I’ve been trying out essential oils for some of my family’s minor healthcare needs. DoTERRA oils were recommended to me for their purity and strength, so here is my review of the DoTERRA Family Essentials Kit

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A few days ago I wrote about the stress in my family, redundancy, work stress and a catalogue of minor ailments affecting the whole family simultaneously.  Thankfully we are generally healthy people and don’t have any serious conditions, but the kind of things we have been suffering from are not the sort of things you go to the doctors for. Stomach bugs, colds, itchy rashes….. take paracetamol and antihistamines, wash your hands more and stop bothering us.  Trust me I’ve heard it.

So I’ve started looking around for alternatives and my search led me to try essential oils and aromatherapy.

I don’t know about you , but I have a few little pots of essential oil around the place, bought on a whim because they smell nice.   Some of mine might be as much as 20 years old, but they still smell ok……

I think of aromatherapy mainly as a way to make your house smell nice and/or to jazz up a massage when you go to a spa.  I don’t know much about aromatherapy except that I very much like cirus type scents, and they are often the detox blends in a spa – why doesn’t this surprise me?

However my research over the last few weeks makes me think that aromatherapy could be much more than that, and that some of these plant extracts really could have a lot to offer. Apologies to my friends who are qualified in this area that I doubted you, but I’m just embarking on the journey, and I think it is going to be very interesting.

So  I’ve decided to put essential oils to the test in my house, and my research led me to DoTERRA, a company which promises Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.  I don’t believe this is an industry standard, but at least they seem to be producing very high quality oils, with ethically sourced ingredients, and they have even registered some of them as food grade, and suitable for internal use.

One of my aromatherapist friends threw up her hands in horror when I told her this, as apparently when you train as an aromatherapist in the UK they teach you never to take oils internally, except in very specific cases. But I have decided to trust a company that has been running since 2008 with lots of worldwide users, and so I am following the instructions on the labels of the bottles I am testing, and will be taking things carefully, diluting where recommended and following any specific warnings I am given.

doTERRA oils: Family Essentials Kit

The essential oils that I am testing came in the Family Essentials kit.  This consists of 6 individual oils; lavender, lemon, peppermint, tea tree, frankincense and oregano,   plus 4 blended  oils  Deep Blue, On Guard, Breathe and DigestZen.

doTerra oils

 

The oils come in a lovely presentation box and in the lid are some basic instructions for each oil. You get a guide as to how to use the oil with the following suggestions:

Aromatically – ie diffusing it in the air, or sniffing it

Topically – applying to the skin

Internally – adding to water, food, or to capsules and consuming it

There is also a guide as to whether you can use the oil neat or whether it should be diluted.  Not every oil is suitable for every purpose – for instance they recommend that Deep Blue blend is only for applying to the skin.

These oils are very strong indeed – I have been amazed at how much more powerful they smell than any I have bought before.  If, like me you are using essential oils for the first time or fairly new to aromatherapy, you need to be very careful with them.  Learn as much as you can about the uses of each oil, dilute them appropriately and use one drop at a time or less in some cases.  Don’t inhale or ingest too much at once, and be careful with how strong a solution you put on your skin expecially if it is sensitive.

So here is a bit about each individual oil and what I think about them so far. Also if you click on the picture of each oil, you will get a sheet with more information about it.

1: Lavender

This is for calming. It can be used in any of the three ways (although I don’t fancy the taste of lavender so might give the internal a miss).

So far I have put it in my diffuser and added it to my bowl of dried lavender flowers in the living room. The scent from the bottle is amazing and it’s certainly more powerful in my vapouriser than the ancient oils I was keeping before. I plan to dilute it into a spray bottle and spritz the children’s rooms at night as sometimes they have trouble sleeping.

2: Lemon

The instructions say this will Clean and Freshen. It can be used in any of the three ways and can be used neat.  if used on skin it is essential to avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours afterwards, as it can cause a severe burn reaction.

Recommendations on the box say

  • Take internally to assist with seasonal respiratory discomfort (I presume they mean colds and/or hay fever/)
  • Diffuse in a room to eliminate odours and elevate mood – I have been doing this a lot and it cerainly works – I just love lemon scent.  I have also sprinked it in the shower and let the steam waft it up to me.
  • Use to clean kitchen counters and stainless steel appliances – this looks like fun – I am going to enjoy making some eco freindly kitchen cleaners and the scent will be amazing
  • Naturally cleanses the body and aids in digestion.  I’ve been adding it to my daily water. Following advice from my aromatheraoist friend and the DoTerra community I add iit to a glass bottle first, shake and then pour out and drink, so the oil doesn’t just sit on the top.  I’ve also added it to some of my cooking , which has received rave reviews

Lemon is my absolute favourite so far – I’ve nearly used half of my 5ml bottle already

3: Peppermint

This is to Cool and Invigorate – can be taken all three ways but should be diluted on sensitive skin

The instructions on the box recommend taking this internally to aid breathing and digestion.  I’ve also added it to my morning diffuser blend to perk me up in the morning.

At night I added one drop in the bottom of my mug before I made a mint tea, and I inhaled the steam from that as I drank – it was completely amazing.

4: Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

First Aid for the Skin – can be taken internally but better known as a skin tonic and anti fungal

This is one essential oils that I was using before, although again I’m not sure how pure my previous bottle was and it was certainly ancient.  The smell of the doTERRA oils is just so powerful – clearly I have been missing someting with my previous aromatherapy experiments.

I’ve been adding the tea tree oil to my feet with some hand cream after going swimming. The scent is amazing and my feet feel great, although I guess it may be just that I am moisturising them more.  I’ll wait and see though – I do generally have very smelly feet in the summer and I’m hoping that this new regime will help a bit.

I’m also looking forward to using this in general first aid – but I will stop short of injuring somebody first. I’m sure I won’t have long to wait before I can try this – teenagers are notoriously accident prone (or is it just my two?)

5: Frankincense

I’d never really heard of this except of course in the nativity story, but people seem to swear by it as a skin tonic and mood booster.  So I’m adding it to my face daily with my moisturiser.  I’ll let you know if I see any results.

6: Oregano

This apparently provides Natural Immune Support  – it can be taken all ways but should be diluted on skin

Immune support is what led me to this journey in the first place. in our house we are all battered and bruised after an overdose of minor ailments. Apparently this is a natural cleansing agent,  which sounds fun….

I’ve been sneaking oregano oil into my cooking – I do quite a bit of Mediterranean stuff and get through Herbes de Provence at a vast rate of knots. So the food has just become a bit more ‘herbal’ – the stength of these oils is amazing – one drop is enough to make a noticeable taste difference in a pasta sauce for 4 people. And my family all say that it is delicious, so I intend to carry on…..

7: Deep Blue soothing blend

This seems to be the equivalent of Deep Heat rub – except cooling rather than heating.  It”s for sore muscles – after exercise, and also for growing pains at night – my children are going to love me….

DoTerra have a whole range of Deep Blue products, but I haven’t really seen the need yet, so will have to reveiw these separately.

8: On Guard blend

This is the Natural Defense and Immune support blend. It can be taken all three ways.

On Guard seems to pop up everywhere on the DoTERRA site. You can take it in ternally as capsules, diffuse it in the air to purify your room against airborne bugs and also clean your home with it.

Of course we are coming out of winter bug season now, but I will be stocking up on this and definitely going nuts with it come autumn.  It smells really lovely too – ingredients include orange, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary – all scents that I adore.

9: Breathe

We use a lot of Olbas oil in Winter as we all seem to get stuffy noses and plenty of colds. But the Breathe blend smells much nicer and stronger than Olbas oil and i am almost looking forward to Winter to start using it.  It’s good for hayfever too.

10: DigestZen

We have all had nasty stomach bugs this year and have been taking probiotics to tey to build up a healthy gut and immune system.  Digest Zen is supposed to help combat bloating and indigestion, and they also recommend it as an aroma in the car to combat travel sickness. Ingeredients include anise, peppermint, ginger and coriander, which produces a lovely warming spicy aroma.

So far I have mainly sniffed this or put it in the diffuser after the main meal of the day, but I could certainly be persuaded to consume it if I had indigestion. It smells just yummy.

So that’s then end of the Family Essentials kit and i have to say I am very impressed so far. The products are clearly very high quality, and although it is too soon after a week to say my family has seen remarkable changes and benefits since using the products, I feel reasonably optimistic that once the cold and damp weather starts again we will all have stronger immune systems and be better able to cope with what life throws at us.

What this test has done, is got me fascinated with the whole idea of essential oils, and so I have signed up for a wholesale account with doTERRA. the shop is an Aladdins cave of oils, blended oils, plus healthcare and beauty products ready mixed (although I want to try and make some of my own).  There are bonuses and freebies to be had if you sign up for a regular monthly order, so i am going to try the vitamins, probiotics and some of the household products on regular order to see how I get on.

I’ve also been reading up on aromatherapy, and coming up with all sorts of other uses, from calming our mad dogs to helping my teens focus in their exams and supporting their wild mood swings.  The whole area of essential oils os so fascinating and diverse that I can’t wait to learn more, and the doTERRA oils certainly strike me as the best place to start from.

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