When the popularity of essential oils started picking up in the Philippines a few years ago, Christine Jacob-Sandejas didn’t buy into the idea. She remembered telling herself, “Me? No, no, no! I don’t see how an oil can actually help with anything, right?”

But one day, as the athlete-turned-TV host recently told SmartParenting.com.ph, she had a “really bad headache.” She was then on a trip in Bacolod with one of her five children, and she didn’t bring any medicine to relieve her from the pain.

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“One of the girls with me had a mixture of frankincense and peppermint,” Christine recalled. “Then she gave it to me. She said, ‘Just rub it on your temples, you’ll feel better in a while.’ I did, and lo and behold, after a while, I felt so much better.”

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Since then, the 1984 Summer Olympics swimmer who currently hosts CNN Philippines’ morning show New Day, has been hooked to using essential oils when she’s sick, feels down, or has a sore throat and cramps from playing her new sport, tennis.

Christine does the same thing for her husband Paco Sandejas and their kids Paolo, Gabby, Nina, Luis, and Jaime. When the kids are sick, she rubs the soles of their feet with an essential oil blend called thieves, and they feel better. That’s why they call the essential oils their mother’s “magic oils.”

“My kids are, like, ‘Mom, give me your magic oils,’” she said, smiling. “So I put my magic oils on them. I mix the thieves with, like, frankincense. I always tease them, ‘You know frankincense? If it’s good for Jesus, then it’s good for you. This is Jesus’s oil, you’re gonna feel better.’ And they love it!”

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Christine is so passionate about essential oils that she has signed on to become a member of Young Living, which is touted to be the world leader in essential oils. She spoke to us at the opening of Young Living OilCon 2020, a three-day event held in early February 2020 where attendees learned about the sources, varieties, and uses of essential oils. 

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A self-proclaimed oilbularyo, the working mom of five enjoys making her own mix of essential oils for specific purposes. When she joined  the 2019 Ironman 70.3 Philippines triathlon in Cebu City, Christine brought with her several vials of her mixes for jellyfish bite, muscle cramping, and other health concerns. 

“I would never think I would speak so highly of oils,” Christine admitted, “because it goes beyond…how I think, like how would an oil can actually make me better. It just destroyed that, ’cause I’m just a medicine girl. I have a medicine for everything, right? I’m an athlete. So now, I have oils for everything.”

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Christine says she gives her kids elderberry vitamins, lots of fluids, and constant reminders on proper hygiene to keep “their immune system is in tip-top shape.”  She also puts eucalyptus oil, a known stress-reliever, in their rooms.

Christine is also glad all her five kids lead an active lifestyle. Eldest son Paolo, 20, is a college sophomore and footballer, who also plays the guitar and sings professionally as an artist of Universal Records. Eldest daughter Gabby, 18, and middle child Nina, 16, are both competitive tennis players. The two youngest, Luis, 13, and Jaime, 11, are into soccer like their kuya.

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