Misinformation; inaccurate and incomplete; seems to catch fire fast in the age of social media and the abundance of people glued to their phones and tablets is the fuel. If you find it online it must be true, right??? WRONG!! We live in a time of such an abundance of information that it is imperative to research, aka Due Diligence.
You may ask what exactly is Due Diligence when it comes to researching whether you should or shouldn’t use essential oils in your home, office, or other areas and/or around your children and pets. Well, simply put, it’s researching reliable sources along with connecting with knowledgeable people. One source can be PubMed, when looking for research articles. There are many articles that discuss the benefits of many essential oils for things from anxiety to relaxation. What about books and certified people like herbalists, aromatherapists, and even veterinarians or physicians.
Poison control is a place where individuals often get information from that feeds into the Fear-Mongering on social media. The reason that this is perpetuating fear, often unwarranted, is because it does NOT give specific information. Old articles also feed into this mindset. Why? There is often no information listed about brand, amount, and how often that particular essential oil was used. Old articles also can feed into the fear and apprehension by being out-dated when new research has shown benefits.
Even the Poison Control has an article based upon MISUSE! Read it Here. Another place for information can be NIH, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Did you know that that is what Dr. John J. Hanover, Dr. Debra J. Rykoff, and Dr. Susan Albright are? They are integrative veterinarians, using modalities from chiropractic, herbs, to western medicines. It is by definition (integrative) all inclusive. Using the different modalities in conjunction with each other, not one OR the other. But I digress.
As a mother of six children and having two dogs, two cats, and a fish in my home, I use essential oils every day. I am confident in the brand of essential oils that I use. I have learned through research; a lot of research; through some hands-on experience, and most importantly I have a solid group of people that I can go to with questions and concerns. When I am uncertain, even after research, I turn to those with years of applicable experience and degrees.
I am a licensed massage therapist, a mom, and I talk essential oils with veterinarians and many other people. I certainly do not have all of the answers, but I do absolutely inform people that there is a set of criteria: Quality, Quantity, Frequency. In the majority of the postings of harm done by essential oils, these three criteria are missing. Why is that??
Do you know the company/brand of essential oils that you are using? Have you researched the company? Can you get information regarding distillation, the crops, the locations where these crops come from, etc? Can you visit the company, the farms, the distillery facilities? What testing and where are the tests done for quality of the products? All of this matters when referring to Quality.
How much of the essential oil are you using? Quantity matters. When diffusing, are you putting an entire bottle into the diffuser so that you can “smell” it and closing doors/windows? Are your pets subsequently stuck in those closed off rooms? Are your children? What about yourself? More is NOT better, in any circumstance, especially when it is a poor quality of oil.
Did you turn that diffuser on full time for the last 48 hours? Do you sit in the full sun for that long? Swim for that long? Stay awake for that long? None of this is beneficial to us. Frequency is important in safety. If you are going through bottles of oils in the matter of days, maybe you are over using. Many items have directions like twice a day, three times daily, as needed, these are there for a reason. Some things you use once a day, some you use several times a day. Diffusers often have timers on them. I generally put mine on the dispersing mode; ie 30 seconds on/off. Some diffusers can run up to 10 hours in this mode.
Before you decide to post articles on Facebook without researching their validity, I urge you to do your DUE DILIGENCE in finding out the who, what, where, when, and why of the article. If these are lacking, then maybe there is an issue with the user and not the essential oil itself that resulted in a very sad outcome.
I do not want any harm to come to anyone, two or four-legged. My purpose of this was to help others understand that it is a responsibility to find truths. Don’t let someone else’s lack of it taint your view point.
**Pictures are: My pups in my bedroom, while I am diffusing. My door is open for them to come and go as they wish. Also not in picture is Ethel – long haired kitten, on my chest. Kittens going to the vet for their 6 month check-up. An essential oil is in the carrier to help with kitten transport stresses.