Essential Oils: Nature’s Cure or Man-Made Toxin?

With many people trying to avoid harsh chemicals, there have been many changes to how people use scents in their home. The option to choose scent free cleaning supplies for your home has helped many people avoid allergens and possible toxins. Essential oils have also become popular in recent years. These not only add a pleasant scent to your home, but are thought to bring healing, comfort, and invigoration. We know that nature is full of amazing remedies, and essential oils play a part in bringing nature into your home. Companies out for profit, however, may add unsafe additives to these products.

The Controversy

There is still not enough scientific evidence to prove or disprove the effects of essential oils. They are considered a homeopathic solution when used to treat ailments. With modern pharmaceutical companies racing to bring in as much money as possible, the success of essential oils may not be a welcome addition to the medical community. Despite the popularity, doctors are not likely to tell you to go home and diffuse oils. The FDA categorizes essential oils into two categories, cosmetics and drugs. The FDA bases its approval on the intended marketing plan. For example, if an essential oil is advertised for alleviating anxiety, it might be classified and tested as a drug. If you make use of these oils, it is best to use it as intended.


Oils can be used in a diffuser mixed with water. This releases the aroma into the air and can be used with your favorite oil or a mixture of several. You can also apply essential oils to your wrists and behind your ears. You should be able to smell the oils for several hours when they are applied to the body. There are many uses, depending on the type of oil you choose. Peppermint is good for being more alert, while lavender is known to help people sleep. Mixtures are often sold and geared towards solving a specific ailment. Oils come in small bottles and only a few drops are used at a time. Oils to prevent or improve illness are often spread on the feet and then socks put on to trap in the oils with heat.


Purity is major complication when it comes to purchasing essential oils. Many companies mix in additives that have nothing to do with the oil. This makes the concentration unreliable and can lead to using the wrong amount. It is important to read the label when purchasing essential oils, and make sure you are buying from a reputable company. Additional chemicals can change the molecular structure of oils, leaving them inefficient in helping with ailments. Certain chemicals can also be dangerous for the user to put on their skin or breathe in. Pure essential oils should come with a higher price tag. Be sure to check the ingredients list for acetate, propylene glycol, and alcohol. If you see these items, try another brand.


Risks can come in the way of allergies to the oils. Citrus, mints, and tea tree oil are a few of the common culprits of allergic reactions. Since some of these correlate with certain produce items, it is advised to use caution. For example, if you are allergic to oranges, you may want to steer clear of citrus oil. Additives can also cause allergies, so make sure your oils are pure. Pets can be another issue when you have essential oils in the home. Cats are known to be sensitive to various essential oils. Small animals may not be able to handle overwhelming smells, either. Dogs can also have a reaction to tea tree oil. Take heed of the animals in your home.

Pesticides and chemical fertilizers may be the last thing on your mind when purchasing essential oils. These oils, however, come from plants. Plants that have been exposed to toxic pesticides can bring residue of the chemicals to your oils. One of the worst incidences involves some oils from China and Russia. Some have been tainted with radioactive isotopes because of Chernobyl. Look carefully at the labels on your oils.

Essential oils are perceived as a way to get back to nature. Unfortunately, there are many companies that do not have the best interest of the consumer in mind. High grade essential oils come with a price. It takes a lot of one plant to make even a small amount. If you find specimens that are extremely low priced, you may be looking at a mix of toxins. Take the time to research the company if you plan to give essential oils a try.


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