Essential Oils: What does the science say?

This is an informative article that doesn’t pull any punches when talking about essential oils.  Like it or not, aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is still in the realm of alternative medicine.  And even though many people experience and report on their benefits, there remains a limited scientific evidence to support the claims.  But that may be changing as more and more essential oils, along with cannabis, are being studied for their health benefits.

Essential Oils Generally safe to use

When used as directed, pure plant essences are normally safe for everyone.  There have been a few concerns, however.  In their concentrated form, the oils can irritate the skin, and some research suggests they may have some unwanted effects on males.

… some of the oils mimic the female hormone estrogen, they may have unwanted effects on males. Lavender oil and tea tree oil may cause enlarged breast tissue in prepubertal boys, according to a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Some oils may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, which is why people should test their sensitivity to an oil on a small patch of skin, before they begin to use an oil more broadly, said Dr. Wolfgang Steflitsch, a chest physician at Otto Wagner Hospital in Vienna, and vice president of the Austrian Association of Aromatherapy and Aroma Care. He also said that certain citrus oils when applied to the skin can increase sun sensitivity, and that some substances in essential oils may be risky for pregnant women.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom.  Those concerns are relatively minor and will affect very few people.  The article then goes on to highlight several different essential oils and their potential health benefits.  For someone just beginning to learn about plant essences this article is a great starting point.

Read the full article:

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