Beauty essentials

In the modern day of doctor offices, pharmacy prescriptions and side effects, some people are turning back to nature.

Essential oils have become a trend, popular among mothers, athletes and naturopaths.

Enthusiasts say essential oils are beneficial to anyone, whether you are looking to sleep better, use all-natural cleaning products or relieve muscle aches. Essential oils can be used in many different ways, usually as an alternative to chemical products.

When her baby kept waking up throughout the night, Wendy Ewest, wellness advocate for dōTERRA Essential Oils, began rubbing lavender oil on his feet before bed. She said the results amazed her; he could finally sleep through the night.

Ewest uses essential oils in her daily life, and encourages others to do the same. She said they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction than synthetic fragrances. Essential oils can be used on the skin, in the air or in the body. Some oils should not be ingested, however.

Essential oil products are made from oil sacs in plants that prevent disease and are derived from the rind of fruit or the resin of a tree. Orange, lemon and lavender are popular oils. Companies such as dōTERRA also make oil blends, comprised of six or seven ingredients.

Lavender calms the body, so it is recommended as a sleep aid. Additionally, it maintains clear skin and can be used to treat insect bites. Orange prevents seasonal allergies and is a natural energizer. Lemon can be used as a cleaning agent and a supplement to prevent illness. Peppermint aids in digestive and oral health, and also repels insects.

Companies create oil blends to target various issues, such as immunity boosting, discomfort and weight loss. The makers claim these blends affect the user as much as medical products.

Essential oil skeptics say oils are dangerous when not used properly and they are less effective than medical treatments.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors companies that produce and distribute essential oils, which it has labeled as drugs.

“The therapeutic claims establish that these products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease,” the FDA stated.

Ewest said essential oils are worth trying because they are 100 percent natural and have no side effects.

“What do you have to lose? You can feel good about what’s in your body and your home,” Ewest said.

So if medications and doctor’s offices aren’t for you, you may want to give these essential oils a try. It may be worth going back to nature.

Alisa Smith is a sophomore communication and political science major from Arlington. She can be contacted at 335-1140 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of The Office of Student Media.