Supporters, critics talk essential oils

Posted at 9:28 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 13:09:35-05

Essential oils have blossomed into a multi-million dollar industry as advocates tout their health benefits.

Benefits of Essential Oils: 10 Natural Ways to Heal Yourself (via Huffington Post) and The surprising scoop of essential oils (via Mother Nature Network) are just some examples of media outlets highlighting how oils can be used as alternatives to prescription drugs to cure a wide range of ailments.

For people like Lisa Davis, essential oils were a last resort when her family couldn’t afford health insurance.

"We had gone through a period where we did not have health insurance,” Davis said. “I was actually looking for something that I could use to help my children be able to maintain and keep healthy."

Davis uses the oils daily for all sorts of different things for her and her children who undergo regular checkups at their family practice.

“Stomach aches, stomach pains, cuts, bruises, and bug bites,” Davis says as she describes how she uses the oils.

Although oils have been around for thousands of years in all different cultures, companies like Young Living and Doterra have played a huge role in growing their popularity.

The oils have been gaining so much attention and even the Federal Food and Drug Administration has taken notice.

Lorrie Richins, who is a life coach and energy specialist who’s worked with oils for over 12 years, believes essential oils are a “first aid kit.”

Richins claims the FDA could be trying to diminish the uses of essential oils and their potential health benefits.

“They’ve [the FDA] has stepped in and made sure advertisements can only be done within a certain paradigm,” Richins said.

However, not everyone believes in the healing power of essential oils.

Dr. Jeffrey Scott is an Osteopathic Physician who when asked about the uses of essential oils has some doubts.

“The studies on essential oils are very limited,” Dr. Scott said. “I'm not against it but I can't necessarily support it. I like to make sure that they are not having any topical reactions or allergic reactions to it, and if they feel that there is a benefit without any harm, then that's fine."