Essential oils are powerful substances that can radically change our health. If you’re like me, that means if a little is good, a lot is better. We know not to overdose on pharmaceuticals, yet when it comes to essential oil, herbs and other natural remedies, we throw caution to the wind. Our modern culture has taught us that only pharmaceuticals are potent and that “natural” substances are not. This viewpoint can be helpful or dangerous depending on the remedy.
Essential oils are the the oily constituents of plants. The most important health benefits comes from the oils. Herbs made into teas and tinctures have only a fraction of the potency of an oil. Take peppermint, for example. Did you know that one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea? In other words, using peppermint leaves, you would have to make and drink 28 cups of tea to get the level of potency and benefit found in just one drop of essential oil.
This is the reason it is so very important for us to pay attention to the proper use of essential oils. While peppermint can be taken topically, aromatically and internally, there are some oils that should not be taken internally. There are some that require limited use.
Eucalyptus and sage are two such oils that require caution. Eucalyptus is great for colds when used externally, but has been known to cause seizures in children when taken internally in a capsule or by a drop under the tongue. The same is true for sage. These are just two examples that show how potent essential oils are and the reason for keeping them out of the reach of children. It is important to make proper use of the oils.
This handy guide will help with that. It lists the various ways each oil may be used. Please follow the directions carefully. Do not take an oil internally if the label does not list taking internally as safe. Dilute when the label says ‘dilute’. Fractionated coconut oil is the best carrier for dilution.
When using essential oils, don’t be afraid of them anymore than you would be an herbal or pharmaceutical, just keep in mind these are powerful remedies – more powerful than herbals and often more powerful than their pharmaceutical counterparts – and they require caution just any over-the-counter or prescription remedy does.
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