By now I’d be surprised if any human in the first world has not heard of essential oils. You’ve likely heard friends waxing poetic about their favorite blends. You’ve become conditioned to scrolling past oil-centric posts in your news feed. Heck, maybe you even decided to try oils yourself. And then, nothing happened except you smelled like a hippie. ☮ Thanks a lot. 😂 So why is it essential oils don’t work for you?
As an Aroma Freedom Technique Practitioner, and a mom who has used essential oils for over four years, I know what they can do. But I’ve also seen that not everyone gets the same results.
In asking questions and helping people troubleshoot, I’ve seen patterns as to why essential oils don’t always work (or seem to be working). I’m sharing this information so you can get the best results possible. 🙂
Reason Why Essential Oils Don’t Work #1:
Your Timing is Off 🙃
Essential oils work best when used proactively. Like a gymnast walking on a balance beam, pulling yourself back into balance should be done at the first sign of wobbling, not when you’re mid air about to hit the mat. 😉
Thinking ahead is key. If we’re in a season when our immune systems need extra support, I am diffusing Thieves at night next to our beds. If the kids are going to play where other kids have likely sneezed and snotted 🤢, we apply a diluted roller ball of immune support oils before we go. Not to mention Thieves hand purifier during and after outings!
Along the same line, if I know I am going to be in a stressful situation, I’m putting my relaxing oils on beforehand. I’m mindful of where my emotions are and if I need to apply an emotional support blend. I make sure I do this before I’ve worked myself into a tizzy. 🤪
We also have to consider how often we are reapplying. One drop of essential oil has enough molecules to cover every cell in the body approximately 40,000 times. You certainly don’t need to use a lot! However, those wonderful little molecules have been completely metabolized within 2.5 hours. Therefore, applying your oils isn’t a “once and done” thing. Being consistent with your application makes all the difference.
Applying this advice is going to make you tune into your body’s signals. (When using oils with children, you’ll learn to tune into them too.) Listening to the body is something not all of us are used to, but it’s a beautiful ability we all have. Our bodies know what they need. By following that intuition, you will get much better results.
Reason Why Essential Oils Don’t Work #2:
You Haven’t Gotten to the Real Issue 😳
We’ve been conditioned to treating symptoms in our society. We just want to make discomfort go away now. Understandably so, but with this mindset comes the tendency to ignore what our bodies are trying to tell us.
Symptoms are signals that something is off balance and needs correction. When we suppress the symptoms, the underlying problem remains. We may find ourselves using oils in the same way, applying them in an effort to suppress a symptom.
For example, Peppermint or a blend like Panaway can be very soothing for a sore spot. DiGize can feel like a life saver when your tummy is giving you fits. But if we keep having an issue over and over, we need to figure out the cause in order to get lasting relief.
Perhaps that belly ache is because you don’t have enough probiotics and digestive enzymes in your gut. Incorporating fermented and anti-inflammatory foods, a probiotic supplement, and enzymes may be more effective than applying oils when your belly is already churning. 😉 (If that sounds like you, pin this article for later.)
Another example would be a person who can’t wind down before bed. They may try some Lavender oil on their pillow, and when they still are staring at the ceiling they assume Lavender doesn’t work. In reality, their circadian rhythms are messed up from being inside all day or staring at a blue screen before bed, and they are low on magnesium. Lavender is wonderful, but they need to address their other issues before they can feel the benefits.
Be willing to experiment…
On the other hand, sometimes we haven’t yet found the right essential oil for our body. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Say one person doesn’t sleep well because her mind won’t shut off. A blend like Surrender could help her let go of all the things she can’t control. Another person has issues with feeling safe at night. White Angelica in the diffuser may be just what they need to impart a feeling of protection, therefore enabling them to relax and sleep.
There are so many variables in every situation. Get curious about what the underlying issues are for you. When you address the root of the problem, your body will thank you.
Reason Why Essential Oils Don’t Work #3:
You Can’t Oil Your Way Out of an Unhealthy Lifestyle 🤐
No, you don’t have to be a health nut to benefit from essential oils. But a few clicks around the Environmental Working Group website says it all: we’ve got glyphosate in our food, radioactive tap water, endocrine disruptors in our personal care products… We live in a toxic soup of chemicals. 😨
Yes, there is only so much we can do. However we really must do what we can if we are going to maintain a level of good health.
Because oils are easy to use and effective, they are a wonderful gateway to healthier living. But we can’t continue to fill our homes and bodies with toxins and expect a few drops of magical oil to undo all the damage. 😉 The good news is, essential oils can help us get the toxins out of our homes. We’ll get to that in a second.
Many of the worst offenders to the body come in the form of “fragrance” which can mean any concoction of synthetic chemicals.
EWG says this: “Phthalates, used to make fragrances last longer, are associated with damage to the male reproductive system, and artificial musks accumulate in our bodies and can be found in breast milk. Some artificial musks are even linked to cancer.”
Would you agree that it is counter productive to use a drop of pure plant oil for good health and then slather your body with harmful synthetics? (Not so fun fact: the average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every day.) 😳
So we have a couple of options: making our own clean products with essential oils, or buying from a trusted source. DIY is not my thing, but I love Young Living’s pure and effective products, and since I get my oils from there too, it works out! 😄
Don’t get overwhelmed! Just start with these three action steps:
- Chuck the synthetic perfume (yes, even the expensive ones are harmful) and use essential oils instead.
- Get rid of the toxic cleaners in your home. Thieves Household Cleaner is the best thing I’ve found. It’s economical, smells amazing, and works wonderfully for just about everything.
- Get curious about what you are putting into your shopping cart. Download the Think Dirty app and start checking the products you usually buy for endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic ingredients.
Wellness is a multi-faceted thing, but not poisoning yourself is an important first step in the right direction. 😉 Use your oils and baby step your way to a healthier lifestyle.
Reason Why Essential Oils Don’t Work #4:
Your Oils are 💩
Sorry about the poop, I couldn’t resist.🤣 You can get “oils” pretty much anywhere nowadays, but not all are created equally. Unfortunately, the essential oil market is full of synthetic and adulterated oils.
- Manufacturers often add propylene glycol, alcohol, or acetate to stretch the product.
- Plants may have been treated with pesticides and distilled with chemical solvents.
- Synthetic fragrance may have been added to make it smell more pleasing to the consumer.
The resulting “oils” are anything but beneficial to the body. Using them takes you right back to Reason #3. 🤢
Say you have oils labeled as “Pure” or “Therapeutic Grade”, are you safe? Not so much. Those terms aren’t regulated in any way and there are no certification standards for them. It’s simply marketing. Any oil broker can slap them on a pretty label.😬
Even if you have an oil that is pure and organic, it may not contain the constituents to be truly therapeutic.
As we discussed, therapeutic doesn’t mean anything on labels, but in practice it means that the oil does something besides just smell good.
Cypress essential oil is a great example. True therapeutic cypress oil takes 24 hours to distill and contains 280 known chemical constituents. If it was distilled for 20 hours, only 20 of those constituents would be present. If it was distilled for 26 hours, zero constituents would be present! Either way it would probably smell fine, and it wouldn’t have anything bad in it. But it wouldn’t benefit your body very much, so besides getting a nice tree smell it would be a waste. BTW, the industry average for cypress is only 3.5 hours of distillation time.😐
As I mentioned, I use Young Living essential oils. No, they aren’t the only place in the world to get quality essential oils. But with YL I know I am getting the best of the best, and that’s what I want for my family. I also love the rest of their product line and the work they do with the Young Living Foundation. It’s a no brainer for me. I trust you are capable and will do your own due diligence with whatever you choose for your family. 🙂
I hope this post helped you figure out why oils might not have worked for you in the past, and how you can get the results you want from here on out.
If you love oils, you might like to read my series on oils and emotions next!
To learn more about Young Living Essential Oils go here.