I'm taking a break from the Essential Oils Head to Toe series today to address some big issues and questions I've seen and heard from you, dear readers! I feel like some of these are big enough concerns that it won't matter what I say until they are addressed!
Regarding essential oils:
"Are they safe?"
"Are they effective?"
"I'm overwhelmed with the uses. I just want someone to tell me what each one does."
and my favorite, "Why are they so expensive?"
Let me start out by saying once again that I am not a doctor. I am not an aromatherapist. I am not licensed or certified in any way. This is my blog and my opinion and I hope you are helped but that you are spurred on to do more research and learn more about essential oils yourself. I honestly don't care what brand you land on, as long as they are safe and effective and support the health of your family! Again, I write about dōTERRA because it is what I know so far. But are they the only brand to offer quality? I'm sure not. Do your research.
ARE THEY SAFE?
Most essential oils are safe and free from nasty side effects if used properly. Many people will say never to ingest them, while some say it is very effective and totally fine. As with other medicine, you need to pay attention to dosage, purity, and correct application. I found this article from the University of Minnesota to be clear, concise, and very helpful.
As far as purity is concerned, unfortunately we don't all have a mass spectrometer in our living room to test these things ourselves. And honestly, even if one did appear I'd have no idea how to use it. ;)
So it comes down to finding a brand you trust.
BUT, I found this from a blog called CrunchyBetty.com:
"To test your essential oil to see how “pure” it is, put a single drop of it on a piece of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes)."
So there's that.
ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?
If you Google the phrase "essential oils didn't work for me", you'll have trouble finding articles, I've found. Essential oils are nature's medicine cabinet, what mankind has been using for time immemorial (in one form or another, maybe not in little glass vials!) to heal our bodies and minds.
In my estimation, what some people find frustrating (including myself, as you'll read in subsequent posts) is finding the thing that works for you. The trouble is, we're all different and more importantly, the root of every health problem we have is not the same! So this is indeed a challenge that you will face if you decide to ditch common pharmaceutical solutions to everyday problems. However, I have found certain things to be greatly effective, so that has given me hope and kept me going!
JUST TELL ME WHAT EACH OIL DOES!
I think the frustration here I felt at first too. It's like, "What do you mean lemon can be used to combat oiliness on my face but also can be used to clean my countertops?! Just tell me which thing to do and I'll do it!!"
And lists like "101 Uses for Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint" can seem wonderful at first, but quickly grow overwhelming!
What I want you to hear loud and clear in this section is that each oil has multiple properties, which is why it can have multiple uses. Let's take Lavender as an example. When I think of the scent of lavender, the first two words I think of are "clean" and "calming". And indeed, you will find that Lavender essential oil is a mood-lifter and as well as cleaner and disinfectant!
This is because Lavender has Anti-Depressive, Anti-Spasmodic, Antiseptic and Analgesic properties. So YES, it is as good for calming a burn on your skin as it is for calming your kid before bed.
|Photo Credit: J.G. Damlow via Compfight cc I feel calmer already...|
OK BUT WHY ARE THEY SO EXPENSIVE?
This is a favorite of mine. It took me an entire year to get over how expensive these oils seemed to me. It took me a bout with cancer (my husband's) and the hospital bills that brought (even with insurance) to realize the value of health.
If you know me, I'm like one of the cheapest people you will ever meet. But all the sudden I'm dropping what, in my mind, is serious cash on little bottles of oil!
1. You have to pay for quality. This is your body we're talking about and your health. If you're using them therapeutically, you need the good stuff. If you're using it for cleaning or for perfume, then sure...go for the less expensive stuff and you don't really worry too much.
2. It is super-concentrated. It takes a lot to make a little vial. Like 100 POUNDs of lavender to make a pound of oil. I haven't seen 100 pounds of lavender, but I imagine it's a lot! Some are harder to find, harder to grow, harder to process, etc, etc. However, the good news is that a little goes a long way! Again, one DROP of peppermint is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea!
3. The price-per-drop is actually not bad. When you think that a "dose" of oils usually involves no more than a drop or two, the perspective changes. And since some of these oils seem to work for nearly everything (I'm looking at you, Frankincense!), you really only need a few oils to start with. And for me, I think about how many OTC drugs I'm no longer buying (and hopefully will never have to!), and it starts to seem like a pretty good deal.
I HOPE I HAVEN'T LOST YOU!!
If you're still with me, here's a prize to be won.
Enter the raffle to win! I'll announce the winner at the end of the Head to Toe series! And as always, if you are interested in purchasing some for yourself, you can visit my site.