Adventures in Essential Oils


Are you on the essential oil bandwagon? Nevermind, don’t answer that. Because if there is anyone more missionary-minded than Mormons, it’s people who are into essential oils. You would think that essential oils are the cure-all to every ailment under the sun, the way do-terra people talk. I do like the idea of essential oils, though, and think there are all sorts of nature-ey substances that can help people get well.  I tend to be a little distrustful of mainstream medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good antibiotic and my kids are vaccinated right on schedule. But on the whole I think doctors are just educated guessers. Sometimes they can hit the nail on the head but a lot of the time they are just way off-base. But they refuse to believe that they are; so instead they throw a bunch of expensive prescription medication at every ailment and think it will all be OK.

A couple of months ago York got a nasty case of Mono. If you’ve ever had Mono you know there is nothing to treat it. Just take some Advil and get a comfy pillow because you’re going to spend the next six weeks sleeping your life away.  That’s it. That’s seriously all the doctors have to say. So I was more than happy to have a friend of mine offer to help out with some essential oils. Essential oils are especially appealing to me when modern medicine has zero to offer.

She came over and gave York some oils to gargle with to help with his killer sore throat and some other oils to make into pills to boost his immune system. Or something.

After three doses York was feeling well enough to drag himself to school. But he called in absolute dismay by the end of the day. He was covered with a red rash and his face and lips were quite swollen. I called my friend who had given me the essential oils;  “A rash is just a symptom of the body adjusting to the powerful essential oils,” she explained. “This is just his body’s way of detoxing.”

I raised my eyebrow. A rash doesn’t seem like a reassuring side effect. What’s next, getting rid of bad humors through blood-letting?

I was assured by my friend that it wasn’t an allergic reaction, and after doing some investigative reporting on the almighty interwebs, I felt assured that York wasn’t having an allergic reaction. (Just to be sure I gave him Benadryl which made zero difference in the rash or swelling.) If essential oils are powerful enough to cause this sort of reaction after just a few doses; there needs to be a lot more education before people start recommending these products, willy-nilly. Obviously essential oils can pack a punch if this is what can happen. Learning how to use these products properly should be a much bigger deal than it seems to be.

Here’s my big beef with essential oils: it’s really hard to find actual, truthful information. Instead people are being “educated” by the companies that sell the oils. That seems all wrong. Everyone knows that corporations exist to make money. They can say that they just want to help people, but if that were true they wouldn’t be charging the prices they do for their oils. They want to make a buck (well, lots of bucks, actually). So of course these companies want to sell all the oil that they can. I get that and I understand that’s what business is about. But I think this causes a conflict of interest. I basically don’t trust what these corporations have to say. It’s like a petroleum manufacturer making cars; wouldn’t a petroleum company make a car that requires you to use even more gas because that’s how they make money? Selling people gas? So why would I trust them to make a car that gets good mileage?  Same idea with essential oil companies.

Trying to find a reputable website or book to educate myself has been almost impossible too. What I’ve had have a hard time finding is a book that is unbiased. Many of the books and websites are affiliated with essential oil producers and affiliates. These books want me to use all sorts of oils every day for every complaint I have–surprise, surprise!  Again it makes me very skeptical of anything E.O. companies have to say. These are huge corporations that have all sorts of catch-phrases and hype that are meant to replace education with enthusiasm. (And lets not forget about the whole MLM aspect which makes me plain old uncomfortable.)

Here’s something I would like every essential oil company to know: the more copywrited terms you use, the more skeptical I become; so save your “certified pure therapeutic grade”, “seed to seal” and “certi-5” testing and just give me the honest truth. I am not interested in your slick marketing and websites featuring beautiful people surrounded by flowers.

What is a smart and savvy girl to do? I stumbled upon a few resources. Here were some incredibly helpful blog posts:

Which Essential Oil Company Should YOU Buy From?

The Great Essential Oils Showdown

These great articles piqued my interest in finding out the truth about Essential Oils. Just this week I took a big jump and registered for a couple of courses from Vintage Remedies. I’ve done a ton of info-gathering on the web and it seems like these classes are just what I’ve been looking for: research-based classes using actual science to educate and teach the way to use essential oils properly. These classes are not cheap but I really feel like I’ll be able to get the truth that I’ve been looking for to help my family find a healthy way to use natural substances to heal and prevent illness.

I’ll let you know how my journey goes!


| Filed under Bad Things, Health, IMO, Skin

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Essential Oils

  1. In France, your pharmacist is like a PA. You go to him/her first for minor ailments. My local guy uses lots of homeopathic products, including essential oils. I like that he uses a mix of manufactured meds along with a more natural approach. It’s a nice balance without going too wacko either way. Traumarom (essential oil) saved me when I started running again. Much better than downing loads of pain killers. Excited to see what you learn and share with us.

  2. I use essential oils, but I use them sparingly and only for certain things. I am not a fan of ingesting them, personally, and I’m careful about which ones I have around the kids – for example, some oils can affect hormone levels and should be used VERY carefully around boys. Blends are even worse IMHO because in addition to the therapeutic oils there are carrier oils that help them blend together… anyway, it just makes me even more cautious. I *do* love using oils for cleaning and for certain things, like I said, but I just can’t bring myself to use them for much more than that without doing my research. Same with herbal remedies. I’ve done a lot of reading and have reached my comfort level with both the oils and the herbs; without taking classes as well (which isn’t happening any time soon), I won’t be delving further. Do share what you learn. I am curious!

  3. Prudence and Thanksgiving are how we are “supposed” to use herbs.

    It says so in the D and C section 89:11

    So correct, you should have fully educated yourself before allowing your son to be dosed with oils while ill.

    I have used oils for 18 years for home health care, and feel as educated as anyone out there and I am still learning. If I have learned nothing else, a healthy respect for the oils and the healing power they contain is warranted.

    It does make me chuckle to see you dumping on the money making side of oils while admitting to following the vaccine schedule.

    A little bit of research on the history of that money mongering industry would also be advised.

    Ultimately every parent has to learn for themselves how to judiciously use the healing modalities that we have all been blessed with during these times in which we live.

    Good luck to your son with his illness, I would encourage him to cleanse his bowell and liver with a simple herb cleanse to help with the rash and swelling.

    Rashes and fever are the first signs the immune system is working hard, but chemical medicine and natural medicine sometimes duke it out in our bodies and the common side effects from de toxing hard, like headache, rash etc… can be scary.

    In educating yourself about oils I would refer you to the Bible where The Lord himself gave Moses the recipe for a holy annointing oil. Sources for authentic information really do not come any better than that.

    Good Luck!

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