Do Essential Oils actually Work?

This past weekend, I found myself sick with a cold and cough. I tend to overlook those kinds of illnesses, since they aren’t exactly physically restricting for me. However, my aunt suggested I use some of her essential oils since I was with her for the weekend. She gave me multiple, rubbing them under my neck and between my wrists. I even had one that I had to swallow like a pill. Within the past 2 11826466034_52449b2b3d_cyears, she has become obsessed with her oils, and swears by them for any type of sickness or pain. As I was applying the oils, mainly to satisfy her, I decided that I was going to write my next blog on them and research to discover how helpful they truly are.

The hardest part about researching essential oils is that there are two extremes. There are those who are obsessed with them and use them daily, and then there are those who are polar opposites, calling them a scam. But I did find some research on them:

The first information is from the University of Minnesota. They expressed how there is difficulty in conducting research on essential oils. They are not standardized–each plant is unique depending on location and time of harvest. Also, it is quite difficult to conduct blind studies on them because they contain an aromatic scent. Third, it is hard to get funding for research on essential oils because of the testing. However, they did finish the article noting how the oils show positive health effects for many health concerns (infections, pain, anxiety, depression, etc).

Another source I found summarized the relation between aromatherapy/essential oils and cancer. Aromatherapy was used by patients with cancer as supportive care for their general well-being. This was a randomized control trial involving 42 cancer patients. The patients were randomly assigned to receive massages weekly with or without aromatherapy. They used a lavender essential oil. The authors reported no significant long-term benefits in pain control or anxiety, but sleep scores improved significantly. There were also reports of significant reductions in depression scores.

The final source I have is my cousin, Heather. She now works for doTERRA, an essential oil company, and actually advocates for and sells the oils. She uses them for herself and her kids and claims to have seen improvement in their quality of life, especially in her son Reed. Reed has Williams Syndrome, which I have previously talked about in a blog, and she has switched him from a bunch of the medications he was previously on to oils as an alternative.

There still seems to be much debate over the true qualities of essential oils, but from all of the research I have found, it seems accurate that they are helping more than they are harming. There have not been many negative effects noted about them, no results being the closest to that. In conclusion, it is evident that essential oils are a positive and healthier alternative to some other medications.


2 thoughts on “Do Essential Oils actually Work?

  1. Alex Rosencrance

    I found your post very interesting because my mother is a woman who swears by her oils. She has often tried to get me to believe in them, but I have always been skeptical. However a few weeks ago when I was sick she sent me a few bottles and they seemed to help. I have considered that the effects could very well have been from the placebo effect, but if someone can get some relief then don’t they work? It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next few years because the FDA is apparently starting to get involved in the testing process to see if they actually work.

  2. Buanafina Maia

    I think this topic is a very interesting one. These days, we see a lot of people obsessing over fads that soon fade away. With something like this, I feel like it is very hard to actually find out if the oils do or do not help more than harm. I wonder is there is a psychological element to something like this. Maybe a lot of people get better because they believe that the essencial oils are actually helping. Therefore, results showing that the oils do more help could be due to this thrid variable instead of the actual oils doing the good. Do you think something like that could be possible?

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