People have been using essential oils for centuries for their therapeutic properties. But with the popularity of essential oils comes a lot of misinformation and myths. Let’s explore some of the most common myths about essential oils and set the record straight!
What are essential oils, and how are they used
Essential oils are natural, aromatic compounds that are extracted from plants. They are obtained from different parts of the plant, such as flowers, leaves, bark, or roots. Essential oils capture the plant’s scent, flavour, or “essence.” Each essential oil has a unique combination of aromatic compounds that give it its characteristic essence. These compounds are what make each essential oil useful for different purposes.
Essential oils are not only used for their pleasant scent but also for their therapeutic properties. Each essential oil has its unique benefits, which can be used to promote physical and emotional wellbeing. For example, lavender oil is often used to relieve stress and anxiety, while peppermint oil can help to improve focus and concentration. All essential oils have a wide range of uses, from relaxation and stress relief to easing digestive issues. However, more research is needed to confirm their full potential.
The five most common myths about essential oils
There are a number of myths and misconceptions about essential oils. Here are five of the most common ones:
Essential oils are more harmful than fragrance oils
This is not true. Fragrance oils are synthetic or man-made and often contain harmful chemicals. In addition, fragrance oils have the same harmful ingredients as essential oils such as limonene, linalool, geraniol, citronellol, etc. Therefore in many cases, both can be equally harmful. Still, essential oils are considered safer when used correctly because they don’t contain harmful additions such as Phthalates, Parabens, Silicones, PEGs, etc.
Essential oils are safe because they are natural
False. Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe. Essential oils are potent, natural chemicals and should be used with caution. For example, poison ivy and poisonous mushrooms are both natural, but they can cause serious health problems if they are not used correctly. However, essential oils are safe when used correctly and can benefit the mind and body.
All essential oils are the same
This is definitely not true! Each essential oil has its own unique blend of aromatic compounds that give it its own unique properties. Therefore, it is important to do your research before choosing an essential oil to use for a specific purpose.
Essential oils contain vitamins, minerals or hormones
This is also not true. Essential oils are made up of volatile compounds, which means they do not contain vitamins, minerals, or hormones. However, many essential oils do have antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties.
Essential oils can be used to treat medical conditions
This is not true. While essential oils can help manage symptoms, they should not be used to treat medical conditions. If you have a medical condition, it is always important to consult a healthcare professional before using any essential oil.
Bonus Myth. The more, the better
This isn’t always true when it comes to essential oils. In fact, using too much essential oil can be harmful. Many businesses still suggest applying essential oils in various ways (cleaning, eating, topically etc.). Our bodies’ response to essential oils is improved when they are used in moderation. However, our bodies become tolerant or even sensitive to them over time after continuous excessive usage.
The benefits of using essential oils
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils to promote physical and psychological wellbeing. They can be inhaled or applied to the skin and are thought to work by stimulating the nose’s olfactory receptors, which then send signals to the brain’s limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for emotions, memory, and stress response.
Aromatherapy is said to offer a number of potential health benefits, including:
- Reducing stress and anxiety. [1, 2]
- Improving focus and concentration. [3, 4]
- Relieving digestive issues. [5, 6]
- Easing pain and discomfort associated with headaches, muscle aches, and arthritis. [7, 8]
- Improving sleep quality. [9, 10]
- Boosting energy levels. [11, 12]
However, it’s important to note that limited scientific evidence supports these claims. More research is needed to determine the efficacy of aromatherapy.
How to use essential oils safely?
Understand the concentration of essential oils. Essential oils are much more concentrated than the plants they come from- typically 50-100 times more. This means that they can be more potent and have different effects than if you were using the plant itself.
If applying topically, dilute essential oils before use. It is crucial to always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin. This helps to avoid irritation and skin sensitization. If you are diffusing or releasing essential oils in the air, follow the instructions that come with the product.
And finally, be aware of possible side effects and contraindications. Just because an essential oil is natural does not mean it is always safe. Some essential oils should not be used if you are pregnant, nursing, have certain medical conditions, or are taking certain medications. Research each oil before use and pay attention to warnings on product labels. We supply all necessary safety information at the top of every product page.
Essential oils are natural substances that can be used to improve physical and psychological wellbeing. They offer a range of potential health benefits, but more research is needed to determine their efficacy.
Essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil before use, and some oils should not be used if you have certain medical conditions, are pregnant or nursing. Be aware of possible side effects, pay attention to product labels and always follow the instructions.
Please note: This is not intended to be professional medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about using essential oils.