Monday, August 31, 2015

Essential Oils | Beginner Mistakes

When I got into my Essential Oil "Rebirth" I was hesitant to post too much as I was just starting out with really discovering safe, effective uses for essential oils.  The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized it might be interesting to share my journey as it happens, rather than wait until I actually feel like I know what I'm doing.

I feel like everyone is going to make mistakes during the essential oil journey, so why not share mine as I stumble across them?  Maybe you've made them, too.

So allow  me to begin...

I feel like my first "essential oil mistake" was thinking there was only one quality brand of essential oils, and all others were adulterated, dangerous, or just low quality.  The "only one brand" myth is perpetuated by multi-level marketing brands (main Young Living and doTerra), and since this is how a lot of people become exposed to essential oils it's a myth that many people believe.  I did.

I believed that other essential oil brands put "not for internal usage" on their labels because they were adulterated.  Because Young Living oils could be used internally because they are so pure and natural that they are great for internal usages!

This is not true.  At all.

All brands make essential oils that can be used internally.  However, internal usage of essential oils carries a lot of liability with it.  Aromatherapists spend over 200 classroom hours learning safe and effective ways to use essential oils internally.   MLM sales reps have not.  They are being fed information from their companies, but aren't really properly trained.  The internal usage of certain essential oils can be deadly.  The over use of all essential oils internally can cause major internal damage.  It doesn't matter the brand.

Because of the liability of this, most legitimate companies will advise against internal usage and put warnings on their labels to avoid litigation if and uneducated user gets ill from using essential oils internally.  There's really no other reason than that.  It's all about liability.

Not purity.  Not adulteration.  Just liability.  Plain and simple.

Along with the "we are the best!" line that MLMs will feed their reps and customers is the idea that other brands can't possibly be as pure because they don't own their own farms!  Young Living has their "Seed to Seal" slogan because they do own many of their own farms.

That is GREAT!  Seriously, I think it's great that you can actually go visit the farms that many of your oils are produced on.  It is great that Young Living can manage and monitor every single step of their essential oil making process.  This is a great tool to have in their toolbelt.

However, it doesn't mean that other companies can't possibly have quality oils because they don't own their own farms.  It also (shocker coming) doesn't mean that ALL of Young Living oils come from their own farms.  Only a few do.  The rest come from, well, pretty much the same places everyone else gets their oils from.

Because there really aren't *that* many farms out there producing essential oils.  So with the exception of the Seed to Seal Oils, the source of many EOs are similar to other brands.  Not all brands, but some.

In addition to that, many companies purchase their oils from small farms that they have very personal relationships with.   Most oil companies do not set out to become farmers.  You could argue that oil makers know oils, farmers know farming.  Trying to blend the two could result in mediocrity on both sides.  I use a computer to do most of my work through my job, but I'm not about to build my own computer to use.  I'll let the experts do that, and do what I do on their machines.  That's just an example on how it's not horrible that one process is separate from the other.

Although, I will say, I think Young Living has the funds to ensure both are done well.  So props for them for the Seed to Seal thing, but it's not a make or break when it comes to essential oils.

Those are just two examples of the mistakes I made early in my essential oil journey.  Now I realize that there isn't just one quality oil company, and you will be severely limiting your options if you use only one company.

My essential oil collection now consists of about ten different brands of oils. 

See?  This was ONE mail/saw my Dad day!
These do include Young Living and doTerra oils because THEY ARE GOOD.  They just aren't the only good company.  They are also quite a bit more expensive than most of the other companies I like because they have to absorb the cost of paying their reps by adding to the cost of their oils.  Other great companies I use, like Plant Therapy, Wyndmere, Aura Cacia, Nature's Gift, etc. don't have that added expense and therefor their oils are often quite a bit cheaper.

But not always.

I've learned to shop around a lot.  Price comparing is my new evening activity.  When I want an oil I'll make my rounds around the websites of my favorite companies (and call my dad who sells Wyndmere in his store) and will usually go with whoever will get me the best price on that particular oil.  Because I use companies that I trust, and therefor I trust that the oil I want will be a good oil.

Sometimes, I'll want an oil, and most of the companies I shop from don't even carry it.  White Ginger Lily is an example.  I love it, but Plant Therapy doesn't sell it.  Wyndmere doesn't sell it.  But Nature's Gift does!  So, I bought my White Ginger Lily from there during a recent 20% off sale.

In fact, really good essential oil companies, those who have confidence in their products, will actually recommend other companies to try.  Or they have a relationship with other companies to help each other out and to help their customers out.  Because they aren't so naive or manipulative as to believe they are the ONLY company that provides quality oils.

So don't limit yourself.  Explore, expand, and research.  If an oil company seems *too good* to be true, they probably are.  There is a point where too cheap may actually mean too cheap.  Which is why I love my recommended Facebook Groups.  Use the search on those groups and see what the reviews for those companies are like.  You'll quickly learn who to trust and who to avoid.

Through discoveries like these, I make fewer essential oil mistakes.  But it's all a growing process, and I'm still growing.

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