Aromatherapy vs. Herbalism (Or Tea vs. Essential Oil)


I often get asked about ingesting essential oils; Is it safe, do I advocate it? My answer is always the same. It is called "Aromatherapy", not "Ingestion therapy" so why would you want to take them internally? Because your MLM Rep says it's ok?


Let's explore Aromatherapy and Herbalism, the similarities and differences. They both begin with plant material, botanicals that for thousands of years have been used as natural or alternative medicine. But here is where the similarity ends. Essential oils are derived from many different extraction methods such as distilling, cold pressing or lately CO2 extracting. They are the life-blood of the plant, the living matter that flows from within the plant and are extremely concentrated oils which are not water soluble. Meaning that just as oil and water don't mix, neither do essential oils and water. You cannot dilute them in water. Dilution is only possible in another oil or solvent such as alcohol, as is common in perfumery. They are applied topically, as in massage and highly diluted first. They can be used diluted in a carrier and added to a bath. They can be diffused into the air where your olfactory senses smell the essential oil, and in turn trigger physical and psychological responses within the body. Due to the high concentration level of essential oils they are not normally ingested with the exception of doing so under the supervision of a medical professional. In a few European countries, oral essential oil use is sometimes recommended by licensed physicians.


Herbalism on the other hand use tinctures, extracts or teas, normally ingested and taken internally. Tinctures and extracts are pre-diluted and consist of mainly water soluble components of plant material. Even when making tea, the amount of essential oil released from the plant matter is extremely small. To give you an idea, one drop of essential oil is the equivalent of 30 cups of herbal tea. In the practice of herbalism, ingestion is the main route for healing and physiological responses.


As I say to people who ask me "Can I take your essential oils internally?", my answer is "You can, but why would you?" If that is what you want to do, I suggest an herbal tea or tincture. We offer a great assortment of tea gift packages in all price ranges that include award winning teas. These teas were all picked for their health properties as well as their great taste. Try some, you'll like them!



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