Should you really be using essential oils?

I’ve recently been irked by some dubious and quite frankly appalling information I’ve seen on social media about essential oils. In all fairness I’m trained as a Clinical Aromatherapist, so I feel somewhat justified in voicing my opinion. I’m not just being a sourpuss, honest. My training was almost a year of intensive study, classes, exams, numerous ‘case studies’ and a field trip to France. Whilst I may trust my intuition when I pick oils to tailor blend for clients these days, I also know something of the science behind the essential oils. It is this understanding of the chemical components within the essential oils that leads me to be horrified when I see people recommending drinking an essential oil.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent. They naturally occur within a plant matter (often in the rind, leaf, bark, root or petal of a plant) and are often obtained through steam distillation although occasionally other methods are used. So yes they are natural but this doesn’t mean that they should be used carelessly or without caution. Anyone who’s seen the rather handsome Bear Grylls cavorting around the Amazon jungle knows that nature provides hazardous plant material as well as bounty.

So use essential oils in your homes, whether it’s to help lift you mood or tackle a physical issue you think may be helped by aromatherapy. Maybe like many of my clients you prefer to make your own cleaning products or scent your home in the most natural way possible. I would advocate all of those things. But (there’s always a ‘but’ have you noticed?) NEVER EVER drink an essential oil. There have been instances worldwide where people have had liver failure from doing so and there’s a risk of irritation and damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

For those who are interested in Aromatherapy there are plenty of good Aromatherapy books to choose from. I retail 2 different ones within my Aromatherapy business (at £3.50 this is very affordable and informative) or If in doubt simply contact a qualified Clinical Aromatherapist who is IFPA registered. There are also numerous books on essential oil safety by leading Aromatherapists such as Robert Tisserand too. Contact me for more information or if you would like to book on an aromatherapy workshop run by me.

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