Do essential oils really work? Or are they just nice smellies, like air freshener or perfume (ew, and yurgh) but a bit more natural?
The question you’re really asking here is ‘does nature work?’
Think about that one for a second. Do you believe there is an intelligence built into nature that’s at work?
Yay or nay?
Let’s dive in.
What is an Essential Oil?
This is super basic, but if you’re like me, you probably never really gave this much thought. Maybe you were attracted to the nice smells, and you’re a nature-loving kinda gal/guy.
Well here’s a simple description.
Visualize this if you will. A delicious, juicy, orange, growing wild and free. Not in an orchid (or whatever the orange equivalent is!), not tended by people, just wild and free. Doing it’s thing as nature intended.
Unlike us mammals it can’t fight off predators with a baseball bat. If environmental circumstances become unfavorable, it can’t move to another postcode. If it’s cold, it can’t whack on the heating.
Basically, our wild orange has to rely on the intelligence built into it by mother nature to thrive in this world.
The rind of this wild and free (and probably rather happy) orange has natural chemical compounds in it. The compounds are it’s immunity. It’s intelligence. It’s in-built defense mechanism that keeps it alive and kicking, so to speak.#
That’s why many essential oils are naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral….etc….that’s how they survive in the wild. They have this inbuilt immunity that wards off pathogens.
When we cold-press the rind of an orange to distill the essential oil (not an oil at all really, actually the plants essence) we extract the plant’s immunity. When we use their essential oils, the plants are essentially lending us their intelligence and their immunity.
Pretty cool, huh?
Here’s the science bit…
Here’s a study that found “evidence that essential oils are potential antimicrobial agents against bacteria associated with porcine respiratory infections.” Here’s one that showed essential oils were good repellents against a type of mealworm (told you this was geeky) here’s one that suggests adding oregano essential oil to meat could be a safe way to inhibit things like salmonella in food products. Here’s another beginning the conversation on using essential oils to help with depression. Essential oils for pain relief. Here’s one on their anti-inflammatory action.
I’ll leave it there. There are literally hundreds of studies over at PubMed, so fill your boots and have fun learning about their super-natural powers!
Not All Essential Oils Are Created Equal
If you’re feeling pumped and ready to start benefiting from this plant goodness, know that not all essential oils are created equal.
If you want the above benefits and all the awesomeness you can see over at PubMed, you need real, true, actual plant essence. Not perfume. Not something that smells kinda like it. The thing. The actual thing.
The Aromatic Plant Research Centre notes on their website that it’s estimated that 80% of commercially available oils are adulterated in some way.
Because the natural products industry is not regulated, and there is growing consumer demand for natural products, well, lots of shit is getting bottled and sold as “natural” that has nothing (or not much) to do with nature.
So watch out!
Obviously as a Wellness Advocoate for DoTERRA I love their oils and can vouch for them. But there are of course other brands doing a good job of making the power of nature accessible to us in this way.
I’ll be doing a few more blogs soon on how to spot a good quality oil, along with some tips and suggestions on good places to shop.
Want to learn more now? Come join me over in my free Essential Wellness community.