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 years, 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.