Essential Oils Myths vs Facts

posted in: Aromatherapy, Essential Oils | 0

I have been studying essential oils now for many years. I have had the opportunity to learn from a well known chemist who has over 30 years essential oil experience.I have also studied Essential Oil Chemistry from Jimm Harrison who is the instructor for Bastyr University classes on essential oils and aromatherapy. Aromatherapy certification is something I am working toward and I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach. There is much controversy among aromatherapists. Much of controversy stems from some older ideas and the newer current understandings of essential oils. You will possibly learn some things here that you did not know about essential oils. Let’s look at essential oils myths vs facts. I’m going to start on the positive side with the facts first.


essential oils myths vs facts


Essential Oil Facts

FACT: Essential oils are not created equal. You will see essential oils vary widely in price. Almost without fail there is a good chance that the less expensive oil is such because it is a lessor quality oil. If you just want to make a room smell nice, then the lessor quality might work for you. If it is an essential oils with powerful properties that can support good health then you want to look further and be willing. Consider the essential oils that carry some of the heavier price tags. We will discuss more on that later.

FACT: Essential oils are not actually “oils”, like in olive oil. Essential oils are void of the fatty acids you see in a true oil. A high quality and truly pure essential oil will quickly be absorbed into the skin. A quality essential oil should never leave and oily residue behind.

FACT: A true allergy to a very pure essential oil is not very common. The reason is that they are missing protien molecules. Protein molecules are to large when steam distilled or cold pressed. A high quality essential oil will only contain aromatic compounds. Since an essential oil reaction is not due to an allergy, other application methods may still work. Internal use and aromatherapy may still be something you can do

It is possible to be sensitive to an essential oil and the symptoms can be similar to that of allergies. But in this case the reaction is not brought on by an immune response as it would be in a true allery. Be careful of unknown additives or purity of an essential oil. Reactions can and do happen, so know the quality and supplier.

Certain essential oils are hotter and skin may react. Dilute such an oil first if you are sensitive. Patch tests are a good idea especially if you are prone to skin sensitivities. When a particular essential oil does not agree with you, just try a different one. Essential oils of have similar properties and benefits.

FACT: A high quality essential oil will not accumulate in the body. It will be used in a similar fashion as foods are. That means essential oils are not time released as are various compounds you may have come to love for their convenience. Frequency is the key to essential oils use. When using a quality essential oil a good rule to remember is “less oil, more often”. By less I am talking about as little as a single drop and not likely more than 2-3 drops when you are using a high quality oil.

FACT: The essential oil of a plant helps it to ward of pests and infections. However, these will be in varying degrees. Certain plants are masters at protecting themselves. As an example, Oregano is very high in Carvacrol. Carvacrol is a very powerful defensive compound. Lemon on the other hand is a very gentle. There are countless scientific studies on the ability of plants to protect thesmelves.

FACT: Essential oils and perfume essential oils used for fragrance are VERY different. Anything that says “fragrance”, “natural oil” or “fragrance oil” would be a synthetic oil and is NOT an essential oil.

FACT: The costs of essential oils very widely for several reasons. Some plant materials are easier to come by and others are more rare. Some oils are extracted from plants that yield very little oil requiring vast quantities of that plant material to produce even a small quantity of oil. As an example to produce just 1 lb of Melissa oil it may take 3-7 tons of plant material.

Another consideration is the species of plant used. For instance not all Frankincense is produced from the same Boswellia species. There are species coming from certain locations on the planet that produce a much higher quality oil. Such an oil that will have higher therapeutic benefits. It will cost the producer much more for the quality plant material. Of course that cost is then passed on to us as consuers. But with a very high quality oil, you will need to use less, making your purchase last much longer. I have know individuals who had purchased a lesser quality Frankincense only to use the entire bottle in about a week and have zero benefits. How disappointing!

FACT: When new to essential oils it is good to do a small patch test on a sensitive spot on your body, like the inside of your upper arm. Skin sensitivities can and do occasionally happen. It does not always mean you can never use that oil, but you may need to put it on a less sensitive area like the bottoms of the feet or you may do just fine if you dilute it.

FACT: A very high quality essential oil can last for decades if properly stored. There is an exception to this and that would be essential oils that are cold pressed. Typically oils in the citrus family are cold pressed. They can still last several years when stored properly.  Avoid heat and sunlight and be sure your essential oils are in a dark bottle. Heat and sunlight can be damaging, rendering a quality therapeutic grade oil less effective far before it’s time.

FACT: There are many high quality essential oils that have been certifiedpure and therapeutic grade that can be used aromatically, topically and in many cases if truly certified pure, internally. Never use an essential oil that says “not for internal use” or “not for human consumption” or anything of that nature internally.

FACT: When using a quality therapeutic grade certified oure essential oil, singular drops are needed most of the time. It is very, very rare that you would ever need more than 2-3 drops to achieve the desired effect.

FACT: Keep essential oils out of the eyes and avoid putting actual drops in the ears. If looking to sooth eye irritation, apply the essential oil around the orbit of the eye, the boney part of the area around the eye. The vapors alone of a quality essential oil will do the trick.

If caring for ear discomfort, apply the essential oil to a tiny cotton ball that can be placed in the ear. Again, the vapors alone will work wonders. You can also apply the oil to the external portion of the ear. If you do get an essential oil in your eye, it will not feel very good, but you are not likely to sustain permenant damage. To take away the ouch, apply any kind of cooking oil to the eye, coconut, olive, etc. It will dilute the oil in the eye. Do not use water.

Now lets talk about a few myths that do not hold true for a Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade like doTERRA essential oil.

Essential Oil Myths

MYTH: Never take essential oils internally. There are some essential oils like doTERRA that have been certified pure that can be taken internally as mentioned earlier. Essential oils with the FDA food label are considered safe to consume. They believe these oils to be safe to consume and are considered GRAS. Wintergreen essential oil is one that you would not want to take internally. In fact doTERRA’s Wintergreen has a childproof cap.

MYTH: Never use an essential oil undiluted on the skin. Many of doTERRA’s essential oils are safe to use untiluted or neat. Often when instructed not to use an essential oil without dilution it can be due to the fact that the contents of that bottle of oil is not certain. Quite often unexpected ingredients or varying potencies can be problematic.

A certified pure essential oil will have been put through rigorous testing to ensure their purity and “consistent potency”. You will come to expect the same amount of oil to do the same thing, every time. There may be some oils that just due to their nature can be more of an irritant to the skin. Examples would be Clove, Thyme, Oregano.

Some may even be sensitive to an oil that most would consider gentle, like Lavender and in that case by all means dilute it or choose a location like the bottoms of the feet to apply.  If needed discontinue use all together. Apply Oregano essential oils to the bottoms of the feet without discomfort.

MYTH: Avoid using essential oils while pregnant. There have been great benefits of using essential oils for years on pregnant women and with great benefits. There are some oils that you would want to avoid like Clary Sage in early pregnancy.. However it can be very helpful when it comes to delivery. Be sure to educate yourself on which essential oils you can use to support you through your pregnancy. Some suggest waiting until the second trimester to use essential oils and it is a good idea to run it by your doctor.

MYTH: You should not use essential oils on infants. Again, if an essential oil is certified for purity and carries labeling indicating such, then there are many essential oils that are safe for even a newborn. The use of essential oils can be much safer and more effective than many products commonly used.

The world of quality essential oils is awe inspiring. What we have in nature is powerful and is capable of changing moods and helping us to manage our health in safe and effective ways. Essential oils are truly a treasure.

DSHEA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.

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