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Janie Grace

Essential oils poll

Essential oils: Great or gimmick? (Or neither)  

166 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think about essential oils?

    • They're great! I use them and definitely benefit from them.
      24
    • I use them (however occasionally) but am not sure they really have a benefit.
      37
    • I tried them but didn't see any benefit so I no longer use them.
      18
    • I have never tried them and don't use them.
      51
    • They are from the devil.
      12
    • Other
      25


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What do you think? Use among my friends continues to rise. (I'm starting to feel like a weird minority for not having a diffuser!) I haven't done enough research to feel strongly; I just haven't gotten into this trend. Curious about opinions/use here. 

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We use a fly spray on our horses that is a mixture of several essential oils. It works well and doesn't contain harsh pesticides like most other fly sprays. Other than that, I don't use them at all.

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I voted other. I use them for certain things and benefit, but the first answer option sounded a bit too enthusiastic.

Lavender and oil blends for anxiety help me calm. Eucalyptus oil helps me breathe when I have a cold. Citrus oils energize me.

Aromatherapy definitely has a place among natural remedies.  It is just important to know its limitations. 

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I don't know anything about them either way.  I have some friends who use them, and at least one who sells them, but I just feel like I don't have the time/motivation to research anything about it right now.

 

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My own take isn't really represented above. I used a couple of them, but for household pest management. Ants really hate cinnamon oil. And I think a few of them in super controlled ways probably have benefits, but that the vast majority of ways they're used and touted are overblown to say the least. 

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I don’t have a diffuser, but have used them in roll on sticks for things like a chest cold.

I think they have limited value medicinally, similar to other natural remedies. I also would like them better if it wasn’t for the annoying YL reps in my area crowing about how EOs are the cure for all forms of illness.  My uncle is sixty and dying of small cell carcinoma.  I can’t believe how many people are suggesting Plexus and essential oils to my aunt and uncle.   This probably colors my view quite a bit.

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I have used some, but not recently - it was before they became so popular.

I think there may be some real uses, but most that I hear about now seem pretty made-up to me.

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I just like to have them to make my home smell nice and to repel insects. I like to use lavender on me for fragrance because I'm sensitive to artificial fragrances. I love the way lavender smells. I don't really use them to "cure" things, but I will say I was amazed when i used a bit of lavender on a pretty bad burn on my hand. The lavender took the heat completely out within ten minutes. So I just love to diffuse for fragrance, etc. Although there are many good reasons and purposes for using them, I do believe most of the claims about essential oils are mostly hype. 

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A friend whose kid has a chronic medical condition apparently wanted to track down what was beneficial and what wasn't. She ended up talking with all these doctors and her take was that there are studies that some things in these really controlled doses sort of had some minor benefits. But she said that some of the ones you get from these sellers aren't good enough to have any real benefit. I think it's the same thing for some vitamins and probiotics and things like that. Like, yes, there are legit studies that show these limited, small scale benefits... but then what you get at the drug store is often useless because there's no control. My friend said she can't even talk to other people about them because everyone is either super dismissive or they are using them for everything and sometimes in borderline dangerous ways - some of them can be poisonous in large amounts, even on the skin.

I really do swear by them for ants though. All y'all should get on board for that. Your whole kitchen will smell like cinnamon all summer. I've read that peppermint and cinnamon together deter mice though and I did not find that to be true AT ALL. I now have a very essential oiled chair that the mice still sometimes climb on. Argh.

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A few of them are definitely effective. But they are overused and their benefits are overstated. In my experience.

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I have one essential oil based product I use; it is supposed to be calming.  It smells nice but I don't feel it "works" as advertised.  We tried peppermint oil to keep mice out of certain places when we had an invasion but it did nothing.  Like, a cotton ball with the oil on it placed on a piece of furniture had mouse droppings right on or next to it. It was almost like the mouse was attracted to it!    So, I am skeptical.

Half of my household is really bothered by most scents so we don't buy much of that kind of thing.  My daughter uses a few things as part of skin care, I think. 

ETA: I would never diffuse it, and my husband and son can't stay long in a house where people do so regularly.  I get headaches if I am around them too long.  I find many people think natural scents are "safe" for people with allergies, but they are not necessarily.  

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I use them, but not daily.  I use plant therapy (not MLM), and the sniffle stopper truly works!  I’ve also had a lot of success with diffusing a blend that helps with croup...barely any coughing through the night when I diffused the oils...and on several occasions, not just a 1 time thing!  Seeing the benifits just from those two issues was enough for me to be sold on how helpful they can be!  I guess Doterra and YL are considered the best quality, but I can’t afford their stuff, so I’ve had to settle on PT for now!  

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I do like the smell of lavender and other certain oils very much. I always thought the use of lavender for migraines was kind of dumb. It was only in the last year that I smelled it for the first time. I was shocked at how much I loved that scent! I did put some on my wrists nightly for awhile and found that I was sleeping better after a month or so of this. I don't use it nightly anymore, but am still sleeping better. ? So perhaps it was a sugar pill of some kind, but hey, it's all good.

Also, I have been been having some gastro-type issues after a recent illness. In my research, I read that peppermint oil can be effective as an anti-spasmodic for some people. I just happened to have some on hand from my EO starter kit. Wow, there was an immediate difference! Glad to be a member of the "some people" group! So there is one EO that has a REAL benefit.

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23 minutes ago, Calm37 said:

Also, I have been been having some gastro-type issues after a recent illness. In my research, I read that peppermint oil can be effective as an anti-spasmodic for some people. I just happened to have some on hand from my EO starter kit. Wow, there was an immediate difference! Glad to be a member of the "some people" group! So there is one EO that has a REAL benefit.

Peppermint tea has long been a common home remedy for tummy aches. That was my grandmother's and mother's first thing to try if any of us had an upset stomach.

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Other

I think they're way over-hyped, but I do think there are a few legitimate uses. Certain scents are calming or invigorating. Mostly I use them to make my house smell nice and to make our RV unappealing to mice. And I have one of those bracelets where you can put a drop of EO on some of the stones. I use that in lieu of perfume.

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Most of them give me a headache but I have used peppermint oil for bugs, and I do find the scent of lavender (in lotions) relaxing.

Peppermint is good for stomach upsets, but I just suck on peppermint candy or drink peppermint tea.

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1 hour ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

 

 I also would like them better if it wasn’t for the annoying YL reps in my area crowing about how EOs are the cure for all forms of illness.  My uncle is sixty and dying of small cell carcinoma.  I can’t believe how many people are suggesting Plexus and essential oils to my aunt and uncle.   This probably colors my view quite a bit.

I get so angry when I her about this kind of thing. People in your uncle's situation are so desperate for any kind of help and these charlatans prey on them. ?

56 minutes ago, marbel said:

 

 

ETA: I would never diffuse it, and my husband and son can't stay long in a house where people do so regularly.  I get headaches if I am around them too long.  People think natural scents are "safe" for people with allergies, but they are not necessarily.  

It can also be dangerous for pets, especially cats, to inhale the aroma.

http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/11/essential-oils-aroma-diffusers-dangerous-cats-7222598/

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/do-essential-oils-pose-a-risk-to-pets

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I agree with the others.  I think there are some (minimal) benefits.  I use tea tree oil on my upper lip after waxing so I don't get bumps.     I love the smell of lavender and add it to my facial cream.   But I think they are waaaay over-hyped.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

 

I really do swear by them for ants though. All y'all should get on board for that. Your whole kitchen will smell like cinnamon all summer. I've read that peppermint and cinnamon together deter mice though and I did not find that to be true AT ALL. I now have a very essential oiled chair that the mice still sometimes climb on. Argh.

Yes!  I wipe down my counters with clove oil and/or something citrusy to keep the ants confused!

Other than that, nope.  I was into them about 25 years ago, way before YL and companies of that type were on the scene.  I got over it years ago, probably about when they got mainstream.

Younger dd is allergic to lavender, so that makes a difference in my attitude. Some of the places we go are enthused about spritzing or diffusing "calming" mixtures, which are not so calming when they're causing your air passages to close up and leave you gasping to breathe :blink:

I get my peppermint via tea (it grows wild in the backyard) or Altoids.

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1 hour ago, Calm37 said:

I do like the smell of lavender and other certain oils very much. I always thought the use of lavender for migraines was kind of dumb. It was only in the last year that I smelled it for the first time. I was shocked at how much I loved that scent! I did put some on my wrists nightly for awhile and found that I was sleeping better after a month or so of this. I don't use it nightly anymore, but am still sleeping better. ? So perhaps it was a sugar pill of some kind, but hey, it's all good.

Also, I have been been having some gastro-type issues after a recent illness. In my research, I read that peppermint oil can be effective as an anti-spasmodic for some people. I just happened to have some on hand from my EO starter kit. Wow, there was an immediate difference! Glad to be a member of the "some people" group! So there is one EO that has a REAL benefit.

 

1 hour ago, regentrude said:

Peppermint tea has long been a common home remedy for tummy aches. That was my grandmother's and mother's first thing to try if any of us had an upset stomach.

I voted other. 

We had the peppermint success for my son's GI issues as well. I'll be honest- I thought all of it was quackery prior to that, but we went to pedi-GI specialist and that was his recommendation to start. He had us start with peppermint candy rather than the oil, but said we could use the oil if we didn't want to give him candy. The candy worked for ds. It did not work for me with my IBS (nor did the oil), but I was glad it worked for my son. 

So, although I'm still largely a skeptic on the health stuff, I generally keep my skeptical thoughts to myself now, because who really knows. It's no skin off my nose for people to use them. And there is an ever-growing contingent around these parts that use EO for EVERYTHING and if the peppermint worked, who I am to say some of the other does not. So unless they're trying to sell it to me, I just stay out of it.

It is sort of amusing to me that when we first started looking into homeschooling, the conventions and homeschooling mags, etc. were where I was first introduced to essential oils. I'd never heard of them before. And back then, these same people now embracing the EO, thought homeschooling, organic farming and EO's were all wingnut leanings, but now it's gone mainstream and the homeschoolers I know have all moved on from it. It makes me laugh a bit. ?

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I think most essential oil sellers are quacks......but unadulterated oils (with the spectroscopy to show that the chemical components are what they are supposed to be) can be effective medicine. There are oils that I find helpful for dealing with my own medical issues, but I am super picky about what I use and why. I tend not to diffuse, but to use blends or single oils, properly diluted, topically.  I have a huge freaking problem with the MLM culture in which a person with no medical training is telling someone else how to use oils, incorrectly.

Robert Tisserand and Kurt Schnaubelt's books are a great place to start if you are studying aromatherapy seriously. PubMed also has some good published studies with proper controls.

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2 hours ago, regentrude said:

I voted other. I use them for certain things and benefit, but the first answer option sounded a bit too enthusiastic.

Lavender and oil blends for anxiety help me calm. Eucalyptus oil helps me breathe when I have a cold. Citrus oils energize me.

Aromatherapy definitely has a place among natural remedies.  It is just important to know its limitations. 

Can you give me some more info about the lavender and oil blends for anxiety? What do you use? Where do you get it?  How do you use it?

Thank you.

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

I really do swear by them for ants though. All y'all should get on board for that. Your whole kitchen will smell like cinnamon all summer. I've read that peppermint and cinnamon together deter mice though and I did not find that to be true AT ALL. I now have a very essential oiled chair that the mice still sometimes climb on. Argh.

Please share your essential oil ant deterrent.  Dh wants to use commercial pesticides...

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5 minutes ago, TrixieB said:

Please share your essential oil ant deterrent.  Dh wants to use commercial pesticides...

It's nothing complex. Our house is old and has so many cracks. Last summer, I could not get rid of the ants. I tried all kinds of things, including pesticides, but they were so fast - and they started getting into the cabinets, so pesticides weren't an option anymore. Then I tried cinnamon and it worked better than anything else except I couldn't put ground cinnamon on the walls where they were coming across. So I bought a bottle of cinnamon essential oil. It's not cheap, but one bottle lasted me all summer. You do more or less one part oil and three or four parts water (it's okay if the recipe is a little off) and then just wash it over everywhere they're getting. It's food safe and safe to touch so it's fine if it's in your kitchen. Do it once a week - more at first. They hate it. Like, super hate it. I did have them get back on the counters a couple of times, but never back into the cabinets or anything bad. Just be sure to keep it up. It does wear off.

The other remedy you can cry is vinegar in their holes outside. I forget the way to do it, but you can look it up.

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I have unsure feelings about them because of some experiences.

I attended a birthday party where the host had a diffuser going the whole party right next to a woman in her 90s. She actually died at the party, and I couldn't help but wonder if the oils had anything to do with it. I know she was in her 90s, so that may not have been it.

The second situation was my dd's best friend's mother started using them and died of maybe a heart attack at 48. The family couldn't afford an autopsy. 

The third situation was my sister's step-daughter started using them and died in her sleep at 46. Again, they couldn't afford an autopsy.

I have seen people post pictures of bridal gowns and bouquets with bottles of essential oils saying they are to calm them. I've been invited to FB parties promising to relieve me of my depression, give me hope and assurance, etc. It's one of many things in a long line from some particular people who always need something to change their lives. 

It seems so crazy to me. And, if they can be dangerous, why should I take the advice from someone down the street who reads a MLM sales kit? 

 

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I hate MLM's, and the ones that sell EO's are especially heinous.

Having said that, there are several things I use them for.

Peppermint oil really does repel mice.  A combination of peppermint oil, water and vinegar was my favorite countertop cleanser until I got stone. Now I use it in the shower to prevent mold.

Lemongrass oil really does kill bugs (and Cutter Naturals Yard spray made with EO's makes them swarm right out of your yard, die before they leave, and attract flocks of birds eating the dead bugs for a week afterwards, even in the humid & buggy Deep South).

Flat club soda with 20 drops of lavender oil (and cheap vodka or everclear in the winter to help it evaporate without streaking) makes pretty good glass cleaner that makes you happy and smells good.

Thyme oil (the kind in 7th generation spray) really does kill almost every pathogen better than bleach, without respiratory issues.

I don't know that Thyme oil has been studied for Norovirus, but Oregano oil does have some action against norovirus too, but it's slower than the 10 minutes bleach takes to deactivate it.

Even though I'm generally against internal uses of oils, I've had pneumonia repeatedly, especially mycoplasma (walking) pneumonia that doesn't seem very well treated with antibiotics.  I googled actual medical studies of which oils taken internally can treat mycoplasma, and I've taken the combination twice, before I went to the doctor for a chest x-ray.  In both cases, more than a year apart, I started feeling much better in 24 hours and completely better in 3 days.  I haven't been diagnosed with pneumonia since I learned about it.

I use an oil diffuser for scents, but I don't think it works as well as making homemade cleaning solutions with oils in them and using those.  It's a nice, cheap ritual though so I don't worry about it too much.. It's definitely quicker to fill and plug in a diffuser than it is to mop every surface around.

I buy most of my oils on Amazon, but you can't count on them being Prime even if they are labeled Prime.  Some of them must be shipped ground because they are considered hazardous.

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Oh yes, peppermint oil rubbed on the temple (the same side as the pain) for a migraine or cluster headache reduces the pain about 3 points on a 10 point scale for me.  When you combine with Excedrin and caffeine that can decrease 5 points - enough to go from debilitating to just plain irritating. Be prepared for a strange tingling sensation when you put it directly on your skin though, and be careful to not put on so much it gets in your eyes.

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I'm going to toss this link up on dilution ratios.... https://www.planttherapy.com/blog/2015/08/10/how-to-read-the-dilution-chart/

I have used an essential oil neat, in an emergency (lavender oil on a second degree burn), but IMO using essential oils without dilution should be a rare occasion.  There's too much of a risk of sensitization. This particular link talks about it with regards to cinnamon oil, but it explains the process of a reaction.  The Tisserand safety pages links on the top are also helpful. http://tisserandinstitute.org/new-survey-reveals-dangers-of-not-diluting-essential-oils/

Also, as to using essential oils in cleaning, I'll toss up this mom's swabbing and culturing with various oils: http://www.stopthestomachflu.com/do-essential-oils-like-thieves-really-kill-germs

 

 

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Other. I like the less-artificial smell, mostly. I find lavender really calming when I'm tense/anxious or can't sleep, but I don't know that it would stand up to a double-blind test. I also like the smell of spearmint and cinnamon, though one of my kids once got a chemical burn from sticking his face in something with cinnamon oil on it, so I don't keep that around anymore. Because of that incident, I believe that "anything powerful enough to do good can also do harm."

A few years ago my mom came to visit and was scratching his legs constantly, until she drew blood. She said she and her doctor had tried lots of different prescription creams and medications, but nothing worked and the doctor had given up on it. I asked if she had tried tea tree oil (which I had successfully used to treat a recurring irritated spot on my foot, and also itchy legs). She rubbed a few drops on her legs and her "incurable" problem was literally cured overnight.

Not exactly EOs, but related: one of my apartments had a terrible ant problem. They'd come out of the over-oven vent fan whenever I cooked. It drove me crazy. One day I made a long-simmering, authentic curry with tons of spices. It must have killed about 75% of the ant population. I made the curry again a while later and they never came back. It can't have been just the heat or the simmering because I'd made stocks and soups that simmered for that amount of time, and I'd made quick, spicy stir-fries. Something in the spice profile (probably plus the time) drove them away.

But overall, I think EOs are over-hyped, and I especially cringe when people talk about taking them internally without doctor supervision.

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I use them frequently, and safely. I don't go by MLM rules, I go by the research I have done myself. I have had killer migraines....like making me want to puke ones. No amount of meds have touched them, but inhaling peppermint essential oil has made it calm considerably.  I have also used some for fibro pain that OTC stuff doesn't touch. I don't care what others think they do or don't do....my body, my preference. ?

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I use eucalyptus or ti tree occasionally in household cleaning type things, sometimes in laundry. They smell nice sometimes.

I absolutely do not buy into the current craze and though I love my friends I think they're barmy on this (and homeopathy).

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I've used them way before they became an "it" thing.  I would NEVER buy them from MLM person.  No matter how many lavender fields pics they post on their FB page and how many "true" stories they share.

While I don't think oils are from the devil, I think people who sell them come close, but I'll restrain myself from getting on my soap box.

I think using oils can be fairly beneficial in some instances and if it's not over done.  But that can be said about almost anything.

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They smell good, so I use them in coconut oil for dry skin.  I find peppermint kinda energizing and lavender sorta relaxing.  I've used tea tree oil to try to prevent lice infections before, but that's mostly because I'll try anything.  

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I think they're from the devil.

Yes, they smell nice. But with the hordes of uneducated hunbots telling people to go ahead and drink them to cure their whatever, I think EOs are doing much more harm than good at the moment. I've even seen posts of these MLM idiots telling people to add EOs to their infants bottles. *rage*

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I use them and see benefits, but EOs aren't a cure-all for everything.  Peppermint is absolutely MAGICAL for getting rid of my tension headaches (I rub it where it hurts and within seconds the pain is gone).  Lavender calms me and promotes a general sense of well-being in me.  My funky blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon in the diffuser doesn't actually smell that great, but it gets me moving when I feel totally blech and unmotivated.  I had a weird blemish/rash thing on my face, and tea tree oil applied nightly healed it over the course of a couple of weeks.  So, I've definitely seen benefits and plan to continue using them, but in a home remedy way, not an obsessive "I have cancer, pass the Frankincense" way.

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I had to vote they are from the devil.

 DH has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. He cannot handle essential oils. they are a trigger for him. and as I have to live with the results when he is exposed they are definitely from the devil.

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I tried them. Apparently I am sensitive to many oils. At best they just smelled too strongly.

But I don't think they are the devil. They clearly work for some.people.

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I couldn't really vote, as none of the answers reflected 'I use them sometimes in an oil burner because they smell nice but beyond that, nah'.

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I voted other.  Diffusing is from the devil.  My son developed Ti Tree allergy and upon researching it, found that it is a super common allergen and 20% of people are allergic.  Diffusing aggravates asthma in many people including me.  But I do like naturally scented soaps and they can calm me.  I have one bar soap that is honeysuckle- that is, one of my oldest scent memories and brings me back to a happy place- i. e. relieves anxiety.  I have another scent that helps with nausea because my mom used it when I was sick.  Those scents are triggers for behavior- not because they have magical powers or scientific ways to relieve stress.  But spraying anything into the air bothers me.

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I voted "from the devil" because that was the closest answer to how I feel about them. 

I think there are a few oils with limited effect.

I think the way they are marketed is a crime. My fil just died of cancer, one seller was just telling me that she knows the cure for cancer and could help us, if we're "open" to natural cures. I've seen and heard way too many people talking about how this or that EO cured their kids <insert any diagnosis here>. Lo and behold months later they aren't singing the praises anymore, placebos only work so long. 

I've not noticed any EOs bothering me but am really bothered by other fragrances so I highly sympathize with those with breathing problems.

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16 hours ago, regentrude said:

I voted other. I use them for certain things and benefit, but the first answer option sounded a bit too enthusiastic.

Lavender and oil blends for anxiety help me calm. Eucalyptus oil helps me breathe when I have a cold. Citrus oils energize me.

Aromatherapy definitely has a place among natural remedies.  It is just important to know its limitations. 

 

I am similar to regentrude.  I use a few selected ones, especially eucalyptus.  I think they have benefits but would not say they help serious health problems. More symptom relief.

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8 hours ago, Mergath said:

I think they're from the devil.

Yes, they smell nice. But with the hordes of uneducated hunbots telling people to go ahead and drink them to cure their whatever, I think EOs are doing much more harm than good at the moment. I've even seen posts of these MLM idiots telling people to add EOs to their infants bottles. *rage*

It's insane.  My hairdresser is into EO's and makes little capsules and recommends them for everything.  I have never heard of adding them to a baby bottle, but that is outrageous and  dangerous!

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I wish I could change my vote.  I didn't think of voting other.

I chose "they're great" because I have a few that I find very helpful.  I too cringe at the way some people use eo.  I'm not in the "skip the ER and use oils" camp!

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I voted that they're beneficial.  But I guess my use is limited compared to some.  What I use and what I use them for has been beneficial, but I wouldn't jump on the mlm or "cures everything" bandwagon.

We use eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon or lemongrass when someone is congested.  I add tea tree when it seems to be contagious and not allergies.

Dd uses lavender nightly.  She has never been a sleeper and this helps.

I use oils in homemade cleaning products, homemade lotion and sunscreen, and in the laundry.  When I made homemade shampoo I used them in it.

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I voted OTHER.  I really like some of the smell combos out there, and I'm guessing some have some natural benefits, obviously tea tree has pretty well-documented effects, among others.  

 

But I have such a strong aversion to MLM that any passing interest I might have in oils is GONE!  Sometimes I'll buy something to diffuse if I'm at Whole Foods and there is a good smelling one they have running in the sample diffuser, but otherwise, they are off my radar.  

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6 hours ago, StellaM said:

I couldn't really vote, as none of the answers reflected 'I use them sometimes in an oil burner because they smell nice but beyond that, nah'.

Well that would be "other" then, wouldn't it?  That's how I view them too.  ? 

ETA:  I guess ? is the new smiley face.  ??? 

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I voted they’re from the devil, but I used tea tree and lavender when I used cloth baby wipes (aka, wash cloths), before oils were an mlm thing. 

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Deter ants and mice you say? Some of them deter me!

 

I think if you had another option to your poll that stated some of the ingredients will work for some things but overall you don't believe the mlm hype you would get a lot of takers. That is probably why "other" is popular.

 

Heck, Siracha will clear your sinuses. Teas, spices like tumeric, tea tree oil, and even scents (lavandar is supposed to be calming) can work but you don't need a special overpriced oil to get them. And the claims about them curing cancer and injuries (yes, I heard that once too) are ridiculous in my opinion. Also, just because something is natural doesn't mean it must be completely safe. Lots of things in nature will kill you and many things your body needs can kill you if you get too much. 

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