Monday, July 27, 2015

Essential Oils: Not So Essential

Essential oils have become a very popular trend over the past decade. Companies such as doTERRA and Young Living Essential oils are growing rapidly as they are promoting alternatives methods to health and wellness. And in the world of pseudoscience, people’s health is a huge target as everyone is looking for alternative methods that bring quicker and more effective results.
             Essential oils can be used on the skin or in some cases taken orally. They are said to be able to heal burns, headaches, and basically all other illnesses. The only issues is that none of these companies provide controlled tests that prove their oils to be effective. They also make claims of these oils for doing things that cannot even be tested such as balancing a person’s chakras and restore harmony to their “energy” flow. I put quotes around energy as this word is frequently used in pseudoscience claims as it sounds scientific but has no scientific value. They also claim that essential oils have been used for centuries, which is also a big indicator of pseudoscience.

            I wanted to bring this to everyone’s attention in this blog because I had personal experience with this and wanted to share it. My mother was a huge advocate of these oils and I remember growing up with it. When I would get a headache or an injury she would apply her oils to the area. They never did anything but burn and produce an unusual smell.


  1. I really enjoyed your post. My sister is a HUGE essential oils advocate, and literally swears by them. Well, I was visiting her family and her a few months ago and woke up with a terrible headache. She doesn't have tylenol or anything like that in her house, only the oils. She mixed together some peppermint, lavender, and a few other oils and told me to gently massage it onto my forehead, as the smells and absorption of the oils will reduce the headache quickly. The only thing I got out of this "experience" was two massive zits on my forehead, and a burning sensation that lasted about a week. It smelled lovely though!!

  2. Personally I have used essential oil combinations of lavender, eucalyptus and lemon for migraines, which did in fact relieve the headaches. Plant based medicine has been around for ages and is where we derive most modern medicine. There are some chemical properties of some of these oils that can alleviate pain. Eucalyptus, for instance, is well known for relief of sinus pain due to it's anti inflammatory properties. Lavender can relieve anxiety, although I attribute that to the pleasant smell, which could release endorphins thus reducing pain and anxiety.

  3. While some of these oils contribute very little to nothing in regards to a person's health, some do have benefits. I used to use eucalyptus oil as a treatment for respiratory infections in snakes. I would take half a teaspoon of Vick's vapor rub, a few drops of eucalyptus oil, and bring a pot of water to boil. I would mix them while the water was hot and this steamy eye-watering mixture would have my snakes back to health in no time. While I don't have any scientific evidence it has worked for me and many others and is much easier and cheaper than antibiotics with the same result.

  4. My wife just purchased essential oil from Young Living. She got them to try and see if it can help with her headaches that she has been complaining about. She first tried lavender, eucalyptus and lemon for her headache using the diffuser. Let me tell you something the aromatic power of the essential oil throughout our home made everyone feel nice. I do have to say that in the beginning, I was a little skeptical about the product. But after seeing my wife shows signs of relief from it, I started to feel differently now about the product.