Unless you have been living under a rock for the past decade, I am sure that you have heard the claim about essential oils and their tremendous benefit to health and healing. I am here to echo that claim! Essential oils are amazing tools to keep in your medicine cabinet that can help heal an endless list of ailments. I am also here because I have some concerns from what I have witnessed over the past decade regarding essential oils. This article is going to cover my top three.
1. The vast majority of essential oil users are unaware of the impact that obtaining oils has on the planet. Now it is nothing like that of petroleum byproducts or the detrimental effects that glyphosate from Round Up is having on our planet, however, essential oils deserve a lot more respect than most users give them. In an article form EcoWatch, Nikki Yeager states, “In order to produce a single pound of essential oil, enormous quantities of plants are required: 10,000 pounds of rose petals, 250 pounds of lavender, 6,000 pounds of melissa plant, 1,500 lemons and so forth.” That is A LOT of plant material! Have you ever gone out and tried to harvest a pound of flower petals? Try it sometime; it will give you a better idea of how much of a plant was required to make those few drops of oil you just used.
I have watched many people, (including myself before a good friend took the time to educate me) thoughtlessly mis- use essential oils by using WAY more than is needed as well as using them in ways that are frivolous and unwarranted. Why are essential oils so popular anyway? Because there is an enormous shift happening in the world and people are waking up to the amazing healing power of nature. But in our society, we are so conditioned to have everything we want right now without taking into consideration the consequences involved in producing it for us. We just want it NOW. Really, we live in a very glutinous society and it would do us well to take a step back, have a little more gratitude and respect for the things we have (like our essential oils) and look for ways to not ignorantly waste just because we can. So please, take a moment, think about all the amazing plants that went into creating the small bottles of precious oil that you have and make a commitment to use them wisely and only when needed.
2. This brings me to my next concern with essential oils. People becoming so enamored with the newest health craze or fad that they jump on board without the proper education. Essential oils can be very dangerous if you do not understand how to use them properly. There are many great books out there, but books alone aren’t going to give you the proper education to start recommending how to use essential oils for certain ailments. Just because something is a “natural” remedy DOES NOT automatically make it safe for everyone. There are great aromatherapy classes available just about everywhere now-especially online. If you like essential oils and want to be able to confidently use them for your health and that of your family members, then take a proper class. You will thank yourself later, trust me!
On the same note, because essential oils have become a health craze/fad, many people completely overlook that there are other ways to utilize the healing benefits of plants that do not require NEARLY as much plant material. Dried as well as fresh herbs can be transformed into teas, ferments, essences, tinctures, powders, poultices, salves, syrups, and so much more. Many times, depending upon the ailment, these other forms of herbal remedies will work much more efficiently and effectively in the body (and can be much safer) than essential oils. If you are wanting to take an herbal remedy internally, using essential oils is one of the most DANGEROUS ways of using herbs medicinally. That isn’t to say that there aren’t times that merit internal use of essential oils. But if so, it should be recommended by an aromatherapy certified healthcare practitioner who understand the impacts on the body. That being said, tinctures, teas, herbal powders, and especially fermented herbs are the safest and most effective way to internally use herbs as a healing remedy. They do not put the strain on the liver and kidneys as essential oils do. They use a fraction of the plant material to do so, in comparison to essential oils, and it is in a simpler form that the body can use more effectively. If you have been using essential oils for years now and are thinking…”I love my oregano oil and I can’t imagine not taking it anymore because it helps me so much.” Then don’t give up your oregano, just switch to a kinder, gentler, and more effective form like this Fermented Oregano. Branch out! There are so many more amazing opportunities that you are missing when it comes to natural health if you are only limiting yourself to essential oils.
3. My last concern regarding essential oils is how many people rely on them solely for fixing any and every health problem and concern that they have. Unfortunately, there is no remedy- essential oils, tinctures, teas, lotions, potions, grandpa’s famous miracle tonic, NOTHING-that will ever take place of the obligation you have to 100% take responsibility for your health. It is not healthy to decide to go out and eat at McDonald’s for lunch and then think, “I’ll just take a drop of peppermint afterwards. I’ll be fine.” Just because you FEEL fine doesn’t mean that your body is fine. If you want to embrace natural remedies and rely on them to work when called upon, then you better be doing your part. There is no plant on the planet that can make up for poor eating habits. There is no medication for that either. But if you start to eat properly, your body will have to spend less time trying to put out the fires that you have created with toxic and inflammatory food and focus more time on healing-which it was designed to do. That is when herbal remedies are of such good use-to aid in the healing. So, remember, it is YOUR responsibility to take care of your health, not your oils, not your doctor, not your spouse, not your best friend who knows more about oils than you, the responsibility lies with YOU! If you can own that and start living that way, you will find that essential oils are an enormous tool that really do work miracles when called upon.
Let’s review. Essential oils are amazing and a beautiful gift that Mother Nature gives us. Collectively let’s strive to become educated in how to properly use them as well as use them with respect and gratitude. There are many other healing gifts that Mother Nature gives as well, so branch out and explore them. And most of all, take responsibility of your own health!
Live in a way so that when the time comes when you need to call on Mother Nature for help, she can do Her part because you have put in the effort to do yours.