To understand essential oil dangers, it’s important to understand essential oils. Let me give you an example using a healthy food. Let’s pick spinach. We’ve been told we should eat our spinach because it’s good for us. No argument there. However, let’s say someone took 20 pounds of spinach and removed all the water and bulk. What we would have left is the essence of the plant. We would have all of the ingredients that make up spinach reduced to a few milliliters.
We know spinach is high in iron and other nutrients, but let’s just look at the iron content. There are about 2.5 mg of iron in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of spinach. What that means is that our spinach essence contains 1304 mg of iron. The average person needs somewhere between 10 to 15 mg in his or her diet so our spinach essence will be giving us 130 times as much iron as we require. What that means is we’re well on our way to experiencing very real and very ugly iron toxicity. And I would be writing another post titled “Spinach Dangers.”
Now let’s get back to essential oil dangers
Essential oils are the essences of plants. The various components that make up the plants are concentrated into one tiny little bottle. That’s why most recipes measure these oils in drops. It takes very little essential oil to be effective. When we use these oils on our skin or inhale them, they are usually safe unless we happen to have an allergic reaction. However, when we ingest them, we can quickly get up close and personal with essential oil dangers.
There’s a wonderful article written on essential oil dangers which I strongly recommend our goddesses read. It’s at http://www.naha.org/articles/toxicity_myths.htm. The important thing to keep in mind when using essential oil is that they are the essences of the plants from which they are derived. Like our essence of spinach, essential oils can be very good for us, but any food or drug can be toxic when used incorrectly or in excess.
Keep in mind that though some essential oils are acceptable to use in foods as flavorings, I recommend not using them. If you check out your spice rack, you’ll notice that the dried spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove are going to yield only a tiny amount of their oil to your culinary dishes. The same holds true for liquid flavorings such as pure vanilla. Don’t believe me? Put a teaspoon of cinnamon powder or pure vanilla into a cup of hot water and note any oil.
What to do when you want to use essential oils as therapeutic drugs
If you want to ingest any essential oil, do so with caution and under the supervision of a well-trained aromatherapist. There are a couple of essential oil companies that encourage the internal use of essential oils. To read their claims, one would assume that consumption of essential oils is perfectly safe. For the average person, nothing could be further from the truth.
When you consume an essential oil, you’re using it like a medication and it should be treated with the exact same precautions that you would use with any medication. Dosage must be carefully monitored, the purity of the essential oil must be ensured and careful scrutiny for reactions must be observed. Like any other drug, essential oil dangers exist and we here at SpaFromScratch don’t like the idea of our goddesses, or anyone else for that matter, to become a victim.
Now that you have a heads up on essential oil dangers, go ahead and use them in your creams, lotions, diffusers and massage oils. If you want to use them for internal use, find a good aromatherapist to guide you and talk to your doctor. Keep in mind, your doctor may be no more trained in essential oil usage than you are. In fact, s/he may be less trained. If that’s the case, find another doctor. There are some physicians that recognize the benefits of alternative medicine. These physicians work closely with aromatherapists and herbalists to offer patients the most holistic approach to medicine possible.
Now go have fun and relax.