Essential Oils: The Good, The Bad & The Misinformed?
Essential oils have been around for hundreds of years, with different civilizations using them for medicinal purposes. These oils are concentrated oils derived from a specific plant and are more commonly known as "the essence" of the plant. Essential oils can be derived from every sort of plant or tree bark out there.
Nowadays, these oils are used less for medical purposes and more for aromatherapy, skincare, and alternative healing practices. However, essential oils have been popping off in recent years, and the industry is growing exponentially.
In 2017 the essential oils industry was valued at 17 billion dollars and was projected to be around 27 billion dollars in 2022. At M.G. Wellness Shop, we specialize in providing high-quality skincare products at affordable rates.
Due to our experience working in the skincare industry, we often face questions about essential oils like "are essential oils safe to inhale?" and "can you get addicted to essential oils?"
From our experience, we've seen plenty of content singing the wondrous benefits of inhaling essential oils that make it seem more like snake oil rather than essential oils. However, you should know that it's no miracle product with essential oils.
It does have its benefits, but there are plenty of horror stories about abusing essential oils, like that of Stacey Haluka, a 47-year-old writer and motivational speaker from Ontario.
People have reported many problems ranging from chemical burns and allergic reactions to respiratory issues and other side effects from the popular fragrant plant extracts.
We've seen it all and are here to address everything you need to know about essential oils, the good, the bad, and the misinformation. So without any further delay, let's check them out!
How Do Essential Oils Work?
There are records of healers using mechanical presses or steam to extract essential oils from fragrant plants as far back as 1000 A.D. Nowadays, practitioners use oil-infused lotions on the skin through which the compounds enter the bloodstream.
Another popular method is aromatherapy, where the oils are diffused with an essential oil diffuser. The compounds are inhaled and then bind to smell receptors and stimulate the central nervous system.
You should keep in mind that research on essential oils is relatively scarce, and scientists have only recently started testing some products in controlled human trials.
However, due to some groundbreaking studies that show how it works, many hospitals and clinics are beginning to use essential oils for stress relief, pain and nausea relief, and even to prevent bedsores. Here are some of the most popular essential oils and what they are used for!
It is often used as a natural antiseptic and is a known culprit in making the skin extra sensitive to the sun. So if you use bergamot, make sure to avoid the sunlight for at least 12 hours, even if it's a diluted solution.
Clary Sage Oil
This essential oil is often used for its calming properties and skin benefits, but pregnant women shouldn't use clary sage oil as there is evidence of it inducing contractions.
It's a classic stomach soother and has been popular for centuries. However, you should avoid using it on infants and small children because it can cause life-threatening breathing problems.
Eucalyptus is another popular essential oil but if you are on medications, then make sure to talk to your physician about using it.
There is evidence of this eucalyptus oil diminishing the effect of drugs for seizures, narcolepsy, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and it can bring on asthma attacks.
It's sometimes used in shampoos and lotions, but it can irritate the skin. Also, if you have seasonal allergies, you should avoid them as it's known to make people more prone to bad reactions.
Research & Studies
The number of studies regarding essential oils has increased in recent years, dispelling many commonly held beliefs about these oils.
One recent study found that those who breathed a mixture of ginger, spearmint, peppermint, and cardamom had much less nausea after surgery. Another study has shown that lavender oils can lower the stress hormone cortisol levels.
While inhaling lemongrass aroma has shown to prevent anxiety before stressful events. Other studies also show that tea tree and oregano oils fight microbes, making them a popular remedy for dandruff and toe fungus.
However, the biggest problem with essential oils is companies that overstate the benefits while downplaying the risks, meaning more misinformation than factual information.
In 2014, the FDA sent warnings to some essential oil manufacturers advertising that their oils can treat anything from herpes to Ebola.
The organization also put out warnings for the consumers and stated that only drugs that have passed the agency's rigorous approval process may make such claims. However, it still doesn't remove the misuse from misinformed home users.
The Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy has found around 268 injury reports from essential oils since the fall of 2013. In 2017 alone, the number was 55, and the last report the organization filed was back in 2019 when a total of 23 people had some reaction or injury from essential oils.
However, the organization does caveat the injury reports by stating that an estimate of fewer than 5 to 10% of adverse reactions was documented. You will find plenty of online chat rooms and forums rife with essential oil horror stories.
Facebook groups like "The Unspoken Truth About Essential Oils," which has more than 9900 members, are now filled with stories about essential oil users who had adverse reactions to them.
Are Essential Oils Safe To Inhale?
Yes, inhalation by using a diffuser is usually the safest method for using essential oils, and it is the fastest way to get them into your bloodstream.
However, you should follow the proper instructions provided on the diffuser and the essential oil bottles because misusing essential oils can lead to dangerous situations.
Can You Get Addicted To Essential Oils?
If you look online, you will find plenty of people claiming to be addicted to essential oils. However, there isn't any conclusive proof that you can get addicted to essential oils, but you can absolutely fall in love with them and feel that you need essential oils to function. However, please don't overdo it, as it can lead to complications.
Where To Apply Essential Oils On The Body?
You can apply diluted essential oils or products with essential oils topically all over your body, and its purpose and impact vary according to where it's applied. Still, typically it is safe to use topically.
However, if you have sensitive skin or are pregnant, talk to your doctor before using essential oils. You can apply essential oils to your temple, chest, stomach, wrists, feet, palms, and back.
What Are The Benefits Of Inhaling Essential Oils?
Essential oils aren't only about pleasant smells. Aromatherapy has a wide range of proven benefits if properly utilized. The benefits of inhaling essential oils can be seen in respiratory disinfection, decongestant, and psychological benefits.
It works by s stimulating the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell. The particles enter through the nose or mouth, pass to the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body.
Once the particles reach the brain, it starts affecting the limbic system, linked to emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance providing a subtle yet holistic effect on the body.
Find The Right Skincare Solutions
So there you go, that concludes this article. We've covered everything from essential oils' good and bad sides and dispelled much misinformation. As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to inhaling essential oils, but they aren't that safe if inhaled in large quantities.
It can set off other conditions in some people, too, so talking with a professional is always recommended before buying or using essential oils. In addition, while essential oils may have skincare benefits, they are in no way the be-all end-all of skincare.
You will need a proper routine and other specialized products to ensure your skin has that youthful glow. That's where M.G. Wellness can help you out. Our curated list of skincare products ensures you have youthful-looking skin all year round. So contact us, and we will hook you up with one.
Also, if you have any questions about skincare or essential oils, drop them in the comments below or hit us up on our socials, and we will answer them all for you. And with that being said, that's about all we have for you today. We will come back with something new for you soon. Until then, see ya!