Common essential oil mistakes

Essential oils can be an extremely useful and effective way to support your body. In their very nature, essential oils are extremely pure products. The purer an essential oil is, the more refined it is, which means it begins to act more like a chemical.

While many people are eager to give essential oils a try, the common problem we see is most people don’t know how to use them properly. Here are two of the most common mistakes we see with essential oils.

1. Essential oil overdose: Using too much, too often

If you’re a regular user of essential oils, there's a good chance you're also someone who prefers to put very little medication in your body. You understand that when you put a medication in your body, the medication needs to be detoxified through your liver or kidney systems. This detox process takes time and can be hard work for your liver and kidneys, many times causing toxicity side effects.

The same is true for essential oils. In no way do essential oils have the same side effects, but just like a medication, each person’s constitution is different and will respond differently to essential oils and the amount you use. To avoid overusing essential oils, we encourage Hope Clinic patients to approach essential oils thoughtfully and sparingly.

2. Unbalanced use of essential oils

Some essential oils are heating to the body and some are cooling. For example, during the winter, a person should use less peppermint essential oils (or other mint oils). Because mint oils are very cooling, they can do an excellent job to calm down the digestive system, but if overused during the winter, it can really mess up your digestion long term.

On the other hand, if a person uses something like clove or cinnamon oil, these are both warming. If you are someone who already has a warm constitution or has too much internal heat, using too many warming essential oils could cause hormonal, headache, blood pressure, or heart problems. Women, or even men, can develop hot flashes from using too many warming oils. These warming essential oils need time to properly clear through the liver. Unwanted symptoms from warming oils can especially pop up during the summer months.

The goal with essential oils is to use them in a balanced way by appropriately using cooling and warming oils together.

Does Hope Clinic sell essential oils? 

We do have a couple of essential oils for sale at the clinic, but not too many. The main reason is because a product that's that pure and refined—like an essential oil or a medication—can cause homeopathic remedies to be less effective. Unfortunately, many people and practitioners aren’t aware that essential oils can affect a homeopathic remedy in that way.

How to wisely use your essential oils

Over the years, we’ve seen a few cases of essential oil toxicity at the clinic. This simply means the person’s liver couldn’t detox fast enough to keep up with the amount of essential oils they were exposed to in a given time frame. Since essential oils haven’t been around for thousands or even hundreds of years, there isn’t a ton of reliable research about them. If you’d like to use essential oils to support your body, we highly recommend you seek the advice of a health care professional with a background in both functional medicine and Chinese medicine.

If you are actively using essential oils, we encourage you to let Dr. Brad know during your next visit. Bring in all of the essential oils you are currently using. Dr. Brad can test them to get an idea on how well they are clearing through your liver.