Are Essential Oils Effective?

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Some folks kept telling me to try or let my family use Essential Oils for alleviating for example insomnia, allergies, bloating, etc.


Are these really effective? Or just placebo? I'm afraid they can trigger allergy if used long time.
 

phinds

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Zero scientific evidence that there is anything but a placebo effect. I consider them to be just marketing BS but there are of course people who swear by them.
 
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jim mcnamara

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Notice the statements from @phinds. The link discusses how they are used, but does not promote them. Some plant oils like vanillin (vanilla) and menthols (mint) are used in very small amounts as flavoring.
They are generally not just one simple compound, but rather a mixture, example Mentha (Latin genus name for mint):


As the essential oils are purified, their effects change. Cinnamon is an example:
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-330/ceylon-cinnamon

The ground up bark improves nice pastries, for example. Holiday cookies and pies are made with cinnamon bark. Virtually anyone can eat them with no ill effect from the cinnamon.

On the other hand:

The concentrated essential oil is not considered safe to take by mouth and is a terrible irritant to the eyes. It is used in tiny amounts to make redhots - a candy that is hot - hot in the sense of chile pepper, black pepper, or wasabi. It is infused into alcholic beverages too.
 
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Notice the statements from @phinds. The link discusses how they are used, but does not promote them. Some plant oils like vanillin (vanilla) and menthols (mint) are used in very small amounts as flavoring.
They are generally not just one simple compound, but rather a mixture, example Mentha (Latin genus name for mint):


As the essential oils are purified, their effects change. Cinnamon is an example:
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-330/ceylon-cinnamon

The ground up bark improves nice pastries, for example. Holiday cookies and pies are made with cinnamon bark. Virtually anyone can eat them with no ill effect from the cinnamon.

On the other hand:

The concentrated essential oil is not considered safe to take by mouth and is a terrible irritant to the eyes. It is used in tiny amounts to make redhots - a candy that is hot - hot in the sense of chile pepper, black pepper, or wasabi. It is infused into alcholic beverages too.
They gave me a diffuser to try for a month:


"Transform your home or workplace into your personal aromatherapy oasis! With elegantly designed essential oil diffusers, you can infuse any room and create a spa-like atmosphere. With our portable diffusers, you can bring that experience anywhere life takes you. Our systems combine style with the latest technology so you can make the most of your essential oils. With features that include soothing sounds and relaxing light settings, our diffusers allow you to fully customize your aromatherapy experience."



In other words, it diffuses the essential oil to the air. 5 drops a night. What do you make of it? I'm concerned about triggering allergy to it.
 

jim mcnamara

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A empty diffuser by itself is harmless. It really depends on what oils you use -- if you are worried about allergic responses. Some few plant oils are allergens for part of the population, not all. What is in the stuff you are diffusing? Labelling for these things varies by country, so it may not be possible to know what is really your mixture.
 
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A empty diffuser by itself is harmless. It really depends on what oils you use -- if you are worried about allergic responses. Some few plant oils are allergens for part of the population, not all. What is in the stuff you are diffusing? Labelling for these things varies by country, so it may not be possible to know what is really your mixture.
Lavender

Aren't these allergen to the body? which is natural and which is not?
 

ProfuselyQuarky

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Lavender

Aren't these allergen to the body? which is natural and which is not?
Being "natural" is pretty meaningless, and whether it's a harmful allergen or not depends on the individual.
 

jim mcnamara

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No, lavender oil is edible. There is a 3 day lavender festival near Albuquerque New Mexico (USA), and lavender tea and lavender cookies are big sellers there. FWIW lavender cookies taste like soap to me.

In general it is not much of an allergen. If one of your family members has an existing intense allergy I would definitely consider not using the product.

PF is not really supposed to offer medical advice. Your best choice is to talk to a physician about your concerns.

We point out when things are not scientifically based. And aromatherapy is high on the list of very questionable products and services. As you already seem to know.
 

ProfuselyQuarky

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This isn't medical advice, just personal experience.

I once heavily used a diffuser and a substantial variety of essential oils, including Lavender oil from that same brand. Your body's reaction to it depends heavily on 1) the type of oil, 2) the blend, and 3) how you're using it. There were a lot of oils that caused a pretty negative reaction, and others that did absolutely nothing.

I'll admit that lavender, for example, can be effective for relieving a bee sting. However, it has never proven helpful with anything more substantial/chronic.

Young Living, by the way, has a near-cult following around here, at least. When you suggest the limitations of the oils, those who believe in its healing properties will usually dismiss it as you "not having yet found the right oil". Because there are hundreds. Be smart about it and don't fall for nonsense.
 
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Plant based oils are hydrocarbons of various sorts.
Some can be effective remedies for specific conditions, many of them are just regular parts of a normal diet.
There isn't any magic beyond that a well balanced diet is good for you,
 
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In other words, it diffuses the essential oil to the air. 5 drops a night. What do you make of it? I'm concerned about triggering allergy to it.
Just consider it as any other air freshener // deodorant.
 
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No, lavender oil is edible. There is a 3 day lavender festival near Albuquerque New Mexico (USA), and lavender tea and lavender cookies are big sellers there. FWIW lavender cookies taste like soap to me.

In general it is not much of an allergen. If one of your family members has an existing intense allergy I would definitely consider not using the product.

PF is not really supposed to offer medical advice. Your best choice is to talk to a physician about your concerns.

We point out when things are not scientifically based. And aromatherapy is high on the list of very questionable products and services. As you already seem to know.
I don't have to use them. Just some Young Living folks telling me to buy their products.

Anyway. What kind of Essential Oils are not edible? I guess these are the hazardous ones?
 

pinball1970

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Some folks kept telling me to try or let my family use Essential Oils for alleviating for example insomnia, allergies, bloating, etc.


Are these really effective? Or just placebo? I'm afraid they can trigger allergy if used long time.
The most interesting thing I have read about them was from @Rive who said he found one that kept the cats out of his garden.
A pf thread from a few months ago.
Post #21
 
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What kind of Essential Oils are not edible? I guess these are the hazardous ones?
Treat all of them as hazardous and never eat any of them unless it is sold as a food or spice.
You won't have any idea about drinking from your deodorant or use skin cream like butter, right? It's just the very same.

The most interesting thing I have read about them was from @Rive who said he found one that kept the cats out of his garden.
I think anything with a strong enough smell would work. Cats marks their territory (or deliver challenge letters) with smells, either by urine or poo. So when you put their marks under your own chosen overwhelming smell (in case of these oils: stink), it tells them that HERE I'M THE BIGGEST CAT, YOU BETTER SCRAM.
There are some which don't get the hint but most will behave.
ps.: at least, by my experience.
 
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Plants have medicine properties, or ingredients. And essential oils come from plants. Why didn't the American Medical Society give a list of recommended plants and oils so the public wouldn't be led astray by hocus focus or even the FDA giving some tips about them? For example I read this:


"Studies show that high-quality ylang ylang oil holds a high percentage of active constituents called terpenoids. Isolated terpenoid derivatives (including canangaterpenes IV-VI) show promising results as natural therapeutic agents for the treatment of several skin disorders. When tested on cancerous melanoma skin cells, terpenoid compounds exhibit a potent inhibitory effect on cell melanogenesis and immune-system cytotoxicity. In other words, antioxidants in this oil help protect skin cells from oxidative stress and DNA damage that can lead to cancer cell formation.

Other active compounds in ylang ylang oil include several types of flavonoids, terpenes, o-methylmoschatoline, liriodenine and dihydroxybenzoic acid. The pleasant fragrance of these varieties is mainly due to these volatile organic compounds produced by the flowers. According to a 2014 report published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, the floral scents of ylang ylang are a key factor in plant-insect interactions and are vital for successful pollination since they repel pests and bugs.

Researchers from the Phytochemistry Research Department at the University of Rajshahi in Bangladesh found that these phytochemicals also possess antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities when used topically or internally by humans. They can help improve immune function and lower inflammation, which is a leading contributor to most diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, autoimmune and cognitive-related disorders."
 

Laroxe

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They are widely used in perfumery and there are certain smells that some people associate with being relaxed. lavender used to be a favourite, maybe because it was associated with older women but its considered rather old fashioned now. These oils do represent a considerable investment for the plant to make and are usually part of their defences against insect predators or infections, some can be useful insect repellents, quite a few have antiseptic properties, tea tree oil is popular for this. Its best not to use them neat, they should be diluted in an oil used in cooking, they are safe, even plants don't use them in their purified form
I wouldn't tend to expect them to have any significant effect on diseases and the work suggesting they have all sorts of active ingredients is misleading, the issue is whether you can get these ingredients in sufficient quantities to the site of the problem without killing yourself.
 
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If something is edible, does it mean it is safe to diffuse? Are there pathways in diffusion where the substance can get into the bloodstream?

This is how allergy is triggered, when the food you eat got into your bloodstream.
 

ProfuselyQuarky

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If something is edible, does it mean it is safe to diffuse? Are there pathways in diffusion where the substance can get into the bloodstream?

This is how allergy is triggered, when the food you eat got into your bloodstream.
The supposed healing properties of the EO are supposed to go into your bloodstream...that's literally the point, whereas the carrier oil's molecules are usually too large to go past the epidermis.

And aside from absorption through the skin, you might inhale the vapor as well.
 
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The supposed healing properties of the EO are supposed to go into your bloodstream...that's literally the point, whereas the carrier oil's molecules are usually too large to go past the epidermis.

And aside from absorption through the skin, you might inhale the vapor as well.
Direct to the bloodstream? Won't this sensitize and make the person develope IgE antibodies to the Essential Oil ingredient like Lavender?

We eat eggs. But when you introduce eggs particulate to your bloodstream. You could develop IgE antibodies to it.
 

ProfuselyQuarky

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Direct to the bloodstream? Won't this sensitize and make the person develope IgE antibodies to the Essential Oil ingredient like Lavender?

We eat eggs. But when you introduce eggs particulate to your bloodstream. You could develop IgE antibodies to it.
That is only if you happen to be allergic to eggs or lavender or whatever else you subject your body to. If you’re primarily worried about allergies, just get tested.
 
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I don't want to use any Lavender or Essential oils anymore. I feel it's just waste of money.

But I'm stuck with the diffuser unit. First let me know some basic how it works. Oil is heavier than water, how does the diffuser diffuse the oil in the air? Is the transducer below it ultrasonic? Does it vibrate the water? how does it work?
 

ProfuselyQuarky

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I don't want to use any Lavender or Essential oils anymore. I feel it's just waste of money.

But I'm stuck with the diffuser unit. First let me know some basic how it works. Oil is heavier than water, how does the diffuser diffuse the oil in the air? Is the transducer below it ultrasonic? Does it vibrate the water? how does it work?
Why not google this
Ultrasonic diffusers dispense healing essential oils into the air as negative ions. These diffusers get their name from the ultrasonic vibrations used to break down the essential oils into microparticles, allowing the oil to be dispersed as a very fine mist, mixed with steam, into the air. The process does not create a lot of noise, allowing the diffuser to run extremely quietly - ideal for relaxing, sleeping and working.
source

Keep the diffuser. It's a less stuffy alternative to the occasional scented candle/incense.
 
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Why not google this

source
I thought it's classified technology. About the use of it. Is it the same as the ones used by those with asthma to inhale their medicine? Is diffuser same as nebuliser? I'm thinking of donating it to the Asthma associations.
 

ProfuselyQuarky

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I thought it's classified technology. About the use of it. Is it the same as the ones used by those with asthma to inhale their medicine? Is diffuser same as nebuliser? I'm thinking of donating it to the Asthma associations.
Similar in the sense that it uses ultrasonic waves lol. No one wants to diffuse a dose of albuterol in their living room though...
 
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Similar in the sense that it uses ultrasonic waves lol. No one wants to diffuse a dose of albuterol in their living room though...
I forgot. For those with a lot of phlegm, is it not they use some kind of nebulizer to loosen the phlegm. Can one use a diffuser for it instead, and just as effective?

I'm justifying whether to keep in the attic in case nebulizer action is needed someday. Or just give it away.

Btw.. the diffuser has ultrasonics. Can you use plain water to wash your dirty spoon for example?
 

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