A little bit of serious thought for you…

So the question for you to have a think about….

Are you happy purchasing essential oil products and taking advice, from people who make them, who aren’t qualified? Essential oils are extremely powerful & effective and need to be respected. Reading books about them and attending weekend workshops is just not enough.

Leading on from that question are these ones:

  1. do you check to see what someone’s experience level is or if they have qualifications?
  2. does a qualification matter to you?
  3. because someone has a website and sells essential oils products and/ or gives advice, do you trust they know, in detail, what they are talking about? 
  4. do you think they know about the importance of contraindications, why the botanical names of essential oils are so important and what this means?

I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you and really would like you to continue reading.

What has inspired me to write this post is the growing trend of unqualified people making and selling essential oil products and/or who have joined a multi-level-marketing (MLM) company and confidently sell and make recommendations using essential oil products.  While I’m thrilled the world of essential oils (e/oils) is really growing, I am deeply concerned about the people who seriously offer incorrect/ inaccurate/lacking/dangerous advice.  Making me even more concerned is when correct advice is offered, it is dismissed by these unqualified people (I guess they feel like their business is threatened/do not wish to be challenged).

For me, I am so very proud of my qualification – Cert. Aromascience, it allows me to call myself a ‘Clinical Aromascience Practitioner’ – it’s an NZQA, internationally recognised (through IFPA) qualification – I completed 770+ hours of study and loved every moment of that study! For me, it means I can offer sound, accurate, effective and more importantly ‘safe’ advice. It gives me credibility.  I have been practising now for just over 5 years, thousands of hours of confident experience, because of that qualification.

This is what I notice from people who aren’t qualified:

  • their products are often inferior, what I mean by that is, there is usually a more effective alternative – knowledge is limited therefore this is reflected in the products made
  • often they haven’t taken ‘contraindications’ into consideration (this scares me so much) – for example, what e/oils must be avoided during pregnancy, differing health conditions such as heart/kidney problems, high or low blood pressure, epilepsy etc This information is vital. *See note below
  • Dilution rates – again, vital for effectiveness and safety – doses for children/ babies/toddlers / elderly – you can’t just ‘guess’ this stuff
  • Understanding the different botanical names of the e/oils – for example, there are several Lavenders, Chamomiles, Eucalyptus, they all have chemical components, some are safer than others, some can be used on children, some shouldn’t
  • they will willy-nilly recommend ingesting (this is illegal in NZ, in the USA this is rife at the moment, just terrible but sneaking into NZ by way of the MLM essential oil sellers)
  • they often recommend using e/oils neat on adults/children/babies
  • they seriously lack ethics

These are just a few examples.

Recently I asked a woman in America (who has written and published a book) who is a midwife – she is a ‘diamond seller’ for an MLM – a qualified midwife but no qualifications in the use of e/oils.  I asked her on her FB page if she had a link to some information about what e/oils shouldn’t be used during pregnancy, she came back to me “OH! I don’t, but what a good idea”.  This startled me so I started researching more about her, she actually encourages ingesting e/oils (drops in water, drops under the tongue) of e/oils during pregnancy!! This hugely concerned me so I very politely wrote to her and asked to please stop doing this and she blocked me from her page – unfortunately, her book has been published and is readily available for sale.  People are going to think that what’s she’s saying is ok because of the confidence she portrays – she has NO qualifications!

I was approached on my Le’Esscience page by an NZ women asking me questions about e/oil use for her products she was making – she approached me because one of my dear clients alerted me that she was making a morning sickness product with peppermint in it (Peppermint can be inhaled for 10mins a time during pregnancy but never applied topically), my client wanted to check whether she should be doing this of course I said “NO”.  The woman then contacted me and asked me for advice for this product for which I answered “go study! get qualified” Which she hasn’t and recently announced her ‘products’ will soon be on some shop shelves.

The recipe for one of my groundbreaking blends was stolen by an unqualified woman in the USA – she actually says she ‘read books’ and feels that’s enough for her to make and sell her products.  When I wrote to her and asked her to pull the blend from her site (she used all my wording, my clients testimonial from a blog post I had written about the product due to its success), she finally did – but a week later it’s back up with an ‘extra’ e/oil – so she tweaked it so she can claim it has her own.  What’s concerning about this is 1. she doesn’t know the number of drops, so she’s guessing 2. it’s for pregnancy – you need to know what you are doing – not just guess!  This woman also makes such terrible recommendations for babies and children! I just shake my head in despair as she too isn’t interested in my pleas to ‘go study”!!

I think you can detect my frustration – I am so very passionate about what I do.  And I am not alone in this frustration, fellow qualified Aromatherapists feel exactly the same.

Would you go to someone who calls themselves a Dr just because they’ve Googled, read books and have no qualifications?

PLEASE, start asking questions of these unqualified people and if you have any concerns, please feel free to ask me or someone else you know, who IS qualified.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. fundforleroy says:

    Hi Gillian. I actually was about to contact you to ask advice. I have been putting drops of lavender oil into my daughter’s bath, willy nilly. I was alarmed to read recent news articles that highlight the issue of lavender products causing early onset puberty in some children. I believe I’m not alone in the naive notion, that just because essential oils are natural, they can’t be too harmful. Though, I avoided certain oils during pregnancy (all based on information I’d read online) I never thought they could be harmful to my kids, and haven’t bought the from an aromatherapist. I don’t think it is generally appreciated how powerful they are, and that they should be bought from a qualified person, such as you.

    1. Le'Esscience says:

      Hello and thank you for your brilliant question.

      It’s a myth, scare mongering and down right not true so rest easy. The important thing is knowing what the botanical name of the Lavender you are using and how many drops for her age group. Lavendula Angustifolia is the safest for children – 3-4 drops in the bath is perfectly safe too.

      Lavender is the “Mother of Essential Oils, and used correctly, just beautiful and effective for so many conditions 🙂 I have a blog post on here going on and on about beautiful Lavender.

      It’s just a shame that essential oils basically started out their lives among wind chimes and crystals, these kinds of shops, so just not taken seriously, however we are getting there educating people. Please feel free to contact me anytime with any further questions.

      My email address is Gillian@LeEsscience.co.nz


  2. Amy says:

    I started using essential oils in my teens (in a burner) and knew never to injest them – I also learnt the hard way to be very careful when applying topically after accidentally rubbing my face and my hand had (neat) peppermint oil on it!
    I also realised that not all oils are created equal.
    When I first heard of people injesting oils I was like ‘ah, you shouldn’t do that’. On the recent master chef australia someone used essential oils in their cooking so I can see a lot of people doing this without even being aware of the risks.

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