A guide to living local in New Hampshire

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Whole Health:

The Essential Tools for Oil

By Stacy Milbouer / Fiddlehead Contributing Editor

It’s that time of year when we hear a lot about frankincense and myrrh. Steve Kesselring, owner of Your Oil Tools in Hooksett, will tell you those essences, and dozens of others, are part of his life’s work and recovery from a long illness.

The three-year-old business – the only one of its kind on the East Coast – provides “a wide range of relevant, high-quality and affordably priced essential oil tools and supplies in order to help our customers enjoy an incredible essential oil inspired lifestyle,” according to the company’s brochure.

To be clear, Your Oil Tools does not sell essential oils, but rather essential oil accoutrements, including diffusers, containers, bottles, labels, sampling tools and food-grade carrier oils and butters with which essential oils are mixed. Pure essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be mixed with carriers to be safely used.

Kesselring explained that federal regulations prohibit purveyors to sell both essential oils and the supplies at the same time. But that hasn’t stopped his business from growing. Because his is the only supplier in this part of the country, his operation keeps growing.

A year-and-a-half ago, Your Oil Tools was just a part-time operation. Kesselring was also running a landscaping business. But now it’s more than a full-time endeavor, he said. The business moved from the front of Kesselring’s landscaping business, a 1,200-square-foot building, to its current 7,000-foot-facility in an industrial park. And he has plans to expand outside of the state and country.

But it was landscaping and fate that led Kesselring, 35, to the world of essential oils, he said. “I had a thriving landscape business. But then I was in a truck fire and had chemical burns to my lungs.”

Kesselring faced a long and painful recovery and at one time was taking 16 medications. That’s when Kesselring’s wife, Kim, had a conversation with her friend who was a nurse.

“She kept telling us to try essential oils,” said Kim. “I was very hesitant. It seemed crazy to me.”

Kesselring jumps in, “It seemed like witchcraft, a bunch of junk, but eventually I figured there was nothing to lose. It wasn’t going to hurt.”

The first oil he tried was peppermint oil for the severe headaches from which he suffered all day due to the medications he was taking. “My headache went away in 10 minutes,” he said.

But then he wanted to try something to relieve the discomfort in his lungs. He tried a compound from a company that made a breathing formula.

“The blend didn’t work,” he said. So, he and Kim decided to make their own compound – a combination of oregano, cypress and frankincense – which Kesselring refers to as “the king of essential oils used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, antibiotic properties.”

And while the couple will emphasize that essential oils are not meant to replace conventional medicine, but rather complement and enhance it, Kesselring said he felt relief.

“I wouldn’t be surprised in the next three years if doctors will start prescribing aromatherapy for their patients,” he added.

From that experience, Kesselring saw a need for a business that sold essential oil tools, and that’s how his new career began. In addition to tools, bottles, diffusers and labels, the business also sells books on aromatherapy, jewelry into which oils can be placed and worn, special boxes and purses to carry oils and even T-shirts that tout the essential oil enthusiasm.

The newest addition to their Hooksett facility is a “make-and-take” room. He explained that people bring in the highly concentrated essential oils (which are not meant to use undiluted) they’ve purchased from somewhere else and can buy sample tools and cards for formulas, mix them with carrier oils and butters, bottle them and label them.

From there, people usually use the oils as aromatherapy or apply them topically.

For more information, visit Your Oil Tools at 78 Londonderry Turnpike in Hooksett, call 701-645-8665 or visit online at youroiltools.com.