This is part 2 of our 7 essential oils myths series. If you missed part 1 you can find it here.
Myth # 4 - Essential oils and whole herbs can be used interchangeably.
Even though essential oils are concentrated version of a whole herb they do not carry all of the same components as the whole herb. Only the volatile components of the plant with a low molecular weight are present in the essential oil.
There is no substitute for the whole plant, if you want the components present in the whole herb you must use the whole herb. You can not use herbal profiles and essential oil profiles interchangeably.
Myth # 5 - Essential oil grades.
There is no regulations on grading essential oils. When a company markets their oils as therapeutic grade, or 100% pure it is just that - marketing. A company boasting a trade marked certification as a the highest standard holds little standing when it is impossible for any other company to achieve that "standard".
Essential oils can be adulterated so it's important to buy from a reputable source. Certified organic oils or companies that provide GC/MS reports are a good place to start as it indicates transparency.
Myth # 6 - Oils should be applied to the bottom of the feet for maximum absorption.
Our feet have the thicker skin making penetration less likely if that is your goal. Maximum absorption occurs when oils are applied to places where our skin is the thinnest, such as the insides of the arms and thighs, or directly to the area of concern. There has been many studies conducted on the effectiveness of absorption for the purpose of dermal medications. These studies show maximum absorption occurring on the arms and thighs.
Myth # 7 - Essential oils will last indefinitely.
Although many essential oils have a long shelf life it varies depending on the plant. Citrus and pine oils tend to oxidize faster than other oils.
Always store your essential oils in a dark glass container away from direct sunlight, and in a cool area to avoid oxidization and maintain a longer shelf life. This is a good practice for any products containing essential oils as well.
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