Not all essential oils are made the same

I recently finished “Spring Expo Season” where I had booths at women’s expos and pet expos to share information about safe and effective essential oils. I met a lot of great people and pets. And I realized that not all essential oils are made the same.

I found myself saying the same thing over and over and over again because essential oils are suddenly the hot new commodity. #theresanoilforthat But it also showed me that there’s a lot of confusion about essential oils (you can’t believe everything you read online), stores will not teach you how the use the oils, and it’s really important that you align yourself with an essential oil educator that you trust. #pickme

Here’s the thing … essential oils may be a hot topic, but they are not new, they have been around for 5,000+ years. But now they are EVERYWHERE! Seriously …. I now see essential oils at the gas stations. #saynotogasstationoils They are in stores that sell everything from food to gerbils and gun licenses, to the discount store chains, and everywhere online. #justsayno


But as with everything, there are quality essential oils and inferior essential oils. There are essential oils that can improve your wellness physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and there are oils that simply scent a room. There are essential oils that are safe around pets and those that are not. There are essential oils that are safe for babies and children, and those that are not.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m spending money on essential oils, I want to feel better physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and I want them to be safe for me and my cats. I want them to actually DO something to help me feel better. #yougetwhatyoupayfor

So what’s a curious essential oiler to do when you’re surrounded by those little bottles but you don’t know which ones are good for you? #askallie

Here’s some of the most popular questions and my answers:

Question: Can I ingest this essential oil (especially if it’s a product that you can also eat, like lemon or peppermint)?

Answer: If the label says “do not ingest”, then the label is telling you that there is something else in the bottle other than the oil. If the label says yes, then you have a quality essential oil that can be safely used in a variety of ways and with your entire family. But be aware that the FDA does not allow an essential oil to be labeled both topical and for ingestion on the same bottle. Different labels are required for each. This is why Young Living has the Vitality line of oils (for ingesting) and all of those same oils are labeled differently for topical use. Same oil, different label. This is why it’s important to know the company.

Question: Can I topically apply the essential oil?

Answer: If the label says no, then once again the label is telling you that there is something else in the bottle. This is likely just a fragrance oil and fragrance oils tend to contain synthetic oils, too.

Question: Is it safe for me to smell the oil (directly from the bottle or through diffusing)?

Answer: Whatever you smell, topically apply or ingest goes into your bloodstream. So if you cannot ingest it or topically apply it, you should think twice about smelling it.

Question: Is it safe to use with my pets?

Answer: The #1 answer to this question is to go to the company’s website, type pet or animal in the search bar, and if the company does not promote their oils for pets, then you should not use them in that way. Here is a blog that I wrote that outlines a lot of information specifically on this hot social media topic.

Question: Is it safe to use on babies or pregnant women?

Answer: Labeling laws require cautions on products that are used in homes that have children or pregnant/nursing women.  So again, go to the company website and if the company promotes their oils to be used with babies, children, and pregnant/nursing women, then you have a quality essential oil.

Question: What do you really know about the company?

Answer: When the essential oil company has their own  process from having their own farms, to the seed of the plant, to growing without the use of pesticides/herbicides, to harvesting at the proper time for that plant, to distilling their own oils using only low pressure and water (no solvents or chemicals) or cold pressing citrus without solvents or chemicals, then you can safely use those essential oils with your family. And does the company specialize in essential oils?

There’s a few quality essential oil companies on the market, but most essential oils have been compromised to sell cheaply. The company that can answer YES to all of these questions is Young Living (especially when it comes to pets).

It’s why I ditched dozens or oils from other brands and moved to Young Living in 2013. I did that because I have cats, I work with animals and shelter pets, and my lawyer brain wants to keep me legally safe in what I do by making sure that the company backs how I use the products. And it’s why I teach about Young Living because, now more than ever, people want quality and they want answers.

What questions do you have about essential oils?

 About Allie Phillips:

Allie is a multi-careered energy therapist (Usui Reiki Master-Teacher, Fairy Reiki Master, Integrated Energy Therapy Master-Instructor, and Advanced Crystal Master),  essential oil educator, award-winning book author, attorney and internationally-recognized animal advocate, and Founder/CEO of Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T)™.  She travels the globe to teach about essential oils, healing, and keeping pets & people safe from harm. She helps people create a natural non-toxic lifestyle, find financial freedom, and help animals live with comfort in our hectic world. She particularly loves helping our animal companions and those temporarily in animal shelters because for those of us who have them grace our worlds, they are our soul mates.
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I give essential oils to my cats (and it’s safe)!

Lucy and CopaibaIf you google “essential oils and cats” you will get about 10 gazillion pages that say, in no uncertain terms DON’T DO IT! And you know what, I agree. Because a vast majority of essential oils do not have the purity to be used with the sensitive bodies of animals. They have been planted with inferior plants, grown in toxic soil, cultivated with pesticides and toxic fertilizers, distilled with chemicals, or bottled with fillers to make the oils cheaper. All of these contribute to why there are so many legitimate warnings cautioning against the use essential oils with pets, especially our precious felines.

However, I’m going to go out on a limb in hopes of educating you that not all essential oils are the same. If you do not know about Young Living oils, this could change your life. If you’ve read anything that I’ve blogged/posted in the past 2-1/2 years, you are probably familiar with my love of Young Living oils for pets. And if you’ve already formed an opinion about Young Living (whether positive or negative), I encourage you to keep reading.

Young Living has a long history of having pet-safe oils. They have a Veterinary Advisory Council of experts who have worked with the oils and provide their expertise to ensure the safety of the oils for animals. Even though I am an attorney who has specialized in animal protection, I take my guidance from the experts.

I love learning about the science of Universal Laws, energy healing, crystals and essential oils (although I wanted to poke my eye out with a pen when I had to take science classes in high school and college … and it’s why I’m a lawyer and not a doctor). I’m not going to get all sciency on you because I’m not a scientist, but I want to share two simple points why I believe that Young Living oils are safe for pets.

Seed to sealFirst, Young Living’s Seed to Seal guarantee is how they do business; it’s not just a slogan. Young Living has its own farms and co-op farms so that they can oversee every part of the process before an essential oil bottle arrives on your doorstep.

  • They select the best seeds (no GMO or chemical-grown seeds).
  • They plant them in the proper soil/temperature and location. Just because I can grow lavender in my yard doesn’t mean it’s the high therapeutic-grade value of lavender that Young Living grows.
  • They cultivate without fertilizers or pesticides and they hand-pull weeds (gee, can you come to my house and pull weeds?).
  • They harvest the plants/trees/flowers/bushes when they can provide the highest therapeutic value in the oil; they don’t harvest when it’s convenient for Young Living.
  • They distill using steam distillation (no alcohol or cutting agents to get the oils to come out faster) and for some they use cold-pressing. When they distill or press, it’s just the oil that comes out.
  • And then they bottle and seal the cap. I tell people to never ever ever purchase Young Living oils from Amazon, Ebay or another generic site because Young Living cannot guarantee those oils. Although I may sell a bottle of oil on occasion, I show people how to buy from (and get wholesale prices) so that they know the oil in the bottle is exactly what it says it is.

Second, Young Living therapeutic-grade essential oils are safe to ingest, inhale and/or apply topically because of their purity; and this is what makes them safe for pets. You may know this next part, but for others it could be the first time you’ve heard it. Whatever we ingest ends up in our blood system and cells, right? You eat a bag of cheese popcorn and bam it’s in your blood stream and traveling to your cells and organs. You eat a handful of broccoli and the same thing. This is why we either feel great or crappy after we eat food.

When we put something on our skin (our largest organ and the organ that detoxes junk out of us) it goes directly into our blood stream and cells. I’ve actually heard some people say “it doesn’t matter what I put on my skin because I can just wipe/rinse it off.” Uhhhhh, I don’t think so sweet pea. What you put on your skin goes into your blood stream and your cells like a bullet. Think of all of the patches that are on the market now to control smoking, birth control, or input medicine in your system. When I was in high school I suffered from motion sickness and was given a transdermal patch to wear on the back of my ear to control it. It worked great. How did it work? It went in through my skin and into my blood stream and cells.

Photo credit: Dr. LeAnne Deardeuff (a Young Living distributor)

Next, whatever we smell goes directly from our nose to our brain and into our blood stream. That usually freaks people out because think of how many noxious and obnoxious odors we smell everyday. Ewwww!!! So when you smell an essential oil (either from the bottle or from diffusing into the air) it travels very quickly to your brain and into your blood stream. Have you ever had a flashback to a memory when you’ve smell something? Maybe Rose reminds you of a hand cream that your grandmother wore? Because we store emotions in the brain (the amygdala to be exact), that’s where the oils travel to and trigger a memory. They go to the brain!

2014-04-20-12-18-18Most oils say that they are not to be ingested, should not be applied topically unless diluted, and should not be used with pets; they are to only be smelled. For those oils, trust what the label says. But if an oil is safe to smell and smelling takes it to our brain and into our bloodstream, why can we not ingest them or use with pets? Do you see the problem? This is why most Young Living oils contain a dietary supplement label (check out the photo).

So we know that what we ingest, what we apply topically and what we smell goes into our blood stream and to our cells. So answer me this, when an essential oil gives a disclaimer that says ….

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… why would you want to use it on yourself or your pet? Any oil that has this disclaimer has a purpose, but it’s not a therapeutic grade oil that you would want entering your bloodstream or your pet’s. This is why the therapeutic grade of the Young Living oils that can be used all ways (ingested, topically and aromatically) are truly safe for all, including pets.

I joined Young Living because I wanted to offer essential oils to my cats, to shelter pets and to abused/neglected animals. I am conservative in how I use the oils with them because cats are missing an enzyme in their liver to help process the oils. But they are still safe to use Young Living oils with cats if you know how. The simplest way is to diffuse the oils (with a cold diffuser). Your cat will take in the therapeutic benefits and can walk into a different room if they need a break. Cats are smart, they will walk away if something doesn’t feel right. My cats love to hang out in rooms that have a diffuser.

After reading this, if you’re still not on board with offering Young Living oils to pets, that’s okay. Just be open to the idea.

I am passionate about getting Young Living oils and diffusers into animal shelters, especially for cats who tend to do poorly in cages and can exhibit scared behavior that can be misinterpreted as aggression. Gary Young’s vision for Young Living is to get oils in every home on the globe. Now imagine a day when every animal shelter diffuses Young Living essential oils to keep the cats happy and balanced? That’s my vision.

Before you begin working with Young Living oils for yourself or your pet, I think it’s important to learn about them. If you want to learn specifics about how to offer essential oils to pets, please log on to one of my webinars. Check upcoming webinars here. And if you’re ready to join Young Living, I’d love to have you as part of my group. We’re a growing group of oiling animal people who have a lot of experience and information to share! Click on the photo below to get started!

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About Allie Phillips:

Me & RudyAllie is a unique combination of self-empowerment coach (Certified Law of Attraction Counselor and Life Coach), energy therapist (Usui Reiki Master-Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy Master-Instructor, and Advanced Crystal Master), award-winning book author, attorney and nationally-recognized animal advocate. Whether it’s wanting more freedom, creativity, loving relationships, financial security, wellbeing, relaxation, or adjusting to the energy of our new world … she looks at each person and animal holistically and creates a well-being plan. She holistically combines these methods to help people gain control of their lives and to help animals live with comfort in our hectic world. It worked for her and will work for you! She particularly loves helping our animal companions because for those of us who have them grace our worlds, they are our soul mates.
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