Essential Oils 101

Are you new to essential oils? This is a great place to start! You do not have to get overwhelmed by all the information available about oils. My name is Wendy Selvig and I’m a Certified Aromatherapist as well as an independent Young Living distributor.

What you are about to read is the written out class I often give in homes. This information will ground you in the basics and help you get an understanding for how essential oils can support your health.

I would much rather talk to you in person however, so if you are considering buying some oils and trying them out, please contact me and we can have a 1:1 consultation. Send me an email at

Here are the notes I use to teach an Essential Oil 101 class. Study them to learn more about your Premium Starter Kit oils. – Wendy

Essential Oils 101 Class

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am not a doctor. I do not pretend to prescribe or diagnose your illnesses. Please see your doctor or naturopath for any health concerns you may have. And please learn to be your own health detective. Find the resources you need to find the answers to know how to make informed decisions about your health.

What are essential oils?

 Essential oils are the volatile aromatic liquids extracted from the plant. They are not the same thing as fatty nut or seed oils. They are the life-blood, the immune system of the plant. Most essential oils will not stain your clothing. They have no fat in them. They evaporate or absorb into your skin very quickly and leave no residue.

The exception would be possibly citrus oils because they are not distilled, they are cold-pressed. There can be a little waxy residue with citrus oils.

Essential oils have super tiny molecules that are smaller than our cells. They are able to support our bodies at the cellular level. This is different than the molecules of our fatty carrier oils. Some oils are called “spicy.” These oils are so tiny that they travel ultra fast through the layers of our skin causing friction and it “heats up” our skin causing a burning sensation. When you add a carrier oil to the area of skin, the big fatty molecules grab onto the tiny essential oil molecules and slow down the rate of absorption, immediately stopping the discomfort.

Essential oils are also more highly concentrated than dried herbs. Many people like to use dried herbs in their supplements or tinctures, and that is perfectly OK, but because dried herbs are dead, you have to consume a lot more of them to get the same benefits. Because essential oils are living and active molecules, a little bit goes a long way! For example, to get the benefits that you get from 1 drop of Young Living’s Peppermint Essential Oil, you’d have to drink 28 cups of very strong peppermint tea!

How do we get our essential oils?

Most of the oils are extracted from plants through steam distillation. Young Living has a proprietary steam distillation process that uses low heat, proper pressure, time sensitive batching, and fresh properly and organically grown and harvested plants to deliver the best essential oils in the world.

Citrus oils are extracted from a cold-pressed method that lets us get oils from the rind of the fruit, so we can get D-limonene in the oils.
We also employ the Resin Tapping process. We steam distill resin from certain trees like
Frankincense, Myrrh and Copaiba. The resin is tapped directly from the tree and then steam distilled.
We also uses absolute oil extraction for special oils that wouldn’t survive steam distillation. Not very many oils use this process. A solvent is added

to the plant matter in this process which pulls the essential oil out of the plant without compromising the integrity of the oil. Then a steam distillation is used to remove the solvent from the oil. This process is only used for Jasmine, Neroli and Onycha. These oils are sensitive to heat in excess of 90 degrees F. So keep them cool. Blends that contain these oils are Forgiveness, Gentle Baby, Humility, Awaken, and Clarity.

All oils are sent to a lab for quality and purity testing.

The Chemistry of Essential Oils

Essential oils contain hundreds of different constituents or compounds such as sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, diterpenes, phenols, esters, and aldehydes to name a few. The chemistry of essential oils are so complex that not one oil has ever been completely mapped out chemically. And, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, they are not easy to outsmart

by bacteria and viruses. There are fantastic resources about the chemistry of essential oils at retailers like where you can read all about these constituents that support our bodies. An example of constituents and the importance of proper distillation is found in the oil CYPRESS. Cypress has 280 known constituents. If it is distilled for 20 hours, you only get 20 of the 280 properties. If distilled for 26 hours you get NONE of the properties. Most market Cypress is distilled for 3.5 hours. The correct length of time for distilling Cypress is 24 hours, which will give you the full 280 properties. If you want Cypress to do the job it’s intended to do, you must get all 280 constituents, no more, no less. And that is what you will get from Young Living’s Cypress.Young Living is committed to quality over profit.

Purity Matters:

Did you know that Young Living owns it’s own farms and builds it’s own distilleries? And because our company is growing so fast, we also have what are called “partner farms.” These are farms that have agreed to grow plants for our oils and they have agreed to follow very strict guidelines and allow YL personel to oversee the farming. I personally looked into farming for YL because our family owns farm land. The restrictions are so very strict that not just every farmer can do it. The land has to have NEVER had pesticides on it for starters.
Other companies buy their oils from vendors who get their oils from the same few distilleries there are in the world. These distilleries were made for the perfume industry, not the health industry and therefor often are made from metals that leach into the oils (like aluminum).
I’ve seen other company distributors on Youtube show a map of Young Living’s farms… and then a map of “their company’s” sources, and the way they present them, it’s as if their map of hundreds of sources are better… but what they don’t say is that their company doesn’t own ANY of those farms, they are buying from vendors. And, as horrid as the essential oil industry is at purity (over 95% is considered tainted, thinned down with thinners, added synthetics or metal toxicity), that map of all their vendors scares me!
Their vendors get their oils from this handful of distilleries around the world. Most companies (as a matter of fact) buy from the same distilleries, they just put their own labels on them. Those distilleries were designed for the perfume industry and do not use surgical stainless steel in their machinery. The distilleries were not designed for oils that were meant for internal consumption.
Because of this, Young Living makes their own distilleries and makes them out of surgical stainless steel. This is the only way to guarantee that no metals are leached into the oils as they are distilled.
This brings us to the Seed to Seal process. Young Living guarantees the purity of their oils through this process. From guaranteeing that the seed is the right species to planting in virgin organic dirt that has never seen a pesticide, to hand weeding the field before harvest and then testing each batch and then third party testing it again to prove the right medical constituents are there. Young Living has developed this Seed to Seal process to guarantee you get the oils you need for your body. Young Living is monitoring and controlling the entire process, so that every constituent and compound is retained in our essential oils so that when we buy them they will do the job God designed them to do in our bodies.
Young Living Helichrysum Farm in Croatia

How do you know which oils to use? Essential oils come from many different plants. The
oils typically support entire body systems. For example, Lemon oil supports digestion and kidneys. So any issue you are trying to address in those body systems, you would use Lemon to get additional support. Learn the body systems and what oils help each system and you will be prepared for when you need the oils the most. Get yourself some resources such as those available from and and do some research about which oils you need. Remember that oils are smart because they were made by God to work with our bodies, so use the oils for the particular system
and they’ll do the job that needs to be done.

How to use the oils:

Inhalation: In 2004, when the human genome was mapped, more covered the olfactory system (the sense of smell) than any other part of the body. A great way to inhale your oils is to put a drop in your hands, rub them together and then inhale for 6-8 minutes. Oils travel through the nasal passages and into the lungs as well as up the olfactory nerve, crossing the blood/brain barrier into our brain. Some people experience physical changes, mental alertness, clarity, relaxation, emotional release, and much more just by inhalation. Our sense of smell is directly connected to the limbic region of the brain which is the seat of our emotions. Inhalation is a great way to address your feelings or emotions.

Diffusing: is another way to get the oils in your body. Add 6 -8 drops of an oil into the diffuser (following the instructions on your diffuser) usually with water. Plug it in and let it diffuse into the air as you go about your day.

Topical application: You can apply the oils directly to your skin. Without dilution it is called a “Neat application.” Read and head the instructions on the bottle of your EO if you are first starting out and aren’t sure how your skin will respond to an oil. If you’ve been in the habit of using chemical cleansers, soaps, cosmetics, lotions and products with synthetic ingredients, those toxins can penetrate and accumulate in the dermal layers of skin. So sometimes initial applications of EO’s to these areas can cause irritations. If you have a reaction, some people back off the EO’s, drink a ton of water and reintroduce or possibly do a cleanse before introducing the oil again.

When in doubt, apply the essential oils to your feet. Your skin is tough there and your nerves all end in your feet. EO’s love to travel up the nerves and if you apply EO’s to your feet, they will end up in every cell of your body within 21 minutes.
Use a Vita Flex chart like this one to see where the different nerve endings are that travel to different areas of your body. So if you apply an oil to the “lung” on the foot chart, the oil will travel up the nerve and end at your lung. Cool, huh?!

Essential oils are great to add to massage. The general dilution ratio is 30 drops of EO to 1
drop of carrier oil. Young Living developed the Raindrop Technique which is a specific set of oils applied in order on the spine and feet. You can learn this technique by buying the kit which has a DVD instruction manual or learning about it from some of the other resources available from Life Science Publishers. The feet are a great place to apply oils because no dilution is generally needed and the oils can reach every cell in our bodies in 21 minutes.

The bath:
Can be very relaxing with EO’s. Combine 1 cup epsom salts with 1 cup non-refined salt and add 3-5 drops of EO. Add ½ cup of the mixture to warm water and ahhhhhhhh! You can replace the nonrefined salt with an ounce of carrier oil or dead sea salts. DON’T JUST PUT
OIL INTO YOUR HOT WATER! It will sit on the top and will likely irritate your skin. Especially cooling oils like peppermint! You will freeze in your hot bath!

The FDA has approved many EO’s as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). This applies to a great many oils which are listed in the Essential Oil reference guide. Check out Young Living’s Vitality line! You can drop these oils into an empty capsule and swallow or you can drop them directly into your mouth in honey, blue agave, etc… Using our oils in food preparation is a huge hit. As a Young Living member you get the monthly essential edge newsletter in your order each month with recipes, plus you have access to the Young Living cookbooks in the virtual office… and the Young Living blog has a whole section of recipes as well. You can add Cinnamon to baked goods. Basil an d Oregano are great for Italian dishes. Sugar cookies are divine with lemon or orange essential oils added. This is another way to get incredible flavorings without any toxins, chemicals or preservatives.

What is the big deal about toxins?
Toxins are defined as biologically produced poison. We see them in nature. Certain plants produce toxins to protect themselves like poison ivy. But we also see them in the chemicals we use to make our common household items like store bought hair care, make-up and cleaning products. These toxins go into our bodies like a bull in a china shop, smashing into our cells and damaging them. They clog up hormone receptor sites in our cells which inhibit our cells ability to send and receive information to and from the brain and to the rest of the body.

Our bodies are pretty amazing. We have some built in ways to deal with toxins. But, the onslaught of chemicals, solvents, free radicals, environmental pollutants and stress on our bodies in this day and age means that anything we can do to cut down on the toxins we take in, is REALLY GOOD for our overall health and longevity. In addition, anything we can
do to support our body’s normal, healthy function is really important and that is why we use Young Living’s full line of household items and most especially, our essential oils. Young Living’s toxin free lifestyle products cut down on the amount of toxins in, on, or around our bodies and our essential oils work in our bodies at the cellular level to
support healthy, happy cell function, which in turn help our whole bodes to function better.

Take a quick look at the Premium Starter Kit Oils:Young Living has hundreds of oils and products to choose from. They came out with the Premium Starter Kit so that you don’t have to get overwhelmed in choosing what oils you need when you are getting started! They put together an amazing collection of the most loved and most used oils. They give you $300 worth of oils and a diffuser all for the price of $160. I HIGHLY recommend all new oil users get this Premium Starter Kit. You also get the choice of diffusers in the kit. I recommend the Dew Drop because it makes no noise and you can turn the light off at night while still diffusing (unlike the Rose Home diffuser).

You also need to get yourself a copy of an Essential Oils Desk or Pocket Reference book, published by Life Science Publishers ( If you sign up directly under me, I will buy you a pocket reference. You will need to learn how to look up these oils and find all the amazing things these oils can do for you. Since I am not a doctor, I’m not allowed to name diseases or tell you much about these oils. These books can tell you however, and so I highly recommend you get one.

Raven blend: Supports the respiratory system and helps you breathe comfortably.

DiGize blend: This blend supports a healthy digestive system and supports all things “digestive.”

Copaiba: This single oil has the same constituents in it that marijuana has in it… not the halucinating constituents, but the ones sought after when you need relief.

Lemon: Lemon oil is great at disinfecting everything… you can clean with it. You can diffuse it to support happy moods in people. You can drink it in your water to support happy kidneys.

Frankincense oil supports healthy skin and the healthy duplication and replication of DNA.

PanAway was developed to support joints, ligaments and muscles after extreme exercise or misfortune.

Peppermint is a wonderful digestive support. It also lowers body temperatures when you need to do that. It is cooling and provides relief from major head discomforts.

Thieves oil penetrates drywall when diffusing and kills molds in the home. It also can be applied to the feet to support the immune system when seasonal challenges arise.

Citrus Fresh is a wonderful immune system support as well as a purifier. It helps reduce mucous in the body and also uplifts the spirits. Great for healthy weight management.

Lavender oil is for all things skin. Support healthy skin regeneration and reduces discomfort after being in the sun too long. Provides relief after touching a hot surface too. It also relaxes people and can support a good night sleep.

Stress Away calms the nervous system and supports a happy mood.

Ningxia Red samples are also included in the PSK. Ningxia Red is a wonderful anti-oxidant essential oil infused super drink that supports your body’s response to being inflamed. It supports your immune system and provides vital nutrients to your body. The Ningxia Wolfberry is very special because it comes from a province in China where people live healthily way past 100 years old. Young Living sought out the source to this health and found the Ningxia Wolfberry. Try your samples cold, they are delicious!

Tying it all together:
Essential oils are uniquely able to reach our cells and support every body system. Having them around us consistently is a big key to overall health and wellness. You can use them aromatically, topically and even ingest them. Just read and head the instructions on the bottle. When you aren’t sure what to do,consult your favorite resources. The best ones are available at
With your Young Living wholesale membership, you have access to over 400 essential oils and household products designed to help you eliminate toxins in your home and support every single one of your body’s functions.
Sign up at
If you’d like me to be your essential oils coach, please use distributor number
1062622 as the enroller and sponsor at sign up. I am a Certified Aromatherapist and love to help people with their essential oils. I also have a Facebook Group where you can join and
talk to others about oil usage questions. Search Facebook for “Young Living Faith Builders Group.” Thank you! Wendy Selvig, Young Living GOLD Member