Why I Don’t use Essential Oils (Yet)

Why I don't use essential oils

I don’t use essential oils for the same reasons I didn’t watch Twilight.

“What?” I hear you say. “But essential oils are wonderful and fragrant and good for you. Twilight is sparkly vampires and bad actresses and exploitation of teenage sexual insecurities.”

That is true. But as I’ve started to search out, read, and follow more natural-living or homestead blogs, I’m realizing that loads of them write about or sell essential oils. Not only that, but over the last year they’ve started popping up all over my Facebook as consultants sell pricey diffusers and the hashtag #oilymom has become a thing.

Why I don't use essential oils

“But, Kris, essential oils have been around for thousands of years! Don’t you know that the ancient Egyptians used them? And the ancient Chinese? And the ancient Greeks? Something that ancient can’t be a passing trend.”

I actually agree that this renewed focus on natural living is pretty cool, but when something skyrockets in popularity it’s my natural reaction to take a step back. There is nothing new under the sun, so it’s not very likely that one person/one company/one product will suddenly come along and make broad and promising claims that it can live up to. Also, when there is a bandwagon that everyone is jumping onto I don’t think that the related education level is generally that strong. I suspect that the majority of casual essential oil users don’t really know the proper protocol to maximize and benefit from their investments—perhaps at the risk of their well being in some cases (I do also suspect that many dedicated and knowledgeable practitioners would probably agree with me on this point). Were I to introduce something with the potential of essential oils to my home I would want to take the time to research and to understand proper use and results.

Plus, it’s worth noting that essential oils do not come cheap. A quick internet search tells me that 15ml of Balsam Fir essential oil from a popular company retails for $103.29. Now, that is an awful lot of money for an awful small amount of product. That is, admittedly, on the higher end. Still, at $27.30 for grapefruit essential oil, a few small bottles would quickly add up to a lot of expense. I have been told that essential oil goes a long way. However, if I’m going to invest several hundred dollars into anything I want to make sure that it’s something that will improve my life significantly.

However, when it comes to the ability of essential oils to improve, well, anything, the verdict is still out. Scientific research is scant and inconclusive, at best. Certainly smell is a complex sense and we cannot pretend to understand all the workings of the brain. Still, anecdotal evidence is of rather limited value when it comes to the physical benefits of a product.

All that said, I don’t dislike essential oils. They do smell nice, and there is certainly benefit in that. I don’t foresee needing a diffuser any time soon, but perhaps one day, when the trend has passed, I will find that essential oils are a fantastic way to scent my homemade cleaning and hygiene products.

After all, I watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2014. It had stood the test of time—and it was well worth my while.


Featured photo credit: Vanilla and lace via Visual hunt / CC BY
Photo credit: Vanilla and lace via Visual Hunt / CC BY

2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t use Essential Oils (Yet)

  1. I agree – although I have used them few times in the past – I take a step back too when things start to fly like this. And like any remedy, drug or medicine (natural or no) you need to think and be a little cautious. ‘Natural’ does not always mean completely without side effects etc… I appreciate your post.

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