5 Myths About Essential Oils Too Many People Ignore

Holistic health has been popularized in recent years by scientists, doctors, healers, health enthusiasts and bloggers alike. Essential oils are among the many routes people are talking about in terms of optimizing health and healing the mind and body. If you’ve found a liking to these oils, you’ve likely scoured the Internet for information on ways you can incorporate them into your lifestyle. But, with all the positivity that surrounds them, it’s important to be mindful of where you’re getting your information from.

Despite their good intentions, health bloggers may be providing you with false information that could lead to dangerous outcomes. Essential oils should be approached with caution, with an in-depth understanding of how to safely use them.

4 Facts You Should Know About Essential Oils

1. To make one pound of lavender essential oil, it takes 150 pounds of lavender flowers.

2. To make one pound of peppermint essential oil, it takes 256 pounds of peppermint leaves.

3. To make 1 pound of rose essential oil, it takes thousands of pounds of roses.

4. Essential oils are powerful! In fact, just one drop of peppermint oil is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea.

5 Myths About Essential Oils Debunked

1. There’s no such thing as therapeutic grade oils.

There are many therapeutic grade standards, but it can be difficult to know which one to trust, as they are created by the companies who developed the oils.

Dr. Robert Pappas, a leading expert in essential oils and an essential oil chemist explains:

“There seems to be a misconception that there is some kind of independent body that certifies oils as therapeutic grade, but to this date there is no such body, at least not one that is widely recognized. Does this mean there is no such thing as therapeutic grade? No, but just realize that any therapeutic grade standard out there right now is an internally derived company standard. Now this standard may be an overall great standard and perfectly acceptable to me or any other analyst or aromatherapist out there but it just needs to be noted that it’s not an independent standard.”

2. When pure essential oils cause rashes or burns, it’s just your skin detoxing.

A detox reaction only happens when something it taken away, not added, so this is actually an adverse reaction that should not be ignored. Patch tests are a great way for you to determine if you should use the substance in larger amounts.
3. Pure essential oils without additives will never spoil. 

Even pure essential oils will eventually go bad due to oxidation. Citrus oils are best used within one year, while blue oils like German chamomile, blue tansy, and yarrow breakdown over time. You can slow the breakdown by putting them in the refrigerator.

4. Essential oils are always safe to ingest. 

Many essential oils are actually not safe to ingest without medical supervision. In fact, herbs and their essential oil counterparts aren’t the same. For instance, a small amount of the oil is equivalent to about 10-50 cups of herbal tea. Essential oils are extremely potent, and it would be harmful for you to assume you could ingest as much oil as you please as if it were a common food. If you are looking to ingest oils, always make sure you are working with a certified and reliable practitioner for correct supervision.

5. You can go out in the sun right after using essential oils. 

Citrus oils increase skin sensitivity, boosting the likelihood of damage by UV light due to particular constituents in them. To avoid the risk of blistering, burning and discoloration, avoid applying lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit and bergamot before going out into the sun.

4 Tips For Using Essential Oils

1. It is best to avoid using undiluted essential oils on your skin.

While there are some exceptions, typically it’s best to use a carrier oil like almond or jojoba as a precaution.

2. Do a patch test with the oil to see if your skin can handle it.

To do one, simply mix a little bit of essential oil/carrier oil at twice the amount of concentration that you plan to use. Put a couple drops on a bandaid and place on the inside of your arm. Be mindful of any irritation after 48 hours, especially if the skin becomes irritated, red, itchy, swollen or develops bumps or blisters.

3. Avoid storing essential oils in plastic containers.

Many of the oils will simply eat through the plastic, even if they are diluted. Instead, store them in a glass bottle.

4. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should be careful when using essential oils. 

There are many oils that are considered unsafe for pregnant and nursing women, including: cedarwood, cinnamon, sage, clove, ginger, jasmine, lemon, nutmeg, rosemary, ginger and chamomile.