I’ve received MANY nasty comments regarding essential oils.
There very fact that so many brands exist is a source of controversy.
Some people cling to the belief that you must buy a certain brand. (Typically, you hear this false messaging around high priced multilevel marketing oils.)
Then there’s the whole issue of correct use.
Everyone has a different opinion.
The key word is “opinion.”
Essential oils have been used for ages, to treat a wide range of conditions.
But we still know relatively little about how they work. Or how much to use. Or how often to use aromatherapy.
So much of the advice (even from some of the “experts”) is just opinion.
Even this post is just my personal opinion only.
Since relatively few scientific studies have been conducted on proper use of essential oils.
But I have noticed what appears to be bully behavior from certain essential oil afficiandoes. At least judging by some of the comments left on this blog.
Even though I’m not a professional aromatherapist, I can read and do my own research. Enough to know that some of the comments have no basis in reality.
Yet these comments are expressed as fact. Often in a bullying manner.
Which leads me to ponder why essential oil use is so contentious.
Why Essential Oil Use Is So Contentious
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So why is essential oil use so contentious?
I can only guess.
But here are my best guesses.
- Essential Oil Use is Fairly New. At least to many people. Even though aromatic oils have been used for centuries, essential oils really didn’t take off until a little more than a decade ago. Now there are many brands to choose from and you can even find essential oils in discount stores. (Not a good idea to buy them there, though, because you don’t know how long they’ve been sitting around.)
- Differing Opinions on Best Use. Because essential oils are enjoying a resurgence, there’s still a lot we don’t know about them. So there’s lots of heated debate about what constitutes best practice. Let me tell you the debate is nasty. I often receive hateful comments on blog posts and social media posts about best use of essential oils. Much of it is just plain ridiculous. For instance, I published a social media post about using essential oils to kill fleas naturally. One person commented that I was trying to kill the dog instead. Clearly she hadn’t read the linked article, which clearly explained that all essential oil use in canines must be approved by the vet. Also, I was not suggesting anyone put essential oils directly on their dog. Instead, I’m suggesting indirect use. Perhaps drop on the leash when you take Rover out for a walk. Or possibly a periodic drop on a cloth collar IF your vet approves. Vet says “no” then essential oils aren’t used. I also included the necessary caveats. No essential oils for young puppies. No essential oils for pregnant females. No essential oils for cats (a separate topic of contention).
- Lack of Scientific Studies. There are a handful of studies showing that certain essential oils when applied topically really can ease pain. Other research shows aromatic oils can fight pathogens, at least in the lab. However, what seems to be lacking is controlled studies on safety, or best use. Best use is one area where the fangs really come out. There are soooo many different opinions. So what do I do? I’m not a professional aromatherapist. But I turn to the experts for advice. I often cite opinions from Plant Therapy, which works with world famous aromatherapy expert Paul Tisserand. What I like about this method is that Plant Therapy’s advice errs on the side of caution. It’s blog is written for a wide range of people. We’re all different. We react differently to various natural remedies. So the best practice is to put out information on safe use of essential oils for a wide range of people, including those that may be particularly sensitive to these very highly concentrated plant extracts. Until Western medicine has more experience with essential oils, we can probably expect the controversy to rage.
- Essential Oil Ingestion. This is, by far, one of the most contentious topics. There’s a dangerous misconception that it’s perfectly safe to ingest essential oils. However, certain essential oils are toxic when consumed. Eucalyptus oil is one of them. Eucalyptus oil is often found in the popular germ fighting blends. (More on this later.) I’m not saying there’s never a case for ingestion. But it needs to be done under medical supervision, by someone trained in the practice, according to the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. Yet we often see social media posts where people casually encourage others to ingest. I’ve even seen social media posts that recommend ingesting a certain germ fighting blend, which contains eucalyptus oil. If you’d like to read more about the ingestion controversy, here is a link to an earlier post on the topic.
- Buying A Certain Brand Only. When I first started using essential oils, I too was under the impression that you needed to get one of two MLM brands if you wanted quality. But they are very pricey. So I decided to try a relatively unknown brand and was pleasantly surprised. Then I discovered Plant Therapy and never looked back. Since then I’ve also been very impression with Natures Fusions essential oils. The company sent me a free sample package. I liked it so much that I started buying them myself. Ignore the multilevel marketing sales reps. There are many good brands of essential oils. Find one you trust. Here’s an earlier post that explains why you don’t necessarily need to buy MLM essential oils.
- Essential Oils for Animals. This is where we need a lot more research. I always just say defer to your vet. One thing we know is that the vast majority of animal health experts say to never use essential oils on cats. That’s because cats lack the necessary liver enzymes needed to metabolize these highly concentrated botanical extracts. But guess what? Some people argue that it’s okay to use essential oils on cats. But ask your vet. He or she will almost surely tell you “no.”
- Bully Behavior. A certain percentage of the population has narcissistic traits. Some adults are out and out bullies. Men as well as women. Essential oils are very popular. Many people use them. We still don’t know a lot about how they work. There are a lot of differing opinions, which sometimes bullies seize upon. My best advice is to do your own research and learn about essential oil safety. So if someone tries to bully you into accepting their opinion, you’ll have a solid foundation to fall back on.