A new ‘Non-Wellness’ industry?

Essential oils marketing needs safety standards enforced

Multi level marketing companies are making their mark in the wellness industry with a big brand celebrating their 10thanniversary as the ‘Global Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Leader’. Beechmont aromatherapist, Vanessa Bagley is a member of the International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association and said that many of Australia’s professional aromatherapists and health experts are very concerned.

“The company claims that their interest is in the growth and wellness of the marketing people selling their products, yet their recommendations regarding the use of essential oils are blatantly misleading which could lead to widespread malpractice,” Vanessa said.

“The use of plants, herbs and essential oils as integrative medicine is nothing new and the science backs up the proven benefits. Safety of essential oils is where the issue lies as potency of essential oils when administered to the body is of the utmost importance for the safe practice of essential oil therapy. Essential oils become toxic and unsafe if not used correctly or at too high a dose.

“For example, all essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil at the correct dilution before applying to your skin. And some essential oils should never be used on the skin, ever! The company is not providing the relevant contra-indications or cautionary information to their sales people.

“For example, massaging tea tree oil onto a baby or young child could even endanger the life of a newborn or young child as their tiny livers and skin simply cannot cope. Another safety concern is when essential oils are ingested. The company is recommending drops of essential oil in tea or water. This can be a serious threat to a person’s health, as oil and water don’t mix, therefore delicate mucous membranes within the esophagus may be damaged when they come into contact with droplets of undiluted essential oil.

“A cocktail bar at the Gold Coast was found to be serving lemon myrtle cocktails containing actual droplets of essential oil of lemon myrtle instead of the cooled lemon myrtle tea that could have been used. Concentrated essential oils are absorbed differently within our body compared to using the crushed leaves, flowers, roots or juice from the same plant. Mixing essential oils into tea, water or cocktails is certainly against the standard practice of aromatherapy. It can be quite confusing for the aromatherapy novice who has not received correct information or training. Who knows how many drops of essential oil you’re guzzling, possibly leading to liver and kidney damage?”

Vanessa has serious concerns that the ‘Wellness Industry’ will be so severely affected by the marketing practices of certain companies that it will eventually lead to human suffering and a ‘Non-Wellness Industry’.

“To become qualified as an aromatherapist, a government-accredited course is required,” she said. “And yet many of the people selling the essential oils on behalf of the company are not trained in the health sector and are provided with information that does not follow the correct safety protocol, often recommending above correct dosages.”

Vanessa Bagley is a fully trained Aromatherapist and operates her business, Beauty By Nature at Beechmont and can be contacted at ph 0417 736994 or by email vanessa@beautybynature.com.au

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