What Are Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are the life-force of the plant, much like our blood is to us. The Oil is their immune system and is designed to protect and heal. The Oils are derived from leaves, roots, plants, stems, barks, petals, and seeds. They are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and they help support our immune system. Human and Plants have similar DNA and biological make-up, therefore our bodies can identify the organic material allowing it to react the same way it works in the plants.
How do you use them?
You can use them topically, aromatically, or internally (only internal when stated on the label as dietary supplement)
Different Models of Aromatherapy: German, British, and French
The German model relies primarily on inhalation as a way to receive the benefits of essential oils. The British model takes a very conservative approach of using very diluted oils for massage. They have a long list of oils which they believe should NEVER be used for any reason, and generally frown upon applying the oils neat (undiluted) or taken orally unless under the direction of a licensed healthcare professional. Most of the Aromatherapist in the US are trained according to the British Model. The French model, however, embraces application of essential oils through both neat (undiluted) and diluted topical application, internal use through ingestion and suppositories, and inhaling or diffusing the oils.
Now that I have given you an oversight of What Essential Oils are, let us discuss some topics that have been flooding the blog sites and social media.
First let’s talk about the injesting oils, this topic seems to be one of the hottest topics lately. The French Model!! The first Aromatherapy School in France was formed in the 1930’s, although historical documents show injestion of EO going all the way back to Ancient Egypt. So why all the hype if it is an actual method of aromatherapy?
As above stated that the majority of Aromatherapist in the US are trained in the British method. Which is my favorite way to use EO. The British Method is very conservative to the actual extreme in my thoughts. An Influential author and educator Robert Tisserand is often widely regarded as the father of modern aromatherapy who was a native of Great Britain, who generally represents a more conservative British view, one of his well know books is Essential Oil Safety: A Guide For Health Care Professionals. When he came to the US in 2000 he notes in the first edition of his Essential Oil Safety, “We are aware that a book such as this could have the effect of presenting essential oils as generally dangerous substances – this is certainly not our intention. On the contrary, there are several instances where we have shown that supposed dangers do not in fact exist. The majority of essential oils turn out to be non-hazardous as they are used in aromatherapy,” but the aromatherapists have placed undue emphasis on Tisserand’s safety statistics without fully understand the context. He even notes that the text is largely drawn from the toxicology reports from the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials. In other words, the safety issues apply primarily to oils of fragrance grade. The testing was also mainly done using the LD50 levels for laboratory mice or rats. This means that the test rodents are given increasingly large doses until half of the ones tested die – that dose is considered to be LD50. These doses, incidentally, are generally much larger even than a human would use (consider a human weighing maybe 150x as much as a large laboratory rat) let alone a dose that might be appropriate for something as small as a rat or a mouse. Tisserand states, “Toxicologists increasingly acknowledge that giving excessive doses of a substance to a genetically in-bred mouse living in a laboratory may not have great relevance to the human situation.” Yet on going posts from the British Aramotherapy Community keep going back to the harm of ingesting oils.
One way to know if they are 100% pure is by checking the label. The label should clearly state that the oil can be used as a “dietary supplement” or have “supplemental facts” listed on the back of the label. When you understand that the majority of EO that are readily available for purchase are adulterated or contain toxic chemicals, you can understand why certain people, blogs, or articles might say not to injest. The majority of oils on the market are for fragrance and general, non-therapeutic aromatherapy community. So if you want to injest Essential Oils or are curious about the subject then it is critical to know your source and make sure you read the labels.
What is my point? My point is to do your homework and research! Research both sides and make the decision on your own. When you choose your Essential Oil company, make sure you can ingest them if that’s what you choose to do. For Example- The FDA has a very long list of essential oils on their GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) list, and/or listed as Flavoring Agents (FA). You can start there. Also if the oil says do not take internally, that is an obvious red flag!
It is understandably right to be cautious when it comes to Essential Oils, I just think it’s silly that we can trust a pharmaceutical drug, vaccine, or shot that our doctor recommends us taking without doing much research but the natural things are what causes a crazy ruckus!
Finally, I want to discuss Kids and Essential Oils. This is another hot topic I want to address. The use of EO on women who are pregnant and children should be done with care and caution. Essential oils to stay away from during pregnancy are, Clary Sage, Sage, Tansy, Hyssop, Fennel, and Wintergreen, also some blends that contain these single oils in them. There are a few others but the list above are the main ones. For babies and children, you should always, always dilute with carrier oil. The best way to apply on children are on the bottom of their feet. Each EO is different, so there is no specific ratio to use. This is my dilution chart for children.
I’m sure most of you have heard the topics or articles about the safety concerns with Thieves, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary on children and how toxic it could be. Let me just re iterate once again, these articles are not saying Young Living Oils. For Example-There was an article that stated a daycare using a “thieves like blend” in the diffuser. We’re not talking about Young Living Essential Oils here. We’re talking oils lab-created, synthetic oils derived from GMO plants and adulterated oils. Also a certain study being citied everywhere about a poisoned child was from 4ML of Wintergreen being injested, Not 4 drops, 4ML!! That is pretty much an entire 5ml bottle of Wintergreen. Who can actually swallow an entire mouthful? So basically saying your child will have a toxic reaction to wintergreen is not the same as saying they will have a toxic reaction to 5ml! That’s why you should use with caution, which is why there is a child-proof cap on the bottle. Just like household cleaners and medication, who is responsible for the dosage for your children? You are!
If you saw my earlier post on Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil and my homemade Chest Rub, you will see why I chose to use The Eucalyptus Radiata for the kids instead of the other Eucalyptus. As long as you are using these oils properly, starting slow and diluted as recommended, your child will not have a toxic reaction. If used as labeled and a rash occurs, it is usually oils bringing out an issue you’re having in your body. It’s not that the oils are toxic, it’s that the oils are fighting something in your body that IS and that your body is just expelling it through the pores. These oils listed above are always to be use cautiously and diluted, Kids under 5 with a history of respiratory issues or seizures should not apply to chest because the 1.8-cineole in Eucalyptus and Peppermint can slow breathing.
This is a quote from British Aromatherapiet Tissernand when asked about Eucalyptus and Peppermint on children-
“These are two of the most effective essential oils for respiratory infection and congestion, but too much can be quite dangerous, especially for infants. (“Eucalyptus”, includes E. globulus and E. radiata.) Because of the 1,8-cineole in eucalyptus and the menthol in peppermint, these oils can slow breathing, and cause neurological problems, but there are safe and effective levels of use. For children of 3 and under, peppermint is best avoided altogether, and eucalyptus can be diffused, or used topically at up to 0.5%. For children aged 3-6 both oils can be diffused, and used topically at up to 0.5% (peppermint) and up to 1.0% (eucalyptus). Other oils that are useful but safer for children include pine, spruce and rosalina.” You can find this interview here. http://wegotreal.com/essential-oil-concerns-robert-tisserand/
So where do we go from here? Let me start off by saying I have had over 12 years experience in the health and fitness field, While maintaining continuing education yearly. I research daily and strive to give the best health and fitness coaching to all my clients and members. I have spent countless time taking courses and classes, reading books, and articles on Essential Oils, Every kind!! I am starting classes on Aromatherapy, and learn more and more every day. The reason I went with Young Living was because they have their own farms and distilleries, they also have a SEED TO SEAL GUARANTEE. I have used these oils on my family for the last two years and have seen nothing but positive, amazing outcomes, they have changed my household. If you would like to do more research on different essential oil companies, below is a list of questions you can ask them. I welcome your questions and hope to answer them to my best ability.
Resouces and References:
The Essential Oil Truth The Facts without the Hype by Jen O’Sullivan ,