There is SO much information out in the world today regarding essential oils and how to use them. So if you’re new to oils or have been using them but feel limited in your knowledge, where do you even start?
Disclaimer: I am not a certified Aromatherapist nor do I sell essential oils. My experience with oils has been based solely on personal research as well as trial and error. Please do not take anything on my blog as certified medical advice. If you use oils based on my posts, you do so at your own risk and I’m not responsible for any injury resulting from improper use.
In this blog post I’m going to share some thoughts on essential oil use, contradictions and precautions based on my own personal experience. I’m sharing this because of messages and questions I’ve been getting on my social media about what oils I sell or use. (I don’t sell fyi.) I don’t claim to be an expert and you can take or leave my personally expressed views. I’m just sharing information in response to questions I’ve been getting =)
It can be really overwhelming when you dive into the world of essential oils because even just choosing a brand plunges you into pool of strong opinion, controversy and conflicting information.
When it comes to choosing a specific brand of essential oils I base my choices on a few things:
- Personal Recommendation of people whose opinions I trust and/or Certified Aromatherapists
- My own research, reading and educating myself
- Trial and Error
- Personal preference for how my family and I react to oils
There is an incredible amount of conflicting information about what companies claim regarding their oils, the quality, the transparency of the company and more. It’s literally a black hole of information. How do you know whose oils are quality? How do you pick the company you want to support? Not all oils are created equal. Some are diluted with water and other chemicals. Cheap doesn’t mean great nor does super expensive mean great. Every batch of oils also varies which is why one company’s Lavender may smell different than another’s. More on common myths and misconceptions of oils here.
I personally avoid purchasing certain types of oils. Often, some oils are more pricey than others (rose absolute vs. lavender) due to the scarcity of the source or the work involved in the production process. ( source ) I want to do my part in preserving SOME of our natural resources in the world. That’s just a personal preference not a mantra, ya’ll.
Do your own personal research. Make an informed decision. Ask questions of people you trust. Talk to a Certified Aromatherapist for an expert opinion. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Check out this article by a Certified Aromatherapist on how she chooses her oils! She shares some great information and perspective, based on her education and knowledge of essential oils as a professional.
Precautions With Oils.
Ok, so this is where the topic can get a little controversial for people based on their personal views of oil usage. A few years ago, as I was traveling along my oily journey I started seeing other fellow oily people promote things like ingesting oils and/or using oils neat.
Ingesting oils means a person is taking that oil orally in an undiluted form, typically in water. Using an oil neat means they are putting the oil directly onto their skin undiluted.
The potency of oils makes this big deal!
“Essential Oils contain very concentrated properties of the herb or plant they are derived from. A very small amount of EOs often has the qualities of many cups of herbal tea from the same plant. For instance, one drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 26-28 cups of peppermint tea. This isn’t to say essential oils should not be used, but they should be used carefully, with proper education and in safe amounts. If you wouldn’t ingest dozens of cups of an herbal tea, you should probably think twice before consuming the equivalent amount of essential oils.https://wellnessmama.com/26519/essential-oils-risks/
I’ll be honest. I’m strongly against the ingestion of essential oils unless you are under the direct supervision of a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist. So if you see someone recommending this type of usage, I’d check out their credentials before following their advice.
Robert Tisserand talks about possible allergic reactions to improper usage of essential oils here. Did you know you can experience sensitization from the overuse of oils? Too much of a good thing really can be bad!
“The word “sensitization” is often misunderstood. It’s sometimes used as if it was a distinct category of adverse reaction – it isn’t – and it’s sometimes used as a synonym for an allergic skin reaction. This second use of the word does make sense, but really “sensitization” describes the priming of the immune system that subsequently leads to an allergic reaction. So it’s part of the process.”https://tisserandinstitute.org/safety/irritation-allergic-reactions/
I see this a lot and it concerns me. I cringe, to be honest. Let me ask you. Would you use the same herbal supplement over and over, multiple times a day, every day? Not necessarily. It would/could make you sick, at some point because of overuse. “Natural” does not mean it can’t be “toxic.”
From a personal standpoint when I’m thinking about how I approach holistic health and using natural alternatives, I have a variety of things in my arsenal and I don’t use essential oils every day, for everything. I like to switch things up. I don’t believe that essential oils are the only way to good health. I think it’s a combination of things like:
- Proper nutrition
- Restful sleep patterns/habits
- Minimizing Stress
- Adequate Exercise
- Proper Supplements
- Naturopathic and Chiropractic Care
- Essential Oils
- Herbal Remedies (tinctures, salves, steams, teas etc.)
There are many more things I could add but these are some of the ways we practice holistic health in our home.
I also take GREAT precaution in the way I use oils around my children. I have spent many hours researching the appropriate amount of dilution, diffusion and application for usage around my children. This is why I personally feel safe using Plant Therapy’s Kidsafe line which was formulated with Robert Tisserand. I trust their standards and quality as well as their safety precautions when using their oils with or around children.
I’m often asked if I sell oils or why I don’t sell oils since I use them. This can be a touchy subject. I personally do not want to sell oils. It’s simply not something I want to do. I’ve been approached many times, typically people who I don’t know, through my social media. I’m never rude about it when I decline. And I don’t think it’s wrong that they’ve chosen to do it. Good for them choosing healthy alternatives and making some extra money doing it!
There are a few GREAT essential oil companies not just ONE. You get to choose, based on your own research, who you want to purchase from so don’t feel pressured to buy an oil from a company just because someone tells you it’s the BEST or because it’s pricey. Educate yourself.
There is a huge difference in being a personal consumer who advocates for essential oil usage and being a certified, licensed, educated professional. Take that into consideration with your research.
In closing, I want to say that I’m still learning as I go. You don’t need a certification to personally use essential oils although certification can certainly enhance your knowledge and usage. You can research and inform yourself with the wealth of information available for FREE today. Some great resources to start with:
- FREE resources from the Tisserand Institute HERE.
- Plant Therapy Blog HERE.
- Essential Oil Safety: A Guide For Healthcare Professionals (Robert Tisserand)
If you’re going to advocate for the usage of oils in certain ways to a large audience and following, I would hope that you are certified and professionally educated for the purpose of safety and responsibility of other consumers. Just my personal views on the subject, feel free to disagree. I won’t be offended, ya’ll!
I hope you’ve found some useful information here and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.