Again, I have had the experience of being asked the same question three times this past week…so, again…I want to share this information with you! This time the question was “If I am allergic to a plant or tree, will I also be allergic to the essential oil??” Usually seeing the essence of Goldenrod or Juniper Berry in our testers or on our price list triggers this question. The last time, it was Rhododendron, an essence I suggested to a client to help her attract her soul family.
Basically, the answer to this question is “Maybe, but not likely”. As I mentioned in an earlier Essential Thought, it is always a good idea to do a test patch, especially if an oil is new to you, is a different brand, or is something you might be allergic to (based on the nature of the oil — i.e., it’s hot or skin sensitive– or based on your past history).
The closest analogy of an essential oil to its source is that it is like the blood of the plant or tree it comes from. I liken the pollen of plants to human sweat or dandruff…we release those substances from our body…but they are not at all like the blood of our body. So…when a plant produces certain chemicals or substances (like pollen or aromas) meant to attract (pollinators, for example) or repel (predators, for example), those are created for a specific purpose and have a chemical make-up that achieves that purpose.
Essential oils are from medicinal plants known for their healing properties, so they are likely not to contain enough (or any) of the chemistry to which you are allergic to cause a reaction. Quite possibly, use of the essence, over time, may reduce your allergic reaction to the plant!
Hope this helps clarify a subject that deserves discussion…especially this time of year, when a lot of people are dealing with their allergies!
Master Medicinal Aromatherapist
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