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Episode 198: Cleaning with Essential Oils and the History of Cypress

In this episode we sit down with Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA Product Marketing team, to discuss how you can use essential oils to help clean in your house. She'll talk about her favorite oils to use like Oregano and Grapefruit, plus she'll let you know why she loves to use the Cleaning with Essential Oils ebook. And we'll also take a look at the fascinating history of Cypress.

This episode is sponsored by the On Guard Protective Blend, learn more about how you can get a free copy of the 100 Uses for Essential Oils audiobook by purchasing a bottle of On Guard.


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doTERRA: We all want our houses to be clean. But we also know that bringing extra chemicals into our homes is the last thing we want. And today, we'll share some of our tips on how to clean without chemicals.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field.

Today's episode is brought to you by the On Guard Protective Blend. A powerful blend of essential oils, On Guard provides a natural and effective alternative for immune support when used internally. Your body does a lot for you, so why not get your guard up? Right now, as a podcast exclusive, if you buy a bottle of On Guard and enter the promo code “PODCAST” at checkout, we'll send you an exclusive audio book: 100 Uses for Essential Oils. Check out the link in our episode description or visit to learn more. Open to US orders only.

Today we're excited to talk to Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA product marketing team, about the powerful cleansing properties of essential oils. Plus, we'll take a look at the fascinating history of Cypress. Samantha, thank you so much for sitting down with us today.

Samantha Lewis: I'm excited to be here with you!

doTERRA: This is a topic that I'm really excited to talk about because it's something I think that people can use every single day. And I want to start off by asking, what are some of the chemical constituents in essential oils that help give them surface-cleansing properties?

Samantha: Yeah, you're totally right. This is definitely like a daily use kind of practice with surface cleansing. And I'm excited to talk a little bit more about it.

So the main categories of chemical constituents known to have cleansing properties are phenols, aldehydes, and monoterpenes. And under those categories, I'll kind of break down the chemical constituents.


So under the category phenols, you have essential oils like Clove, Oregano, and Thyme. Those constituents have things like thymol, eugenol, and carvacrol.


For aldehydes you have Cassia, Cilantro, Cinnamon, and even Melissa with constituents like cinnamaldehyde, decanal, and geraniol.


And then finally there's monoterpenes. And those are mostly the citrus oils that are under this category, like Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, and Wild Orange. But then you also have Tea Tree that has some of the terpenes in it. So also in that category, the constituents specifically are limonene and pinene, and each of these constituents have potential cleansing benefits, which we can kind of get into a little bit more.

doTERRA: Well, that is a huge list. And it sounds like there's a ton of different options. How can I actually use these cleansing essential oils to help me around the house?

Samantha: Yeah, I mean, it definitely is a huge list, and I get that it can be a little bit overwhelming. We actually have a really great resource on our doTERRA website right now that I think we'll have linked below for you guys that breaks down each of these lists and talks through how we can use these to clean around the home.

There are actually several methods for using essential oils for cleaning, most involve making your own kind of DIY cleaning solution. And in the e-book I mentioned, it's all about cleansing with essential oils, and it has helpful dilution charts for DIY surface cleansers, walking through various ratios for different situations, you know, stain treatment, just general overall surface, even taking into the bathroom, which is really great. So there's kind of use cases all around your home in that book.

doTERRA: That sounds amazing. And like you said, it's not just for the kitchen or other rooms. You can take it throughout your home, which is fantastic. Now, what are some of your favorite oils? You listed off a bunch, obviously. What are some of your favorites that you like to use to help with surface cleansing?

Samantha: Well, I mean, as we talked about, there are a bunch, but I really love using a combination of citrus and herbal essential oils, like Lemon, Grapefruit with Oregano and Thyme, even throwing in a little bit of Tea Tree here and there. This smell really reminds me of home because it's very fresh and clean, but I feel like the Oregano and Thyme, just that herbal note, kind of like warm and comforting. So I love that it's kind of homey, and it creates that experience in my home. But I also know that I'm getting some really powerful cleansing benefits when using these essential oils on surfaces in my home.

So the oils I use also kind of depend on what goal I'm trying to accomplish. Maybe I'm just trying to simply clean my kitchen encounters. I'll probably use a simple combination of Thyme and Lemon. If I'm going and cleaning the bathroom, I really love combining Tea Tree and Lemon Eucalyptus. Truthfully, there are endless combinations, which is so great about essential oils. I feel like you can really mix and match them, especially with cleansing.

doTERRA: Absolutely. And especially when it comes to the smell of a cleaner that's going to be in your home for a while after you clean. So you want to make sure that it's something you like. And that's one of the beauties of using these essential oils, is you can combine them and find what smell you really enjoy.

Samantha: I love that kind of insight. You can really change it up and customize it to whatever you're feeling, and even the seasons too, which is really great. Like even chuck in some Citrus Bloom in there during the spring and kind of freshen up and brighten up your home in a different way or, you know, bring in some On Guard or something during the winter months to kind of warm it up.

doTERRA: Absolutely. Now, before we end, you mentioned that that e-book has a bunch of DIYs in there. I want to know if you can tell us one of your favorite DIYs to utilize the surface-cleansing power of essential oils.

Samantha: Yeah, absolutely. So usually I'm a diehard lover of the Abode Multi-surface Spray. But if I'm out of that, and I'm still waiting on my order to get to me, I love to combine distilled water, white vinegar, and 20–25 drops of an equal blend of Oregano, Thyme, Grapefruit, and Lemon in my spray bottle. I actually originally found this recipe a while back in the e-book I mentioned, and I've used it regularly ever since. I find this will do just the trick as an all-purpose surface cleansing spray.

And I actually love having this combination as a permanent part of our camping kit and when we're out exploring the mountains. So I love this kind of combination. And if you're out of your Abode Multi-surface Spray or just want to change up the scent, Oregano, Thyme, Grapefruit, and Lemon are really great go-tos.

doTERRA: Well, that sounds incredible. Samantha, thank you for sitting down with us, teaching us a little bit more about cleansing essential oils and how we can use them in our home.

Samantha: Of course! Thanks so much for having me.

doTERRA: The cypress tree has a rich, symbolic history and is capable of living for thousands of years in the wild.

The Cypress Tree in Greek Mythology

The Greeks associated the tree with Artemis, the goddess of wild animals, hunting, and vegetation as well as Hecate, the goddess of magic, crossroads, and the underworld. Ancient Roman funerary rites also used the cypress tree extensively.

In Greek mythology, it’s also associated with Cyparissus. The poet Ovid, who wrote during the reign of Augustus, recorded the myth of Cyparissus that explains the association of the cypress tree with grief. As he tells it, there was a handsome boy named Cyparissus, a favorite of Apollo, who accidentally killed his beloved tame stag. His grief and remorse were so inconsolable that he asked to weep forever. He was transformed into a cypress tree and his tears turned into the tree’s sap, granting him his wish.

History of the Cypress Tree

The cypress tree belongs to a very old family of trees and fossil evidence has shown that they stretch back even as far as Pangea.

The highly durable reddish timber has been valued throughout history for its workability, texture, and aroma. It was a favorite wood among the Ancient Greeks and Romans for palatial doors. And it’s said that the original doors of St Peter's Basilica in Rome were manufactured from cypress and lasted for over 1,000 years.

The famous philosopher Plato etched his code of laws into cypress wood because it was thought to outlast brass.

Historical and Modern Uses of Cypress

Throughout history, cypress has also been the first choice for Iranian gardens. In all the famous Persian Gardens this tree plays a central role in their design. In fact, the oldest living cypress is found in an Iranian garden. Its age is estimated to be approximately 4,000 years.

Though the cypress tree isn’t native to Italy, it is synonymous with the region of Tuscany. The cypress probably came to Tuscany thousands of years ago, most likely with Etruscan tribes. The Etruscans revered the cypress because they thought it had supernatural powers. This might have been due to the fact that the tree is evergreen and did not lose its leaves in the winter, like other trees.

Drawing from its mythological symbolism and associations, the scent is suggested as being helpful during times of transition.

In Jewish tradition, the cypress was held to be the wood used to build Noah's Ark and the temple and is mentioned as an idiom or metaphor in biblical passages, either referencing the tree's shape as an example of uprightness or its evergreen nature as an example of eternal beauty or health. It’s also popular in modern Israeli cemeteries, with contemporary explanation being that its shape resembles a candle and its being an evergreen symbolized the immortality of the soul.

We can’t wait for you to bring Cypress, along with all of its history, into your home. We know you’ll love it.

Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click on the link in the episode description or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today. And remember, if you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen.

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