A lot of times, a healthy house coincides with adding essential oils to your daily routine. You may have jumped right on board with essential oils, but my essential oils journey has been slow and I’ve learned SO much along the way. I often get asked, “Are essential oils safe for” (insert concern here: kids, ingestion, pets, pregnancy, etc.). And while I do think there are wonderful benefits of essential oils, I also know that pure essential oils are extremely potent. (I’ll share more safe uses for essential oils in my Essential Oils Uses Chart that you can download).
I’ve shared before how reluctant I was to ever start with essential oils in the first place, and to be quite honest, it was actually because I didn’t understand their uses and I didn’t have the answer to “are essential oils safe?” I completely understand that difficult position many of us come to be in when a beloved blogger or IG account jumps on the essential oil bandwagon and gives you loads of information — because I was on the receiving end of that.
In the beginning I just started using essential oils based on a few instagram accounts and how they used essential oils in their daily routine. After a while I began to see the pure potency of these oils and how they can damage skin and hurt sensitive respiratory airways if not used properly. I didn’t understand them as well as I do now.
This led me to do my own research and make some changes. It began with ditching MLM essential oil companies for one. And second, I started looking for pure essential oils and even better essential oils that were certified organic. Unfortunately, there’s not a vast amount of unbiased research out there when it comes to benefits of essential oils. There’s also a lot to be said for using pure essential oils when it comes to safety.
One of the biggest issues with essential oil use is that oftentimes we’re trusting either what a company suggests, following what another person does or just using them blindly. This is when things can get dicey and the over looming question of “Are essential oils safe?” gets asked by the public. In my opinion, this is the big flaw in creating an MLM for essential oils, which is why I’m extra picky about where I get my essential oils from . One company I trust is LaCura, which I can’t wait to share with you.
This post is going to cover some of the big topics around essential oils as well as:
- Why I still use essential oils in my daily routine
- The answer to “Are essential oils safe?”
- Benefits of essential oils
- LaCura’s Pure Essential Oils Blends
- Essential Oil Uses Chart
WHY ADD ESSENTIAL OILS TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE?
So why even add essential oils to your daily routine in the first place? I think that pure essential oils are an amazing addition to a healthy home. I also think that consistency is the key when it comes to essential oils.
But that being said, you know I love research and science backed information — and I’m not one to just trust an opinion I read online. I want to see the FACTS. And as you might guess, research and clinical trials just haven’t been performed using essential oils, and so finding scientific research can be really tricky.
One of the reasons that studies and science backed research are so difficult to find is due to the sheer nature of essential oils. Essential oils are not standardized, and because each plant that the oil is taken from is completely unique, the difference in each essential oil drop can vary (SOURCE). If essential oils are standardized, it would alter the natural state of the oil in general, which would reduce the authenticity.
That being said, there are properties in pure essential oils that are agreed upon and these properties have been studied and researched to some degree. Essential oils have been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a calm environment. (Anxiety Study) (Mild Depression Study). This alone is one reason we use essential oils in the diffuser almost every morning before school. One of my favorites is Orange Essential Oil, which has been analyzed and shown to reduce anxiety levels. (Orange Essential Oil Study) Lavender is another oil that has been studied and used to reduce levels of anxiety (Lavender Essential Oil Study). The bonus in using these essential oils as opposed to man-made treatment or medication is there are oftentimes fewer side effects with diffusing an essential oil.
Another reason we use essential oils in our home is to help support a healthy immune system. While I don’t claim that essential oils are a cure-all, fix-all, I do think that there are benefits in using them as a preventative measure or as a way to reduce symptoms. One interesting study found that tea tree oil reduced the spread and multiplication of the influenza virus when used within 2 hours of infection. Tea tree oil actually interfered with an early step of the viral replication process, reducing it’s lifespan. (Tea Tree Oil Study)
Many studies have also been done on the antimicrobial properties and antiviral properties in essential oils. (Essential Oil Properties Study)
This study discusses the benefits of using essential oils as preventive care in supporting the immune function and enhancing immune function. It also discusses the reduced need for medications due to this practice, which in turn reduces unwanted side effects from medications.
Other studies have shown a positive impact on sleep when a controlled study was performed with cancer patients. (STUDY). The same study showed a reduction in depressed feelings in some individuals, but not all. If this is the case, then you would expect to see a decrease in illness occurrences as lower stress levels and ample sleep support the body’s ability to fight off viruses and infection.
There have been some studies that have examined the potential for anticancer activity when essential oils are used, but there definitely needs to be more research done on oils to determine if this is typical outcome or not. (STUDY)
ARE ESSENTIAL OILS SAFE?
The answer to this question, “are essential oils safe?” is not as clear cut as most of us would like to think. It all depends on HOW it’s used and it depends on what type of essential oils you’re purchasing. Using pure essential oils is going to be different from even certified organic essential oils.
I think it’s also important to recognize that even natural, good-for-you foods and items can be toxic and unsafe if used in high quantities or improperly. This is why it’s SO important to know exactly what you’re using, and the safest ways to use it.
That being said, using essential oils properly is going to be in general, safer than getting stuck using a medication long term and dealing with the side effects. It can also be a safe way to reduce stress on the body, which I personally think is a great alternative to sleep deprivation or suffering the physical effects of anxiety.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and oftentimes, the issue of not knowing are essential oils safe is that they’re used improperly and not diluted enough. If you think of it, even water can be deadly if consumed in large quantities.
You know my motto is everything in moderation and only change what works for your family. This is especially true of essential oils. Moderation is key and being SUPER educated is equally important when deciding are essential oils safe.
SAFETY AND BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS
I need to preface ALL that I’m about to say with: I’m not a doctor, I’m a mom. I’m also writing from my experience and what’s right for me, may not be what’s right for your family.
First, I recommend that ALL essential oils be diluted with a carrier oil. There was a time when I applied them and consumed them “neat”, or without any carrier oil though. Again, I followed the lead of bloggers and other IG accounts a bit blindly. After seeing skin irritation with myself and my daughters I decided THAT route of using essential oils was no longer for me.
I do still apply some essential oils topically, but I ALWAYS use a carrier oil. And if I’m using it with my kids I use only a few drops of the essential oil mixed in.
I also recommend that you do some research on WHICH essential oils are safe to use with kids. Their bodies are not as developed as adult bodies and what small amount we use can quickly affect their systems. I recommend doing research before using ANY oil with kids, or you can keep a resource book like Essential Oil Safety on hand.
Another safety point when it comes to essential oils is to know and understand that some oils are photosensitive — meaning they should not be used in sunlight. UV light reacts with certain oils and can cause a reaction on the skin. It’s very important to know which oils this is before you use them topically and head out into the sun.
Be aware of “hot oils” while you’re using essential oils of any kind as well. Some oils have a warming sensation (cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, oregano and thyme are some popular ones). Oftentimes you can be left with a hot sensation if it’s applied directly to the skin. Sometimes a rash can develop due to these oils as well. Hot oils can still affect the skin when they are mixed with a carrier oil, however, the severity will be less.
Some individuals who are sensitive or allergic to various plants, should be extra careful when it comes to using essential oils – diffusing or applying topically. Those with allergies should know that there is cross-sensitivity possible as essential oils come from plants that can be similar to plants that cause allergic reactions. For example if you’re allergic to ragweed, you may also experience an allergic reaction when chamomile essential oil is used.
LACURA PURE ESSENTIAL OILS
I have learned over time that another part of the puzzle I need to look at when asking are essential oils safe is where I’m getting my oils from. Through becoming more educated and aware of oils and their testing and certification process. I don’t just trust any oil anymore, but I check to make sure there is third party testing and certifications present prior to using them. As you know, I only use essential oils topically and to diffuse currently – but some people choose to safely ingest them.
I started using Lacura blends just over a month ago, and they are absolutely delightful. They formulate different blends for immune support, sleep, stress relief, pain relief and even a kids line. Their blends are created using a licensed pharmacist who specializes in functional medicine. It’s like the best of both worlds when it comes to medicine. Because as I talked about earlier, there are scientific studies that have been done with essential oils, proving their health benefits, yet most doctors and pharmacists only prescribe medications to treat health issues.
Lacura essential oils are all certified, organic and are tested by third party agencies to ensure their integrity. All of their oils are 100% food grade certified, which makes them an extremely high grade of essential oils. Often when essential oils are low quality, there are questions about their effectiveness and safety.
I have absolutely loved using Lacura, and because they are so high quality, I only need to use a VERY small amount. I also love that there are no preservatives or additives in these blends. They actually perform soil testing and are able to detect EXTREMELY small amounts of trace substances in the oils that are used and bottled.
And you guys KNOW how I feel about small businesses — I LOVE them and I LOVE to support them. And LaCura is NO different — they make everything in small batches so there’s no need to make a product with an extremely long shelf life with impure ingredients.
If you’re looking for a high quality essential oil blend from a small company that shows integrity, LaCura is a GREAT option and I highly recommend them.
ESSENTIAL OILS USES CHART
When you’re just starting out or if you’re wanting to use essential oils more, it can be confusing or a little overwhelming to know what each oil is beneficial for. I created this essential oils uses chart to help you know what particular oils are good for when it comes to diffusing them in your home.
Simply add your email address and name and you’ll get it sent directly to your inbox.