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Episode 159: Using Oils Internally, Plus Exploring the History of Cypress

In this episode we sit down with Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA Product Marketing team, to discuss the benefits of using essential oils internally. She'll discuss why internal use is powerful, some of her favorite oils to use internally, and how to support different areas of your body with essential oils. We'll also talk about the history of Cypress.


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doTERRA: Taking care of your body is key to living a happy, healthy life. And today, we're going to discuss one more way that you can support your body with essential oils.

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. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.

Today, we're excited to talk to Samantha Lewis about using essential oils internally to support your health. We’ll also look at the history and symbolism of Cypress. Samantha, thank you so much for sitting down with us today.

Samantha Lewis: Thanks so much for having me. And just to warn you, things are going to get pretty chemistry nerdy today.

doTERRA: Well, I'm excited! I like the chemistry.

Samantha: Great!

doTERRA: This is a topic that I think people, especially if they're new to essential oils, it seems very intimidating. So why is the internal use of essential oils so powerful?

Samantha: I totally agree. I feel like doTERRA, arguably, is the pioneer in internal use of essential oils because we've done so much research and have really made an effort to fully understand essential oils. So getting into why it's so powerful, in general, ingestion will provide a greater systemic delivery than topical or aromatic uses, which those two uses are more localized with minimal systemic effects, so going throughout your body, right? Whereas internal use of essential oils can also better deliver the essential oil constituents to internal organs and tissues that are not really accessible topically or aromatically.

doTERRA: All of that sounds amazing, and like you said, once it's ingested, it becomes a systemic thing. It can really work its way through your body, which is so incredible.

Samantha: Yeah!

doTERRA: So one of the things inside our body that we really want to make sure we're protecting is our immune system. So how can I use oils internally to help support my immune system?

Samantha: Absolutely. So as we know, the immune system is a complex network of organs and cells, and really, each piece works together to defend and protect the body. Sometimes these pieces might need additional support for various reasons, which is where essential oils can come in and help support. From antioxidant support to cleansing essential oils, we know that when oils are taken internally, they can have systemic effects and can actually be really powerful. It's pretty incredible what the chemistry of essential oils can do.

doTERRA: Absolutely. And like you said, there's so many different ways, because the immune system is so complex. It does comprise of so many different things. So there is an oil to help with every different aspect. I love that.

Samantha: Totally agree.

doTERRA: Now you mentioned cells a few different times. Obviously, that's the base of our body. So what oils can I use internally to help support my overall cellular function?

Samantha: Yeah, absolutely. And really, what's cool is positive cell function can impact your immune system in a very powerful way. So there's some incredible research out there about how some common chemical constituents, specifically alpha-Pinene and limonene, they've shown some evidence of immune modulation, which is basically the process your body goes through to eliminate damaged cells. So it kind of balances out and helps those good cells do their job. This means that some of our common essential oils like Frankincense, Pink Pepper, and even Rosemary could have similar properties thanks to their levels of alpha-Pinene.

doTERRA: That is so incredible, and I love that there is so much research being done about essential oils lately that there's just more and more information that becomes available to us.

Samantha: I agree, and we—like we announced at Convention this year—we're coming out with even more. So keep your eyes peeled!

doTERRA: Absolutely. Now, Samantha, moving kind of a step up from our cells to our nervous system, what are your favorite oils to use internally to support the nervous system?

Samantha: Yeah. Well, so nervous system support is honestly fascinating when it comes to essential oils. And one of the main chemical constituents in one of my favorite nervous system support oils is called alpha-Phellandrene, and alpha-Phellandrene is absolutely extraordinary. Experimental studies have shown that alpha-Phellandrene is great at soothing, so much so that it can be used both topically and internally. It's truly a powerhouse for your nervous system support and actually contains one of the highest concentrations of alpha-Phellandrene in an essential oil.

doTERRA: Wow, that is incredible! Samantha, you have shared so much incredible science and different oils to help with different parts of our body. My final question for you is one for people who might still be a little bit hesitant to take oils internally because of the taste. So what is your advice for taking oils internally that maybe we don't think tastes the best?

Samantha: Yeah, taste can definitely be a barrier. I totally understand that. Honestly, the simplest option is to add your favorite internal use oils to a convenient Veggie Cap. And now I know some people say that they'll taste the oil throughout the day if they take it in a Veggie Cap. One trick that I've used is taking that Veggie Cap with some sort of fat or even taking the Veggie Cap and then eating my next meal or a snack or something. It seems to kind of help it go through your system a little quicker, and you know, you're not tasting it throughout the day.
But if you want to change it up, you could even add oils to fresh dishes like salsas or dressings to add some flavor with added benefits, since really, many internal use oils are common herbs or citruses.

doTERRA: I love both of those, and I think that's so helpful because we want to make sure that people feel good taking essential oils internally, that they get those benefits, and that they have the chance to experience all these different oils, even some of the ones that might not taste the best.

Samantha: Yeah, I totally agree. And really, just play around with what works best for you. Do some research and figure out what support you need specifically.

doTERRA: Well, Samantha, thank you so much for being here with us again. We always love it when you join us.

Samantha: Thanks for having me!

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

Greek and Roman History

The Greeks associated it 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 it 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.

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

Now, the cypress tree belongs to a very old family of trees and fossil evidence shows that they stretch back even as far as Pangea.

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

Cypress Trees around the World

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 in a garden in Iran's Yazd Province. Its age is estimated to be approximately 4,000 years old.

Though the cypress tree isn’t native to Italy, it is synonymous with Tuscany. The cypress probably came to Tuscany thousands of years ago, likely with Etruscan tribes. The Etruscans revered the cypress because they thought it had supernatural powers.

Cypress and Symbolism

Drawing from its mythological symbolism and associations, the scent of cypress 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, 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 liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to doterra.com or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.