TAMPA (WFLA/NBC) – Essential oils are more popular than ever these days and those in favor say they can treat anxiety, balance your mood and ward off stress.
But essential oils are not regulated by any agency and if they are on your Christmas shopping list, here’s what you need to know.
There’s lavender for relaxation, anxiety, fungal infections, even menstrual cramps, Tea tree oil is an antibacterial used to treat acne, athlete’s foot, lice, and insect bites, Cinnamon oils calm dry skin, pain and stiffness in the joints and Grapefruit oil can balance mood, decrease blood pressure and relieve stress.
Those are just a few Dr. Christine Le says when using oils less is more and the safest.
“Probably the smallest amount will help patients because we just don’t know how it will affect the body, how it gets absorbed by the kidneys, and also it may fight different prescription medicines,” Le said.
Dr.Le says essential oils are considered a food supplement-so they are not really regulated.
Some use oils directly on their skin and some put it in a diffuser and breathe it in.
Dr. Le says there is a risk of irritation- if you use it on your skin it could feel like a chemical burn
“Some of the patients have felt fatigue or nausea and it can get some patients agitated,” Le said.
Some use it on their babies and pets, but Dr. Le says their skin is so sensitive, you should check with a pediatrician and vet before you do and she says everyone will react differently to essential oils.
“I had one couple who the wife felt great on it but it caused her husband to cough and itch every person is different, it’s trial and error really but if people feel better rested and energized it is a good way to get some rest,” Dr. Le said.
Doctor Le says essential oils could interfere with your prescription medicines. If you are pregnant or nursing ask your doctor first and never ever ingest any essential oils.