For many years my wife and I have used essential oils around the house for meditation and air freshening. We’ve even used them in a diffuser in the car. It’d never dawned on us that there was a better way to use them. A couple of years ago my wife received a herniated disk in her neck in a car accident. She was in constant pain but doesn’t like taking pain medication. Physical therapy itself wasn’t helping much. It was at this time that a friend of ours introduced us to the healing powers of essential oils. Our friend gave my wife a sample of an oil blend that we applied to her neck area. I’ll never forget the look on my wife’s face, the affects were quick and remarkable. Even her physical therapist noticed a change. So what was so special about these essential oils? Do they all work like this?
Being a Reiki Master and by doing energy work on others I’ve learned of the healing powers in nature. Since my wife’s first experience I’d begun a study of essential oils. Essential oils are extracted from plants, usually thru steam distillation. I’ve since learned that they are up to 70 times more powerful than herbs. They are natural antibiotics having the ability to kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of viruses. There are more active ingredients in a single drop of essential oils than in a single dose of a synthetic drug. In fact it’s these active ingredients that have been the inspiration for many of the pharmaceuticals on the market today. I was recently having a discussion with a friend about essential oils and she asked two simple questions; are all essential oils the same? And, if not, how can you tell the difference by looking at the packaging? These are important questions so I did some research.
It’s important to remember that when it comes to essential oils it takes a lot of plant material to make them. So much so that people have developed techniques to squeeze more oil from the plant. Some of these techniques use chemicals that are not healthy to consume let alone put on your skin. Some also rush the process producing an oil that is impure and may contain plant solids. They may even add other cheaper oils or synthetics to increase the volume of the batch. The perfume industry, needing a consistent aroma, is constantly adding to their oils. Is it any wonder that many people have an allergic reaction to perfumes? So in answer to the first question, no not all essential oils are the same.
Like many, in the natural product arena, there are few labeling guidelines for essential oils. Even the grading of essential oils is not governed. When it comes to the labels the things to remember are where are you buying them, and how do you wish to use them? I’ve seen oils in the grocery store, health food stores, sold on line, and thru distributors. Some of these oil labels have nothing more than the manufacturers’ name, the type of oil, i.e. Lavender, and a price. When you find an oil like this it’s usually only good for aromatherapy. On a visit to the health food store I found one oil company that’s “proud of their product and labeling” as they say they give back to the growers and the communities that produce the oils. They do have more information on the label, but the thing to notice is the part where it says “not for internal use”, and “dilute properly”. I’ve seen these statements on many oils. The final group, and it’s a very small one, clearly indicate on their labels that their oils can be used aromatically, topically, and internally. They’ll also tell you that these statements have NOT been approved by the FDA. So now what? Who do you trust?
Before you put any essential oil in your body, or on it, learn how it’s tested. Some companies do all their own testing, while others do some of their own but have the initial testing performed by independent testing facilities. We’ve all heard the stories of companies that do their own testing, fudging the numbers to meet the desired result. This goes on in most all industries and has cost many lives. Me, I feel more comfortable with those who use reputable testing facilities, rejecting those batches that don’t meet their standards. I’ve seen these products change people’s lives for the better by helping them take control of their health. Yes these types of essential oils are more expensive but since I can buy one bottle that has multiple uses I find I’m actually saving money. The best part is that they put these oils in products that we use every day from tooth paste to laundry soap, thus detoxing my body and my home.
What essential oil company have I found that meets all my requirements and helps me feel healthier and more energetic? Unfortunately the FDA restricts me from giving you that name here, however, if you want more information feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit this site. Those things that help keep us healthy are indeed gifts from nature. But don’t take my word for it do your own research.by