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Essential oils are all the rage lately, and with good reason. They are, in a sense, a pharmaceutical grade natural remedy with incredible power. But with great power comes great responsibility, and there are many essential oil resources online giving worrisome blanket advice about their use.
Don’t get me wrong. I love oils and I use them daily. Most often, I use them diluted in natural beauty or natural cleaning recipes, but I also use them aromatically and therapeutically at times.
Because of the strength of essential oils, I am cautious of over-using them and want to make sure that my family always uses them safely. Here are some important things to know about essential oils (and of course, check with a certified herbalist, aromatherapist or doctor) before using them.
Essential Oils are Highly Concentrated
Did you know that it takes:
- 256 pounds of peppermint leaf to make one pound of peppermint essential oil
- 150 pounds or more of lavender flowers to make one pound of lavender essential oil
- Thousands of pounds of roses to make 1 pound of rose essential oil
Essential Oils contain very concentrated properties of the herb or plant they are derived from. A very small amount of EOs often has the qualities of many cups of herbal tea from the same plant. For instance, one drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 26-28 cups of peppermint tea. This isn’t to say essential oils should not be used, but they should be used carefully, with proper education and in safe amounts. If you wouldn’t ingest dozens of cups of an herbal tea, you should probably think twice before consuming the equivalent amount of essential oils.
Essential Oils on the Skin
I use essential oils in many of my beauty recipes like lotion bars and herbal face oil but in diluted amounts. The key word is “diluted.”
In most cases, essential oils should not be used undiluted on the skin. There are exceptions, of course, but most of the time, essential oils should only be used undiluted under the care and guidance of a trained medical or aromatherapy practitioner. Due to the small molecular size of essential oils, they can penetrate the skin easily and enter the bloodstream.
As a general rule, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil in a 3-5% solution. On practical level this is 3-5 drops of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil (and much less if using on a baby or child).
Undiluted use on the skin can cause irritation or an allergic reaction in some people, and I’ve even read cases of someone getting a permanent sensitivity to a certain oil after using it undiluted on broken skin. Some oils, like lavender, rose and chamomile are typically considered safe for undiluted skin use, but I’d still personally dilute them (most of these are expensive oils and would be costly to use undiluted anyway).
I personally test any essential oil, diluted, on my arm before using on a larger part of my body. Some essential oils are considered ok to use undiluted on the skin if an individual isn’t sensitive to them, but again, always check with a qualified practitioner first.
From a personal perspective, I have first hand experience with the potential problems with undiluted skin exposure. I tried a new massage therapist in our small town since she had a special deal for “aromatherapy” massage. I assumed this meant that there would be essential oils in a diffuser during the massage. To my surprise, as the massage began I felt drops on my back. I realized a few seconds later that she was pouring essential oils on my back… a lot of them. I asked her what oils she was using and she assured me that they were safe, but I got a headache soon after.
In all, she probably poured 80+ drops of undiluted essential oils on my back. I had shivers and a headache for the rest of the day and a large red spot on my back (12 inches in diameter) that lasted several days. Certainly, I should have asked her to stop instead of just asking what the oils were, but what shocked me was that she did not ask if she could use essential oils on me, she did not ask if I was pregnant or had a health condition first and I found out after that she was not even a trained massage therapist or aromatherapist but that she had just “invented” the technique as a way to therapeutically use essential oils.
Again, I should have acted differently and probably asked to see her massage license first, but my experience with this amount of essential oils on the skin was not a positive one.
Bottom Line: Exercise caution and do your research before using essential oils on the skin, even undiluted.
Photosensitivity of Certain Oils
I always include a caution on my recipes that include citrus oils that they may make the skin more sensitive to the sun. These oils have certain constituents that can make the skin more sensitive to UV light and can lead to blistering, discoloration of the skin or burning more easily from minor sun exposure.
Though the risk of photosensitivity or phototoxicity varies based on the way the oil was distilled, oils generally considered photosensitive are: orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot.
Internal Use of Essential Oils
This will be a controversial point, but many essential oils are not safe for internal use and others should be used with extreme caution. Since essential oils are the equivalent of 10-50 cups of herbal tea (depending on the herb) or 20x the recommended dose of an herbal tincture of the same herb, they should only be taken internally in situations where they are absolutely needed and with extreme care (and under the guidance of a trained professional).
Here’s the thing- essential oils are extremely potent plant compounds that can have a very dramatic effect on the body. Many online sources tout their “antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal” properties. You know what is teeming with many types of bacteria? Your gut.
Research is emerging constantly about our extremely diverse gut microbiomes, but we do not fully understand them yet. We do know that gut health drastically affects other aspects of health and that imbalances in the gut can cause problems in the skin, brain and other parts of the body. The effects of essential oils on gut bacteria have not been well studied yet and the very real antibacterial properties of essential oils may kill many types of bacteria in the gut (including beneficial and necessary bacteria).
In fact, the studies conducted about the antibacterial properties of essential oils compare them to antibiotics and suggest that they may be an effective alternative to antibiotics (here’s one study).
Antibiotics can be life-saving and necessary in some cases (they saved my husband’s life several years ago) but they should not be used regularly, preventatively or without the oversight of a medical professional. If essential oils can act in the same way as antibiotics, we should exercise the same caution in using them internally.
In most cases, some of the same benefits of an essential oil (taken internally) can be obtained by using the herb itself (fresh or dried) or a tea or tincture of that herb.
Many essential oils are considered “GRAS” or Generally Recognized as Safe for food and cosmetic use. However, most essential oils have not been studied, especially in concentrated internal amounts. Things like vinegar, salt and baking soda also are given this status, but that doesn’t mean they should be consumed regularly or in large amounts. Always do your research first!
Essential Oils During Pregnancy or Nursing
Essential oils can affect hormones, gut bacteria and other aspects of health and extreme care should be used when taking them while pregnant or nursing.
There is evidence that essential oils can cross the placenta and get to the baby. The effects of essential oils can be compounded in utero and extreme care should be taken with essential oil use during pregnancy. Again, I’m not saying they should not be used during pregnancy, but that extreme care should be taken and research done first.
I personally would not take any essential oil internally during pregnancy (or even while nursing). At these times, I stick to aromatherapy and very diluted use of approved essential oils in skin care recipes and baths. I also always re-test an oil in a diluted skin test before using it during pregnancy.
Many oils are considered safe during pregnancy, especially after the first trimester (depending on the source), but again, I’d check with a professional and use caution with any herbs used during pregnancy. Even oils that are considered safe may be harmful to certain women and there is some speculation that the actions of some oils on hormones can cause dangerous hormone imbalances during pregnancy.
Oils Considered NOT Safe During Pregnancy
Aniseed, Angelica, Basil, Black pepper, Camphor, Cinnamon, Chamomile, Clary Sage (often used during labor by midwives safely), clove, fennel, fir, ginger, horseradish (should not be used by anyone), Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Mustard, Mugwart (should not be used by anyone), Myrrh, Nutmeg, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Wintergreen.
I would personally recommend checking with a doctor or midwife before taking an essential oils during pregnancy.
Peppermint essential oil may decrease milk supply while nursing, and as such, I avoid it topically while nursing.
Use on Babies and Children
This is one of the things that concerns me the most with a lot of the essential oil recommendations I see online. In my opinion, essential oils should never be given internally to children or used undiluted on the skin. They should be diluted more than they are for adult application and care should be taken with any essential oils considered “hot” as they may cause damage to the skin.
In general, oils like lavender, chamomile, orange, lemon and frankincense are considered safe for diluted use on children, but I would personally still do a skin test and check with a doctor first.
Some oils have caused seizures in children and extreme caution should be used (this article from a naturopathic pediatrician explains more and gives some case studies– since people have commented, I want to mention that I do think her post is overly alarmist but she makes some good points as well). To clarify- these seizure reactions were rare and most were in people who were predisposed to seizures, but this still isn’t a risk I would take with small children.
Others, like peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus and wintergreen should not be used around young children or babies. These herbs contain menthol and 1,8-cineole. These compounds can slow breathing (or even stop it completely) in very young children or those with respiratory problems. Of course, they should never be used internally or undiluted on the skin for children, but these particular oils warrant caution even for aromatic use. I would not personally ever use these oils on or around babies for this reason.
This article from the University of Minnesota cautions about the use of peppermint and similar oils in children under six, because: “Menthol-one of the major chemicals in peppermint oil-has caused breathing to stop in young children, and has caused severe jaundice in babies with G6PD deficiency (a common genetic enzyme deficiency) (Price & Price, 1999).”
Since the effects of essential oils are more concentrated on children, it is prudent to exercise extra caution when using essential oils on them. Personally, I stick to using safe essential oils in a diffuser or in very diluted amounts in beauty and cleaning products.
Important note to add: pets can be just as vulnerable.
Essential Oils in Plastics
Another thing that is not often mentioned is that essential oils should never be stored in plastic containers, especially in concentrated forms. Many essential oils can eat through plastics when undiluted, and even when diluted, they can degrade plastics over time.
I make homemade cleaners with essential oils in glass bottles for this reason (even though they are very diluted) and store homemade beauty products in glass whenever possible.
This caution also extends to other surfaces in the house, which I found out the hard way. A bottle of wild orange oil was left on a piece of homemade furniture in our house and when I picked it up the next day, it had stuck to the piece, pulling off the finish and stain when I picked it up. Apparently, there was a little bit of the oil still on the bottom of the bottle (likely from my hand when pouring it). Be extremely careful about leaving any oils, especially citrus oils, on wood or other stained surfaces.
The Good News
Though there are a lot of warnings about safe use of essential oils, they are wonderful natural remedies when used correctly. I hope that this post doesn’t discourage anyone from using essential oils, but rather encourages proper research and safety first.
I use essential oils almost daily, but I make sure to research each oil and its proper use first. It can also be really helpful to find a trained aromatherapist, herbalist or naturopathic doctor to ask specific questions about essential oils. It is also important to make sure any essential oils you use are organic and very high quality.
Safe Ways to Use Essential Oils:
At the end of the day, essential oils can be a great and safe natural remedy, if used safely. The main ways I use essential oils are:
- Aromatically– in a diffuser
- Topically– Diluted in homemade lotion, toothpaste, lotion bars, body butter and other homemade recipes.
I reserve undiluted skin use and internal use for times of real need when the benefits outweigh the risk and I avoid using essential oils in this way on babies/children or when I am pregnant.
What essential oils do you use? Have you ever had any negative effects from their use?
Discussion (496 Comments)
Peppermint and Rosemary oils are used in store bought and homemade vapor rub, right? Would you recommend the homemade version to be used in toddlers? I have a 2 1/2 year old.
Ursula – I personally use dried leaves instead of essential oils for my vapor rub for my kids. Just 1/4 ounce each of peppermint and eucalyptus leaves added to coconut oil. Heat the oil on low on the stovetop and allow the leaves to infuse with the coconut oil. Strain the leaves and add beeswax (if using). Melt, stir and allow to cool.
Well said…… Thank you! Your voice has been one I’ve been following for a just little while now. I haven’t followed your advice significantly *yet*, because, first, I’ve been trying to get a grip on how carefully you do your research and how liberally you might comment before making well informed decisions. Today you have earned a great deal of respect from me as a voice of reason in a world of chaos. Each. and. every. comment. you. have. made. today. echoes the concerns of the most carefully researched voice I was able to glean from in my past. Her advice never failed our family, but of late, she has had to move back to the state in which she was born and her family’s and her own needs take priority over her outreach opportunities on a day to day basis. Therefore, I’ve needed to either find a new voice, or dig in and do similar research myself. — Methinks, with your help, I can do a good bit of both: following along and benefiting from your research, and doing more research of my own. — Thank you again!
Thank you for your informative and useful post!
I’d only like to add that essential oils are also unsafe to use on pets. We may like to smell like spices, herbs and flowers but Fluffy and Mittens have different biology, as well as super sensitive noses.
Thank you for including the pets. Cats, especially, are susceptible to toxicity with eo’s. I am horrified when I read or hear that we can use oils on our pets.
Hi! Interesting article. I’m a 23 year old woman and I’ve been using essential oils for two years. I have always used them undiluted on the skin and have never had a negative reaction. Oils I use regularly are Lavender, Peppermint, Melaleuca and Wild Orange. Others I use but not as often are Oregano, Lemon, Frankincense, and various blends, all by DoTerra. I use their protective blend internally on a daily basis because I’m a student and I believe it has helped me greatly in not getting ill.
I guess I’m just wondering if maybe the quality of the oils used would make a difference? It sounds like the “massage therapist” you saw may have really not known what she was using, and perhaps they were not high quality essential oils?
If we do want to chat with a naturopathic doctor or some equivalent, do you know of anywhere online to do that? I live very remotely and there are no naturopaths around here at all.
No, the quality of the essential oils does not mitigate the safety precautions. Essential oils are not safe to take internally unless under the guidance of a trained Professional or Clinical Aromatherapist. Also, a naturopath is not necessarily trained to use essential oils, and would certainly not be trained for internal use unless said naturopath had obtained aromatherapy training independent of naturopathy.
Find a trained Professional Aromatherapist you can communicate with from a reputable association such as NAHA or AIA.
EXACTLY!! Robert Tisserand wrote on his Facebook Group last week: “There is no such thing as a “safe” brand of essential oils. Essential oil safety has really got nothing to do with the brand of oils you use. Most poor quality oils are not especially hazardous, they simply don’t do much of anything, and there is no single brand of oils that has a monopoly on quality. There are many brands with great quality oils! Safety is about constituents – the ones that are naturally there. “Not everyone reacts in the same way to essential oils, but safety guidelines are there to protect you. And remember – not every risk is apparent – you don’t know that hepatotoxicity or carcinogenicity or teratogenicity are happening when they are happening – unfortunately, there’s no warning sign.” NO WARNING SIGN…so ignore the posts which say “I’ve been doing it and I’m fine”…because just like no one knows which cigarette will be the one that starts the first cancer cell to grow…you will not know you have started to go into liver failure, until you are.
I totally agree, Sue, that things can happen all of a sudden… I had the unfortunately experience of just that 3 days ago. I am a Clinical Aromatherapist with 15 years of private practice, over 1500 hours of training, including anatomy, physiology and pathology. I’ve trained with some of the best known essential oil experts we have in the world today, including Robert Tisserand whom you mentioned. And still… I took a bath with 6 drops of essential oils and forgot to emulsify them properly. Don’t get me wrong, I had the oils and the bath gel in the little cup, ready to go, I just didn’t mix them together! So, when I swished the oils and gel into the bath water, I didn’t notice the essential oils float to the top and sit there, waiting to burn me, but burn me they did! Whoa, not fun. It happens to the best of us, and all it takes is once.
Essential oil safety is very important.
Hard to believe that 6 drops of oil would burn you…what oil was it?
Thank you so much for sharing this.
Yes, please tell us what kind of oil you used. What degree of a burn did you have? Did you go to the ER? How long did the burn last?
Danielle ~ You might try googling “Trained, certified Aroma-therapist” and see what pops up for you. I’ve been watching and listening to Holly Draper, a certified aroma-therapist in Utah, who is an expert on EO’s. Someone who has studied and trained on the usage of oils and their affects in our bodies could better answer your questions/ concerns. I’ve read Oregano Oil can be beneficial with infections but should not be taken more than 10 days and that it also kills the GOOD bacteria in our guts so a good probiotic is necessary afterwards.
Thank you Julie. I appreciate that very much. I will do that.
I probably should have mentioned I don’t take any of the oils internally except OnGuard. But I do use Oregano topically for warts when they happen.
Thank you for this post! I’m by no means an expert, maybe an expert research junkie. A lot of info and recipes containing essential oils worry me for other’s safety. I love EO’s, they are lil drops of miracles! But not enough studies have been done and as with all things, moderation is key. Better safe than sorry. Thanks for being caring enough to remind/educate.
I’m interested in taking a certified class in EO’s and/or herbs. Have you heard or know of a good online course to consider?
Aromahead offers great classes!
Hi Katie, what do you think about Slim and Sassy essential oil, from doTerra. Have you ever used it?
Any oil that is suggested to add to water and drink daily is no bueno. There is absolutely no reason it is necessary to ingest such highly concentrated oils on a daily basis. Just no.
very good article, I use essential,oils for everything. I make all my own skin care products and all the products for my small children. They have helped us out a lot. We have not need a prescription medicine or and over the counter med in over a year. Saved us lots of ,oney in times of need.
I have a granddaughter (8 months old) that has baby eczema and I was wondering if you have ever made up something for that? I have tried coconut oil with lavender and coconut oil with roman camomile without success, anything you could recommend? thank you
In my experience, eczema is caused as much internally as externally. If you can, it might be a good idea to talk to her mom about their diet, as it may be something they’re eating that’s causing it. I personally had some that didn’t heal at all, even with the help of prescription corticosteroid cream, until I completely eliminated grains from my diet. Once I did that, it healed on its own, without the need for the cream.
Other than that, Katie does have an eczema lotion recipe on here. Just type in eczema in the search box and it should pull up at least one, if not more, that you can try.
Thank you for your reply, she is on formula and my daughter has tried every kind out there including goats milk with no luck. I will look for the lotion recipe for her.
My 2.5 year old granddaughter has eczema due to a corn allergy. This took my daughter quite a long time to figure out what was causing her problem, because corn is in everything. Now for a year and a half we have kept milk goats so that she has milk from animals who are not fed any corn (they get oats for their grain). All types of formula, even supposed non allergenic ones, gave her eczema. Most dairy animals are given corn in their grain and corn allergic people can’t eat it.
Your daughter might try connecting with the facebook corn board for more information. I don’t have the link, but she can probably find it by searching. I know that this isn’t about EO’s but I feel I must post this information anyway.
My grandson was born w/ eczema. There are several things we have done/used to help: 1- use soap as infrequently as possible when you bath her and be mindful what soap you are using when you do. 2- Avon Moisture Therapy lotion– the original white bottle w/ blue writing. 3- Bag Balm. It comes in a green metal square can; I find it at CVS Drug Store for app $10; or try amazon. It is very thick, and so rub your hands together to warm it, and then apply and massage it into her skin. Apply as many coats as her skin absorbs. Do it as many times a day as necessary. You can also use Avon Moisture Therapy with it, if ned. 4- keep cotton next to her body; NEVER let her wear or use acrylic clothes, sweaters, shirts, sleepers, or pjs w/ any acrylic. 50/50 cotton/polyester is acceptable but not optimal.
Thank you for your reply. We have tried the Avon Moisture Therapy lotion with no luck, but I will look at CVS or amazon for the Bag Balm so she can try that. She already has her in a cotton oneis under whatever she is wearing about 90% of the time. Again thank you for the help.
Try Dr. Bonners soap for babies, I use unscented for myself and i have psoriasis and it is comforting for me. There is a lot out there for eczema but these help me.
There’s an app called think dirty where it reviews product ingredients for harmful chemicals. You should check it out 🙂 Please search your Avon cream in it before you use it again.
Ewg.org! Look up the Avon cream!
Colleen. I saw your comment and had to reply, as I have a daughter of my own who suffered from really bad eczema. We tried eliminating so many things to find the cause of this. After a long time and things getting so bad we had to turn to a mild hydrocortisone we finally figured out she is badly allergic to eggs! After doing more research I saw that there are indeed quite a few studies that shows how this is often related to food allergies. Her skin is still quite sensitive and she will also get a terrible red and itchy rash if tomato, for instance, is exposed to her bare skin. (because of the high acid content). Eating tomatoes doesn’t seem to give her any reactions though, only skin contact (we wash her face and exposed areas quickly), citrus fruits on the other hand seem to give her a really bad diaper rash. Her skin is definitely sensitive in itself, but it was the eggs that caused the most trouble, even if I had tiny bits of it while nursing… and, it always lasts a long time, so while figuring out what is causing it keep that in mind, it takes my little ones skin probably a month to really clear up from an outbreak. And the major causes are usually gluten, milk and eggs, if I remember correctly. But do some searching and you will find quite a few scientific articles about food allergies related to eczema in children. Keeping the skin hydrated is good and important before you can cure it with the cause, I know it offered a lot of relief for my daughter when her skin turned dry and itchy! Hope you figure things out soon!
Try babo botanicals. Works AWESOME for soothing sensitive skin. It’s organic. It’s a little spendier than other soaps and lotions but has done wonders for my son. He is now 2 1/2 years old and we still use it.
My son had terrible eczema (the scratching and bleeding was terrible). I did take him to an allergist when he was almost two. The problems started at about one when he stopped nursing and was just on cow’s milk. He is allergic to cow’s milk and taking him off of all dairy helped a lot (along with the cream the doctor recommended). That being said… the best thing for him has been fish oil. We can forget the probiotics for a while and things will still be okay but if we miss the fish oil for a week he starts breaking out again even when he has had no dairy and continued using the cream. He just turned seven yesterday and as of now still has his allergy (and others) but we manage and still believe for God to heal him one day. The fish oil we use is Nordic Naturals. I am sure there are other good brands and maybe some better. Those are the ones we use/can afford and that work. The LDL blend (and a few other herbs) have also done wonders for my cholesterol. My doctor was quite surprised. I say that because I see results with this brand. Hope that helps.
From what I understand babies do not need soap or any other kind of product on their skin, water is perfectly adequate! I only bathed my babies once a week, letting their skin and hair self regulate. A warm cloth was perfectly adequate at other times. Now that they are older (5 and 7) I have started using a shampoo bar on their hair once a month. But they still only bathe weekly, and I use an organic olive oil as a moisturiser after the bath. And no, they don’t smell, and their hair and skin are beautiful. As a lifelong sufferer of skin senstivity and exzema I was determined to look after my kids skin. I myself only bath 1-2 times a week and only use gentle bar soap on those necessary areas! Again, I always follow up with the olive oil within 5 minutes of drying my skin.
I would also be paying close attention to clothing as well, fine cotton is really the best. Wool and Merino are the worst. Put the material against your cheek and if it feels scratchy then don’t use it.
Lastly, as mentioned diet is a huge factor. Skin problems are very closely linked to gut bacteria health and (I am not going to start a breatfeeding/formula war) unfortunately baby formulas aren’t always known for benefitting gut health. It could be an allergy, but again, many allergies are getting linked back to gut health to start with. Corn fed dairy is bad, bad, bad. Grass fed 100%, and preferably organic if you can. I’m not sure what’s available in your country, but here there is a big range of organic products for comparable prices – so why wouldn’t you invest in quality?
Anyway, that’s my two cents worth, feel free to disagree 🙂
Hi! I use doTerra oils. I have a few friends who use different brands, (much cheaper, too,). So I’m wondering if you know any specific things to look for when selecting oils or about different brands? Thanks!
I sincerely hope you get the right information about Essential Oils before you share it with your audience.
1) Only EO without chemicals and fillers are therapeutic grade.
2) Only one company can legally claim TPG
3) Only TPG can be taken internally
4) Application of EO that are not TPG are dangerous to apply due to the chemicals and fillers in them
5) The entire chemical make up changes if you dilute ES with anything other than fractionated coconut oil made just for that
I teach on EO and have a free PDF if you would like it.
There is much misunderstanding about EO.
Katie - Wellness Mama
I agree that there is a lot of misinformation about EOs, but from my research, the “therapeutic grade” label is a source of misunderstanding not an answer to it. I’ve been unable to find any kind of “therapeutic grade” labeling that was from a third party, independent and unbiased source that was not financially connected in any way to the product. If you have documentation of this, I’d love to see it, because every time I follow the labeling, it always traces back to an EO company. Also, just having a label of “TPG” does not make oils safe for internal consumption…
I have had this discussion often lately. This blogger did an excellent job as well. Perhaps this can add to the discussion.
Do you know anything about these oils made in France? https://www.florihana.com/en/
You can order them from their distillery in France or through this website https://wellnessmama.com/go/tropical-traditions/
Everything I have found about them points to Pure oils.
LOVE my Florihana oils from France and I discovered them while on the Tropical Traditions website that Katie referred to in another posting. The prices are amazing, and their Organic and other certifications for EO’s are on every bottle.
Hello Katie and thank you for writing this post. I have a question because recently I’ve been using essential oils to help congestion. Specifically peppermint and melaleuca oils. I fill a cup full of water, heat it up hot in the microwave, drop a couple drops in and breath it. It really helps with congestion but sometimes if I breath too hard I feel a pain way back in the back of my head. Like in my brain (I’m assuming). It’s really strong stuff.
So my question for you is, should I not be breathing it like this? What is your suggestion? I look forward to your reply.
In a case like yours, I would talk to a functional medicine doctor. They can give you a better idea of what could be harmful and what possible alternatives could be 🙂
TPG is nothing more than a trademarked phrase. It literally means nothing except the company came up with the term and decided it sounded official so they registered it and said no one else can use it. The reason these companies can claim ingestion is safe is because they paid for the FDA approval, there are MANY other brands of EOs that are just as pure and safe (though one should NEVER ingest oil without the guidance of a QUALIFIED professional), but they are able to keep their cost (and the cost of their oils) down by not labeling for ingestion. The fact of the matter is, there are a LOT of 100% pure essential oils that are just as good as any of the MLM brands. It’s all about the marketing….
Paid for FDA approval?? lol… I’m sorry, but what on earth gives you that impression?
The FDA is funded in large part from the fees it collects directly from companies seeking the “FDA Approved” stamp on their product. Whether it’s a prescription or over-the-counter drug, food additive, dietary supplement, or cosmetic drug is of almost no consequence. It is claims anything other than a greater appearance of beauty or maintained natural healthy state, it is considered to be making drug claims and will be regulated as such.
Using aromatherapy to relieve a headache is “a smell curing a state of pain or discomfort.”
A lotion relieving a persistent itch or skin condition is “a topical ointment curing a medical skin disorder.” Both of these situations are legally considered by the FDA to be a drug designed to “treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure” a medical condition (nearly all of which now fall under the label of “disease”). An upset stomach now falls under “Acute Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” a new-age disease which requires a drug to have a legal impact.
Most all EO items used and marketed for anything but general household cleaning and presentation will fall into one of those two categories — depending upon whether topical (cosmetic drug) or internal (dietary) use is intended.
See the following official Gov’t pages for verification of this information:
Official Fee Schedule –> https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2015/08/03/2015-18914/prescription-drug-user-fee-rates-for-fiscal-year-2016
Personal Care Products –> https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/transparency
Cosmetic, Drug, or Both –> https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-laws-regulations/it-cosmetic-drug-or-both-or-it-soap
OTC Drugs –> http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194951.htm
Take note that according to FDA Policy, OTC drugs follow the same path to approval as prescription drugs, just using a special product profile and waiver system to avoid the Rx requirement. As such, their fees are normally the same.
Now, the fact that fees for approval come directly from the company intending to profit from the drug is a major problem with the US Pharmaceutical industry right now, in that they can all but directly bribe their way into the market, collect billions form sales, be discovered as highly dangerous and often lethal, and only have to pay out $15-20 million in lawsuits. The FDA cannot refuse everybody or they’d never make ANY money, so they let things through that more often than not should be denied.
At this point, the FDA is just another corporation trying to control an industry that has essentially regulated itself due to the financial power it possesses. The pharmaceutical firms can afford to payout any settlements they receive because upon getting the FDA to approve their drug, getting a 3-yr patent protection on their product is guaranteed. They now have a cornered and captive market to which they directly advertise (legally), doctors writing prescriptions for their drug who receive ‘bonuses’ for doing so (without legally violating any fiduciary responsibilities they have as a paid medical advisor), and a legal system getting a piece of the pie when the inevitable settlement against the drug occurs (which keeps them from wanting to stop the cycle before-hand).
So if a company doesn’t intend to participate in this exact system doing the same things the others are doing (it’s the only way to compete after paying so much to get the approval), there is no reason to become part of the game. But once you enter it, you are in this cycle…. whether you wish to be or not.
Hello could you please send me the PDFs or info you can offer me. I’m very new to oils
“I sincerely hope you get the right information about Essential Oils before you share it with your audience.” —AGREE. you should apply this yourself.
“1) Only EO without chemicals and fillers are therapeutic grade.” – you can take out the word “grade”
“2) Only one company can legally claim TPG” – sure, if they trademarked it. but if you are saying that only one company sells therapeutic EOs, then you might be very badly brainwashed.
“3) Only TPG can be taken internally” – no EOs should be taken internally without the guidance of a trained health professional
“4) Application of EO that are not TPG are dangerous to apply due to the chemicals and fillers in them” – some companies who claim to have therapeutic EOs have been failed 3rd party testing. trademarks are not a guarantee of purity.
“5) The entire chemical make up changes if you dilute ES with anything other than fractionated coconut oil made just for that” – FCO made just for one company’s EO????? sounds like a line to keep you from buying carrier oils from anybody else XD
I suggest you study EOs thoroughly – apart from a network marketing company – before you try to teach others. EO networkers have propagated so many lies that endanger people’s health such as ingestion of EOs, etc.
I recently made an arthritis cream for a friend. It contained PanAway, peppermint, valor, and lavender diluted in coconut and Shea butter. Do you know, if someone has a liver disease (non alcoholic cirrhosis), is topical use harmful?
Nichole, in my experience and according to the EDOR’s, that blend should be just fine. All of those should help her pain and I am not aware of any reason why any of those oils would damage the liver. You did good! 😉
Hi Nichole, I’ve done some research on this, PanAway contains Wintergreen oil which is naturally high in Methyl Salicylate, which is metabolised into salicylates in the body, which is the same as the active ingredient in Asprin and NSAIDS. Salicylates are metabolised in the liver. So she would probably need to take the same precautions that she takes with the synthetic form ie. NSAIDS and avoid continued use.
Your post is simply fantastic, will share it so maybe some people start to think. Thank you so much for it:)