I love buying pretty roller bottles and I love the mixing – not so much the simple math behind it though. I love toying with diffusers and carrier oils and I dream of making my own soaps and hair products using some of these oils one day. But do essential oils really, honest to goodness, work?
A simple, unqualified “yes” would create unrealistic expectations of what oils can and cannot do. A simple, unqualified “no” would not be accurate or fair either, based on experience. (This is what you get when you ask a lawyer!) How about both yes and no?
There is no Holy Grail of oils that will magically cure all the world’s problems
I tried oils mainly because I wanted to find a cure for my husband’s chronic shoulder and back pain, and a magical blend or blend(s) that I imagined will get my super active Bear whose energy out-energizes the Energizer Bunny, to calm down when she’s mad and to sleep when she can’t or won’t. Of these goals, I think I was able to find something for my husband. As for the Bear, I’ve come to accept that no oil will ever have that effect on her!
As for myself, I just want an oil that will make me perky in the mornings when I still want to go back to bed and snooze, and hopefully one that will help me not forget things. (I misplaced the memory blend I made for myself and didn’t know where it was for weeks!) So far I have not found one that absolutely works 100% of the time yet.
… this is because essential oils may not always have the same effect on people
Lavender is widely regarded as the ‘swiss knife’ of EOs, an extremely versatile oil, and a key ingredient for sleep and relaxation blends. However, for some reason, I am incredibly sensitive to the smell of lavender EO – in a bad way. Too much exposure to the scent gives me really bad headache – and one time, the smell even ‘reactivated’ a dormant toothache. I am the only person that I know who literally cannot stand lavender – at least not too much. Meanwhile, my mom caught a whiff of it from one of my roller blends and she said the smell was relaxing. Since then, she’s tried oiling, too, and she’s been happily using lavender in her diffuser for a good night’s sleep. Most people I know swear by lavender for a whole bunch of things – from insect bites to sleepless nights.
Based on my experience so far, some oils have immediate effects while others don’t seem to make an impact. Does this mean they don’t work? Not necessarily. Some take time to work, others just take easily. Some just don’t jive like me with lavender solo. Experienced oiler gurus have reminded us newbies that consistency (in applying the oils) is key for the oils to work over time. It’s also important to remember that oils are not like medicine which are developed and formulated to address specific ailments or concerns; oils have a broad range of potential uses and effects.
… However I’ve seen *some* oils actually work
By work , I mean I’ve seen some of the oils have a positive effect on myself and others – whether it’s to address a skin problem, or change one’s mood.