I love SCIENCE...
Kacey, how does a smart woman like you get sucked into the "woo" of essential oils... I mean there is NO SCIENCE behind it!
To answer her question...
So, here's the dictionary definition of woo-woo or just plain woo: adj. concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritualism; other than rational or scientific; mysterious; new agey. Also n., a person who has mystical or new age beliefs. When used by skeptics, woo-woo is a derogatory and dismissive term used to refer to beliefs one considers nonsense or to a person who holds such beliefs.
When I got over being slightly offended that my friend thought I was a quack, I thought, "wow - I really have some explaining to do! I bet there are lots of people out there who feel the same way."
First, essential oils have been around for THOUSANDS of years, dispelling the myth that they are a fad. Simple historical research can find evidence of essential oils being used throughout history for a variety of purposes. Now, if you are the scientific skeptic, this holds little value for you. I mean after all, people used to spread feces on their face to block the sun. Just because it worked back then, doesn't mean it works now, right? OK, so history aside, other than to illustrate the fact that essential oils are NOT new-age.
Second, what about 'mystical and nonsensical"? Perhaps some people use essential oils that way. If that is your bag, then you are welcome to it. I happen to believe a bit more sciency-like when I use essential oils, and I'm not using them to conjure up dead relatives or connect with a higher power.
In fact, most modern medicines are derived from plants. I am fascinated about how humans have made the journey from crushing poultices of lavender to chemically isolating a compound from a plant, synthesizing it in a lab, and putting a patent on it. Its fascinating history and I encourage you to take a look. Chemically, there are hundreds of medicines that are derived from plant compounds. So why not just use the plant?
Well, it comes down to money, really. Let's face it. We no longer live in a world where we can walk to the nearest apothecary and trade a goat for a few sprigs of peppermint grown by the local medicine man. Money talks in our modern society. Very few companies want to deal with the unpredictability of weather, markets and the uncertainty that comes with actually growing plants as medicines.
But there is a REASON people go to medical school...
We live in a society where there is literally a pill for everything! It is a long, expensive process to get a new drug on the market. If you are the science lover, you may feel comfy and cozy taking a pill for your I've-got-an-ailment-itis because after all, it was approved and researched. But even the most intelligent human on earth can see how many of those pills have been taken off the market because they caused horrible medical injuries or even death. And many that are still on the market come with a literal book of side effects. These are the things I am skeptical about.
You still haven't showed me this Science that you promised...
But there is one tiny flaw in relying SOLEY on experimental science. We disregard historical evidence. When you really look at it, there are some things that cannot be proven in a lab. Does that make them any less fact? How do we know that George Washington was our first president or that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated or that steak is delicious? Show me the peer reviewed research paper! Does that seem preposterous to you?
There is much value in calling on our historical perspective and written history to validate modern science, as well as create new hypotheses. As I mentioned before, without historical evidence of plants being used medicinally, we would never have many of the medicines on the market today.
Scientific Fact meets Regulated Speech
When you find people doing that, you should be skeptical because they are breaking the law. If they are not adhering to this form of regulated speech, then they probably do not have your best interest in mind.
Bottom line, do the research yourself. It's out there and its promising. You are going to have to do a little digging, but you are going to have a lot of fun learning about this!
Some things can't be found in a research article...
I guess what I am really getting at is that modern medicine is not perfect. Common sense tells us that our bodies are amazing machines. If you dig deep, your intuition is probably telling you that you really don't need to pop a pill for every glitch in your beautiful body. Historical evidence points to plants as an amazing tool to support our wellness.
Gem of the Day...
Now, if you care to walk to my house, I will happily trade one good milk goat for a few bottles of essential oils! But if that isn't feasible, just fill out the contact form on my essential oils page, and I would be happy to visit with you more. I'll even send you a free sample to try.