Practical Thoughts On Essential Oils: What’s In That Bottle?, Its Value, Widespread Misuse
What is an essential oil?
A distilled (concentrated) aromatic plant medicine representing all 5 universal elements. An essential oil is the physical result of a plant metabolizing their ecosystem for the evolutionary purpose of enhanced immunology. In other words, the soil, the sunlight, the water, the air, and the channels of space in their own bodies were metabolized to sophisticate the plant’s immune system through a process that has evolved through plant intelligence over millions of years.
Why is this important?
Without understanding the essence of an essential oil, it may simply be reduced to just another product in our retailed consumer world. Respect that an essential oil is very potent and powerful and when used incorrectly can cause harm. Appreciate that these plants are harvested by hand in a labor intensive process that requires copious amounts (100’s of lbs.) of plant material to make a pinky size bottle of oil. Realize that the vitality of this medicine is married to the health of the environment the plants grew in, and that continued availability of this medicine is directly related to the sustainable harvesting of the plants themselves. Honor the wisdom of the plant kingdom as our ancient ancestors who share their intelligence as elders so that we may be healed and nourished.
Widespread misuse of essential oils
On the spectrum of plant medicine, essential oils are the non-synthetic equivalent to pharmaceutical drugs. Due to their potency, (and with due respect to the amount of whole plant material consumed) essential oils do not need to be used in copious amounts.
When used responsibly with a basic understanding, essential oils are prized gifts from nature that can be used by an individual therapeutically (diffusion), aromatically (with carrier oil as perfume), and non-toxically (environmentally friendly home cleaning products). However don’t be fooled into thinking a week’s worth of aromatherapy articles qualifies as adequacy in clinical use.
In our profit-first driven culture, the desire to sell more product rarely succumbs – unless forced – to sustainable production, ethical marketing, and responsible consumer education. In an effort to hasten consumption, certain companies have carelessly marketed essential oils to professionally-unqualified individuals to be used in a medical fashion, while branding unregulated terms such as “pure” and “therapeutic grade.”
Established primarily for peer-to-peer sales, marketing materials tout these potent oils both as cure-alls and as a means to self-generating income. Like a seemingly innocent win-win scenario, they are sold directly from consumer-to-consumer in a fashionable way that promotes generous use both topically and internally without the guidance of a trained professional.
In the absence of a trained professional or adequate education one can equate the practice of taking essential oils internally or applying them without discrimination topically as equivalent to diagnosing oneself medically, acquiring prescription required medication, and taking self-regulated doses. We have to consider that just because something seems on trend and is available doesn’t mean we should be dropping lemon essential oil into our water in lieu of a lemon wedge. And furthermore, as with any form of plant medicine, we should look to these as substances as temporary aides and guides that help us get back on track with our body’s own systematic intelligence in harmony with nature’s daily and seasonal rhythms.Posted on: August 22, 2016, by : jpanchal