Essential Oil Safety

Posted by Lauren Bridges on

True story. There is a time and a place for the "better safe than sorry" perspective. When? When you don't know the answer to whether or not something is safe. But it is also important to acknowledge that one just doesn't know rather than making a rule about how something should go based on their limited understanding.

When we do have the answers available to us? When there is a plethora of available research demonstrating the safety of a substance under appropriate usage? When we are aware of such information and then choose to still "err on the side of safety?" Then this statement merely demonstrates personal ignorance. That's not erring on the side of safety. It is not understanding - or sometimes willfully ignoring - the safety information.

Such is the case with eucalyptus oil. I've been thinking about this a lot since listening to the chat on eucalyptus by the Franklin Institute of Wellness (which was fantastic - please make time to listen to it if you can). It directly discussed this statement.

As aromatherapists, it's our job to have an appropriate understanding of essential oils, and this includes the available research that demonstrates a substance's safety.

If we genuinely don't know about something, that's okay. It's a place to mark down as an area to expand research and learning. But we should not fall into the pattern of developing hard-fast rules on usage due to our own limitations And we certainly should not misinterpret the available research, including the negatives included in such research, as an excuse to limit others in their therapeutic pursuits or create new rules.

Food for thought.

"Better safe than sorry" can come from a place of genuine ignorance to a subject matter, which is okay if we are honest about our personal lack of understanding. But it is never a valid excuse for ignoring evidence.

Yes, there will be judgment calls for certain populations - always. But those judgments can only be reasonably made with an awareness of the real information at hand.


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