Reaction to [Un]Well Essential Oils Episode

Essential Oils (EOs) are a popular form of “alternative” medicine

Let me preface this episode review/reaction by saying this: I have a minor in biology. I have worked in healthcare for about two years now (hospital and a pain clinic). I have chronic pain myself in multiple parts of my body. I have survived stage 2 blood cancer. This is all at the young age of twenty-six. I have dabbled in aromatherapy on my own time, joining clinical aromatherapy social media groups to make sure I am not accidentally poisoning myself (or others) whenever I use different types of essential oils. I buy scientific books about essential oils and guidebooks that are authored by clinical aromatherapists once every few years to make sure I am getting the latest information about them.

Speaking as someone who has worked in a pain clinic and has chronic pain themselves, I am always on the lookout for “legitimate” alternatives to traditional pain medications that have the peer-reviewed studies to “back up” their supposedly miraculous healing claims. Essential oils by themselves cause my eyes a few years ago and I was willing to try them out for myself. I did the research, joined the proper educational groups online, and dove in to make sure that I was doing things as safely as possible. I have learned about different oils and how they help me with my own anxiety and chronic pain problems.

Essential oils in my eyes are a type of medicine that should be used to take the edge off but never are meant to replace medical consults, imaging, bloodwork, etc. They help me deal with the pain (or whatever is causing me issues), but it is never the primary method of me trying to treat my own problems. This is why whenever I watched Netflix’ [Un]Well episode about them, I just about wanted to chuck my TV into the wall with the flat out dangerous (as well as possibly deadly) lies that some people were spreading through this episode.

Essential oils can not cure cancer. They can not cure broken bones. They can not shrink tumors or stop them from growing. They can help deal with the symptoms associated with tumors (like nausea, vomiting, night sweats, anxiety, etc.) but will not affect the tumor themselves.

Essential oils, like many forms of “alternative” medicine do have a grain of truth in them. However, with that being said, there are many lies being spread about them (in particular from companies selling them, like Young Living just to give a specific example, that is solely interested in profits over the safety of who they are selling the oils to). There are so many myths and fairy tales out there regarding essential oils (for example: the pastor on the episode suggested EOs can be ingested when most clinical aromatherapists would never, ever recommend ingesting them because of how powerfully potent they are)

The clinical aromatherapists featured on the episode did provide a fair understanding of EOs. However, Allison (the worker for the DoTerra), as well as Erik (the pastor who ran the EOs blog), were spreading dangerous, potentially deadly lies about EOs. My jaw hit the floor when I heard some of the things coming out of both of their mouth.

If you are interested in learning about EOs (from a factual perspective), I strongly recommend that you actually invest in educational essential oil books. I recommend joining educational aromatherapy groups on Facebook and other forms of social media so you can make sure you aren’t doing anything dangerous. Do not listen to what salesmen are trying to sell you about EOs since their main goals are profits, not health and wellbeing.

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.