Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Reader Reviews: Testing doTERRA Essential Oils

April 4th, 2012 · 17 Comments · Natural Health

From weight loss to kids with stuffy noses, eight readers stepped up to the plate to test out some doTERRA essential oils over the last few months.

Today, we invite you to sit down at our virtual kitchen table for a chat. The ladies graciously shared their experiences with and opinions about the oils and blends they tried, and I, for one, found it all fascinating.

Review of doTERRA Essential Oils, from read readers who got to try them out!

You can read a bit more about doTERRA oils and how I got started on this project at the original post right HERE, and here are our fabulous testers:

Stress/Balance

“Winning a chance to experiment with these oils was perfect timing for me, because I already getting ready to experiment with oils! The oil that I asked for was for stress/balance.

Cindy sent me emails with tips on using them right when they came and the booklet got me really excited to experiment with another oil I had just bought: peppermint! I received the Balance blend and Serenity. They both smell amazingly lovely, but Serenity is the most soothing scent I’ve smelled, (except maybe for a clean baby! {grin}

Cindy suggested I use the Balance blend throughout the day by putting a little on my wrists, and then cupping my hands over my face and taking deep breaths. I know that deep breathing itself is a relaxant, so there is possibility for a placebo affect, but I have to say, if I was all revved up and stressing out (this is a really crazy season of life for me) it had a very calming and soothing effect.

Remembering to do it throughout the day can be tricky, but it is such good discipline to stop rushing throughout the day anyway, I really worked at it.


Cindy also suggested I put some of the Serenity on a cotton ball in a small jar and to breathe in it from there (that way the oil would last longer) and use that one at night. I actually want to try this one on my 7 year old who has trouble falling asleep at night!

My experiment with peppermint oil was a huge success; we ended up using it to battle a really bad cold. Essential oils definitely have a permanent (and bigger) place in my medicine cabinet now!

Thanks for the chance to broaden my experiment with essential oils!”

final analysis: success!

-From S

Weight Loss/Energy: Slim & Sassy

Slim & Sassy is a blend designed to help weight loss by decreasing appetite, curbing cravings, and increasing energy overall.

“I tried the Slim and Sassy to see if helps with weight loss-seem to be at a plateau right now .  This was the first time I have ever used essential oils, and I think the jury is till out for me on whether I would use them again.  I use herbs/herbal infusions regularly and definitely see the benefits-essential oils; not so much.

I was very excited to try Slim and Sassy and overall it wasn’t a bad experience.  The first 3-4 days were definitely “lip puckering” as I got used to the stinging the essential oil caused to my lips.  But I did get used to it and it didn’t bother me after a while  I really like inhaling the smell of it…but I did get a bit nervous about putting it in my drink after researching and reading so many different views on whether or not you should be taking essential oils internally.  I do think that I felt a bit more energized when I took it, which was nice.”

final analysis: undetermined

-From J

“I got the Slim & Sassy oil because I was hoping to lose some weight. I have a newborn and would love to lose the baby weight and slim down.

Cindy was great and emailed me to make sure that I knew that the peppermint in the oil could possibly lower my milk supply before she sent my sample. I wasn’t worried about my supply but was able to keep an eye on it to make sure that it didn’t drop drastically. I never noticed a problem. A couple of days I felt like my supply was lower, but it would be back to normal the next day with me taking the oil like normal.

The oil smelled good but didn’t taste that great. It was hard to drink the water with it added, but I got used to it after a couple of weeks. I had a hard time getting the recommended amount every day because the last couple of months have been really busy and I would forget sometimes.

It gave me lots of energy, which I desperately needed with a 3 year old and newborn. I did lose about 7 lbs. and feel great!”

final analysis: success

-From A

from Katie:

We also tried Slim & Sassy here in the Kimball house, as my husband is working out a lot and decided to count calories during Lent. He knew he’d be hungry all the time, and we’re always tired!

You’re supposed to mix some drops in 8 oz. of water and sip on it all day. He didn’t like the taste, so he’d rather not drink it. Even when he would take some in a water bottle to work, he’d tend to avoid it. There’s something about the slipperiness of an oil in water that really turned him off.

Therefore, we don’t have a very good test, but he never noticed any increase in energy or decrease in appetite when he did get to drinking some of the blend.

Ironically, half an hour after I wrote this, my husband told me he was taking some to work again because he was just famished all day yesterday. We’re curious to hear what he says when he gets home, and I’ll update for you! UPDATE: He was still really hungry and noticed no difference. ???

final analysis: undetermined

Cold & Flu Fighters

One of doTERRA’s blends for battling sickness is called On Guard, kind of an all-purpose blend that is antibacterial, antiviral, ETC. and can be used in the air, internally, and on the surface for sanitizing. Another is Breathe, which is for clearing stuffiness, kind of like a Vick’s rub purpose.

One tester sent some thoughts right away when she tried the oils: “We have had a bit of a cold around here so I tried out the “Breathe” and the “On Guard” oil [blends]. They were amazing! We all really enjoyed them and I must say, I feel much better today. Thank you!”

And more when I asked for the review: “We got the Breathe oil, Peppermint, and On Guard. They were wonderful! We had a cold that week so they came just in time. They helped a lot and our family really enjoyed them!

We rubbed On Guard on our hands and feet and with Breathe, we simply put a little bit in our hands and held our hands to our face and it made breathing 100% easier! The peppermint I believe is for the air. I haven’t tried it because we haven’t been too sick lately! :-)”

final analysis: success

-From BJ

“I received the OnGuard essential oil blend and the Melaleuca essential oil because I was looking for something to help my family of five – my husband, myself, and our 3 daughters (a 2-yr-old and 8-mo-old twins) – through any “rough patches” this past cold and flu season (we had just been through our first round before the giveaway and it was AWFUL).  With our girls being young and me breastfeeding, I was looking for a more natural alternative to the cold and flu meds that are available.

Though I was hoping we wouldn’t need to test them out, we ended up giving the samples a good bit of use.

The OnGuard was my go-to when the sniffles started up again because of the fact that it was supposed to help boost our immune systems and fight off any viruses.  Per Cindy’s instructions we applied the OnGuard to our feet once a day (and periodically throughout the day once symptoms showed up).

It was hard to tell how well the OnGuard boosted our immune systems because we still all ended up sick eventually.  However, my husband and I both believe it helped because we didn’t all get sick at once like we had the first time and it didn’t seem to hit us nearly as hard.  And, honestly, I should have been more consistent in continuing this once our symptoms started to fade.

As far as our symptoms were concerned, I know for a fact that both the OnGuard and Melaleuca helped to ease them.  We applied the Melaleuca EO (essential oil) to our chest and throat to help with coughs and stuffiness (similar to a Vick’s rub) and it definitely helped both my husband and I to sleep better (I believe it helped my girls, too, but they couldn’t really tell me for sure – I just know Mommy didn’t have to get up as much in the night!).

My husband says he’s not sure it helped with his stuffiness as much as it helped his body to relax, but either way it helped him sleep better.  I also diffused the Melaleuca into the air to help with breathing during the day and again I noticed a distinct difference for myself.

As I said earlier, the OnGuard blend was used topically to help “kick the bug” but my husband and I also mixed it with water and gargled/swallowed to help fight our cold symptoms and sore throats.  The first time I did this I realized that my ears must have been “clogged” from all the extra-thick mucus in my sinuses because about 5 minutes after gargling I actually felt them clear!  And my husband noticed a vast improvement in his sore throat and swollen glands when he decided he had enough of his sickness and started gargling the OnGuard mixture about every hour and a half or so.  In fact, once he did that his symptoms were gone in about 24 hours.”

Other notes on the essential oils for cold & flu from this tester:

  • My husband was pleased that the EO absorbed well into our skin (we put them in coconut oil to make them easier to apply).
  • They were also easy to use (even with my kids!) and didn’t require major preparations, which was nice when we didn’t feel well.
  • It was nice to be able to ease my symptoms without worrying about anything bad for my girls passing through my breast milk and I like the fact that I didn’t have to give my little ones anything internally but was still able to help ease their symptoms.

final analysis: success, probably

-From A

from Katie: We also have On Guard and Breathe, and here are my own thoughts, in brief:

“My husband always gets whatever bug we have in our house last, and then typically the worst of us all. I’ve heard this from a few other wives, too – what’s up with that?

After everyone had the sniffles, he felt a cold coming on, that ominous scratchy throat, etc. I have a fancy diffuser from Cindy that sends the oils into the air an hour at a time. It’s an expensive item ($120, yikes!) but you only use 1-2 drops each time and it can impact everyone in the room, so in the long (long, long) run, it is supposed to save money. It’s a pain to clean it up, though, so I’m still riding the fence on whether I’d recommend it or not.

I diffused On Guard 1-2x during the night in our bedroom. In the morning my husband was pleasantly surprised that the cold hadn’t taken over. He had some chest congestion, so the next few nights we diffused Breathe, and lo and behold, he had a very, very easy cold.”

final analysis: seems to be success!

We also tried the really basic oils, not blends, first, and the recommendation for congestion, which my husband was experiencing because of air quality (we think), not a cold, are lavender and peppermint. He put them on his feet and breathed in a drop from his hands. (This is how bad his reaction to something in our house was! I emailed Cindy at the same time as I poked out for an air purifier to review.)

Did they help? It’s a bona fide “maybe.” It’s hard to tell whether the congestion would have cleared up a bit anyway, you know? Ultimately, these oils, which aren’t very expensive and have extensive and varied uses just a drop at a time, are probably worth having around. My husband did mention that it’s different than modern medicine, because you really are supposed to use them frequently, every few hours, and they don’t provide miraculous immediate relief like some OTC meds can. (But no side effects, either!)

Aches & Pains

“I have been looking for a natural remedy for minor headaches I get every now and then–that works well enough to prevent me from reaching for the Tylenol or Advil. So I was excited to have the chance to try doTERRA’s “PastTense” blend for headaches.

The blend of oils comes in a little glass tube with a roller on the end, so you can easily roll it onto the back of your neck, temples, and forehead, which is what they recommend for headaches (you can also use it for other muscle aches by rubbing it on other parts of your body that hurt). What I first noticed was the powerful smell! It smells really good–mostly like wintergreen, which is one of the oils in the blend–but it is strong! The second thing I noticed was the powerful tingling sensation I felt wherever I applied it.

I was first hoping that the blend would take away my headache, like drugs do, so I was disappointed when my headache didn’t go away. However, I realized that essential oils probably won’t totally kick a headache but are rather good for soothing it.

Once I appreciated it for what it was meant to do, I actually did really like it. The cooling/tingling sensation combined with the scent are actually very soothing for a headache, especially when applied to the back of the neck at the base of the hairline. The tingling sensation wears off after about 30-45 minutes, but it’s easy to reapply after that.

For my more minor headaches, it has taken the edge off enough to keep me from wanting drugs. I’ve tried peppermint and lavender essential oils on their own for a headache before, and this blend is definitely a bit more effective than either of those (though it does contain peppermint oil). I’ve started keeping it in my purse so I have it handy whenever I need it.

I will warn that the scent will linger on whatever clothes you’re wearing when you apply the oil–or on your pillow if you put it on before bed. It’s a pleasant scent, though I could envision tiring of it. Also, I’ve never experienced a true migraine, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t do much for really intense pain. However, for minor headaches related to fatigue, tension, sinuses, dehydration, etc, it’s a great remedy to have available!”

final analysis: success, marginal

-From C

“I wanted the oils to help ease some aches and pains I have been having during my pregnancy, especially tension headaches that I get at night.

It was very easy to use the oils. I kept the roll-on stick at my bedside and applied to my forehead, temples, and behind my ears and neck whenever I began to feel the headache start. I noticed that the cooling sensation was very soothing, almost immediately. I took some deep breaths, and the oils I inhaled helped me to relax and fall asleep more easily.

I am very grateful, because sleep is often a battle when I am pregnant! I am looking forward to using these oils during labor for massage and relaxation.”

final analysis: success

-From C

We also tried some ache and pain remedies at the Kimball house, for carpal tunnel and muscle pains. Here are our brief experiences:

Katie: “I used the carpal tunnel information here to attempt to get some relief in my left wrist, which has always been sensitive since I broke it as a 13-year-old idiot riding a bike with no hands. Since I first emailed Cindy for help, I already had made a lot of headway just by switching from a laptop keyboard to a full-sized one.

With the oils, I blended lemongrass and wintergreen, separately, with coconut oil and applied whenever I remembered. Honestly, it did seem to feel better immediately after the first application, but the placebo effect could have been strong. I used them pretty regularly for about 24-48 hours, and I’m still not sure if they’re doing the job fully.”

Katie’s husband (the guinea pig): “I had muscle pain from a strain in my hamstring, applied lemongrass and wintergreen (separately in coconut oil). No immediate effect, but Katie recorded something to the effect of, “If this is really better tomorrow, I’ll be surprised.” I was surprised – it really was considerably better, not impacting my workout at all the following morning. That day I applied one more time, and then I was basically healed up.”

final analysis: possible, skeptical success

We also tried a Deep Blue rub, and I’m not thrilled about all the “other” ingredients in the cream. My husband had a lot of back muscle pain, and I applied it on just one side to test. He said it tingled so much it was uncomfortable, and even the next day it was sort of burning. It did not seem to make a difference in his back pain.

final analysis: failure

Mood/Emotions

“I must say, from the start, that I am a skeptic at heart.  I am an RN by trade and have a history of being very traditional in my approach to medicine and health.

However, thanks in part to your blog, I find that I am opening up more to a “holistic” approach to health and medicine, with a focus on food for health and “medicine”.

I tried the “Solace” blend essential oil, which I requested because of huge struggles with PMS and irritability issues!

In the past, I have approached my “mood swings” and irritability each month with this routine:  pray and try… pray and cry!

For the past two monthly cycles (ever since receiving the Solace blend) I have added one more component to my “routine”-  I go to my bathroom and rub on the essential oil, up to every 20 min (per the instructions.)  When I rub the oil on the back of my neck, I also take a deep breath and say another prayer.

While I can’t say that I’ve noticed a profound difference in my mood and/or irritability, I do think this extra step in my routine has given me another coping mechanism :)

I will continue to use the Solace blend that was given to me, with an attitude of, “it can’t hurt”!  I hope to see some improvement in my symptoms (mood swings and irritability) and maybe with more regular use, this will happen?!  Although I did not notice any dramatic results, I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of use of this oil.

It arrived in a nice “roll-on” style dispenser.  I was fearful that I may have a problem with the scent, because many scents give me headaches.

But, thankfully, that was not the case with these essential oils! So, overall, I was pleased with the product even without seeing any dramatic results!”

final analysis: skeptical optimism

-From S

More to Come…

Our family also tested quite a number of other oils on other issues, but you’ve got plenty to mull over today. I’ll check back in later with results on the following:

If you’re interested in talking to Cindy about doTERRA essential oils, you can see her site and contact here HERE.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cindy T, independent doTERRA seller. See my full disclosure statement here.

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17 Comments so far ↓

  • Christine Robinett

    the safest and best way to use essential oils is apply them to the skin, particularly the soles of the feet, armpits, groin, inner arms, lower abdomen. Studies show that the oils do penetrate and metabolize without overtaxing the Liver, Spleen, Pancreas. I received certified trraining in the use of essential oils over 30 years ago from a college in London and they never advocated ingesting oils when there’s no need in order to get optimal effects.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Christine Robinett

    Right along the spine is ideal but not everybody can reach or has someone that will apply the oils for them.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Christine,
    So even for the weight loss idea, and those that we breathed in, it would/could be more effective to rub along the spine? Maybe I’ll try that tonight with the teeth grinding blend… Thanks! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Christine Robinett Reply:

    Yes, apply oils right along the spine. Close to the spinous processes (the chain of bumps on the midline) and about a finger width out from the base of the skull to the Sacrum (just above the tailbone). This is where the nerve roots exit the spine, the autonomic nervous system (organs) can be influenced. It’s powerful but safe to apply essential oils, massage, acupressure. The mirror image midline on the front of the body also holds some amazing balancing qi. Also think about massaging the sacrum (big triangular bone at base of spine between the hips) when there’s symptoms in the head, face, like headaches.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Dreana Reply:

    If the tingling is too much, apply any type of ‘carrier oil’ such as coconut oil, or almond oil. I have been an Independant Product Consultant for two months for the soul purpose of healing my family. I have managed to replace my medicine cabinet with the natural healing power doTERRA has to offer! Although doTERRA does not heal, cure or prevent any diseases; I have had all positive experiences when it comes to caring for my family’s ailments! My husband passed kidney stones successfully w/ using lemon internally. I have eliminated my anti-anxiety meds by using Balance & Serenity Essential Blends 5x/day. My dog is epileptic and his Rx of phenobarbital has not been filled due to 4x daily use of Frankincense. My daughter and I are having a blast, building bonds with the oils that came up on her first biofield scan: http://www.zytocompass.com/af/dbrown

    We healed my brother’s wasp sting, and clean our home with these oils from our toilets, to our dishwasher detergent to our laundry soap! I have a doTERRA friend who lost 50lbs w/ Slim & Sassy (5 drops, 5x/day w/ 72oz H2o) and my 17yr old son is starting to get into these oils with his friends…I was so ecstatic for I’ve been trying to keep them off the streets and if they chose to utilize the power of Three with the business building plan, they will go very far in this business! They plan on going into business together once they graduate from high school next year. I asked him why, and he said they have seen the healing power from doTERRA, (which means ‘Gift of the Earth.’) I see more success than failure on this page and hope that the ones who didn’t have success knew there very easy to use and work if used consistantly; it is amazing to see the power of these oils and how it doesn’t require very much at all for them to work. There is a large amount of education that goes with not only receiving the side benefits instead of side effects from doTERRA’s CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) Essential Oils, but there is also money to be made in this easy business~! Go to my website or e-mail me if you are interested on how to reinvent your healthcare, save & earn money at the same time~! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cindy Titterington

    The experimenting has begun!

    Thank you everyone for trying, sharing, or reading about this natural medicine. You, too, Katie!

    I hope many of you will continue the experiment. If an oil doesn’t do the job then:
    a.) be sure to use it as soon as the symptoms start- or even before if you can anticipate it.
    b.) use a couple drops often- like every 20 minutes to 2 hrs until symptoms are gone.
    c.) try a different oil. Sometimes you have to try a few to find the one the one that best addresses your need.

    From experience I have come to expect the oils to work immediately. (It took at least 10 times of wondering if it was just the placebo effect.) If they don’t I apply again or try a different one until I find the right match. Of course, it all depends on what is actually going on in your body.

    You can learn which oils to try and how to use them at http://www.EverythingEssential.me

    I got feed back from several people who hated the taste of Slim & Sassy! I was surprised but grateful because now I suggest people start with just one drop in water or straight on the tongue. It’s been so exciting to hear of people’s energy, and less cravings with even just a small amount.

    Since the original post I have realized, however, that the Lifelong Vitality Supplements have played a bigger role than I knew. I have never taken a vitamin that actually made me FEEL healthier- more energy, more hope, less pain. You can read the details of these non-synthetic supplements with essential oils here: http://www.doterra.com/tools/products/productWellness_LLV.php

    I heard from a lot of people who are really struggling with energy, depression, chronic pain, and mystery illnesses. Doing this online has been a challenge for me and I didn’t do a good job of communicating with everyone. But I really want to offer the hope of what has helped me so much.
    So please contact my good friend and business partner who understands and is much better at keeping in touch and answering your questions. : )She can also help you figure out what to try and get it for the best price.
    Kay Bauer, #133028
    http://www.mydoterra.com/KayBauer/
    [email protected]

    [Reply to this comment]

    marysia johansen Reply:

    I would just like to offer a suggestion on slim and sassy. I myself do not enjoy taste. I put 5 drops in a shot glass and shoot it chasing it with juice. My understanding. Was 5 drops 5 times daily. It is also important to note as every body is different each oils reacts different for some than others. Experiment to find what ur body reacts to best.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Heidi

    I can’t wait to hear about your experience with the teeth grinding blend, I’m desperate for a remedy that works for that.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Christine Robinett

    teeth grinding or Bruxism, is best addressed through chiropractic and cranial work for neuro-muscular realignment combined with a mouth guard and dental care. Cranio-dental is best addressed by chiropractors that specialize in Sacro-Occipital Technique and/or Cranio-Sacral Technique. I wouldn’t rely on any other practitioners, like massage therapist with CST as they don’t possess the in-depth knowledge of cranial physiology. I would definitely address underlying food allergy/intolerance/sensitivty issues that may have gone undiagnosed. Understand that 70% of our immune response occurs at the small intestine villi-blood stream interface. Acupuncture is effective as well. The oils are ancillary.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cody

    Just my .02 here, but eczema, teeth grinding and belly aches sound like parasites to me. If you don’t do regular parasite cleansing I am sure you do.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Cody,
    Never heard of a parasite cleanse, but I admit I’m googling it now! Interesting… :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Cody Reply:

    We make our own tincture of lack walnut, Clove and wormwood. They are readily available though. I’ve heard really good things about humaworm too!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Cody Reply:

    We make our own tincture of black walnut, Clove and wormwood. They are readily available though. I’ve heard really good things about humaworm too!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Charissa

    I take essential oils internally daily (doTerra, of course) and my trick is to drink through a straw. That way I can stir it often AND I don’t get the oil on my lips. For the stronger flavors that I don’t care for (Slim and Sassy, for example) I’ll add a few drops of Sweetleaf liquid stevia. Or you can put the straw a little farther in your mouth and bypass more taste-buds ;)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Heidi E.

    I use doTerra oils. At first I wasn’t sure about them as I had some success, then I didn’t. But if I use them faithfully, they really do work. It’s not as convenient as popping a drug, but why do we have to have everything so convenient? God didn’t say, “Look for the most convenient option.”
    Cindy is right when she says, “try a different oil.” Serenity and Lavender were keeping my baby (and grandmother) awake instead of putting them to sleep. After receiving a recommendation to add Wild Orange to the mix, we had success. Even Lemon worked when my Wild Orange was empty. God made us all unique. We need to find what works for us.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Mrs. Mac

    I was skeptical about using the oils ..although I’ve used EO’s for cleaning the house for years. But I started using doTERRA wild orange oil on my 16/yo son with Down Syndrome. He was always grumpy and is on the autism spectrum .. and anti social. After one week I got a note home from his teacher that my son was now the class clown. Most parents would frown on this .. but I was PLEASED as it meant he was being social and interacting with other students. He’s in a spec. ed class. He started talking MORE and mimicking. Two weeks later his bus driver got off the bus and tapped on my car window to say how after several years of ‘mr. grumpy’ .. she had noticed he was happy, smiling, mimicking and talking and she understood his speech (his speech is normally unintelligible) .. the only thing new in his life was the wild orange oil.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Renee Rayder

    For the solace user: I recommend swiping the oil across your lower belly as close to where you estimate your uterus to be. I find that is the only place that it works for me to use it.

    I’ve found that sometimes you need to be creative with where you apply the oils. Lavender helps my daughter sleep no matter where I apply it but my son I have to apply it to the back of his neck or it doesn’t seem to do anything.

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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