Essential oils are all the craze! And rightly so. They are powerful, natural extracts that are highly concentrated and THEY WORK.
But there is a dark side. And that dark side is something no one talks about. Especially in this day in age when all you see is your Facebook feed filled with someone selling them and telling you how magical they are. But guys, there’s a real side of these and that is ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY. I rarely hear anyone talking about this and it’s absolutely something that must be discussed.
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts-typically obtained either by steam distillation or cold pressing-from flowers, leaves, roots, berries, items, seeds, gums, needles, bark, or resins of numerous plants. They contain natural hormones, vitamins, antibiotics, and antiseptics. Do you see why they need to be used safely? They use our sense of smell to enrich our experience in the world. Smell plays a significant role in our daily perceptions and how we react physically, emotionally, and mentally to what is going on around us. Various scents help us orient ourselves to the season of th year, our location, and situations of danger. The inhalation of certain essential oils has been associated with the release of brain chemicals that stimulate various emotions. Beyond the benefit of them using our sense of smell, they also have properties that actually heal and are beneficial when used correctly topically. And under the strict supervision of someone qualified, you CAN use them internally. But like I said, under safety. absolute care of a certified aromatherapist or naturopathic physical certified in essential oils.
They are known as volatile oils because they evaporate easily in the air. Essential oils are soluble in vegetable oil, partially soluble in alcohol, and not soluble in water. Because they are so concentrated, they are likely to irritate mucous membranes and the stomach lining if taken internally. It is therefore best to use essential oils externally only. And like I said, unless you are working specifically with an aromatherapist or naturopathic physician who is certified in essential oil safety. This is serious, guys. This is a problem that I see literally daily on my social media feeds. I see recommendations for putting lemon oil in your water or baked goods. Or ingesting peppermint oil for a pick me up. Or putting dangerous oils on kids feet and spine. These kind of recommendations are serious and can cause unintentional harm. The people that sell oils through MLMs are NOT qualified to be giving out any medical advice, let alone essential oil usage advice. (This is a blanket statement, although, I know there are SOME MLM reps who ARE certified aromatherapist, and this is not directed at them.) And this isn’t a post dogging and screaming foul at those who do sell EO’s through an MLM. I have many friends who do, and I love them for trying to live more naturally and healthy. But that doesn’t change the truth. And the truth is, is that it is not safe to be purchasing EO’s from those who are not qualified to give advice or giving bad advice.
On top of the dangerous medical advice that we see floating around the internet from unqualified individuals and EO MLM reps, there is another aspect to essential oil safety that you don’t see discussed and that is that they are NOT a replacement for preventive care. They are not a cure all. In fact, they shouldn’t even be used daily. What you eat and fuel your body with, your lifestyle and spiritual health, and your sleep and stress patterns all should be your focus. Many use essential oils like they would a vitamin and that is not what they are for. They should be a BONUS to a healthy lifestyle. I hate to say it but if you are using essential oils to live a healthy lifestyle but you still eat McDonalds and vaccinate your kids you are literally wasting your money. A healthy lifestyle should be all inclusive. It should INCLUDE essential oils but shouldn’t be the ONLY healthy hack in your life. They should be used for a stressful day when you’re unwinding in the bath and you’re diffusing them. They should be used when your child ends up getting the sniffles and you use the appropriate kind in the appropriate amount with the appropriate carrier oil. They should be used when you’ve got a burn or mosquito bite and you can use them in addition to other natural remedies to help heal faster and soothe the ache or itch. But we don’t need to oil our kids up every day or drink it in our water. Let’s just use some fresh lemon slices instead for the beneficial vitamin C and aid in digestive health, mmmkay? They can be apart of a healthy lifestyle, but are not the only component. They are powerful. They are beneficial. But they need to be used safely. I highly suggest you work with a certified aromatherapist who knows the chemical composition of each oil and can give you solid advice that won’t, in the short or long run, hurt you or your kids.
When you are ready to use EO’s safely, you want to make sure they are 100 percent pure botanical extracts. You want to buy them in small quantities because oxygen in partially filled bottles deteriorates the oil. I always suggest purchasing from small, family-owned farms that can verify exactly where the oil came from. As always, buying organic is important because conventional oils contain concentrated amounts of pesticides and chemicals. For my favorites you can look here and here.
I pray that essential oil safety is a top priority to you and maybe has opened your eyes to think about some things you haven’t thought about otherwise.