Essential oils have interested me for years now. I love the idea of a plant-based medicine! But I have been timid about actually buying and using them regularly.
I have found a number of barriers to really diving in with essential oils.
- It seems tricky to figure out who to trust on the subject
- Several sources seem to be contradictory and it was difficult to figure out things like dilution rates, application process, what’s safe for kids/pets, etc.
- Some information just didn’t sound right to me… like how some people say that it’s okay to put some oils onto your skin without diluting but you should never take it internally… and others talk about the benefits of taking it internally – confusing, right?!
- The information itself is just so overwhelming!
In the last several months this timidity has shifted a bit. That is in part due to finding Dr. Eric Z who is a functional medicine practitioner, chiropractor and certified aromatherapist who is dedicated to the education of essential oils.
Dr. Z’s information has convinced me of the truth regarding 3 commonly believed lies in the essential oil industry. I want to discuss them all here to bring awareness to these issues and shed light on these often misunderstood topics.
Lie #1: Essential oils are not safe to take internally.
I have seen this emphasized extensively in Facebook groups and other conversations surrounding essential oils. And I believe that they are all well-intentioned to repeat this lie!
Essential Oils Truth: Most essential oils are safe to ingest!
Essential oils are very potent and it would be terribly unsafe to consume them straight. However, most oils are safe to ingest when they are properly diluted! (That part is super important to avoid possible complications from ingesting such a strong compound!)
Ideally, internal use of essential oils should be reserved for when you are actively fighting disease or addressing a specific active concern- not for the sake of prevention.
Lie #2: Essential oils can’t be used in cooking – the heat would damage the oil and isn’t safe!
This sounds legitimate since there has been so much discussion about the safe use of cooking oils at higher temperatures, but it’s actually misleading!
Essential Oils Truth: Heat doesn’t damage essential oils… it creates them!
Most oils go through a steam distillation process to become an essential oil. The high heat will not damage the oil. So, as long as you have enough fats to dilute the oil in within the meal, you can safely use most oils in cooking!
Surprising Essential Oil Fact:
You are probably already ingesting essential oils in your foods… they are just labeled “natural flavors” on the packaging.
Lie #3: The bottom of your feet is the best place to apply essential oils because you don’t have sweat glands there.I guess that’s a logical reasoning, but it always seemed a bit weird to me. Surely there are other parts of your body that are more absorbable than the bottoms of your feet?!
Essential Oils Truth: Your feet are a terrible target for topical application!Actually, your feet are rather difficult to get high absorption rates because after about age 5, the skin thickens from walking. You can get better absorption behind the ears, on the wrists, over your abdomen, etc. where the skin is thinner. The sweating process isn’t typically a major concern because the essentials get pulled into the blood stream so quickly that sweating is not likely to prevent absorption.
My Next Step with Essential OilsThese truths (along with some of the other information Dr. Z offered on his site) really helped me to overcome my fears with essential oils. Personally, it just never made sense to me why a natural plant-based compound would be entirely unsafe to ingest.
Finding an Awesome Source of Essential OilsUsing some of the recommendations on Dr. Z’s site to investigate quality options for essential oil companies, I found Plant Therapy. I love that they are a family owned business that is dedicated to quality over quantity. Click here to find out more about the company itself. Personally, I love their kid safe line of oils and just got my “Diffuse on the Move” so I can try out their Calm the Child and A+ Attention blends with my kids at work. Most of them have sensory and attention problems and I can’t wait to see how it impacts their ability to engage!
Quick DisclosureYou might have seen some ads for Plant Therapy on the blog already. This is because I am now an affiliate with them. That basically means that if you click on a link from my site and choose to purchase with them, it sends me a small commission of the sales. To be honest though, I was interested in this affiliation more because I believe in promoting companies like this one who are
- creating awesome products
- providing great customer service, and
- are on a mission to make an impact on the world