Essential oil use has been significantly growing in popularity. You most likely have encountered information on essential oils in the form of social media, wellness blogs and a friend or family members recommendations. While there are many amazing uses for and benefits of essential oils, when used incorrectly even natural based essential oils can be harmful.

In this simple guide we wanted to share with you a science based approach to safely adding essential oils to your wellness routine.

First, let’s dive into HOW essential oils can be so impactful…

According to a study published in Food & Chemical Toxicology in 2008, authors F. Bakkali, S. Averbeck, D. Averbeck and M. Idaomar expressed that ‘Since the middle ages, essential oils have been widely used for bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, antiparasitical, insecticidal, medicinal and cosmetic applications, especially nowadays in pharmaceutical, sanitary, cosmetic, agricultural and food industries. Because of the mode of extraction, mostly by distillation from aromatic plants, they contain a variety of volatile molecules such as terpenes and terpenoids, phenol-derived aromatic components and aliphatic components. In vitro physicochemical assays characterize most of them as antioxidants. However, recent work shows that in eukaryotic cells, essential oils can act as prooxidants affecting inner cell membranes and organelles such as mitochondria. Depending on type and concentration, they exhibit cytotoxic effects on living cells but are usually non-genotoxic. In some cases, changes in intracellular redox potential and mitochondrial dysfunction induced by essential oils can be associated with their capacity to exert antigenotoxic effects. These findings suggest that, at least in part, the encountered beneficial effects of essential oils are due to prooxidant effects on the cellular level’. Read the full report HERE

Though essential oils may benefit you in calming nerves, topically treating some ailments or even reducing headaches, it is critical to treat them with caution. Every single essential oil that has a benefit also has hazards and risks. It is important to know these before use as well as to consult a certified or licensed practitioner who has the training and knowledge to guide you with recommended maximum doses and concentrations.

Some oils are both safe and beneficial for use in aromatherapy, orally and topically while others are safe and effective used within only one of those categories.

Here is our guide to safe and effective use…

  1. Do your research on each oils ingredients, sourcing and strength – this does not mean read a blog from an influencer. It means read science backed data.
  2. Consult an herbalist, health or wellness coach trained in essential oils, natural doctor or other certified and/or licensed wellness practitioner with training and expertise in dose and usage for essential oils.
  3. Begin by testing small dose uses – even beginning with ½ of the recommended dose and seeing if you have a reaction and then slowly increasing use to the recommended dose can be beneficial.
  4. Avoid essential oils using perfumes and or synthetic oils.
  5. Use therapeutic grade, pure and sourced from regions where the elements are indigenous to whenever it is possible.

If you are a fan of deep dives into research, below are some additional links for your review on the subject:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0962456201800217

… and this free e-book

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=DbEKAQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=research+on+risks+of+essential+oils&ots=jy4AF8CVOo&sig=IaGffYscpOEM9uqy1sJLTcDIno8#v=onepage&q=research%20on%20risks%20of%20essential%20oils&f=false

To schedule an appointment with one of the trained wellness practitioners on the ModiHealth platform who specialize in essential oils click HERE