It is amazing how many myths and misconceptions there are surrounding essential oils! They just keep going around the interwebs like an old meme. Now, before anyone decides to leave before even finishing reading, please remember I’m not trying to bash essential oils. In essence, I am interested in filtering through the useless, wasteful, and possibly even harmful information to find safe beneficial information – like separating dross from silver – and passing on what I find. If you have something for me to look into, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I find.
#1 “Therapeutic grade” essential oils are the best of the best
Upon looking into it, “therapeutic grade” appears to just be another marketing buzzword that needs to be tossed onto the rubbish heap of meaningless product labels. There are no unifying standards for essential oils nor is there an independent, non-biased third party with a standardized grading system companies can be held accountable to. Most are self-regulated, some even with specially trademarked terms no other company can use, thus leaving consumers to be tossed about in the cacophonic waves of endless buzzwords in the marketplace. Does this help the consumer? In my opinion, no.
Some would say the lack of such a meddlesome system of governance is good but here are a couple of examples why it is not. Have you ever had to convert between two units of measurement? Before the standardizing of measurements, a foot could be determined by the the length of the current king’s foot or a yard by the tailor’s own arm. If the tailor was small, one could get easily gypped! Or, there is the history of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 to protect consumers from buying contaminated or adulterated goods. So until there is an organized standardizing body to regulate essential oils, one can ignore some of the fancy buzzwords.
#2 Essential oils are safe to ingest
Inconclusive. When it comes to ingesting essential oils, unless you are receiving personally tailored recommendations from a licensed medical practitioner with extensive training and education certificates from verifiable sources that you have met with, don’t. Many actually advise AGAINST ingesting essential oils, even if the bottle has a GRAS label on it. Essential oils are, after all, highly concentrated chemical compounds and therefore can pack quite a punch. And, though they may not cause harm right away, the damage caused through daily ingestion may not become apparent until some time later.
Rather than me blathering on, here’s a good read by The Hippy Homemaker: The Case for Ingestion – Is Ingesting Essential Oils Safe
Safety statement – Alliance of International Aromatherapists – Aromatherapy Safety
Another safety statement – National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
#3 Essential oils are most beneficial when applied to the feet
Not true. If I had a nickle for every time I heard this over the years, I could finally buy that Noonday purse I’ve been patiently saving up for! This is one misconception that really needs to be stomped on for good (pun intended). Feet have calloused, thick, and toughened skin. They also are one of the most sweaty places on the human body. The pores are also only exits, not entrances. Slower, if even any, absorption will occur and any benefit will only be coming from the aromatic inhalation via your nose and a relaxing foot rub.
Another good blog resource – http://englisharomatherapist.com/essential-oils-on-your-feet-yes-or-no/
Thanks for sticking around to the end! Still wondering how I’m using the two essential oils I’ve purchased so far? I’m still loving my wool dryer balls with just a drop or two of lavender essential oil!