The Truth About Essential Oils: Debunking Misconceptions and Ensuring Safe Use

Posted by Theresa Cangialosi on

Essential oils have gained immense popularity in recent years, thanks to their enticing aromas and potential health benefits. However, along with their rise in popularity, there has been a proliferation of misinformation surrounding these potent plant extracts. In this blog, we'll delve into some common misconceptions about essential oils, highlight important basic safety facts, and shed light on the benefits of choosing authentic and genuine oils, such as those from SoBotanical Apothecary+Aromatherapy.

Misconception #1: All Essential Oils Are Created Equal

One of the most prevalent myths about essential oils is that all brands and types are of the same quality or some are far superior to others. This couldn't be further from the truth but can be confusing with so much marketing misinformation. The quality of essential oils can vary greatly depending on factors such as the plant source and soil, distillation extraction method, and storage conditions. Genuine authentic essential oils, like those from SoBotanical, are sourced from growers and distributors with integrity and sustainability in mind. SoBotanical oils come from plants that are grown according to the organic criteria and are unadulterated. There is no such thing as “therapeutic grade essential oils". This is a marketing ploy with no truth to the statement. I first heard this term in the eighties when people did not have a term to describe the difference between synthetic fragrance oils and essential oils. That term was in context to describing an oil that was synthetic and one that was natural. It never was about a grade or quality of the oil. The oil is either genuine or not and there are quality differences amongst many brands.

Misconception #2: Essential Oils Are Completely Safe Because They Are Natural

While essential oils are derived from natural sources, they are highly concentrated and potent substances that can cause harm if not used properly. It's crucial to dilute essential oils before applying them to the skin and to always perform a patch test to check for sensitivity. Additionally, some essential oils are not safe for use during pregnancy or for individuals with certain medical conditions. SoBotanical provides detailed safety information and educational classes, ensuring that users can enjoy their benefits safely.

Misconception #3: Essential Oils Can Cure All Ailments

While essential oils have many therapeutic properties, they are not miracle cures. They can support overall well-being in absolutely amazing ways and complement traditional medical treatments, but they should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. SoBotanical emphasizes the importance of using essential oils as part of a holistic approach to health and wellness. Used in a safe manner the oils can contribute to a healthy lifestyle and potentially provide healing.

Safety Facts for Using Essential Oils

  • Always dilute essential oils before applying them to the skin. A general guideline is to use a 2% dilution, which is about 12-20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Dilution is much less for face application, children and those with compromised systems. It is important to work with each application distinctly. Know your dilutions!

  • Dilute essential oils used in bathing. A simple fatty oil in small amounts will safely disperse the essential oils in bath water.

  • Perform a patch test before using a new essential oil to check for skin sensitivity.

  • Some essential oils, such as citrus oils, can cause photosensitivity, so avoid direct sunlight or UV rays after applying them to the skin. Know which oils have a propensity for photosensitivity before using.

  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets, as they can be toxic if ingested.

  • Consult a healthcare professional before using essential oils if you are pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition.

  • Never use old outdated oils as they can do more harm than good. Oils that have oxidized should never be used.

  • Essential oils are not for internal consumption. Once you learn how the body assimilates the oils you quickly learn that internal intake is not the way to utilize essential oils and can be extremely harmful or cause fatalities. Essential oils can also interfere with some medications. If you are considering internal use it is highly suggested you work under the guidance of a clinical aromatherapist that can answer key questions about internal use. Using the oils through inhalation or direct application is the best choice for assisting conditions.

The Dangers of Ingesting Essential Oils

  • Irritation and damage to the esophagus, digestive tract, liver, kidneys and brain

  • Toxicity, especially in large amounts

  • Interference with medications and medical conditions

  • Allergic reactions and sensitivities

Safe Use of Essential Oils in Review

  • Never ingest essential oils.

  • Always dilute essential oils before applying them to the skin.

  • Perform a patch test before using a new essential oil.

  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets.

  • Store essential oils tightly sealed in a cool, dark place to maintain their potency.

  • Wear a mask if you are working with large amounts of essential oils for long periods of time. These oils are strong phytochemicals and can be overwhelming to systems over time when used in excess.

  • Always remember: LESS IS MORE with a quality essential oil!

SoBotanical Apothecary + Aromatherapy emphasizes the importance of using essential oils safely and responsibly.
In conclusion, while essential oils offer a myriad of benefits, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction when it comes to their use. By choosing authentic genuine oils from reputable brands like SoBotanical, and following proper safety guidelines, you can enjoy the many therapeutic benefits of essential oils safely and responsibly.

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