Are Essential Oils The Same as Herbal Medicine?⁣

Before we dive into this question, I want to explain a little about what Essential Oils are and how they work. Because if you are like many others out there, you may be asking yourself, “how can you heal from smelling a scent out of a bottle?” Well, I was right there with you until I did some research myself and found that therapeutic grade oils (food grade) can be used internally and topically (not just aromatically) for their healing properties.

What are Essential Oils? Essential oils are called “essential” because they are the “essence” of a plant. The unique chemical makeup of each essential oil gives them the ability to affect the body’s systems. Molecules in these oils can selectively support the function of subcellular structures that run the processes that keep us alive. (1)

Essential oils have been used for over a thousand years, but we are just scratching the surface of their potential. In the past, knowledge of essential oils was solely based on anecdotal experience. However, scientific research on essential oils has increased exponentially. More studies have been published about essential oils in the last decade than in the previous 500 years combined. (2)

Where Should I Buy Them From? Many companies make essential oils (EO’s), but not all EO’s are created equal. The Essential Oil business is booming, and more and more companies are getting on board with this hot topic. The FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils, which leaves an open door for the fakes or poor quality oils to make their way onto the market. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils, and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. (3)

DoTerra is one of the companies I trust when it comes to Essential Oils. They are one of the first companies that made sure their oils are therapeutic grade and can be used internally and externally. They even label which ones can be taken as herbs with an (I) for internally and (T) for topically, so there is no second-guessing. A patch test should always be done, and most topical EO’s need to be diluted due to their potency.

I find recommending essential oils to my patients is an easy and safe way to get them into herbal medicine.⁣ Eo’s also have a longer shelf life than fresh herbs and are very potent. For example, 1 drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 27 cups of peppermint tea. Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck. ⁣ ⁣ If you are interested in Essential Oils, you should talk to your healthcare provider and do your own research. There are also wellness advocates trained through DoTerra that can help guide you in the right direction.

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