A few months ago, I posted two articles that contained important information regarding safe use of essential oils and information about allergic responses that may occur. By being aware of these important topics, the desired benefits of essential oils can be optimized and unwanted responses prevented.
Recently, Natural Path published another two-part series that fulfills the promise to you that I stated in part II. In these articles, I dive deeper into why someone would be allergic to essential oils to begin with.
First, for those who missed the background, click here and I catch you up on where we left off… in one brief blog. Then, on this blog, I’ll provide an overview of the new articles and the link to access the full versions.
Okay, welcome back.
Now that you are up-to-date, you are aware that essential oils can cause an allergic response only in those who are “primed” to be allergic. This is an important point. I’ll illustrate with a little history.
When I was younger, I could pack an organic peanut butter and jelly sandwich (on homemade gluten-free bread) inside my pink Hello Kitty lunch box. Today, my beloved container would probably be taken from my possession, as peanuts are not allowed in most classrooms. (The trauma!)
Why are an increasing amount of people more prone to respond negatively to common foods today?
Furthermore, why can my cousin bathe in poison sumac and not get a trace of a rash, but I become a walking connect-the-dot game?
It’s easy to blame the “trigger,” but we could be covering up symptoms without considering why someone has a scratch-a-fest, and others, exposed to the same thing, are as cool as a cucumber.
In Can Someone Have an Allergic Response to Essential Oils and What Would Make One “Allergic” to Begin With? Part I, help you gain a better understanding of the full picture of the complexity of the question.
I state a more important question we should be asking regarding allergies and essential oils:
What is often not considered in medicine, and in the aromatherapy community, is just as an important question as the 2 listed above. “What would have caused someone to have an allergic response to begin with?”
It’s not enough to be focusing on the avoidance of a substance and treating an unwelcome exposure to it (suppressing the symptom). As a naturopathic doctor, I deem it essential to “find and treat the cause” of this imbalanced immune response. Therefore, I will dive into some considerations on this question in a general overview …
Furthermore, part I also contains a brief overview of the properties of essential oils that could result in an unwanted response being misclassified as an allergy. These factors include:
- The concept of skin sensitization.
- The purity of the oil.
- The mixing of chemicals in our modern world.
In Part II, I dive into more detail on the reasons someone may have an allergy to begin with. Specifically, I highlight the evidence pointing to the combination of the environment, genetics, and lifestyle.
I also highlight six factors that one may be more predisposed to responding to essential oils as a specific “trigger.” These include:
1. The hypersensitive individual-someone who tends to be reactive to a lot of things is more likely to react to anything, including essential oils.
2. The detox factor- this is probably one of the most controversial issues on this topic with essential oils! In Part II, I write:
There’s a controversy in essential oils regarding sensitization and the “detox theory.” Some claim that essential oils are, in fact, only linked to a skin sensitization due to the essential oil triggering an allergy (an immune response). I already discussed that there is more to play than this simple explanation and defined a true allergy above. Still, others claim that any negative response to a pure essential oil is due to the oil detoxifying the cells and the toxins exiting the skin. I believe this may be extreme as noted in factor 1 above. Therefore, the truth probably lies in the middle.
There is evidence that essential oils can, and do, modulate elimination and detoxification.
I also discuss how genetic variations in the enzyme phenol sulfur-transferase (PST) can cause a reaction with certain oils… if certain measures aren’t applied.
You can read more on this in the article.
5. Skin health
6. Improper usage
Phew, see why I needed FOUR parts to fully explain this topic of allergies and essential oils?!
There’s a lot to it.
You don’t need to know all the science, but having knowledge of the factors and implementing the considerations, you can be more confident in using and sharing essential oils.
The Promised Knowledge Link
Now, after you have rested your brain, you can click here to gain access of some of the top headlines in health and medicine for June.
This is one of my monthly compilations of some of the top headlines in wellness. For the past ten years, I’ve released these headlines in order to share with you some of the research that I enjoyed throughout the month.
I try to only list the news and research that may be of interest to you or are important to the medical community. These are also ones may not have made it social media, because I wanted to dive into them deeper.
In June’s edition, I highlight some of my favorites, including microbiome profiling, the gut-eye connection, and natural solutions to our opioid crisis. Then, I provide links to other interesting topics.
Feel free to let me know if I missed anything or if you have more to add.
Now, please leave any comments or questions you have below and share your experiences.
Happy oiling and healthy day to you all!
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)