Clear As Mud

Essential Oils 101

I was introduced to essential oils over seven years ago.  It has enhanced my life in more ways than I can express. My goal for this post is to tell you a little bit about essential oils, why I use them, how I use them, and some of my favorites! 

What are essential oils? Essential oils are the essence of a plant, a gift from the earth, distilled and prepared for you to bring the power of nature into your home.

Inside many plants – hidden in roots, seeds, flowers, bark – are concentrated, highly potent chemical compounds. These natural compounds are essential oils.

Every essential oil varies in its natural makeup, so their aromas and benefits are also unique. 

So many products these days are filled with synthetic chemicals, this can influence us negatively, affecting the way we think, feel and live. Pure essential oils offer us an alternative. 

I am a mother of 5 kids thank G-d, and naturally, there is always something going on or spreading around. I used to have to run to the doctor every time one of my kids had an ear infection, fever, cough, you name it. With essential oils I feel so empowered. I feel like I have some control over mine and my children’s healthcare. Do I believe in western medicine? Absolutely. We are so lucky to have the medications and support for diseases our ancestors died from. At the same time, I don’t think every infection, cold or virus needs antibiotics or meds. There is so much we can do before we go down the medicine route. How cool is it to be actively supporting our family’s health in a proactive, nontoxic, and holistic way; if you ask me, it’s pretty cool. In addition, there is so much you can do with oils that are preventative, that can boost our immune system, so we get sick less often or less severely. I find it’s easier to prevent things then to cure them. 

There are many essential oil companies out there. Many of them are good and many aren’t. My #1 choice for essential oils is doTERRA. 

Here’s why….

When you use a bottle of doTERRA essential oil, you’re using an oil that is pure. There are no contaminants, fillers, or adulterations. The essential oil industry did not have standards to ensure purity, so doTERRA created the standard. 

Every batch of doTERRA essential oils goes through a rigorous testing process – well beyond what would be considered “good enough.” After that, each oil is sent to an independent third party for further testing and validation.

If the oil passes the tests, it’s labeled as CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. When you see the CPTG® label, you know that you’re using the purest essential oils on the market.

There are several ways to produce essential oils, and not all essential oils are created equal. Some companies choose to cut costs by using low-quality plants or adulterate their oils with cheap substances. While cutting corners might save an essential oil company time and money, it will result in a low-quality oil. Remember YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Yes, you can find cheaper oils, but I doubt they will be of the same quality and offer the same results. 

Unfortunately, many of the production methods in the essential oil industry can also be harmful to the environment or result in the unfair treatment of farmers and growers. 

Every oil sold by doTERRA is responsibly and sustainably sourced. doTERRA focuses on sourcing practices that will produce only the highest quality essential oils – no matter the cost. They make it a top priority to protect the environment during the production process and provide fair treatment of all harvesters and growers. I can go on for forever, but you get the idea 😉 

Ok, so now you know the “why”, let’s get to the how. 

How do we use essential oils?

There are three ways to use essential oils:

1. Through smell. The “aromatic” use of essential oils. This includes any application method that helps you experience the aroma of the oil. You can use essential oils aromatically by:

  • Diffusing in an essential oil diffuser
  • Applying a drop to your hands and inhaling
  • Wearing as a personal fragrance

2. On your skin. “Topical” application of essential oils allows the oil to be absorbed in the skin. Some ways to use essential oils on your skin are:

  • Massage
  • Apply to targeted areas and rub-in
  • Add to lotions or moisturizers

3. Ingesting, or “internal” use of essential oils allows the oil to be transported throughout your body. Make sure the essential oil is safe for internal use first, and then try one of these methods:

  • Add to a glass of water
  • Take in a veggie capsule
  • Put a drop under your tongue

There is so much more information on how to use the oils which I would love to share, but then this post would never end. So please reach out if you want more!  

Now I am going to get to sharing some of my favorite oils:

The gateway into the essential oil world for me was On Guard, it has superpowers! This is your go to oil for anything immune related. I diffuse this in my kids’ room every night. It strengthens and builds you immune system and let me tell you, I see the results. Especially In the world we are living in, if you want to do something small with high impact, bring On Guard into your life. It’s as simple as that! 

There are quite a few On Guard products and I love them all. From toothpaste, mouthwash, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer and soap.  Best hand sanitizer hands down and the toothpaste is just wow!

The next 2 must have oils in my opinion (especially if you have kids) are Helichrysum and Frankincense. Frankincense is known as the king of the oils for good reason. There is nothing it can’t do. From headaches to anything skin related to brain health.  When all else fails, grab frankincense. 

Helichrysum is used for anything first aid related. Cuts, burns, bumps, scrapes you name it. It’s magic! I have one in the kitchen and I always have one in my bag, so I’m prepared for the inevitable boo-boo, which we all know is going to happen whenever we leave the house. 

Ok, my next must have is the doTERRA kids line. It’s just the best! They did such a phenomenal job. The scents are a little less intense as kids are usually more sensitive to strong smells. Calmer (restful blend) has saved me more times than I can count. Not only is it great for winding down at night, it can stop a 3-year-old tantrum in its tracks.  

The kids line is not exclusively for kids, they are super effective for adults as well.

The last thing I am going to leave you with is an amazing protocol to use as soon as you start to feel under the weather or even if you miss the early signs and you are full blown sick, this protocol is the support you are going to need. You are going to layer, these four oils, Frankincense, Tea Tree, Oregano and On Guard, on the bottom of your feet, wrists, neck or spine. The key is consistency! Apply it as often as you can. 

Many of the most used oils come in a touch blend, which means it’s an already diluted roller bottle to make it super user friendly and hassle free. This has changed everything for me, with 5 kids, convenience is key! Plus, you don’t have to get the oils on your fingers when you are applying topically. I use the touch roller bottles for all topical use and I use the regular concentrated bottles for internal use and diffusing of course. 

Speaking about diffusers…. You can get any diffuser; again, better quality will last longer and distribute the oils more effectively. But any diffuser works so if your hesitant to invest when you’re just dipping in your toes, there are plenty of inexpensive options that will do the trick. Here is a little info on the diffusers doTERRA offers. 

Ok, so let’s say you’re interested, how do you get started?! Trying something new can be overwhelming! Stay calm, I am here to help! I am very passionate about essential oils and I love helping people discover their power. You are welcome to contact me through email, Facebook or Instagram and I will walk you through it. It’s all about figuring out what you want to address, is it immune related? Sleep? Stress? emotional support? Once we nail that, the rest is easy, we find the right oils to address your needs and we get started. 

Here is a link to doTERRA, so you can browse and learn more.

Using G-D’s nature to support our mind, body and health, seems like the way to go for me, how about you? 


Noah has cooked in a variety of kitchens and has studied many different cuisines, but his favorite meals to prepare are the ones that make his guests smile. Be it Thai, Italian, Caribbean or Latin, there is always a fun surprise waiting for you at meal time. Noah welcomes special requests and guests in his kitchen! Just stop by and say hi.

Yocheved Sidof is a social entrepreneur, psycho-mystical depth work facilitator, writer, educator, speaker, and activist. After a decade as a filmmaker and photographer, she founded Lamplighters Yeshivah, a grassroots, internationally acclaimed, progressive Chassidic Montessori school. Yocheved builds communities with healing at the center. Most recently, she founded Ohm’ek, an intentional collective focusing on meditation, embodied mysticism, and micro-retreats.

A lifelong learner, she’s completed extensive training in adaptive leadership, therapeutic coaching, and systemic change. She is currently in a two-year intensive training with Thomas Hubl, studying psycho-somatic-mystical models of healing personal, collective, and ancestral trauma. She also writes, consults, works 1:1 with clients, facilitates group transformational work, and regularly teaches Jewish spiritual studies.

Yocheved sits on boards supporting innovations in mental health awareness and self-transformation. She has studied Jewish mysticism and meditation extensively, including with Rav Katz since 2018, completing Elevation Teacher Training and sitting on his advisory board for over a year.

Yocheved, her husband, and five children live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Come say “Hi!” if you’re in the neighborhood.