Infused Herbal Oils vs. Essential Oils
I would like to preface this post by saying I think essential oils can be powerful medicine, and that there is a time and place for everything. I respect the fact that many people have a different perspective than me on this topic. This blog post covers why we choose to not use essential oils in our products.
We have this thing in the west where we like to pick things apart. We like to look at something that is good, pick out one thing about it that we believe to be the reason it works, and then extract that thing and blow it up and use it as much as humanly possible so we’re all amazing and healthy and happy and live forever.
Does anyone else notice this?
This is standard practice in the western wellness industry. For example, there are 8 limbs of yoga. Asana (aka the yoga poses) is only one of the eight limbs. ONE. We took the one thing and made it the whole thing, when in actuality it is a packaged deal. They work together synergistically. To receive the full benefits of yoga, all of the 8 limbs must be practiced together and have space in your life.
Essential oils (which, like yoga, has experienced a crazy marketing boom in the last decade) are one of these things. Essential oils are created by a distillation process that extracts only a small, specific part of the plant. The result is a very concentrated product that is full of volatile oils. Yes, there are lots of benefits to essential oils. Yes, they smell amazing. But they are so potent that without proper use, then can actually cause damage to your body. (Yes, even the “therapeutic grade” ones.) Many people do react to even the highest quality essential oils. They are very strong medicine, and like all very strong medicines, they should be utilized with respect and I believe, only when necessary.
To offer an idea of just how concentrated, and how small and specific the part of the plant that is captured in distillation is, consider these facts straight from doTerra’s website: It takes 242,000 rose petals to make 5mL of rose essential oil. Let that sink in for a second. 242,000 rose petals to make 5mL of rose essential oil. It takes 6,000 pounds of lemon balm to make one pound of melissa essential oil. That is 63 pounds of lemon balm in one tiny 5mL bottle. It takes 3 pounds of lavender to make a tiny 15mL bottle of essential oil.
In terms of sustainability, this is insane. This vast amount of plant material being discarded after distillation contains so many other important compounds that could be utilized. It makes my head spin.
Oil infusion, on the other hand, captures a much wider spectrum of medicinal compounds that work together synergistically to provide us with the full benefits of the plant. (It even captures some of the essential oils!) And it does so with a much smaller footprint. It takes us only 2oz of rose petals to make a pound of rose infused oil. While this product is not as potent, it is still very beneficial, smells beautiful though more delicate, and is safe and gentle for all to use on a daily basis.
We don’t always have to use the strongest, most powerful thing every time. I know it’s the American way, but I wish we could practice more of using just enough.
What if we used more things in their holistic, natural state? What if we used gentler medicine more often to create a better state of wellness over time? Yes, sometimes we absolutely need the stronger stuff. When you need stronger medicine, use it with the help of a qualified practitioner. But for our own general wellness and the wellness of the planet, maybe we practice using just enough.
Herbal infused oils have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine practices across cultures. They are gentle, safe, and effective. They can help us ease physical pain, help heal our skin, calm our minds, soothe our nerves, and so much more. They can help move us towards a state of greater balance. That's what traditional medicine is all about! We are thrilled to be sharing these formulas with you, and hope they become an important part of your daily wellness routine.