Turquoise Barn

An Eco-Conscious, Green-Certified Retreat, Event, & Education Center located in the Catskill Mountains on an Organic farm. Offering group workshops, retreats, outdoor event space....specializing in sustainable Botanical Cuisine, Nature Therapy, and more! An ideal venue for YOUR retreat, wedding, or friends/family gathering. For more information, please visit our website.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Art of Essential Oils

An Introduction

For the past few years, I have been hosting a series of workshops entitled “The Art of Essential Oils”.   This stemmed from my obsession with essential oils and how they have become an integral part of my life - and - like most addictions - I just can’t live without them and want to share.  But this is a good one as there are multiple benefits and ways to bringing these sensual beauties into your life. 

I’ve used essential oils since I was a teen way back in the 80’s mainly as a fragrance.  In my early 20’s, I discovered the therapeutic benefits and naturally began using them for basic ailments.  And as someone who is extremely sensitive to smells (I think I was a dog in a past life), essential oils are the the only scents I can tolerate.

Some of my obsession, I mean collection ; )


Essential Oils have been used for thousands of years - from perfumes and aromatherapy to culinary and medicinal purposes. Used in the embalming process in Egypt, well preserved oils were found in King Tut’s tomb,recipes were recorded on the walls in hieroglyphics and there are over 200 verses in the Bible that mention the use of essential oils.

Essential oils (and herbs in general) were our first medicines.  Unfortunately, we have lost our connection with nature and with it the lost art of natural healing.  Fortunately, however, we are becoming more aware of the benefits and in a sense, we are rediscovering our history.  The history & lore  of Essential Oils is a vast subject; I encourage anyone interested in learning more to explore this fascinating topic.    

So what exactly are essential oils and how do they work?

Beautiful plants

Essential oils are tools that can aid in detoxifying, nourishing, enhancing, and creating balance in our environment, bodies, mind,and spirit. Technically, they are complex volatile liquids that are distilled from plants including shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, stems and seeds.  They defend plants from insects, harsh environmental conditions, and disease. They are also vital for a plant to grow, live, evolve, and adapt to its surroundings. They contain trace elements of nutrients, hormones, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and anti-bodies. 

Research has shown that a large percentage of EO are anti everything (in a good way) anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic, anti-infectious, antiseptic. They carry oxygen to the cells destroying bacteria & viruses while restoring balance to the body, stimulating and strengthening the immune system.  

EO are the regenerating, oxygenating, & immune defense properties of the plants.  When used on humans or animals, EO may provide similar benefits.  Disease begins when cells lack the oxygen for proper nutrient assimilation.  EO contain oxygen molecules which help to transport nutrients to starving human cells.  By providing the needed oxygen, EO also work to stimulate the immune system; detoxifng cells & blood in the body. 

Some EO have the ability to pass the blood brain barrier and current research is has found that essential oils may be useful in helping with Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s & MS. 

Because they are organic substances, they do not have harmful qualities to healthy cells when used correctly.  They do not have residual effects as do most chemicals.  New research and discoveries about the benefits of one of Mother Nature's most powerful resources are growing each day.  *Therapeutic grade Essential Oils are now being used in hospitals and clinics around the globe.  For anyone interested in reading about some of this research, the pub-med website (search for essential oils) has a number of recent studies available to the public.    

How to Use

There are 3 basic methods for using essential oils.  I'm only touching on the very basics here, perhaps in another blog I'll go into more details; or if you are interested in learning first hand, we discuss, demonstrate and experience all three of these methods in our classes & retreats.   

1.  Inhalation - direct, diffusor, vaporizer (cold only for therapeutic benefits!)  

2.   Topical - application to the skin (largest organ of the body) 
      Applied neet - undiluted directly to the skin (use precaution!)  
      or with a carrier oil - my first choice is coconut oil.

3.  Ingestion - controversial, do your research and use precautions.

I add EO to  food to enhance flavors while gaining therapeutic benefits

Why Essential Oils?

So besides the therapeutic and sensory experience, why else would one consider using essential oils?  What about prevention; reducing your amount of exposure to toxins that can cause illness & disease?

The amount of chemicals found in everyday household & beauty products and over the counter medicines is astounding AND not to mention toxic to both humans and animals.  Many of these chemicals are hormone disruptors, carcinogenic, and linked to a myriad of health issues.  In some cases, many are BANNED in various countries.  And we are not just referring to the obvious culprits like Fabreeze and Glad plug ins.  These chemicals are found in everything from laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, deodorants, most cleaning supplies, cosmetics, cold & flu medicines - even those advertised as natural or organic still contain toxic ingredients.  I have a great watch list that we hand out in our workshops - you will be surprised when you really start reading and checking your labels what you are actually exposing yourself & family too.

So what can we do about it?  In the world we live in, it is almost impossible to completely shield yourself 100%.  However there are a number small steps we can all take to begin reducing the amount of toxin exposure and for ourselves and families, as well as taking preventative precautions and building our immune systems. 

Incorporating Essential Oils can be a first and easy step.  We can begin by learning and understanding simple ways to replace harmful household & beauty products and over the counter medicines, with safe (and pleasant to use!) alternatives.    In addition to being highly effective for cleaning, healing, and prevention; essential oils offer an incredible sensory experience AND can also be more economical.  

Detoxing is a topic of great depth, and of course involves more than just using essential oils.  However, it’s a great first step. If you are interested in learning more first hand, I offer a number of workshops and retreats where you can learn and experience some of the magic first hand : )  *Our retreats also incorporate other tools, such as diet and meditative activities to help balance, cleanse, and nourish mind, body & spirit.  

A few non-toxic products I make (all purpose cleaner, hand sanitizer, body scrub) 

How and Where to Purchase QUALITY Essential Oils

Not all essential oils are created equally. To truly benefit from the oils, I recommend using only high quality therapeutic grade oils. As essential oils are become more popular, a number of new manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon and creating less than optimal qualities.

I did quite a bit of research and choose Young Living.  Honestly, at first I was hesitant because of the cost and the mlm; and there are a number of other companies out there to choose from, some even off shoots from Young Living.  I based my decision on the fact that:  they have been growing on their own farms and making high quality oils for over 20 years (before it became trendy); they have extremely high standards -In fact, they sell stock that does not comply with their standards to other companies!  

And most importantly, after trying a variety of oils; for myself, I found YL to be of the highest quality AND most importantly, they work the best for me. 

Additionally, when using essential oils, be sure to listen to your intuition, find a scent that speaks to you, let it tell you where to apply on your body, what to blend with, when to apply.  Most oils have multiple benefits and properties that overlap each other, if you have an aversion to an oil or it just doesn't feel right, don't use it.  For example, there are over many essential oils that have anti-bacterial properties or work as spiritual enhancers, choose the one that feels, smells, **tastes, right to you.  Use ALL of your senses!  

If you are interested in learning more about my upcoming workshops and retreats, please visit my website at Turquoise Barn

If you are interested in ordering essential oils contact me for more information or you can order here:  bit.ly/oillove

Next up:  Palo Santo Essential Oil - Exotic, Earthy, Grounding, Intoxicating

Reference Guide for Essential Oils - Connie & Alan Higley

NOTE:  The information offered on or blog & website; in our workshops, classes, & retreats, represents the views of the author/presenter.  The views & information offered are intended for informational purposes only and not intended as medical or health advice.  We do not accept any responsibilities for any liabilities resulting from the use of this information.   We recommend consulting with a licensed health professional before using essential oils, herbs or making any changes to your diet, exercise program, or lifestyle.

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