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Do Essential Oils Really Work?

“Essential oils don’t work. I’m throwing mine out.”
“I tried essential oils before, and they did nothing for me.”
“Essential oils are a hoax. They smell nice, but that’s it.”

I hear stuff like this all the time, and it drives me crazy.
The truth is, the idea that essential oils don’t work is a MYTH. It’s as simple as that!


Part of what makes me so passionate about essential oils is that, as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, I understand the science of how they work, thanks to my medical background. I’ve put essential oils to the test from a western medicine perspective - and I’m thrilled with the results!

Often times, what I’ve found when I’ve taken the time to speak with these essential oil naysayers is that one of three things happened that stopped essential oils from working for them the first go around.

Whenever I meet with a client, I ask them these three things. Usually, something as small as a little tweak to their answer totally changes everything.

  1. What essential oil did you use?
  2. How did you apply it?
  3. What were you using the essential oil for?

These questions seem innocent enough, don’t they? Let’s dive in to see the amazing things their answers can reveal!

Essential Oils: Quality Matters!

It all starts with quality. Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. They work because they’re natural and retain the “essence” of the plant they came from.

But you can’t expect essential oils to work for you if they’re not really essential oils.

To get to the bottom of this, I always ask questions like:

  • What specific essential oil did you use?
  • Where did you buy it, and who was the manufacturer?
  • What did the label say on the bottle?

THIS is what a true essential oil bottle should look like. The label clearly says "100% Pure, Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oil." Thank you, Young Living! (Fun fact: I use a bit of this in my laundry to make it smell like flower fields instead of socks!)

THIS is what a true essential oil bottle should look like. The label clearly says "100% Pure, Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oil." Thank you, Young Living! (Fun fact: I use a bit of this in my laundry to make it smell like flower fields instead of socks!)

Because many essential oil products are designed for cosmetic use, they’re not regulated by the FDA. As a result, unscrupulous manufacturers create synthetic versions that are not truly essential oils! These are the people giving essential oils a bad name. You’ll see them in stores marketing them as “fragrance oil” or “perfume oil” and trying to trick people into thinking those are real essential oils!

This is why it is SO important to buy essential oils from a person and company you trust. After researching the claims by many essential oil companies, I found the one I trust - and I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand to backup their claims: Young Living.

They only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils - synthetics or cheap fillers. And their Seed to Seal commitment means they only work with certified farms and suppliers that meet their high standards in harvesting, extraction, testing, bottling, and more.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How You Apply Essential Oils

Did you know there are several ways you can use essential oils?

  • You can massage a few drops onto your hands, ankles, wrists, neck, chest, or forehead
  • You can add them to a hot bath
  • You can dilute them with an air diffuser
  • You can create a spray to spritze into the air or on your clothes
  • You can rub them into your hands and breathe in the goodness
  • You can create your own facial steam
  • You can eat them
  • And more!

Improper application is another way you prevent essential oils from gifting you their full benefit. But there are ways you can do all of the above wrong so they have no impact, or worse, actually irritate you!

For example…

  • If you don’t achieve the proper ratio between essential oils and water, your spritz will be ineffective.
  • Certain applications, as well as measurements, should be avoided or adjusted for young children and infants.
    (I’m a mom so I know all about how to adjust these to keep our littles ones safe!)
  • If you have sensitive skin, rubbing them onto your skin may irritate you, so you’d be better off with another application.
  • ometimes you have to use a carrier oil
    (Very different from a carrier pigeon! You use it to dilute the essential oil.)

As you can see, there is a bit of magic that goes into making essential oils work. That’s why I’m here to help you find the most effective application for you!

Different Essential Oils Solve Different Ailments

Just like how you have to apply an essential oil correctly in order to experience the intended benefit, you also have to be using the right essential oil!

Here’s what I mean: It’s super common for people to hear that essential oils promote sleep, so they go out and just pick out any scent they like (or recognize - there are a lot of options!).

lemon essential oil

But if they end up choosing a citrus scent like lemon or orange, they’ll find themselves awake and alert, although their nose may be happy. Then they get frustrated and think essential oils don’t work - when really it’s just that they were using the wrong oil for what they wanted!

In case you’re wondering, lavender is MUCH better for sleep. (And if you’re still on the fence about the science of essential oils, just check out how many scientific studies have proven this to be the case! See here, here, here, and here!) However, lavender can be dangerous for boys, so you would need to use a different oil for your teenagers. Fortunately, catnip, cedarwood, and chamomile are all good options, too! 

The Science of Essential Oils

I know some of this can be confusing. That’s why I’m here - to help YOU!

I love to geek out and break down the science of essential oils so you can rest assured that you are using the right essential oils for you and your family. I want you to enjoy all the benefits of clean living, too! and help your family live happier healthier lives!

It is my mission (some might say superpower) to bridge the gap between eastern and western medicine. And my secret weapons are the many different holistic tools in my wellness toolkit.

Are YOU ready to join the clean living movement?