Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years and may be something you enjoy in your home. However, your aromatherapy may actually be more harmful than helpful!
Plants and essential oils have been used in health practices for thousands of years. The word Aromatherapy first appeared in the literature about 1937 by a French chemist, Gattefosse who claimed to effectively treat a bad burn with lavender essential oil.
Over the years, aromatherapy lost is true meaning as a healing remedy and became associated more with perfume and fragrances. We see advertising of lemon or lavender oil in our detergent and cleaners thinking that makes it work better – wrong! It is a fragrance and sells product but is not helpful to us!
You see – most essential oils sold in stores are fragrance grade. That means they have been adulterated. They are not given to us in their genuine form. In fact, some sources state that there is only about 2-3% of the world market that is actually genuine essential oils. You may have seen labels that read 100% Pure, therapeutic grade or certified grade and you would believe that you are getting a genuine essential oil. Probably not! There is a small amount of the pure oil in the bottle, maybe 5-10% of the volume, and the rest is an extender of some sort. In addition, there are no standards to quantify a therapeutic or certified grade oil.
Why is a genuine oil so important?
They are lipid soluble which means they can move into our cells to help promote healing and balance. However, solvents and extenders, which are found in most essential oils, are also lipid soluble. They can actually create more harm. We do not know outcomes of long term build-up of solvents/toxins in our system. It may lead to inflammation and possible illness.
You might say, well I am just using my aromatherapy product as an air freshener and I like how it makes me feel – no harm with that right? Wrong! Once again you may be causing more harm than good to your health. When we breathe in an odor, it goes directly to the brain and if it is a chemical, it can create concerns such as brain inflammation. Some people experience this when they smell a perfume and get an instant headache.
So what can you do?
Many leading experts believe that you have to investigate companies. Factors to consider:
– What are the ethics and integrity of the company
– Where are their farms or farm partners, do they do onsite visits
– Do they do organic farming
– Do they do proper distillation for specific plants
– How do they label
These are a few questions to consider. With proper use of genuine essential oils, you can enhance your health and maintain wellness every day.