This post is going to be a bit different than what we usually talk about here on the Aroma Outfitters blog. I promise, we’ll get back to the awesome diffuser blends and personal care recipes soon. We think this is an important conversation to have, even if it is a little bit deeper down the rabbit hole than we usually go…
If you’ve been into essential oils for any length of time, you’ve probably come across your fair share of detractors. “Well sure,” they might say, “essential oils smell nice but they don’t have any actual health benefits.”
Well, they do. Tea tree oil is an effective acne procedure, lavender essential oil can indeed reduce the symptoms of feeling anxious or feelings of sadness, and a variety of oils act as powerful antibacterials. And this is all really just the tip of the iceberg.
My favorite among the skeptics are the aggressive ones. You’ll hear things like “that’s all nonsense!” said so unnecessarily angrily that you feel like blasting them in the face with a soothing jet of lavender from your diffuser. But before you can they continue to say “people should go to real doctors and stop buying ‘snake oil’ from scammers!”
This is what you call a straw man argument, usually brought about by people who are so fully, completely bought-in to the infallibility of modern western medicine that the thought of anything but a pharmaceutical concoction offered up through a
high priest doctor simply must be nonsense. Those folks from the past thousand years were all savages living in the dark ages and the poor things just didn’t know any better—thank goodness we have products like Wellbutrin now.
Through this site and in my personal life I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of people who use essential oils to great success. Most of them have been rational, well-rounded people.
For example, let’s say I were to fall down a flight of stairs and break both of my legs. There is absolutely zero chance of a scenario where I would sprinkle a little rosemary on my horrendously mangled bones and then jump up, whistle a tune, and go about my business. I would obviously go to a doctor. And so would every essential oil user I know.
The extreme examples offered up by detractors and skeptics who try to make it seem as though aromatherapists or casual essential oil users have “completely foregone the innovations of modern medical science” is… well, it’s flat out stupid, because nobody acts like that.
The more conspiratorial among us might even be inclined to say that this knee-jerk reaction from holier-than-thou skeptics is exactly what “Big Pharma” wants the general population to act like when confronted with so-called alternative medicine. I mean hey, it’s not like pharmaceutical companies spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars lobbying Washington last year and billions more on advertising—the cost of which far exceeds the amount spent on R&D.
But back to how real people use essential oils. Here’s a more realistic scenario than the one where I break my legs: I’ve had a long day taking care of my family and, thanks to the rigors of modern life, I’m feeling a little down. I fire up my diffuser and sip a cup of tea while reading a great book, probably with Fabio on the cover, and 45 minutes I feel better (no Paxil necessary!).
…Or I decide I don’t want to spray myself and my kids down with chemicals to keep the bugs away and I use an all-natural essential oil anti-insect spray I made for pennies on the dollar.
…Or I just like having nice hair, once again, without the chemicals.
For those who missed the point of my little missive here, it’s this: essential oils aren’t a cure-all panacea, but neither are many of the practices in modern medicine. Where money gets involved, so does corruption, greed, and fraudulence… and that applies to modern medicine as much as it does to the essential oil industry, as anyone who has purchased impure, cheap oils can tell you. The real stuff? It’s great.
I would implore the skeptics out there to “slow their roll” a bit. Not all essential oil users are idiots getting scammed—we’re just open-minded people with the resolve to think independently and find out for ourselves if something works or not.
For my family and I, essential oils work. I feel blessed to have discovered them, and running Aroma Outfitters has been one of the great privileges of my life.
Skeptics: do a little independent research and come to your own conclusions. Trust yourself and your own experiences and make your decisions that way.
Don’t worry, I’ll be here to accept your apology when you find out that essential oils can indeed improve your well-being. I’ll even let you buy one of my awesome wooden storage boxes, because something tells me you’re going to need it for your new collection.