If you’ve started to look into essential oils, you’ll have noticed that there is a lot to take in! It is definitely overwhelming and, unfortunately, a lot of the information out there seems to be contradictory.
As I’ve learned more about essential oils, I’ve discovered that much of the information out there in unsafe or untrue. And as much as I hate to say it, I’ve seen this from other Young Living distributors (and distributors from other essential oil companies) as well. I’ll be honest; when I first started, I did the same thing. I read something online that seemed like good advice, and I passed it along without looking into it myself.
Now, after being a member of Young Living for 2 years and spending a lot of time reading up on aromatherapy from sources not affiliated with any one brand, I’ve learned a lot more and I’m making a bigger effort to keep the information in my essential oils group safe and factual.
Here are 5 of the most common myths or misconceptions about essential oils that I’ve come across, debunked.
1. If an essential oil is pure, it is safe for everyone.
If anything, the more pure (undiluted) an essential oil is, the more potent it is and the more caution that should be used with it. There are some oils that, regardless of brand, should not be used on infants or young children (like eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, to name a few) because they can cause respiratory problems or have other adverse effects.
There are some oils that should be avoided during pregnancy (anise, cinnamon bark, blue cypress, fennel, sage, or wintergreen are a few) and some that should be avoided for people with certain medical problems or who are taking certain medications.
2. Essential oils are more effective if applied ‘neat’ (undiluted.)
Essential oils evaporate quickly. By mixing them with a carrier oil (I usually use coconut or grape seed oil), they will last longer on your skin. You’ll also have a lower chance of skin irritation with some essential oils. Win-win.
3. If the brand is pure, it is safe to put essential oils in drinking water.
Water and oil don’t mix well. There’s a good chance that the oils will disperse a little, but not actually be diluted throughout the water. This means that when you drink it, you could end up with a gulp of concentrated essential oils burning your esophagus. It has happened.
When I first joined Young Living I tried it. I put a drop of Orange oil in my big water bottle, shook it, and took a few swigs. And I felt like the back of my throat was burning. The irritation lasted almost all day. My experience was minor with no lasting effects, but some people have been seriously injured.
Keep in mind that the advise for a skin irritation from essential oils is to dilute the area with a carrier oil, not with water, because water will intensify the oils. So it makes sense that putting essential oils in drinking water is not really the safest idea; the mucous membranes and linings of your esophagus are much more delicate and sensitive than your skin! Infusing your drinking water with fruit or extracts is much safer.
Moreover, your liver isn’t very good at metabolizing essential oils. Some essential oils, such as cinnamon and clove, can cause liver toxicity over time. So a person very well might be telling the truth when they say “I’ve been ingesting these oils for years and I’m fine,” but one day their liver might not agree.
There are safe ways to ingest oils, but this should be done under the care of a certified aromatherapist.
4. Putting essential oils on the soles of your feet help them absorb better.
There’s nothing wrong with putting essential oils on your soles, it just isn’t better than anywhere else. The skin on the soles of your feet is thick compared to most other body parts, and there are lots of sweat glands (remember, water and oils don’t mix and sweat glands are more “exit” pores than “entry” pores) so while it might be handy to put some essential oil on your child’s feet before bed and cover them with socks to keep their hands off of them, it isn’t actually more effective than putting them somewhere closer to your nose, or by diffusing them.
5. If a person has a reaction to an essential oil being applied, it’s just their body detoxing.
If a person has a reaction to an essential oil, it’s the body saying “don’t do that, I don’t like it!” for whatever reason. It could be that the oil just needs to be diluted more, but it also could be that their body just doesn’t agree with that oil. Allergies and sensitivities to essential oils can happen, regardless of how pure the oil is. You wouldn’t rub poison oak on your skin then call the following reaction “detoxing” — don’t do it with essential oils, either.
For this reason, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test with a new essential oil that you want to use topically, and to dilute it well. 2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil is a good dilution to start with.
If you’re looking for a good resource book on essential oils, I’m really liking this one.
I have an essential oils Facebook group that I’d love for you to join if you want some more information!
And if you’re ready to dive in and start supporting your family’s health naturally using essential oils, and to join Young Living, I’d love to have you on my team!
As a welcome gift, I’ll send you a few freebies when you join Young Living using my member number as your enroller/sponsor, and completing a purchase of a Premium Starter Kit, to help you get started using your new oils right away.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links included.
Photo credit: Praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net,