A Primer on Essential Oils

Some of us might hear the term essential oils and wonder, Why are they essential? If they are “absolutely necessary,” as essential is defined in most dictionaries, how have I made it this far without them?

But look up the definition of essential as it pertains to oil and you’ll find something much different. My panic subsides. I call my friend Tanette Schneider, champion of essential oils. My education begins.

I quickly learn that essential oils are so popular because they can be used to promote health, clean your home, build your immune system, help with sleep and relaxation, boost your skincare routine, and so much more.

“A lot of folks pick up their essential oils at grocery and health food stores,” says Tanette. “But you want to make sure the oils you buy are 100% pure. There are no industry regulations on oils — labels can be deceiving, and many brands have fillers and synthetic oils.”

So how do you use this magic elixir? Most people are familiar with their aromatic use, but many oils can also be ingested or used topically,” says Tanette.

Tanette describes her own family’s transformation to plant-based solutions for chronic conditions and improved overall health.

“It took me getting really sick,” says Tanette. “My immune system wasn’t working like it should, and it seemed like I was sick all the time. A friend gave me some cough drops made of 100% essential oils, and I started feeling better, staying healthier. All of a sudden I started noticing essential oils in doctors’ offices and thought, there’s something important going on here.”

As part of a holistic approach for her family, Tanette started changing the way her family ate, too. She stopped buying processed foods and started sending the kids to the fridge when they wanted a snack. Next up — her husband Drew, who was at first skeptical about how essential oils could help with his long-time allergies. The first thing he noticed was the fact that the oils didn’t smell like he was wearing perfume. Next, no sneezing, coughing or post-nasal drip. No watery eyes. A true convert, Drew now uses oils for pain and stress management and tells others his story. While Tanette’s family uses oils pretty exclusively these days, others might find that oils can complement conventional Western medicine in treating an array of ailments. “Not all essential oils are created equal,” says Tanette. “It’s important to get educated and to use oils in their purest form.”

[please make this a chart or sidebar, per the attached inspiration.)



Naturally cleanses the body and aids digestion. Cleanses and purifies air and surfaces, promotes a positive mood and supports healthy respiratory function. Soothes an irritated throat. Promotes clarity of thought and neutralizes mildew and odors.


Relaxing, calming, and balancing emotionally and physically. Helps promote sleep, treats anxiety, relaxes tense muscles and eases headaches. Aids in respiratory problems, minor burns, wounds, insect bites and stings, earaches, acne, hair loss and a host of women’s health issues.


Immune-stimulant, antidepressant and muscle relaxant. Stimulates the limbic system for memory and emotion. Used for spiritual support and meditation. Promotes feelings of relaxation. Used in skincare, it can reduce the appearance of blemishes and rejuvenate the skin.


Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and pain relieving. Used for arthritis and respiratory infections. Treats heartburn, nausea, headaches and skin conditions. Freshens breath, enlivens senses and promotes a feeling of energy. Cools sunburn and repels bugs. Can help reduce anger, ease depression and combat stress and anxiety.

tea tree oil (melaleuca)

Cures almost all topical infections and diseases. Helps treat toenail fungus, dandruff, boils, warts, insect bites and head lice. Renowned for its cleansing, soothing and rejuvenating effects on the skin. Made from Melaleuca, it helps purify and freshen the air and protects against environmental and seasonal threats.


Combats virus and infections and known to be effective as an antibiotic. Supports healthy digestion and respiratory function.  Helps treat athlete’s foot, sore throats, sinus congestion, sprains, arthritis pain, tendonitis, cysts, warts, candida, shingles and herpes. Repels bed bugs, mites, lice and fleas.