Saturday, February 22, 2014

A note about oils...

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and this information should not be used for diagnosis or in place of professional medical care or advice.

We have been using essential oils for about 4 months now and I feel like I learn something new about them every day...there is so much to learn! Here are a few things that I have learned over the last 4 months that have been helpful to me:

  • If you suffer from a chronic illness or life long malady, it may take weeks to see the full benefits of oils. I have an autoimmune disorder that causes my finger and hands to swell and become sore during the winter months. One of my biggest hopes when starting with oils was that they would help relieve my discomfort in my hands and feet. At first the oils made a minimal difference and didn't relieve the swelling as I had hoped, though they did show slight immediate reduction of swelling. However, over the last few months as I have been using oils multiple times daily for my whole family (rubbing it on other members of the family as well as myself), I have seen marked improvement in the health of my hands especially - I have even been able to wear my wedding ring on several occasions (I am usually unable to wear it at all during the winter months because my hands swell so badly). So, sometimes it's the consistent use of many oils that provides benefits you didn't expect.
  • Oils work differently than OTC meds in many different ways. One of the main differences (among many others) is the fact that oils may not have an immediate effect. It may take applications of oils every 15 minutes for an hour to see results. The important thing to note is that you are not filing your body with meds and there are no harmful side-effects. If you pop an OTC pill for a headache, your headache might go away within 15 or 20 minutes but you also have to ask yourself "Did I take that pill with a full stomach to be sure it doesn't make me sick to my stomach" or "Well my headache isn't gone but I can't safely take another dose for another 4 hours". So, it's important to realize that results may take multiple applications but most likely, you will see improvement. 
  • Different oils work differently for different people so don't expect that an oil that makes someone else sleep will have the exact effect on you AND don't become discouraged when an oil doesn't seem to help you like it helped someone else. Everyone is different and the simple fact that one oil didn't have the "prescribed" effect on you doesn't mean the oils aren't effective. Peace and Calming and Stress Away help my oldest son sleep much better than Cedarwood does but Cedarwood is a perfect sleep help for my husband, youngest son and myself. Don't give up if an oil doesn't seem to work "right". 
  • Using oils doesn't mean you will never be sick! Though the consistent use of oils appears to prevent illness in many cases, everyone gets sick sometimes. AND from our experience, using oils at the first sign of sickness not only helps to shorten the life of the illness but also helps significantly with managing symptoms. Especially when we are sick (which doesn't happen often!), we ingest oils, use them topically and diffuse them for maximum benefits and results.
  • Contrary to common belief, essential oils cannot cause allergic reactions (except ones containing citrus - if you have a citrus allergy, you should stay away from oils containing citrus). The reason is that essential oils (if they are pure and unadulterated) do not contain proteins, peptides, and amino acids which are the constituents that cause erroneous immune responses (allergies).  The body can produce a sort of "detox" reaction to some oils but this will subside over time (whereas an allergic reaction will continue with continued use, a detox reaction will get better and better with more use of the oil). Further, there are some oils that are "spicy" such as Oregano that can cause a burning sensation for some people and though it is not harmful, it can cause discomfort. Using a carrier oil with these types of oils can alleviate the burning. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are also "spicy" oils that might make your eyes water or your skin feel icy cold or tingly. Again, there is no harmful effect but it may cause some people to feel uncomfortable - again, using a carrier oil can help significantly. There is an interesting article about allergic reactions and detox to essential oils that can be found here.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

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