Dumbest Claim in Aromatherapy.

Mar 16, 2020

Dumbest Claim in Aromatherapy.

As I look back on the past 40 years of being involved in or with Aromatherapy in one form or another, I have just about heard it all. Much like the one Farmer's Insurance commercial that we see once in a while in media. You know the one where the guy says something to the effect of, "We have seen a thing or two". So it is with me in aromatherapy.

Fast forward to the present era of time. I was an observer on the sidelines here in Utah as what have become two of the biggest essential oil marketing companies around. They say they are the biggest. I say, so.. it isn't always best to be out there in the front, too much crap and nonsense to deal with. There is more to life than the accolades and ego of being the alpha dog of the pack. Well for some us anyway. So where am I going with this discussion? OK, fair enough, let's get to the bottom line. There are a lot of myths out there in aromatherapy and in particular with the essential oils. Drum roll.... the dumbest of the dumb.... "Our oils are so pure that we can ingest them". Let that sink in, "Our oils are so pure that we can ingest them".

Let us pick this apart. Pure. What does pure mean as it pertains to essential oils? When you look into the descriptions, the various reports offered by the essential oil suppliers, at least the legitimate and responsible ones. BTW, I haven't even seen the less than legitimate ones even make this claim as to their oils. When the suppliers say anything about purity it is in the contest of being as described or labeled. It is describing the offering of essential oil as being free from adulterations. At least free from any adulteration as far as any tests being run to verify the authenticness and true to species. They list the tests run and the results. Some of the testings are extensive and some are not very extensive. Sometimes they will make an observational comment such as, "this oil has a subdued aroma when compared to...", or some comment/observation such as this. Nowhere does it list a grade such as "Therapeutic" or whatever. Since there are no such types of gradings, why would they make up one? They sometimes do make a comment of like," this oil is preferred by soap makers because of..." (some particular characteristic, for example). Over the years I have never, I mean NEVER seen a rating or "purity" comment and/or drum roll... this oil is pure enough to ingest. Or for that matter, drink, etc., on a suppliers decription sheet.

From a medical perspective, it is a horrible idea to ingest or drink essential oils. Here is the situation. There is a term out there in medical circles that is referred to as "First By-Pass" or "First Liver By-Pass". With this concept, it is viewed as such; When you take an amount of essential oil orally, it will end up in the stomach and then the oil is run through the Liver to be processed so that it can be distributed throughout the body systems by the blood. This can be very problematic for a person that might be experiencing any kind of Liver issue. This amount of essential oil, typical of what is usually ingested, can cause severe stress on the Liver with a myriad of issues that can result from this act. None of which are good. Many times people will put a large amount of essential oil in a capsule with some carrier oil and swallow those capsules. They do this so that it won't "burn" the throat as the essential oil drains from the mouth to the stomach. Of course, they say, well if it is "PURE" then it is OK. Being pure has nothing to do with it. Many of the components that make up the whole of the essential oil can be very harmful when used "NEAT". This is the term that describes applying an essential oil straight or directly without any carrier oil added. The potential damage that can be developed by ingesting essential oils will vary from person to person. However, at the very least, a lot of damage can develop. Sometimes the ingesting of essential oil can be medically indicated. When this situation applies, then the person should treat the essential oil as they would as it applies to any kind of pharmaceutical medication. That means the person should be supervised by a competent medical type practitioner, if for nothing more than for safety reasons. Besides an essential oil is sort of acid of sorts and does not need to be converted by the Liver to be carried throughout the bloodstream. That is why a topical application is effective. Then as it is cycled throughout the body system, it is diluted sufficiently that when it hits the Liver, the diluted essential oil is not taxing on the Liver.

Sometimes people, such as myself, will put a drop or two of essential oil in our drinking water. On the one hand, some people will freak out over this. But in my opinion, when you use 1 drop of essential oil to 500 ml of water, that is pretty diluted, and it is sipped over time so the potential damage is really non-existent. When done like this, it tends to soften the water and gives it a slight flavor that is pleasant. But when a person puts say 10 drops in that same 500 ml of water, that then becomes very problematic. But even at that, I have a good idea of what I am doing, yet I am using it off label. At least, in theory, I should know what to watch for if I have a bad reaction before I actually have it. Many people may not know what to watch for. Still, it is a risk. When you use an essential oil off label, the monkey is then on your back.

Just what is "Pure Enough" to ingest? Does that mean it is better than something else or at least equal to anything else that you might ingest? Have you ever thought of what we ingest? The toxic soup mix that we willingly consume is enough to make you throw up. So does that mean that it is OK for me in ingest preservatives, all sorts of herbicides and insecticides that are used on my food and since the oil is pure, it is OK? What about applying the same standard to our food? Now, this is a good one, I have no idea how many times I have had people go on and on about this essential oil purity thing and how they will only use "pure" essential oils all the while they are drinking a diet soda pop. Did you catch that? A DIET SODA POP. Do you have any idea how disastrous the artificial sweeteners are to our digestive system? Good heck, if you are going to drink soda pop, go for the real sugar types. They aren't even a fraction as harmful as the artificially sweetened types, by comparison. Even when the GMO sugar source is being used. But as these people are drinking away on their diet soda pop, they are demanding from me proof of the "purity" of my essential oil. ooooh okay! Somebody might be home here, but the lights are definitely turned off.

Let us pick this apart. Pure. What does pure mean as it pertains to essential oils? When you look into the descriptions, the various reports offered by the essential oil suppliers, at least the legitimate and responsible ones. BTW, I haven't even seen the less than legitimate ones even make this claim as to their oils. When the suppliers say anything about purity it is in the contest of being as described or labeled. It is describing the offering of essential oil as being free from adulterations. At least free from any adulteration as far as any tests being run to verify the authenticness and true to species. They list the tests run and the results. Some of the testings are extensive and some are not very extensive. Sometimes they will make an observational comment such as, "this oil has a subdued aroma when compared to...", or some comment/observation such as this. Nowhere does it list a grade such as "Therapeutic" or whatever. Since there are no such types of gradings, why would they make up one? They sometimes do make a comment of like," this oil is preferred by soap makers because of..." (some particular characteristic, for example). Over the years I have never, I mean NEVER seen a rating or "purity" comment and/or drum roll... this oil is pure enough to ingest. Or for that matter, drink, etc., on a supplier's description sheet.

Here is a dirty little secret as it pertains to the essential oils. First off what oil you might select is largely dependant on the type of aromatherapy program you are doing. There are a number of them. This applies to a multiple of layers. For example, as a medicinal blender, I might select a particular type of say Lavender. I have my reasons for selecting that one, and it would be based on its medicinal properties. Is it therapeutic? If it works for the intended purpose then, yes. But take my Leiann. She is excellent in several areas where I am not. If she is in need of say a Lavender, and her purpose is not medicinal, then she would not likely select the same Lavender that I would for the medicinal purpose. Is the one she selected any more pure than mine? NO, they might be exactly the same if measured on a purity scale, but vastly different in its contribution, or maybe not. So sometimes, I might be buying out of the same vat of essential oil as any one of these big companies might be drawing from, and I might add, from the same supplier.

Then another company that touts the seed to seal the deal. In a court of law a few years ago, it was shown, by sworn testimony from several sources that that program is simply an inhouse sales gimmick. Besides, one of my son's friend contracts with that company to clear cut certain species of trees, locally, and they grind them up and then those wood chips are distilled.. bottled... and believe you me, those trees are a whole lot older than that company is or has been in existence. So... downwind of all sorts of pollution that results in environmental degradation. I need to do a discussion on that subject, as that is an interesting topic. Too much material to include here.

So the bottom line in regards to this discussion. There is no such thing as "PURE" as these people that uses the purity thing as a club to hit you over the head with. It does not exist. Either these people are of the type that the lights are on, but no one is home, or there is someone home but the lights are off. I prefer the latter description. To wrap this up, the purity of the essential oil begins long before even the seed is conceived, it starts in the soil. This is why I do so many discussions regarding the soil and the contribution the soil has to the end product, the essential oil and the health of the donor plant for the essential oil. There is a whole lot of stuff that goes on with essential oils, long before many of you even hear of their existence. The public, in general, haven't a clue of what goes on before the oil gets to the bottle. That is why we are here together.

I hope this helps people that are new to essential oils. I wish you well and trust me with this next part. If you use the essential oils that work best for you, others will notice the difference in you and will be drawn to you, you won't have to chase them around to help them. It does work that way. Enjoy your aromatherapy journey. and don't get sucked into dumb claims. Yes, those types of people do live among us. Oh and I am sorry if I have offended anyone, as old Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts".

End of Discussion.

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