That “Oily” Life:: How Essential Oils Changed my Life


Essential oils. When you read those words you probably had one of two responses: you either rolled your eyes and were tempted to find something else to read, or you got excited and can’t wait to find out more. I’ve found the world to be extremely polarized on this subject, and, honestly, my home is a bit polarized. Do they work and change lives or are they “snake oils” as my husband (half jokingly) calls them?

Our experience with oils has been phenomenal. I’m a believer for myself and my children. So far nothing I have used on my husband has worked for him, so, while he tolerates the amount of money I spend on them, he’s not entirely convinced. Oily people would tell you that we just haven’t found the right one for him yet, and I believe that, but unfortunately it’s difficult to get a skeptic to keep trying, so we are working on it (read: I diffuse them in the night and watch him like Jane Goodall watched chimpanzees to see if there’s any difference).

I was a skeptic too at the beginning. They seemed super expensive and everyone thought that THEIR brand was the ONLY one worth anything (eye roll). I was a little overwhelmed at the hundreds of choices and hundred dollars it would take to start. But I was in a unique situation. My daughter was suffering severely from Crohn’s disease. She was 5 years old and hemorrhaging so badly from her colon that the only next step we had was to remove it and give her an ostomy bag. At five years old! She was so anemic and weak that she couldn’t even stand up on her own. Medicine wasn’t helping. Because of that, I was in a place of desperation. I took her to naturopaths and chiropractors; basically anything that anyone suggested, I explored. And then someone knew someone who had used oils and seen dramatic improvement. So I contacted them, found out what they used, and ordered it. What was $100 if it meant that I had the peace of mind that I had tried absolutely everything before I let them do surgery? So we jumped in and went for it.

We used them on her belly morning and night and she stopped bleeding after four days. We were ecstatic, and we have supported her digestive system with them every day since, along with a special diet, and she has been in remission for a little over 3 years! It was an answered prayer for us. Since then we have supported brain function for family members with ADHD, the immune system of people who are on immune suppressants, the respiratory system during these crazy Memphis weather changes, joint pain for arthritis, along with many more things. I even use them to clean. We love our oils!

If you have been watching from the sidelines, consider trying them out. But if you are going to, research your companies and choose one that has been around long time, has proven high quality, and transparency. I would recommend finding a consultant who is knowledgable about them and can help you figure out how to use them and which oils would be right for you. Invest in a pocket reference guide or a phone app to help you when you come across a situation you would like to use oils for. GET A DIFFUSER! These are the best. They have completely eliminated my need for candles or air freshener and everything I use now is completely natural and good for my family. They are also useful when doing experiments on skeptical husbands or to get them safely into the system of a child who might not do well with rubbing them on or ingesting them. Last, be patient. Try out a combination and if it doesn’t seem to work as well as you want, try another oil. Most companies have starter kits that come with lots of common oils and you can find most of what you would want to try in that.

Happy oiling! It has been life-changing for us!



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Jessica was born and raised just outside of Atlanta, GA (Go Braves!) She has a BA in Psychology and a teaching certification, which she used to teach K-2 self-contained autism classes before her children were born. She moved to Memphis 6 years ago following a job for her husband. Their whole family fell in love with this city and now her mom and brother-in-law’s family have moved here too! She has a 9 year old daughter, a 6 year old son, another 6 year old son (not twins – adoption rocks!), a five year old daughter, and a live-in mom. It’s a busy house but always an adventure! Jessica home schools 3 of her children and one is in public school. Two of her children also have chronic illnesses so she spends a lot of time on the phone and in doctors offices, and just trying to keep up with life in general – not to mention the laundry! Jessica and her husband, Jody, are planting a church in downtown Memphis called Riverdeep Church. They just celebrated their church’s 1 year anniversary and spend most of their free time renovating their 100+ year old building. When there is any other down time, Jessica has developed the ability to sleep on command and does so whenever possible. She also enjoys cooking for her daughter who has very specific dietary needs, coffee with friends, dating her husband, and watching people’s faces when she blasts the rap music in the minivan.