There has been controversy surrounding the benefits of essential oils in recent times with some users praising its uses while others saying that it’s not as useful. However, before we get into the technicalities of whether essential oils are effective or not, it’s important that we know what essential oils are and why they are so frequently used in modern medicine and skincare.
Essential oils are obtained from the natural raw material of plants like leaves and barks, by the process of steam or dry distillation. They are rubbed onto our bodies or inhaled, and work when the smell receptors carry them straight to our brain. It has been found effective as a topical remedy in modern medicine, in skincare and as room fresheners given its soothing properties. It has also been proven effective in treating physical discomfort and is considered a general mood enhancer.
However, there are some medical practitioners who believe that essential oils don’t work and give a number of reasons to justify their claim. The recent trends in social media have also led to some misinformation regarding this topic. So, here we have tried to debunk a few myths and clarify some doubts about essential oils.
1. Essential oils should not be swallowed
We all have drunk a soothing cup of lavender or chamomile tea as a cure for sore throat. But is it safe to consume essential oils? Research says that essential oils can interact with medicine and cause an allergic or toxic reaction. Therefore, even if the packet on your essential oil says it’s medical grade, don’t simply go by that claim. Rather, consult a doctor or an aromatherapist before you begin experimenting with consuming essential oils. Although, it’s important here to mention that essential oils are highly concentrated and taking them with tea or water dilutes them further and anything below 2 percent is alright.
2. Essential oils never expire
This is an absolute myth. Like all naturally derived substances, essential oils have a shelf life. Studies have shown that some age better with time, but it all depends on the chemistry and the components involved. Stop using your essential oils on your skin when they start oxidizing or changing their color. Although, once expired they can still be used to clean surfaces.
3. Can only be used for therapeutic reasons
Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy which is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils for their therapeutic application. However, by themselves, essential oils have been found to have varying antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral and medicinal uses making them useful in curing some diseases through massage, topical application or inhalation.
4. Essential oils are a hoax
Obviously, the debate regarding essential oils hasn’t gone unnoticed. Many believe that they simply have a placebo effect and one wastes too much into buying them. However, research has shown that they are known to alleviate conditions like anxiety, depression, nausea and even insomnia. If one knows how and when to use essential oils, they can be of great use. Adding a few drops to your steamer or your room freshener can instantly help in improving your mood.
5. Not good for your skin
Due to the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties present in essential oils, they can be used for a variety of skin concerns, including acne and dermatitis. But, before using these on your skin, it’s vital that you conduct a patch test to test for skin irritation or skin reaction usually symptomized with redness or rashes. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, it’s only wise to mix them with a moisturizer or a facial oil before applying. Another way of making sure essential oils don’t react with your skin is by adding them with 100 percent cold pressed oils. These are oils made by compressing the nut or seed of the plant through a modern press to retain the flavor, aroma and nutritional value. Since, these don’t have a strong smell, they can be mixed with essential oils to avoid any allergic reaction.
Amidst all the rumours and accusations, it is true that finding good essential oils are hard. Therefore, at Good Vibes, we have a diverse range of essential oils that are multi-purpose in nature and provide a host of benefits that are tested for their authenticity and hence, are safe to use on the skin.