Want to know more about aromatherapy myths? You’re in the right place. Most people have some sort of perception as to how essential oils can be used, but I’m here to clear up any confusion. This post will cover aromatherapy myths to celebrate aromatherapy awareness week.
“Therapeutic grade” essential oils are the best
- Therapeutic grade is a made-up ‘marketing’ term to sway you into buying an essential oil from that particular supplier, to make it sound more efficacious. All essential oils have therapeutic properties. There is no ‘governing body’ that has sanctioned this term for the efficacy of an essential oil.
Essential oils last forever
- No, they don’t. Essential oils deteriorate, ‘oxidise’, over time, meaning they lose their therapeutic value, they may change odour or colour and more importantly may cause skin sensitivity if used beyond their best before date. We recommend that you use your essential oils within one year of opening them to minimise this risk. A good way to keep a check on this is to place a sticker on your bottle with the date of opening, that’s what I do!
Essential oils can be used neat on the skin
- This is not recommended at all. Aromatherapists in the UK are not allowed to administer essential oils neat to their clients, their insurance does not cover that, and that should tell you something! Essential oils must be diluted before being applied to the skin in a blending oil, lotion or cream for example. They are concentrated essences that can, if used neat, cause a severe skin reaction or over time build up a sensitivity to that essential oil.
Pure Essential oils cannot freeze. If they freeze, they are not pure.
- False. All liquids can freeze at some temperature, even essential oils, although the extent to which they freeze may differ. They will not necessarily become fully solid depending on the temperature reached. If your essential oils freeze, allow them to return to room temperature naturally before trying to use them. Do not try to heat them up in order to return them to a liquid state.
Essential oils are safe because they are natural
- Just because an essential oil is natural it doesn’t mean its totally safe. Essential oils are made up of many different natural chemicals. Some are safe others are not, that’s why some essential oils carry cautions or safety warnings. That is why we don’t advise that you use your essential oils neat or ingest them. They are complex materials with complex abilities. Not all natural substances are safe!
Essential oils can be ingested
- This is not recommended at all! The lining of your mouth, oesophagus and stomach is lined with very permeable skin that is mucus rich, these areas of your body along with all the orifices of our bodies are lined with mucus membranes. The skin that makes up your mucus membrane is adapted for absorption and secretion. Therefore, if you ingest an essential oil it will enter your bloodstream very quickly, potentially damaging the delicate mucus membrane on the way, causing a burning sensation and over time eroding the lining of your mouth and stomach.
About Jo Kellett
Our essential oil expert, Jo Kellett TIDHA MIFPA CIMI, graduated from the Tisserand Institute of Holistic Aromatherapy in 1996. She returned to the college in 1999 as an Essential Oil Therapeutics Tutor, where she taught until the college closed. Jo runs a successful private Aromatherapy practice in Brighton, specialising in Women’s health. Jo is also an internationally published author and has lectured on the subject of Aromatherapy both in the UK and abroad.