Remember that saying from elementary school about saying "No" to drugs? I feel as though it can be used in many aspects of life, not just drugs. Take for example over scheduling yourself or staying up too late when your spouse wants to watch a movie- "Just say No."
I feel as though this saying applies to the peer pressure of using essential oils- in a bad way, of course.
So many of our friends who are part of the MLM companies are unfortunately ignorant about proper safety and usage of essential oils. They don't mean to be ignorant and they usually have the best intentions but they are uneducated because they are being fed marketing ploys from the company and their up-lines.
The most common practice they all share is adding essential oils to water. It really makes me cringe every time I see it- and I see it so often.
Here is what the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy says about internal usage:
"Do not take essential oils internally without appropriate advanced aromatherapy education and understanding of the safety issues involved in doing so. Essential oils are commonly used internally throughout the world. Some individuals are doing so without the appropriate knowledge or understanding of safety concerns. NAHA does not support the indiscriminate or uneducated internal use of essential oils. If essential oils are used internally, we recommend doing so under the guidance of a knowledgeable health professional. To learn more, we recommend you receive education from a NAHA approved school. NAHA is dedicated to promoting education in this area so that internal use is better understood, and if done, is performed safely and effectively."
The Alliance of International Aromatherapist says this:
"AIA does not endorse internal therapeutic use (oral, vaginal or rectal) of essential oils unless recommended by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal). Please refer to the AIA Safety Guidelines for essential oil use."
Here is my personal take on the issue, We already know we should not use essential oils neat, meaning undiluted or straight our of the bottle. Using essential oils neat can irritate your skin, cause rashes, and in some cases cause sensitization. When you add essential oils to your water and drink it, it is essentially using them neat. It can irritate and burn the mucous membrane of your mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. Essential oils also act differently internally than they do externally.
Check out these Injury Reports for more information about how those who have used essential oils too casually. According to Sylla Shephard from the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, essential oils can be beneficial if used internally, but
"When used as necessary and in a safe manner for illnesses, essential oils have tremendous healing potential that can add greatly to our natural remedies. To repeat what I said earlier, I see no need to take any oils daily in my water or food. The oils can cause harm if overdone, which I see far too often in the Atlantic Institute's Injury Database Report. I get my flavor from real fruit if I need an occasional change to plain distilled water--because once again, there is NO additional nutritional benefit when lemon or orange essential oil is added to water. I also don't advise taking capsules for allergies when topical and inhalation are much more effective for this condition."
I completely agree with her! Essential oils have no nutritional value! This is why I'm studying herbs, because they DO have nutritional benefits. Per my previous blog post, inhalation is best! I know I preach this all the time to so many people and I have had so many people say "Well my oil girl from 'insert company name' says its OK." I have to politely explain to them why its not ok to add oils to water. I hate to see so many people in the way of potenital injury when its so easily preventable.
So bottom line, friends, when a good meaning friend tells you to, "Add a few drops of Lemon essential oil to your water" Just Say NO!