Talk Science Tuesday

TalkScience Tuesday: Reactions to essential oils…probably not an allergy!


Howdy y’all! Let’s be real: sometimes we get an unexpected result from using the oils. Most of the time for me, it’s a positive “side effect.” But there are times when people experience something unpleasant, like a rash. So for today’s edition of #TalkScienceTuesday, we want to share an article with you from the author of The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple, Dr. David Stewart. He’s a chemist by trade, so this man knows his stuff AND is able and willing to share his knowledge.

If you want the quick and dirty, one sentence recap, here it is: the only essential oils (from Young Living) that you CAN be allergic to are blends that include a carrier oil (i.e. Valor), citrus oils, and the “absolutes” (onycha, jasmine, neroli).

Read on to get a better grasp…

Sensitivities to Essential Oils
by David Stewart, PhD, DNM

There are a couple of ways one can be sensitive to essential oils, but an
allergic reaction is not one of them. Allergies are erroneous immune
responses to proteins, peptides, and amino acids – all nitrogen compounds,
none of which are found in essential oils.

You can have an allergic reaction to a vegetable oil such as olive, corn,
peanut, walnut, almond, etc., since these are cold pressed and can contain
small amounts of proteins. For example, occasionally a person can develop an
allergy to an oil blend such as Valor, which is sold by Young Living. The
allergy is not due to the essential oils of spruce, frankincense, rosewood,
and blue tansy in the blend. It is due to the almond oil in the blend. So
read your labels. What may appear to be an allergic reaction to a blend of
essential oils may be due to a carrier oil contained in the blend.

You can also have an allergic reaction to citrus oils which are cold pressed
from the rind. However, while we refer to citrus oils such as orange, lemon,
lime, and grapefruit as “essential oils,” strictly speaking they are not. By
definition, a true essential oil must be steam distilled, not expressed.

There are also oils extracted by solvents such as onycha, jasmine, and
neroli. Strictly speaking, they too are not true essential oils. Technically,
they should be called absolutes, not essential oils. One can have a true
allergic reaction to these because, like the citrus oils, they have not passed
through a distillation process and can contain traces of proteins, peptides, or
amino acids.

Because of the nature of distillation by heat, steam, and water, that true
essential oils must undergo, they do not contain the necessary compounds to
trigger allergies because these compounds do not pass through the distillation

Hence, sensitivities to essential oils, in the sense of allergic reactions,
are not possible. Allergic sensitivities are due to the body developing
antibodies in response to certain nitrogenous molecules. No one has ever
found antibodies in humans from essential oils. So if one has a reaction
to an essential oil, it is something else. Not an allergy.

Hot Oils

There are oils that are naturally hot, such as oregano, thyme, mountain
savory, cinnamon, cassia, and a few others. This is because of their
phenolic compound content which cleanses our cells and paves the way to
healing. Such oils can be taken internally via capsules or applied to the
skin directly with caution or diluted with a fatty oil.

If burning or irritation occurs to the skin from such oils, prompt
application of a vegetable oil layered over the essential oil will take care
of the problem in short order.

The same thing applies if you get an essential oil in your eyes or if you
swallow a hot oil, like oregano, and it burns your mouth and throat. Don’t
use water, use a vegetable oil for immediate relief. Pour it directly in the
eyes or take it orally if your mouth or throat are affected.

Detox Reactions

As for sensitivities to essential oils that produces a skin rash or other
allergic-like symptoms such as headaches or nausea, this is always a detox
reaction. While allergic reactions get worse and worse with each exposure to
the offending substance (allergen), detox reactions eventually get less and
less severe with each exposure to an essential oil until it disappears
completely once the toxins are cleared from the system.

When one has a detox reaction from an essential oil (which is a good thing),
they need to back off from using oils for a while and increase their water
intake and, perhaps, get into a cleansing routine for a month or so, going
light on the use of essential oils for a while. What is happening in this
kind of sensitivity is that the oils are detoxing too rapidly for the colon
and kidneys to handle so the toxins come out through the skin as the third
avenue for excretion. It is better to keep the rate of detox down to levels
that are flushed out through the kidneys and colon, if possible.

Emotional Sensitivities

In rare cases, a person can react to a perfectly pure therapeutic grade
essential oil as if it were an allergen or a toxin, but in reality the
response is neither an allergy nor a detox. It is something else.

Another kind of sensitivity to essential oils has to do with emotions. In
cases of extreme unresolved grief, which can be due to the loss of a loved
one or other circumstances, one can become sensitive to anything, even the
most harmless of things. In extreme cases, people can become universal
responders, reacting to almost everything in what appears to be an allergic
reaction. This malady is sometimes referred to as “Extreme Chemical
Sensitivity” (ECS) or “Environmental Illness” (EI).

In such cases, some people have been known to react in an allergy-like fashion
to even the purest of essential oils, such as those sold by Young Living. But
healing from such an illness does not come by treating it as an allergy,
because it is not an allergy in the classical sense. It is a spiritual-
emotional disease and must be dealt with at that level.

The spiritual and symbolic message in this sort of reaction is that the
individual is so depressed, unhappy, and unwilling to accept life as it has
been given to them that they are rejecting all of creation and, thus, react
negatively to everything. There is a scriptural reference to this in
Proverbs 17:22, “A broken spirit dries the bones.”

The basis of our immune system is in the marrow of the bones where the T-cells
and other white corpuscles are formed. Allergies and other environmental or
chemical sensitivities are due to malfunctions of the immune system at the
level of the white corpuscles (leucocytes). Hence, this Bible verse is
actually referring to a negative autoimmune response originating in the bones
caused by an individual’s rejection of the world around them stemming from
extreme grief or a broken spirit.

The solution to this spiritually rooted illness is to recognize the source of
the grief, accept it, and deal with it. When that is done, the sensitivities
disappear, usually within a few days and sometimes overnight. Applying
selected essential oils for emotional purposes can assist in revealing and
releasing the buried feelings that underlie such a malady.

Adulterated Oils

There is one other source of sensitivity that may be blamed on essential
oils and that has to do with perfume and food grade oils. True therapeutic
grade essential oils are grown organically, harvested in proper ways and
times, distilled gently at minimum temperatures and pressures, and
bottled without any ingredients removed or added. All of the essential oils
sold by Young Living are therapeutic grade oils. However, the vast majority
of aromatic oils sold in retail stores and other places are perfume or food
grade oils.

A true therapeutic grade essential oil contains hundreds of compounds,
all of which are necessary in a proper balance for them to possess healing
power. Since only a few of these compounds contribute significantly to aroma
and/or taste, when essential oils are used for fragrances or flavors, the
only compounds that matter to commercial users are the ones that have
smell or taste. In some cases, this involves only 2 or 3 compounds in an oil,
and the manufacturers and users don’t care if these compounds are natural or
synthetic so long as the smell and taste are there and the cost is cheap.

Hence, fragrance and food grade oils are always incomplete in their
composition, containing only part of the chemical profile of a complete
therapeutic grade oil. Furthermore, they are usually adulterated with
synthetic compounds or diluted with petrochemicals to increase their volume
and profitability.

One can have reactions to such oils, but these are not reactions to true
essential oils. Such reactions are due to the adulterants in the oil. They
are not caused by the natural essential oil components of the oil.

For More Information

So there you have it. As to what you should do in a given situation where
sensitivities are encountered, you will have to decide. If you want a more
detailed discussion on essential oils, reactions to them, and allergies, my
book, THE CHEMISTRY OF ESSENTIAL OILS MADE SIMPLE, has a lengthy discussion of the subject. It is available from Essential Science Publishing, Abundant Health, and other online retailers.

This article is shared with the permission of the author. The original newsletter can be found here.

The information in this newsletter is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or
substitute for professional medical assistance. It is provided as information
Only for your better understanding of holistic health. In case of medical
need, please consult an appropriate licensed professional.


Pasta Salad: Healthy recipe using essential oils and ancient wheat.


This was a recipe we got to sample at convention this year!

I was skeptical, for multiple reasons:
I don’t like black pepper (ground)
I hadn’t tried Einkorn pasta, but knew I didn’t like whole wheat pasta
I hadn’t tried JuvaSpice
And I don’t normally like fancy pasta salads (non-mayonnaise based)

But…..I tried a little sample. And I really liked it, against many odds!!



Workout Wednesday – YOGA!!! (Y’all knew this was coming)

I have been REALLY practicing yoga for about 5 months now. Let me tell you- yoga is much more than just a form of physical exercise! Yoga is a practice that focuses on the well-being of the entire body, mind, and spirit. The bending, stretching, and strength exercises (or asanas) are just one of many interrelated practices that connect and align all aspects of the yogi into a state of complete balance. (Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means to yoke, or join together.) Other aspects of this “yoking” process include breathing, withdrawing the focus from the outward to the inward, meditation, and purification.

Like yoga, essential oils support the well-being of body, mind, and spirit. This is achieved through the application and diffusion of pure plant essential oils that influence physical wellness, a positive emotional state, and mental clarity.

Soooo naturally I had to combine the two. Makes sense, right? If you are passionate about things combine them and.. WOW, what an experience! Combining essential oils with yoga powerfully enhanced my yoga journey. My favorite oils to diffuse during my practice are frankincense and Believe. To all my Yogis out there- diffuse some essential oils! You will LOVE it!!

– Jessica

Mommy&Me Monday

Mommy&Me Monday: Pregnant? Is your doctor forgetting to mention something to you?

Okay before we get started, go read this article from the Boston Globe.

“Why doctors don’t talk to pregnant women about toxic chemicals”

Go ahead, I’ll wait…..

Alright, now it talks about a survey taken by ACOG- this is the leading organization of ALL OB/GYNs. This is a big deal, it’s not a survey of some hippie magazine where randos are responding as “doctors.” This survey cites that out of the 2,500 physician members of ACOG who responded, 80% agree that having a discussion with mothers would have an impact on lowering exposure to harsh chemicals and toxins. But less than 20% do.


Why? Because they don’t feel like they have adequate knowledge on the subject to talk about it. So they just don’t mention it.

Um….what? And these vague “dangerous chemicals” are not jet fuel or biohazardous waste, but are found in everyday products like certain PLASTICS and PESTICIDES.

If you deliberately disobeyed me and skipped reading the aforementioned article, scroll back up and do it now. This is a pretty big deal, at least in my world.

I’m not planning on becoming pregnant anytime soon, but I feel like limiting my daily exposure to harsh chemicals is kind of already a big deal to me.

I always had headaches growing up. Almost daily, but that was “normal” for me so I didn’t think much of it. Everybody get headaches, right? Well over the past 3 or so years, I’ve really changed my daily routine trying to lean towards “healthier” beauty/hygiene and cleaning products. Now I may still get headaches, but more like one every 1-3 months. And I can tell that they are triggered from artificial fragrances/chemicals: perfume, candle stores, mosquito repellant, PineSol and other cleaning products. Since I have phased those things out of my daily life, I only experience headaches when I’m around them in public.

That’s one of the benefits I’ve found, and even if that was the only thing it would so be worth it.


Don’t get me wrong, I think you should do LOTS of research! But look at your current situation first to researach what you’re putting on, in, and around your body. Then learn the do’s and don’t’s, safety and precautions, and suggested uses for EOs.
I promise you two things:
1) you’ll be amazed at how many synthetic/harsh chemicals you come in contact with and willingly purchase!
2) there are safer, affordable, healthier, and more pleasant smelling options that truly work!


Fave Friday

Fave Friday: ALL-Purpose Spray…Seriously!

When I say all-purpose spray, I mean ALL-PURPOSE. Here’s some ways I use this concoction:

HOME – kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, laminate/tile floor cleaner (in a Swiffer WetJet), deodorizer, carpet cleaner, cabinet/wall cleaner…everywhere cleaner

BARN – fly spray (safe on wounds), rain rot spray (antifungal), tack room cleaner

DOGS – flea spray, deodorizer, kennel cleaner

Thieves Household Cleaner and Purification essential oil blend

I use this spray bottle for EVERYTHING. Seriously. It’s awesome. I have a house bottle and a barn bottle, but I probably need to break down and get one for every room.

When we started having issues with fleas (the perils of owning three dogs), I found this concoction on Facebook and tried it out. I had been using just the Thieves Household Cleaner and water for all of my cleaning uses, but purification adds a citrus-y kick that I love. Plus I was too lazy to buy multiple spray bottles. So that’s how a flea spray morphed into my all-purpose spray.


In a 32 oz heavy duty** spray bottle
2 oz Thieves Household Cleaner30 drops purification
Fill with water

By no means does this have to be exact. I tweak the recipe a little depending on my purpose for using it. Generally, the barn bottle is a little more concentrated. When the dogs got sprayed by a skunk, I added some baking soda and sprayed the whole house down. I have a bottle with a splash of Thieves cleaner, 5 drops Purification, 0.5 c vinegar, and water for windows and mirrors.

Play around and have fun with it! You’re saving money by not purchasing all the different products around the house AND you’re not exposing yourself or your family to harmful, synthetic chemicals AND you’re supporting your immune system with essential oils. It’s a win – win – win situation.

**Pro Tip: any empty spray bottles you buy at grocery/dollar stores will last about a month (if you’re lucky) before they start leaking at the spray handle. Go to almost any horse or farm store (Tractor Supply, a feed store, etc) and get a heavy-duty horse spray bottle from the grooming aisle. Lasts MUCH longer! I’m still working with my leaky bottle…but need to put in a bulk order of heavy duty bottles online.

ThirstyThursday, Uncategorized

Thirsty Thursday: Cool off with a glass of Lavender Lemonade!

Summer is here to stay in the Lone Star state. Lemonade is a Southern staple, maybe second after sweet tea.

If you want to add a refreshing twist to your lemonade, add one drop of lavender EO to your pitcher!
NOT 1 drop per glass, a little goes a LONG way!

Lavender Lemonade with Young Living lavender essential oil

If you can’t get enough friends together to drink a whole pitcher, there is a way to add a touch of lavender to a single glass! Touch the end of a clean toothpick to the tip of the oil bottle. This allows you to get less than a drop. Then just swirl the toothpick in your glass!

Also if you’re feeling lazy, we’ve cheated and added a drop to a bottle of Simply Lemonade. It was delicious, but a little overpowering! If you’re going that route, a whole drop is still a little much in a bottle that size. Try the toothpick method until you reach your desired amount of lavender.


Start your mornings off right: with a shot of NingXia Red!

On this lovely Thirsty Thursday morning,
we wanted to tell you a little about how we start our day.

NingXia Selfie

NingXia Red is a tart, fruity drink that is SUPER high in antioxidants. I know everyone knows the term, but what’s the big deal about them? Antioxidants are basically superhero crime fighters that can neutralize free radicals (AKA villains on the atomic level). If left alone free radicals wreak havoc on your body, one intercellular structure at a time.

Now this might sound a little over-exaggerated. Is there really a Marvel movie going on at the microscopic level? Well, yes. Maybe less tight-fitting costumes, but if your cells were to have an arch-nemesis it would probably be free radicals.

There are so many other benefits to this red concoction, but we’ll leave the rest for other posts. For now, just enjoy a daily shot (2 ounces). I (Chesla) had mine in a Balance Complete shake this morning. Jessica is all about the packets to take on the go!

Posted by Alana Bookhout on the Picture Me Oily Fb group