Many, many, years ago I was introduced to essential oils by a friend. The possibilities with them are endless and it was so exciting!!! I signed up under him and waited patiently for my kit to arrive. When it finally got here, I ripped into it like it was Christmas morning! All the wonderful oils and diffuser, oh my! There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about any of it. We added oils to our water to drink, we applied them neat to ourselves and our children, it was staggering what I didn’t know, but it didn’t matter. They are 100% natural, how could these little bottles of beautifulness possibly hurt me or my family?!
Boy! Was I wrong! Years ago, one of my sons, I don't remember how old he was, maybe 4, anyway, he was starting to get a cold. I didn’t know the safety considerations these oils had and no one ever told me to be careful. I have never received any support from my “upline” besides a monthly email highlighting individual oils. I applied what is considered to be a hot, or spicy oil to the bottoms of his feet in the hope it would help boost his immune system. The oil blend was marketed as being excellent to keep everyone in the home healthy and came in my handy, dandy kit. The bottle label provides little safety information nor does the product page of the website. No age requirement or dilution information was provided, no warnings of it burning or causing any discomfort. And best of all, it didn’t say it should NOT be used on children.
This oil blend contains cinnamon bark, it should never be used on kids. Almost immediately I could see he was in distress as the oil was applied neat (no dilution), again, the label said nothing regarding dilution or how to apply. The application site was red and angry with a lot of pain.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And I have seen this happen time and time again. All of this can be avoided with proper education as well as following safety guidelines, I definitely didn’t know what I was doing and I truly did not give essential oils the respect they deserve.
A friend of mine gave her 5-year-old daughter a popular oil blend from a different company, the little girl had a cold and my friend was told it would help her daughter. Unfortunately, she wasn’t educated either and when the oil was applied, her daughter started to feel funny, had breathing problems and tingling. The blend has wintergreen and eucalyptus in it, both are not safe for children under 10, but again, she didn’t know she didn’t know!
After burning the bottom of my son’s feet and causing other issues, we stepped away from the oils for quite awhile. I didn’t know enough and I wasn’t sure how to go about getting the information I needed. Back then, education wasn’t as easily obtained as it is now. I bought books that have been helpful, but back then, again, they were written by this same company so it was hard to believe what they were printing when I knew what could happen with the oils.
Fast-forward a few years, I had started my business making and selling crystal healing bracelets with which you could add essential oils to. A friend approached me and wanted me to sign up under her in a different MLM company. I was skeptical, I had already had a bad experience with this other company, how or why would this be any different? I knew I wanted to add essential oil blends to my business so it was a good fit. It was only $35, I could do that and if I didn’t like it I could always get out of it.
I joined and right away it was a different experience.
The office side was explained wonderfully and I actually had some support. I didn’t have many essential oil questions at that time since I had just enrolled in aromatherapy school. I was added to all the Facebook pages for my group and it was great!
During my time in school I have learned so much, and being on the FB pages I saw unsafe recommendations. I commented on a couple, one being a recipe for eyelash serum to help grow your lashes. It was a high dilution of lavender and coconut oil. Any essential oil in your eye, diluted or not is EXTREMELY painful. It burns and burns, since oil doesn’t mix with water (your tears), it is extremely hard to remove the oil from your eye. Putting it on your lashes would only exacerbate that.
Another comment I made was on pregnancy and oil usage. There are a lot oils that should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding. People were telling this poor, unsuspecting woman to use anything and everything.
Behind the scenes I was told that I was scaring people and I just didn’t share their philosophy. I was removed from the Facebook pages for my team. When I questioned who was in my upline, and what education or training they had on essential oils, I was told it would be better if I just walked away. If I wanted to change teams I would need to go inactive for 6 months and I could switch. Okie dookie, no biggie.
After going through the hundreds of hours of essential oil education and becoming a certified clinical aromatherapist and aromatic medicine practitioner I have learned too much to even want to be a part of either of these companies. I have said it before and I will continue to say it, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Like me, none of my certified friends in the business buy from either of these companies.
In order to get a pure, unaltered essential oil, a company must be as transparent as it can be. You should be able to receive any and all information you request, actually you shouldn’t have to request it, you should have access to it on their website. Oil companies don’t need to hide behind proprietary reports, they should have nothing to hide and they shouldn’t care that you have the information. Not only will these reports tell you if things are present in the oil that should not be (altered oil, altered with cheaper components and can be harmful to you), they will also tell you the chemical components in the oils themselves so you are able to use them better.
An oil high in alpha pinene can be a good anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, and antiviral oil that clinical studies have shown may help prevent bone loss. I am not saying that either company alters their oils, and I am also not saying either company is bad. It just wasn't for me. Join Essential Oil Consumer Reports on Facebook if you want to see non-biased reports of essential oils tested.
Before I get any nasty emails, I must say, this was my experience, not anyone else's. I am not bashing these companies, I am only telling you what happened to me and my family.
When purchasing your essential oils, think about the purity of the oils and integrity of the company. There are plenty of reputable oil companies, if you have any questions or would like recommendations, just ask! Send me at email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love and light,
Since I posted this blog, I have had numerous people come to me and say they have had similar experiences. A fellow aromatherapist told me she was trying to educate some of the people on similar FB pages and was treated very poorly as well. Please be careful, please use the less is more attitude, your body, the environment and your wallet will thank you.
If you belong to a MLM company and send me a nasty message stating you are going to sue me, don't bother. My job is to educate and provide the best possible care. By loosely giving out unsafe information, you are liable for any adverse affects those you advice have due to your information. If someone is hurt by your unsafe information, you can and most likely will be sued. If I comment and try to educate you, I am not trying to ruin your business. It isn't about the money, it is about providing quality, safe information!!!!
Caution: The material on this page is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Since the actual use of this product by others is beyond our control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken. Use at your own discretion. Any application of the recommendations is at the user’s risk. Sweet Willow Spirit, LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information and assumes no responsibility for any actions taken. This should not be used in place of traditional therapies but solely as a complementary means for bringing well-being. The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of any oil or healing modality.