It’s time to get more on the controversial side of things. No, nothing political or religious. I’m talking about the growing trend of essential oils. And how if you’re not careful, they can do serious harm to your body.
Essential oils, the catch-all term for oils extracted from various plants, has been a growing trend lately as an alternative medicine. Certain people and businesses claim that by integrating these oils into your life, whether it’s in the air, on the skin, or in your food, will improve or resolve various medical conditions. Lactose intolerant? Take lemongrass oil. Does your child have autism? Try lavender, peppermint, and chamomile oil.
In the grand scheme of things, they’re mostly a scam. While oils have potential medical applications, the magic elixir mantra toward essential oils is a lie told by major corporations to trick people into buying and relying on their product. They pray on people distrusting of doctors and the pharmaceutical industry by offering an “affordable and more effective” alternative. And they’re proving effective. U.S. retail sales of essential oils grew 14% to $133 million in the last year.
In reality, the reckless application of these oils is causing damage to people. Countless instances exist where by breathing defused oils have caused respiratory issues, skin applications have caused rashes, chemical burns, and allergic reactions. And don’t even get me started on all of the ways ingesting the oils have resulted in hospital trips for stomach pumping.
Even worse is when parents apply these practices to their children, believing that their diagnosis is better than that of a certified doctor. This can cause lifelong damage to their growing bodies.
The Most Common Oils and Their Dangers
Bergamot oil is commonly promoted as an anti-depressant when applied to the skin. Doing this can result in severe UV burns, however. It is recommended that you don’t go out into the sunlight for at least 12 hours after applying to the skin, regardless of how diluted it is.
“Peppermint oil will soothe an upset stomach,” they say. And perhaps it does. It also will cause life-threatening respiratory problems in infants, toddlers, and small children.
They have a solution to that, too. Eucalyptus oil is commonly used as a remedy for breathing troubles. No need for an inhaler or an anti-inflammatory when you have bronchitis, just breath some diffused Eucalyptus oil. But be careful, doing this can cause asthma attacks and can diminish the effectiveness of seizure and ADHD medicine.
Why Are We Talking About This?
To speak frankly, a lot of preppers fall for the essential oil market. The idea of a free-market, non-regulated medical system appeal to the self-sufficient man. Falling for snake oil tricks like this have existed for hundreds of years. But as preppers, we need to be educated and intelligent about survival. We need to know what will actually help us, and what just wants to take advantage of us.
All of this said, I’m not claiming that any and all essential oil use is poison. They’re a classic aspect aromatherapy. And when used properly, they can be harmless. But it’s VERY important that you fully understand what effects each oil can have before trying it.
I’ve found that the Veriditas product library provides a fair amount of trustworthy information on essential oils, including the safety risks involved. If you really want to get them a shot. Please read into them thoroughly before trying.