University of Minnesota Physician Discusses Essential Oils

Essential oils, or highly concentrated oils extracted from plant sources, have been used around the world to help with a wide variety of illnesses and conditions. They have been used for thousands of years but have recently been integrated into western medicine as a way to complement current medical practices and treatments. Though the plant extracts shouldn’t be used to replace doctor visits, medicines, or treatments prescribed by your doctor, they can be used as a natural and effective way to manage some common ailments. 

One physician at the University of Minnesota, Lynn Gershan, MD, CM, Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, recently discussed safety, uses, and types of essential oils with Parade Magazine. According to Dr. Gershan who is certified in clinical aromatherapy and medical herbalism, choosing the correct type of essential oils is important to ensure safe and effective usage. First, as government agencies don’t regulate or certify essential oils for purity and safety, picking the correct brand of essential oils is important. You should order from a well known company with a good business reputation, buy essential oils that come in glass containers, and buy bottles that contain 100% pure essential oils to avoid contaminants. Second, one needs to determine what the essential oil will be used for as different plant concentrations provide different effects. A list of 10 essential oils and their uses can be found in the original article, linked at the bottom of this page. Lastly, once you’ve chosen your essential oil, it can be used topically, by diffuser, or via inhalation. Just remember that essential oils are very concentrated, so using small amounts and diluting it with castor oil is recommended. To read the full article and additional tips on finding and using essential oils, follow this link