are essential oils a scam? it depends on purity
Using essential oils is a simple and effective way of alleviating all sorts of common discomforts and issues.
Things like homeopathy, aromatherapy, and vibrational medicine are commonly referred to as ‘complimentary’ treatments, yet they can be very useful, powerful tools for attaining a deeper and more holistic level of wellness.
Essential oil use goes beyond just ‘aromatherapy’, as some of these oils can be used topically and even internally to bring about balance and healing of a wide range of problems and discomforts.
For aromatherapy to be useful as a healing modality, it can’t just be something that subjectively smells good.
I see lots of folks try to equate using essential oil diffusers with burning scented candles - but they’re basically opposites: One purifies the air, and one literally releases harmful toxins into the air that accumulate in your home.
Candles are pretty - but I opt for soy or beeswax whenever possible, and burn them sparingly.
If a Yankee candle was given to me as a gift, I'd appreciate the gesture...but I wouldn't burn it in my home.
There are much safer ways to make your home smell fantastic.
Breathing in artificial scents has an effect on multiple body systems, even if you don't immediately feel anything unpleasant. Also, the effects are cumulative over time.
Chemical sensitivities may show up in the form of brain fog, achy joints, respiratory issues, skin ailments, and/or a host of other "minor" things ... all of which add up and impact your wellness over time.
Things like air freshener plug-ins directly contribute to the terrible air quality that’s typical in most modern homes.
First, it’s important to make a distinction between pure essential oils and perfume/fragrance oils—
—the latter of which are often synthetically modified or adulterated, and not suitable for use in health applications.
Pure essential oils are potent stuff, so other than a few notable exceptions, they shouldn't be used ‘neat’, or undiluted - especially during pregnancy or on children.
There's actually not an official, objective grading system for essential oils - although many manufacturers and distributors have their own grading and/or private standards.
Aromatic, Topical, and … Internal use???
An essential oil technically cannot be labeled as suitable for internal use (food grade) without being re-distilled, as per FDA guidelines - however, you can still reap many benefits from the use of essential oils both topically and aromatically, so this may be a moot point for you.
For more on the three safe ways to use essential oils, check out this post, or my entire Oils Collection.
I've seen people use various ‘cheap’ brands of essential oils internally...and I cringe - because I know they're not really helping....and they're also likely to be unsafe.
You'll see various terms such as Therapeutic-grade or Aromatherapy-grade - but steer clear of anything labeled "scent oil" or "fragrance".
If you purchase oils at a health food shop or metaphysical store, you may not be able to easily tell whether they are natural, un-cut essential oils.
There are several direct-sale companies that specialize in essential oils and carry an amazing variety of blends, single oils, electric diffusers and more.
I’ve used essential oils for almost 20 years - I have tried them all, and feel confident in trusting dōTERRA.
dōTERRA's oils are the ONLY brand of essential oils that scientists can use in medical research studies, because their quality and purity guarantees repeatable results.
Blends or Single Oils? Go for versatility…
Pre-mixed essential oil blends can be useful for specific concerns or addressing emotional issues. However, I personally find that sticking to single oils often gives you more control and versatility, and can be more affordable when you're first starting to use essential oils.
Lavender, for example, can be used in a wide range of applications, from disinfecting a minor scrape, adding it to baking soda or vinegar to make a natural home cleanser, or scenting a massage oil used for calming and relaxation during pregnancy.
Peppermint can be used to stimulate appetite or revitalize you on sluggish mornings, clear the olfactory palate from too many or overwhelming scents, alleviate migraines, and mop your kitchen floor (along with vinegar and water).
Together with Lemon, you’ll find over 100 uses for these three single oils.
Versatility is one of my favorite attributes of using essential oils.
This means I can buy fewer commercial products and create holistic versions of whatever I need, as I need it - whether it's a healing salve or a bathroom cleanser.
Finally - try using your intuition as a guide when choosing oils.
Not all oils will appeal to everyone … and sometimes, a strong dislike for a particular scent may indicate an area where emotional healing is needed!
What’s wrong with cheap oils?
Some oils are much more expensive than others, but keep in mind they are used in very small quantities at any one time.
A small bottle of Lavender or Frankincense may seem pricey, but these last almost a year in my home - even with the multitude of things I use oils for!
Only about 3% of ppl in the US use essential oils regularly...in part because folks don’t realize that there are major differences in quality and purity from one brand name to another - which majorly impacts how effective they are as healing tools!
Lots of people are skeptical about essential oils because they've just been exposed to overpriced 'smelly-goods'.
Simply put - cheap oils are a scam, but pure essential oils can move the needle in many health applications.
Less money spent upfront does NOT equal more utility or potency - and in fact, you might need to use 20 drops instead of 2 to get anywhere near the effect you desire.
If you find Frankincense for $12, that bottle is actually "overpriced"--because it's worthless if it doesn't WORK...and may even be dangerous, depending on how + how much you're using. Not to mention, they may be harvesting with unethical practices.
If the price on any oil is too good to be true, check a few things:
Are they natural, non-diluted essential oils? Synthetic oils are not recommended as they don't have the beneficial plant properties that essential oils do, and they might be cut with harmful toxins and filler compounds.
It’s also incredibly easy to adulterate the contents of an essential oil bottle, as unscrupulous sellers can purchase a ‘re-capping’ device that allows you to fit new caps on already-opened bottles.
The ONLY way you know that you’re getting a factory-sealed, unadulterated essential oil is if you purchase directly from a distributor like me.
When you create a dōTERRA account, you get to enjoy wholesale pricing on all their products, including supplements, spa and body care lines, toothpaste, and of course, the purest and most scientifically-respected essential oils on the planet.