Our Oil Explorers group is having an awesome series this month: The Skeptics Guide to Essential Oils. I am so excited to be a part of it and to share a bit with you here today!
If you use social media very often, chance are you have stumbled upon several posts about essential oils lately. It may even feel like essential oils are just the latest fad when it comes to health and beauty products on the market.
I admit, I used to think that.
Then I started realizing all the products I’ve been using for years that actually contain essential oils. That wonderfully relaxing lotion I love at the end of the day? It contains eucalyptus and spearmint essential oils. The baby bath wash so many of us use to help little ones fall asleep at night? Lavender.
This past winter, with so many illnesses running rampant, I started researching for ways to boost the family’s immune systems, and what did I discover? Essential oils.
But with all the hype, are they just a fad?
No, essential oils are certainly not just a fad.
In fact, essential oils (sometimes called aromatic oils) have been used by numerous cultures around the world for centuries. I knew that essential oils are often used for medical purposes, but I didn’t know that traditional Indian medicine has a 3,000 year history of using essential oils. (3,000 years!) During that time they have identified hundreds of natural substances, like cinnamon, ginger, and myrrh, that have healing properties.
And, when it comes to the science of healing, you can’t forget about the ancient Greeks. Hypocrites, the Greek physician who is known as the “Father of Medicine,” documented the effects of over 300 essential oils from plants, including saffron, peppermint, and thyme. Not only that, but the ancient Greek soldiers were actually given an ointment made of myrrh to help fight infections on the battle field.
My favorite tidbit of information when it comes to the history of essential oils revolves around on of my new favorite oils: Thieves Oil. Thieves oil is based on the legend of four thieves that would rob the bubonic plague victims in Europe during the 15th century.
How did they keep from getting sick themselves? They covered themselves with cloves, rosemary and other aromatics that were highly effective against airborne bacteria. (Little did I know the cloves I threw in the water on the stove at Christmas time to give the home a nice holiday smell could actually be helping us!)
Now, I’m not covering the kids with thieves oil (definitely not recommending that), but I have been using a diluted thieves oil with the family this winter, and so far we haven’t been sick.
So, if they aren’t just a fad and they’ve been around for centuries, why does it feel like they are suddenly everywhere? My guess is social media. We live in an age where information can spread like wildfire. And if there is something you believe in, something you are excited about? Well, you want to share it!
Are you a skeptic like I was? Want to know if they really work? Do brands really matter?
Find out the answers to those questions and more with the other awesome posts in The Skeptics Guide to Essential Oils!
Interested in trying essential oils yourself?
You can read about how to get started here.
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