It seems her family member is part of the marketing group of Young Living Oils and treated her dog with a mix of essential oils in a neutral pharmaceutical base cream. I flatly told her that dogs should not be indiscriminitely treated with essential oils. Their sense of smell is a hundred times more potent than ours and while essential oils are powerful medicines, the use of them for pets or children (who pound for pound breathe in a much higher concentration of the oils than adults do) should be strictly limited unless under the care of a registered or experienced aromatherapist and that does not include the propoganda sellers of multilevel marketing companies. There are some dangerous practices going on out there, sanctioned by those who have no clue what they are doing. One of them is using the essential oils as a supplement taken internally for health. Another is using the essential oils on the bare skin neat, not diluted at all.
Then there are those who think they know. The all natural soap makers are one of those groups. They indiscrimitely use essential oils as fragrances. There are quite a few different methods of making soap, but the two most popular are cold process and hot process. In cold process soap, the essential oils are added once the lye and oils have combined to make an emulsion and in hot process, they are added after cooking the soap, rendering the lye used at that time. The problem with cold process and essential oils is that large quantities must be added in order to keep the scent in the soap and with hot process, there is evaporation of some of the volatile compounds in the oils. Both require more essential oils, but even so, over time, some of the delicate oils will lose their scents. The soap makers themselves can experience nose fatigue, or the inability to smell the essential oils from over exposure. And dwelling in a home where there are too many essential oils evaporating from soap is also unhealthy and can cause health issues, from severe headaches, breathing problems, anxiety, and much more.
And there is another more major issue. Combining essential oils because they smell nice together is not always the solution to creating fragrances. There are synergies in the combinations, some which should not be used together. That practice demonstrates a lack of knowledge of what essential oils do and what their purpose actually is. Although generally not a dangerous thing to do, it is expensive and does not serve the plants well. Wild harvested plants are going to suffer the same problems as palm trees and are already in danger of over harvesting in many area. Sandalwood and frankincense are two examples of this.
The practice of using essential oils at random to scent houses and other dwellings should be banned, especially in public places where children are. It irks me to no end when I read that the diffuser is running all day and half the night to make the house smell nice. Only a little research will clearly demonstrate that it is never recommended to randomly diffuse essential oils continuously or indiscriminitely mix them or expose sensitive individuals, pets or children to the oils. Some should never be used around children or pets, yet those diffusers are on and blasting out the strong scent all day long.
The problems are only just beginning with the awareness of essential oils moving further into areas where they were previously unknown. I urge those who are curious and unschooled to learn all they can before delving into the use of these precious plant gifts. In my apothecary there are many many essential oils, yet I rarely diffuse them, except for explicit purposes and do not randomly use them to scent soap or lotions. I have a respect for the plants taken to create the oils and care about the species welfare. These commodities are gifts from nature, not to be carelessly employed at whim. It is only going to get worse too, as the promotion of naturally scented products seems to be a growing sector, yet the creators of such do not have the knowlege or skills to be using essential oils properly. How sad for all of us and especially for the plants that may go the way of the palm tree. Please, please do educate yourself if you plan to use essential oils. To everything there is a purpose under Heaven and these presents are not to be squandered randomly. Be wise. Be intelligent and protect yourself, your children, your pets, the elderly, those with compromised systems and above all, the plants and trees that offer their substance for our healing. Thank you.