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Consumer Watch: Important essential oil facts

Essential oil safety (FILE).

What are essential oils good for? It depends on who you ask. For some it's about relaxing, and others swear by their healing properties. An Oklahoma medical professional tells us some important facts about essential oils.

Essential oils and diffusers use to be found in specialty stores, but now some version of the products can be found in some of the strangest of places. From book stores to discount stores and even the grocery store. People will often use a combination of these products for relaxations, as a supplement, or skin care. However, users should know there is no scientific information pointing to medicinal properties in essential oils.

"I think that the reason that people use these oils is because of what they hear from friends and family. For the most part there is no scientific proof, there is no hard scientific evidence for their efficacy," says Dr. David Hollrah, with INTEGRIS Family Care, Surrey Hills

Hollrah says that the oils can be safe and are often used by people in addition to medication to help with relaxation or spirituality, but they should not be used in place of medication. It is also important to talk to your doctor if you are placing them on your skin or consuming them.

“You can develop an allergy at any point in your life to many different substances, so these oils, there are a ton of different substances in them, so you can develop an allergy to that," says Hollrah

Many medical professionals also say that diffused oil is generally safe to smell, so using it should pose no risk to your health, but always check in with your doctor if you have any questions.

Many companies that sell essential oil products include instructions. Reading those directions fully could help prevent any misunderstanding that could harm your health.


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