Your DoTerra and YoungLiving essential oils rep is NOT a Certified Aromatherapist... unless he or she is.
What I mean is that, just because he or she is selling the oils, giving advice on how to use them, teaches classes, and has an excellent sales pitch doesn't mean that s/he is certified as an aromatherapist. More than likely, s/he will tell you if he or she is certified, in which case he or she will have the knowledge and tools under their belt to inform you responsibly in what ways to use the essential oils.
Well it bothers me because I have met and talked with many sellers of essential oils in the last year or two. It seems the oils are the new Avon and Mary Kay and everyone wants in on the deal. No complaints, I'm a fan of essential oils for the most part and making them more available to the public outside the one natural foods store in town is great. The thing is, some of these sellers are giving some advice on the use of the essential oils, including medical use, without disclaimer and, in some cases, without common safety sense.
I have seen sellers tell possible customers that they will soon be able to stop all of their medication and just use essential oils, tell customers that essential oils ("because they are natural") are safe to ingest and put directly on their skin, and pull out essential oils and start applying them to themselves and others without once asking the room about allergies or asthma.
(As for making medical claims regarding essential oils, the FDA is taking great issue with this already and sending warning letters to both companies for their medical claims. Read more about this here.)
Before I go on to explain why this is a problem, let me be clear -
I am NOT a Certified Aromatherapist.
I do not have years of schooling under my belt. I am a student of herbalism and natural medicine who hopes to have her certifications one day and part of my studies have been an interest in the medicinal and metaphysical properties in plants in all of their forms including the essential oils.
Cinnamon essential oil can be very dangerous to put on your skin or even to try and dilute in water (essential oils are not water soluble but can be diluted in a base oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil) and if it does touch skin it is best to rinse and clean the area immediately as the oil can burn (it will usually have an immediate effect). Think of the burn in your mouth when you've eaten cinnamon candy and times that by 100, on you skin...not pleasant.
Other oils can set off asthmatics just by opening a bottle of the substance around them and if you are allergic to a certain plant it is pretty safe to say that you should use any products made from that plant with caution, including the essential oil.
Other health conditions can also be irritated or caused to worsen by the presence, application, or diffusing of essential oils including most lung problems (COPD) and diabetes.
Don't get me started on the reps that were pushing oils on me without any knowledge of which ones were safe for pregnant women...
When the discussion of diluting the oils came up in some of these little seminars the reason for the dilution was "a little goes a long way" and "by blending your essential oils in a base oil or a diffuser will extend the life and use of your oil" and was represented in a money-saving capacity alone. My head ached at this point as none of the safety measures of diluting the oils were discussed such as by diluting the essential oil in a base it is diffused throughout so no part of your body is exposed to the pure compound and irritated.
For those asking - are there ANY oils that are safe to put directly on your skin without diluting? Yes, many. As a non-certified person I will only say that the 2 essential oils that I use undiluted on my skin regularly are Tea Tree (keeping it away from my eyes, inside of my ears, inside of my nose, and mouth) and True Lavender. I also only use Therapeutic Grade essential oils (it will say on the bottle if it is or not and you can always look it up on the company's website).
To help you in your studies of the uses and safety of essential oils, I have put together a small resource list that I use. I hope that you all continue to be safe.
The following three books are ones that I use regularly in my home. I enjoy having all three as the information provided is different in each. The first book is recommended by my herbalism and natural medicine instructor - Marjah McCain of Herbal Healer Academy -
**Disclaimer - just as I am NOT a Certified Aromatherapist, I also want to say one other thing. This article is written based on my own experiences. I am sure that there are many, MANY sales representatives for DoTerra and YoungLiving and other brands of essential oil who are very conscientious and good at not only their job but also in the responsible care of their customers in regards to the advice that they give. This article is only in response to the experiences that I have had.
*Affiliate ads were used in this blog post.