Everything has its flip side. And aromatherapy is no exception here. Basically essential oils are extremely versatile in their uses, from many different perspectives. But when misused, or misunderstood, that’s when we hit the stone.
Personally I use essential oils literally every day. I want to mention here some of the misunderstanding of aromatherapy, I also call it a pitfall in this context.
1.Cure all. Well, essential oils are really super versatile, but they do not cure all diseases. They are absolutely very helpful most of the time, and they are considered to be an alternative medicine (I have my opinion regarding the misuse of conventional medicine though) but aromatherapy should not be a replacement towards some serious treatment.
For example, you have a bruise after hitting your leg, you can apply diluted chamomile or helichrysum essential oil and it helps (personal experience) but if you break a leg or get a serious trauma, you will need to see a doctor to first, see the problem, second, get a solution. Aromatherapy there might be a great complimentary addition to a treatment, like helping to deal with pain in a holistic way, for emotional support, for dealing with the feeling of stress, etc., but not a replacement for treating a broken or heavily injured leg.
2.Cosmetic. Essential oils are indeed very often added to various anti-aging creams, serums, etc, and they are of course helpful. But here it’s wise to understand that they are added in certain amount (usually small 0.5-1.5%) to the whole cream and not applied neat (undiluted) instead of a cream.
This practice in its best will only make you to spend huge amount of money on oils, in worse case scenario may seriously damage your skin and eyes (if you rub it around your eyes). Essential oils are very strong in its nature and you should respect that. They are absolutely fabulous but when used moderately.
For example, I had an uneven and hard scar after my second cesarean, and I didn’t want to do laser treatment. I used to apply coconut oil with essential oils (frankincense, helichrysum, carrot seed, geranium, lavender I used in different variations) and yes, my scar over a year really got much better and less noticeable, but it didn’t disappear, as you can find these promises on social media.
3.Safety. Here it really comes to extremes. From one side people are saying essential oils are super safe because they are natural and you have nothing to worry about, and from another side people are so much freaking out that treat essential oils as if its a gasoline.
Natural doesn’t necessary mean safe, think of eating a box of bananas, you will get poisoning, or a bottle of coconut oil, you will vomit before you reach even half. So it’s essential to know the rules of the game before you start using aromatherapy (dilution, do not use in eyes and ears or mucus membranes, caution with pregnant, old, babies and young kids, medical illness, photosensitivity of some oils, use common sense here).
Same comes towards another extreme. If essential oils would be so dangerous why would people use it? Essential oils have a long history of being used, long before the name “aromatherapy” was invented. These oils were in fact used as a medicine before, which now puts them into the category of alternative medicine.
Yes they are powerful, but not that dangerous, not more dangerous then over the counter drugs, which can cause really bad reactions or synthetic multivitamins for kids filled with multiple artificial colorants and sweeteners (these make my kids vomit and cover in rush).
Best is to really learn more about aromatherapy and keep a common sense. Aromatherapy can be miraculous when used smart. Especially you need to consider it when using essential oils with kids.
For example, bergamot and other citrus essential oils are known to be photosensitive, meaning when then get in contact with UV lights then can cause a skin burn. So it would be wise to know that you don’t apply them topically before going under the sun or to the pool (usually you need a gap between 8-24 hours depending on what you use and dilution rate), instead you can use either bergapten-free oil in case of bergamot, or use it in a safe amount when using in roll-on, or wash the skin with soap. Sounds simple, yet many people forget about it.
For the sake of reading I decided to break this article into smaller parts. Read my part 2 here.
Have a good day,