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An essential oil is the oil extracted from the various parts of a plant like its leaves, flowers, or seeds. Essential Oils are usually obtained through the process of steam distillation. The oil is extremely concentrated, potent and contains the complete ‘essence’ of the plant’s fragrance.

Essential oils have been very commonly used in aromatherapy, cosmetic and beauty products, bath and body products, oral care products, etc. for a long time. But in recent times, the use of essential oils on their own is increasing as more and more people are realizing their benefits. 

Right from including these oils in your beauty routine to incorporating them in your bath to adding them to cleaning sprays, these oils have a multitude of uses. However, there are a lot of myths that surround these essential oils as well as several essential oil facts that people are completely unaware of. Here, in this article, we will explore both.

Some Unknown Essential Oils Facts & Myths

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Myth #1: Essential oils are hyped for no reason

FACT: This is absolutely untrue as essential oils actually have some wonderful benefits. If you wish to dig a little deeper, you can do a quick search on the internet and you will find that there is actually a lot of scientific research to back this claim.

There are skeptics who have taken to the internet claiming that essential oils to be hoax and nothing but a placebo effect. However, that is completely untrue and studies after studies have revealed the many positive effects of using essential oils.

To ensure that you actually get great results from your essential oil, it actually needs to be pure and of an excellent quality.

Myth #2: Pure essential oils can last forever or they never go bad

FACT: This is a myth as no matter how good the quality of the essential oil, it cannot last forever. The oil will eventually go bad due to oxidation reactions, no matter how good or pure it may be.

The shelf life of essential oils is anywhere from a year to six years, depending upon a lot of factors like its exposure to light, air or warmth. Hence, it is always better to use up your essential oils within a few years before they start going bad.

Myth #3: Essential oils labelled as ‘therapeutic grade’ are always better to use

FACT: Well, this is certainly not true as it is one of the essential oil facts that there is no certifying body or regulatory that grades or certifies essential oils as such. If a company labels its essential oils as ‘therapeutic grade’, it is usually done to make their product stand out or make it more appealing to customers.

If, at all, the essential oil is actually of a therapeutic grade or labelled as one, it is actually based on the internal standards set by the company itself and may or may not be checked for quality control by a third party.

So, the important point to keep in mind here is that while buying essential oils, it is important to look beyond the ‘therapeutic grade’ tag. Remember that there is no international standard for what actually classifies as ‘therapeutic’ and hence, you must be aware while making a purchase.

Myth #4: Your skin/ body is detoxing if applying essential oil on your skin leaves a rash/ redness

FACT: Absolutely not! In fact, just the opposite is true in this case. It is one of the essential oil facts that if applying it leaves a rash or redness on your skin, it means that the particular oil is not suitable for your skin.

Any kind of irritation caused by an essential oil is not good and it definitely does not mean that your skin or body are detoxifying. In fact, irritation means a negative response of the essential oil and thus, in such cases, you must stop using it immediately. In such a case, you can also try diluting the oil even more to check whether the irritation still persists. And you must always do a patch test for the essential oil to prevent this from happening.

Myth #5: The order in which you blend the essential oils changes its chemistry and makes a difference

FACT: This is also a very commonly believed myth among essential oil users. However, it is simply not true.

As long as you mix each oil in the exact same proportion, it shouldn’t make a difference- neither in its chemical composition nor in any other way like its smell or therapeutic properties. Simply put, the order in which you mix the essential oils does not matter as long as you are keeping their quantities the same each and every time that you mix them.

So, as long as you keep the compositions same, the results that you get will remain the same too.

Myth #6: Pure essential oils can be used without diluting and can be ingested as well

FACT: This is definitely not true as essential oils are very, very concentrated and thus, should not be used without dilution. Especially the pure essential oils are even more concentrated as they have not been adulterated or mixed with any other kind of oil.

It is one of the essential oil facts that you must always dilute it with either a carrier oil or similar product before you use it as using it undiluted can prove harmful. Since these essential oils are so concentrated, you actually need a very small quantity of them.

The ingestion of the essential oils is a myth as well. If you are going to ingest essential oils, it is very important that you first seek advice from a medical professional if you wish to ingest it for a long term.

Myth #7: Real and pure essential oils do not freeze

FACT: Again, this is not true. If the temperatures are cold enough, even pure and real essential oils will freeze just like any other liquid. The freezing of the oil is no way of judging its quality or purity as pure essential oils are known to freeze as well.

In case your oil freezes, you need to allow it to return back to room temperature naturally before using it.

Myth #8: It is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use essential oils

FACT: Again, this is one of the most commonly believed myths. Most oils, including essential oils are actually unsafe to be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. In fact, some essential oils are known to trigger several issues and hence, it’s best that they are kept away from pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The same applies for infants and small kids as well and essential oils should be kept out of their reach.

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Myth #9: If you do not like how an oil smells, your body actually needs that oil

FACT: Believe it or not but this actually is one of the most commonly believed myths. And the essential oil facts tell us just the opposite. 

While it is true that you need to acquaint yourself with some essential oils before you like their smell, it is completely false that if you don’t like the smell of something, your body needs that oil. In fact, in such a case, you need to avoid using that oil.

Myth #10: The essential oil and the herb that it is derived from will have the same effect on the body

FACT: Well, this is not necessarily true as essential oils actually make up a small amount of the whole chemistry of the plant. And the herb or the plant actually contains more molecules than the essential oil.

And while essential oils are extremely beneficial, it doesn’t mean that they can cure the same disease/ ailment that its herb can.

Some interesting Essential Oil Facts

  • Even though they are known as ‘oils’, essential oils cannot actually be classified as oils as they don’t really contain any fatty acids. 
  • It actually takes a lot of plant matter to make an essential oil. That is one of the reasons why essential oils aren’t cheap.
  • Out of all the plant species, only about 1% are known to produce essential oils.
  • Owing to their antifungal, antiviral as well as antibacterial properties, essential oils make for excellent house cleaners.
  • Essential oils should never be refrigerated and need to be kept in cool and dry places.
  • These oils don’t actually mix well with water and hence, you should avoid mixing or diluting them with water. 
  • Essential oils are always stored in dark glass bottles as they can absorb light.

Conclusion

Here, we talked about the 10 essential oil myths and then revealed the essential oil facts to you. We also shared a few interesting essential oil facts with you other than the ones associated with the myths.

Which one of the 10 myths did you believe and which of the facts were you unaware of? Know any more essential oil myths? Then, let us know!

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