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Natural does not automatically mean safe.
Essential oils are no exception to the rule.
In this video I’m looking at their safety record and regulations.
Title – Essential Oils Are Unregulated, So Are They Safe?
Just like any other substance with pharmacological effects, in some individuals Essential oils can cause dermatitis, allergic reactions and other adverse side effects.
A 2012 review published in the International Journal of Risk & Safety In Medicine found that lavender, peppermint, tea tree and ylang-ylang oil were the most common essential oils responsible for adverse effects. There was even one documented death.
SNIPPET: In total, 71 patients experienced adverse effects of aromatherapy. Adverse effects ranged from mild to severe and included one fatality.
Most essential oil varieties can be toxic when ingested at high doses, and therefore should not be taken orally without first speaking with your doctor.
For example a teaspoon of carvacrol, an active ingredient in oregano oil, can be fatal to humans.
With so little published research on essential oils, there is no information to estimate what a safe dose might be, whether ingested, inhaled or applied on the skin. Can they be used safely in pregnant or breastfeeding women?
Granted when used as directed the risk is likely very low, but know that doses published by manufacturers are not based on any published evidence. Just trial and error basically.
Additionally, the chemical composition of essential oil batches are never quite the same.
Quality and concentration of the end product is influenced by the local geography and weather, season the plants were harvested, as well as processing, packaging and storing procedures.
SLIDE- Essential oils and aromatherapy are unregulated
While prescription drugs must undergo rigorous safety and effectiveness testing before being approved, essential oils are automatically classified as safe.
The International Organization for Standardization does have a set of standards for each type of essential oil, but these are not mandatory, nor enforced by any law-makers.
The FDA considers essential oils a cosmetic, so manufacturers are not required to prove their effectiveness, purity or potency. The same goes for aromatherapy, which you are permitted to practice without a license.
Now because essential oils are unregulated any claim that one can treat a health condition classifies it as an unproven drug. This is illegal. The company Young Living Essential Oils had salespeople doing this, until the FDA caught up with them.
SNIPPET: “… FDA has determined that many of your Young Living Essential Oil products, such as, but not limited to, “Thieves,” “Cinnamon Bark,” “Oregano,”… are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs…”
Because the chemical composition of products varies between batches, and the quality and effectiveness are not regulated by any governing bodies, it really leaves essential oils in the wild west in terms of health product safety.
Honestly, they’re likely safe in small doses, but just know that some people will experience some unwanted side effects, and many varieties can be highly toxic if ingested.
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