It seems as everyone around me these days is preaching, “There’s an oil for that” for every possible problem known to modern humankind: oils for health and sickness and cooking and cleaning and animal care and weight loss and grumpy spouses and pretty much everything else too.
And, for the most part, it’s true. I would be amiss to say I’m not one of those oil cheerleading people.
Yet, there are times when people say to me: THOSE OILS DID NOT WORK. And it’s true, they don’t ALWAYS work. Yet, there are some common reasons why they might not work. Here’s a list of several things to consider if you think the essential oils you’ve been using for a specific thing didn’t help you the way you expected them to:
Poor Quality Oils Can Result in a Poor Quality Outcome
With essential oils, quality is everything. You can’t expect to pay $4.99 at Grocery Mart for high quality essential oils. For one, it’s not POSSIBLE to produce pure, therapeutic grade oils at that price. Consider, for example, that it takes 30 pounds of lavender flowers to produce one 15mL bottle of pure grade lavender essential oil. That’s just the flowers, not the stems or leaves; or THREE TONS (that’s roughly 6,000 pounds) of lemon balm to make ONE POUND of Melissa essential oil; or the fact that it takes FIVE MEN three full days of hard work to harvest the vetiver grasses to make one bottle of Vetiver essential oil.
Good quality oils that are pure, therapeutic and undiluted are worth the money you pay for them. The cheaper oils you can buy are laced with chemicals, additives and other kinds of oils with only small amounts of actual essential oils. That’s how they can sell them for so cheap.
If you don’t start off with good oil, you’re setting yourself up for less than optimal results.
Infrequent Use Can Result in a Poor Quality Outcome
A common assumption for new oil users is to use an essential oil like you’d use any sort of over the counter or prescription drug, taking it every 4-6 hours, or even once or twice a day. Yes, a single tiny drop of oil is powerful and packs a punch. But a natural essential oil doesn’t stay in your system as long as a synthetic drug and works better with smaller, more frequent doses than it does with one larger less frequent usage.
How often should you use them? It depends on your situation and on you. But let me give you an example. I have a friend who suffers from seasonal discomfort. He tried a blend of essential oils that supported optimal health in this area of his life. He said the oils didn’t work. When asked how often he was using them, he said once or twice a day. Bingo. There’s the problem. He started carrying the oil blend around in his pocket and giving himself a drop on the tongue anytime the symptoms bothered him. Guess what? His symptoms disappeared and he became an essential oil ambassador.
Treating a Specific Symptom all the Same Every Time Can Result in a Poor Quality Outcome
You might notice when you look up a protocol for using an essential oil for a specific issue that there is often several oils to choose from. Why is that? Some people mistakenly think that means you need to use all the oils or a combination/blend of the oils for your issue. That usually isn’t the case at all.
More often there are different oil suggestions because we all might be experiencing the same certain symptoms but for varying reasons. For example, I occasionally get a headache. That headache might be from a few different things. I could be sleep deprived, or stressed, or needing to visit the chiropractor, or maybe even other reasons. For those occasional head pounders, I try first to determine why it’s there. For each of the issues above, I attack it with a different kind of oil, NOT the same oil, even though it’s the same symptom.
While there are some general guidelines to help you, you still need to take into account your own body and why you have a specific symptom to begin with.
Not Taking into Account Your Uniqueness Can Result in a Poor Quality Outcome
This ties in with the above point, but it’s slightly different. Besides trying to figure out WHY you might be experiencing a specific symptom, you need to take into account your own unique body chemistry. What works well for one person does not mean it will work well for you. I always suggest proceeding with caution and going slow. Yes, try the most suggested solutions first, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box (cautiously and with proper care). The perfect solution for you might not be lit up in neon lights but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Putting Your Trust in Someone Else Can Give in a Poor Quality Outcome
This is YOUR body, YOUR health; don’t just take some known or unknown Internet person at their word (even MINE! Do your own research!) There is TONS of bad advice out there. Don’t take it. Part of what I love about essential oils is that I can take control of MY OWN HEALTH and not run to the doctor for every tiny thing. It doesn’t seem right to switch my reliance from a doctor to an unknown person on the Internet, right?
There is also lots of good information out there, mixed in. There is a lot of scientific research that has already been done on essential oils. Do your homework. It might be fine to take someone’s recommendation on their favorite brand and flavor of yogurt without doing anything more than going down to the store to buy some and try it yourself. But essential oils, while natural, are still medicine. Medicine requires thought and research. Don’t just take someone’s word for what you should do.
Using an Essential Oil in the Wrong Way can Result in a Poor Quality Outcome
There are basically three ways to use essential oils. You can rub them on your body (often diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil), you can inhale their particles through your nose and mouth, and you can take them internally (if you’re using high quality oils).
While each of these three ways is effective, each one of these ways is MORE effective in certain situations. If you’ve been using an essential oil with less than optimal results, it might be the WAY in which you’ve been using it.
Again, I’d like to stress research. Get to know your oils on a deeper level. See what the (real) experts say. And try a new way.
Not Having an Open Mind Can Result in a Poor Quality Outcome
If your mind is already made up before you even try, why bother?
If you don’t commit to the process, the process might not work well for you.
If you are hit and miss, you might not be happy with how the oils work for you.
If you think essential oils are a magic band aid and you can ignore other issues that might be contributing to the current symptoms you’d like to be rid of, maybe you need to look at the bigger picture.
The bottom line is, essential oils are powerful, natural, often very fast acting, and can truly serve you on a variety of levels for many, many things. The key to having a good essential oil experience is to start out with pure therapeutic grade oils, do your research, be consistent, listen to your body and have an open mind. Essential oils certainly aren’t a magic pill, but I’d say they’re the closest thing to an all-round perfect solution to almost anything I’ve ever found. Learning how to use them properly will help you fall in love with them too.