Basics of Essential Oils [+ Essential Oils for Beginners Book Review & Giveaway]

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***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries. Please read on for information on the basics of essential oils!***

Over the last few months I’ve done quite a few posts on different essential oils, but never really talked much about the basics involved. So lets focus on the what’s, why’s, and how’s! Below you’ll find information on the basics of essential oils to help you feel much more comfortable using them.

Basics of Essential Oils

Basics of Essential Oils

What are essential oils:

Basically, essential oils are the oils extracted from different plants, fruits, seeds, roots, flowers, etc. They’re highly concentrated and are regarded as having many medical and cosmetic qualities.

You can buy essential oils in singular bottles, in oil blends, and it kits containing multiple oils. When purchasing, just make sure you buy from a reputable retailer and are getting PURE, therapeutic grade essential oils – NOT ones diluted or those meant for aromatherapy. I particularly like oils from doTERRA and have heard good things about Young Living.

Why use essential oils:

If you’re interested in alternative ways to relieve common ailments and illnesses – then essential oils are for you! Not only do they hold medicinal properties, they can also help your state of mind, clean your house without chemicals, and aid in your beauty regimen. Very multipurpose.

Are essential oils safe?

Short answer – YES! Long answer – depends. Most essential oils are considered safe. There are some that are not recommended for pregnant women, children, and pets, and those that can be toxic if ingested. Many can cause skin irritation if not diluted properly with a carrier oil before application. And there are also those that are photo-toxic, meaning you’ll get a sunburn if you’re outside after use. But don’t worry – all precautions are clearly labeled and you shouldn’t use any essential oils without reading a little bit into it.

How to use essential oils:

There are many different ways to use essential oils depending on your intended purpose, but the most basic explanation is:

Inhalation – You can just breathe them in. Some directly from the bottle, on a hot compress, from a steamy bath, in a diffuser, etc. Bonus – each essential oil has it’s own distinct aroma.

Topical – Applying essential oil to the skin gives it direct access to your bloodstream where it can have it’s desired medicinal effect. You can make cosmetic products from essential oils, as well. Read your essential oil bottles carefully, as most need to be diluted with a carrier oil – like grape-seed oil, almond oil, and apricot kernel oil.

Ingestion – There are several essential oils that are safe to ingest. You can simply mix a drop or two in to a glass of water or herbal tea.

What to Buy:

There are so many essential oils that it can seem overwhelming. It’s best to start out with a few of the most popular ones and then branch out from there. If you’re having trouble deciding – lemon, lavender, and peppermint all have multiple uses.

It’s great to keep a few small, dark, glass jars on hand for mixing blends and recipes. Glass stirring rods, funnels, spray bottles all also come in handy once you start experimenting. And a diffuser is a must as it’s really the easiest way to enjoy essential oils. And don’t forget your carrier oil!

A book about essential oils is also beneficial. I use Essential Oils for Beginners by Althea Press (that I was sent free to review) when I want to look up a specific oil or if I have a specific purpose I want to address. It’s broken up into two segments. The first is a very detailed description of essential oils, their history, etc. I found it quite dry to read, but it was thorough and informative. It’s definitely not a book you need to sit down and read cover to cover, but when you need specific information (uses, precautions, etc.) on a particular oil, then you just go to that page. The second section contains all the remedies and recipes – by far my favorite. If you’ve ever struggled with figuring out what to do with your oils, than you’ll definitely want to get this book. So many different ailments are covered, recipes to enhance well-being, cosmetic uses, and uses for your home, too. It’s just so much easier to have all this stuff in one place instead of searching all over the internet for it! You can currently purchase Essential Oils for Beginners through Amazon for $8.99 – a steal for all the information it includes! Want to win a copy? Scroll down to find out how!

Essential Oils for Beginners - Basics of essential oils

How do you store essential oils:

Once you’ve got a little collection going, you’ll want to find a safe spot for them. I store mine in a pretty box, but you’ll find a variety of storage solutions to purchase. However you choose to store them, they’re best kept away from direct light and heat. And children, of course. Treat them the same as you would medication in your home.

Win it

Essential Oils for Beginners Giveaway - Basics of Essential Oils

One lucky According to Jenny reader is going to win a copy of Essential Oils for Beginners by Althea Press!

Enter below using the rafflecopter form. The first entry is mandatory and then the rest of the entries are optional, but will greatly increase your chances of winning! You can view my official giveaway rules here. Good Luck!

US Only, 18+, Ends 1/20/14

***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries.***

Winner: Victoria

Essential Oil Book Winner

Disclosure I

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Information contained in this post is not intended as medical advice. Please seek the advice of your medical doctor if you have questions or concerns about using essential oils.

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  1. Melanie M. says:

    I have just started researching using essential oils. This would be super helpful.

  2. I was just in a car accident last week. Not horrible. But not pleasant either. I slid on some ice and went straight into the biggest rock I could find. lol. I’m pretty store and achy. The only thing I have found that gives me complete relief is a hot bath with lavender oil. It not only soothes my aching muscles but relaxes me and helps me to de-stress. It is a daily habit for now. It will be hard to fit into my schedule when I don’t have a good excuse! 😉

  3. I like using them to help with colds and allergies!

  4. I have just started researching using essential oils

  5. I’ve just jumped in as a consultant with doTERRA so this book would be very handy! Thanks for helping to share about all the great things EO’s can do! :)

  6. Christi Bailey says:

    I use a few oils for diaper rash cream.

  7. are there any other therapeutic grade oils out there other than do terra and YL?

    • Mountain Rose Herbs is another popular one, but I’ve never tried any of their oils. Also, Aura Cacia and NOW Foods, but no experience with either of those, too. Hope that helps!

    • I have researched organic essential oils from “Native American Nutritionals” and “Rocky Mountain Oils” and ordered from both. I have also used oils from “Mountain Rose Herbs” and prefer their whole herbs over their essential oils. Just my 2 cents.

  8. I actually just put in an order through Young Living for a starter kit so this would be an excellent book to help figure out what I am doing, lol!

  9. We’e just getting into essential oils. We use aura cacia but I’m looking more into theraputic oils since aura cacia is just aromatherapy oils. A lavender bath is so relaxing & we use shower disks w/ them in it to relieve congestion

  10. Are there any stores that I could buy them or do I have to go to a specialty store/buy them online? I like the ones that I use for my cloth wipe spray.

    • I’ve never seen any in stores near me – but we’re not in a city or anything. Maybe a specialty health store? I get mine online.

  11. Anne Perry says:

    How do you know which oils are safe to consume?

    • It will say it on the bottle as far as I know – at least the doTERRA ones do. It’s always a good idea to check before consuming though!

  12. nikki mather says:

    I’m truly a beginner, I have no idea where to begin

  13. sherry blamer says:

    I don’t know too much about essesial oils but I’ve heard a lot of good things.

  14. I really like using lavender in the bath. I would love some more oils!

  15. I’m a essential oils beginner and love learning! :)

  16. Jody Kluskiewicz says:

    Sorry to go off topic here, but Jenny, do you have any experience/opinions on herbal remedies for infant colic/gas/fussiness? I’m thinking of trying catnip and fennel with Anna (my two month old) and would love to find someone who’s tried this out. Thanks!

    • I don’t, sorry! Haley was extremely fussy as a newborn with gas, but what helped us was a diet change for me. I cut all dairy from my diet and she did a complete 180. Turns out that she’s lactose intolerant and couldn’t digest the dairy that was coming through my breast milk. Maybe that’s something you could try? We noticed a huge difference within a few days and then no more gas/colic after a few weeks. Good luck!

  17. Elizabeth Inglee-Richards says:

    I started using oils a while ago, but am trying to figure out making my own blends these days. It’s been hits and misses, but I guess that is the same with everything you are trying to learn.

  18. Joni Caraway (trippygrandmaof3) says:

    I would love to be able to start learning more about essential oils and which ones are good for what and being able to get one as I can afford.

  19. I love essential oils. I use lavender a lot of ways including on my sheets or in a bath. Sometimes I blend them for illnesses and my daughter uses Lemon Oil for her fever blisters or to keep them away.

  20. I use some essential oils in cleaning, but would like to learn how to integrate them more into my daily life.

  21. Georgia Beckman says:

    I am a newcomer to essential oils. I’ve just been at it for a few months. What I’m finding so far is that they are AMAZING! I developed what I believe must have been tennis elbow, completely out of nowhere. No warnings, no previous pain, when it hit, it was just full on HERE. I had no range of motion, no grip strength & I was in a lot of pain. I mixed about 7 drops of peppermint with a teaspoon of coconut oil & rubbed it into my elbow & within 30 minutes I was feeling relief from the pain. I continued using it twice a day & after the 3rd day, all symptoms were COMPLETELY gone & have stayed gone. I have also used my peppermint a lot during the holidays to relieve diarrhea & nausea. I just put a couple of drops in my hand, rub my hands together & rub them over my lower abdomen. Nips it in the bud IMMEDIATELY.

  22. my wife found out about essential oils last summer. winning this would be a great learning exercise for her!

  23. Julie Bartlett says:

    I have actually been looking for a book on EOs today, it would be perfect to win this one!

  24. Just starting to use essential oils. My first one is lavender…and I’m using it along with my wool dryer balls for clothing. I’d love to win this book to learn about other oils and in hopes to lessen some of the cleaning products I use. Thank you!

  25. friederike graedener says:

    I would like to start researching essential oils. I have problems managing stress and not sleeping and am looking to a natural approach

  26. Thanks for sharing so much great information!

  27. My question is about the essential oil Wintergreen.

    Known to be toxic when taken internally, I don’t understand why some essential oil makers (and users) advocate putting it on one’s skin or breathing it in using a diffuser, because in these ways, the toxins would still end up inside one’s body and cause possible damage to our cells.

    What do you think?

    Can you help me with this dilemma (because I absolutely love the scent of Wintergreen and used to add it to my homemade shampoo and dish soaps, but now I am scared to do that)!

    • I’m not entirely sure, but I believe it would have to be a very large dose to do damage by being absorbed through the skin. But internally, a small dose can be toxic. Hope that helps!

  28. Jennifer Monteiro says:

    My husband has essential oil training and says it is important to keep the oils in a wooded box.

  29. I love using peppermint oil for headaches

  30. I love using Lavender for a calming effect

  31. What does is the difference between a carrier oil and essential oil.

    • A carrier oil is just used to mix with your essential oil fro topical application. Carrier oils include: coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, etc.

  32. I need this! I keep searching for instructions on how to use EOs, but while lots of posts claim to explain them, they really don’t tell me HOW to actually USE them!

  33. Margaret J says:

    Peppermint essential oil smells and tastes so good, and Lemon is a close second. Thank you for the giveaway!

  34. I have some essential oils but mostly use them in a diffuser. I’d love to learn more proper ways to use them for health and wellness.

  35. Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. I use tea tree and lavender for cuts, scrapes and burns. Ravensara to keep my sinus clear.
    Thanks for the contest.

  37. I would like more information on using essential oils.

  38. Shelly Creeden says:

    i am interested in getting to know how to use oils in my everyday life.

  39. Jennifer Speed says:

    I love using the Peppermint oil as a decongestant when I have a cold and I also use it for menstrual pains

  40. Victoria Ricca says:

    Just started hearing about this stuff and would love to try it!

  41. Laurie Emerson says:

    I have just begun to do searches on Essential Oils. I would love to find some alternative methods to things like a stomach ache or earache which was natural.

  42. I would love to learn more about essential oils but it is just not in our budget right now. Hopefully in the future though!

  43. I’m a huge fan of essential oils. I’ve seen first-hand how they can help to prevent the spread of colds and flu, heal cuts and bruises, and soothe and back pain. Great post!

  44. nice post thanks to share this information…


  1. […] Ending on: 01/20/2014 Open to: United States Enter this Giveaway at According to Jenny […]

  2. […] more. If you are unfamiliar with how to get started with essential oils, According to Jenny has an essential oils beginner’s guide post as well as a book review for those looking harness the power of EOs in their […]

  3. […] Essential Oils for Beginners Book from According to Jenny […]

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