I remember the first time I tried an essential oil. It was 1996 and I was a freshman in college. I had read somewhere that Peppermint oil was good for studying and I had an exam that I didn't feel very confident about. I went to the nearest health store that sold essential oils and got my first bottle. I had no clue how to use it. I didn't even understand WHAT it was. But I was hoping for it to work its magic, whatever that looked like. I remember not being impressed (even though I did get an A on the exam) and not really doing much with essential oils again for many years.
However, I have had a love for natural remedies for as long as I can remember. If there was another choice besides medication, I would choose it. I came back into the world of essential oils when presented with a problem that I wanted to address naturally. My research kept leading me to essential oils. So I gave them a second chance.
And boy, did I ever fall in love.
I couldn't get enough of them. There were so many beautiful choices. They all had these captivating aromas. Each oil had so many uses. I just wanted to have them all! My diffuser was running constantly with every combination I could think of. I used them to clean every square inch of my house. I used them topically every day for no particular reason . All of my health and beauty products were essential oil based in some way. I was obsessed.
I decided to enroll in aromatherapy school. I was blindsided to learn that what I thought I knew about essential oils wasn't the truth at all. I was saddened to the point of complete disbelief. It was like I was living a lie. All the things I was taught from the company I trusted was not what I was learning in aromatherapy school.
So I decided to read more books from aromatherapists that are highly respected in the field. The more I read their books, blogs, websites, the more I realized that yes, I was initially misinformed. From that day on, I made it my mission to educate others. I want to help people learn how to use their essential oils safely and effectively no matter what brand they choose.
So, here are my biggest mistakes that I hope you can you learn from:
1. BUYING ALL THE OILS
The amount of essential oils I bought every month was staggering. I barely knew how to use most of them, but I bought them for the sake of having them "just in case". I wasted a lot of money by doing that and had bottles I never opened.
So my advice for you is that you don't need a ton of essential oils to start out with. Start out with a few (I'd say 3-5) and REALLY get to know them. Study them in several different contexts by several different professional aromatherapists. Use them and see how they make you feel. Once you have.a steady grasp on the ones you already have, start branching out, little by little. You will soon realize how to use the ones you have and it'll save you a lot of money.
2. NOT DILUTING PROPERLY OR AT ALL
The bottle said I didn't have to dilute with a carrier oil because I didn't have sensitive skin. So I didn't. I used oils neat A LOT. When I did dilute, I didn't dilute enough. I would put too many drops in my roller bottles. I didn't feel like dilution was important because my skin could "handle it".
I have since learned the importance of dilution. Here are 5 reasons you should dilute your essential oils: http://www.blossomsandblends.com/blog/2017/2/10/the-dilution-solution-5-reasons-to-dilute-essential-oils
So my advice would be to dilute whenever you use essential oils topically.
3. USING THE SAME OILS TOPICALLY OVER AND OVER AGAIN
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Not when it comes to essential oils. I used the same Lemongrass body wash every day for several months because I loved the smell. At first, I didn't have any issues. Then, one day, BAM, I broke out into hives all over my stomach, chest and arms. My body developed an immune response to Lemongrass. It took me awhile to realize that I was now sensitized to Lemongrass, so I kept using it after my initial reaction. The reactions got worse and worse each time I was exposed to Lemongrass.
So my advice for you is to switch up your oils every few weeks or so. Give your body a break from that oil and use another essential oil/blend. You can always go back to your favorite blend after your breaks.
Another piece of advice is that if your body is having a reaction to an oil, stop using it! There are many different oils out there that could do the same thing. Choose another oil and save your body the irritation.
4. NOT RESPECTING THEIR POWER
As I said earlier, the diffuser was running constantly and I was slathering oils all over me. I was not giving these oils the respect they deserved. I was overloading my body. Plus, I was not taking into account the sustainability issue. It takes a lot of plant material to make a small bottle of essential oil. I was wasting this precious resource by using it "just because". Most people are surprised to know that now I don't use essential oils every day for myself or my family unless needed.
So my advice would be to run your diffuser intermittently when diffusing. Stick with 30 minutes on, then one hour off. Diffusing continuously is not more efficient; it just wastes your oils and your money. Less is more!
Also, essential oils should be used when a need presents itself. Exposed to germs? Diffuse away. Feeling crummy and want to cheer yourself up? Go for it! Slathering oils all over your spine daily to balance yourself, on your heart to make you happy, on your wrist for your hormones, and in your diffuser necklace for energy? You need to take a step back and ask yourself if you really need all of those oils daily. What can be replaced by more gentle plant remedies, like herbs or flower essences? Essential oils aren't the answer to everything.
5. NOT GETTING AN EDUCATION FROM A NEUTRAL PARTY
I received my initial "education" from my upline. They recommended books and I bought them. I thought since these books were not sponsored by the company itself, they could be trusted. It was later that I realized that all of the recommended books were either written by company reps, third party publishers that worked with the company, or people who worked for the company. Everything I read on my own was dismissed because I was told it didn't pertain to the company's oils. I fell for that gimmick and I wish I followed my gut and learned from multiple sources instead.
My advice is to learn from many different industry leaders who are brand neutral. Don't stick to one source or one teacher. Never stop learning and find YOUR balance.
This is the reason I am adamant about essential oils safety. I've made mistakes. I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. I want to educate, not belittle. It doesn't matter to me what brand you use. If you love your oils, keep on loving them. Just make sure, no matter what brand you use, that you are using them properly and safely.
We all come from different walks of life and bring something to the table. We may be industry experts, beginners, MLM reps, or enthusiasts. But we all have something in common. We have a love for these natural remedies and a desire to learn more.
There are many misconceptions in this industry and my mission is to eradicate these myths and educate. When talking with each other, let’s assume good intentions. We must remember that positivity breeds peace. The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless it’s open. Let’s all be open to learning and use gentle guidance when educating. Let’s all work together and use our common interest for the greater good of aromatherapy itself.
P.S. If you are looking for reliable, trustworthy sources to learn about aromatherapy, please check out the AROMATHERAPY tab on my website.