Are Essential Oils Right For You?
Essential Oils Use
Are essential oils right for you? That is the question that gets asked a lot as more and more people hear about essential oils. However, you need to understand there is a lot of misinformation on essential oils on the internet. There are also some good sources of information. I strive each day to be one of those good and trusted sources.
That’s the main reason I continue to write posts like this. With all the MLM reps out there telling people essential oils will cure the common cold or prevent Ebola, I feel there is a need for straight talk and good information about essential oils.
What Essential Oils Won’t Do
If someone tells you that essential oils can protect you from Ebola or stop your kid from getting the measles because you refuse to vaccinate them, you need to get a new information source. Essential oils don’t work that way.
Essential oils also won’t cure your cancer. In fact, they aren’t a “cure” for anything. Anyone who claims otherwise is giving you false hope and is risking a not-so-nice cease and desist letter from the FDA if they are in the US.
In fact, in 2014 two of the largest MLM distributors of essential oils got just those type of letters from the FDA because uneducated distributors were making such claims. And people were getting hurt as a result of using essential oils incorrectly, including using them internally.
Unfortunately, this is still happening. If you enter “essential oils injuries” into your favorite search engine you will probably come across the injury database compiled by Aromatherapy United. This database only contains those injuries that are self-reported. To me, this means the number is much higher as I’m sure many injuries go unreported.
This isn’t to try to convince you not to use essential oils how they are intended to be used. It is to warn you of the dangers associated with using them as recommended by some distributor with little training and only an incentive to sell you oils.
In fact, I sell essential oils from this web site. But I want everyone to use them responsibly after doing proper research and making themselves aware of the risks and benefits. This is known as informed consent in medicine. You are made aware of the risks and the potential benefits and you decide for yourself if it is something you need to do. I feel you should do the same thing with essential oils.
What Essential Oils Can Do
Every essential oil has an effect which is due to the chemical constituents it contains. This is concentrated into the oils in the extraction process. These naturally occurring biochemicals are used by the plant for everything from defense to attracting insects to allow pollination. These same chemical constituents are also useful to us when they are understood and used for certain things.
Let me give you an example. Each night I add 5 drops of lavender and 2 drops of sweet marjoram essential oils to my diffuser beside my bed. I would occasionally suffer from insomnia and both of these oils have chemical constituents which can have a calming effect on the body and the nervous system. By understanding the effects of these oils and using them as intended, I was able to greatly decrease my insomnia nights. My personal experience is that I seem to wake feeling more refreshed and with more energy. Can I, therefore, make a blanket statement this will work for you on your insomnia? Absolutely not. Everyone has different physiology, so what works for me may not work for you. On the other hand, from what we know about the effects of the chemicals that are contained in these oils when they are pure, the odds are good that they will.
Here’s another example: While working on my boat trailer recently I missed and hit my hand with a hammer. It tore the skin and I was bleeding profusely. After getting the bleeding stopped I immediately applied 1 drop of lavender and 1 drop of tea tree oil to the wound. I know both of these have healing and antimicrobial properties which can prevent infection and promote healing. After a few days, the wound had granulated and was healing nicely, with no infection. I continued the application daily for 4 days until the wound had no more danger of infection and was healing nicely.
I also use other essential oils daily. Sometimes I need a pick me up and I diffuse citrus scents to help my mood. I also use them in my homemade cleaning products and personal hygiene products.
My point in this is to show you that when used correctly these gifts from the natural world can seem like miracles. But it is our scientific understanding of how the chemicals in each oil works and the effects you can achieve when using them that make them seem that way. You don’t have to go as far as I did and get an aromatherapy certification, but you should learn as much as you can about the oils you intend to use. You can always ask the advice of an aromatherapist. And if you have questions you can always aske them in the comments section and I will do my best to answer all of them.
Be safe when using essential oils and experience all the benefits they offer us by using them responsibly and seeking expert advice if you aren’t sure about something.