Saturday, February 06, 2016

My last words on the essential oil fiasco...



We don't sell essential oils, but we do have a small distiller and have a pretty clear understanding of how they are created.  So while my income is not dependent on eo's, whenever I speak out on the safe use of them I get nasty notes and canceled subscriptions, so this goes deeply into the negative column for me. 
I'm going to talk about what I've been watching for the last few years, and I'm even going to forgo any kind of icky, high-falluting, talk of chemistry and components and reactions.  Clearly, all that science-y stuff is just a ploy to confuse people (that's sarcasm). 
I may, however, use sarcasm from time to time.

In the 20+ years that I've been working and playing with essential oils, I've broken some of the so called rules.  We used to believe that a few oils could be used "neat" without being diluted.  Then I met a couple women whose lives had been forever altered after becoming sensitized to lavender oil in their work with the oils.  Simply relaying this new information about the use of neat oils has caused me to lose business and a few friendships.  Thing is, the common use of essential oils by the general public is relatively new.  Only a handful of decades.  Until then it was used mostly in commercial or scientific settings with proper safety apparel, etc. So what we know is not absolute.  It changes.  When it does, we must be willing to accept that new information.

This does not mean that ONLY lavender oil causes a problem for them.  It means that many, many scents can set off a chain of events that send them to bed for a few days.  The components (oops - sorry, I used it) in lavender oil are in many others and are in all kinds of products that we use every day.  You can barely get away from it.

One time I made some mints for an open house.  The recipe called for 2 pounds of confectioners sugar, 1 pound of cream cheese, and a single drop of peppermint.  I used 3 drops.  The mints were barely edible, but they did clear the sinuses.  So yes, the argument that essential oils are used in food is true.  HUGEly diluted (for instance 3 pounds to 1 drop), but they are indeed valuable flavoring and in medicine.

Gradually over the years, the conventional wisdom in the use of eo's changed a little bit but mostly I changed when I learned through some stupidity on my own part that there was a reason we do things the way we do.
 
Those who have studied essential oils for their entire working lives tell us that they can cause liver damage over time - especially if taken internally willy-nilly.  It's funny how that stuff happens.  When we can't see it, we often don't believe it.  I once worked at a company where the toluene and other solvents hung in the air until we didn't even notice anymore, but the people who worked where chrome was applied and dissolved were required to have extensive physical exams on a yearly basis.  Nobody really thought much about it. The money was good, and you couldn't see or feel anything.  Most of us were young.  It seemed though that a lot of my friends there had babies with health issues.  Nobody talked about it.  
With essential oils, people are working so hard to try to warn others of the dangers.  There are sites where data on injuries and related deaths are cataloged.  There are people who spend a good part of every day trying to reach people and tell the truth.  So it isn't that it isn't being talked about.  It's that there's too much money to be made from the current lack of knowledge.

So now we are seeing people giving others truly unsafe and uneducated advice on the use of essential oils. 
-They are selling it.  So there's money to be made.
-People who are sick want the talk of miracles to be true.  Desperately.  Most of us know and love someone who is ill at any given time, and would love to find a cure. 
-Unfortunately, for some people, it's become hard to trust the medical industry when people are jacking up prices 5000X for a drug and there are no repercussions.  There are some sectors that are all about the money, but you can take the time to find a physician you trust.  It is not the entire industry, although I've yet to see any sector of the pharmaceutical industry that maintains the altruism that I expected in my youth... Please prove me wrong.  I'd love that.  But that makes it much easier for hucksters to convince their marks.
-We do not know the consequences of these applications.  Never in the history of mankind have essential oils been used internally like this, in these intense quantities.  Never have we slathered ourselves with these concentrated chemicals.  So starting a kid early, maybe they'll *only* be sensitized by puberty OR maybe they'll be facing multiple organ failure.  WE DO NOT KNOW!

In the end, I think this will be the last word on essential oil safety from me.  Reason and learning have been vastly overwhelmed by social media.  My friends who have worked and educated themselves in the field of essential oil over the last few decades have been working tirelessly to protect people from shysters, and it looks to me like a losing cause. 

In herbs, we get huge waves of new people from time to time, and sometimes it is even due to something like Herbalaff (or something like that...), which was sort of equivalent.  Around 20 years ago, Herbalaff sold the herbal cure for everything, and you too could get in on their pyramid. For some reason, they were quickly squashed, even though in most cases herbs are much safer than the extremely concentrated essential oils.  I suspect that there aren't enough people in a position to prosecute that  know anything about the oils.  In any case, oils fly under the wire, even though they are often THOUSANDS of times more potent than a cup of herb tea or a capsule of herb.

It is disheartening and frightening to see the advice people are given. Here are just a few of the more insane methods:

*Put a few drops in a capsule and take them daily (then try to find a way to get on a liver transplant list now).  You know why you have to use that capsule?  The capsule gets it past the mucus membranes that have pain sensors. It sails past the area where you'd be able to SEE the scarring.  Don't believe me?  Dab a little oregano oil anywhere inside your mouth.

*____ oil will cure _____.  Really.  No. This is HIGHLY illegal. If you hear the word "cure" please run because the person saying it has broken the law and does not have your best interests at heart.  Please note that doctors don't sell drugs, and pharmacists don't diagnose and/or treat disease.  There's a reason for that, and it is to protect you.  Everyone who works in herbs hates this law, but this is why it exists.

*Any use of any oil on a newborn by anyone other than a highly trained aromatherapist (who most likely would not do it).

*Soak a tampon with ____ and wear it overnight (after which you can go to the ER for removal and treatment for the chemical burn).

*Apply these oils undiluted directly to the skin. Often the spine. That reaction is not a healing crisis (or whatever they call it), it is a second or sometimes third degree chemical burn.

*Tonight I heard about vaping essential oils.  Right into the lungs.  Might as well try to get some lungs with that new liver transplant.

So I'm probably going to give up fighting.  It is a deluge of ignorance and greed.  I'm afraid that some terrible things will happen to some people, especially children who have no say, but there's just no stopping it.  In the end, we'll all be punished for this, and find that the oils have become highly regulated, hard to obtain, and much more expensive - because some won't learn and refuse to listen to reason. 

Don't bother writing to tell me how wrong I am, I won't let it through.  The ignorance has over-run the internet, but at least I can control the comments on this blog.

NOTE - We added a post with some good resources:
http://theessentialherbal.blogspot.com/2016/02/resources-for-safe-use-of-essential-oils.html

129 comments:

Sarai said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm so glad it's not just me wincing every time someone posts something dangerous about eos... I hate how many people blindly accept the "facts" people tell them... I don't speak out about it either though... Ignorance is bliss I suppose. It makes me sad...

Lynette Manteau said...

Oh Tina. I love your article and have actually stopped selling essential oils because I felt horrified at what some of my customers were told regarding the use of said oils. Now I am happy to use pure essential oils to scent my soaps and skin-care products (judiciously, I might add.) Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I AGREE WITH YOU COMPLETELY!!! I had been away from using essential oils for many years, but all of your safety points are exactly the way I learned, geez 30 years ago. I'm horrified at the widespread use undiluted and internally.

Lightgoddess said...

Oh my! Having only worked with oils for about 15 years, I can't agree with you more! People scare me sometimes. Using undiluted oils willy-nilly? Sweet baby Jesus that's dumb. Using them internally undiluted? That person deserves whatever they get for being dumb. This holistic argument is the equivalent of taking the warning labels off of everything and seeing what happens. My heart goes out to you and all of the good work you are doing.

I am among those who appreciate your warnings and wisdom.

Liz Lytle said...

Thank you very much, I have friends and family who sell oils. I have had arguments on this subject. I am doing a workshop on infused oils to give an alternative to the essentials. If I can't get through to them maybe I can show a safer way. Thanks again, it's good to know I'm not alone in my opposition.

Southern Ohio Gardener said...

I belong to several myshroom idetification groups online. Daily, people will post pictures of mushrooms and ask if they are edible. More often than not there will be several 'yes' replies. I staunchly correct the offenders and beg the poster NOT to consume unknown mushroom. I have been chastized and ridiculed but I hope I saved some lives. You are correct in saying that ignorance has over run the internet.

Melanie Alderson said...

Thank you for posting this. These are words people need to see. I will be sharing! And, please, do not give up the good fight. Everyone with knowledge and common sense has to keep fighting for the good of others even when it gets rough.

Merwyn's Pen said...

Thank you so much for this post. I'm only a novice at using herbs and EOs, but common sense suggests both be approached with an open mind, a bit of caution and a healthy dose of respect. Please know that your efforts are appreciated and your voice is heard even when the crowds spreading misinformation and promoting improper use of EOs seem to drown it out.

Anonymous said...

A very well written letter. We need more of this kind of thinking! Thank you! Keitha J Clements

il cespuglio delle merafoglie emanuela vanda said...

thank you! there are too many "superficial experts" around,saying just what is useful to their business. Once in a while we need someone sincere!

Sue said...

You expressed so well what many of us have experienced, as well shared the decision many of us have made to walk away from our efforts to educate about essential oil safety. There is a willful blindness going on in our community. Companies and their multi-level-marketing salespeople who are trying to make as much money as possible as fast as possible before the mounting evidence of adverse reactions and even deaths, force the hand of the FDA and shut the whole industry down. In the mean time, they build multi-billion dollar fortunes and laugh all the way to the bank.

Donna Soutar Bilan said...

I have used EO's for about 20 years and have practiced caution in not using without a carrier and not consuming. It is beyond my comprehension that people would be so blind as not to exercise caution when using such powerful ingredients.
Thank you for this concise list of reasons caution needs to be exercised. If people unfollow/unfriend you for speaking the truth it is truly their loss not yours.
Keep speaking the truth please for those who are ignorant but willing to learn!

Cindy said...

I've known you for a long time Tina, and throwing in the towel is not you. You will continue to educate people about the uses and dangers of both herbs and essential oils. We both will, because in all that chaos and misinformation out there, there are still consumers begging to know the truth and it needs to be out there for them to find. For every dangerous recommendation there needs to be a voice of reason to counter that. You've always done a great job at educating and unfortunately, I think it is an ongoing process that is never finished.

Krystal Elder said...

My phone is about to die or this would be longer. Don't give up. I'm trying to fight the same things you are and wow, that frustration is huge. Tiny voices become louder when more join in.

It's only a lost battle when no one is left standing.

I'm standing with you! !

A Megan Gates said...

Thank you for your blog piece. I completely agree with you. I have dabbled in Eoils, but only for myself, & common sense told me to be very careful. I have several books on E oils, & they all stress the safety concerns. I wish more people would read further about E oils & use common sense.

Tina Sams said...

You do know me pretty well Cindy. I will always keep at it. Locally, I'll do demos and talks. I'll share what I know with anyone who wants to hear it. But at the same time, at some point we have to take note that all of the various sites - facebook, pinterest, youtube, etc., etc are over-run with misinformation and I'm not sure we can keep up with it all. Too many people are making too much money by making things up.

Sandy Winfield said...

Bravo!

Sunshine said...

One word: BRAVO!

Unknown said...

Tina, thank you. I have shared this with others and know that, though you are weary, you will continue the good fight when you can. As for losing friends and subscribers, we'll I've been meaning to re-subscribe so today is the day. Janiece

Lady M said...

Thank you so very much for this post..... I hope many will read it and heed the wise words. Over the past few years, there have been at least 2 pyramid e.o. companies who are sucking people into the pyramid with the promise of financial security along with excellent health. Their minions are sent out into the public sector to encourage the un-informed to not only slather these oils on their bodies but ingest them, at will. If that isn't bad enough, these oils are suggested as a replacement to the "medicine chest". It breaks my heart!!! I grew up in a home where herbal remedies were used.....infusions....and tinctures. I continue to use these methods in my home. Thank you for your magazine and online posts. I really appreciate your articles.

Sheri Ezekiel said...

Thank you! I am in my 2nd year of herb & eo studies and I too am finding it difficult to convince friends and family about the dangers of undiluted essential oils. Especially when they apply them to their kids for bug bites. We need more articles like yours on the Internet. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

My suggestion would be to contact a local television station to talk about the dangers of using essential oils incorrectly. Oftentimes stories are shared between stations and end up being shown around the US.

Marie Eatman said...

Amen! Excellent article!!!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea. Thank you for bringing it up, and your stance is much appreciated.

Martin Kloess said...

Great post thank you for sharing

Diane said...

Thank you for being a voice of sanity....

This is why I prefer to get all of my essential oils now from Floracopeia, where David Crow is another highly ethical proponent of the safe use of essential oils.

Liz Smith said...

Thank you! Just yes to all of this. Safety first.
People have gone mad, and it will have consequences for all of us, ugh.
Can I move to the UK now? :-) The Aromatherapy Trade Council Safety page is where I like to send those that are skeptical of my safety suggestions. I'll send them your blog with it, too. Nice small touches of snark - love it!

Bobbie said...

I've always "loved" the people that say you can't be allergic to EOs because they are natural. Bees, peanuts and shellfish are natural too and yet people die from them everyday!

Kudos to you for speaking out on the charlatans!!!

The Hole Affair said...

You have a very intelligent and rational post, yet I am saddened by the knowledge that neither attribute is valued. Thank you so very much for saying it anyway.

sharon mcmurry said...

thank you for doing your best to address the rampant ignorance of our "super brain washed"...public..!!!...as you said and inferred...it is probably for naught.....and sad to say ...when long term problems arise...it will be ugly....i feel the american public has handed over many years ago, the "rights" to their lives...they have been expertly played into thinking this is their decisions....therefore, after all smoke has effectively been blown up asses of the willing....they will allow all harmful equations thrown at them....the logics of the illogical....can't quite compete in that arena......

Anonymous said...

Good read! When people talk of the internal use of EO's in food as proof of their safety I try to quote back the amounts used in Fenaroli's Flavor Handbook. An international guidebook for the food and flavor additive industry. Great way to show how small an amount of eo folks in the food and flavor industry do use safely. They are in parts per million (ppm) fyi.

Judy Rath said...

I have said the equivalent of your comments and, too, have been called out on it by the multi level marketers of essential oils. I am tired of trying to send people to reputable sites for information in addition to my personal warnings but I am so worried about the babies and children that are being treated by this new craze that I shared your post on Facebook. It's also my last attempt. Thank you so much but the phrase that rings in my mind is "a voice in the wilderness..."

Karen Mallinger said...

Can we write and tell you how right you are!? I'm so tired of fighting this fight, but I think you're right, it's a losing battle. Thank you for your wisdom through the years. Not all ears are deaf.

Unknown said...

Thank you. Learned this the hard way just by not taking enough care years ago. Totally agree with you. Am sharing.

Pam Quayle said...

Thank you. Learned this the hard way just by not taking enough care years ago. Totally agree with you. Am sharing.

Nina Vomero said...

Well you might have just saved my family! Unfortunately I did not have that common sense! I use oils on myself and my daughter, luckily I have always diluted. I was told to put the oils in the capsule for my daughter, luckily she could not swallow it. Honestly I had not heard about these issues! Thank you so much for the post. Any other resources you have would be so helpful.

Lori Mitchell said...

I totally agree! I once was in 'the cult', but luckily found some awesome experts that helped me see the light. I hate to see you stop though, as we are needed! If you help one person, it's worth it. I have been in the verge of stopping a few times, but whenever I am I find that one person that listens and my strength is renewed.

Anonymous said...

I am writing a weekly column for our local paper focusing on EO safety and a single oil each week. We are a smallish town in New England, but have recently been inundated with MLM reps who are selling the "snake oil" concept. I hope to educate the community before they drink the koolaid. Can I quote some of your comments in next weeks column? I will give you full credentials. Deborah Jasien, Owner/Maker Fields of Ambrosia. deborah@fieldsofambrosia.com

Anonymous said...

It's difficult maybe even impossible to understand this bizarre phenomenon. Sure, greed is in there, but I am guessing some people involved have good intentions and actually think they are helping others. But the degree of naiveté is truly difficult to fathom.

Shayla M said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I've tried to tell some of my friends who sell (and apparently make lots of money) that essential oils are dangerous if not used correctly. Even something as 'mild' as peppermint can really hurt you. I've been using oils in salves since the early 90s and am always as careful as can be. Open windows whenever possible (I have cats and they are more sensitive than humans), having the kids go outside to play, and closing the bottles right away are only a few of the precautions I take. To know that people are willing to put them directly into their bodies as the sellers are telling them... well, it makes me worried for them.

Please don't stop trying to educate people!

Tina Sams said...

Lol - oh sure Karen. This is MY little world. Although I have not had to delete anything. That is very surprising. Maybe the tide is turning?

Tina Sams said...

Nina, you absolutely made my day. I figured if it helped one person it would be worth it. Thank you!
If you are on Facebook, Look up Robert Tisserand. His information is great. I will spend part of the day tomorrow putting together a post listing unbiased information sources.
The problem is that almost anyone who has spent time studying essential oils has made it into their life's work, and therefore they are accused of bias. I can't help that, but will find what I believe to be true and share it.

Lisa Hodel said...

Well I stumbled across this article thank you for sharing this is the first time I've read negative about oils, I've actually been using them very unsafely I had no idea they could be dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Beginner here with EO and cautious, but not aware of the dangers. Will educate myself now, thanks to your blog written out of frustration.

Anonymous said...

I once treated a patient with second/third degree chemical burns under their arms from using an EO as a deodorant without dilution. It took us forever to get the cause out of them because the label said "natural" so it couldn't possibly have harmed them this way. Keep fighting the good fight, even if you only stop one person from doing something harmful to themselves or their kids, you've done good.

Ariel said...

Thank you for providing real information that will help people to better understand and use essential oils safely. There is so much BS info out there. It is very refreshing to read a post that is not about making money but about real useful information.

Trueheart said...

Wise words, well said. I shared what you said on Facebook, but I know that wishful thinking far outweighs common sense and thoughtful learning. I am a virtual tyro when it comes to EOs, but I listen and I research. Thank you for your not-so-common sense.

Rowan Badger said...

Thank you. I've studied herbs and the use of alternative medicines for a couple decades now as a hobbyist, and the lack of real scientific approach bothers the hell outta me. Trying to explain to people that the fact that herbs do work for certain applications also makes them dangerous mostly gets me blank looks. I have friends now who are part of the essential oil pyramid game, and I shudder to see them handing out oils and advice to our mutual friends without consideration for pharmaceutical drug interactions. I had to stop one from giving oils to a baby without the mother's knowledge, because "It's natural. It can't hurt him." I know that people can get desperate for a cure, that there comes a time when you'll try anything, anything at all, because nothing Western medicine offers helps you. I know that going to the doctor can be scary and expensive, and that the idea you can treat yourself at home, more cheaply, is compelling. But if you believe they work, you must believe they should be used carefully and thoughtfully.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've read your blog...my daughter passed it on to me. Please don't quit warning people...I hear you and thank you. I am just learning about eo's and am thankful to learn all I can. I am all about safety and there's so much information out there.

When I was in the 7th grade, there was a sign posted on the gym wall. It's words have stayed with me til this day...almost 50 years later...
"Learn from the mistakes of others...You will never live long enough to make them all yourself." I remember realizing suddenly how profound that was, and realizing at the same time just exactly what the word 'profound' really meant. I got it and I've never forgotten that saying.

Please know that your words have been taken seriously, and thank you for getting the word out there. (helen)

Laeti said...

Why don't you speak out? Every seed of doubt builds up and the person will eventually wake up!

sarah said...

Thank you for this post!!! I literally just saw someone recommend EOs for genital use (yes, you read right) to "increase the heat". I am completely shocked at the level of ignorance most people have surrounding EOs. I am a pediatric pharmacist in a hospital and it is amazing how many people would rather ingest an EO than take a dose of Tylenol. I am not one to push for meds because I truly believe less is more and natural therapies should be used whenever possible but at least we know what to expect with drugs. It scares me to think people are so non-chalant because EOs are "natural". Morphine and heroin are "natural" too and we all know how dangerous they are if not used correctly. THANK YOU for posting this.

Connie Miller said...

Thank you for this excellent article!

Lee Holland said...

Tina, thank you so much for this article. I was an amateur herbalist for years before returning to school for a doctorate in pharmacology. I have shared this on Facebook and will post it to ALL of my social media accounts. This is the exact type of down to earth, well written, public education on essential oils that has been desperately needed for over a decade.

Anonymous said...

Information presented in formats such as yours DO reach people, even those in the MLM world. I am thankful the MLM got me into the EO world, but I'm also thankful I have enough sense to question everything. If blogs like this didn't exist, I wouldn't have anything to contradict what I was being told.

Kristi Robinson said...

I don't understand why this is hard to understand for some people, essential oils are still chemicals, just natural ones. I still sell essential oils but the group I am with state that you should start slow and dilute because everyone's systems are different. I like to equate it with when you are introducing a baby to foods, you do so slowly and one at a time so you can tell if there is a reaction. While cooking with essential oils use a toothpick dipped in the oil to add it to your sauce. The oils are highly concentrated.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned "There are sites where data on injuries and related deaths are cataloged" Would you list those sites please.

Vicki Flores said...

Well said. Standing with you!

Mel said...

So I have read on both. I guess I don't see "replacing my medicine cabinet" with oils, but when Avery was up at Mayo. She was nauseous after surgery and they asked if I wanted to try some peppermint oil to help. I said sure so they put a small amount in a cotton ball and set it above her pillow. If they were so dangerous, why would Mayo Clinic offer them?

Pagan Hare said...

Thank you so much for this great article. It is beyons me that you have been given grief for speaking the truth andntrying to educate people. And it astounds me that people would apply something so concentraited on to their skin directly, undialuted!!! Insane!!! Keeo educating people!!!

Tina Sams said...

I'm not saying that nobody should use essential oils. I'm saying that people should be educated, learn something about them that they weren't told by the person who makes money by selling them to you, and be cautious and responsible.
There's nothing wrong with using well diluted oils on the skin. There's nothing wrong with diffusing oils or having them handy to sniff. I distill my own oils and hydrosols, so I'm certainly not against oils. I am against people using them in stupid and ignorant ways.

Tina Sams said...

Anonymous...
Here is one list of injuries. No deaths last year. Yay.

http://aromatherapyunited.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Summary-October-2015-FINAL.pdf

Anonymous said...

I hope this isn't truly your Kas word. I have been using undiluted oils for almost 20 years-and have developed scent sensitivity. I considered myself pretty plugged in-but, I had no clue!! Thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

Thank You Thank You!! I work in and manage an integrated pharmacy, and we have a very small selection of organic and therapeutic grade EO's. Every day... literally EVERY day for the last year I have had to talk people out of using these oils straight, or drinking them at the suggestion of their "friends" who just happen to work for one of the MLM EO companies... who I'm sure I don't need to name. The saving grace for these people is always that the oils are so expensive that they come to us looking for a more cost effective version of something like Thieves... which is when I get to tell them STOP!! Don't take this internally, for any reason in any amount. When I mention liver damage with internal use, 99% of them are finally willing to listen, and seem more willing to pay attention to someone who has worked with EO's for almost 30 years rather than a friend who just joined an MLM....And is trying to sell them oils at 50$ for 15 mls.

Diana's Gift Shop said...

Well said, thank you !
I quit doing craft shows because I could not stop myself from trying to educate other sells and potential buyers. I lost sales because I wouldn't tell customers which product to use for whatever ailment that they had.
Natural products are wonderful when done well and I still make and use them and have a few regular customers who come into my gift shop looking for a nice soap; lip balm or eye mask... .

Erin Wolfe said...

Thank you for this article....can everyone please share some other trustworthy resources for safe uses? So many things I find are written by the companies themselves and there doesn't seem to be much unbiased information out there

Betty said...

I use lavender eo for mostly burns, with some kind of natural oil. Works well. Now, peppermint oil I do take internally a couple of drops 1 or 2 times a day,and have done so for 10 yrs. No adverse effects for me. BUT I DRIP ALOT OF WATER after. It's helped my tummy and mucus build up. I don't recommend to others. Glad for this log, thank you

Sharonda said...

I belong to a MLM oil company that says oils can be ingested. I am not an oil expert and have never really felt comfy with telling people that. I did not want to be responsible for someone hurting themselves based on my advice. I appreciate your tenacity for keeping the industry safe and the industry reliable. Thank you

Tina Sams said...

Erin - please see the post I just put up with exactly what you've requested :-)

Tina Sams said...

Betty - I hope you're right. The damage might not be easily apparent until it is. Have you tried a strong tea?

Sycamore said...

I hope the author or someone can help me with this question or point me at where to find the answer to it. What about using a drop or two of essential oil in a nebulizer? My partner has been doing this for years to treat lung problems and bronchitis symptoms. But I noticed that the older he gets the more problems he seems to have and he seems to be nebulizing more and more. The amounts I'm talking about here are 2-4 drops in an 2 - 3 ounces of water and being nebulised. I had no idea about this and I appreciate the information.

The Lady Marah said...

I haven't read your blog before this post. So please forgive me this question. As a person who makes her own vape liquid, I dig through ingredients lists constantly to fund out what the flavoring concentrates contain. In that digging, I've found that many flavoring contain EOs. For example, "Absinthe" is made with Anise. I've seen a citrus and mint EOs used as well. I spoke with Robert Tisserand about the use of EOs in my vape pen as flavoring instead of artificial flavors. He said that it's fine, and that his concern was the glycerin base being a lung irritant, (which I understand). My question for you is, why do you find issue with this, if this is endorsed by another expert in the industry, and as I noted, EOs are in fact found in vape liquids as flavoring?

Shay Moore said...

I would be interested in sharing your article around, but the font is very VERY difficult to read. Any chance you can post this with a sans-serif font so it is easier for people to read, including older people with poor eyesight, people where English is not a first language, etc? Thanks for considering it.

Unknown said...

You shouldn't stop telling others. Your letting the evil in others squish out your light. If people don't like it then let them move on.
1. Make peace with you past so it doesn't spoil your present.
2. What others think of you is none of your business.
3.Time heals almost everything, give time, some time.
4. No one is the reason of your happiness except you, yourself.
5. Don't compare your life with others, you have NO idea what their journey is all about.
6. Stop thinking too much, Its alright not to know all the answers.
7. Smile you don't own all the problems in the world.

Zack Scheurich said...

Agreed. People are so certain about this and get so offended when questioned. I have not experienced this with any other natural products.

Tina Sams said...

Sycamore, I hope someone here will know the answer to that. I do not.

Lady Marah, the instance I saw being discussed was not as a flavoring. It was the whole kit and kaboodle.

Emily Elizabeth said...

This is the first time I've actually read anything about the dangers but I got a huge red flag when I was very obviously allergic to an essential oil and when I asked a group on suggestions to fix it - they all jumped down my throat and told me it was impossible. Then again when my new born daughters eyes got all puffy from the oil I was wearing. I'm now trying to decide what is safe and what isn't and if I should just let them go all together. I'm so thankful to have found this site.

Krista Rothecker said...

I have a question...I was thinking of adding rosemary and mint to my conditioner to make it smell better. Is that unsafe? Weird that I saw this since I was gonna do this sometime this week. Any advice would be appreciated.

Terri Fenton said...

THANK YOU! I've been seeing the popularity of essential oils. Awesome, but companies telling inexperienced "sellers" these oils can be ingested make me cringe. Please don't stop talking about it. People need to know, and thanks for saying so.

Tina Sams said...

Sure Krista - just go easy. No more than 10 drops (combined) per ounce of shampoo or conditioner.

Anonymous said...

Oh no I'm confused and worried now! What are the ways we should be using them. What is safe? I have occasionally used some as water flavoring and have take some when sick. I was also told to use diluted oils on feet and spine but alot of the oils say they don't need to be diluted on the bottle?

Tina Sams said...

Please see the next post on this blog to find resources for safe use. Don't drink them. PLEASE don't drink them. And never use them neat. Any of them.

Spiral Crone said...

Thank you for having the integrity to make this information known. I am a registered nurse and I have been working with eos since 1967. I have been horrified at the unsafe practices in use. All we can do it give people the truth and let them make their own decisions. Momma Crone

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog. I was beginning to think I was the only person that believed this way.

Ashley said...

Small amount near her to smell the scent to help with nausea is very different than 1) directly ingesting an EO in water, a capsule, or 'neat'
2) directly placing the EO on the body without dilution.
3)made into an inhaler to breathe directly into the lungs.

Nina Suluh said...

A previous poster said: "cabinet" with oils, but when Avery was up at Mayo. She was nauseous after surgery and they asked if I wanted to try some peppermint oil to help. I said sure so they put a small amount in a cotton ball and set it above her pillow. If they were so dangerous, why would Mayo Clinic offer them?"

The short answer is that they didn't put the oils ON or IN the patient. They put them on a cotton ball and put it near her but not directly in contact with her. They were secondarily inhalable. Not ingested or applied topically.

I will tell you this... I put some lemongrass eo on a cotton pad and it melted the plastic container it was sitting on. No way in a very hot place I was putting directly on me or in me after that.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I ran across your article, even though it scares the mess out of me. I took YL oregano oil internally and undiluted for 3 days. 3 drops a day. Until a friend told me about the dangers. I had no idea, I was following the advice I was given. Btw, is coconut oil a good carrier oil to apply oils on the skin? Thank you again.

Mary Pearce said...

Thank you, thank you and thank you!! It seems that people aren't willing to hear anything that disagrees with their own opinions, so they are unable to learn anything. Thank you for telling the truth, for sharing knowledge, and for standing up for science.

Mary Goodman said...

I am new to eos. I have roller balls that have drops of oil plus fractionated coconut oil. We rub the oil mix on topically. Is this unsafe?

Just Me said...

This is what I'm afraid of.I want to use EO but I feel what the salesmen are telling me is wrong. I'm not sure what would be safe and what wouldn't be? Is there a way I can email a few personal questions?

Anonymous said...

This is the first time i have read anything about eo's that didnt try to make me feel stupid for not using them. I am allergic to many, many, many plants..yet so many friends who sell eo's. Want me to use them, usually, one that i am allergic to. When i try to explain that the llant sends me into anaphylactic shock, so i would never use a concentrated oil from the plant, they say i refuse to understand how it would help.

Tina Sams said...

Wow. Stick to your guns. They *might* be thinking about how homeopathic use of a plant can sometimes be used against an allergy. In that case, "like cures like" might be true BUT essential oils are about as opposite from homeopathy as can possibly be.

Homeopathy is diluted as 1 part per 100 parts, then one part of THAT is added to 100 parts of diluent, etc., etc. many times.

Essential oil is the opposite. Tons of plant material is steam distilled with the most potent part of that plant drawn out and concentrated.

Don't ever let anyone convince you to try the oils.

Tina Sams said...

Just Me,

I put this blog post up over the weekend to give some good resources:
http://theessentialherbal.blogspot.com/2016/02/resources-for-safe-use-of-essential-oils.html

Since essential oils are not my business, but a magazine that is in crunch mode right now is (and I thought I was just throwing up a little post that nobody would pay any attention to...), I think you'll find what you need there.

Jennifer said...

I bought eos from one of the popular companies and have used them on our skin (with a carrier) and on the bottoms of feet without carrier. I didn't see much in the way of positive effect. I do like to use them in a diffuser and have used them mixed with water add a tick spray when camping. On the advice of a friend, I took done in a capsule once to help with flu and I got so incredibly sick to my stomach and violently threw up that I never did that again. I have however, felt like a dab of oregano on a canker sore in the mouth was helpful. My question is, where can I get GOOD information on how to use up what I have safely? The info you outline here makes sense and is in line with what I have somewhat suspected, but can I still use eos in a safe way or should I do away with them altogether? Thank you for this post!

Jennifer said...

Sorry, I see further in the comments that you've given safe resources. Thank you.

KOS MOS said...

Just writing to add to the chorus of commenters that have encouraged you to continue to emphasize the importance of handling and using essential oils SAFELY. Your words are not wasted so keep it up!

Jane said...

Thank you! I am so glad for your persistence to tell the truth!

Anonymous said...

I do you eo's from one of the MLMs but my group is a very safe bunch- we tend to all follow Tisserand's advice and that does comfort me. However, my brand sells tons of vitamins people rave about. I don't drink my oils. Do you concerns apply to ingesting vitamins or supplements that contain them as well? Thank you for this information!

Esther said...

Thank you for writing this. We have used eo's on our kiddos when they get sick but I'm becoming more concerned about safe-use and am wondering: is there a good reference book or anything in print that talks more about how to avoid unsafe use of eo's? Or perhaps we should stop using oils altogether... Thanks!

Tina Sams said...

I honestly don't know anything about the vitamins or supplements, so I can't say, but if they are liquid and have essential oils in them, I wouldn't take them.

Lorretta at Dancing on the Dash said...

So tell me HOW to use the eo's? I know there's a dilution rate and such but where can I find a good source of information for what works and what to be careful of?

Anonymous said...

I have long been cautious of my eo use and am admittedly a novice. I never use them neat or internally as the manufacturer (Mountain Rose Hers) has clearly recommended against it. I do make my own healing salve with infused herbs and eo diluted to 2% (ish... Counting droplets isn't exact). I have used these things on my kiddos and infants w diaper rash. Is this what you meant by never use eo products on a newborn? I also used an herbal chest rub that has eo in it as a natural replacement for the petroleum based Vix. Please let me know. I agree that the MLMs are NOT doing us any favors.

Rach Ael said...

Is it safe to diffuse oils as an alternative to burning candles?

Tina Sams said...

For infants, the rate of dilution is greater, but this isn't my area of expertise. See the next blog post for some resources.

lydia elise said...

Thank you so much for posting this. Sharing around! (PS it's "highfalutin" -- one of my favorite words. :) )

Ann said...

Tina, I hear the exasperation in your writings and I totally agree with you. It is maddening. Thank you for trying one last time - and keep up the great work!

Tina Sams said...

For the sake of disclosure, I just deleted the second post telling me I was wrong (not to mention a bad writer). I wrote in the post that they wouldn't go through, but I guess they didn't believe me.

Every time I've ever seen anyone try to leave the door open for discussion, they are mobbed with negativity and nastiness.

You can call it whatever you want, but I don't have to provide space for the opposing opinion. Don't like what I have to say? Write on your own blog.

Laurie Nash said...

Thank you for taking the time and effort to help bring more awareness to this issue. The level of ignorance and misinformation being shared droves me crazy. Just know you that you are making a difference, no matter how little you may feel it is.

Marianne Kenney said...

Thank you for this valuable information! God bless!

Thorn said...

Yes! In my work, I have to have this conversation frequently. It always comes as a surprise and is not always welcome. You're so right to point out that people want to believe in cures. I support you.

Jena Bondo said...

Nina, there is very good resources out there from several reputable folks. Andrea Butje, Robert Tisserand, Dr. Pappas, Julia Lawless, there is a wonderful book by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele "the complete aromatherapy & essential oils handbook for everyday wellness". Includes many recipies, many oils & the benefits of them with safety information. What I did was research safe eo companies, Mountian Rose Herbs, Stillpoint Aromatics, Plant Therapy, Nature's Gift...are just a few there are many more. But my point is these companies promote safe usage & sell books. Get the name of them, authors as well, go to your library & see if you can borrow any or all books you find on those sites &/or those authors. Research what will work for your family. I had a specific reason for using eo's so I personally focused on resources that could help me with that specific issue. Fo c using on that helped me not get as overwhelmed with safe usage on specific eo's I chose to research to start my eo journey. I'm constantly learning and have found helpful people like Tina who are willing to share their knowledge & wisdom as they have already paved the way for the newcomers like myself. Best of wishes on your SAFE eo journey!

Cale Campbell said...

Thank you for the information. Some of the things people are doing now a days is crazy. I have a question about tea tree oil, that is the one oil I do use on my skin for wounds and stuff. If I put it on my face I dilute it otherwise I do not, but I NEVER ingest it. yuck. I have also used a lavender/orange combo on burns. and eucalyptus vapor rub when sick.

Kirsten Houseknecht said...

i used to own a new age type gift store. we sold Essential Oils and crystals and etc, and i would spend a LOT of time educating people about how to safely use the EOs we had. People always seemed to get the crazy idea that "natural" meant "safe". i know people who are lethally allergic to every member of the mint family. i know people who burned themselves with EOs... and heck the citrus EOs say "causes photo sensitivity" but every year i hear about people who put it straight on and sunbathed.
sigh
i wasnt even a fully licensed and educated aromatherapist when i started, i just read the information that Frontier herbs freely provided and looked up reputable webpages and books... but now there is SO much bad information out there it gets swamped

Kayla Fioravanti said...

Tina,

Well said. Somehow in the last few years, speaking the truth about safety attracts large numbers of trolls - ignore them.

Tina Sams said...

Kayla, I watched your patience and polite kindness on the post you did a while back. I just don't have that in me when faced with willful ignorance. Thinking about your post made me decide not to put up with any of that - but I am outright shocked that there have been TWO over the last three days that I did not allow.
And thanks for the advice :-)

Angie said...

I want to offer a huge thank-you for this post. There is so much misinformation on the internet these days that it's really hard to sift through and find accurate advice from truly knowledgeable people. I will be going through your links as I can so that I can figure it all out. We love EO's, but I'm so against ingestion and I've been really hesitant using much on my kids.

Calla Lily Cosmetics said...

I couldn't agree more. Don't stop blogging your passion. You can't change peoples belief systems right away you have to chisel it away slowly. People don't often believe until it hits them on their own home field. I have my own product line and I have people that get upset with me because I'm not fully organic, and why do I insist on using some of my ingredient and why not more EO in my products. Natural doesn't always mean safe and science doesn't always mean bad. Science saves lives and Nature can take a life.... We as people are way to black and white. Sometimes the answer is in the gray!

Anonymous said...

I have just started undiluted, ingested EOs based off of a close family members passion for healthy healing. Her life's passion is EOs (MLM). I have had bad heartburn since I have been ingesting lemon, grapefruit, a metabolism blend and digestive blend multiple times a day. After spending a good portion of today reading scores of articles stating the same, I am scared of using these oils. I will now continue to educate myself on the proper use of EOs.

Nana said...

Thank you for a well written article. Is using a defuser or nebulizer ill advised too?

Tina Sams said...

I think that it might seem that I don't like essential oils at all - and that isn't really the case. I think they are very valuable. Diffusers and nebulizers are fine. Know a little about the oils you're using, though, and remember that simmering spices in water on the stove is pretty nice too.

Celia said...

Thank you! I have all but given up trying to convince friends to stop seeing essential oils as a panacea and start treating them with caution. Yes, I do use them in diffusers, and occasionally add a drop or two to scent my personal care products, but I would never use them undiluted or take them internally. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Misty said...

Thanks for your article about essential oils, I love reading posts like this. I use jojoba and helichrysum everyday to soothe my skin and treat any blemishes.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article. I am an example of what low dose prolonged exposure to chemicals can do to a person. I have been severely sensitized to petroleum chemicals from working in the printing industry. As you explained by "components" in lavender are in many different things, I am sensitized by many different things that contain the petroleum component I was sensitized to from working with so many petroleum based print shop chemicals and as we all know, our world is full of cheap manufactured, petroleum chemical products. I was introduced to EO's 2 years ago and after 15 years of researching the chemicals I was exposed to, and then research EO's and components of both and how they affect the body, it didn't take me long to realize the risk of using EO's. I have switched to growing, drying and making my own herb diffused oils and products and feel much safer doing so... sadly, I am disheartened by all I see and hear about the misuse of EO's, especially on children, knowing that years down the road, there WILL be alot of sick children in the world. I once saw a mother add a drop or two of lemon EO in her toddler's little dixie cup of water... perhaps thinking she was making lemonade for her...I cried inside...there's a reason why "natual" cleaning products use citrus additives... it's because, as with citrus EO's, the oil is extracted from the peel and the "components" from citrus peel are very close if not the same as the components in a petroleum solvent... I was damaged by inhaling these components at my work... I can imagine the damage from using EO's internally and neat would be much worse and cause damage over a shorter period of time than it took me to get sick by inhaling at low dose over a 10 year period. I could go on forever about this but just wanted to say thank you for your article, every word of it is so true, I am a walking, living example of the damage exposure can cause (and there aren't that many), I can only pray more people will learn from this.

Anonymous said...

I learned from experience sadly - I didn't know what essential oils were and I used some undiluted. I really don't tell my story though because people don't want to hear about the dangers of the oils. I still use them and love them but I'm a lot more cautious now.

Laura Lee Designs said...

YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! This is so perfect!!!

Lydia Owens said...

Please post your references. Thank you

Tina Sams said...

This is an opinion piece. I'm not offering proof or arguing. I believe that was mentioned. Those who want to use these improperly because they believe a con artist have shown thousands of times over that mere fact will not get in their way.

Anonymous said...

My dad tells a story from when he was in college. A prof, who was an expert on mushrooms took his family out picking mushrooms. They died from eating mushrooms that were poisonous. We don't eat mushrooms.

Elle said...

Thanks a lot for these. Found at right time. Excellent article!!!

templarlady said...

Thank you so much for this article. You are so right and have stated it very well. Perfect!!
jane

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