalt prior to painting it. That would be almost impossible since the alcohol would evaporate almost before it touched the road. Essential oils behave in a similar manner. They are made of several different constituents, some of which evaporate at lower temperatures and faster rates than others. Place these essential oils on the skin (90 - 95 degrees) and the higher, more volatile notes dissipate before they can be absorbed. A carrier oil stabilizes the essential oil, holding onto all the constituents until they can be absorbed. The chemical composition of the oil remains intact."

Carrier oils (of good quality) contain healing properties within themselves and aid the essential oils in healing the body. Most people choose to use almond or coconut oil as a carrier oil because of their affordability, light feel, quick absorption, and less-oily texture. If you want to learn more about the healing properties of individual carrier oils, I recommend LaRee Westover's book "Butterfly Miracles with Essential Oils". There is a section just for carrier oils with detailed descriptions of various oils and their therapeutic properties. There are also many references online.

If you come across an essential oil that causes skin irritation, washing it off with water can increase the irritation because water enhances the action of the oil. Applying a carrier oil over the irritation will lessen the discomfort and reduce the potency of the essential oil.

There are various opinions regarding the use of carrier oils. One opinion is that essential oils should never be used on the skin without a carrier oil because they are too potent. I personally use oils "neat" (without a carrier oil) all the time without any problems. Your skin may be more sensitive and require a carrier oil to avoid irritation. Always use a carrier oil with children and babies! Their skin is more sensitive than an adult and more likely to be irritated.

When using a carrier oil with an essential oil, only the mix them together right before applying them. Do not mix them together and store them. It doesn't take long for the carrier oil to break down the essential oil, which decreases the essential oil's potency and therapeutic properties. Carrier oils have a shorter shelf life than essential oils and will go rancid. This is why you want to make sure the essential oils you purchase do not have carrier oils added to them. (Note: I was really surprised to find that of the 4 bottles of doTerra oil that I own, 2 had coconut oil added to them! Read your labels!)

Coconut oil is my favorite carrier oil because it has the lightest feel and absorbs quickly. I keep a small bottle of it in my case of essential oils. I apply it to the feet before a foot zone to soften the skin (so I don't tear up the skin on my knuckles) and to aid in distributing the essential oils that I apply all over the foot. I also use it when using essential oils for an ear ache. The essential oil (whichever you choose to use--I like lavender or tea tree) is too strong to be dropped directly into the ear. It's best to mix one or two drops with a carrier oil, then drop it into the ear and let it sit in there.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

4 Favorite Ways to Use Essential Oils

I made this quick-reference graphic for my 4 favorite ways to use essential oils. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to this post.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Essential Oils 101: How to use Essential Oils

Life has been crazy at my house and I haven't had time to update my blog in awhile, and I've been so excited about this next section: how to use essential oils! A lot of people are curious about essential oils and want to try them, but don't know how to use them. These are my favorite ways to use essential oils.

1. On the feet. This is the best way to get oils into your body. Our feet have large pores that quickly absorb the oils and distribute them throughout the body. Studies have shown that when oil is applied to the feet, it can be detected throughout the body within 20 minutes. The feet also have reflexology points for every part of the body. For the most part, I simply apply a few drops of oil along the inside surface of the foot. The inside of the foot represents the reflexology signals for the spine. Since everything in our body is connected to the nerves that come from the spine, this is a great place to send the oils to be distributed throughout the body. I truly believe that oils go where they are needed. If you want to apply the oils to more specific locations (for example, if you want to apply Breezey and Aspire to the lungs), you can look at one of the many foot reflexology maps online to see where the energy signal is on the foot. I haven't found one online yet that I feel like is completely accurate (as I was taught in foot zoning) but they are close enough. I believe there is power in intention, and if you have the intent to send the oil to a certain organ, it will make it there. Here's an example of a reasonably accurate map:

You only need to apply a few drops of oil to the feet. Some sources say that you need to use 10-15 drops on the feet, but this isn't necessary (and can be excessive!) if it's a pure, undiluted oil. Another advantage to applying the oils to the feet is the feet are less likely to be sensitive to the oil.

2. Direct application. Since essential oil molecules are very small, they pass easily through the skin. An essential oil applied over a stomach ache can penetrate the skin and bring quick relief. When applying essential oils to the skin, especially over a large surface, you may want to dilute them with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil. This prevents skin irritation and spreads the oils further than if used alone. For example, if someone had a sore back and wanted to apply peppermint oil, it would require a lot of the oil to cover the surface of the back and would likely be too strong and would irritate the skin. But if a carrier oil is held in the hand, and 1-3 drops added to it, the oil can cover the same area and provide relief without irritating the skin. Always dilute oils when using them on babies and children.

Layering: Oils can be applied one right after the other, a process called Layering. I was taught that blending oils together is a tricky process that requires a lot of knowledge about the oils and how they react to each other. I never put oils together in a bottle (like a roller bottle) to apply for convenience. It's most effective to layer them. It takes only a few seconds for the oil to be absorbed and the skin to be ready for the next oil. I see a lot of recipes online for roller bottles and, to be honest, I don't trust them. I leave the art of blending oils to the professionals. For more information on this, refer to the book "Butterfly Miracles with Essential Oils" by LaRee Westover.

3. In a bath. I absolutely love having an essential oils bath! Add just 1-2 drops of oil and swish it around in the water. Water enhances the action of the oil, and the oil has a homeopathic effect on the bath water, mixing with the water molecules. When I have body aches from tension or sickness, I put a few drops of peppermint, Millenia, eucalyptus, and Deeper (or Paine or Warm Down) in the bath and soak away! You can also do a foot bath with warm water and a few drops of oil. Because the oils are pure and do not have any vegetable oils added to it, they are safe to use in baths with jets or jacuzzis and will not clog the motor.

4. Diffuse. The molecules of essential oil are very volatile and disperse into the air easily. There are a number of ways you can diffuse oils:

- Electric diffuser. Diffusers are either heated or non-heated. To maintain the integrity of the oil, choose a non-heated diffuser. Diffusers range in cost from $40-150. My favorite is the Classic Diffuser. Butterfly Express sells this diffuser for about $70. (**Update** Butterfly Express no longer carries this diffuser because of reports of it failing to work properly after the warranty expires. They chose to discontinue it because they want their name to be associated with high quality products. They are now recommending the Monarch Atomizing Diffuser and the Whisper Diffuser.) It can also be purchased on Amazon and at Natural Grocers. You simply fill it with filtered water, add about 5 drops of oil, and it will diffuse for up to 5 hours. During cold and flu season, or when I feel something coming on, I like to diffuse SpiceC to kill any bugs in the air and in my lungs.

- Scentsy warmer. Fill the warmer with water (after removing all the wax) and add about 5 drops of essential oil. The water heats just enough to evaporate slowly, diffusing the oil molecules into the air. Do not place oils into the warming dish by themselves, or the heat will destroy the oil.

- Humidifier. It's best to use a cold-air humidifier/vaporizer to maintain the integrity of the oil. I use this when my kids are sick and I want them to breathe in Breezey and Aspire all night to keep down a cough.

- The most simple method is to place a few drops of oil into a bowl and pour warm water over it. For really deep inhalation, add hot water, drape a towel over your head to form a tent over the bowl, and breathe in the steam.

- Room sprays. Put warm water into a spray bottle (preferably a dark glass bottle since essential oils can erode plastic) and add 20-30 drops of essential oil (more or less depending on your preference) and shake. Let sit for about an hour, then shake again and it's ready to spray. I have seen some recipes include witch hazel in their room sprays, but I don't like it. The scent of witch hazel overpowers the scent of the essential oil. I have heard many times of people putting lavender in a spray bottle and spraying their children's pillows before bedtime. It also makes a wonderful linen spray!

- Cotton ball. Add a few drops to a cotton ball and keep it in a Ziploc bag in your pocket or purse so you can bring it out and sniff it as needed. This can be helpful for nausea and morning sickness (citrus oils or peppermint can be helpful), Tranquility for stressful situations or panic attacks or for kids with ADD/ADHD to help them calm down and refocus in school, or whatever the need may be. You can also clip a cotton ball on to a heater vent or car vent to disperse the oil.

5. Household Use. I'm learning more about how to use oils around the house to cut down on chemicals and fragrances. Instead of using dryer sheets, I put a few drops of lavender on a wool dryer ball to reduce static and to lightly scent the clothes. I diffuse the oils or use room sprays made with oils in place of air fresheners. I saved my old foaming soap bottles from Bath and Body Works and now I make my own foaming hand soap with about 20 drops of SpiceC (because it smells better than Deliverance). The recipe for soap can be found here:  There are so many resources online for using oils around the house!

I do not encourage using the oils internally. Some companies suggest putting 10-30 drops (or more) of essential oils into a capsule and swallowing it, or dropping oils under the tongue. As we learned in previous posts, essential oils are extremely concentrated plant material and one drop can be the equivalent of drinking 30 cups of herbal tea. Everything I've learned about essential oils says that they should not be taken internally. My gut feeling is that ingesting essential oils is not a good idea, and that applying them to the feet (or other methods listed above) are just as (if not more) effective. If you do choose to ingest oils, please do your research first and don't just take the word of the company selling the oil.

I like these two articles that I recently read on the subject:

If you have any questions about how to use essential oils, please let me know!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Essential Oils 101: How do I choose which oil to use?

There are a lot of essential oils out there! How do you know which one to use? These are my favorite ways to choose which oil to use.

1. Butterfly Miracles with Essential Oils by LaRee Westover. This 300 page book is packed full of information about essential oils! It lists every oil that Butterfly Express carries and how to use it. It has an alphabetized list of Suggestions and Practical Uses and a Physical/Emotional chart. You can preview the book here:  I have learned a lot from this book and every time I open it, I learn something new! This book is available to purchase for $15.95 (plus shipping, unless it's in a group order). Contact me if you want to place an order.

2. The Suggestions and Practical Uses list is my go-to list for figuring out which oil to use. Not only can you look up the list in the "Butterfly Miracles" book, but you can also look it up online:  This is an alphabetized list of ailments and the suggested oils and application. For example, if you wanted to look up which oils to use for a cough, you would go to the Suggestions and Practical Uses list and read this:

"COUGHS: LeAspire, LeBreezey, LeHoliday Spirit, LeMariah, cedarwood, manuka, opoponax. Dilute and apply over the lungs (both front and back) and on the throat; diffuse; inhale."

Keep in mind that you don't need to use ALL of the oils that are suggested. It just lists all the oils that are beneficial for that particular condition. From that list you can choose which oil(s) you feel would meet your needs the best. You may need to read the description of each oil to know which one would work best for you.

3. Also included in the "Butterfly Miracles" book is a Physical/Emotional chart that lists all the blends that Butterfly Express carries and color-codes them to show which oils are for emotional support, physical support, or a combination of physical/emotional support. This provides a fantastic quick-glance at all the blends so you can quickly remind yourself what they do. I keep one folded up in my case of oils so that when I'm zoning a client and they ask about the oil that I just put on their feet, I can pull it out and read the description. (I have over 100 oils and if it's an oil that I don't use often, I forget what it does!) You can also view the chart online here:  Or you can order a printed copy for $0.30.

4. Muscle Testing. In a very small nutshell, muscle testing is a way to measure how my energy responds to the energy of something else. If my body/energy needs an oil, I will get a positive response. If I do not need an oil, I will get a negative response. There are many ways to do muscle testing, and anyone can learn how to do it. It takes lots of practice and lots of allowing.

5. Ask someone that is knowledgeable about oils. When you're first getting started with oils, find someone that you trust and that has similar beliefs about oils as you, and talk to them about the oils that they use. I'm always happy to answer any questions and help pick out oils. If you choose to use Butterfly Express oils, I am a distributor and can place an order for you. My contact info is on the right of the screen. You can follow me on Facebook for updates on the blog and other oil info, or you can e-mail me directly. I also have a Pinterest page where I save my oil ideas: