Essential oils have surged in popularity in recent years, with many people touting their numerous benefits. These concentrated plant extracts are commonly used for aromatherapy, skincare, and even as home remedies for various ailments. However, I've made a conscious decision to refrain from using essential oils in my products (except for the grounding mist - more on this coming) and at home. In fact, I made this choice once I had my son without even realising. I had stopped using the oils intuitively and eventually once I had realised, I looked into some of the potential issues essential oils posed in terms of both sustaibability and health.
Resource Intensive Production: The process of extracting essential oils often requires vast quantities of plant material. This places significant stress on ecosystems and agricultural resources. Large-scale farming and overharvesting can lead to deforestation, habitat destruction, and a loss of biodiversity.
Energy and Water Consumption: The production of essential oils typically involves energy-intensive processes, including distillation and cold pressing. Additionally, water is used in abundance for cultivation and extraction. These practices can contribute to environmental degradation and strain already scarce resources.
Monoculture Farming: Many essential oil crops are grown in monoculture systems, which lack the diversity necessary for healthy ecosystems. This makes them more susceptible to pests and diseases, often requiring excessive pesticide use.
Excessive Packaging: Essential oils are often sold in small, single-use glass or plastic bottles, which contribute to plastic waste. The environmental impact of this packaging can be substantial.
Health Effects: Gut Biome and Hormones
Gut Biome Disruption: Essential oils are potent and can negatively impact the delicate balance of the gut biome. A balanced gut biome is essential for overall health, including digestion, immune function, and even mental well-being. Disrupting this balance with concentrated compounds can lead to digestive issues and other health problems.
Hormone Disruption: Some essential oils, particularly lavender and tea tree oil, have been associated with hormone disruption. These oils contain compounds that mimic estrogen, leading to concerns about endocrine disruption. Prolonged use may affect hormone balance, particularly in women and those with hormone-sensitive conditions.
Skin Sensitization: Essential oils can cause skin sensitization and irritation when applied topically. This can lead to dermatological problems, including rashes and allergic reactions.
Respiratory Concerns: Inhalation of essential oils can be harmful, especially in those with respiratory conditions. Some oils can trigger asthma or exacerbate pre-existing respiratory issues.
And while on the health topic - please, if you are choosing to use essential oils in your life, just do not put them in, on, or around your yoni! This area is so, incredibly delicate and has a very intricate microbiome that should not be disrupted.
While I've *mostly* chosen to avoid essential oils in my daily life, I understand that we are all on our own journey. However, it's important to do so responsibly. If you decide to use essential oils, consider the following:
Sustainable Sourcing: Choose products from companies that prioritize sustainable sourcing, ethical practices, and environmentally friendly packaging.
Dilution: Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin. This reduces the risk of skin sensitization and irritation.
Consultation: If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns about hormone disruption, consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils.
Limited Use: Avoid excessive use and long-term exposure to essential oils. Rotate the types of oils you use to minimize potential adverse effects.
*So, on the *mostly* and grounding mist situation - after being apart of an MLM for so many years, I have come to accumulate a vast range of EO's that I can't simply throw away. So I am choosing to use them with utmost intention - I use the grounding mist in my sessions, and I do sell them of course as I believe it can be used sparingly. Use your intuition, always.