Essential oils companies have seemed to explode onto the market in recent years bringing with them quite the frenzy over this “new fad” of sweet (and sometimes NOT so sweet) smelling aromatic compounds. They make great claims of support, even healing, to body systems and the mental/emotional states of the mind. The reality of essential oils, however, is that they are anything but a “new fad” and have been around for thousands of years. Obviously, our methods of extraction and our ability to test for purity have changed with technological advancement in this modern day, but the essence of these plant compounds have remained the same throughout history and continue to have powerful effects on the human body and mind. Essential oils are nature’s medicine in its purest form, from which many of our current pharmaceuticals have actually been derived. The difference, however, is that 100% pure essential oils have few, if any, documented negative side effects. This is good news for those of us looking to avoid unwanted effects, but still have access to powerful health support for our bodies. Thankfully, the scientific community is catching on to the possibilities of pure essential oils and we are seeing a tremendous amount of research being conducted on the safety and efficacy of oils in medical trails, many with very positive outcomes. If you are interested in checking some of these out for yourselves, you can search specifics on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/. Aside from all the professional research being done in the scientific/medical community, however, there are millions of average, everyday people who have successfully begun utilizing essential oils in their daily routine with amazing health outcomes. Essential oils are unique in that just a drop or 2 can have powerful therapeutic effects for just about any health issue you can imagine. They are a powerful tool in our arsenal against disease and especially useful for those times when a trip to the doctor can be delayed or even avoided with the right support. Many essential oils, including melaleuca, oregano and arborvitae, have proven anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties. Citrus oils like lemon, lime, wild orange and grapefruit are useful for cleaning, disinfecting and purifying the air and surfaces of our homes. Ginger is an amazing support to the digestive system and helps to soothe an upset tummy. Frankincense is an incredible immune support, soothes inflammation and has even been shown in multiple scientific studies to be anti-cancer! This is incredible news and it just barely scratches the surface of the many applications for essential oils. It needs to be said that in this age of the internet and unlimited information sharing you will quickly find that there are many different and controversial opinions on the who, what, when, where and how of essential oils. Some believe they should never be used on children, nor ingested for any reason. Others use them on their brand new babies and take them daily in their water, or in capsules, swearing by the various health benefits they offer via internal usage. Then there is the issue of purity. Clearly and understandably, each company promotes their oils as being the best of the best and calls specific attention to the purity and sourcing of their oils. This is a large and growing market, after all. One company claims to own their own fields, another to source indigenously, yet another to source organic and still others to claim beyond organic. Several companies are large direct sale companies which they feel gives them an advantage. A few brands are much smaller, more “local,” which can also be a key catch phrase for the consumer. Much of this boils down simply to semantics and creative marketing. So, how do you sort it out? The bottom line is this: each individual needs to research and consider carefully before choosing a brand of essential oils as well as their chosen methods of consumption. The most important consideration is to make sure you purchase 100% pure unadulterated essential oils from a company committed to quality, sourcing, sustainability and world-community support. Contact me to find out my company of choice. The integrity by which they do business is phenomenal, their relationship with their growers unmatched, the purity of their oils indisputable. Whichever brand you choose, however, I would encourage you not to go another day without incorporating pure essential oils into your personal medicine cabinet. They are an invaluable tool, empowering us to take control of our lives and health by giving us safe and effective options for healing support, without a trip to the doctor’s office, or an expensive pharmaceutical script. Try them today. You won’t be disappointed. For more in-depth reading, I highly recommend you check out my mentor, Dr. Josh Axe’s page at http://draxe.com/essential-oils-guide/ .