10 Common Misconceptions about Essential Oils

aromatherapy myths essential oils

Social media is full of a lot of so called “experts” on essential oils these days. In your own practice, take time to sift through the white noise and discover the truth. Your truth may differ from someone else’s truth, and that’s the beauty of having a true relationship with essential oils, both therapeutically and energetically.

These are some common misconceptions about essential oils we often see and hear. Have you heard any of them?

Myth: A GCMS report means the oil in question is both pure and therapeutically vibrant.

The existence of a GCMS report doesn’t guarantee the quality of an essential oil, but it can be a valuable tool, if used correctly.No one oil is identical to another, and depending when the plants are harvested and distilled, the constitutents can vary from season to season and batch to batch.The GCMS is simply a fingerprint of the oil in hand. y learning to explore and interpret GCMS reports, you can enhance your blending ability and your relationship with the oils you use every day. Ask the source of your oils about how those oils are cultivated, harvested, stored and poured.

Myth: Never use essential oils on small pets.

Pets are vulnerable to toxins. Anyone who’s ever owned a precious pup knows to be careful about what to feed her. But that doesn’t mean essential oils are completely off the table. While you don’t want to dive right into using aromatherapy on your pets, you shouldn’t discount it either. Study the safety and chemistry of essential oils and hydrosols extensively, or talk to a certified aromatherapist who has experience and or training with use of aromatherapy for pets for guidance.

Myth: Essential oils must always be blended at 1, 2 or percent dilutions and can only be used topically.

The safety of internal use of essential oils is a common debate. The belief that essential oils can only be applied topically in low dilutions limits their therapeutic value. There is a time and place for essential oils to be used either internally, neat or in dilutions above 3%. Formal training in how to formulate and use essential oils in this manner is absolutely necessary.

Myth: You should take essential oils orally every day to prevent a condition.

As practitioners of the healing arts and deeply spiritual and energetic teachers, we wish foolproof ways to ward off illness existed. But the truth is good health is a holistic process and a way of life, and taking a certain essential oil every day isn’t going to ward off common ailments. Do you take ibuprofen daily in order to prevent a headache?

Myth: Specific oils and recipes are the only ways to treat certain conditions.

When you catch a common cold, people will quickly tell you how to heal it. If you listen to everyone you know, you’ll spend all day making specific teas and eating specific foods and engaging in specific activities to get better. Your truth is not someone else’s truth. It is always important to keep the person and the condition in mind before developing your own unique blend for each condition.There are many paths to wellness, and many elements must be taken into consideration when preparing the right blend or recipe for an individual’s specific condition.

Myth: Never diffuse essential oils around cats.

Cats are finicky little creatures, and they also have finicky livers. Cats are missing a liver enzyme that other animals have. As a result, they may be vulnerable to toxicity. This doesn’t mean you should avoid diffusing essential oils around your cats–or to treat your cats therapeutically. It does mean you should have a strong working knowledge of essential oil chemistry before exposing cats to essential oils in any other day.

Myth: Essential oils have an exact shelf life and then expire

You know the best by date on your food? It isn’t as set in stone as you think. Similarly, essential oils don’t expire the moment their recommended shelf life reaches an end. Many factors, including storage and exposure to light, can influence the shelf life of an essential oil. Familiarize yourself with the signs of an oil oxidizing or expiring. Use your senses to determine whether or not an oil has lost its viability.

Myth: Essential oils never expire.

We’d love to tell you that essential oils are good forever, but the truth is they do have shelf lives. Some oils last much longer than others and there are some that can get better with age, it really does have to do with the chemistry! The good news is that some can be used as cleaning oils once they’ve expired. Some should be thrown out once they exhibit signs of oxidizing or going off. A solid aromatherapy education will give you the knowledge you need to determine whether or not an oil is still therapeutically and energetically viable.

Myth: Certain chakras only correspond with certain essential oils.

Essential oils can be extremely beneficial in helping to align our chakras and energetic body. While many oils have an affinity for specific chakras, those correlations should not limit you in your practice. Essential oils can be used energetically based on color, plant part, growth habit of the plant, folklore just to name a few. It is important to develop a relationship with the oil and allow it to “speak” to you. Discover which oils light you up. Your energy is yours alone.

Myth: Essential oils are only useful for therapeutic (physical) reasons.

We’re delighted that aromatherapy is now recognized as a healing art grounded in chemistry and scientific studies, but we do not allow that to limit our relationship with essential oils. Our universe is comprised of much more than science can give a name to. We are complex beings of body, mind, emotions and spirit. Essential oils can help balance us on all of these levels. Sit with your oils. Connect with them energetically and allow the transformation to occur.

Do you commonly hear any other myths about aromatherapy?