3 Essential oil myths you should know
Essential oils are all the rage these days. Between the health benefits and the natural components, it's a win-win for individuals wanting a more pure approach to wellness. Before running out and purchasing a whole slew of oils, here are a few essential oil myths we'd like to bust.
Myth #1 Therapeutic grade essential oils are the most pure oils and are 100% natural.
Fact: Since there is no regulatory agency overseeing the production of essential oils, the term "therapeutic grade" has now become a huge marketing message for some suppliers, much like the terms "No Fat" and "100% natural" on food labels. All oils go through a distillation process before they're packaged for consumers. Some processes and manufacturers dilute or adulterate the oils. The best way to find the essential oils right for you is to take a look at the ingredients on the label.
Myth #2 Essential oils can't be used on children.
Fact: When used appropriately, essential oils have a great wellness benefit for children. The key to remember with children, is that some oils will need to be diluted with a carrier oil due to their strength and potential skin sensitivity. Some carrier oils include fractionated coconut oil, olive oil and safflower oil. I personally use fractionated coconut oil because it doesn't have that greasy feeling when applied.
Myth #3 Essential oils can't be ingested.
Fact: While some essential oils are not safe to ingest, there are many that have a great impact on your health when ingested. One of my favorites for colds is lemon. Just a drop in a glass of water helps cleanse the back of your throat getting you on your way to 100% health again. I've even been known to cook with some of the essential oils. I use lime and cilantro essential oil in my guacamole recipe now.
Update 5/30/13: We've received a few concerned comments about this blog post, warning that improper use of essential oils could cause harm. We wanted to share some of these warnings with you, from one of our readers who is an expert in esential oils:
In the interest of full disclosure, I own Pure Pro Massage Products and we sell therapeutic essential oils. I agree with the first "myth", I disagree with the second and third. You really need PROFESSIONAL training to use essential oils with children. They are potent tools. As far as ingesting essential oils - yes it can be done with certain oils but again you need SUBSTANTIAL training. Many eo's are LETHAL if ingested even in small quantities. Most can easily burn your mouth, tongue and esophagus on the way down. Also when you ingest essential oils you are not getting the benefit of the whole plant, but are instead getting just the volatile oils. A slice of lemon in water is a much safer, more comprehensive way to ingest the plant. I strongly disavow telling anyone to try a "drop" of something by mouth. I also do not believe Massage Therapists should apply essential oils directly to their skin (in the process of putting onto the client) nor should they apply them directly to their client's skin. If you did this even one day (4 or 5 sessions) your hands would be irritated and possibly burned by these super concentrated natural oils. Also the pressure with which MTs push the eo's into the skin is much more substantial than a simple aromatherapy application in carrier oil. Circulation is increased up to 40 times in a given area making the oils that much more volatile and potent. I advise all MTs to pre-dilute their eo's for application in an unscented carrier oil or lotion, thus avoid skin irritation or accidentally dropping too many drops of pure essential oil in one area. -- Dianna Dapkins
What other concerns or possible myths have you heard about essential oils? Share them with us and we'll set the record straight in the comments section below.