Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Essential Oils and Trends

I am not super fond of mainstream trends, but I can be drawn to "crunchy" or as one friend called it "granola" type trends with the same lack of forethought as those who follow mainstream/traditional methods. Also, my contrary attitude is not discernment. I need to remember to research pros and cons and then factor in common sense and personal preferences/needs.

Essential oils are rather trendy. I liked the idea to an extent, but thankfully was early on exposed to warnings particularly against use on babies. Plus my source, Mountain Rose Herbs, is meticulous with their explanations and disclaimer. This article, which I found recently, addresses some aspects anyone interested needs to consider. My personal thoughts are these

1. These oils are highly concentrated, and they are still chemicals. My personal ideal would be to keep highly concentrated, highly modified materials be it (foods, medicines, plants, cleaning solutions, etc.) at a minimum. The gentlest methods first.

2. I think of three situations for essential oil use: in illness, for cleaning, and in cosmetics.

3. I do not see the need for it often or at all in the medical realm. My health goals are first prevention and immunity. Then if uncomfortably sick, try herbs in forms of teas, tinctures, etc. Finally if dangerously ill or injured, go to the professionals. Because modern medicine does have a history of careful study. Just because we have an over-medicated society and some high-handed doctors and malpractice cases, does not entitle the laymen to ignore all the centuries of careful research.

4. As far as cleaning goes, I would like to get to the point of more natural ingredients, perhaps made with essential oils, for everyday types of cleaning, but there times when that is simply not enough. I loathe the stomach virus normally caused by the extremely contagious and hardy norovirus and sometimes by the rotavirus. Most conventional cleaning solutions, hand sanitizers, and sprays do not kill these viruses, check the lists on the products. The norovirus needs chlorine bleach or a certain concentration (not medicine cabinet level) of hydrogen peroxide to kill it. I prefer the latter, but do your own research and use your judgement.

5. Cosmetics have some really horrifying ingredients. I feel that if I am every going to have perfume, I will be making it myself. This and lotions and such are my preferred use of essential oils since I would prefer to buy natural cleaning products. But again, I would if I could prefer to buy most of my cosmetics.

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