3 Essential oil myths you should know

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3 Essential oil myths you should know

 

essential oil mythsEssential 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.

Photo Credit: Visionello via Compfight cc


Comments

I've heard that thyme essential oil must always be diluted before contact on the skin and I've heard that some people put it directly on the skin. Which is correct? I always dilute it because I find it to be quite powerful and potentially irritating on its own (rosemary too).
Posted @ Tuesday, May 28, 2013 9:54 AM by Jessica M
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.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 28, 2013 4:16 PM by Dianna Dapkins
Thanks for you comments and for helping improve the blog. We have posted an update reflecting your smart comments.
Posted @ Thursday, May 30, 2013 9:51 AM by Benjamin McDonald
First, I want to commend Massamio for posting information on aromatherapy and the use of essential oils for massage therapy. It is extremely important to educate therapists not only for their clients safety but primarily their own since they will be handling substances constantly throughout the day. I wanted to comment on the posting of whether or not to use Thyme essential oil undiluted on the skin. The answer, absolutely not, Thyme oil in particular is extremely powerful and has a very unique chemistry that can make it dangerous when overexposed. Despite the popularity of undiluted use of essential oils being promoted commercially, the fact is that ALL essential oils should ALWAYS be diluted in either an unscented oil or lotion prior to application on the skin. There are several blended products on the market (know your source and read your labels) or you can create your signature blend of essential oils. I recommend consulting with an aromatherapist and definitely encourage MT's to pursue education in this area to enhance their practice. - Sonia Rodriguez, owner Alchemista LLC.
Posted @ Thursday, May 30, 2013 2:22 PM by Sonia Rodriguez
Hi Gang! I agree with Dianna. I have been studying aromatherapy for several years now and don't profess to know everything, but I have been taught that there are very few essential oils that can be applied NEAT (undiluted) on the skin due to their powerful strengths.  
 
I attended a duTerra Essential Oil party a few weeks ago and was totally scared to death as the demonstrator told these ladies place a couple of drops of each essential oil undiluted into the palms of their hands, rub briskly together and breathe in the aroma deeply. They each applied in order lavender, lemon, bergamot, thyme, clary sage and oregano.  
The demonstrator never referred to carrier oils for massage and even suggested that they could take the oils, place them in a gelatin capsule and ingest them. 
Finally, they were told they could perform the AromaTouch Massage on their clients. Here is Texas you must be licensed to perform massage and cannot use the terms massage, rub, oe other massage terms in your advertising unless you are licensed.  
As I explained this to the demonstrator, she said she was not aware of that and that her company said they could use these oils in that capacity since they are 100% therapeutic organic and only cultivated from the source of origin, as well as the massage. Indicated that she would check into it. 
I cannot imagine the adverse effects some of these individuals could produce if they are touting this information to an uninformed or uneducated public.  
Has anyone else heard of this, or is it an isolated demonstrator case?  
Posted @ Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:34 PM by Cindy Frahm
I am a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I cannot speak for other oil brands, but I can speak from my own personal experience. I use doTERRA essential oils (I would not trust any other brand because many companies do add things to their oils, which is what makes them unsafe). I have been using the oils topically and internally as well as in aromatherapy applications on myself, my toddler since he was a tiny infant (diluted only on kids), my dog, and my other family members for a couple of years now. I have never had any adverse effects. Of course, there are oils that are more potent and should always be used with a carrier oil, and just a few that should not be used internally. An educated, responsible representative would inform you of this and other safety considerations as well as recommend that you always check with your healthcare practitioner if you have specific concerns. doTERRA actually coined the term, Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade for their oils as a way to police themselves in an industry that has no real regulation. They are the only company that has an unbiased, third party test the oils. All other companies test their own oils for purity and quality, which leaves the open to ethical questions and concerns. Some other companies use the the term Therapeutic Grade, but do not use third party testing. I trust doTERRA completely because I took the time to educate myself before using them. I would never use any other oils at all, because most of them are no better than perfume after adulteration and addition of ingredients that make their scent stronger and/or extend the shelf life of the oils. Essential oils are perfectly safe if you choose the right ones and take the time to educate yourself. I apologize on behalf of doTERRA if an inexperienced Wellness Advocate gave you any misinformation and you are more than welcome to contact me with any questions. I will also pass on the information about the massage laws in Texas to my corporate office.
Posted @ Saturday, September 06, 2014 3:41 PM by Heather Hurst
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