There is no question that inhaling your favorite essential oil is one of the most pleasant odiferous experiences you can have. Essential oils not only evoke warm and wonderful feelings, these powerful plant derivatives have many medicinal applications. However, natural remedy guru and essential oil expert Angela Atkins says although essential oils can be effective alternatives to over-the-counter medications, they are not a cure-all. Here’s what Atkins has to say about the benefits and limitations of essential oils.
Essential oils are powerful health solutions
According to Atkins, essential oils are even more potent than herbs and have a wide array of uses that can benefit your health. “They can do many things, are strong and reliable, but they are not the answer for everything and they do have limitations and warnings that go along with each type of oil,” she adds.
Do you ever dab peppermint oil on your wrist and take a whiff to increase your energy? Is ylang-ylang one of your go-to scents to put you in a sexy mood? Atkins admits that aromatherapy is one of most common ways that essential oils are used and that it is effective for some conditions.
The facts on aromatherapy:
- aromatherapy is not a complete system of medicine
- aromatherapy cannot be done with fragrance oils because they do not have any medicinal properties
- aromatherapy is not a cure for major illnesses or diseases like cancer or AIDS
- aromatherapy can only help to alleviate the symptoms of disorders like depression and stress.
Essential oils should be used with care
Going along with some of the warnings of what essential oils can’t do, Atkins says that many essential oils should not be used undiluted on the skin because they are so concentrated, they can actually irritate the skin, especially the skin of babies and children. She adds, “Children have very soft, thin, and delicate skin that is extremely sensitive to essential oils.” She also recommends staying away from sage, clove, ginger, chamomile, and jasmine if you are pregnant or nursing. Further, she warns against taking essential oils internally, except in rare cases, because some of them can be toxic.
Essential oils should augment your health care
Atkins concludes with these words of wisdom: Essential oils are great natural remedies that can cure many different ailments, and help stifle many side effects of different ailments. However, essential oils are not a cure-all. Essential oils are meant to be another option and sometimes act as replacements to over-the-counter medications, they are not meant to replace things like medications for severe illnesses or diseases. They are also not meant to replace regular visits to your physician.