Naturally Tuesday FramedWhenever you consider alternative routes for treating any medical condition, it is really essential for you to do your research.  It is important to seek out information, especially evidence-based information, that will help guide you into making good choices for your family.

For example, if you decide to use essential oils in your home and for your family, it really is necessary for you to do more than just consider one source for your information and instruction.

  • Which essential oils are safe to use on children? Which ones should children avoid?
  • Which essential oils are safe to use neat (directly on the skin, undiluted)?
  • Which essential oils require dilution because they are “hot?”
  • Which essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy?

Although essential oils are plant-based, there are methods for extracting essential oils which can affect the outcome of that which is labeled “essential oil.”  There are essential oils that claim to be unadulterated, organic, pure, certified – and yet because of the process by which they are rendered, include a different chemical composition than a label might indicate.

Because essential oils are not marketed by the FDA, they are not governed by the FDA.  The FDA cannot certify an essential oil, per se, but can only determine its regulation by its intended use.  There are companies that will tell you their essential oil is approved by the FDA, but do not clarify in what use it has been approved.

Why is this important? 

Because when you pursue alternative therapies and treatments in any realm, there will always be “snake-oil salesmen” who will claim all kinds of things to make a buck.  Much like Anne of Green Gables, you may discover that the bottle of hair-dye which promises to turn your hair a beautiful auburn, may indeed turn your hair a sickly green.

There are other enthusiasts who are not out to hurt anyone or cheat or lie or steal.  And fact is, they may not research as deeply as you would assume.  And they may be passing along information that is not entirely accurate without any intent to harm anyone.  BUT research is an essential part of learning to use EOs safely and effectively, so DO. YOUR. RESEARCH.

Because plant-based therapies can have a real impact on the human body, it is important to be both self-educated and cautious when using them.  Don’t take ONE person’s word for anything.  Do your research and see what information you can find out about the claim that you may hear, and then decide for yourself.

For essential oils specifically, it is critical for you to know the latin name of the plant from which the EO is derived.

Certain varieties of spruce or pine are wonderful for use with children (pinus sylvestris, for example), and are recommended for use instead of eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary (which can slow down the heart beat, and for children, that could be terribly dangerous).  Other genus of spruce and pine however, are dangerous and should be avoided (pinus ponderosa – it contains carcinogens). I learned about this HERE.

It is important to know which Essential Oils are safe to use, in what dosage, and for what purpose.

A LOT of people are jumping on the EO bandwagon these days.  I’ll be honest.  I AM ONE OF THEM.  I have yet to sign up with a company to sell any, or even to buy any at a discount.  But I have spent a lot of time reading and researching.  I’ve joined a couple of FB groups that share information and research about EOs and I will continue to incorporate EOs into our home and use them with my family.

I have a HUGE interest in herbal, plant-based, natural medicine – and I always have – so using Essential Oils is just an extension of that.   I do believe that God gave us the gift of plants in The Garden, and that He designed many of them to improve our life and vitality.  They are not all there is to taking care of one’s body, and I do not exclude medication, either.  But I want to weigh the benefits and risks, and doing the research helps me do this.  Just as some medications are approved for specific use, it is important to approach essential oils in the same manner – learn what the EO is best used for, how it can be used, and use it safely!

Do you have experience with essential oils?  What do you have to say about them?