Essential oils are a super hot topic right now.
So hot that I’ve seen scathing comments when people mention they should or should not use a specific brand. So many ladies seem to go from helpful to knock-down-drag-out in two seconds flat.
And it’s unfortunate, this great divide. Because we all just want the best for our family’s health!
It seems that a few years ago when I purchased my first essential oils (lavender, lemon, and tea tree) that there was no controversy in the natural health world, or maybe I was just oblivious to it. I was excited to find a product that I could use in my natural medicine cabinet to complement the herbs I already used.
I began to happily use them, and then I got stopped in my tracks. I was told I bought the wrong kind, that I could be hurting myself and my family by using them.
Then I was told it was ok, but I was using them wrong.
Next up was, again, I had purchased the wrong brand, AND I could use them as I had before.
Let. Me. Tell. You. I think I’ve been spun around a few different times over the last few years and I feel like I finally have my head on straight.
I will not participate in the brand wars and I will err on the side of caution when it comes to neat and internal usage. (Unless I am under the care of a qualified aromatherapist or someone trained in EO use.)
Let’s cover a few basics:
What are essential oils?
They are natural oils found in plants that are usually extracted through a process called distillation. Essential oils are highly concentrated and it takes many, many pounds of plant material to produce them. In the case of lemon essential oil, it takes about 83 lemons to produce one ounce of oil. Lavender essential oil uses about 9 pounds of flowers to produce just one ounce of essential oil, and 250 pounds of Bulgarian rose petals are used to make one ounce of essential oils.
Essential oils are convenient as they are easily stored and carried when traveling. They are good for the budget since all usage is counted by simple drops and there are about 600 drops in a 30ml bottle. And they are effective for multiple uses; from cleaning the home and getting rid of pests, to calming nerves, taking care of headaches, and fighting illness.
So which brand is best?
I think if I had a dollar for every time I have been asked this question my house would be paid off! Or I could at least buy a freezer full of grass-fed beef to feed my family for a year.
There are two big players in this arena, of course, both multi-level marketing companies, (MLMs sign people up to become reps and sell the oils, they earn a percentage of the sales, many times it’s as high as 50%. They also sign up other people under them to sell the oils and make percentages of their sales.) and there are smaller guys out there stressing they have good oils too.
Let me just tell you, there are multiple “good” brands out there! Companies who source their oils to the best of their abilities, making sure they are pure and unadulterated. There are certified aromatherapists that blend these oils for each brand to create healing blends, each a bit different from the next.
The prices between all of these oils can vary widely depending on the source and is often why people assume one oil is better than another.
I have personally decided to use oils from multiple companies and this works out best for me.
I currently have oils from four different companies and it works out great for me. Here’s why:
- Many of my single oils are purchased less expensively from a company I know and trust.
- I have a blend from one of the bigger EO companies that I can’t diffuse due to too much cinnamon in it, (it makes me dizzy and light-headed) but a blend from another company (used for the same purpose) doesn’t cause me issues at all.
- On the other hand, it’s reversed for a different blend of oils! The lower-priced option bothered me, but the pricier option didn’t.
My advice would be to find what works for you!
How should we use them?
Oh, golly gee.
This issue is almost hotter than the brand war itself.
- Should you, or should you not ingest essential oils?
- Can it be done safely?
- Should you put them on your skin without a carrier oil? (called “neat” use)
- How often should you use them?
- What resource should you use to use them?
I think the biggest thing to remember is that when we use them internally, we should work with a qualified aromatherapist or practitioner. It’s important to look at the health of the individual, their age, their health history, and their current family status as blanket statements on usage can be dangerous.
We should also start small and work our way up, instead of using the maximum amount or using it neatly right from the get-go. Less can oftentimes be more, so start with a low dilution and see if it helps first.
Essential oils are strong substances so be aware of how often you use them. I personally don’t normally use them daily but only when I need them (or for daily use when I need specific support). If you think about it, there are also issues regarding sustainability with essential oils. It can take hundreds of pounds of plant matter to produce one ounce of oil. Would you use that much plant product? Is it sustainable to grow and provide millions of people with these oils? We need to think about before we destroy the land in our attempts to maximize plant production.