Who Can We Trust?
Essential oils are more popular than ever before. With a global market value of over $6 billion, it’s not surprising that so many businesses are keen to cash in on the oily hype.
Thanks to the internet, a mind-boggling amount of information is accessible at the click of a mouse. Obviously, this brings many advantages. The downside is that we’re overwhelmed by conflicting sources of information.
When it comes to essential oils, common sense appears to have been outweighed by craziness. Every day I witness inappropriate or misguided aromatherapy “advice” posted all over blogs, forums and social media. Misinformation is everywhere.
We’re experiencing a growing “us vs. them” divide between MLM and non-MLM users of essential oils. Almost every conversation on social media ends up in a bitter debate over which brand is superior.
Who can we trust?
Since starting this blog, I’ve received so many emails and messages from beginners who feel confused and overwhelmed by contradictory advice. The big question is – who can we trust?
Everybody just wants to know the “truth” – what is the real answer, the proper answer, the definitive answer to end the argument once and for all?
Often, there is no simple answer. As Leslie Moldenauer eloquently explained, aromatherapy is not always black and white. When it comes to essential oils, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. There are so many factors to take into account – the safety of any oil blend will depend on the individual person: their age, medical history, current medications and lifestyle. What’s “safe” for one person isn’t necessarily “safe” for another.
So, who CAN we trust when it comes to essential oils? I thought it would be helpful to put together some resources from credible and trustworthy experts in the aromatherapy world. (Please note: None of the following links are sponsored, they are based on my own opinions and experience)
Using essential oils doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re a beginner and feel confused, here are some worthwhile starting points:
- Robert Tisserand is your go-to guy for aromatherapy safety advice. His book, Essential Oil Safety, is widely considered to be the “bible” of aromatherapy. With over 30 years of experience, Tisserand is highly respected in the aromatherapy industry. I would definitely recommend following his Facebook page for up-to-date advice about essential oils.
- Essential Oil University is an interesting Facebook page by Dr. Robert Pappas, who runs an independent analytical testing laboratory for essential oils. As an experienced chemist, he enjoys dispelling aromatherapy myths. If you want to learn more about the chemistry of essential oils, check out his free course on YouTube.
- AromaWeb is a great resource – click here for a list of useful articles and free guides
- For trustworthy advice about aromatherapy education, look up the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) in the UK or the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) in the USA.
- The Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy is a training school founded by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, a pillar of the aromatherapy industry. It offers a range of courses, workshops and resources related to aromatherapy education.
- The Aromahead Institute, founded by Andrea Butje, offers a good range of accredited courses and educational webinars.
- There’s a new movie due out this year called Uncommon Scents, which is all about the essential oil industry. It sounds fascinating, and I’m looking forward to watching the finished film. The producers have gathered a stellar cast of experts to participate in the movie, which reads like a “Who’s Who” of influencers in the aromatherapy industry. You might find this list to be a useful starting point for your own research.
It’s difficult to recommend specific books, as there are so many great ones. However, beginners will find the following useful:
The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness by Nerys Purchon & Lora Cantele
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
- The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
- Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young (for more advanced information)
For other reading ideas, there are some great books on these recommended reading lists:
What is the best Essential oil brand?
I am asked this question ALL the time! Choosing a good essential oil brand can be a minefield. I’ve compiled all my advice into this downloadable guide: How to Choose an Essential Oil Brand
Who should we not trust?
- Online “doctors” who are not actually medical doctors (read more about this here)
- “Wellness advocates” (OK, not all of them. But some of them really let the side down, folks)
- Essential oil tips on Pinterest should be taken with a large pinch of salt (or make that a bucket!)
- Spurious blog articles (read more about this here)
As always, I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments below!
What to read next: Why You Can’t Trust All Blogs
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