Monday, May 1, 2017

Essential Oils: A Rundown

Probably the most trendy thing in natural health right now is essential oils. Everywhere you look, another claim is being made that “there’s an oil for that!” Unfortunately for the curious consumer, there is so much information, misinformation, and conflicting information out there about them these days that it’s hard to know what the truth is.

So, what are essential oils? How safe are they?

Essential oils are the result of an intense distillation process that leaves behind the most concentrated aromatic and therapeutic properties of plants. Oils have been used for thousands of years for a variety of uses, including healing.

What is exciting about essential oils is that they are bioavailable, so they can communicate properly with the body. Human bodies recognize them, so they have a potential to be a powerful, safe, and effective tool in facilitating the healing process. Many essential oils have been proven to be as effective as pharmaceutical grade antibiotics, with less risk. Scores of testimonials are surfacing in our culture about the therapeutic effect that essential oils have had on their health. Essential oils are being credited with curing everything from hay fever to cancer.

So, what’s the problem? If they are recognized by the body and they are bioavailable, is there any risk?

Research is finding some exciting things about the capabilities of essential oils, but there isn’t enough research to safely say they can be used. They are natural, but tremendously potent, and it’s their potency that the possibility of danger lies. Children in particular can be harmed by certain kinds of essential oils, and they should not be using many of them.

What is one to make of this?

Essential oils can absolutely be included in your health care regimen. However, their use should be guided by a trained professional. You should be careful about the advice that you take regarding essential oils, as they can also be harmful.

Keep an eye on the research on essential oils as it begins to surface. It’s an exciting development - but as it’s developing, beware of potential risks, and use with caution.

Dr. Felicia