Essential oils in a Biblical Home; the benefits and dangers thereof:
"On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh." - Matthew 2:11
I am an aromatherapist and massage therapist with over a decade of experience in the field and a background in nursing. I am also a Christian Biblical Counselor and a Proverbs 31 woman who takes great pride in my duties as a wife and mother, I am a strong believer in using natural remedies including essential oils in the home over chemical pharmaceuticals any time it is effective and practical to do so. I believe that every wife and mother who cares about the health and welfare of their family has the duty and responsibility to do the same whenever possible and practical.
Essential oils are a gift from God. He, as the Bible states, gave us plants for healing. Essential oils are simply the oils of the plant which have been carefully extracted in a highly concentrated form. These oils carry the plant’s constituents, which contain the healing properties. These gifts have been the foundation of medicinal treatment for thousands of years, but have fallen by the wayside in the era of modern of medicine. The obvious question here is whether modern technology is superior to the gifts granted to us by God. In my humble opinion, the answer is an astounding “No”.
In the middle of it’s street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding it’s fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:2
Many people mistakenly believe that the plant-based constituents are ineffective when compared to modern pharmaceuticals; however, in many cases they are much more powerful. Cocaine, Codeine, Ephedrine, Morphine, and many other powerful drugs are direct extracts from plants (though these plants in particular as well as their essential oils are illegal to possess in America).
The two biggest problems with safely bringing essential oils into your home are a reflection of this modern, profit driven world are:
- Unethical companies teaching unsafe and even blasphemous usage of essential oils: Many essential oil companies, including the two largest in the United States are now teaching physically unsafe methods of usage such as unsafe and illegal instruction for internal (oral) use, as well as venturing into spiritual or ritualistic anti-Christian, borderline Pagan usage methods. One of the largest essential oils companies in the USA is owned by a Pagan ritualist who falsely claims to be Christian and a doctor, though he is neither. Many people follows his teachings practicing Pagan rituals without ever realizing what they're doing.
For more information, run a Google search for "new age occult essential oils".
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. - 2 Peter 2:1
- Most essential oil companies do not sell pure, plant based essential oils (though their advertising and labeling falsely claim that they do). According to FDA guidelines, a product need only contain 5% actual plant based essential oil to advertise as “100% pure”; however, in many cases, even that guideline is not followed. Many “100% pure therapeutic grade essential” oils from some of the largest and most popular companies in the USA have been tested and proven to be 100% synthetic compounds (fragrance oils), which smell exactly like the essential oil it was designed to emulate. These “oils” will not only be completely ineffective, but the synthetic chemicals within these oils can be very dangerous.
Why you should use Essential Oils:
There is no question that God provided us with everything we need in order to sustain and heal ourselves both physically and mentally:
Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine. Ezekiel 47:12
While essential oils and other natural remedies cannot replace your entire medicine cabinet, they can replace many or even most of the over-the-counter medications in your home and decrease your reliance upon prescription drugs.
Properly used, essential oils have been proven to be highly effective in treating a vast variety of medicinal needs with little to no negative effects on the body. While the list of potential and effective uses is far too long to include in this article, the most common uses are: mood enhancement, coughs or colds, allergies, congestion, sore muscles, arthritis, fatigue, stress, skin regeneration (scarring, acne, etc.), and even healing wounds. Perhaps the most famous of essential oil blends, Thieves oil, was made famous during the Bubonic Plague. According to legend, a group of thieves were caught after entering and stealing from the infected homes of those who had died. Upon capture, they were asked how they had managed to do this without becoming ill themselves. They explained that they used a blend of plant based oils (essential oils) which protected them. Thieves oil blends remain popular today and are attributed with boosting the immune system, which gives credibility to the legend.
Essential oils are also very effective with mood and mental ailments and have successfully alleviated the need for medications designed to treat ADHD, depression, and other psychological diagnoses in countless households across the world.
There are countless articles and books explaining the medicinal uses of essential oils; therefore, I will not be going into further detail.
Modern essential oils are much more potent than the raw plant or their extracts in ancient times. While many extraction methods used today date back countless centuries, modern technology gives us the ability to extract oils in a purer, more potent form than ever.
Dangers of Modern Pharmaceuticals:
Modern medications are more effective than these ancient remedies, aren’t they? In some cases, yes they are: In many others, they are not…
The pharmaceutical industry as a whole, when compared to the history of medicinal healing, is in its infancy and the dangers of using these synthetic drugs are being discovered on a consistent basis. Just listen to a radio or television advertisement for a drug: Even a simple heartburn medication advises of major side effects such as dizziness, confusion, uneven heartbeat, bloody stool, choking, and seizures. Some medications prescribed in children for minor personality disorders or behavioral problems have side effects as serious as depression, suicidal thoughts, psychosis, and even death. While these risks may be acceptable in a medication that treats a life-threatening illness, side effects like these are common in medications used to treat minor issues. Many sources also state that the use of certain pharmaceuticals may be a leading cause of several types of cancer. These medications are often given to patients, including children, without the patient of their parents being advised of the risks.
How many lawsuits are currently pending in the US alone against pharmaceutical companies for unlisted side effects ranging from rashes, to birth defects, and even death? In the last 10 years alone, tens of billions of dollars have been awarded in lawsuits against major pharmaceutical companies citing: fraud, kickbacks, poor manufacturing practices, failure to disclose safety data, making false and misleading statements concerning safety, etc.
Why, as a health conscious family caregiver, would you ever give such a medication to anyone? In nearly every case, the side effects of the drugs given could be much more severe than the underlying reason for using them. Essential oils, in many cases, are a much safer alternative to synthetic pharmaceuticals and can be just as effective without the risk of such side effects. Which creator do you trust more: The chemist in a pharmaceutical lab, or God?
On the flip side of this argument, it would be foolish to rely on solely upon essential oils or other natural remedies in the event of a severe, life threatening illness. Not only does the pharmaceutical industry have the ability to extract a single constituent from a plant (or recreate it synthetically in a lab) making a more potent remedy, the most powerful antibiotics available are not plant based; therefore, there is no oil which can compare with their potency. While we believe in prayer and naturopathic medicines, we never recommend ignoring the advice of a physician or seeking professional medical attention when needed.
The Dangers of Essential Oils:
The most dangerous of any practice is one which may cause a disconnect from God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
Two of the largest essential oil companies in the US are now using advertising terms such as “visualizing,” “centering,” “spiritual connection,” “deeper spiritual awareness,” “energy alignment,” “mystical self,” are being used to push oil blends designed to “rejuvenate and heal the spirit”. In a Christian home, these oils represent blasphemy, as only the Holy Spirit dwelling within us has the power to “rejuvenate and heal the spirit”. Pagan terms such as "opening the third eye", and "laws of attraction" are given as abilities of their oils.These companies should be avoided at all costs by any Christian.
With blends with titles like “Believe”, they claim these oil blends can: “encourage feelings of strength and Faith”, “restore your faith”, “attract prosperity”, “encourage feelings of self-worth”, “enhance rational decision making abilities”, “discover the liberating act of forgiving”, “stay on a path to fulfillment”, “enhance moments of devotion and reverence”, provide a “greater sense of spiritual awareness and connectedness”, “supports the ability to forgive”,
While many essential oils can affect your mood, no object on this planet has the power to change your spirit! The mood changing abilities of certain oils are simply the physiological effect of the oils constituents releasing certain hormones and natural chemicals in your body. Your faith, forgiveness, and spiritual health can only be affected by the Holy Spirit dwelling within you.
Most essential oil companies are not Christian-based, and a few even falsely advertise as such. Practices such as those listed above being advertised by many of these companies are sinful in nature; therefore, are sinful to follow. I cannot in good conscience recommend that any Christian support companies such as this or allow their products in their home.
Synthetic or Diluted oils:
Not some, but MOST “essential oil” companies sell impure, synthetic, or diluted essential oils. Unfortunately, there are virtually no legal guidelines in the US on how essential oils can be advertised or sold. There is no magic term to let you know that you are buying a product of any particular quality or purity. Most products on the market using the terms “100% pure”, “therapeutic grade”, “food grade”, or countless other terms are either synthetic fragrance oils which carry no therapeutic benefits, or are highly diluted which dramatically lowers the benefits.
The synthetic components in these oils completely negate the purpose of using essential oils. Using such oils will yield absolutely no benefits and can introduce unknown and potentially dangerous chemicals into your body and home.
As a professional Aromatherapy business, we purchased and tested oils from literally every company we could find on the market at the time. Out of over 40 companies tested, we found only 5 which were selling only real, pure oils. Of these 5, one sold extremely low quality oils (likely caused by using sub-par crops and/or improper extraction methods), three companies sold mid-quality oils (decedent crops with proper extraction methods), and only one sold top quality essential oils (yet they were almost completely cost prohibitive with prices of several hundred dollars per bottle on several oils).
But test everything; hold fast what is good. - 1 Thessalonians 5:21
We were shocked to discover not only that so many companies were selling fake oils, but more so that many of these companies were some of the most popular, well respected companies in America. “Therapeutic Grade” drug store brands sell dangerous, ineffective, fake oils. Many of their customers strongly believe in them, use their oils in dangerous ways, and likely suffer from dangerous side effects from these synthetic chemicals without ever considering that they are the cause.
We began doing deeper research and discover several facts of the essential oils world which everyone should know:
- The number of greedy, dishonest companies in the industry outnumbers the few honest and ethical ones by far.
2. It is completely legal to bottle and sell 5% essential oil with 95% carrier oils and synthetic chemicals designed to enhance fragrance and fake a GCMS test.
3. “Therapeutic Grade” is a completely meaningless advertising term (as are all other similar terms) created by, and trademarked by an essential oil company. There is no 3rd party testing for “therapeutic grade”. Most oils bearing this label are synthetic or diluted.
4. GCMS tests can be faked. ISO standards only focus on a few of the constituents of each oil. A trained chemist is capable of using synthetic chemical additives to an otherwise completely synthetic fragrance oil and yield “passing” results on a GCMS test.
Dangerous Usage Guidelines:
Most essential oil companies have only one main goal: To make as much money as possible. Obviously, in order to do so, they must sell as many bottles of essential oils as possible for the highest prices possible. In order to sell as many bottles as possible, they need their customers to use their oils in as many ways as possible.
The most common and most effective way to use most oils is diffusion. This uses only a few small drops of oil per day which makes a single, small bottle last for several months or even years. Obviously, most companies cannot get rich selling only one small bottle of oil each year to their best customers, so they create and advertise more and more potential uses and advertise any methods which will convince their customers to burn through those bottles as fast as possible:
- Internal (oral) use: Anything with the power to heal also has the power to harm. The internal use of essential oils can be extremely dangerous and can even lead to death. Some essential oils are as potent as prescription pharmaceuticals and should not be taken internally without knowing the proper dosage information and risks. Legally, only a licensed medical practitioner can advise internal use of essential oils to treat a medical condition. Several companies have been doing so illegally and are now involved in FDA violations and civil lawsuits from doing so.
2. Household Cleaning: Not a dangerous use by any means, but an expensive one. Some companies will suggest using more expensive oils such as Frankincense or Myrrh in cleaning solutions. While effective, there are many oils such as Lavender which are just as effective at much lower costs.
3. Neat “undiluted” skin application: It is never safe to apply most oils directly to the skin without first diluting it in carrier oil. Some oils are so potent that they can leave severe burns on the skin or lead to specific types of poisoning. There are a couple of exceptions such as lavender, which can be applied without dilution on occasion; however, this should never be a standard practice. Using even undiluted lavender on the skin on a consistent basis can lead to desensitization and cause adverse effects. Always follow recommended guidelines for diluting oils.
Essential oils are a necessity in every Christian home in order to alleviate the necessity for many of the extremely dangerous synthetic drugs on the market. Proper use can and will lead to a healthier, happier home.
The largest problems for essential oil users are where to buy the oils and how to use them properly. There are really only two options at this point; to educate yourself or to seek professional advice.
Start by choosing an essential oils supplier whom you can communicate with and is willing to provide advice when needed. Test the company by sending an email asking for information on their company and a direct question or two on their oils and proper usage. As an example: “Could you tell me which region of India your Sandalwood comes from and what methods are used for sustainability”, and “I was told to use lavender on ant bites. Should I dilute it first, and if so, what carrier oil do you suggest?” More information on specific brands below…
Next, join non-brand-specific websites and pages such as Aromahead Institute and Alliance of International Aromatherapists and buy a good book or two. You cannot rely on others to supply all of your information. Avoid any and all books produced by or in support of a single essential oil company. If they have photos or descriptions of a specific brand, do not buy it nor believe any of the information therein.
Our two favorite books on Essential Oils: For basic information: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless, and for advanced safety information: Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand.
Both problems can also be solved by seeking out a qualified professional aromatherapist and seeking their advice. Beware of any “aromatherapist” who sells essential oils from one specific brand. A practicing aromatherapist profits from their practice, not the sale of oils. If they’re selling for a multi-level-marketing brand, you can guarantee that they’re not a real aromatherapist and are trained improperly by that company. No reputable aromatherapist will sell or use oils from a multi-level-marketing company.
Jennifer Lanham - By Faith Essential Oils