Amy's Aromatic-Rant no. 349:
The reason I, as a Registered Aromatherapist, Essential Oil Therapist, don't recommend ingestion of essential oils is because research, education, and safety are a priority to me. I'm committed to staying within my scope, recommending the safest, most effective and therapeutic ways of using essential oils and not making health claims as essential oils can affect everyone differently.
I into aromatherapy by learning "what aromatherapy isn't" by working with an aromatherapy company. Instead of agreeing and handing my trust to them, I took another approach, honouring the wisdom of the Buddha who said, "Don't blindly believe me, See for yourself". With more research and a strong gut instinct, I realized what I was being told by the company didn't line up. Instead of trusting that company, I looked further and am glad I did. I dove right in and studied aromatherapy in 2001 & have maintained my mandatory continuing ed hours over the past 16 years.
My decision to not recommend ingestion of EOs is based on the research by respected professional researchers including Robert Tisserand who's been studying and researching essential oils for over 45 years, and he does not work with a company that is selling them so his research is not biased. His focus is research and safety and sharing information.
Yes, even as a Registered Aromatherapist, Essential Oil Therapist continuously working with and studying essential oils, after 16 years, I do not recommend ingestion of essential oils because it is simply beyond my scope. It concerns me that well-meaning people are being misinformed and understandably so by large powerful marketing companies with countless motivational people on board. Remember that a trademark is simply purchased to sell a product and zero truth is required to buy one, just money! Rumour has it McDonald's has one that's something like "100% pure Canadian beef". If it's a trademark, it means nothing. It's a purchased marketing tool. When I see an aromatherapy company with a trademark that states something like, "100% pure therapeutic grade", it appears that it's been approved by a governing body when not only is that not the case, but the company goes against the actual governing body's standards. It feels sneaky, salesy and misleading for consumers who may not know to continue researching. It's important to note that there are countless genuine and authentic essential oils being produced all over the world and those sold by any one company that claims them to be the best, again seems manipulative to the layman who simply doesn't know the difference(s).
Without an understanding of aromatherapy as a whole, it makes sense to believe what we're told. What's missing is a deeper understanding of how these potent biochemical compounds react with the mucous membranes, liver and kidneys plus how they metabolize through digestion. If people really want to add lemon essential oil (that is derived from the peel) to their drinking water, I would (admittedly tongue-in-cheek) suggest ingesting a few fresh organic lemon peels that are so easily accessible for many of us. My guess is they won't taste very good nor we feel very good. It's not because the body is detoxifying- it's because it's not good for us. The lemon peel will be even more fresh than the essential oil as with a huge company, the bottles are sitting around for quite some time before they get in to our hands. Toss a wedge in your water & call it a day! If it's too acidic, add fresh peppermint leaves or cucumber. Listen to your body.
These are some of the reasons I agree with the British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy's safety standards including not ingesting essential oils. It's beyond our scope, and usually simply not necessary as there are countless effective, gentle approaches without the hazards of ingestion. EO ingestion is best left to specialized physicians who've taken additional training on this approach.
As I mentioned, it is essential that we each consider what is best for us individually. I encourage anyone who's interested in essential to research them, not just through a company that sells them, from Pinterest or your favourite DIY app (which I love too for decor & stuff, but we must be mindful & careful with these powerful and potent biochemical compounds).
Check out the aromatherapy journals and long-time experts and researchers like Tisserand who's article I attached. He's committed to researching for the sake of safety and learning more as there's so much we still don't know about these oils. His focus is researching & sharing info-not selling oils. When I met him at a continuing education conference, I really appreciated his humility in admitting when he did not know an answer. He has tons of excellent resources through his blogs, social media, website and books.
I will add here that I have yet to find one company that meets all of my admittedly extremely picky standards. I use oils from all over the world so the Rose oil I choose, that my clients and I feel the effects most powerfully from, is not from the same place I source the Tea Tree oil that rocks my world. It's not about the company the oil is from. It's about each beloved essential oil, from Mother Nature.
Try out 5 different bottles of Frankincense from different companies, find out the Latin names, and countries of origin. Learn about cool stuff like how the altitude at which a plant is grown has such a powerful affect on the biochemical make-up of the oils which dramatically changes it's therapeutic properties. Ask about organic and wildcrafted. Talk up the Aromatherapists, chat to retail & multi-level marketing sales reps and gather the information. Then, you can make decisions about what oils to use and how to use them from an informed and empowered place rather than believing and trusting companies that sell oils. See for your beautiful Self.
If you're still with me (wow!), I'm impressed and grateful that people are as committed and interested in learning what different people have to say about aromatherapy. Now, integrate what resonates for you & disintegrate the rest. It's about you.
Thank you again for the questions & inviting me into this conversation! Feel free to keep this conversation going with a comment or question below. Let's Talk!